Canadian Cyclist


December 4/02 11:45 am - IMBA Trail Report Card for 2002

Posted by Editor on 12/4/02

Colorado Reaches Pinnacle in 2002 IMBA Mountain Bike Access Report Card
Courtesy IMBA

Endless miles of high-altitude and desert singletrack, superb Rocky Mountain scenery, impeccably organized advocacy groups and abundant trail maps helped push Colorado to the top of the class in the 2002 International Mountain Bicycling Association's Mountain Bike Access Report Card with an A-minus grade.

IMBA's Report Card is an annual assessment of the status of mountain biking in U.S. states, Canadian provinces and other countries. It was created three years ago to help IMBA manage the effectiveness of its efforts to preserve trail access for mountain bikers and create new opportunities where they are needed.

Other states, regions and countries also graded well in the 2002 IMBA Report Card. South Dakota, Utah, British Columbia, Italy, Wales and the Yukon all earned A-minus grades. Meanwhile, defending 2000 and 2001 champ Idaho dropped slightly from an A grade to an A-minus because of the overlap of a new Wilderness proposal with popular riding areas.

"The report card is a useful tool for IMBA and our local advocates," said IMBA executive director Tim Blumenthal. "It's a great way for us to see where we have made progress and are doing well. In addition, it helps us focus our attention on places where mountain biking needs work."

Grades are based on many factors: amount of singletrack, effectiveness of local mountain bike groups, land manager relations, an IMBA website survey, and feedback from IMBA leaders. For more information on the 2002 IMBA Report Card visit

Grades and comments are listed below (Canadian reports follow U.S.)

2002 IMBA Mountain Bike Access Report Card

United States:
Colorado: A-
Phat: Unlimited singletrack, mountains, maps
Flat: Urban access requires steady vigilance

Idaho: A-
Phat: Smooth Sun Valley singletrack
Flat: Proposed Wilderness overlaps trails

South Dakota: A-
Phat: Black Hills riding world-class
Flat: Need to know locals to find best trails

Utah: A-
Phat: Improved access near Salt Lake City
Flat: Desert trails tough to manage

Alaska: B+
Phat: Anchorage trails, few access issues
Flat: Most areas terra incognita

Arizona: B+
Phat: Desert, mtns, urban: 'zona has it all
Flat: Southern AZ needs more singletrack

Arkansas: B+
Phat: Womble & Ouachita, solid advocates
Flat: Hotter than a Hot Spring in July

Florida: B+
Phat: Many strong clubs build trails
Flat: Too much sand in some areas

Kentucky: B+
Phat: New trail opportunities in Louisville
Flat: Horses and hoops rule

Massachusetts: B+
Phat: NEMBA top regional advocacy group
Flat: Freeride controversy near Boston

Michigan: B+
Phat: New trails in urban fringe
Flat: Limited access to federal lands

Missouri: B+
Phat: Kansas City, St. Louis trails blossom
Flat: Volunteers needed for trailwork

Montana: B+
Phat: Missoula, Whitefish, Bozeman are epic
Flat: Winter from October-May

Nebraska: B+
Phat: New trails near Omaha, Lincoln
Flat: Much of state is private farmland

New Mexico: B+
Phat: Urban access solid in Albuquerque
Flat: Forests ravaged by fire, minimal info

North Dakota: B+
Phat: Maah Daah Hey Trail primo
Flat: More singletrack needed in east

West Virginia: B+
Phat: Monongahela N.F. steep and deep
Flat: Hunting and motorized come first

Delaware: B
Phat: Experienced core of trailbuilders
Flat: Limited public land

Georgia: B
Phat: SORBA's trailbuilding arsenal
Flat: Limited availability in metro Atlanta

Maine: B
Phat: Mountain bikers getting organized
Flat: Mish-mash trail system

Maryland: B
Phat: Maryland club solves problems
Flat: Typical urban trail problems

Nevada: B
Phat: Public land abundant
Flat: Little trails info: the Area 51 of MBing

North Carolina: B
Phat: Trails in west are super
Flat: Lack of trails, advocacy in east

Oklahoma: B
Phat: Great land manager relations
Flat: Most of state private land

Oregon: B
Phat: MacKenzie River Trail five stars
Flat: Wilderness needs addressing

