Updates from your IMBA Southwest Region Director

Patrick Kell

California-Wide Regional IMBA Summit

Don’t miss the IMBA Southwest/IMBA NorCal combined mountain bike summit in Mammoth, CA, Sept 11-13. At this event we?ll present workshops on trail and bike park planning; the steps for hiring staff persons throughout the region; how to partner with MTBProject.com to get more trails mapped in your area; and working with federal land managers to provide increased mountain bike access.

Land Manager Training in the Phoenix, AZ, metro area

Several staff from our Trail Solutions program, along with BLM staff from the pacific-northwest region will present a free two-day training at McDowell Regional Park, Fountain Hills (northeast of Phoenix) in mid-March. This event is only open to land managers (city, county, state, federal, etc.), and will focus on designing and developing mountain bike optimized trails on public land, and the best practices and current developments in that field. If you have land managers in your area who you think would be interested, please send an email to patrick.kell@imba.com and we?ll send them the registration information.

Trail planning in Kanab, UT

Have you heard about our advocacy work in southwestern UT? We are very pleased to soon begin a conceptual master planning process around the great little town of Kanab. The landscape here is outstanding, consisting of huge red rock mesas that go on for many miles. We did some preliminary scoping work here in fall 2014, and will delve into a more detailed process in spring 2015, which will include having a Trail Specialist there for a few weeks, exploring the terrain and finding corridors for a trail network around town, offering everything from beginner loops to longer technical epic rides. Kane County are also providing a plane and pilot to get our Trail Specialist airborne to cover the vast expanses more efficiently. A big thanks to everyone involved, especially our local chapter the Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association for attending meetings as volunteers and helping spread the word. I?ll have the IMBA booth set up at the Hurricane Festival if you want any more information on the project.

Trail planning around Superior, AZ

We have recently begun another trail planning project in Superior, AZ about an hour east of Phoenix. Superior sits in the foothills of the Superstition Mountains, which are an amazing landscape of towering ridges and huge saguaro cacti. We see significant potential here in developing an easily accessible trail network for local residents, which will also act as a tourist draw for visitors. With Phoenix so close, we see this as being a very popular destination in the coming years. We are holding a public meeting on Tuesday, February 26, more details can be found here on the IMBA Southwest Facebook page. Please come along and give us your input and hear what our Trail Solutions staff has discovered over the past week. A big thanks to our partners in this project including the USFS at Tonto National Forest, Resolution Copper and Legends of Superior Trails.

Update on bike parks in the Southwest region

Progress continues with our work on the Tucson Bike Park in conjunction with the Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists. We met again recently with all of the partners, who are currently working on leases and other legal matters related to the site. Progress will continue throughout 2015. We are also currently wrapping up the designs for the Sedona Bike Park, at an amazing site on the west side of town. We recently had a very well attended public meeting in Fullerton, Orange County California about that bike park, located at Ted Craig Regional Park. Our local chapter (SHARE-MTB) is helping a lot with this project, and a big thanks to Orange County Parks for being a solid partner in the project too. We will have a follow up meeting in Fullerton in the next few weeks to discuss the preferred layout of the park. Meanwhile, check out this video of the Fort Tuthill Bike Park in Flagstaff, AZ built through the IMBA-Bell Helmets program in 2014. It seems that the groms and shredders are all having a great time there, thanks to Flagstaff Biking Organization for their work on that project!

Caliente, NV

Progress couldn?t be better on this project, a couple of hours northeast of Las Vegas. We had a meeting with all of the partners two weeks back, and permitting processes are now in the works and progress is ongoing regarding grant opportunities for trail, bike-park and parking lot construction. We hope to make a big announcement in the coming months about the first trails to be built, stay tuned on that.

Beatty, NV

Elsewhere in NV, trail building has begun in Beatty, a couple of hours northwest of Las Vegas. The first section is on the Spicer Ranch to the north of town, which could become the location for some great mountain bike and trail running events in the coming years. A big thanks to local advocates David and Brad for their work on this project and to Cimarron Chacon for her work in the laying out the trails and managing volunteer days. Keep an eye on Trails Oasis Valley for updates in the coming months.

We have seen great progress in Nevada in the past couple of years, especially in getting some large-scale trail plans laid out on the ground, with permits and grants now in the works. Indeed a couple of other trail plans are also in the works, albeit at a very early stage. This progress has been well received in social media and has led to invitations to present at several conferences throughout the state including the Nevada Rural Round Up from April 15-17 in Carson City, where we will present to an audience including the Nevada Commission on Tourism.

We will then present to the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada in Henderson on May 5, and we have been invited (and accepted) to present at the Stronger Economies Together Conference, a Western Nevada Regional Economic Development Conference in Reno on May 20-21. The focus of these presentations will be our work in Caliente, given the significant progress with that project in the past two and a half years, and we?ll include the other projects too. Our presentations will highlight the need for building strong partnership teams as an initial step, with all partners having a valuable role in the process. This attention on our work in smaller rural communities across the southwest is very encouraging, and we hope to replicate this model of trail development as a catalyst for positive community change in more and more towns.

Sedona and Hurricane, UT, Festivals

Are you interested in riding in Sedona in March? Check out the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival from March 6-8. There will be over 20 bike brands represented, with pretty much every bike that you are interested in demoing. There will also be five breweries set up on-site, and shuttles offered by Hermosa Tours, bringing you to trails throughout the area. Simply follow the link to sign up, and if you are an IMBA member you can get a 20% discount by simply entering the code COMERIDEWITHUS when you check out. This is going to be an awesome event on some amazing trails, and to add to that, 25% of the revenues will be donated right back to the Verde Valley Cyclists, the local advocacy group who deserve a big thanks for all of their great work in the area.

Later in March you can then head over to Hurricane, UT, for their festival, based at Over The Edge Sports in downtown Hurricane. The festival on March 27-29, and there will be more bike demos, and you?ll get the opportunity to ride in some iconic southwestern Utah areas, including Gooseberry Mesa and Little Creek.

We hope to see you in Sedona and Hurricane in the coming weeks.