Ten things IMBA did for you in 2011 - and what's next

We’ve made great progress for mountain bikers across Canada in 2011. Check out our top 10 list for highlights, and to get a preview of what’s next.

Looking forward to 2012, we see even greater opportunities. But they can only be achieved if IMBA continues to recieve your generous support. Please consider making a donation to our Annual Fund campaign, and join IMBA Canada if you’re not already a member.

1. CREATED NEW CANADIAN MEDIA

We rolled out a brand-spankin’ new website in early 2011, featuring a blog, events calendar, online store, and tons of trail building resources. IMBA Canada Trail News, our print newsletter, was also launched last summer and mailed to members and supporters twice in 2011. Both new outlets share news and events, plus great trail building and advocacy resources for members and land managers in Canada.

2. MOBILIZED MOUNTAIN BIKERS AT THE PROVINCIAL LEVEL

Twenty-eleven saw great success for mountain bike advocacy provincially, with ADSVMQ creating the Conseil Québécois des Sentiers (CQS), the Quebec version of IMBA's Regional Leadership Advisory Councils, and IMBA Canada hiring a new provincial staffer, David Mills, in Alberta. In Ontario, we saw the launch of the inaugural Trailblazing Festival, organized by Mountain Bike Ontario.

3. TRAINED HUNDREDS OF VOLUNTEERS ON SUSTAINABLE TRAIL BUILDING

Nothing has done more to advance the sport of mountain biking and the gospel of sustainable trail design than the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew program. For nearly 15 years, IMBA has put teams of trail experts on the road in specially-equipped Outbacks and sent them to meet with mountain bike clubs, land managers and all types of trail users. In 2011, IMBA Canada’s very own Trail Care Crew trained more than 650 volunteers on the art and science of trail building– more than double the numbers for 2010. Attend a (free) Trail Care Crew event and you’ll be blown away by the depth of their knowledge, the effectiveness of their methods, and their enthusiasm for trails. For more stats and success stories, check out IMBA Canada’s 2011 Trail Care Crew Report.

4. CELEBRATED THE CANADIAN MOUNTAIN BIKE MOVEMENT

This year we shared success stories from clubs across Canada in our newsletter, and recognized Doug Detwiller and the Sprockids program with the IMBA Canada Leadership Award. Check out those stories online, and in our newsletter. Want to take part? Share your club’s success stories with us, or tell us about a sweet piece of singletrack in your hometown and we may feature it in an upcoming issue of IMBA Canada Trail News.

5) PROVIDED REWARDS FOR DEDICATED TRAIL VOLUNTEERS

IMBA’s grassroots network generates more than 600,000 hours of volunteer-based public service efforts every year. They do it because they love trails and the feeling of giving something back to places they love to ride. With support from Renegade Cycle Solutions, IMBA Canada rolled out the Trail Ambassador Award Program, promoting even more volunteerism and rewarding those who have gone above and beyond in their communities.

6) PUT TRAIL EXPERTS TO WORK CREATING AMAZING RIDING

IMBA’s Trail Solutions team has emerged as one of the largest and most effective providers of professional trail building services in the world. Their team of trail experts plans, builds and tweaks every kind of mountain bike facility, for all levels of riders and in locations all over the globe. They push the boundaries of trail design (as shown in this video from the Bureau of Land Management in the U.S.) and teach land managers how to offer outstanding trail riding while carefully protecting natural resources. Our own Canadian trail specialist, Daniel Scott traveled all across Canada last year, working with groups to put trail on the ground in places like Sechelt, BC; Wascana, SK; Georgina, ON, and Corner Brook, NL, among others. Visit Daniel’s year-end blog to see the 2011 Trail Solutions season in review.

7. DEVELOPED NEW INSURANCE OPTIONS FOR CLUBS AND INDIVIDUALS

IMBA Canada staff have been hard at work with our insuarance partner Oasis to develop new policies that will provide more affordable and flexible offerings for you, your bike, and your club. Look to our website for information on reduced special event premiums, the Pedal Power Policy, and personal accident insurance in early 2012.

8. PUT THOUSANDS OF KIDS ON BIKES

If you want to see mountain biking thrive in the decades ahead, there’s no better reason to support IMBA than our annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day event. In 2011, IMBA hosted more than 230 rides worldwide — including ones in Australia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States. In Canada alone, more than 1,890 participants came out to celebrate! These young cyclists get a chance to connect with the IMBA Canada clubs and partners that ensure they will grow up with great places to ride.

9. FEATURED THE BEST MOUNTAIN BIKING IN THE WORLD

IMBA’s Model Trails announcement — including the 2011 Epics, Ride Centers and more — generated dozens of news stories and earned widespread attention for some of the best riding areas on the planet, including Carcross, YT. Why does IMBA offer these accolades? Because seeing what mountain biking looks like when it’s done right helps communities, land managers and knobby-tired enthusiasts envision what’s possible, and inspires even higher achievements.

10. HELPED LAUNCH THE AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY MOVIE "PEDAL-DRIVEN'

Illegal trail building stirs people’s emotions and creates conflicts between mountain bikers and land managers. IMBA partnered with Howell at the Moon Productions to create Pedal-Driven, a powerfully told documentary film that tackles this important topic. Since its premier at the Sea Otter Classic, Pedal Driven has earned widespread praise — including a selection to the prestigious Banff Film Festival and an official endorsement from the U.S. Forest Service.

WHAT'S NEXT? THREE BIG THINGS FOR 2012

2011 was an awesome year, but looking forward we see plenty of inspiring opportunities:

1) Don’t Miss the 2012 World Summit

In October, Santa Fe, New Mexico will provide the backdrop to the 2012 IMBA World Summit.

2) Canadian Chapter Program Roll-Out

We will be looking at piloting the Canadian version of IMBA's Chapter program in 2012 - An initiative to create a unified voice for mountain bikers. Contact us if your club is interested in becoming a pilot or to find out more about what the Chapter program has to offer.

3) Canadian Ride Centers

The Ride Center® designation represents IMBA’s Model Trail recognition for large-scale mountain bike facilities that offer something for every rider. IMBA staff selects candidates for Ride Centers recognition on an invitation-only basis and will awarding the first Canadian destination with the designation this year.

Photo by Dan Barham

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