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Early Leaders Emerge for Epics, Other Model Trail Categories

For Immediate Release 4-1-2014

Contact Mark Eller
IMBA Communications Director
303-545-9011 ext. 115

PHOTO: Endless Epic fat biking in Russia’s Siberian Range. Image by Hansi Johnson.

For more than three decades, IMBA has recognized outstanding examples of trails and other mountain bike facilities with its Model Trail awards. The goal of this program — which encompasses Epics, Flow Trails and Ride Centers — is to inspire and inform, so that we can all have more great places to ride.

Although the tabulations for the 2014 Model Trail honorees are not complete, some early leaders have already emerged. The complete roster of winners will be announced at the 2014 IMBA World Summit gathering in Steamboat Springs, Colorado (August 20-24).

There is still plenty of time to nominate your favorite ride for Epic status! In the meantime, check out these great applications:

Epic Rides: Siberian Fat Bike Tour. IMBA’s first fat bike-specific Epic hails from Siberia, where a small number of intrepid fat-tire enthusiasts have documented a new route that carries cyclists eastward from the Ural Range, across the Tibetan Plateau and ultimately to the Stanovoy Range near the Sea of Okhotsk. IMBA Midwest Region Director Hansi Johnson completed a portion of the route this winter and says he will be back for more. “With an area of 15.1 million square miles, the fat biking possibilities are endless,” said Johnson. “It’s just a vast ocean of frozen tundra, and all of it rides great on a fattie.”

Ride Centers: Aspen Ranch. Another Model Trail first, this full-featured Ride Center is located on the private property of Heinz Denke, a long time IMBA supporter and Aspen-area socialite in Western Colorado. IMBA’s Trail Solutions team has developed the extensive singletrack network, a 12-acre pumptrack and two slopestyle parks over the course of several visits. Public access is limited to two weeks each year, one in February and one in March.

Flow Trails: IMBA-Approved Enduro. Enduro racing is all the rage, but how do you marry sustainable trail design with monster-truck enduro action? IMBA has done it with this enduro-specific race course design, located in Prince Edward Island, Canada. The entire track is rollable, with no mandatory jumps. Speeds are kept in check with a net elevation gain of nearly 600 feet over 2 miles. Yet the sculpted berm turns and mild undulations require all the enduro skills that riders can muster, while respecting soil integrity and the natural beauty of this idyllic Canadian isle.

Congratulations to our early Model Trails leaders! Remember, it’s only April 1 so there is still time to send your nominations to IMBA.