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Issue Fall, 20
REGIONAL UPDATES Regional Directors’ reports on some of the projects and opportunities that the Annual Fund will support in 2011
Support the Annual Fund Keep IMBA’s momentum going in 2011 — donate to IMBA’s Annual Fund
MBA achieved great things for mountain bikers like you in 2010, including opening great new trails and protecting access from coast to coast. We’re not slowing down, either. We recently announced campaigns to protect 23 high-priority riding areas through the Public Lands Initiative. The bike industry helped get this important campaign rolling, but we need your help to ensure success. IMBA’s leadership is opening destination riding areas, like Oregon’s flow-y Sandy River Trail System. Our leadership also helped create 15 new bike parks in urban areas, with at least nine more designed for 2011. Our Trail Care Crews led more than 80 clinics and trail maintenance days, putting thousands of feet of new trails on the ground. At the national level, we partnered with the federal government and other outdoor organizations to get more people outdoors under America’s Great Outdoors initiative. We hosted regional gatherings, too — like California’s Lake Tahoe Trails Conference and the Dirty Payback at Pennsylvania’s Raystown Lake. If you attended our World Summit in Georgia, you saw firsthand that IMBA knows how to organize powerful and motivating gatherings for mountain bikers. Please keep IMBA’s momentum going in 2011 — donate to IMBA’s Annual Fund today. Our role is to ensure you can enjoy outstanding trails. We need your year-end gift today. With your help we can fund great new mountain biking opportunities and fight very serious threats to the trails you love to ride. Thanks for your support and here’s to great riding in 2011,
Michael Van Abel Executive Director 2
Mid-Atlantic Region Regional Director Frank Maguire • IMBA coordinated volunteers and clubs in New York and New Jersey to strengthen a growing relationship with the hiking community. This could lead to more riding opportunities throughout metropolitan New York. • We secured funding for an IMBA-designed destination trail system in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. In the process, IMBA protected trails from closure and started a new affiliate club in Warren, Pennsylvania. • East Coast riders face big challenges in 2011 protecting the North Fork Mountain Trail in West Virginia, securing access to Baltimore’s Loch Raven Reservoir and permanently protecting great riding in the George Washington National Forest. Midwest Region Regional Director Hansi Johnson • Teamed with Human Powered Trails Club of Lacrosse, Wisconsin, to restore access to threatened trails — but the fight is not over yet. • The Midwest has a new IMBA Epic cared for by the Copper Harbor Trails club in Michigan, and the $1.5 million Cuyuna Lakes Ride Center in Crosby, Minnesota, will be just as good. • In-town riding is expanding rapidly in Duluth, Minnesota, where IMBA and area clubs are planning for an urban singletrack system. Pacific Region Regional Director Anna Laxague • Partnered with Forest Service to host the Tahoe Trails Conference, resulting in plans for new gravity-oriented trails, to be built with assistance from IMBA-affiliated clubs. • New and re-organized organizations are popping up all over the West Coast using IMBA’s guidelines for creating sustainable clubs. A Northwest Regional Leadership Council was established, too. • Destination-worth trails were added in our region, like the Sandy Ridge Trail System near Portland, California’s King Range Trails and the Cascade Locks system in Washington. Rocky Mountain Region Regional Director Ryan Schutz • Bike parks are popping up everywhere: In Colorado alone, IMBA clubs have created Boulder’s Valmont bike park, Golden’s new park and the Lunch Loops park/skills area in Grand Junction. • IMBA Trail Care Crews had successful visits in Rocky Mountain communities like Draper City, Flagstaff and Park City, creating new trail opportunities. • Productive meetings in Salt Lake City and in Prescott are building momentum for trail projects and resolving nagging access issues. Southeast/IMBA-SORBA Region Regional Director Tom Sauret • IMBA-SORBA chapters are creating and expanding trails across the region, including the Lake Altoona trail in Marietta, Briar Chapel in Chapel Hill and Oak Mountain in Birmingham. • IMBA’s policy team continues to protect mountain biking access in the Tanasi and Chillhowie trail systems where access is threatened by a potential Wilderness designation. • Statewide alliances made up of advocates, bicycle retailers, industry representatives and land managers are working to assess and develop exciting mountain biking projects across the southeast.
IMBA Trail News
Spring 2010, Volume 23, Number
IMBA creates, enhances and preserves great trail experiences for mountain bikers worldwide. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Hill Abell, Austin, TX John Bliss, Boulder, CO Elayna Caldwell, Santa Cruz, CA Blair Clark, Ketchum, ID Steve Flagg, Bloomington, MN Jay Franklin, Powder Springs, GA Krisztina Holly, Los Angeles, CA Chris Kegel, Hales Corner, WI David Treinis, Alta, WY Robert Winston, Carlsbad, CA STAFF Kristy Acuff, Government Affairs Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org Tiffany Beal, Membership Services Coordinator, email@example.com Jason Bertolacci, Marketing/Database Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Bernhardt, Director of Consulting Services, email@example.com Terry Breheny, Events Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org Richard Cook, Development Director, email@example.com Jenn Dice, Government Affairs Director, firstname.lastname@example.org Tammy Donahugh, Operations Manager, email@example.com Rich Edwards, Trail Solutions Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Eller, Communications Director, email@example.com Jeremy Fancher, PLI Legal Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org Dan Hudson, Trail Specialist, email@example.com Hansi Johnson, Midwest Regional Director, firstname.lastname@example.org Rod Judd, Membership Manager, email@example.com Wendy Kerr, Development Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org Joey Klein, Trail Specialist, email@example.com Ashley Korenblat, PLI Director, firstname.lastname@example.org Anna Laxague, Paciﬁc Regional Director, email@example.com Frank Maguire, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, firstname.lastname@example.org Stephen Mullins, Trail Specialist, email@example.com Tim Peck, Finance Director, firstname.lastname@example.org Tom Sauret, Southeast/SORBARegional Director, email@example.com Ryan Schutz, Afﬁliate Programs/Rocky Mountain Region, firstname.lastname@example.org Mike Van Abel, Executive Director, email@example.com Tom Ward, IMBA CA Policy Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org Jason Wells, Trail Specialist, email@example.com Shane Wilson, Trail Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org Lora Woolner, Canada Director, email@example.com Jill Van Winkle, Trail Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org SUBARU/IMBA TRAIL CARE CREWS Leslie and Chris Kehmeier, email@example.com Morgan and Steve Lommele, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover image of the Big Bend (TX) Epic by Crystal Albright Additional photography by Joe Foley, Samuel Guss and Bryce Pratt. Designed by Sugar Design, Inc. Images and stories available for re-use by permission only.
