IMBA Europe Summit 2019 / May 9-11

The IMBA Europe Summit is one of those few moments where European mountain bike advocacy and trail building groups, the bicycle industry, land management agencies, public authorities, guiding companies and other stakeholders meet to share good practices, network, gain new insights and build relationships for future MTB projects & programs. The 3 day program is a mixture of international keynote speakers, project meetings, site visits, breakout sessions, social events and of course, riding activities. Attendees are sure to learn all about the latest in MTB community involvement, advocacy, recreational trail management & development, tourism and participation. The 2019 Summit theme is 'more trails close to home'.

Silkeborg, Outdoor Capital of Denmark

The sixth annual Summit will take place from 9-11 May in Silkeborg, a small town located in the middle of the Danish lake highlands surrounded by lakes, steep hills and the largest forests in Denmark. The amazing nature around Silkeborg means that outdoor activities have always been a big part of the residents lives as well as highly prioritized politically by the municipality. A year ago the Municipality of Silkeborg wanted to accelerate the development of outdoor activities and businesses in the area. Therefore the municipality – in cooperation with the local tourist organization – launched the outdoor project "Silkeborg Unlimited - Outdoor Capital of Denmark". As part of this project new facilities have been built and even more planned, approved and funded by the municipality.

The 2019 Summit coincides with the MTB Festival Søhøjlandet, offering heaps of opportunities to explore both Silkeborgs local trails and other trails in the surrounding region during this weekend. Summit attendees can easily extend their stay and bring their families with them whereas Silkeborg is located within a short drive from major attractions such as Aarhus and LEGOLAND in Billund. The 6th IMBA Europe Summit will take place at the Vejlsøhus Hotel & Conference Center. 

Summit program at glance

On Thursday, attendees will learn about the different development stages to create model trail/outdoor communities. Our local host Silkeborg municipality will guide you through their strategy to become the Outdoor Capital of Denmark. IMBA US explain the value of more trails close to home and share some succes stories of recent projects in the US. Mark McClure will explain why training and education of both volunteers and professional is essential for local communities to create and maintain sustainable trails. If the afternoon, attenddees have the opportunity to visit different sites in and around Silkborg to learn more about why and how the different trail networks have been developed and to meet with the local land managers and trail builders. Or you enroll in a mini trail building school, asses different trails and learn some basic trail building & maintenance skills. In the evening, food and drinks are served at the Specialized Denmark headquarters.

Thursday's keynot speakers and presenters

  • Simon Christensen, development consultant of Silkeborg Kommune and Jeppe Thøgersen(DK), Head of Cultur, Leisure & Outdoor Section Silkeborg Kommune
  • James Clark, director of Trail Solutions, IMBA vice president of programs
  • Mark McClure, trail specialist with IMBA Europe
  • Wendy Ulyett, Tourism Manager Marketing Sheffield 

Friday & Saturday's program will take place at the main summit venue, Vejlsøhus Hotel & Conference Center. And...Danny Macaskill is in town with his Drop and Roll Tour!! Danny will perform in the city center of Silkeborg right after the final breakout session of our Friday program.

Friday's keynote speakers and breakout session presenters

  • Dave Wiens, IMBA US executive director (and inductee to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame)
  • Hannah Barnes, pro mountain bike rider for Specialized
  • Luca D'Angelo, director of Dolomiti Paganalla Tourism Board & Excecutive Director of Dolomiti Paganella Bike
  • Niamh Allum, Specialist Occupational Therapist Mental Health NHS Borders and Dr. Tony Westbury, Lecturer Edinburgh Napier University 
  • Kristian Skjødt, director Feriecenter Slettestrand
  • Annie Soderberg (SE) – Occupational therapist & former performance coach at Swedish Cycling Federation 
  • Mathijs Honig, European Organisation of Mountain Bike Instructor Guides
  • Zohar Zafon, Head of Southern Region Planning (Israel)
  • Victor Alvarez, European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) 

Saturday's key note speakers and breakout session presenters

  • Graeme McLean (SCO), Director Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland
  • Olve Norderhaug(No), Manager Trysil Bike Arena
  • Tomas Kvasnicka, director Singltrek sro
  • Maxine Gregory, European Network of Outdoor Sports
  • Fanie Kok, Trail advocate, Specialized
  • Christoffer Riis Svendsen (DK), project leader Danish Cycling Union
  • Hans Stoops, project manager at Cykelfrämjandet


Friday and Saturday morning, attendees have the option to join an early bird ride to explore the Silkeborg trails which are located close to the venue. Friday evening includes a social program with food&drinks. Saturday afternoon, we will have a group ride towards the MTB Festival Søhøjlandet. Expect a beautiful festival site next to a lake in the middle of the forest with bonfires in the evening and the Take Care of Your Trails Award ceremony. 

If you have the opportunity, bring your own mountain bike while this is the easiest way to get around in Silkeborg and to explore the local trails. It's also possible to rent a bike at one of the local bikeshops like Silkeborg MTB Center, Cycle Sport, Ursus Outdoor or Landal Søhøjlandet


Registration opened the 20th of February and ends May 5th. Order day tickets or register for the full summit, including 3 program days, social activities, riding and meals. 

Getting there & away 

By plane - closest airports to Silkeborg are:

  • Billund Airport 
  • Aarhus Airport (limited international connections)
  • Copenhagen International Airport

By car

  • one hour drive from either Aarhus or Billund Airport
  • three hour drive from Copenhagen Airport
  • Silkeborg is located on highway 15 and 52 

By train

  • There are train connections to Silkeborg from Aarhus. And from Aarhus to Germany.
  • From Copenhagen Airport, trains leave every 30 minutes. To get to Silkeborg, you need to switch once at Skanderberg. The journey will take between 3h45 minutes – 4 hours.  


There is a wide variety of accommodation available in Silkeborg in different price classes. From camping’s, hotels and hostels to holiday houses, cabins and B&B’s.
The main venue is the Vejlsøhus Hotel and Conference centre and is a mountain bike friendly hotel. Please note the Vejlsøhus Hotel is filling up quickly, especially if you plan to stay there until Sunday. Alternative accommdation is available in all price ranges in & around Silkeborg. From other hotels to campsites, bungalows and B&B's. Find more information about accommodation at the Silkeborg website 

IMBA Europe 2019 Summit Partners