Texas: B
Phat: Solid statewide org, MB parks, racing
Flat: Houston heats up...again

Virginia: B
Phat: All good 'cept suburban DC and...
Flat: Not much riding in Richmond

Washington: B
Phat: Statewide access varied, outstanding
Flat: Seattle improving, but still limited

Wyoming: B
Phat: Riding matches skiing in Jackson
Flat: More maps, guidebooks needed

Connecticut: B-
Phat: Solid advocates, improving access
Flat: Lots of people in a small space

Hawaii: B-
Phat: Surfing + riding = paradise?
Flat: Lack of well built trails

Indiana: B-
Phat: Solid bicycling coalition
Flat: Bird didn't bike. So why should you?

New Hampshire: B-
Phat: White Mountain NF trails
Flat: Unauthorized trails near Manchester

Ohio: B-
Phat: More trails, energetic clubs
Flat: No access near Cleveland

Tennessee: B-
Phat: Solid advocacy groups abound
Flat: More volunteers needed

Wisconsin: B-
Phat: WORBA, Trek lead cycling community
Flat: Southern Wisconsin access cheesy

Minnesota: C+
Phat: Improved leadership, industry support
Flat: Minneapolis is a constant battle

New York: C+
Phat: Trails in Westchester, L.I., 'dacks
Flat: Borough riding still banned

Pennsylvania: C+
Phat: Strong relations with DCNR
Flat: State Game Land trails curtailed

South Carolina: C+
Phat: SORBA's presence = USFS partnership
Flat: Old school park management

Vermont: C+
Phat: Ski areas, private MB resorts
Flat: Red light on Green Mountain access

Alabama: C
Phat: BUMP continues to do great work
Flat: Sport barely on public radar screen

California: C
Phat: Bay Area advocates step up
Flat: Wilderness, SoCal & Oakland tense

Iowa: C
Phat: Topography + solid club = solid future
Flat: Progress taking time

New Jersey: C
Phat: Top notch patrol, club in south
Flat: JORBA needs you

Rhode Island: C
Phat: Arcadia forest trails solid
Flat: Small state, not much vertical

Illinois: C-
Phat: Improving organization statewide
Flat: More trails needed near Chicago

Kansas: C-
Phat: Lawrence trails outstanding
Flat: Farming rules, riding suffers

Louisiana: C-
Phat: New advocates at work
Flat: New trails far

Mississippi: D+
Phat: Abundant forests provide access
Flat: Biking organizations absent in '02

Grading Beyond Our Borders

Mindful of our growing work outside the U.S., IMBA expanded the global mountain bike report card in '02 to include a number of countries worldwide where IMBA is active. For more information on IMBA's international network visit

British Columbia: A-
Phat: Outstanding clubs, youth program, trails; Freeride focus
Flat: More sustainable trails needed near Vancouver

Yukon: A-
Phat: Whitehorse, Dawson are emerging mountain bike meccas
Flat: Rest of province is vast unknown, grizzly bears, winter

Ontario: B+
Phat: Improved advocacy organization, new trails
Flat: Unauthorized trails near Toronto

Quebec: B
Phat: Ski areas offer outstanding trails
Flat: Trail tensions near Montreal

Alberta: B-
Phat: Riding Rocks in Canadian Rockies
Flat: Calgary trail closures

United Kingdom:
Wales: A-
Phat: Top-notch trailbuilding creates premier MB destination
Flat: Few knew how good it was...until now

Scotland: B+
Phat: Awesome technical trails, trailbuilders, geography
Flat: Advocacy organization needs improvement

England: C+
Phat: Solid leadership, passionate freeriding movement
Flat: Lack of singletrack, needs advocacy muscle

Northern Ireland: C-
Phat: Vast potential, energetic advocates
Flat: Not much singletrack yet

Other Countries:
Italy: A-
Phat: 2,000 year old trails, few trail conflicts, never flat, culture
Flat: Need better maps, broad based advocacy group needed

Australia: B
Phat: Pockets of great singletrack, emerging advocacy structure
Flat: Trail user conflict, trailbuilding skills need work


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