For Immediate Release
Contact markeller [at] imba [dot] com (Mark Eller)
IMBA Communications Director
PHOTO: IMBA's 25th anniversary birthday cake, served at the opening ceremonies on Weds. night.
The first full day of the IMBA World Summit featured inspiring calls to action, overflowing breakout sessions covering 12 knobby-tire topics, hundreds of demo bikes rolling out for afternoon rides, a jump jam at the La Tierra Bike Park and an evening dinner and community mountain bike art show. IMBA announced the 2012 additions to the Model Trail program and a new partnership with Shaums March and International Mountain Bike Instructor Certifications (IMIC).
The morning began with opening remarks from Mike Van Abel, IMBA’s executive director. “We have something of true value to pass on to the next generation that’s coming up,” he said. “None of you would be in this room if you didn’t believe that we need to be well organized.”
Van Abel's address was followed up by a rousing keynote speech from Luther Propst, the founder of the Sonoran Institute. He called on mountain bike advocates to think beyond the usual economic benefits and tourism jobs pitch, to go to chamber of commerce meetings and to work directly with conservation communities. “We have to convince people that we contribute to the knowledge economy,” he said in his speech.
Nearly 350 people packed the ballroom following breakfast for the inaugural IMBA Ignite presentation. Six speakers offered progress reports on various IMBA programs, including the Public Lands Initiative, mapping program and upcoming bike parks book. Lora Woolner, Executive Director of IMBA Canada, spoke to the organization’s successes on a shoestring and its standing as a model for the rest of IMBA’s international family.
Breakout sessions during the day examined topics such as working with ski resorts to advance bike trails, how singletrack is creating social change abroad, expert advice on youth initiatives, advanced club care for chapters and recruiting great volunteers.
Michael Craft of New Belgium Brewing and the Tour de Fat spoke during lunch, reminding organizations that they should focus on fun and inspiration when at events and to always involve the local craft brewer because beer makers and mountain bikers have long had a symbiotic relationship.
The afternoon featured several hours set aside for delegates to ride Santa Fe's impressive trails. Later in the evening, attendees were treated to dinner, an informational poster session and a community mountain bike art show featuring New Belgium bikes, paintings and photographs from IMBA members and several pieces from the SRAM pART project.
Friday kicks off with breakfast, remarks by speakers from Bikes Belong and REI and the inagural IMBAx presentation, featuring six innovating thinkers in the world of mountain biking.