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December 14/04 10:09 am - Canada Tops on IMBA 2004 Report Card: BC Top Province, West Virginia top State


Posted by Editoress on 12/14/04
 

West Virginia, B.C. Top 2004 IMBA Report Card
Courtesy IMBA

For the first time, a state east of the Mississippi River has taken top-honors in the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Report Card.

West Virginia received the highest grade in the 2004 edition of IMBA's annual survey of mountain biking. The Mountain State has everything a mountain biker could want: endless miles of backcountry singletrack, stunning Appalachian Mountain scenery and a community of avid riders. The West Virginia Mountain Biking Association has emerged as one of the top mountain bike advocacy groups in the nation, balancing trailwork, advocacy, riding and racing to appeal to a broad spectrum of cyclists. But what really sets West Virginia apart is the support of government agencies like the state tourism department and governor's office.

Internationally, British Columbia retained its position from last year as the ultimate global mountain biking location. Whistler ski area's freeride park is the benchmark for lift-accessed mountain biking. B.C. advocates are taking a lead role on improving access by hosting the World Mountain Bike Conference in Vancouver. Finally, B.C. clubs do more than anyone to ensure the future of our sport by getting kids - sometimes by the thousands - on mountain bikes.

New Jersey received the lowest grade this year because of crowded trails, strong, anti-mountain biking opponents and trail-user conflicts. Scotland received the People's Choice award, determined by the highest grades in an online poll of IMBA members. Indiana, which got the lowest grade last year, bumped up a full letter grade in 2004 to notch the Most Improved award.

The IMBA Report Card is a tool to let IMBA members and mountain bikers know where we're doing well and where energy needs to be focused. This is the sixth edition.

"A clear trend is that mountain bike access is improving," said IMBA executive director Mike Van Abel. "Advocates are more sophisticated and land managers are more open to the sport. Places that received low Report Card grades in the past have successfully used those grades as motivation and leverage for improved trail access."

For the complete 2004 IMBA Report Card visit: imba.com

2004 IMBA International Mountain Bike Access Report Card

CANADA: A-
PHAT: TRAILS, CULTURE, NEW IMBA OFFICE
FLAT: MOUNTAIN BIKE ADVOCACY IN EAST ELUSIVE

British Columbia: A
Phat: Whistler model freeride area, kids, clubs, trails
Flat: Not much...perhaps getting too popular?

Yukon: A-
Phat: World class trails, committed advocates, naked night laps
Flat: Stronger club needed to take next step?

Ontario: A-
Phat: Progress in Ottawa & Toronto, new reps, IMBA grants
Flat: Northern communities slow to embrace cycling?

Alberta: B+
Phat: Banff, Canmore & Canadian Rockies = exceptional riding
Flat: MTB representation slow to progress?

Saskatchewan: C+
Phat: New IMBA representation, trails across Great Plains
Flat: Saskatchewan + mountain biking = tough sell?

Quebec: C
Phat: Bromont, Mt. Saint Anne offer exceptional riding & racing
Flat: Limited trail advocacy work?


ITALY: A-
PHAT: MODEL FREERIDE PARK IN FINALE LIGURE
FLAT: CLOSURES EMERGE AT LAKE GARDA

UNITED STATES: B
PHAT: MORE & BETTER ADVOCATES NATIONWIDE
FLAT: NATIONAL PARK ACCESS VERY LIMITED

ISRAEL: B
PHAT: LONG DISTANCE MTB TRAIL TRAVERSES COUNTRY
FLAT: ADVOCACY EFFORTS STILL FLEDGLING

UNITED KINGDOM: B
IMBA UK PROGRESS, EXCEPTIONAL MTB CENTERS
FLAT: MORE MEMBERS NEEDED FOR MORE CLOUT

Scotland: A-
Phat: The people's choice, sustainable trails withstand weather
Flat: More grassroots representation would earn "A" grade?

Wales: A-
Phat: Welsh Mountain Bike Initiative make MTB tourism priority
Flat: Most trail closed to bikes outside MTB centers?

England: C+
Phat: Solid core of advocates, fun bridleways
Flat: Limited singletrack access, widespread bike bans?

Northern Ireland: C
Phat: Recent agreement promises improved Belfast access
Flat: Nothing on the ground...yet?

AUSTRALIA: B
PHAT: MOUNTAIN BIKE TOURISM BEGINS TO BLOSSOM
FLAT: NEED MORE GRASSROOTS CLUBS

MEXICO: C
PHAT: TWO NEW IMBA REPS IN 2004
FLAT: CROWDS, CRIME CLOUD MEXICO CITY TRAILS

2004 IMBA U.S. Mountain Bike Access Report Card:

West Virginia: A
Phat: Governor & tourism chief support MTB
Flat: Monongahalla Wilderness bill problematic

Utah: A-
Phat: Moab, St. George, Park City world-class
Flat: Political climate leaves lands at risk

Arizona: A-
Phat: AZ Trail offers path to nirvana
Flat: Phoenix sprawl suffocates desert

Idaho: A-
Phat: New leadership, endless, epic singletrack
Flat: Boulder-Whiteclouds Wilderness Bill looms

Colorado: A-
Phat: State Parks add trails, better BLM relations
Flat: Denver needs leading advocacy group

