Welcome to Pedaling Change! There’s a lot of good work being done in the world of bikes, to alternative transportation advocacy to international development. To highlight some of the great action that’s going on out there, once a month we’ll be profiling a non-profit in the bike world to look at just how they’re working to make positive change.
When you think of the words “non-profit” and “mountain biking,” the International Mountain Bicycling Association is probably the first thing that comes to mind, and with good reason. Founded as a non-profit educational association, IMBA’s mission is to create, enhance and preserve great trail experiences for mountain bikers worldwide. It has over 35,000 individual members worldwide, more than 160 corporate sponsors and members living in all 50 U.S. states and in over 30 countries. Talk about a global biking powerhouse.
We caught up with Mark Eller over at IMBA to talk bikes and learn a little more about the organization.
What have some of IMBA’s biggest accomplishments over the last year been?
This year, IMBA renewed a partnership with the National Park Service to continue adding mountain biking opportunities to America’s most scenic parks. We launched the Public Lands Initiative to protect access to key riding areas, and we built innovative Gateway Trail bike parks across the country to help bring new riders into the sport and give kids great places to play. This fall, we’ll help thousands of kids get outside on knobby tires with the sixth edition of IMBA’s International Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.
Why is it important to do bike advocacy?
IMBA’s work is based on the idea that riding mountain bikes provides a great outdoor experience and provides a fun, athletic challenge that is accessible to millions of people. We advocate for broad access to trails and for good places to ride bikes because we want to share the enriching experience of exploring the natural world on two wheels.