PO Box 711 Boulder, CO 80306 USA ph 303-545-9011 fax 303-545-9026 email@example.com
MORE THAN 21,000 JOIN IMBA’S ANNUAL YOUTH RIDE
The 2010 edition of IMBA’s International Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day event (held on Oct. 2 for most locations) was an enormous success, with more than 21,000 participants joining the fun according to estimates from event organizers. The ride, which is held annually on the ﬁrst Saturday of October, attracted about 7,000 kids and adults last year. “This year, we offered an online event map and a streamlined registration process,” explains IMBA Executive Director Mike Van Abel. “But what drives our success is that it’s such a blast to ride trails with young people. Our clubs know that better than anyone and they’ve gone gangbusters promoting their events.” The registered events ranged from the modest — about 10 kids and 20 adults were expected at Georgia’s Sope Creek National Park ride — to the extravagant. Several of the largest rides were planned for hundreds of attendees, including the gatherings at Ohio’s Five Rivers Metro Parks, the Middlesex Fells ride in Massachusetts and the Lory State Park event in Colorado. Rides were held in Australia, Canada, Italy, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. One lucky club, the Cub Scouts Pack 19 Wolf Den in Dubuque, Iowa, was chosen at random to receive a pair of Hot Rocks 24 kids bikes, courtesy of Specialized. “This is so great,” says Wolf Den leader Brian Vize. “I’ll reward our Scouts with the bikes for their top achievements. They will be thrilled — we have a lot of future mountain bikers on our hands!” Many thanks to the sponsors of IMBA’s International Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day: The USDA Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Trips for Kids, Specialized and Clif Kid continue to support our efforts in getting kids outside and on bikes. The U.S. Congress has commemorated International Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day with a House Resolution recognizing the ﬁrst Saturday of October a time to encourage youth to get outside and exercise. 3
puBlic lAndS initiAtive lAuncheS WeB reSourceS, leAdS cAmpAiGnS AcroSS nAtion
IMBA’s Public Lands Initiative (PLI) is a new campaign that promotes a bicycle-friendly approach to our nation’s legacy of public lands protection. The strategic elements of the PLI include identifying high-priority access battles across the nation, and providing local advocates with professional training and other tools necessary to protect bikes access. In West Virginia, PLI resources helped organize rides to raise awareness about the access threats facing the North Fork trail. More than 100 riders from throughout the Mid-Atlantic, ranging in age from 1469, joined IMBA’s rides on one of the most beautiful trails in America, an IMBA Epic. The trail is threatened being closed because of its inclusion in a Congressional Wilderness Area. The PLI campaign in Colorado focused on discussions between IMBA, its affiliated clubs and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) to reshape the Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act. Mountain bikers negotiated with Wilderness advocates for months, resulting in an agreement to see 82,000 acres of land protected as Wilderness and 78,000
acres protected by bikefriendly Companion Designations. Campaigning for the passage of California’s Proposition 21 was another PLI effort this fall. The legislation would create major new funding for state parks by adding an $18 fee to state vehicle registration fees. During the Biketoberfest celebration in Marin County, IMBA California Policy Advisor Tom Ward announced that nearly 200 organizations signed on to IMBA’s petition endorsement of Prop. 21. “The simple fact is that Prop. 21 would mean more trails for mountain bikers in California,” said Ward. imBA on hAnd AS cAliForniA’S kinG rAnGe turnS 40, openS Bike pArk
This fall, IMBA joined in a rousing 40th birthday celebration for the King Range National Conservation Area in Northern California. Three days of activities attracted dozens of attendees for a range of activities. The national director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bob Abbey, attended,
along with Jim Abbott, the organization’s director of California offices. Trail builders who sculpted the newly opened Tolkan Campground bike park and other trails in the King Range were on hand, including Judd de Vall of Alpine Bike Parks. Joey Klein and Dan Hudson, of IMBA Trail Solutions, hosted a popular workshop, using new trails in the Paradise Royale Trail System as their classroom. “We really enjoyed the challenge of creating a 21st century campground with outstanding bike terrain,” said Alpine Bike Park’s de Vall. The attendance numbers and the enthusiasm of the riders impressed California BLM director Abbey. Watching youngsters pilot their bikes on wall rides, dirt jumps and technical features, he exclaimed, “This is the future!” “We are well into phase three of building the Paradise Royale Mountain Bike Trail System. I’m excited to say that we’ve been able to offer something for nearly every type of rider,” said IMBA’s Klein. The newly completed terrain park appeals to the gravity set, while the latest trail loops provide low-key riding options for locals and family riders, as well as walkers and hikers. The original Paradise Royale Loop attracts fit crosscountry enthusiasts, and ongoing construction will
link all of the trails. “This system really showcases the beauty of the King Range National Conservation Area — there are mind-blowing views around every bend,” said Klein, adding, “All the mystique and beauty of the Lost Coast can be found here, and now you can explore it on knobby tires.” imBA hireS Attorney Jeremy FAncher
Based out of IMBA’s Boulder, Colorado, headquarters, attorney Jeremy Fancher will serve as IMBA’s full-time policy analyst and in-house counsel. He will lead efforts to shape national mountain bike and public lands policies by working closely with IMBA’s many federal partners, including the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, as well as meeting with officials from state and local governments. “I am thrilled to join IMBA and contribute to the legacy of developing and preserving mountain biking opportunities on public lands,” says Fancher. After graduating magna cum laude from Whittier Law School in 2005, he received his L.L.M. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from the University of Denver in 2009. While working towards his degrees he was a sales analyst in the consumer products industry, providing analytics
for products ranging from canned soup to athletic apparel. In his most recent assignment he was part of the growing IZZE Beverage business. ForeSt Service And mountAin BikerS collABorAte At lAke tAhoe conFerence
This October, mountain bikers from the Lake Tahoe region gathered with officials from the U.S. Forest Service and IMBA staff to collaborate on strategies for improving regional riding opportunities. The Tahoe Trails Conference opened with remarks from Eli Ilano, Deputy Forest Supervisor of the Forest Service’s Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. “This gathering is a fantastic opportunity to learn from each other, and it comes at a crucial moment,” Ilano told the
