Monday, October 30, 2006

Yukon study about the Market Potential for MTB Tourism

I've been pretty excited about the potential for developing mtb tourism for Santa Cruz county. I believe that tourism is the best framework in order to open more trails and create more volunteer participation in advocacy and trail work. I believe that mountain bike tourism has the potential to develop more economic activity for the local bike industry and the tourism economy of Santa Cruz.

The other day I did a Google search to find information on the demographics of people who would engage in mountain bike tourism. I hit a gold mine when I found this document from the Yukon Tourism and Culture resource center:

Exploring the Market Potential for Yukon Mountain Bike Tourism (PDF 51 pages, 5.05MB)

(NOTE: printing this document pegged my printer at work for about 45 minutes due to the white on black section boxes)

This is a recent document (March 2005) and it's quite comprehensive. Even if you aren't interested in developing a tourist destination, this is a good overview of the demographics of mountain bikers.

Part 1 discusses the history and global demographics of mountain biking. Part 2 talks about the economic impact of various mountain bike related events. Part 3 has case studies of existing mtb destinations and some lesson learned for aspiring destinations. Part 4 and 5 discusses the assets of the Yukon Territories and outlines a strategy for how they can capitalize on the mountain bike tourism market.

When you look at the geographic and logistical challenges facing the Yukon to implement this plan, it seem much easier for Santa Cruz to develop and market itself as a mountain bike destination.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day was a huge success!

The second annual "Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day" at Wilder Ranch State Park was a great success. We couldn't have had a better day. The weather was perfect. Not too hot, not too cold and no wind.

We had 25 kids participate ranging in age from 3 - 13 years old riding all types of set ups including Burley trailers, front seats, rear seats, training wheels and a wide variety of kids bikes.

Thanks to California State Parks including Rangers Joseph Connors and Brett Reid for the logistical support and escort. Thanks to interpreter Carolyn Schimandle for arranging the activities and blacksmith. Also, thanks to Piet Canin of Bike2Work/SCBIC, Dave Gittelman of Another Bike Shop and Berri Michel of the Bicycle Trip for donating raffle items and stickers. Thanks to IMBA/Clif Bar for the yummy donation of Z-bars. The kids loved them!

Thanks to volunteers Daryl Breuninger, Eve Davidson, Rich Henthorn, Sebastien Praly and Geoff Smith for donating your time. I really appreciate all your help on putting on this event.

Finally, thanks to all the participants and volunteers for giving the kids a very positive outdoor experience. We are genuinely feel blessed that we live in an area that has an abundance of great parks. With childhood obesity on the rise, an event like this can introduce our kids to a healthy outdoor activity like mountain biking. Mountain biking is a great activity which builds confidence, fitness and an appreciation for the wonderful parks that we have in this area.