May News and Updates—Southwest
Tucson (AZ) and Orange County (CA) Bike Park Projects In Design Phase
IMBA Trail Solutions recently visited Tucson, AZ, to check out the 100-Acre Wood site near David Monthan Air Force Base. They spent two days assessing its suitability for a bike park with cross-country trails, flow lines, dirt jumps and pumptracks, among other bike-specific facilities. Along with chapter volunteers from the Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists, IMBA met with staff from Mayor Rothschild’s office and staff from community health agencies who could become important allies in the project. Conceptual maps and a report will be available in about a month, after which they will be presented to local officials to keep building support for the project.
Similarly, IMBA will soon being the design phase for a bike park at Ted Craig Regional Park in Fullerton, CA, in partnership with Orange County Parks Department and our local chapter, SHARE-MTB. The 12-acre site could include progressive dirt jump lines and pumptracks for all abilities. Expect photos and and updates on both of these projects in the coming months.
Planning and Fundraising Continue for 40 Miles of Singletrack in Caliente, NV
The current goal is to secure $40,000 to design and map 40 miles of singletrack in and around Caliente, beginning later this year. There is currently $25,000 allocated to this process via the Bureau of Land Management and the City of Caliente, and IMBA will continue to source additional funds in the coming months. Our next outreach efforts include a presentation to the Caliente City Council (and general public) on June 5 at 6 p.m. at the city offices, and a meeting with Lincoln County Regional Development Authority on June 9 to discuss partnership opportunities.
Update on the Pecos Wilderness Proposal Santa Fe, NM
IMBA recently met with Wilderness advocates and our chapter, the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society (SFFTS), to discuss the proposed expansion of the Pecos Wilderness. We explained how it would significantly impact mountain bike access in the area, including removing trail riding opportunities that have impacts similar to (or even less than) other non-motorized users. We suggested alternate designations that would not exclude mountain bikes, but would still offer high levels of land protection.
As a next step, IMBA’s mapping department will prepare a detailed map depicting our requests, then we will meet again with Wilderness advocates to discuss our proposals. The SFFTS is also working steadily on other land access issues in the area, including applying for IMBA Ride Center designation, lobbying for mountain-bike specific trails and developing the “Grand Unified Trails System.”
New Mexico MTB Groups Merge for a Stronger Voice
New Mexico’s Los Alamos Singletrack Association (an IMBA chapter) and a local club, the Tuff Riders, have decided to merge into one group representing riders, advocating for access and hosting events in the area. We see this as a great step! A unified group of advocates in a given area can have a much greater impact than divided groups. A big thanks to both groups for deciding to work together for the common good in their community. We look forward to supporting you.
Utah Governor Hosts Statewide Outdoor Recreation Summit
Utah Governor Gary Herbert recently hosted a first-of-its-kind outdoor recreation summit in Salt Lake City. It was attended by land managers, trail advocates, outfitters, retail representatives and community leaders, and was a resounding success! IMBA was represented by IMBA Trail Specialist Joey Klein, who presented a session on developing community trail networks; as well as IMBA Southwest Region Director Patrick Kell and Tracy Reed from the Moab Mountain Bike Association.
It was an outstanding networking opportunity, and later this year IMBA plans to host Brad Peterson, Director of the Utah Outdoor Recreation Office, at a roundtable event in southern Utah to meet with mountain bike advocates and community leaders to discuss projects in St. George, Hurricane, Kanab and Cedar City.
IMBA has a range of advocacy matters in the works in this region with our chapter, Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association, and looks forward to working with Governor Herbert’s staff on these and other mountain bike access projects throughout Utah.
6-Hour MTB Challenge and Enduro Benefits High School MTB League
For the third year in a row, Bike for Bender will be hosting one of the largest mountain biking fundraiser events in all of Southern California – the Camp Tahquitz 6hr Challenge and Enduro. Camp Tahquitz is located in the heart of the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California, about a mile from the Santa Ana River Trail.
The goal is simple: Come out, ride some of best singletrack trails around, and give back to the community. All proceeds will benefit the SoCal High School Cycling League, children who need bikes, trail development and cancer research. So if you are interested in an awesome weekend of riding, come out and support the Southern California mountain bike community and sign up for this epic event.
Trail Work Weekend Expands Grand Canyon's MTB-Friendly Rainbow Rim Trial
Rainbow Rim Trail, north rim of the Grand Canyon – we recently worked on an extension of this trail with staff from the USFS, Zion Cycles, volunteers from Southern Nevada Mountain Bike Association and other mountain bike advocates from northern AZ and southern UT. This was our second work session on this trail, with this first phase eventually leading to a 7-mile extension of the trail, we are already looking forward to more trail work here in the future. Check-out this photo album about the event - the trail literally contours along the edge of the Grand Canyon, then dips into pine glades before popping out onto the north rim again and again. Put this trail on your bucket list, somewhere near the top!
Comment on Sedona Trail Proposals
There is a comment period currently open in Sedona and Arizona’s Verde Valley during which you can give your input into an extensive list of trail proposals for the area. We urge you to make your suggestions on trail improvements and the adoption of non-system trails into the official network. IMBA see this as a great opportunity for mountain bikers to voice their opinions, and will be submitting a comment letter on this matter. We would like to give a big thanks to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in Sedona for taking input from the mountain bike community. We also wish to thank the Verde Valley Cyclist Coalition for its cooperative partnership with the USFS, which is leading to more and more non-system trails being made official. Your volunteer efforts are much appreciated!