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August Southwest News

SoCal Bike Parks – I have been working with Orange County Parks over the past year, discussing the opportunities for bike parks on properties that it manages. The project is now moving onto the next stage: two IMBA bike park designers will be on the ground in early September reviewing four sites around the county and making recommendations for the type of facilities that could be built on each. This is a very exciting stage in the process, with a big thanks going to Orange County Parks, Jax Bicycle Centers, and SHARE-MTB, the local IMBA chapter.

Our bike park designers will also visit a couple of sites in L.A. and Ventura counties to review potential bike park locations alongside CORBA, the Los Angeles IMBA chapter. I’ll post updates from these site visit in the coming weeks.

Arizona Bike Park Conference – Details are coming together for a two-day bike park conference in southern Arizona later this year. Given the explosive growth in bike park development throughout the region—and Arizona is no exception—I am planning this event in order to gather a critical mass of advocates and designers to discuss park development. We expect to announce a date and location soon, so stay tuned for more details.

Caliente, NV – Just this week I had a meeting with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Caliente City Council, Lincoln County Commission, Nevada State Parks and several IMBA staff to continue discussing the development of a trail network in and around Caliente. We are now seeking to secure $25,000 to develop a conceptual plan, utilizing designers from the IMBA Trail Solutions program. To date, $5,000 has been allocated from the IMBA Trail Building Fund, and we are now working to secure the remaining $20k. We hope to do so within the next couple of months and have IMBA Trail Specialists on the ground by the end of this year.

Southern New Mexico - Ruidoso, NM, is a small mountain town nestled at 7,000 feet in the Sacramento Mountains. Ruidoso is arguably the most legendary area of New Mexico, home to both Billy the Kid and Smokey the Bear.

But now, Ruidoso wants to be known for something else – being a mountain bike destination. Five years ago, a coalition consisting of Bicycle Ruidoso, Lincoln National Forest, EcoServants, and the Village of Ruidoso got the process started.

In 2010, IMBA Trail Solutions was contracted to create a 100-mile master plan. Thanks to Trail Solutions and EcoServants (the local youth conservation corps group), there are now 14 miles of professionally designed and built trail on the ground.

The coalition is currently working on the funding for the last miles of the Grindstone trail system, which should be completed next summer. Along with the existing trails in Cedar Creek and the Fort Stanton trail system, home of 12 Hours in the Wild West, the Ruidoso area is well on the way to becoming a mountain bike destination.

IMBA Chapter Growth in the Southwest Region – The chapter program continues to grow, with Moab, UT; northwestern AZ; and Taos, NM, soon to have chapters. IMBA is very pleased to have ambassadors in those areas working to maintain and improve access for all of us. We also have a new chapter coming on board in El Paso, TX.

Will you be at Interbike in Las Vegas from September 18-20? If so, come along and visit the IMBA booth, where you can meet some of our regional and HQ people, and find out more about the work completed by our members, chapters and staff all around the world. If you renew your membership while at Interbike, you’ll get some free schwag too! We hope to see you there.

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