Twenty five — it’s a number you’ll be seeing a lot of from IMBA this year as we celebrate our founding in 1988. To get the silver anniversary year underway we’ll start with a look at some of last year’s successes in Canada, and around the world:

1. Built or designed 450 miles of trail and 13 bike parks in 8 different countries

IMBA Trail Solutions is the international leader in developing singletrack trails, with staff based in five countries, including Canada and the U.S.. In 2012, the professional trail builders had their best year yet, working with IMBA clubs and chapters and land managers around the world to design, build, and consult.

2. IMBA club and chapter members contributed more than 700,000 volunteer hours

A survey conducted in 2012 of IMBA’s chapters and clubs documented a powerful devotion to pubic service. We estimate that the total population of 750 chapters/clubs was responsible for 707,102 hours of volunteer work in 2011, representing a contribution worth more than $15 million to public lands around the world.

3. Launched an innovative online mapping program

Over the next several years, thanks to a grant from Shimano and with participation from IMBA clubs, chapters and advocates, IMBA aims to document both the great singletrack and the human stories of North America’s best trails. In 2012, IMBA hired a mapping specialist and began an effort to both document IMBA Epics and train clubs and chapters to participate in the mapping project at a grassroots level.

4. Taught thousands of mountain bikers how to build fun, sustainable trails

IMBA’s three Trail Care Crews (one in Canada, and two in the U.S.) travelled over 44,000 kilometres in 2012, covering six provinces, 22 states and working in 80 unique locations. The crew left behind best practices for sustainable trail building and group organization for clubs, how to manage mountain bikers for land managers, and the economic and wellness benefits of natural surface trails for city officials.

5. Partnered with Quebec’s biggest bicycling organization

Last month, IMBA Canada signed a MOU with Vélo Québec, seeking to build capacity, and improve knowledge and resources for mountain bikers in Quebec. This includes joint VQ/IMBA membership for clubs and retailers in the province.

6. Announced a partnership with the International Mountain Bike Instructor Certification (IMIC) program

IMIC is the industry-leading mountain bike certification provider, founded by former professional mountain bike racer Shaums March. At the IMBA World Summit in October, IMBA announced a merger with IMIC and plans to being providing training and certification for mountain bike skills instructors in 2013.

7. Hosted 400 mountain bike enthusiasts and advocates at the sixth IMBA World Summit

IMBA’s sixth biennial World Summit ran from Oct. 9-13, 2012, in Santa Fe, NM. The international mountain bike advocacy, educational, and networking gathering opened at full capacity, with 350 delegates registered for the three-day program, 100 additional attendees signed up for pre-conference sessions, and at least 10 countries represented.

8. Supported 10,000 kids on bikes with the ninth-annual IMBA Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

IMBA’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day is a worldwide initiative to get kids on bikes and in the dirt. In 2012, IMBA clubs and chapters took an estimated 10,000 kids riding the first weekend of October 2012. In June, IMBA also launched its first-ever publication dedicated to young mountain bikers, IMBA Trail News Youth Edition, thanks to a generous grant from Shimano.

9. Continued to grow partnership with Canada’s national land manager

IMBA Canada collaborates with Parks Canada on program like the IMBA Canada Trail Care Crew, Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, and Parks Canada’s Learn to Camp / Toronto Blue Jays ‘Campout.’ Last year, we awarded the 2012 Leadership Award to Parks’ Ed Jager, Director of Visitor Experience, in recognition of the organization’s progressive thinking and commitment to mountain biking.

10. Expanded the Model Trails program

Each year, IMBA recognizes outstanding mountain bike trails and locations with Model Trails awards. The goal of the Model Trails program is to inspire and inform, so we all have more great places to ride. In 2012, IMBA designated four new Ride Centers, four new Flow Country trails, and eight additional Epic rides, including BC’s Warner Lake in the South Chilcotans.

11. Represented Canadian mountain bikers at meetings, industry events, and festivals

IMBA Canada’s staff regularly attend important events around the country such as the Toronto Bike Show, Ontario Trailblazing Festival, MEC Bikefests, Expocycle, plus countless other stakeholder meetings and roundtables to share information and best practices, and ensure that mountain bikers’ interests are well represented.

12. Enhanced the benefits of membership

IMBA Canada continued to expand the benefits offered to members in 2012, including deals on Smith Optics and Garmin products, additional insurance options with Oasis, and 10% off purchases on the IMBA Canada store and events.

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