31 January 2017

Águeda to host 2017 IMBA Europe mountain bike Summit

Portugal will be the next stop for IMBA Europe’s annual mountain bike Summit. After the well received 2016 Summit at SRAM’s  European Development & Training Centre in Schweinfurt (GER), it’s now up to the municipality of Águeda to add its own distinct flavour to the 2017 Summit which will take place from 7-9th of April.

Águeda combines its reputation of a famous urban art city with brand new mountain bike infrastructure and a rugged landscape with lots of natural trails. The Aveiro region, in which Águeda is located, is home of the Portugal Bike Value project. This project attracts cycling related business to the region, including the integration with technology centres, universities and local authorities.

“I have met Mr. Edson Santos, the Sports Alderman of Águeda, two years ago at our summit in France and we’re excited to see how this municipality embraced mountain biking since then by investing in better trails and an urban bike park”, said Harold Veldkamp, IMBA Europe’s President. “Águeda is standing on the threshold to become that mountain bike friendly community we all hope for. Not only by investing in new trails but also by their objective to grow local participation”. That why I believe this is the right momentum to organize our annual Summit in Águeda”.

Representatives from mountain bike advocacy groups, land management agencies, tourism operators, municipalities and the bicycle industry gather to share good practices and exchange ideas to advance mountain bike opportunities  across Europe and build stronger mountain bike communities.  

“Águeda has a long history with the bike industry and sports, which is one of the reasons why this is one of the most bike friendly municipalities in Portugal.", said Gil Nadais, Mayor of Águeda. "This unique environment fostered the development of a close relation with IMBA Europe. Our aim is to develop and excel in bike sports, especially mountain biking, reason why we rely on IMBA to support us in our efforts to provide the best conditions and facilities for mountain biking in Águeda. "The outcomes of this strategic partnership reveal a commitment with excellence, as we proudly present the first municipal funded Urban Bike Park in Portugal, supported and constructed by IMBA Europe. We wanted to do more, though, and therefore this Urban Bike Park is also the first in Portugal and Europe with trails for the practice of adapted bike sports. In Águeda, we look at sports not only as a way to stay healthy, but also as a door for social integration and inclusion of all citizens.”

“It is with great pleasure and satisfaction that we are hosting the next IMBA Europe Summit in Águeda ", said Edson Santos, the Sports Alderman of Águeda. "This is the culmination of the exchange of ideas and wishes that we have been developing since 2015 with IMBA Europe and that will affirm Águeda in the international sphere as a mountain bike friendly municipality.”

The IMBA Europe Summit program includes keynote speakers, educational sessions,  networking and of course, time to explore some of the best local trails. New this year are optional site visits on Friday afternoon as part of our pre-conference program. Attendees can either sign up for a visit to Águeda’s brand new urban bike park to experience some real live construction and to speak with the designers and builders or go for a factory tour to learn more about the Portugal Bike Value project.

Saturday evenings program features the award ceremony of the pan-European Take Care of Your Trails Weekend.  Traditionally, we’ll finish our Summit with an Epic ride on Sunday. 

Registration is open for both member and non-member organizations.