conference attendees, who numbered close to 100 over the three-day event. The Tahoe Basin Management Unit will soon appoint a new Forest Supervisor (Ilano is the interim supervisor), and will also conclude its effort to create a new Management Plan that will shape trail development and other work for the next decade. “This is a critical juncture,” said Tom Ward, IMBA’s California policy advisor. “The Forest Service went out of their way to help plan this conference with IMBA, and I feel confident in saying that everyone who attended feels that the progress we made was nothing short of incredible.” “The mountain biking here is fabulous and compares well with the best in the country, but we have some special challenges related to protecting Lake Tahoe and, in some areas, the type of soil available,” said Linda George, a Tahoe-area rider who helped organize the event. “We also have talented locals who want to see more variety in the styles of riding available. This conference built momentum for creating new local
organizations or perhaps reviving our existing club, the Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association, so that we can better partner with the Forest Service on a variety of exciting projects.” According to Garrett Villanueva, a trail engineer with the Forest Service, the addition of local clubs could greatly enhance collaboration between mountain bikers and forest managers. “It’s difficult to act on suggestions for trail enhancements that we receive from just one or two individuals at a time. But if a group of mountain bikers can agree on a list of projects — and if they seem prepared to help support those projects over the long haul — then I know we will accomplish great things.” The successful talks at the Tahoe Trail Conference earned the attention of top-ranking officials in the U.S. Forest Service. “We feel the conference has relevance at a national scale; information from the conference was distributed across the Forest Service nationwide by the national trail coordinator,” said Villanueva. “While some of the issues we discussed are unique to our locale, there are some general principles involved — including the idea that behind every successful
bike community is a functioning bike group and a willing land manager.” hiGh School mountAin Bike leAGue GoeS FAr Beyond rAcinG
In 2009, IMBA announced a partnership agreement with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). In the months that followed, NICA has notched many impressive successes, including the successful debut of a high school mountain biking league in Colorado, plans for new leagues in Texas and Washington in 2011, as well as continued support for more than 600 riders in the California leagues. Since the IMBA/ NICA partnership was announced, IMBA has promoted high school mountain biking amongst the clubs, chapters and patrols that make up the associaion’s network. Some members were curious, however, if the NICA programs were compatible with IMBA’s mission to “create, enhance and preserve great trail experiences for mountain bikers worldwide.” “IMBA’s work aligns perfectly with the values we teach young mountain bike racers,” says NICA executive director Matt
Fritzinger. “If you look into the curriculum and training we provide for all of our coaches, you’ll see that there’s a strong emphasis on safety, trail etiquette and a commitment to volunteerism. Racing is fun, but it’s really just the beginning of what the kids get out of their involvement with our leagues.” There’s also considerable potential for the IMBA/ NICA partnership to help ensure continued access and create new bike opportunities on public lands. “With all the emphasis we’re seeing on programs to get kids outdoors and recreating, it’s great for IMBA to work closely with NICA,” says Mike Van Abel, IMBA’s executive director. “Every year, our clubs build and maintain hundreds of trail miles for everyone to enjoy. Getting the NICA racers, families and coaches involved with our grassroots efforts will help bring new energy — and hopefully future members — into IMBA’s ranks.” Trail Solutions Hosts Successful Build Week
From October 12-15, IMBA’s Trail Solutions program hosted a workshop focused on the construction of innovative mountain bicycle trails on federal lands. A range of participants — including
other professional trailbuilders and staff from the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service — sampled new trailbuilding machines, collaborated on construction techniques and shared tips on successful user management techniques. Zach Jarrett, Lead Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Salem District, Bureau of Land Management, said, “The information sharing among professional trailbuilders, the BLM, and the USFS was very beneficial and will help us better manage the growing demand for singletrack on federal lands. We were pleased to host the event at the BLM’s Sandy Ridge Trail system as it is the perfect laboratory for developing purpose-built mountain bike trails.” The Sandy Ridge Trail system is a partnership effort between IMBA and the BLM to develop mountain bicycle trails close to the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. Recently featured in Mountain Bike magazine as one of the nation’s top trail systems, the Sandy Ridge trails are built to maximize the enjoyment and efficiencies of a mountain bike and feature berms, rollers, jumps, drops and ultimate flow. Persons interested in
participating in next year’s Trail Solutions Build Week workshop should contact Chris Bernhardt, Director of Consulting Services: chris. firstname.lastname@example.org. Trail Development Underway in China
made specifically for mountain bikers,” says Boone. “As with almost every project in China, the potential is vast. At the end of my trip, I checked out the Huashuiwan Road Race. It featured roughly 300 racers, and I’d guess 298 were riding mountain bikes.” FOX-IMBA Hero: Kim Coram
Working in partnership with longtime IMBA supporter Trek Bicycles, IMBA’s Trail Solutions is developing opportunities for singletrack riding in China. IMBA’s Tony Boone has examined two sites in Sichuan Province, Qingbaijiang and Huashuiwan, for the development of sustainable, purpose-built, mountain bike trails. “The initial site visits went very well, with many goals being accomplished or exceeded,” reports Boone. Although no new trail has been constructed, an existing 4-mile trail in Qingbaijung has already hosted mountain bike races with 30,000 spectators in attendance. “The existing trails are serviceable, but Trail Solutions can deliver major improvements, like rolling contour design and technical trail features
Kim Coram has spent more than a decade making the outdoor world more accessible to the people of her home state, West Virginia. Utilizing the organizational skills she developed at the U.S. Treasury Department, Kim has emerged as an effective leader in the West Virginia Mountain Bike Association, where she has rallied support for the endangered North Fork trail. Her time on the U.S. Air Force bomb squad taught her grace under pressure — necessary for contentious public meetings when her local trails at Mountwood County Park were threatened. When she isn’t talking bikes or riding them, Coram maintains her off-the-grid homestead and hangs out with her grandson.
