Canadian Cyclist


March 3/06 2:57 am - IMBA Urban Hot Spots Program to Focus on Toronto

Posted by Editor on 03/3/06

IMBA Urban Hot Spots Program to Focus on Toronto
Courtesy IMBA

The Greater Toronto Area will see improved opportunities for mountain biking, thanks to a yearlong Urban Hot Spot campaign hosted by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and the City of Toronto. The Bicycle Trade Association of Canada will provide support for the program.

IMBA Canada staff will team with local advocates to conduct a series of meetings with land managers, community leaders and other conservation and recreation groups. These meetings will produce plans for enhancing Toronto's trail system for all trail users. This coordinated work is part of IMBA's Urban Hot Spots program that works to create urban trail access solutions and inspire new mountain bike advocates.

The Toronto Hot Spot launch will occur on Friday March 24, 2006. A complete schedule of Toronto area Hot Spot events will be released at this time.

Bicycle Trade Association of Canada to Sponsor 2006 Campaign

The Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC) will sponsor the Toronto Hot Spot, building on its commitment to cycling advocacy across Canada. BTAC has been an IMBA "Above and Beyond" corporate supporter since the opening of IMBA Canada in 2004. BTAC and IMBA have partnered to address cycling related trail issues across Canada and to promote cycling as a healthy form of recreation.

"The 2006 Urban Hot Spot Campaign will further two objectives for us, it will provide increased participation levels of cycling in the GTA through greater access to trails and will also have direct positive impact on our retail members who will be promoted as part of the program," commented Janet O'Connell, BTAC Executive Director

"We want the 2006 Urban Hot Spots campaign to focus on Toronto because it's Canada's largest city, and the problems surrounding trail access here are representative of the challenges faced in urban areas across the country," says IMBA Canada's Mark Schmidt.

IMBA Canada Helping Improve Ontario's Trails

While Ontario received an agreeable 'B' on IMBA's 2005 Annual Report card for its riding opportunities and advocacy strength, there is still room to improve the province's trail-based recreation. Riders across the Ontario have become apathetic about performing trailwork - a trend that the Urban Hot Spot campaign aims to reverse. "It is our hope that the Toronto campaign will inspire a higher level of commitment to the trails from riders throughout the GTA," said Schmidt. "Toronto mountain bikers have an opportunity to set the stage for improved access across the province."

Preserving trail access near cities is one of the most difficult challenges facing IMBA and mountain bikers. As urban areas continue to expand and open space dwindles, it's becoming increasingly difficult for trail enthusiasts to find convenient places to enjoy the outdoors. The IMBA Urban Hot Spots program concentrates on addressing this problem in cities across North America.

IMBA's Canadian office is located in Collingwood, Ontario.


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