For Immediate Release 6/30/2015
Contact Mark Eller
IMBA Communications Director
303-545-9011 ext. 115
A group of influential bicycling advocates will ride mountain bikes in central Idaho on July 8-11 to promote a bike-friendly national monument in the Boulder-White Cloud region. The event is organized by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) and includes key bike industry executives. Also joining the group are representatives from partner groups such as the Sierra Club and the Outdoor Alliance, demonstrating widespread support for the national monument.
Check out the Castle Divide route, one of the iconic rides that could be lost to mountain bikers.
Take action! Voice your support for continued mountain bike access in the Boulder-White Clouds.
This spring, 124 local businesses requested changes to recently proposed legislation—introduced by Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson and Senator James Risch—that would close trails in the Boulder-White Clouds to bicycles. Simpson and Risch are pushing for a federal Wilderness designation, instead of a national monument. This measure would permanently end bike access to trails that mountain bikers highly value, despite the fact that cycling’s economic impact in the region is valued at $33 million annually.
The Wood River Bicycle Coalition (WRBC), a local advocacy group and chapter of IMBA, has been closely involved in shaping the national monument proposal. IMBA and the WRBC believe adequate protection for the Boulder–White Clouds can be achieved while preserving access for cyclists.
Aaron Clark, IMBAs conservation manager, says, “Mountain bikers want to see the area protected as a monument, so we organized this ride in the Boulder-White Clouds to promote that option. Unfortunately, we find ourselves having to fight a bill that would close important bike trails, with fewer protections for the landscape than could be achieved through a monument. Mountain biking is vital to both the local economy and the recreation scene for residents—our goal is to protect current bike access.”
Chris Sugai is a cycling advocate and president of Niner bikes. Their business provides cyclists with the equipment to experience trails like those in the Boulder-White Clouds. Sugai is making his way to the event to show his support. “I’ve been a trail advocate since before starting Niner and I’m passionate about access to trails for mountain bikers” said Sugai. “Preserving trail access is important for the bike business and the region we’re trying to protect.”
Another bike industry supporter attending the ride is Bell Helmets. The company donates $100,000 a year to fund trail building through a partnership with IMBA and is a major supporter of cycling advocacy groups nationwide. General Manager and Executive Vice President Jessica Klodnicki is riding to demonstrate the company's commitment to protecting bicycle access. “At Bell, we are dedicated to helping preserve places to ride bikes,” said Klodnicki. “Our industry thrives on cycling participation and a big component of driving participation is having places to ride. When classic mountain bike areas like the Boulder–White Clouds are threatened, it prompts us to act."
In the weeks ahead, look for updates, photography and video from the upcoming ride, as well as ways to express your support for meaningful land protection that allows for continued bike access in the Boulder-White Clouds. Follow the ride at facebook.com/IMBAonFB and #BWCmonument.