meet chriS Winter epIC rIdIng In the Footsteps oF elephAnts
hris Winter knows epic riding. As owner and guide for Big Mountain Bike Adventures, a Vancouverbased company that takes mountain bikers on journeys throughout the world; he’s ridden in six continents and guided trails in dozens of countries. He’s one of the few riders who’s always prepared for a flat tire, a chain break or an elephant stampede. In this, the Epics issue of IMBA Trail News, Winter offers his take on the qualities that make for adventurous biking.
ITN: Where is the most memorable place you’ve ridden? Chris Winter: A 70,000-acre game reserve in Botswana. We run a trip out of Johannesburg in South Africa, and the highlight of that trip is cycling through this game reserve. It’s like being on the inside of the fence at the zoo, except there’s no fence. You’re riding among lions, cheetahs, rhinos and the whole gamut of African animals. The local guides carry giant elephant guns. Nights are especially amazing. This is when the predators come out. You can hear all the sounds of Africa at night. It’s unbelievable. ITN: How were those trails in Botswana created? CW: The trails there are elephant paths that are supposedly millions of years old. Not so coincidentally, elephants are also the biggest worry when riding in that area. They will just tromp through the landscape, trampling everything in their way. You’d think you’d be most worried about the lions, but it’s the elephants.
ITN: Have you had any close encounters with elephants? CW: No. But the first time I went there was on a reconnaissance trip, so there were no clients, it was just the guides and myself. Normally, someone has to stay up to keep the fire stoked which keeps the predators away. The guides asked if it was okay if they didn’t bother stoking the fire, and I figured if they were okay with it, so was I. In that first light of morning, I woke up and saw a hyena 40 feet away, and its tracks circled all around our beds. I’ll never forget it. ITN: What’s the best part about designing epic adventures? CW: My family has been running road cycling trips in Europe since 1972, so I grew up in a household with Michelin maps strewn across the kitchen table and my mom and dad pouring over guidebooks. My favorite part is the planning process. Right now, we’re in the infancy of developing a new trip to Iceland, so I’m talking to people who’ve been there, planning a recon trip and seeking out local guides. ITN: What do you think is so appealing about epic bike rides? CW: Mountain bikers are drawn to the sport by the adventure. There’s definitely and element of adventure in going on any mountain bike ride. You might get lost. You might get hurt. In a way, just by going for a ride, you’re throwing caution to the wind, which, in our day and age, is something that’s been taken away from us with technological advances. ITN: As an expert on epic adventures, how would you define an epic? CW: It’s a subjective definition. We all have our line of what is an epic, be it mountain biking through a park in your city, or getting in a plane and going to Mongolia. What is adventurous to me is different from what that means for others. ITN: What is it like being on trails in remote areas of the world? CW: We have an enormous respect for the trails we ride and the people we
encounter. In Morocco, for example, we ride on trails that are the only link between towns. When you’re riding a bike and you come across a family with donkeys and all their belongings on their backs, you get an unbelievable level of respect for what the trails mean to the area. ITN: Can you tell us about The Providencia Project? CW: For years, we’ve been running trips to Providencia, which is a very small town in Costa Rica with one public phone, a few bikes that were shared by dozens of kids, and great trails. As an initiative to get the youth onto mountain bikes, we launched a Vancouver-based campaign through the bike shops for people to donate kids bikes, which were tuned up and shipped down to San Jose where our partner, Paulo Valle, distributed them to the kids. Through The Providencia Project and Paulo’s efforts building trails with the locals, we’ve sent down not just bikes, but also hundreds of mountain bikers, including some of the world’s top professional riders like Wade Simmons and Dave Watson. The kids love riding and go crazy when they see what’s possible. ITN: Is there’s anywhere wouldn’t return to? CW: No. ITN: Really, nowhere? CW: Honestly not. And I’ve even been to Kashmir in India, which is really volatile right now. I just love adventure.
For more information on Big Mountain Bike Adventures or The Providencia Project, visit www.ridebig.com
The 2010 Epic Rides From the suburbs of Washington, D.C. to the deserts of WEST Texas, this year’s Epics offer something for everyone he experience of mountain biking — rolling through a breathtaking landscape, challenging the body and mind and just getting away — has inspired millions of trail lovers, and as the sport continues to grow, it promises to do the same for millions more. IMBA has developed models for inspiring trail systems that can be replicated all over the globe. The IMBA model trail designations include Epics, Flow Country Trails, Gateway Trails and Ride Centers. The 2010 Epics were selected from nominations provided by clubs, chapters and patrols, along with individual members. Our field staff and regional directors weighed the nominations and worked with local advocates to create the ride descriptions below. Many thanks to everyone who participated in nominating, selecting and creating the descriptions for the 2010 Epics. Visit imba.com/epics for additional ride info, including online maps, logistical planning materials and links to IMBA-affiliated clubs and business associated with each of the Epic rides.
BRMBA, the Black Rock Mountain Bike Association partnered with the Oregon Department of Forestry to build the four premier trails here, in addition to a variety of skills areas. They maintain the trails and structures each year, holding a variety of great fundraising events to keep them going. The Black Rock Mountain Bike area is a great example of what a strong partnership between a successful organization and a land management agency can achieve.
