The University of California Berkeley Cycling Team
With the massive growth of high school cycling through the recent inception of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), we are seeing a huge boost in the amount of junior cyclists across the country. This is super exciting and promising for the sport to grow in a sustainable manner for the future.
But what happens to all these high school cyclists as they head to college? [Insert superhero music] Collegiate Cycling! Because collegiate cycling gets much less media exposure than high school cycling, many do not even know how it work or exists. The idea was founded initially as the National Collegiate Cycling Association in 1985, and is now under the governance of USA Cycling as USA Cycling Collegiate. Where as NICA currently focuses on just mountain biking, due to the benefit of safety and ease of introduction that mountain biking offers to beginner cyclists, collegiate cycling encompasses road, mountain bike, track and cyclocross — essentially all disciplines of bike racing other than BMX racing. This is really cool because all types of cyclists have a spot in the collegiate program.
Every Wednesday on Ditch Your Car we’ll be bringing you just another reason to spend more time on two wheels. Be it a photo, a statistic or an inspirational video, we want to keep reminding you about why riding is great!
We could tell you why we like the trailer for Life Cycles, but we think you should just watch it for yourself. It’s pretty obvious why you should be exploring this world on two wheels.
Osprey Adventure Envoy Evan Stevens, who normally covers climbing and guiding for us over on the Osprey Blog, shares with us his other love, mountain biking, and reminds us that riding buddies come in all shapes and sizes.
In my life it feels as though you get pigeon holed into a social circle based on your outdoor activities. For me, guiding is my source of income, whether it’s skiing or climbing, small rocks, glades, big mountains, you name it. As a consequence it seems like the majority of my skiing and climbing partners are all guides, as we share the same love for the mountains and very flexible work schedules.
However, I have one hobby which doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest: mountain biking. Where I live in Squamish, BC, biking is just as much a way of life as climbing is, and with all sports like climbing and biking, you can choose to be a queen of one trade or a jack of a few.
I guess I might actually be a 10 of diamonds when it comes to biking, but I do love to hit the local trails here. Problem is I don’t really have a circle of friends that bike with my random riding schedule. Sure I have a few friends who ride, but there is one friend that I do 99% of my riding with exclusively, out there on every single ride I ever do.
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.
Courtesy of IMBA
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.