WHISTLER, Canada – The 2006 IMBA Summit/World Mountain Bike Conference opened in Whistler, today with a keynote address by Marion Lay. The two-time Olympian greeted 400 delegates from more than a dozen nations attending the Summit/Conference. The audience, comprised of mountain bike advocates, club leaders, land managers and members of the bicycle industry, responded warmly to Lay’s remarks on Canada’s commitment to the sustainable development of resources for the 2010 Winter Games. Lay also pointed to Whistler’s trail systems as an "phenomenal economic and environmental success story."
Morning Session Addresses Risk Management
The Summit/Conference opened with a plenary session offering analysis of current trends in risk management. IMBA’s Pete Webber and Jeff Jackson, of Algonquin College (Petawawa, ON) discussed the specific mountain biking activities that have caused the most injuries, the common lawsuits, and the key defenses to employ when facing a suit.
Webber announced the upcoming release of a new IMBA book, Managing Mountain Biking IMBA’s Guide to Recreation Strategies and Solutions, scheduled for publication in early 2007. Building on IMBA’s top-selling Trail Solutions (published in 2004), Managing Mountain Biking will be an essential reference for land managers and bicycle advocates (send inquires to Pete Webber: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Workshops Examine Trailbuilding, Ski Resort Riding, Other Topics
The afternoon Summit/Conference program offered concurrent sessions on a variety of topics, including the following:
Successful Ski Resorts
Whistler is the best example for making mountain biking economically viable at a ski resort. Tamarack Resort in Idaho has invested in the vision for a world-class mountain biking facility. Speakers: Rob McSkimming, Whistler Bike Park; Joey Klein, Trail Specialist, IMBA; Darco Cazin, Allegra Tourismus
Building Trails in Urban Ecosystems?
Minimal open space, disturbed ecosystems, and densely populated areas create a challenging environment to build trails. Facilitator: Jill Van Winkle, IMBA; Patrick Jansen, Probos; Keri McMahon, Calgary Parks; Justin Vander Pol and Jon Kennedy, Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club
Designing and Building Sustainable Trails
The basics of sustainable trailbuilding, the foundation for all time-tested and cutting edge techniques. Facilitator/Speakers: Kristin Butcher and Ryan Schutz, IMBA; Dafydd Davis, IMBA-UK; Rich Edwards, IMBA; Woody Keen, Trail Dynamics; Tony Boone, Arrowhead Trails
Day 1 Wraps with Huge Group Ride
The first day of the IMBA Summit/World Mountain Bike Conference ended with the "World’s Largest Loonie Race." Sponsored by the Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association (WORCA), the ride saw nearly 100 riders turn out for a 20-kilometer tour of Whistler’s famous mountain bike trails, followed by a barbeque dinner.
High-resolution photos of the IMBA Summit/World Mountain Bike Conference are for available for editorial use. E-mail IMBA Communications Manager Mark Eller email@example.com. (press release)