Friday, January 27, 2006

Specialized Shindig: Announcing IMBA California

Specialized held a party at it's Morgan Hill headquarters to welcome the East and West IMBA trail care crews who will be leading trail work at Henry Coe this weekend. Specialized provided beer, pizza, T-shirts and water bottles. It was a good opportunity to meet and socialize with local advocates.

Ariadne Delon Scott - Specialized's advocacy director, gave a brief presentation on the history of the companies advocacy efforts. Did you know that there is a forest in Japan named after Specialized? Now you do. Ariadne made a stunning announcement that Specialized is underwriting IMBA California with it's first full time staffer Tom Ward.

Tom was the manager of recreation for California State Parks but retired last year. He is an avid mountian bikers and has been a champion of mountain bike access and advocacy efforts. He was in government for over 30 years and is in a great position to navigate though the bureacratic red tape which prevents access to public lands for mountain bikers. Among his projects will be working with the US Forest Service to allow mountain bikes in California wilderness areas.

Ariadne presented Tom with a new 2006 S-works Stumpjumper FSR. Tom was genuinely surprised. I took a nice close look at this bike and it's a really sweet ride. Specialized knows how to take care of thier boy.

Mountain biking and IMBA started in California. This state also has the most IMBA members, excellent riding, the best weather and lots of bike companies. We also have a lot of land access issues. It's great to have IMBA representation for California and I'm looking forward to working with Tom to open more trails in Santa Cruz county.

This is a very good development for mountain biking in California.


Anonymous said...

Good for Specialized for taking some leadership in advocacy and access. Hopefully, other bike companies will get on board. If we don't have places to ride our bikes, they'll find it hard to sell bikes.

Mark Davidson said...

Specialized has been a silent partner in advocacy efforts for years. They have been modest about it in the past now they are showing a stronger commitment by funding this position.

I think it's great that bike companies are getting behind advocacy efforts. It's in their best interests to help open new trails and broaden their market.

Another great local company is Fox Racing Shox. Fox was responsible for the "Free the Trail" program which raised money for local and national advocacy groups. Fox is also a proud supporter of NorCAMBA. In fact, all proceeds from the Friday showing of "Hypnosis" will be given to NorCAMBA.