IMBA’s ED Dave Wiens Aims to Unite Mountain Bikers and Design a Way Forward that Gets our Voice Heard
Dave Wiens, Executive Director of the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) joins us to discuss the future of mountain biking
Are you a mountain biker? We used to think that question didn’t need to be asked, because if you were, you knew it.
But mountain biking is unique (in many ways) in that there’s access in so many regions and communities for so many levels of riders. The question ‘are you a mountain biker’ really needs to be rolled out to a far larger group of people.
Verde works across many markets within outdoor active lifestyle. The non-profits in trail, for example, have six-figure memberships. IMBA has stayed the same size for many years – around 30,000 people. The organization knows that there are many, many more riders out there, they just need to discover IMBA and sign up.
That’s partially the purpose of this episode of the Take Me Outdoors podcast. There are other purposes behind it too – but bolstering the numbers of mountain bikers in the national advocacy, access and educational conversation IS THE MOST important.
If ever there was a time for us to be heard and taken seriously, it is NOW.
Here we are, mid-year, during one of the craziest years in conservation, government regulation, outdoor sports and recreation, and frankly, in business. The Trump Administration and the way we engage with and discover trail sports like mountain biking is changing – and fast.
This change is affecting access. It’s also affecting how we come together as a passionate ‘user group’ united by the love of a ribbon of single track weaving through high-desert sagebrush or desert or forest.
Enter the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA). This non-profit, headquartered in Boulder, Colo., is turning 30 next year. And, with that pivotal anniversary and the precipitous changes in participation, variation of trail users and the public lands landscape – access to great places to ride has never been in more of a precarious position.
That’s why today’s episode of the Take Me Outdoors podcast is a super important one.
Dave Wiens joins us today. Dave is the Executive Director of IMBA and we couldn’t be more fortunate to have one of us at the helm of our organization at such a cruxy time.
He’s now leading IMBA from an incredible background. Dave founded and led Gunnison Trails, and launched the The Original Growler, an iconic Gunnison, Colo.-based mountain bike race that takes place over Memorial Day weekend. He’s also a founder of the Mountain Sports program at Western State Colorado University (also in Gunnison). And, as an aside, he’s an inductee of the Mountain Biking Hall of Fame.
Credentials aside, Dave embodies what it means to be passionate about living for, and loving, a trail sport.
“Mountain biking has given me everything that’s important to me in life,” Wiens said.
Dave’s here to further mountain biking internationally. He’s open minded. He listens. And? He shows up and implements!
If you love mountain biking, or know someone who does, please share this episode with them and also, send them to IMBA.com. If ever there was a time for us to unite, it’s now. Mountain bikers need to have their voice heard as new policy and approaches to access are developing under this new presidential administration. Thanks for listening!
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