Off the beaten track
The main theme of the summit “Off the beaten track” is about challenging the preconceived ideas of what mountain biking is and for whom. It’s rethinking our relationships with nature and how we use the word ‘sustainability’ in everything we do- from trails, to tourism, rural development, the way we travel to participation and behaviour. It’s about reflecting upon the level of use that an area can receive without suffering negative impacts to its environmental resources or the visitor experience.
The Summit program will be divided into two sub themes – Tourism and Trails and Participation and Trends – over the Thursday and Friday. The final day of the Summit (Saturday) will include a full day of riding at the Vivabike Festival.
Day one – Tourism and trails
Day one of the Summit will look into topics like the benefits of trail development for communities; how diversifying the offering of destinations can attract new users; why creating year round offers is a solution to recreational carrying capacity issues.
Tourism is central to realising the economic potential of trails, as highly desirable destinations. It is a way in which rural places can diversify their economy, serving as an economic boost for communities in transition, for example ski resorts.
Day two – Participation and community
Day two of the Summit will dive deeper into new trends in off-road cycling, user demands, the shifting identity of the ‘mountain biker’ and how we (the MTB community) can influence growth and participation through changing the perceived image of the sport. If we want to encourage more people to ride bikes, what are framework considerations that should be taken into consideration? From lobbying for cycling-friendly policies and funding programs to responding to the policy agenda of other sectors such as the health, forestry and mobility sector or DG Climate Action.
What is the IMBA Europe Summit?
The IMBA European Mountain Bike Summits have been held annually since 2014. Initially, to bring IMBA Europe’s widespread collective of member organisations together to share good practices, start new projects and discuss trends and challenges in mountain biking. Over the course of years, the IMBA Summits have attracted an increasingly diverse range of participants and organisations. From mountain bike advocacy groups, trail builders and professionals in the bicycle and tourism industry, to land managers, academics, public authorities, and health care practitioners. More and more professionals are working in the emerging domain of mountain biking and the need to learn from each other, exchange knowledge, to get inspired and build partnerships has only increased.
The European Mountain Bike Summit is a two-to-three-day event, combining keynote speeches from opinion leaders with workshops, site visits, project meetings, panel debates and social activities, including daily (group) rides.
“Reframing Mountain Biking”- 2022 Summit
Val di Sole / June 1st -4th 2022
The 10th edition of the IMBA Europe Summit attracted a wide range of attendees and guest speakers from around World, all with one common goal and vision- to secure a bright future for mountain biking. Through keynote presentations, panel discussions and breakout sessions, we reflected on the past, the present and the future of mountain biking.
IMBA Summits are a place where all key stakeholders in the mountain biking sector can gather to learn from one another, have open and honest conversations, form new relationships, and build networks. Our mission was to provide a platform to exchange new ideas, create conversation and lead thought-provoking discussions.
The central theme of the Summit, ‘Reframing Mountain Biking”, highlighted the trends and challenges of a sport that has expanded from something niche, into a sport that can be, and should be accessible for a wider audience. The topics of the Summit challenged attendees to rethink sustainability not only in terms of how we are building trails, but rather the broader sustainability issues associated with outdoor sports. Within reframing mountain biking, we need to reframe our identity as mountain bikers, and find solutions to make the sport more accessible and inclusive to a wider audience.