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A lot of the following is specifically addressed to the Black Rock locals, but hey, as we learned at the conference - we're all locals really!

IMBA Summit banner at Telus Conference Center

(Currently preparing the MANY pages of notes taken by group during conference - in the meantime, here's an overview of what went down...)

Local mountain bike riders/advocates Rich Bontrager, Chris Eggen, Joe Rykowski, Scott, and Anthony attended the full IMBA Summit / World MTB Conference up in Whistler, B.C. from June 20-23rd.

There were delegates from 15 different countries that we had the opportunity to network with and showcase Black Rock. It's a mind blowing thing when you are watching a bear 5 feet from the A-Line trail as riders whip past and a rider from South Africa comments that it's the lions they have to watch out for where he rides... And they typically always carry guns. Different worlds.

We provided the 2005 Black Rock DVD to the A/V team, and they played it dozens of times. On Friday night, before the film festival it was played full-length several times with the audio on - as people streamed in the doors to find a seat before the main show. People from Whistler and all over the world watched that vid -- was unreal to see them point and obviously react to what they saw of Black Rock...

(click "Read More" for lots more pictures)

Some of the main "take aways" by the team for Black Rock are (and this is the short list - these are just the primary things):

1. Need to improve on-trail signage to warn of "unreasonable" risks (but not go overboard) - plan "Emergency Transfer Points" and cooperate with local emergency personnel to provide info

2. Need to host regular "fun" events like monthly BBQ and "Banzai" race (think fun!)

3. Risk Management plan - cooperate with ODF as part of long-term plan

4. Involve the YOUTH more! Cooperate with youth organizations - build a beginner skills area (there's couple of different skills areas at Whistler just for kids and family to enjoy)

bear at Gables condo
Shortly after arriving in Whistler and settling into the Gables condo...

It was clear we "weren't in Kansas" anymore...

Saw more bears than I've ever seen before - roaming all over the mountain... and even around the condos. Wasn't a trip up the lift that we didn't see a bear. They're cool though - just like big shy dogs with claws basically.

Rich and Chris
Met lots of people from all over who were just like us - digging trail and riding...

It was surprising how many people had heard about Black Rock down in Falls City, Oregon -- many who had already ridden there or who planned to go soon! (picture of Rich Bontrager chatting with another delegate at conference)

conference break
Group waiting at Telus Conference center for the walk-thru of local trails.

Charlie and Shawn of Whistler Bike Park

Charlie and Shawn of Whistler Bike Park

walk-thru of A-Line
A-Line walk-thru at Whistler Bike Park

This is one of the most popular trails at Whistler - during peak of summer season 800 - 1,000 riders PER DAY hit this trail! The B-Line (intermediate) trail was dug first and is more popular than A-Line. Both include flowy berms and tabled dirt jumps. These are high speed jumping trails.

They close this trail during the winter ski season, but snowboarders still duck under the fence and hit up this trail (it's very much like a 4-cross course for them).

More than 2 MILLION skiers hit the slopes, but just 120,000 mountain bike riders come to ride during spring/summer months.

The trail build crew typically consists of 8 - 10 people using couple of mini-excavators, a dozer, and some ATV's with dumper trailers. They're continually maintaining A-Line and changing it slightly each season - as riders skills get better the length of tables has increased to add challenge. Tabled jumps on A-Line are from 18' - 23' now with some optional stump jumps thrown in off side kickers.

The group pictured here includes people from other resorts (planners and operators) from Nevada and other places in B.C., land owners, plus riders/advocates just scoping out the trail...

We learned that Black Rock needs signs like this (numbered Emergency Transfer Points) - and we should coordinate with the local emergency personnel so they are familiar with the trails and the sort of injuries they'd be typically be encountering.

expert panel

Each of us went to different "break out" presentations - so we'd learn as much as possible. For example, Chris Eggen went to presentation about "spotting trends in the industry" while Rich went to "Risk Management" and Joe Rykowski went to "Current and cutting-edge Trail Building Solutions".

Pictured above is an expert panel during the presentation about Trail Building. These guys operate trail building businesses - it's what they DO FOR A LIVING - mostly focused on using mechanized tools (trail dozers, ditchwitch, mini-excavators, etc).

lunch - with Black Rock video playing in background
Believe it or not, that's Ryan Powell's "2005 Black Rock" video playing in the background as people were on lunch break. They played a few different independent "locals" videos during the conference - but the Black Rock video seemed to get the most play (and was the ONLY one played/looped prior to the Friday night film festival!)

Ryan Leech and Kris Holms
Ryan Leech and Kris Holms did a trials demo during the banquet dinner Thursday night...

That was some crazy stuff!

Chris and Rich
And yes, we did have a few opportunities to hit the Whistler Bike Park...

(Watch for helmetcam footage in the Local Videos soon!)

In addition, the notes are being compiled by local team - and will be shared here for all (soon)... The IMBA group is also putting together notes from the entire conference (but those won't be available until late July and might not have the same "local" focus).

Next BRMBA trail meeting will most likely focus heavily on what was learned during the conference. Keep an eye out for info...

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