I’m writing this to you from the kick off of the mountain biking season—Sea Otter. I can’t help but remember my first Sea Otter way back when. I don’t think I was at the first one but I’m thinking that I was at the second or third. It must have been 1992 and I’m pretty sure it was only an XC mountain bike race, and not a big one. It was just getting started.
Right now, I’m about two months into the job as IMBA’s Executive Director—I’m also just getting started. And as we begin the 2017 mountain biking season I see another start happening that our team at IMBA has been working very hard to build: The future IMBA. It’s taking shape rapidly. There’s a lot to talk about in that regard, which is why I’ll be posting regular blogs going forward.
IMBA is coming out of a restructuring as an organization. In mountain biking terms, we’ve suffered a mechanical way out on a backcountry ride. We’re back on the bike and pedaling with a lot of trail to cover. But we know where we’re going and we know we will get there.
Today’s IMBA is lean, nimble and is listening. We want to embody what’s important to our stakeholders while retaining the trusted reputation we’ve created as mountain bikers over the past 30 years. Now is the time to reinforce that reputation, not let it recede.
Fast forward 25 years after my first spin around Sea Otter and the event is now home to so many different kinds of bikes and different styles of riding, thanks in part to IMBA’s work to preserve Monterey’s Fort Ord trails. As the mountain bike family gets bigger and more diverse, we’re held together by a critical common bond: We love to ride.
If we as mountain bikers can work to unite around our love for riding and embrace another easy point of agreement—having great places to ride—we can grow what we have in common. We can stick together even a bit more to carry forward a louder, more powerful voice for mountain biking. It’s never been more important for us to unite to defend and grow our trails.
We’d be honored to have you come along for the ride!
Stay tuned for more updates. The next blog will be coming May 4th.