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Tennessee IMBA Chapter Wins $100K Bell Built Grant

Tennessee IMBA Chapter Wins $100K Bell Built Grant

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For Immediate Release 6/29/2015
Contact Mark Eller
IMBA Communications Director
303-545-9011 ext. 115

The Appalachian Mountain Bike Club (AMBC) of Knoxville, TN, emerged the victor after two rounds of public voting to secure the 2015 Bell Built Grant: $100,000 in technical assistance from Bell Helmets and IMBA for an advanced trail project. This is the third year of the Bell Built Grant program, which has—to date—provided $300,000 to eight mountain bike-specific trail projects in the U.S. AMBC will use the funds for a gravity trail as part of Knoxville’s “Urban Wilderness” project. 

“Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness is a great recreational and economic resource for residents and visitors alike,” said Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero. “It was exciting to see so much public support for this grant, which will help build a world-class trail that will be an attraction for mountain bikers from across the region and the country.”

Proposals for nine U.S. trail projects—three from the East Coast, three in the central states and three on the West Coast—were chosen by IMBA and Bell from a large pool of applicants to face public voting. Proposals for the 2015 grant had to be for a black/double-black rated, mountain bike-specific trail.

Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness has more than 40 miles of trails for biking and hiking. The proposed gravity trail will include rock gardens, drops, and constructed features. AMBC also hopes this unique, challenging trail will attract new riders and businesses, and increase the desirability of the community.

“We were blown away with the support that we got from over 26,000 folks, even though many of them understood that they may never ride a trail of this caliber. I think this vote was more about making Knoxville an even better place to live, work and play,” said AMBC President Matthew Kellogg. “AMBC is more than a bike club; we strive to be the trail keepers for the trail users ... We plan to leverage our new trail to bring more great events to town."

Later this year, IMBA Trail Solutions will work with AMBC to finalize the trail’s design and begin construction.

The Bell Built grant program strives to identify, fund and create new, accessible trails within bicycling communities. The program seeks to inspire new and existing riders to come together for their community, learn what it takes to fund and build a legal riding destination and ultimately build a trail never ridden before.

2014 winners:

  • West Winner – Flagstaff Biking Organization, Ft. Tuthill Bike Park (Flagstaff, Arizona)
  • Central Winner – Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC), Cottage Grove Bike Park (Cottage Grove, Minnesota)
  • 
East Winner – RVA More, Richmond Regional Ride Center Flow Trail (Richmond, Virginia)

2013 winners:

  • Pump track/bike park - Bear River Bike Park: Routt County Riders, Steamboat Springs, CO
  • Flow trail - Burke Bike Park/Jay Peak Resort: Kingdom Trail Association, Burke, VT
  • Downhill trail - Overflow Trail: Copper Harbor Trails Club, Copper Harbor, MI

+ Watch AMBC’s video about the winning trail project

+ Learn more about Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness and find updates on this new project

About Bell Helmets

From humble beginnings in the garage of a Southern California speed shop in the 1950’s to the heads of champions in auto, motorcycle and bicycle competitions all over the world, Bell Helmets is synonymous with protection and progression. Part of Easton-Bell Sports and based in Scotts Valley, Calif., Bell Helmets is the world leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of bicycle and motorcycle helmets and accessories. Bell Helmets is online at bellhelmets.com.

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Katherine worked for IMBA in various marketing and communications roles from 2010-2018.

Katherine worked for IMBA in various marketing and communications roles from 2010-2018.

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