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June/July Updates for the Southwest Region

Find out what the IMBA chapters in the southwest are up to and what new projects are on the way.

Chapter Updates - A warm welcome to the new groups!

Here in the southwest, we are seeing great growth with the IMBA Chapter Program. The newest chapters are: the Sedona Mountain Bike Association (AZ), Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association (UT) and the Cave Creek Bicycling Association (AZ).

Along with bringing new members on board, these chapters are working on some great projects, too. The IMBA Trail Care Crew is coming to Cave Creek in October to train local volunteers on sustainable building techniques.

SEDONA, AZ -- The Sedona, AZ, chapter working on a grant application with the National Parks Service Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) in partnership with the USFS-Red Rocks Ranger District and the City of Sedona. If approved, this grant would provide a part-time National Parks Service staff person to assist with a community outreach and trail planning process for the trails on federal and municipal land around Sedona. Such a review of the Sedona area trails is long overdue should be welcomed by all trail users in the area.

SoCAL -- SHARE-MTB in Orange County, CA, is also enrolling in the IMBA Chapter Program, along with Idyllwild Cycling, also in Southern California. We expect several more chapters from Southern California and Arizona to come on board later this year.

It's paramount for mountain bike riders to band together to provide better trail access in their home communities and to speak with a unified voice on national and international issues – the chapter program is doing just that!

Project Updates - The riding is only going to get better!

IDYLLWILD, CA -- We are working on a project in the San Bernardino National Forest in Idyllwild, CA, where we are beginning a master-planning process for May Valley, which is adjacent to Hurkey Creek, a Riverside County Regional Park. There is a legacy of unregulated trail building in this area, creating the need for an understanding of the current trail inventory and to plan for sustainability. The amazing landscape here offers front-country access to family-friendly trails, along with opportunities to access stunning backcountry locations. With a new IMBA chapter coming together in Idyllwild, we expect that this will be a productive exercise, leading to more and better access over the long-term.

BIG BEAR LAKE, CA -- Elsewhere in the San Bernardino National Forest, we are continuing our work with the Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation (BBVTF) on the Skyline Trail project at Big Bear Lake. We recently saw $120,000 committed to this project in cash and through in-kind contributions from both BBVTF and the USFS, and we plan to have an IMBA Trail Specialist from IMBA Trail Solutions working on design there later this year.

SAN DIEGO -- In the most southwesterly point of the region, we are working with the San Diego Mountain Bike Association (SDMBA) to research the potential for an urban bike park. The Progressive Riders Organization (PRO – a committee of SDMBA) is taking the lead on this project.

PHOENIX -- In Phoenix, we are working on a similar project with the Gravity Riders Association of Arizona. There, we recently met with the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department to give a presentation on the bike park concept, citing examples such as the I-5 Colonnade Bike Park, Valmont Bike Park and the Truckee Pumptrack. The next step is to develop cost estimates for various sized parks, review two or three potential locations and then present this information back to the Parks and Recreation Department during the fall.

TUCSON, AZ -- Elsewhere in Arizona, we are working with clubs in the Tucson area to address a ‘night-riding ban’ in some city parks. Given the blistering temperatures there for many months each year, local advocates wish to see the trails open after dusk to allow for riding in the cooler temperatures.

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