Now, I know what you’re probably thinking… “I wanna build me some trail, too!” And I’d have to agree with you, but this visit is different, and pretty special. Get comfortable and let me tell you a little story.
Back in 2015 when REMBA was just a star in the sky, I saw this little IMBA email Trail Care Crew Grant Application in my inbox and I saw that it had a November deadline… well, as you all probably know, REMBA was still taking early formative steps in November, but I thought, hey, maybe this’ll put some trail building on the map for us in 2016… and let’s be honest… did I really think IMBA would select MY application for 2016? no. But I knew we needed to get the Redwood Empire in the IMBA grant pipeline for future years – so I filed it – barely making the deadline, and frankly, making up a bunch of stuff. (I hope they’re not reading this 🙂 )
Enter January 2016: We get The NOD, and one “weekend” that the crew could possibly visit: March 18th, give or take a couple days. Well, we’re in the throes of what promises to be fruitful El Nino, and thus probably *not* the best trail building conditions… so we opted instead to have a three day IMBA visit and focus on what REALLY matters to us *right now*:
- A “Club Care” presentation/workshop for the REMBA Board of Directors. This’ll be on Wednesday, March 16th, and is intended to be a data-dump from some experienced folks to the REMBA Board about what works in bike clubs, nationwide, and what doesn’t.
- A bike ride and trail exploration – March 17th, afternoon. This is still TBA, weather-allowing, and might or might not be open to all – more on this in a second.
- A “Land Manager” presentation/workshop and training wherein the IMBA staff work a room full of regional Professional Land Managers in discussions about trails, mountain bikes, and the open spaces we all love. Friday, March 18th – open to ~40 professional land managers (contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend as a land manager! Registration is OPEN)
So, while El Nino was initially something we all thought might be a setback, it’s turning out to be a boon. Because REMBA is still a baby, and we’re methodically ticking off all the foundational steps, it’ll be good to have some experts help us make sure our house is in order – because we all need a REMBA here – and it needs to be strong enough to outlive all of us. That’s the 33% IMBA grant called Club Care.
The other 33% (possibly +33% more) is the Land Manager confab, hosted by REMBA and led by the Trail care Crew on Friday. It should come as no surprise to you that one of the most important missions of REMBA (in my own words) is to build relationships that benefit people who ride bicycles in the Redwood Empire, right? And what better way than to begin by both showing our goodwill to Land Managers, while also hosting an event that lets them compare notes and develop solutions with their inter-agency counterparts!? The extra 33% is the possibility that we’re going to try to have the Thursday bike ride be an opportunity for Land Managers to ride with the IMBA TCC crew to talk in-the-field about what’s really going on, and see if we can highlight some *exceptional trails* in the area. This is TBD…
So, we’re excited about this. It’s not a 100 yards of new trail in Taylor – yet – but it’s foundation work that we think is really critical. I’ll be taking notes and sharing outcomes with you here, too.
Cheers, jake REMBA co-founder & Secretary.