IMBA-Europe officially arrived today. After nearly three years of gestation, it's the birth of another progeny of IMBA, joining its siblings, IMBA-Australia and IMBA-Canada.
I arrived for the birth in Amsterdam this morning, after less than an hour of sleep on the overnight flight from Denver. Even in my jet-lagged state of excitement I realized this is an historic happening in the mountain bike world. It's the kind of excitement you have upon the arrival of your first born - that euphoric, nerve-wracking mix and wonder of what will it be when it grows up? And thanks to SRAM, we have a head-start with funding for the birth and growth of this baby.
My anxiety aside, this I know, the future of mountain biking in many parts of Europe is brighter today because European mountain bike leaders in many countries now have an opportunity they haven't had to date. An opportunity to organize under a panEuropean organizational umbrella, sanctioned and supported by IMBA with start-up funding from the bike industry. There will be much growing and maturing to do, but as Harold, Are and I (the founding IMBA Europe board members - see photo) signed and notarized the official "Constitutional Deed" for the legal formation of IMBA Europe, I thought of the 12 European countries that have indicated their strong desire and commitment to advocating for better mountain biking in Europe under the IMBA umbrella.
Like all brand new parents, excitement gives way to the sobering reality of "now what?"
That question will get answered this weekend as 12 countries gather in Zurich to move forward with establishing the business and operating infrastructure and programs of IMBA Europe.