On Thursday at an industry breakfast at the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, IMBA will unveil a new initiative to build a network of mountain bike facilities called IMBA Ride Centers, which will include trail networks for mountain bikers of every skill level built by professional trailbuilders. The centers are expected to serve as social and educational hubs and provide experiences ranging from long singletrack rides to family-friendly loops, to free-riding options.
"IMBA is uniquely positioned to build these centers," said board president Hill Abell. "As a non-profit, we can facilitate partnerships between private industry and public land agencies, allowing us to build model trail networks on an unprecedented scale, and of unprecedented quality."
Attending the breakfast will be bicycle industry leaders, members of IMBA's board and staff, and key partners in the planning and development of the facilities. Bob Holmes, of Winter Park resort, and Cimarron Chacon, a trail-planning expert, will speak about the benefits IMBA Ride Centers offer to communities, and the specific roles that public and private partners will play in developing the centers.
Mike Van Abel, IMBA's executive director, believes the bike industry is ready to rally behind the Ride Center concept. "Leveraging industry support to gain public sector commitment and resources is a key component of IMBA Ride Center strategy," says Van Abel.
Locations will be set via partnerships with federal, state, and private agencies, but five ride center projects are already under development in Cuyuna Lakes, Minnesota; Fraser Valley, Colorado; Payette Valley, Idaho; Santos Trails, Florida; and the Uwharrie Mountains, North Carolina.
Companies that want to learn more about getting involved may contact development director Rich.Cook@imba.com.