US trail building org wants to mix it with UK MTB leaders

Representatives from IMBA, the International Mountain Bike Association, a US lobbying and trail preservation body, will be in the UK at the end of the month and are looking to build (metaphorical) bridges
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Bods from IMBA in the US want to form a UK branch.

Coed-y-Brenin Forestry Enterprise pioneer and trail guru Dafydd Davis will be the host of a meeting of minds at Coed-y-Brenin/Dolgellau on Saturday 30th June. The IMBA guests will be Judd Duval(IMBA international advocate) and two trail care

crew representatives. Joining them will be Paddy Harrup of Forest Enterprise. Bike industry leaders and rider representatives will also be welcome at the meeting.

Dafydd Davis said IMBA is an access powerhouse:

"They bring peace, trailbuilding and access negotiation experience beyond our

wildest dreams, having succesfully fought the evil empires of factory

forestry, rednecks and even changed congressional bills to the point where

mountain bikers are seen as the shining light (and handy cash cow) they are

by everyone involved," said Davis.

The UK arm of IMBA would be led by Davis.

"This is the chance to set up a group that actually caters for 'real riders' rather than the current BCF, CTC, Sustrans situation we have at the moment," said journalist and IMBA supporter Guy Kesteven.

At the 30th June meeting there will be informal presentations about aspects of IMBA's US and European good deeds and what Forest Enterprise can bring to the party in the UK.

Kesteven said IMBA can offer hope to "a sport/industry that has just suffered the worst access problems its ever had. Foot and mouth has crippled the top end mountain

bike trade this year, and even when areas hundreds of miles from the nearest

disease outbreak were shut, Dafydd and the FE were able to open Coed-y-Brenin

and Afan Argoed. Thousands of riders seized the lifeline and got riding

again, quite literally saving the Dolgellau tourist economy and no doubt

causing mass hallelujah's on behalf of companies like Red Bull, Karrimor, MBR

and 9Feet who've been involved from the start. It's time to get things sorted

so it can't happen again."

"This is the time to act, this is the way to drive mountain biking into the

political forefront as it has been in Wales (£6,000,000+ into Dolgellau local

economy in 1999, £500,000 Welsh assembly grant for trail construction are two

figures to play with) and get ourselves heard and noticed as a sport, a

recreation and an industry."

"This isn't a London media launch so don't expect exotic sausage on stick/Ferrero Rocher buffets, but we should be able to find food from somewhere and Daffyd can sort out cut price local accomodation for people wanting to make a weekend of it."


dafydd.davis@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Tel: 01341 422289, mobile 07771 810288

http://www.imba.com

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