Jun 23

Woorld Mountain Bike Conference / IMBA Summit Report

Julie and I drove up to the IMBA summit. Along the way we stopped at Redding’s Whiskeytown Recreational Area, McKenzie River in Oregon, and Squamish Forest in BC.The riding has been terrific all the way, though confusing where rogues have built undesignated trails, which obviously are not signed and do not appear on the maps. Rogue trails are not tourism friendly.

We arrived Tuesday afternoon, and I did a pre-event hike along the A-line trail, the most ridden trail in the world. They send out maintenance crews twice a week. The trail is too popular to close, so they do it early in the morning. They are building new trails up on the mountain, and some of those trails get $400,000 CA budgets, for a few miles of trail. Trails are expensive.

The keynote speaker was from Vancouver’s Olympic Committee, and had started an organization called 2010 Legacies Now. The idea is to get the 2010 winter olympic games to have positive, lasting, social, environmental and political legacices even before the games begin. It was insightful to see how she applied this mission to IMBA’s Build, Respect, Speak, Ride motto. She most emphasized the importance of building social networks, and retaining knowledge as the moutanin bike community goes forward. Things like MTBR’s forums, ROMP’s archived email list, and IMBAs book series are examples of that.

After that,we had a session on risk management. There are four tests of a liability case: duty of care, breach of duty, injury of loss, proximate cause. The good news is for a liability case to win they have to prove all four points – that the club or land manager should be taking safety measures (or perhaps there is inherent risk), that the club or agency did not does what a reasonable person would have done (your peers), that an injury was really sustained, and that the injury was caused by the breach of duty, The bad news is that even a well written waiver cannot protect you all the time. The speakers showed an example where a criminal injury lawyer hit a small gopher hole, got injured and is suing everybody. Seems like the universal health care system in Canada mellows all that out a bit, because if you break your neck mountain biking, you will be taken care of.

After that I went to a session by Jenn Dice, Government Affiars DIrector for IMBA, on getting political. Her 15 points were:
1) Get Organized
2) Get a feel for the political landscape
3) Cultivate your local area
4) Make a simple message
5) Schedule meetings with land managers
6) Get to know decsion makers
7) Invite officials to address your group
8) Follow up – thank you notes
9) Trail community
10) Be visible
11) Build coallitions
12) Change club status to engage in political work
13) volunteer for political campaigns
14) Run For office
15) Use your voice for the greater good – Write!
I will try and follow up some more on these points at another time.

After that we did the Loonie race. 340 people rode up the Easy Does It Trail, and down B-Line and Heart Of Darkness trails, and through the lost lake network to a barbecue hosted by a local restaurant. It was a Darwinian event where late arrivals were left with just scraps of food. All I can say is the beginner trails around here are intermediate back home. I ama not sure if I will see a double black diamond on this trip. Julie and I road the tandem. The table top jumps and 4 foot berms with break bumps on them were pretty challenging, but really fun. People were impressed to see us out there.

I can’t wait to get the single bike out.

We’ll it is off to another day of sessions and riding.

Take Care,