10 Things IMBA did for Mountain Biking in 2009

imbaThe holiday season is a time for counting one’s blessings. As mountain bikers, we can count IMBA among our blessing. Speaking of counting, IMBA recently published a list of 10 things that they did for mountain bikers in calendar year 2010. Additionally, IMBA is already looking ahead to 10 more things that they will do in the year ahead.

IMBA’s accomplishments would not be possible without the generous giving provided by individual members, affiliated clubs, corporate supporters and other partners in the IMBA family. Please consider joining IMBA and/or making a contribution to their annual fund today. The Dirt Rag & IMBA Advocacy Action Pack is a smoking hot deal—for $50 you get a one-year subscription to Dirt Rag, a one-year membership to IMBA, and a limited edition IMBA/Dirt Rag T-shirt (valid for new and/or renewals).

Without further ado, here’s IMBA’s top ten list and a look ahead…

  1. Built Incredible Trails
    Our trailbuilding professionals teamed with IMBA clubs and volunteers across the nation to build and design more miles of sustainable, fun-to-ride singletrack than ever before. For example, in just one summer we put more than 30 miles of new trail on the ground at Pennsylvania’s Raystown Lake.
  2. Secured Big Federal Dollars
    Your donations to IMBA’s Trailbuilding Fund were multiplied with our increasing success in securing federal money for trails. Trail systems in California, Georgia, Minnesota and Oregon received federal dollars at the six-figure level and we are poised to reproduce those successes in many more states next year.
  3. Lobbied in Washington
    From testifying before Congress on public land bills to meeting with top-ranking officials at all the federal land managing agencies, IMBA’s governmental affairs team pushed hard to build productive partnerships in the nation’s capitol and gain maximal bicycle access.
  4. Challenged Anti-Bike Policies
    In Montana, IMBA filed a legal appeal to oppose a dangerous Forest Service decision that could have closed more than 350 miles of trails. We will continue pushing for a more bike-friendly policy — including further legal action if needed — in Montana and elsewhere.
  5. Put Kids on Bikes
    The 2009 edition of National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day was by far our biggest and most successful yet, with more than 7,000 kids participating. We also formed a new partnership with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association to bring mountain bike racing to high-school-aged kids across the country.
  6. Made Your Voice Heard
    IMBA action alerts are broadcast to our network of members and clubs, then sent to decision makers so they feel the full political weight of the mountain bike movement. On just one issue — keeping the Continental Divide Trail open to bikes — we collected more than 7,000 comments and delivered them to the Forest Service.
  7. Kept the Subaru-IMBA Trail Care Crews Rolling
    No IMBA program has touched more people, or improved more trail miles, than the vaunted Subaru-IMBA Trail Care Crews. Every weekend their mobile classrooms bring together trail enthusiasts of all stripes to learn about sustainable trail design and work together side by side. The Crews also meet with land managers and spread the word about IMBA— they are the Johnny Appleseeds of trails!
  8. Rallied the Bicycle Industry
    From the largest manufacturers to the smallest retail shops, IMBA has built a great network of supporters in the bike industry who work together to raise funds and keep trails open to bikes. IMBA’s annual leadership breakfast at the Interbike trade show was a huge success, with supporters spilling out into the hallways.
  9. Launched IMBA Europe
    From bike access to trail design, IMBA’s mountain biking successes resonate around the globe. This year, we launched a European office that will help set the standards for sustainability and best practices in the European Union. We also saw a new director take the reigns at IMBA Australia and expanded our work in Asia.
  10. Improved Regional Resources
    Five new positions, the IMBA Regional Directors, joined our team of professional staff. The Regional Directors meet regularly with IMBA clubs and other bicycle leaders in their territories to identify strategic opportunities and bring IMBA’s resources to the places that need them the most — including trails close to you.

10 Things IMBA Will Do For You in 2010

We are proud of all we accomplished in 2009 … but we are already looking ahead for what comes next:

  • Host an incredible World Summit gathering in Augusta, Georgia, on May 5-8.
  • Build the next generation of model trail systems, including Ride Center projects like the ones in Oakridge, OR and Cuyuna, MN.
  • Shape Wilderness bills across the country with boundary adjustments and companion designations designed to provide maximal access to mountain bike trails.
  • Strengthen our network of IMBA-affiliated clubs with improved services and a powerful chapter program.
  • Bring skilled advocates to Washington, DC, for the National Bike Summit.
  • Design and build “Gateway” trails designed to bring new riders into the sport and allow experienced riders to develop new skills.
  • Fight blanket bans that unwisely group us with motorized users and suggest that we don’t belong in pristine, backcountry places.
  • Lobby for trails and public lands recreation at the state and federal levels.
  • Deliver a new look and an upgraded user experience on our website: www.imba.com.
  • Visit dozens of locations and meet hundreds of advocates, land managers and trail enthusiasts through the Subaru-IMBA Trail Care Crew program.

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