Thank you for supporting over 10 years of Canadian mountain bike advocacy

June 22, 2016 --

Dear valued supporter,

IMBA Canada is over 10 years old!

It has been an incredible decade of advancement for the Canadian mountain bike community:

  • We’ve solved the issue of affordable insurance for clubs.
  • Trail building knowledge has progressed and clubs are educating land managers on best practices.
  • Local groups not only have their own tools, but some have invested in mechanized equipment and are going pro.
  • Our national parks have embraced mountain biking and opened the door to more riding opportunities through Parks Canada’s National Mountain Bike Guidelines.
  • New disciplines like enduro riding and fat biking have grown the sport and evolved mountain bike advocacy.
  • New technology, like that available through Trailforks.com, has changed the way we ride, design trail, fundraise, and so much more!
  • Mountain bike instruction has become a professionalized industry, through the Canadian-based Professional Mountain Bike Instructors Association.
  • We’ve seen the evolution of bike parks and flow trails, and watched the awareness of our sport grow from a marginalized niche market to one that is embraced in the mainstream.
  • And a new generation of riders is growing up on two wheels, thanks to programs like Sprockids, and Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day!

Mountain biking is here to stay, and so is IMBA Canada.

Will you help close out this decade on a special note? Please consider sending an anniversary gift before July 31st and propel us into the next ten years of our sport, and our role as Canada's mountain bike advocacy organization.

If you are reading this, I'd like to wager that you are able to think of at least one thing (if not three or four) that IMBA Canada has done over the last decade to improve mountain biking opportunities where you live:

  • Maybe it was a Trail Care Crew visit that passed along new trail building knowledge and prompted further trail development?
  • Participation in IMBA Canada’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day?
  • Access to IMBA Canada’s insurance program?
  • A land access decision that was influenced by IMBA Canada’s involvement?
  • A land manager who was convinced of the value of mountain biking?
  • A local trail or bike park that has achieved IMBA Canada's Model Trail (Epic or Ride Centre) status?
  • A club that embraced IMBA’s core values “Speak, Build, Respect, Ride”, and adopted IMBA’s Rules of the Trail?
  • Or simply a trail that was built using IMBA Canada’s trail building guidelines?

Advocacy and education can be a thankless job, and the impacts of our outreach are often difficult to quantify.

For example, most people will never know that the Ottawa Mountain Bike Association was formed as the result of an IMBA Urban Hot Spot, or that IMBA’s trail building guidelines were instrumental in the BC mountain bike strategy that permits trail building on Crown Land. People simply take for granted that you can ride great trails in downtown Toronto and yet have no idea of the countless hours and days spent by IMBA Canada and local advocates working with the City. Many don’t even know that Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day is an IMBA initiative... Yet what matters most is not who gets credit, but what we’ve accomplished together for mountain biking -- both in our communities, and on a national scale.

In everyone’s life there comes a time to move on to something new, and in my case this is such a time. I have enjoyed 14 years with IMBA; three as a Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew in the USA and Canada, and 11 in the launching and development of the Canadian organization. There have been great successes, as well as numerous challenges, but I see the influence of IMBA’s work in every corner of the country - from Canada’s largest metropolis to our most remote parks and trails - and as I close out my time here I know that it has been worthwhile.

I encourage you to invest in IMBA Canada and the next decade of Canadian mountain biking. I welcome you to consider making a donation or additional contribution this year to help move the organization forward in its programing, operations, and the strengthening of the Canadian mountain bike community. Your help is needed in order for this to happen. At this point we are in need of $30,000 to meet our Annual Fund goal and would appreciate any assistance within your capacity to give.

IMBA Canada is at the forefront of major changes as we complete organizational restructuring and bring a new executive director -- and I am confident that the association will thrive under its new direction and leadership.

With my deepest gratitude, I wish to thank you for sharing in the IMBA Canada community during the years that I have been here, and for being such an integral part of what we have accomplished. I appreciate the opportunity I have had to be part of an organization that is shaping the future for mountain biking in Canada, and will remember those who have supported that vision every time I get on my bike.

Best wishes to you all, as I thank you one last time for your support!

See you on the trails!

Lora Woolner,
Co-founder and outgoing executive director, IMBA Canada

P.S.  I am going to miss my colleagues, who have time and time again gone above and beyond to provide the Canadian mountain bike community with the resources and information they need to be successful; I am going to miss the many dedicated club leaders and local advocates that have tirelessly fought for mountain bike access over the years; and I am going to miss the partners, sponsors, and supporters that have committed to IMBA Canada’s success and vision of a strong and vibrant mountain biking community, riding world class mountain bike trails. Our legacy is your own, and I thank you for making this important work possible!

mountain