by Zoe Kircos, PeopleForBikes grants manager
If you?ve ever spent a few hours riding flowy singletrack, maneuvering your bike around a brand new pump track, or practicing skills at a local bike park, then you know why people love mountain biking. And that’s why PeopleForBikes loves the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).
We?ve been great partners with IMBA for years (I won?t even mention how many of our staff used to work there) and have supported multiple programs and projects. This year, we renewed our commitment to their work by pledging to sponsor the IMBA World Summit in August and putting some additional funding into efforts to make it easier for people to find great places to ride.
“Our goal is to make every bike ride better, whether that ride takes you on trails, down to the grocery store, or all the way across town,? said Tim Blumenthal, President of PFB. “We see IMBA as a key partner and we admire their time-tested efforts to make mountain biking better and more accessible for all Americans.”
Surveys of our members indicate more than 60% ride mountain bikes. IMBA has a local network of 160 chapters and 400 supporting organizations?non-profit groups?that work to improve mountain biking in all 50 states. Our new, expanded alliance will focus on creating more trails, pathways, bike lanes and bike parks. Two specific areas of collaboration include IMBA’s MTB Project mapping effort and IMBA’s Bike Park Initiative, a mountain bike analog to our Green Lane Project.
“IMBA’s mission to create and protect great mountain biking is extremely well aligned with PeopleForBikes and we’re very grateful for their support,” said Rich Cook, IMBA Director of Development. “If we can bring our two large networks together and work on shared goals we’ll have a much louder voice for bicycling at the state and federal levels. It’s a classic example of 1+1=3. Together we’re stronger.?
In 2013, we helped fund IMBA’s Bike Park Initiative with a goal to help cities initiate model bike parks across the country. Projects are now active in Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Knoxville, TN; Louisville, KY; Orange County, CA; and Tucson, AZ. IMBA’s latest book, Bike Parks: IMBA’s Guide to Creating New-School Riding Facilities, due to be published this summer was also funded in part by PFB.
PeopleForBikes has been a major supporter of IMBA’s work since 2001, backing IMBA’s Washington, DC advocacy efforts for many years. In 2010, were were also a lead donor in IMBA’s Public Lands Initiative?contributing $100,000 that was later matched by Trek, Specialized, SRAM and 32 members of the bicycle industry. The Public Lands Initiative generated $600,000 and continues to power IMBA’s bike and public land policy work today.
Like us, IMBA knows that when people ride bikes, great things happen. Here’s to more great things happening on a mountain bike trail, somewhere near you!