California may close 100 state parks

Plus more mountain bike news from the state

Thousands of legal trails could be compromised in California if parks are closed.

Reports suggest California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is prepared to close as many as 100 state parks after Labor Day, 7 September.


The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is urging its California affiliated clubs and mountain bike patrols to contact the state parks they use in their areas and discuss with them ways that the mountain bike community can help relieve the financial stresses on individual parks.

Nationwide, mountain bikers volunteer almost a million hours on public trails and other facilities annually. They repair trails, keep an eye on maintenance issues and perform other tasks as determined by park staff.

“Mountain bikers have partnered with California parks on literally hundreds of projects over the years, providing free labour and a heartfelt desire to help protect and preserve these public resources,” said Tom Ward, IMBA’s policy advisor in California. “The specific services our volunteers provide will be unique to each park. We hope to create action plans with a number of parks in the next several weeks.”

Ward served as a director of recreation during a 20-year career with California State Parks. He notes that the final list of which parks stay open may be influenced by the number of local groups that come forward to help during the financial crisis.

Ward is available to assist clubs in making agreements with their local state parks. His phone number is 916-441-6035.

Redding Mountain Bike Club instrumental in opening Whiskeytown Trail

The Whiskeytown National Recreation Area has opened a new trail, and according to park superintendent Jim Milestone, the Redding Mountain Bike Club was a key player in providing the resources to build it.

A ceremonial “golden spike” (actually made of bronze) was driven into a boulder at the new Shasta-Trinity trail as part of a grand opening ceremony on Saturday. The gold rush of 1849 happened near Redding.

IMBA members receive discounts on Syncros products

Syncros Applied Technologies are offering IMBA members and volunteers discount coupons for products as a reward for their support of mountain biking communities and infrastructure.

The company will give a 25 percent discount on retail prices for IMBA members, a 40 percent discount for IMBA trail builders and a 65 percent discount for member retailers who let employees work on IMBA-sanctioned projects.

“Syncros appreciates all of the time and resources that mountain bike enthusiasts give to help IMBA maintain the trails that we all benefit from riding,” said Steve Parke, general manager of Syncros. “We hope our partnership with IMBA will reinforce the Syncros brand as one that supports riders on their bikes and within their mountain biking communities.”

“IMBA is supported by a grassroots network of members, so we really value the support of a grassroots brand like Syncros,” said Mike Van Abel, IMBA executive director. “It’s great to have a partner that keeps our member benefits program strong and robust.”

IMBA member retailers can submit their IMBA project proposals starting next month to the password-protected portion of Project proposals should include:

1. Evidence of six hours of project work per team member

2. Team name, contact phone number, email address and mailing address

3. The project’s “who, what, where, when, why, how”

4. Supporting photos, maps or other visuals

Apply now for IMBA/ClifBar trail preservation grants

IMBA and ClifBar are accepting applications for 10 IMBA/ClifBar trail preservation grants worth US$500 each. These grants support projects that preserve and enhance trail access, promote environmental education and inspire conservation in the mountain biking community. The grants will be awarded to IMBA affiliated clubs that meet the project criteria. The application deadline is 1 September 2009.


“Small grants like this are often the catalyst that can spark a much larger project and fundraising effort. The ClifBar program has inspired dozens of sustainably designed trails all over the country,” said IMBA development director Rich Cook.