Falls City, Oregon 44.871098, -123.486386 The Black Rock Epic offers gravity-oriented mountain bikers a dream area, set in a classic Northwest forest. After a quick spin up the 3-mile access road (closed to vehicles), riders find themselves faced with a difficult decision: Which ridiculously fun trail to take? Choices range from the beginner-friendly Bonzai line to the gaps, drops and wooden features (milled from local trees) on Granny’s Kitchen. As you roll through the woods, passing ferns as big as your car, you’ll find options that fit any skill level. Go ahead and take your boyfriend, girlfriend, mom or dad on Granny’s Kitchen — anything that looks intimidating will feature a ride-around line that beginners can handle. When mom decides to get radical and launch a jump she’ll be rewarded with a well-shaped lip and a kind transition.
Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas 29.272278, -103.755817 “A huge day in the saddle and super challenging,” says IMBA board member and Mountain Bike Hall of fame inductee Hill Abel. “Even the most accomplished 4-wheeler would have second thoughts about traversing the rugged double track segments, and you’ll witness incredible geography throughout the ride.” This burly loop offers a blend of singletrack, creek beds and 4x4 roads, with frequent (often steep) climbs and descents. The riverbed sections vary from hardpacked to sandy and soft, with highly technical sections. There are significant archeological and historical
Pictures. Top: Going big in Oregon’s Black Rock trail system. Photo by Anna Laxague. Opposite page, left: High exposure in Hurricane. Photo by Bryce Pratt. At right, rolling on the MoCo Epic. Photo by Joe Foley.
sites along the route, including abandoned cinnabar mines, deserted homesteads and Native American pictographs. Even super-fit riders will be tested by this Epic, but if you finish and still want more, it’s possible to access the Lajitas trail system from the eastern end of the loop, providing an additional 20+ miles of fast, flowing singletrack. The western side of the park offers 150 miles of additional trails and old 4x4 roads. “You could explore the options for many, many weeks,” says local advocate Jeff Renfrow, who serves with the IMBAaffiliated Big Bend Trail Alliance. “The Epic is just a small portion of the riding in the park and it’s all on the east side — there are huge areas that not even the locals have explored by mountain bike. You can’t say that about many places these days.”
Hurricane, Utah 37.172765, -113.268356 Pronounced “Her-ah-kun” by the locals, this trail system sits at the edge of the Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin. Grand mesas, vertical rock formations, and deep canyons combine with extinct volcanoes and vast rolling arroyos, bringing together a taste of all that southwest Utah’s Color Country has to offer. The Hurricane Cliffs Trail Network strings together a 21mile loop, formed by four segments: the Hurricane Rim, JEM, Gould and Gould Rim trails. The network was initiated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in partnership with the Hurricane Valley Heritage Foundation, to showcase the history and landscape of the Hurricane valley. The system was professionally designed by BLM Trail Landscape Architect Cimarron Chacon using IMBA standards, and constructed by local cycling volunteers from IMBA-affiliated Color Country Cycling Club and Dixie Desert Racers, along with Americorps teams and many members of the local community.
Starting from the main trailhead on Highway 59, just outside of town, you’ll face a steep climb up Hurricane Hill to reach Gould’s Rim trail. Traversing horizontal rock slabs of sandstone and granite, the trail becomes increasingly technical along the rim, requiring riders to traverse ledges and rock outcroppings, before dropping back to the highway and the JEM trail. A 5-mile flow fest ensues, weaving through the sage as it descends to the Hurricane Rim Trail. Watch out for three pucker-inducing drops early before settling into a 4-mile long cruise. Keep an eye out for the sign leading to the Hurricane Rim Trail, which takes you 7.5 miles back to the trailhead.
Montgomery County, Maryland 39.145938, -77.309546 Recently, some 150 people participated in the inaugural MoCo Epic ride, put on by the Mid Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE). Montgomery County is home to one-fifth of Maryland’s population, but there were long stretches where you would never know that. Riders were treated to some 40 miles of trail connecting nine different county parks. The MoCo Epic reveals the possibilities for great riding in suburban landscapes: A common refrain from participants was, “I felt like I was actually going somewhere.” They were, of course, even if the riding was just outside their own backyards. This is good terrain for single-speeds, though there are numerous short hills and rooty sections to provide an occasional dose of technical challenge. The route is primarily singletrack, but there are a few sections of paved paths to endure. Fear not: MORE is chipping away at creating an all-trail route, with 4 miles of new singletrack currently under construction. Remarkably, all this riding is located less than an hour’s drive from the White House and Capitol Building. It’s truly an oasis of green, and Maryland’s pleasant
Pictures. Top: Armored trail at Rock Lake. Photo by Leslie Kehmeier. Bottom: Rocky descending at Oak Mountain. Photo by Samuel Guss Photography.
climate offers good riding conditions during most months of the year (portions of the trail close for winter, and summer days can be stiﬂing). The county parks along the route offer another 30 miles of singletrack between them, so it’s easy to add mileage. The south end of the loop will soon connect to the C&O canal, a historic 180-mile dirt path running from Washington DC to western Maryland.
Oak Mountain State Park 33.322344, -86.762166 Alabama’s largest state park, Oak Mountain provides 9,940 acres of pine-studded ridges and lush green hardwood valleys. This 20-mile mountainous trail winds around a large lake, offering stunning vistas. The suggested route begins with a challenging, technical climb that gains 600 feet in a little less than 3 miles to reach one of several mountain ridges in the park. The payoff is twofold: magniﬁcent ridgeline views and a demanding descent that challenges riders to navigate a series of rocky, often-slippery turns. Near the bottom, rock gardens and waterbars demand concentration and good braking technique. Back in the lush valley, rolling terrain provides twists and turns as the trails follow the contours of the ridges and valleys. A fast drop follows each short, punchy climb. If you reach the end and haven’t had enough fun, turn around and go back the other way. In either direction, the challenges and rewards of the Oak Mountain Epic ﬂow in constant succession. The Birmingham Urban Pedalers (BUMP) ﬁrst undertook the care and feeding of this ride two decades ago. Onsite amenities include trailhead kiosks with detailed trail maps, bathrooms, camping areas and bike washes. Non-riders can hike, canoe, ride horses and ﬁsh at the lake. If you need a spare tube or bike repair, stop by Cahaba Cycles, just outside the park gates.
