Beginning Friday, March 28, IMBA Europe will kick off a weekend summit loaded with trip-wire topics sensitive to mountain bike advocates, trail experts, club leaders, grassroots organizers, land managers, guides and industry leaders. The event will provides premium opportunities for networking, learning and knowledge-sharing.
What to expect?
Trail building in sensitive, ecological environments, EU grants for cycling, strategies for engaging women and local retailers, border-crossing, long distance mountain bike routes, MTB guide programs and certification headline part of the weekend program intended to advance mountain biking deeper into the consciousness of government, its citizens and consumers at large.
The event, set against the backdrop of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park northwest of Madrid, will convene government officials, private entrepreneurs, industry influencers, and IMBA representatives from all over Europe to effect change in the future of mountain biking in Europe. Featured speakers are Patrick Jansen, trail builder, and Director of Probos Institute for Forestry, Forest Products and Services; Claude Balsiger, founder of the Swiss Bike Guide program, and editor of Ride Magazine; Adam Bodor, Director EuroVelo, Cycling Tourism and Regional Policy at the European Cyclists' Federation and Jonathan Halstead, planning visionary for long distance mountain bike routes. They will lead part of the weekend's presentations and breakout sessions, which will draw upon the successes and challenges on the trail to greater access, responsible resource management, and increasing participation in mountain biking.
Bring your riding gear
Riding some of the local trails surrounding the venue is a great way to open your weekend on Friday, followed by the Summit's opening reception from 8-10 p.m. Saturday starts off with a general assembly of IMBA's European members and then opens the doors to the public for Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning sessions. On Saturday night, participants are invited to a BBQ with beers and music, sponsored by Orbea. The weekend concludes with more riding around the Sierra Guadarrama park on Sunday afternoon.
IMBA Europe's third summit will be a dual session combining the general assembly, which is exclusive to nation members and corporate supporters of IMBA, with presentations and break out sessions, which are open to the public.
When: 28-30 March. Opening Friday at 8 pm, closing Sunday at 2 pm
Where: Villa Castora, Cercedilla
Getting there and away: Iberia and other major EU airlines, as well as budget airline Ryan Air have daily flights to Madrid. From Madrid, you can take the train to Cercedilla. More detailed information will follow.
Weather: Weather in late March can range from sunny and warm to cool and rainy; Cercedilla is a mountain town and can be cooler than down lower in Madrid.
Bikes: Rental bikes are available at several bike shops in Cercedilla. A limited number of demo bikes will be provided by Orbea.