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International Mountain Bicycling Association

Virginia, Scotland Earn Top Marks in 2005 IMBA Report Card

Boulder, Colorado

The 2005 International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Report Card hails Virginia and Scotland for outstanding mountain biking and successful bicycle advocacy, while pointing to Rhode Island and California as potential trouble spots for 2006.

The IMBA report, now in its seventh edition, utilizes input from IMBA's network of reps, online polling from IMBA members and staff evaluations to gauge the riding opportunities and advocacy strength in the United States, Canadian Provinces and nations with significant IMBA activities.

Next week, IMBA members will receive the complete Report Card in the organization's internationally distributed newsletter, Trail News. Results are also available online.

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Virginia received an "A," the highest grade in the 2005 U.S. report. Factors included Virginia's epic backcountry riding, a network of dedicated bike advocates and the innovative negotiating approach that bike advocates used to deal with possible trail closures (due to proposed Wilderness). On the other end of the spectrum, Rhode Island was handed a "C minus." Plagued by overcrowded trails and shrinking park budgets, Rhode Island stands out as a worst-case scenario for many of the issues that affect riders in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. IMBA Rep Tina Hopkins reports, "Unless riders are willing to step up their involvement, I'm afraid we'll be boxed out by competing interests." Also requiring serious attention, California was cited as the "Most Endangered" state because of widespread access issues and the need for renewed vigor from bike advocates.

West Virginia topped U.S. grades in 2004, but slipped a notch to an "A minus" because proposed Wilderness threatens access to some of the state's best trails. However, West Virginia bike advocates are partnering with other user groups to negotiate boundary adjustments that will protect riding opportunities. New Jersey climbed from the lowest grade in 2004, moving from a "C minus" to a "C," on the strength of improved mountain bike clubs and the addition of new trails in the southern part of the state.

Scotland surpassed British Columbia in the Global Superstar category. The Scots earned high praise for the government-sponsored Seven Stanes Project riding centers with outstanding trails  as well as excellent trails with unmatched scenery. Mountain bicycling is also growing at a healthy rate in Scotland: the Glentress center attracted 250,000 visitors last year, according to the U.K. Forestry Commission.

The 2005 IMBA Report Card also features categories for "Advocacy Groups on the Move," "Most Improved States," and a "Ski Resort Honor Roll."

State and international results follow. You can also view the full text of the 2005 IMBA Report Card online here



Virginia A
Wilderness plan a model for the nation/Trails in Jefferson NF still not protected

West Virginia A-
Pro-bike government leaders/Battles over Monongahela loom

Utah A-
Epic riding everywhere/Moab needs more singletrack

Arizona A-
Parks adding more shared-use trails/Fantasy Island scare

Colorado A-
Solid advocacy scene gets even better/Wilderness proposals circling

Arkansas B+
Syllamo earns Epic status/Untapped potential in the south

Idaho B+
Stunning trails, without crowds/Rider apathy about Wilderness Bill

Michigan B+
Freeride parks approved/Little growth in membership

New Mexico B+
Riders partner with government agencies/ATVers stomping trails

Alaska B+
Epic trails, dedicated riders/MTB tourism potential untapped

Washington B+
Bellingham freeride successes/Seattle's best trails aren't authorized

Texas B+
Clubs offer full calendar of events/Presidential rides too fast for journalists

New Hampshire B+
Epic riding in North Conway/Trails need repair, small membership base

South Dakota B+
Southwest boasts sweet trails/Not enough locals to keep trails buff

Massachusetts B+
Diverse riding opportunities/Vietnam area taking fire on liability

Maryland B+
Governor approves $75,000 trail grant/Western areas underutilized

Missouri B+
Alliances with recreation groups grow/Limitless potential, limited labor

Georgia B+
SORBA expands partnerships and trails/Infinite spiral of Atlanta's beltways

Wyoming B
Jackson trail network expanding/Remote trails need maintenance

Wisconsin B
New singletrack in Chequamegon/Milwaukee's best trails unauthorized

Tennessee B
Epic Chattanooga singletrack/Potential for western trails untapped

North Carolina B
Raleigh-Durham gains SORBA chapter/Developers threaten urban trails

North Dakota B
Air Force partnership creating trails/Few biking organizations

Oregon B
Inspired trailbuilding/All eyes on Mount Hood Wilderness

Oklahoma B
Crowd-free trails/Wind whipping across plains, OEF lawsuit

Minnesota B
MORC a model of efficiency/Biking second fiddle to ice fishing

Kentucky B
Race community active in trailbuilding/Cave Run area needs maintenance

New York B
Big Apple gets some legal riding/State Parks don't realize their potential

Ohio B
Awesome network of advocates/Cleveland needs more trails

Nevada B-
Several trails under development/More wide paths than singletrack

South Carolina B-
USFS new trails/Segment of Palmetto trail closed to bikes

Montana B-
Partnership with BLM in Missoula/Relations with USFS spotty

Pennsylvania B-
State parks support riding/Eastern trails see heavy traffic

Kansas B-
New trails open near capital/Trail-based recreation undervalued

California B-
Bike industry becoming advocates/More advocates needed; Wilderness threats

