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Southwest Bike Park Summit a Success!

Mountain bike advocates from all around the southwest gathered last weekend in Tucson, Ariz., for a one-day educational session on developing bike parks. The event was led by Rich Edwards from IMBA's Trail Solutions program and funded through the IMBA Trail Building Fund.

We discussed topics such as the growth in popularity of bike-specific facilities; designing bike parks to account for all ages and abilities; the various elements to include in a bike park; risk management; and long term maintenance. The room was filled with dedicated volunteers and a few land agency staff, most of whom have a bike park in the works.

The day featured great interactions and thoughtful questions, along with Rich's presentations that highlighted examples of successful projects across the U.S. and in other parts of the world. Photos and designs showing parks at different stages of progress got the attendees stoked to keep moving forward with their own plans, which was exactly what we wanted!

Groups represented at the event included: the Cave Creek Bicycle Association, the City of Prescott, Cochise Bicycle Advocates, Colorado River Area Trail Association, Concerned Off Road Bicyclists Association, Dawn 'til Dust MTB Club, Del Norte MTB Alliance, Flagstaff Biking Organization, Gravity Riders Association of Arizona, Nancys Wild Rides, SHARE-MTB, Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists, Tucson Off Road Cyclists and Activists, Taos Ski Valley and the West Valley Trail Alliance.

To support the growth of bike parks, IMBA is currently working on its third book, focused specifically on bike park and bike-specific facility development to complement our first two publications, Trail Solutions and Managing Mountain Biking. We expect this next publication to be released in fall 2014 when IMBA will host its biennial World Summit in Colorado. The event will include further bike park development sessions.

A big thanks to everyone who attended the bike park mini-summit this past weekend! I look forward to working with you on your projects in the coming months and years. Special thanks to the board of the Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists, our local chapter, and to Steve Anderson of Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation, all of whom helped us plan and present the event.

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