IMBA gets together

Two sides of IMBA: The delegates checked out the technical trailbuilding at Stainburn before old-schooling it up around Malham

Over a dozen IMBA reps gathered in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales on the weekend of 15/16 October to discuss trail advocacy and the future work of the organisation.

Saturday started with a training session in risk assessment for insurance purposes, this vital step is to be introduced as part of the inspection and accreditation of trailbuilding groups. This was followed by a visit to the Stainburn forest trails near Harrogate – the epitome of volunteer built highly technical trails.

Stainburn provided an airing for a newly developed trail assessment method, allowing an impartial eye to be cast over trail projects to ensure they meet the highest standards of sustainability, safety and ecological sensitivity, and a useful way of providing constructive feedback to builders. Of course, to many out there safety automatically means sanitisation of trails to the lowest common denominator – anyone who rode Stainburn on this IMBA weekend would guarantee you that safety and technical challenge are clearly not exclusive.

After this, the group retired to Malham youth hostel for dinner, followed by the annual general and members meetings which discussed everything from IMBA’s involvement in the upcoming 2012 Olympics planning process, the best ways to provide information to trailbuilding clubs, and the vitally important parliamentary developments on cyclists ability to claim restricted byways.

Sunday took in a classic Dales loop around Mastiles lane on the bikes, looking at a particular rights of way anomaly and the effects of a TRO which prevents use of a sensitive byway by motor vehicles

Overall, a great weekend was had by all, and real developments were made in the future direction of the organisation and how it can best deliver advice and support to local riders and groups.

Find out more about IMBA at the UK wing’s freshly-revamped website

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