IMBA Southwest Summer News (June)
Southern California MTB Summit a Success!
We recently had an awesome regional summit up in the San Jacinto Mountains in the beautiful mountain town of Idyllwild, CA. We had 65 mountain bike advocates attend from southern and central California and Arizona, including staff from the SoCal High School Cycling League and the Inland Empire Bicycle Alliance, along with IMBA chapter and club members, ski resort staff, and bike shop owners. These folks participated in workshops including trail planning and design, bike park development, grant research and government relations. We also has a ton of great trail rides, demos from Niner Bikes, great food and a raffle with prizes from SRAM, Zoic Clothing, Loaded Precision Components, Norco, Gamut-USA, Clif Bar, The Hub Cyclery, Ryders Eyewear, Osprey and The North Face. A big thanks to everyone who attended and to our great industry partners for supporting the event! Discussions are now in the works for a summit in southern Arizona in fall 2013 focusing on bike parks, given the huge demand throughout the region. Stay tuned for details.
(Above photo from the SoCal summit, by Leslie Kehmeier)
IMBA Chapter Program Expanding in the Southwest
The IMBA Chapter Program continues to grow in the southwest with the San Diego Mountain Biking Association recently joining the program. Three additional clubs will join the chapter ranks summer, including the Moab (UT) Mountain Bike Association, the Colorado River Area Trail Association (focusing on Mohave and La Paz Counties in western AZ), and the Del Norte MTB Alliance, which is based in Taos, NM, and plans to work throughout north-central New Mexico. These new chapters already have great riding opportunities and will work to strengthen existing partnerships with land managers in their areas. Expect them to also put on great events, grow membership, and ultimately build more singletrack and bike parks for us all to ride. Stay tuned for events and updates from these new chapters. It’s great to have the new groups on board!
Support the May Valley Trails in Idyllwild, CA
In Idyllwild, CA, Idyllwild Cycling (an IMBA chapter) is working with the United States Forest Service (USFS) to bring many of the trails in the May Valley area into the USFS system. Together, we recently submitted comments to the USFS, requesting trails be approved, including trails for all ages and abilities. Idyllwild Cycling has also developed a thoughtful online petition, gathering signatures from riders who wish to participate in the process. An IMBA Trail Specialist will be in May Valley this summer designing reroutes as part of this planning initiative. If you have not been to Idyllwild, check it out for some awesome SoCal trail riding. It’s only going to get better thanks to a great group of locals.
Skyline Trail Progress in Big Bear Lake, CA
Have you been following the progress in Big Bear recently, especially at Snow Summit Resort and on the Skyline Trail? The online forums have been buzzing with a lot of positive feedback about these new trails. Several resort trails are finished and open for riding, and the official opening of the 8-mile Skyline Trail on the south shore of Big Bear Lake will be on Saturday, Aug. 17, in partnership with the Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation and the USFS (Mountain Top Ranger District). Come out Aug. 17 for guided rides and to meet some of the great locals behind the project. Keep an eye on trailsfoundation.org for updates on that event.
Potential for Destination Trails in Caliente, NV
I’ll be back in Caliente in the coming weeks meeting again with the Bureau of Land Management, City Council members and the Lincoln County Commission to keep discussing the potential for a large-scale, destination-quality trail network in the area, with the the goal of having an IMBA Trail Specialist on the ground doing planning work later this year.
Group in Sedona, AZ, Working to Bring More Trails into Official System
The Verde Valley Cyclist Coalition is working with the USFS in Sedona to bring ‘The Hogs’ trails into the system, with their work including submitting a grant proposal to the Bikes Belong Coalition which, if approved, will be matched with money from the IMBA Trail Building Fund. We are also working with the USFS and the Sedona Chamber to submit a proposal to bring the IMBA World Summit to Sedona in 2014.
Patrick’s Upcoming Travel Plans
Keep your eyes peeled for the IMBA Subaru in New Mexico during July and August. I will be there meeting with land managers and catching up with IMBA chapters to discuss projects in the region. You will also see the “IMBAru” in SoCal as I tour around there to meet with many of our industry partners and update them on our work in the area. We’ll also continue our discussions with the Orange County Parks Department (CA) regarding bike parks on its property. I’ll keep you posted on developments there, too.
A big thanks to everyone for making the Southwest an awesome place to ride, and it’s only getting better thanks to you and our ever-growing IMBA membership!