|Thanks to a strong boost in sponsorship support from Clif Bar Inc., the IMBA Hot Spots program will devote more resources than ever to improve urban mountain bike trail access. |
IMBA will focus on four Hot Spots cities this year: Houston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago and Sacramento. The trail access challenges in these cities are complex but the basic problem is clear: there aren't many places to ride a bicycle off road.
"The situation in these four cities is particularly challenging for mountain bikers," said IMBA's executive director Tim Blumenthal. "Lots of people want to ride their bicycles on trails, but they can't find appealing trails close to home. The Hot Spots program is designed to help."
IMBA will lead a 10-day campaign in each city, working with local clubs and land managers, building trails and tackling tough advocacy issues. Each campaign will include events designed to get people psyched about mountain biking, including fun group rides, riding clinics and other social events.
IMBA's urban access work in 2003 goes well beyond these cities. IMBA will continue to refine an urban advocacy tool kit designed to help mountain bikers in any big city.
2003 marks the second year of Clif Bar Inc. sponsorship of the IMBA Hot Spots program. "We know it's important for people who live in cities to have convenient places to ride their bikes," said Gary Erickson, owner and CEO of Clif Bar Inc. "The IMBA Hot Spots program will help improve the quality of life in urban areas."
Clif Bar Inc. also supports IMBA/Clif Bar Trail Preservation Grants, IMBA's National Mountain Bike Patrol and grassroots trailwork by IMBA-affiliated clubs.
IMBA kicked off the 2003 Hot Spots program in January with a two week campaign in Houston. A slideshow and report of the campaign are available at imba.com/hotspots.
The dates for the remaining three IMBA Hot Spot campaigns in 2003 are:
Chicago: May 30-June 8
Minneapolis/St. Paul: May 30-June 8
Sacramento: November 7-16
Urban mountain bike trail access is one of the most difficult challenges IMBA faces. As cities continue to expand and open space dwindles, it's becoming more and more difficult for mountain bikers and other trail enthusiasts to find convenient places to enjoy the outdoors.
Urban access isn't an easy issue to solve. In most cities across North America, mountain bikers and other trail visitors are forced to drive at least an hour for quality trail experiences. Trails located close to urban areas are often choked with too many users and may not provide the type of ride or walk that people desire.
This is the IMBA Hot Spots program's third year. Previously designated Hot Spots cites are Seattle, New York City, San Francisco and Cleveland.
For more information on IMBA Hot Spots go to imba.com/hotspots or contact IMBA Hot Spots coordinator Dan Vardamis at firstname.lastname@example.org
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