Mountain Biking - Frustrated and at a loss. (A little long)
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07-23-03, 03:12 PM
I wanted to ask y'all for your opinions. I have been working with a local group to develop and manage trails on 2500 acres of reclaimed strip mine land. It is a nice piece of property that the State of Indiana is giving a diverse group. Representatives from horse back riding, ATVs, motorcycles, Jeeps, trucks and mountain bikers. The idea is to share the land and trail system among the groups, with some trails being used by all (mostly gravel roads), with others limited to specific uses.
Sounds like a great idea to me, so I got involved. With more and more trail being closed to bikers, as well as these other groups, I thought it was great the State was doing this. The problem is I can't get any other MTB people involved. The other groups are working closely to define the best use, but I am the only MTB person.
I have contacted the Hoosier Mountain Bike folks and received no response. There used to be a local mountain bike club, but it folded. I know I am not the only dirt rider in the area because I see people riding what trails we do have all of the time. I am thinking of seeing if the local bike shops can help spread the word.
Any other suggestions or ideas on how to get the word out? Apparently other MTB clubs have been contacted, but have not responded so far. What does it take to get some input to help make these great MTB trails? Mine shouldn't be the only opinion, should it? :confused:
Thanks for listening...any thoughts?
07-23-03, 03:21 PM
If I lived in your state I'd glady help.
07-24-03, 12:49 AM
I think working with a bike club or organization is the way to go short of creating one yourself. My club generated more interest by posting flyers at all the local area bikeshops for meetings and periodically show movies from the kranked and north shore extreme series. once the membership base is there you can usually persuade a few to help out with trail advocacy. keep trying, some will listen eventually.
07-24-03, 01:14 AM
I would shave my arms, cover my body in rancid mayonnaise and hump a nun.
Then id just give up on the trail thing.:(
First, talk to the local shops and get them on board. I mean really behind the idea. They come into contact w/ MTBers everyday and can really help spread the word. Ask to post flyers at the shop. They have a vested interest in keeping trails open because it creates and maintains customers for them. Gently remind them of this is they aren't receptive for some reason.
Next, organize a preliminary meeting for just the MTB people so you can introduce everyone to what is going on. Again, post flyers. See if one of the local shops will let you hold the meeting there. It brings customers in for them and the setting is right. If not, have it in your back yard. Now, here is the important part: Get beer and announce this on the flyer. Free beer always brings people out. A 1/4 keg will cost you around $50, some smaller brewers are now doing 1/6 kegs (5 gallons) around $35. Sure, it comes out of your own pocket, but in the long run it will be worth it. If you were a skier, that's less than one day's lift ticket. Also, you might be able to get the shop to split the cost with you. Or, a local micro-brewer might be persuaded to donate a keg.
Alright, you've had the first meeting, people have drank your beer, how do you keep the interest? Organize and lead a weekly group ride. This gets people out, keeps you in contact with them and builds a group of people who have a stake in the new trails. They in turn help spread the word. Offer to start the ride at the local shop to keep them involved.
Also, contact IMBA and get in touch with their state representative.
Good luck. :beer:
07-24-03, 07:45 AM
The very first thing I would do is contact IMBA www.imba.com they are THE voice of mountain bikers in the advocacy field worldwide. I'm SURE they can put you in contact with some ACTIVE clubs in your state.
Also, if you get a chance, pick up any issue of BIKE magazine. Toward the back they have a REGIONAL section where local issues, races and advocacy is going on. There is always an e-mail for the person covering your area. Send them an e-mail, and they'll possibly print a "Call to Arms" through their NATIONWIDE publication.
I would also log on and register at www.ridemonkey.com and see if anyone there is local and active in any clubs.
Do a google for your area and see if it turns up any local organized clubs. I did that down here in FL and turned up about 5 active groups.
Definately hit the Local Bike shops. Find out about any local XC races. Get the e-mail of the Race Promoters and contact them. Racer types are very involved and have a tremendous statewide network as most racers travel and make friends all over the state.
If I lived there, I'd offer my assistance. The hardest thing is getting people involved, and IMBA would be my first stop!
This might help you:
You can click on the reviewers name and send them an email. It may be a lengthy process but there is a crap-load of ppl on the list.
07-24-03, 08:23 AM
Contact the IMBA and see if they can send some contacts of groups/people in the area that can help
Originally posted by a2psyklnut
Also, if you get a chance, pick up any issue of BIKE magazine. Toward the back they have a REGIONAL section where local issues, races and advocacy is going on. There is always an e-mail for the person covering your area. Send them an e-mail, and they'll possibly print a "Call to Arms" through their NATIONWIDE publication. Good idea. Also, Dirt Rag magazine has a similar Local Advocacy section. Send a note to them also.
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