This year, Kitsbow launched its inaugural Trail Advocate Program, which recognizes local leaders in trail advocacy through a crowd-sourced nomination process. The first Trail Advocate of the Year recipients were announced yesterday: Joe Lopresti (Homer Glen, Illinois), Tim Kugler (Gunnison, Colorado) and Erik Mickelson (Northvale, New Jersey). Kitsbow’s hope with this program is to build community and maintain awareness for the importance of trail advocacy.
“Community is vital to the mission of Kitsbow—communities create and maintain our trails, and without trails we have no mountain biking. We have taken that fellowship on the road with us wherever we travel, whether it be for work or play,” said Zander Nosler, founder of Kitsbow. “In recognizing important members who serve their local communities, we’re bringing our message back to the two things that make our company a reality: the people and the trails.”
The three Trail Advocates were nominated by their peers in February 2018, with over 800 total votes online. All are allied with trail organizations in their respective communities with a passion for trail advocacy and building. The three recipients will receive a selection of awesome technical gear from Kitsbow, as well as Kitsbow’s help in spreading the word about trail advocacy in Colorado, Illinois and New Jersey.
Trail Advocate, Joe Lopresti is a board member and Trail Coordinator with Chicago Area Mountain Bikers (CAMBr). He discovered a passion for mountain biking as a child in Idaho and Washington. Upon learning that a local bike park was on the brink of being shut down, he championed a group of fellow riders to rally and preserve the bike park. He later became a CAMBr’s new park coordinator, board member and has served many other trail associations.
Tim Kugler is the Executive Director of Gunnison Trails and a proud member of the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (CBMBA). Both entities maintain, educate and build sweet trail in the Gunnison Valley. He competed in and completed the Colorado Trail Race in 2010.
Erik Mickelson works for the New York New Jersey Trail Conference and with JORBA and Palisades MTB. He also works and volunteers with Tahawus trails, CLIMB and NYNJTC. Mickelson found his way into trail advocacy through his involvement with San Diego Mountain Biking Association and has coined the word “trailology” to describe his passion for trails.
Kitsbow will start accepting nominations for its 2019 Trail Advocate program early next year. Find out more here.