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More Than 400 Attendees Enjoy Successful 2014 IMBA World Summit

For Immediate Release 8-26-2014
Contact mark [dot] eller [at] imba [dot] com (Mark Eller)
IMBA Communications Director
303-545-9011 ext. 115

Photo: Keynote Speaker Harry Dalgaard addresses delegates at the IMBA World Summit. Image by Leslie Kehmeier.

The seventh IMBA World Summit concluded last week in Steamboat Springs, CO, after a six-day gathering of more than 400 people representing 40 U.S. states and a dozen countries. The summit is a biennial event that brings together leading mountain bike advocates with land managers, parks and recreation professionals, elected officials, youth leaders, professional trail builders and others.

Tuesday, Aug. 19 opened with the first of two days of IMBA Instructor Certification Program Level 1 Ride Guide training and Wilderness First Aid certification. Both were continued on Wednesday, Aug. 20, which also featured a Subaru-IMBA Trail Care Crew classroom and trail building workshop. That evening, IMBA chapter representatives were officially welcomed atop Mt. Werner at the Steamboat Ski Resort during a special reception including industry partners and IMBA staff.

The full summit kicked off Thursday, Aug. 21, with a presentation from Colorado-based marketing and branding firm, Walden Hyde, about how chapters can effectively communicate with mountain bikers and what makes them join IMBA and its local chapters. The day’s sessions were devoted to IMBA chapters, with non-chapter delegates provided with demo bikes, riding opportunities and tours of the Moots Cycles factory. Educational sessions included risk management, strategic planning, volunteer management, marketing and branding, trail development and how best to collaborate with the bike industry. The Chapter Congress gave IMBA’s grassroots leaders an opportunity to have big-picture discussions about mountain and rank priorities for IMBA moving forward. The evening wrapped up with a jump jam at the Bear River Bike Park and an opening reception for all attendees that featured the 2014 IMBA Model Trail awards and a welcome from Mike Van Abel, IMBA’s Executive Director.

Friday, Aug. 22, opened with a keynote address from Harry Dalgaard of Travel Oregon, Zach Jarrett of the Bureau of Land Management (in Oregon) and Benjamin Beamer of GOATS, an IMBA chapter in Oakridge, OR. Sessions included success stories from U.S. state parks, trail mapping, bike park development, e-bikes and trail access, fat bikes and trail access, mountain bike tourism, a land manager “super panel” presented by Specialized and planning for trail systems with federal land agencies. Delegates were again treated to free bike demos and lift tickets for the Steamboat Bike Park and an evening of laughter and free beers hosted by bicycle blogger BikeSnobNYC.

The planned “epic” ride for Saturday, Aug. 23, was unfortunately canceled due to heavy rain and cold temperatures. Many summit attendees opted for a shorter, though still damp, ride followed by a visit to the famous Strawberry Hot Springs. Guests also enjoyed a BBQ lunch and an evening showing of Singletrack High, a documentary about high school mountain bike racing and the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA).

Special guests for the week included four NICA student athletes, ages 14-15, from Colorado, Arizona and California, who received scholarships from Specialized to attend the summit. They participated in several sessions, spoke at the opening ceremonies, hosted the movie night and strategized with NICA, IMBA and industry representatives on future programs.

The event would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of volunteers from the local IMBA chapter—the Routt County Riders—and the Steamboat Resort Chamber of Commerce, the Steamboat Ski Resort, and staff from the Steamboat Sheraton Resort and Steamboat Grand hotels. A huge thanks also goes to all summit speakers and event sponsors, including Primal Cycling Apparel, PeopleforBikes, Specialized, Steamboat Bike Park, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Salsa Cycles, Dirt Rag magazine, Shimano and these other valued supporters.