Cable, Wisconsin 46.178285, -91.152534 A linkup of tight, challenging and fun singletrack trails spanning more than 30 miles in the ChequamegonNicolet National Forest. The deep-forest North Woods riding creates a memorable experience that any mountain biker will savor. Mostly singletrack, with just a handful of wider sections and brief dirt road interludes, this route provides one of the longest skinny-trail journeys in the Upper Midwest. Cared for by the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA), the Rock Lake Epic exempliﬁes the diversity of riding available on the extensive trail network that CAMBA maintains. In all, CAMBA’s tireless volunteers work on more than 300 miles of trail in Northwest Wisconsin. A variety of features will task hard-charging experienced riders who tackle the ride, while intermediate riders can back off the pace to revel in the route’s ﬂow and meandering character. The densely forested terrain features ﬁve beautiful wilderness lakes (and passes near three others), several of which have sweet, ride-in primitive campsites. The namesake Rock Lake Trail features plentiful drops, step-ups, and rock bridges — plus a 90-foot, 18-inch wide wood plank bridge thrown in for good measure. Next, pickup the Namakagon trail with fast riding segments punctuated by short, moderately technical bits, then cruise back to the car on the ﬂowing Patsy Lake trail.
on the roAd With the tcc
the suBAru/IMBA CreWs trAvel the nAtIon to proMote
TRAIL CARE CREW
sustAInABle trAIls. here’s A glIMpse oF theIr trAvelIng lIFestyles. Morgan and Steve Working with your spouse? Let’s just say that it’s a very healthy exercise in patience, tolerance and forgiveness. The hardest part of this job is finding time apart from your partner, but other than that, it’s cake. Not only do we actually like each other, which always helps, but we also like traveling, riding and going on adventures. So we’re basically doing all the things we love, together. Sure it get tough sometimes, but we just have to remind ourselves that there’s nothing else we’d rather be doing. We’ll finish this year with about 35,000 miles on our trusty Subaru Outback. We zigzagged our way across the Midwest this spring to respond to specific needs around the country — like helping the National Park Service develop a trail system at the Lake Meredith National Recreation Area — or chase warm weather and dry ground. That adds a lot of miles, but we’ve got our trusty books on tape. (Murder mysteries can really freak you out when you’re designing trail alone in the forest.) The driving takes us to the most bizarre of places, sometimes rife with folks who ask questions like, “Are you guys professional car racers?” Or, “Do you make trails out of deer paths?” Our least favorite part about the job is that we can’t stay in places long enough to see our trail building projects comes to fruition. We roll into town, teach folks how to build sweet trail and empower them do the rest. We’d love to return to every place we’ve built trail and see how it turned out.
Learn more about the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew program by visiting imba.com/tcc.
Leslie and Chris The idea of traveling the country and living out of a car might seem romantic, but in reality, it can be damn hard. There are many hours of windshield time, countless nights in motels and endless searches for healthy food. In the East, there are plenty of bug bites, too. Mosquitoes, chiggers and ticks: We’ve gotten to know them intimately. We’re now adept at dressing up and spraying down before getting to the business of teaching people how to build trails. Being part of the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew program is a once in a lifetime opportunity. In two short years, we’ll have crisscrossed the nation several times while inspiring others to advocate for the sport of mountain biking. Every once in awhile we get to check in with family and friends and ride some of our favorite hometown trails. In June, after six months and 15 states, we jumped for joy at the site of big blue skies and the Rocky Mountains. From hole-in-the-wall barbeque joints to university auditoriums, we’ve conducted our Trailbuilding School in every venue imaginable. Most of the time we stay indoors for the classroom portion, but every once in awhile we venture outside. In Bloomer, Wisconsin, we were slated for our first outdoor presentation. Skeptical at first, we were pleasantly surprised to pull up to the Hickory Ridge Trailhead and see one serious tent. Add some chairs and a generator and we felt like we were hosting a revival. The event was so successful that the Chippewa Off-Road Bike Association named the new trail “Big Top.”
AD BICYCLYIN -RO G FF
IATION SOC AS
imBA-SorBA updAte AlABAMA, north CArolInA trAIl plAns tAKe shApe
In the past year, mountain biking advocacy in Alabama has made enormous strides. Along with the Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, and Chattahoochee Valley Area chapters, we now have five IMBASORBA chapters advocating in the state. To kick off this wave of activity, leaders convened the first annual Alabama Mountain Biking Summit in February. Land managers, public sector employees, and mountain biking advocates from around the state met in Pelham to
discuss where they were, and where they wanted to go. They created working committees and pledged to work together to improve mountain biking opportunities across the entire state. Recently, two clubs with long histories of successful advocacy, The Birmingham Urban Pedalers (BUMP) and the Northeast Alabama Bicycle Club (NEABC), officially became IMBA-SORBA chapters. BUMP’s 100 members are trail stewards of 33 miles at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park in McCalla and Trussville Sports Complex, Trussville, with an additional 10 miles of trail slated for construction over the next few months. The group is also engaged with the Friends of Red Mountain Park and Red Mountain
Park Commission to develop trails at Red Mountain Park, at 1,200 acres one of the largest urban green spaces in America. NEABC’s 200 members serve Calhoun, Cleburne, Saint Clair, Talladega, Etowah, and Cherokee Counties. They oversee about 33 miles of trails in Cheaha State Park, Choccolocco State Forest, and the City of Jacksonville. The chapter has received a grant of $150,000 from the Alabama Department of Economic & Community Affairs (ADECA) to design and begin construction on the Coldwater Mountain Mountain Bike Trail System. This 4,000-acre tract of land, located less than one mile off Interstate 20 near Anniston and Oxford, and 90 miles west of Atlanta, offers mature hardwoods and challenging terrain. The tract is protected by Alabama’s Forever Wild program, and motorized vehicles, hunting, and equestrian use are prohibited on the mountain. When the system is fully developed, it will house up to 80 miles of singletrack, offering visitors the ultimate in a mountain biking playground. Elsewhere in the state, the Auburn Off-Road Bicycling Association, part of IMBA-SORBA’s Chattahoochee Valley Area chapter, recently completed the first loop of the Lake Wilmore Trail System (see photo). Created with the beginning mountain biker in mind, the 2.7mile loop features fun challenges designed to push riders to improve their skills. Plans for the system include two additional loops to provide 8 miles of in-town trail.
