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10 Things IMBA Did for You in 2011 — And What's Next

For Immediate Release
Contact markeller [at] imba [dot] com (Mark Eller)
IMBA Communications Director
303-545-9011 ext. 115

IMBA’s mission is to create, enhance and protect great mountain bike experiences — it’s a mantra that has guided our work for more than two decades. In 2011, we scored some great successes that we’re proud to share.

Looking forward to 2012, we see even greater opportunities. But they can only be achieved if IMBA continues to receive your generous support. Please consider making a donation to our Annual Fund drive, and join IMBA if you’re not already a member.

1) Protected Bike Access on U.S. Federal Lands

At the outset of 2011, mountain bikers faced a real threat of getting kicked off trails managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), particularly in areas managed as Wild Lands. IMBA staff quickly booked meetings with top-ranking BLM officials and clarified that biking is compatible with strong land protection measures — we even turned the discussions to riders’ advantage by planning for enhanced partnerships between the BLM and IMBA-affiliated chapters and clubs around the United States.

2) Helped Launch the Award-Winning Documentary Movie “Pedal-Driven”

Illegal trail building stirs people’s emotions and creates conflicts between mountain bikers and land managers. IMBA partnered with Howell at the Moon Productions to create Pedal-Driven, a powerfully told documentary film that tackles this important topic. Since its premier at the Sea Otter Classic, Pedal Driven has earned widespread praise — including a selection to the prestigious Banff Film Festival and an official endorsement from the U.S. Forest Service.

3) Lobbied for Mountain Bikers’ Interests in Washington, D.C.

IMBA represents mountain bikers in the U.S. Capitol year-round, including retaining some of the best-regarded lobbying firms in Washington. In March, the National Bike Summit (NBS) is the biggest public lobbying event for bicyclists, and IMBA has stepped up to a top-level sponsoring role for the event. Please join us at NBS in 2012 for a crucial year as federal budget battles will decide the fate of the Recreational Trails Program and other vital sources of funding for trail improvements.

4) Provided Rewards for Dedicated Trail Volunteers

IMBA’s grassroots network generates more than 600,000 hours of volunteer-based public service efforts every year. They do it because they love trails and the feeling of giving something back to places they love to ride. With support from Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), IMBA rolled out Teaming for Trails, rallying even more volunteerism and providing rewards for our greatest asset, our members.

5) Put Expert Trail Builders to Work Creating Amazing Riding

IMBA’s Trail Solutions team has emerged as one of the largest and most effective providers of professional trail building services in the world. Their team of trail experts plans, builds and tweaks every kind of mountain bike facility, for all levels of riders and in locations all over the globe. They push the boundaries of trail design (as shown in this video) and teach land managers how to offer outstanding trail riding while carefully protecting natural resources.

6) Advanced Bike-Friendly Forms of Land Protection

IMBA members have long shown a deep dedication to conservation values — we want to see pristine places protected from development and abuse. Because Wilderness designations offer one of the strongest forms of land protection, but also eliminate bike access, mountain bikers have long wrestled with Wilderness expansions. Thanks to IMBA’s Public Lands Initiative, today’s bike advocates have better tools than ever before to partner with conservation-minded groups and find win-win solutions.

7) The Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crews Spread the Gospel

Nothing has done more to advance the sport of mountain biking and the gospel of sustainable trail design than the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew program. For nearly 15 years, we’ve put teams of trail experts on the road in specially-equipped Outbacks and sent them to meet with mountain bike clubs, land managers and all types of trail users. Attend a TCC event (they conduct more than 60 each year) and the depth of their knowledge, the effectiveness of their methods and the joyfulness of their presentations will blow you away.

8) Put Thousands of Kids on Bikes

If you want to see mountain biking thrive in the decades ahead, there’s no better reason to support IMBA than our annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day event. In 2011, we hosted more than 230 rides — including ones in Australia, Canada, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico and South Africa. These young mountain bikers get a chance to connect with the IMBA-affiliated chapters, clubs and patrols that ensure they will grow up with great places to ride.

9) Increased Support for IMBA-affiliated Chapters and Clubs

IMBA’s Chapter Program was bolstered in 2011 by the addition of a new staff position. Tiffanie Beal now serves as the Chapter and Services Coordinator, joining a team that provides top-rate service to IMBA's network of chapters, clubs and members. More than 60 IMBA clubs have already stepped up to chapter status, and 2012 will see even larger enrollments for the strongest level of organizational affiliation.

10) Celebrated the Best Mountain Biking in the World

IMBA’s Model Trails announcement — including the 2011 Epics, Ride Centers and more — generated dozens of news stories and earned widespread attention for some of the best riding areas on the planet. Why does IMBA offer these accolades? Because seeing what mountain biking looks like when it’s done right help communities, land managers and knobby-tired enthusiasts envision what’s possible, and inspires even higher achievements.

What's Next? 3 Big Things for 2012

2011 was an awesome year, but looking forward we see plenty of inspiring opportunities:

1) Don’t Miss the 2012 World Summit

In October, Santa Fe, New Mexico will provide the backdrop to the 2012 IMBA World Summit.

2) More Regional Directors to Serve You

We’re adding more Regional Directors, professional IMBA staff who work in distinct territories to develop mountain bike opportunities.

3) Amazing Bike Parks

Have you checked out the IMBA video about Valmont Bike Park, a cutting-edge facility in Colorado? Park projects are popping up everywhere, helping more people experience mountain biking.

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