New IMBA Chapter in San Diego, CA
We are very excited to have the San Diego Mountain Bike Association (SDMBA) become a part of the IMBA Chapter Program. SDMBA has been an IMBA-affiliated club for many years, working cooperatively with city, county and federal land managers and hosting the Archipelago Ride each April. In addition, SDMBA is considering taking on an urban bike park project. As a new IMBA chapter, they will work on advocacy projects throughout all of San Diego County, making them the most southwesterly chapter in the entire region. It’s great to have these folks be a valuable part of the ever-growing chapter program!
2013 IMBA Southwest Mountain Bike Summit in SoCal
Mark your calendar, as plans are coming together for the 2013 IMBA Southern California Mountain Bike Summit in Idyllwild, CA, May 31-June 2. The event will include workshops on trail planning and design, bike park development, grant writing and a presentation from the SoCal High School Cycling League. Along with a busy schedule of workshops, we’ll have a barbeque, trail rides, and good times up in the San Jacinto Mountains of Southern California. More information and registration information will be available soon, so stay tuned.
Also in Idyllwild, IMBA will be working with the US Forest Service in the May Valley area. We worked with the USFS there in late 2012 to map and inventory the existing trail system. This year's work will commence early summer 2013, when a Trail Specialist from IMBA Trail Solutions will be on the ground reviewing existing trails, making recommendations for new trails and designing reroutes to help create a long-term sustainable system. We hope that the local partnership will position Idyllwild as a must-ride mountain bike destination for riders throughout the southwest.
Trail Development All Across New Mexico
A recent road trip to New Mexico included meeting with the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society, an IMBA Chapter, and the US Forest Service to discuss trail development in the area. I also met with the Los Alamos Singletrack Association, also an IMBA Chapter, to discuss the trail plan being developed by IMBA Trail Solutions. We hope to attend some public meetings here in the coming months to discuss that trail plan and gather input from local riders and residents. I also met with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and local advocates in Capitan, NM, and with a dedicated group of advocates up in Taos, NM, who are working to develop a new IMBA chapter in support of their trail development initiatives. The future looks bright for riders in New Mexico and IMBA is proud to be part of this progress.
Trail Development With the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Caliente, NV
Jesse and Lori of the Subaru-IMBA Trail Care Crew just completed a training in Caliente, NV, where they met with the BLM, State Parks staff and community members to present a series of workshops on developing destination-quality mountain bike trail networks. It was a component of a longer-term initiative between IMBA and the BLM to understand each others' goals and find common ground (literally) upon which we can build a quality singletrack trail network for all abilities in and around Caliente. I expect to get further into the conceptual design process later in 2013.
Phoenix Family Bike Park Update – Phoenix, AZ
The conceptual design and report for the Phoenix Family Bike Park has been completed by IMBA Trail Solution staff and has been presented to the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department through our partners at the Gravity Riders Organization of Arizona (GROAZ). I plan to meet again in the coming weeks with the City of Phoenix and GROAZ to discuss this conceptual design, and keep the initiative moving toward the approval and permitting process. Big thanks to GROAZ for its steady support of this project.
Subaru-IMBA Trail Care Crew Near You
The Subaru-IMBA Trail Care Crew is currently finishing up the last visits in the southwest, after a busy winter presenting trainings all over Arizona (Phoenix, Cottonwood, Prescott, Scottsdale, Tucson and Kingman), and in Las Vegas and Caliente in Nevada. The final visits in the region include St. George, UT and Idyllwild, CA, before the crew makes its way north through California and into the Pacific Northwest for summer and fall. Thanks to Jesse and Lori (aka JLo) for their visits in the southwest region, where they trained hundreds of volunteers and land managers and sowed the seeds for many miles of new singletrack. We hope to see you back here again in late 2013!
Upcoming Events in the Southwest Region
- The Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association is hosting a mountain bike advocacy summit in St. George, UT, March 28-30, including workshops on the economic impacts of mountain bike tourism, trail planning, and sustainable trail building techniques. Check out the great things going on in southwestern Utah, and ride some awesome trails while you are there.
- Do you race? Are you headed to Prescott, AZ, for the Whiskey Off Road? This event, held April 26-28, will have 15, 25 and 50-mile race options, along with kids rides and several vendors set up in downtown Prescott. Come experience the 450 miles of trails in and around Prescott and check out the local bike shops, brewpubs, restaurants and bike-friendly community. The local chapter, the Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance, will have a booth at the event. Also, keep an eye on Mountain Flyer magazine in the coming months for an article about the Prescott Circle Trail.
- On April 28, the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association will host a pancake breakfast in Henniger Flats in Altadena, CA. It's an annual fundraiser for trail advocacy efforts in the area. Come support this IMBA chapter and eat pancakes if you are in the area.
- Check out the Sedona Singletrack Celebration May 3-5. Join group rides on the famous Sedona trails, including the legendary Highline and Hangover Trails. Expect to experience iconic singletrack and slickrock riding, led by knowledgeable local guides. There will also be vendors, bike demos and live music, set among the stunning red rocks of Sedona.
- Will you be near Orange County, CA, on May 18? If so, check out the SHARE-MTB Poker Ride at Santiago Oaks Regional Park. The event is the group's annual fundraiser, a great opportunity to ride some fun trails and support mountain biking in Orange County.
These are busy times for mountain bike advocacy in the southwest, and it’s certainly a team effort. We wish to thank our members, supporters, chapters and the many land management agencies that we work with to get new trails and bike parks on the ground. We could not do it without your support; thanks for everything!