neXt phASe oF Wood run mountAin BikinG trAil SyStem underWAy The second phase of construction for the Wood Run Mountain Biking Trail System, located in the Uwharrie National Forest, is slated to begin this winter, with an expected completion date of November, 2011. This phase will add approximately 7 miles of model singletrack trail to complement the 2.5 miles built in 2010, and it will go to maintain 5 miles of existing trail. IMBA Trail Solutions and SORBA Pro Trails designed, flagged and built the entire system. The Uwharrie project is stewarded by a potent partnership of local volunteers, businesses, and the U.S. Forest Service. Funding for Phase 2 was made possible by a $69,540 Recrational Trails Program grant from the State of North Carolina, and a 20-percent inkind match contributed by local businesses and cycling advocates. First Bank, headquarted in Troy, NC, is contributing $20,000 for the project, continuing a tradition of community service begun in 1935. A group of local businesses is contributing an additional $2,500, and Charlotte’s Tarheel Trailblazers have stepped up by pledging $2500, plus volunteer labor to help complete the project. The overall vision for Uwharrie National Forest is invest up to $2 million to build at least 40 miles of professionally-designed, world-class trails. The Phase 2 trail construction represents a major step toward reaching that goal. Located within a two-hour drive from the largest population centers in North Carolina, the Uwharrie Trail System is ripe to become a destination for trail cyclists locally, nationally and internationally.
imBA cAnAdA A heArty thAnK you to the CorporAte MeMBers
Photo: Todd Pope
Who help sustAIn our WorK!
Well over a dozen clubs took part in last month’s Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day in Canada. Hats off to organizers in Squamish, BC, who got close to 100 people out for celebrations, which included a group ride and a bouncy castle! For information about how your organization can join IMBA in Canada, contact Lora Woolner at email@example.com. ABOVE AND BEYOND SUPPORTERS Companies who have gone above and beyond their cash membership dues with additional support: • Mountain Equipment Co-op • Norco Products Ltd. • Outdoor Gear Canada • Renegade Cycle Solutions • Ryders Eyewear • Trek Canada CORPORATE MEMBERS A-Z • Axis Gear Company Ltd. • BC Bike Race • Bruce County • Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park • Capilano University: Mountain Bike Operations Program
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Chico Racing Chicopee Ski and Summer Resort Cobequid Trail Consultants Community Futures Crowsnest Pass Conservation Halton: Kelso/Hilton Falls/Mountsberg CreativeWheel/ La Rocca XC MTB School Cycle Component Network Inc. Decarto Consulting Ltd Devinci Cycles Dirt Series Geomatics Data Management Inc Hardwood Ski And Bike Inter-Mtn Enterprises Inc Joyride 150 Northern Mountain Bike Adventures Panorama Mountain Village Ryeka Sport
• Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Adventures • Sentiers Boréals Inc • Shimano Canada • Sir Sam’s Resort • Specialized Canada • Sustainable Trails • Thule Canada • Township Of King • Twenty4 Sports • Valhalla Trails Ltd. • Whistler Mountain Bike Park • Zeptechniques Mountain Bike Coaching & Instructor Training THANK YOU ALSO TO OUR NATIONAL PARTNERS: Parks Canada, Trans Canada Trail, National Capital Commission, and Sprockids!
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM UNDERWAY
AU REVOIR JÉRÔME PELLAND, BONJOUR ERIC LEONARD
IMBA Canada is excited to announce the launch of the Regional Leadership Advisory Council (RLAC) program for British Columbia and Ontario in the fall of 2010. Taking a slightly different structure than the U.S. program, Canadian RLACs will consist of one representative from each IMBA Canada affiliated club within a province or region, and will be orchestrated by IMBA Canada paid Regional Coordinators. The focus for the RLAC program in 2010 is BC and Ontario, with other provinces to follow suit in 2011. All IMBA Canada affiliated clubs are invited to participate. If you are interested in sitting on either council, contact your Regional Coordinator, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to Mountain Equipment Co-op for their support of IMBA Canada’s regional office program!
IMBA Canada would like to thank Jérôme Pelland for helping to coordinate IMBA Canada’s presence in Quebec since 2006. Jérôme is leaving his part-time position with IMBA Canada to pursue a career in trailbuilding with his new company, Sentiers Boréals. Stepping into the role of Quebec Regional Coordinator is Eric Leonard. Eric works as an active transport planner in Montreal and is looking forward to helping IMBA Canada and the ADSVMQ grow and strengthen the mountain biking community in Quebec. Contact Eric at email@example.com.