Michigan: B+
Phat: New urban trails, REI-sponsored trail clinics
Flat: DNR budget woes

Virginia: B+
Phat: Strong advocates lead Wilderness compromise
Flat: Carriage roads closed in Shenandoah NP

New Mexico: B+
Phat: First state to officially partner with IMBA
Flat: Otero moving slower than an armadillo

Alaska: B+
Phat: Global warming dries trails, clubs improve
Flat: Riding on cross-country ski trails sucks

Washington: B+
Phat: BBTC reaches upper echelon, varied trails
Flat: Last minute Wilderness Bill controversial

Texas: B+
Phat: Dallas, Houston star clubs, Trail Docs blaze
Flat: Cowboy ethics pit horses against bikes

New Hampshire: B+
Phat: Advocates dialing White Mtn. Plan
Flat: Urban sprawl in south, need more Jinxberrys

South Dakota: B+
Phat: Black Hills trails hidden gem
Flat: State promo needed to reach next level

Massachusetts: B+
Phat: Strong partnerships, trails for all abilities
Flat: Crowded urban trails, Damon doesn't ride

Maryland: B+
Phat: Federal trail grants fund MORE singletrack
Flat: Opponents well organized, well credentialed

Missouri: B+
Phat: Land managers seek bikers advice
Flat: More trails needed in the north

Wyoming: B
Phat: Freeride scene blossoming in Tetons
Flat: Snowmobiles in Yellowstone, but no bikes?

Wisconsin: B
Phat: WORBA rocks, great events, cycling culture
Flat: Limited options = crowded trails

Georgia: B
Phat: Chattahoochee NF Plan outstanding for MTB
Flat: Atlanta urban sprawl, car culture

Tennessee: B
Phat: Chattanooga aims for 100 miles by 2010
Flat: Getting riders involved is challenging

Florida: B
Phat: Urban pockets of singletrack heaven
Flat: Trails hammered and closed by hurricanes

North Carolina: B
Phat: Western singletrack, freeriding culture
Flat: More advocates and trails needed in east

Arkansas: B
Phat: Womble, Sylamore create MTB destinations
Flat: Better MTB organization needed to raise bar

North Dakota: B
Phat: Minot A.B. adds new trails
Flat: Sierra Club oppose Maah Daah Hey growth

South Carolina: B
Phat: Top notch trailbuilders, FORKS area singletrack
Flat: Land manager relations still mending

Oregon: B
Phat: Super advocates forming statewide group
Flat: Wilderness bill could close 200 miles of trail

Oklahoma: B
Phat: Proactive land managers who ride
Flat: Clubs need reinvigorating

Minnesota: B
Phat: Minneapolis club raises money, builds trail
Flat: Advocates on Lake Superior must unify

Kentucky: B
Phat: New trails in Louisville, statewide website
Flat: New blood hard to find

New York: B
Phat: Advocates break through in NYC
Flat: Old school land management, Yanks choke

Ohio: B
Phat: Stellar organization, shared-use partnership
Flat: Cleveland access not rock and roll...yet

Nevada: B-
Phat: Small towns using MTB to boost economy
Flat: Zero MTB imput on Wilderness bill

Montana: B-
Phat: Lots of wild country, Missoula improved
Flat: State unorganized, ATVs turn trails to roads

Pennsylvania: B-
Phat: State getting organized, Philly improved
Flat: No progress with PA Game Commission

Kansas: B-
Phat: Witchita rolling, new singletrack harvest
Flat: Private property excludes trails

California: B-
Phat: Savvy advocates; awesome, diverse riding
Flat: Wilderness issue relentless, Nisene Marks

Illinois: B-
Phat: Statewide organization, Joliet Freeride Park
Flat: Opening trails like pulling teeth

Nebraska: B-
Phat: Omaha club reorganized and charging
Flat: Limited trails and cycling culture

Vermont: B-
Phat: Legit VT singletrack as good as anywhere
Flat: Blanket bike bans, land use conflict

Maine: C+
Phat: Bradbury Mtn State Park, New NEMBA chapter
Flat: Coordinated advocacy remains elusive

Iowa: C+
Phat: Iowa Corps partnership solid
Flat: Calling more riders to get involved

Connecticut: C+
Phat: Multiple technical riding areas
Flat: 700 miles of trail off-limits to bikes

Delaware: C+
Phat: Tiny state boasts solid singletrack
Flat: Lots of people, little land

Indiana: C+
Phat: 2003 grade leveraged for new trails
Flat: Piecemeal land parcels temper progress

Mississippi: C+
Phat: Homochitto singletrack best in region
Flat: Conflict with motorized, little cycling culture

Louisiana: C
Phat: Small steps boost mountain biking
Flat: Most of New Orleans is below sea-level

Alabama: C
Phat: BUMP grinds on, good rolling trails statewide
Flat: Hurricanes bashed singletrack

Rhode Island: C
Phat: "Road" Island has pockets of singletrack
Flat: See Delaware

Hawaii: C
Phat: Exotic scenery, several amazing rides
Flat: MTB organization nearly non-existent

New Jersey: C-
Phat: Pockets of diverse, outstanding riding
Flat: Crowded trails=conflict, strong opponents

 


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