Nebraska B-
Hardcore riders, some technical trails/Few bikers, little clout

Vermont B-
Strong advocacy network Green Mt./NF yet to embrace bikes

Alabama C+
North has great potential /Advocates need more support

Illinois C+
Chicagoland making progress/Membership levels are stagnate

Florida C+
Hurricane damage repaired in short order/Lawsuits stifle creative trailbuilding

Maine C+
Nordic centers adding MTB/Not enough volunteers to maintain trails

Iowa C+
Creative trailbuilders at work/Hook-and-bullet emphasis in Rec departments

Delaware C+
State parks warm to riding/Little public land available

Indiana C+
$150,000 RTP grant to HMBA/Indy metro area offers few trails

Mississippi C+
Pockets of great trails/MTBers have no public voice

Louisiana C
Hurricane crisis unites advocates/Damage may take years to repair

Hawaii C
Gorgeous scenery, burly singletrack/Locals content to hang loose

New Jersey C
Club scene strengthening/Key resources still closed to bikes

Connecticut C
Good race scene, demanding trails/Mountain bikers need to build clout

Rhode Island C-
Experienced advocates/Parks overrun, prospects for new trails scarce


Trail systems improving/Need more clubs and political clout

IMBA Canada gaining members/East needs more advocacy organizations

Alberta B+
Trails near population centers/Nascent club scene

British Columbia A
Great riding everywhere/Unauthorized trails worrisome

Manitoba C+
New Rep in Winnipeg/Urban centers need trails

Ontario B
All styles of riding represented/Riders apathetic about trailwork

Saskatchewan B-
Regina trails a great addition/More trails needed

Quebec C-
Downhill flourishing, many strong riders/Clubs need more members to get noticed

Clubs strengthening/Bike culture only exists in pockets

Epic national trail/Few riders

World-class freeriding areas/Many regions lack trails

Increasing number of affiliated clubs/Need more individual members

Scotland A
Bike-friendly Forestry department/Frequent rain tough on trails

Wales B
Bike tourism on the rise/Forestry department says it lacks funds for repairs

England B
Access slowly increasing/150,000 miles of walking trails still closed to bikes

Strong mountain bike clubs in Belfast/Lacks purpose-built trails

National Parks Service partners with IMBA/Overcrowding near urban centers


Advocacy Groups On The Move
1. Jersey Action Riders: Teamed with local REI on Wharton State Forest project.
2. SIMBS (CANADA): South Island MTB Society has raised over $30k for trails.

3. Redding MTB Club: Huge celebration of Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.

4. SORBA-TN: Tennessee advocates are a political force.

5. ORMBA: Oregon advocates team for innovative Wilderness strategy.

Most Improved In 2005
1. New Jersey: Southern NJ sees new partnerships, new trails.

2. Georgia: SORBA chapters making big strides.

3. South Carolina: Revitalized relationship with Forest Service.

4. Arkansas: Perhaps the best trails in the Southeast.

5. Illinois: Chicagoland trail access improving.

Ski Resort Honor Roll
1. Whistler, CANADA: Model facility for lift-serviced riding.

2. Deer Valley, UT: Brilliant cross-country and downhill trails.

3. Tamarack, ID: IMBA's Trail Solutions develops state-of-the-art trail network.

4. Snowshoe, WV: Intrawest building Whistler of the East.

5. Winter Park, CO: Great variety of trails, including beginner-friendly options.


International Mountain Bicycling Association

More from International Mountain Bicycling Association:
IMBA Signs Breakthrough Agreement with National Park Service
IMBA Singletrack Update - May 2005
West Virginia Governor Proclaims June as Mountain Bike Month
Mountain Bike Groups Release Proposal for Mount Hood National Forest
Seven 2005 Kona/IMBA Freeride Grants Awarded
IMBA Singletrack Update - July 2005
Ten 2005 NORBA/IMBA Trail Tune-Up Grants Awarded
New Transportation Bill Promises More Trails
Congress Backs Take a Kid MTB-ing Initiative
Bush Rides IMBA-Built Singletrack in Idaho
CLIF Bar and IMBA Award $6,000 in Grants
IMBA Publishes New Freeride Guide with Support From Rocky Mountain Bicycles
IMBA Summit/World Mountain Bike Conference Headed to Whistler in 2006
U.S. Senate Endorses Kids on Bikes Program -- 80 Events Scheduled for Oct.1 Celebration
IMBA Singletrack Update - November 2005
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Virginia, Scotland Earn Top Marks in 2005 IMBA Report Card
IMBA and NPS Announce Twelve Mountain Bike Projects for 2006
IMBA California Campaign: March 2006 eNewsletter
Special Pricing for IMBA Summit/World Mountain Bike Conference Ends March 31
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