CORPORATE MEMBERS THESE BUSINESSES PROVIDE ESSENTIAL FUNDING TO FUEL IMBA’S WORK Our corporate supporters provide essential funding to fuel IMBA’s work. Please help us say thanks! For information about how you or your organization can join in support of IMBA’s work, please contact Rich Cook, IMBA Development Director, by calling 303.545.9011 x104, or by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. ABOVE AND BEYOND SUPPORTERS Above and Beyond Supporters contribute a signiﬁcant amount in addition to their annual dues. Contributions to the IMBA Trail Building Fund, Public Lands Initiative and Sponsorships qualify as “above and beyond” support. Thanks to these companies: Advanced Sports International/ Fuji Arrowhead Trails Bicycling/Mountain Bike magazines Bicycle Sport Shop Bikes Belong Coalition BIKE Magazine Bicycle Retailer and Industry News CamelBak Campagnolo/Fulcrum CLIF Bar Cycling Sports Group/GT Bicycles Dirt Rag Magazine FOX Racing Shox Haro Bikes Interbike Native Eyewear Park Tool Pedro’s Performance Bicycle Primal Wear Quality Bicycle Products Recreational Equipment Inc. Ryders Eyewear Shimano American Corporation Specialized Bicycles SRAM Corp./RockShox
Subaru of America Thule Trek Bicycle Corporation Western Spirit Wilderness Trail Bikes (WTB) Yakima
CORPORATE MEMBERS A-Z 3Point5 - Promotive 5-Hour Energy Adventure Advocates Adventure Travel Trade Association Airborne Bicycles Alchemist Threadworks Alpine Bike Parks A’me Grips Anadarko Anasazi Trails, Inc Anthem Branding Avid4 Adventure, Inc. Backcountry.com Bell Sports/Giro Bellfree Contractors Inc. Beneﬁcial Beans Bentonville Convention & Visitors Bureau Betterride Bicycle Colorado Bicycle Technologies International Big Agnes Big Bear Lake Camplands Bikeﬂights.com Biketees.com BOB Trailers Boulder Business Products Cane Creek Cycling Components Cascade Huts Catalyst Communication, Inc. Cateye Center For Outdoor Experience Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival Citizen Pictures COG Wild Colorado Backcountry Biker Competitive Cyclist Crank Brothers Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce Crested Butte Mountain Resort Cygolite Defeet Desert Sports Deuter USA Dino Series
Downeast Bicycle Specialists DT Swiss, Inc Ecological Designs, Inc Ekko Bikes Epic Rides, Inc. Ergon USA Excel Sports Boulder First Aid Supplies Plus Five Rivers Metro Parks Fulcrum N.A. LLC Gates Carbon Drive Giant Bicycles Gone Riding, Inc. GORE Bike Wear/GORE Ride-On Cables GU Energy Gel Gunnison - Crested Butte Tourism Association Hans Johnsen Company Hawley USA Hilride Honey Stinger Howell At The Moon Productions Hutchinson Industries Hydrapak, LLC iBert, Inc. Idaho Resort Rentals Llc IT-Clips, LLC Jamis Bicycles / G. Joannou Cycle Jenson USA Kenda USA KGB Productions / Freedom Riders Kinetic Koffee Company Kirkwood Mountain Resort Kona Mountain Bikes Kryptonite Lava Tours Costa Rica Lifeboat Solutions Long Cane Trails, LLC Marin Mountain Bikes, Inc. Maverick Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop Michelin North America Midwest Cycling Moots Cycles Mountain Flyer Mountain Gear Mountain Khakis Mt. Borah Designs Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get-A-Way MyPOV360.com National Bicycle Dealers Assn National Parks Service RTCA New Belgium Brewery Niner Bikes
Oregon Adventures Osprey Packs, Inc Outdoor Industry Association Paceline Products Inc Pearl Izumi Pedal America Pedal Nation Events Planet Bike Plus 3 Network Powersupplements.com Professional Trailbuilders Association Red Agave Resort Red Cloud Productions, LLC Reineke Construction Resource Revival Ritchey Design Inc Rocky Mounts S & S Trails Services SBS - Seattle Bike Supply Sea Otter Classic Semper Technology, Inc Shenandoah Mountain Touring SIDI America Single Track LLC Singletrack.com Singletracks.com Smith Optics Sock Guy Spadout.com Specialty Sports Venture - Bicycle Village Squirt Lube Strider Sports International, Inc. Talon Trails LLC Teton Mountain Bike Tours Teva Deckers Outdoor Corporation Texas Mountain Bike Racing Association The Canyons Resort The Clymb The North Face Trail Dynamics Trailarts TrailFu.com (Totalsquare, LLC) Turner Suspension Bicycles, Inc. Two Knobby Tires Velonews Vista Verde Ranch Voler Team Apparel Winter Park Ski Area Yakima Yeti Cycles Zeal Optics Zoic Clothing
Benefits for IMBA Members sAve on holIdAy shoppIng And support trAIls At the sAMe tIMe
HIS HOLIDAY SEASON, JUST SAY, “NO!” TO THE SHOPPING MALL. You’ll find a range of great gift items at the IMBA store, where members save 10 percent on every product. Just log into imba. com/catalog and start clicking. Better yet, donate to the Annual Fund, or renew/join as a member, and you’ll enjoy an additional 20 percent savings. Be sure register online before you start shopping. Individual, Family and Club members save up to $3,300 off MSRP when buying or leasing a new Subaru vehicle with the Subaru VIP program. Subaru will also donate $125 to IMBA’s trailbuilding and access efforts. Get the ball rolling by sending an e-mail the SubaruVIP@imba.com. You must
maintain your membership for 6 months, and hold a current membership, to participate. IMBA members that join or renew their membership online receive a free annual subscription to Bicycling magazine, including more mountain bike content than ever before. Don’t forget to visit IMBA’s vast network of retailer members for your holiday season bikes and gifts. Find one near you at imba.com/near-you/retailers Club leaders and trail builders — did you know that some suppliers offer IMBA members a discount on trail maintenance tools? Search IMBA’s online Tool Resource Guide to find the deals.
NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID BOULDER, CO PERMIT NO. 924
PO Box 711 Boulder, Colorado 80306 USA
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A nd ge e h t t r ore A Suppo Ar
M r nd e o l 5 A 3 t. F I At $ 11 IMBA C g u o y 0 2 K n A h the t ee r F A As