PeopleForBikes, the movement to make bicycling better for everyone, reaffirmed its commitment to the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) with an agreement to support IMBA's work developing mountain biking nationwide. Under the agreement, PeopleForBikes (PFB) has signed on as a top-level sponsor of the IMBA World Summit, August 20-24 in Steamboat Springs, CO. PFB will also direct additional financial support in 2014 to back IMBA's work to build new places to ride and better connect the two organizations' vast networks.
“Our goal is to make every bike ride better, whether that ride takes you on trails, down to the grocery store, or all the way across town," said Tim Blumenthal, President of PFB. “We see IMBA as a key partner and we admire their time-tested efforts to make mountain biking better and more accessible for all Americans.”
Surveys of PFB 800,000 members indicate more than 60% ride mountain bikes. IMBA has a local network of 160 chapters and 400 supporting organizations—non-profit groups—that work to improve mountain biking in all 50 states. The new, expanded alliance will focus on creating more trails, pathways, bike lanes and bike parks. Two specific areas of collaboration include IMBA's MTB Project mapping effort and IMBA's Bike Park Initiative, a mountain bike analog to PFB's Green Lane Project.
“IMBA’s mission to create and protect great mountain biking is extremely well aligned with PeopleForBikes and we’re very grateful for their support,” said Rich Cook, IMBA Director of Development. “If we can bring our two large networks together and work on shared goals we’ll have a much louder voice for bicycling at the state and federal levels. It’s a classic example of 1+1=3. Together we’re stronger."
In 2013, PFB helped fund IMBA’s Bike Park Initiative with a goal to help cities initiate model bike parks across the country. Projects are now active in Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Knoxville, TN; Louisville, KY; Orange County, CA; and Tucson, AZ. IMBA's latest book, Bike Parks: IMBA's Guide to Creating New-School Riding Facilities, due to be published this summer was also funded in part by PFB.
PeopleForBikes has been a major supporter of IMBA’s work since 2001, backing IMBA’s Washington, DC advocacy efforts for many years. In 2010, PFB was also a lead donor in IMBA’s Public Lands Initiative—contributing $100,000 that was later matched by Trek, Specialized, SRAM and 32 members of the bicycle industry. The Public Lands Initiative generated $600,000 and continues to power IMBA's bike and public land policy work today.