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."
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