Do You Know What These Vital MTB Advocacy Groups Do? Learn More, Join and Maybe Win a New MTB.

The Northern Front Range mountain bike associations are holding a membership drive and when you join or renew your membership in October you’ll be automatically entered to win a Commencal Meta TR frame AND $1,500 toward your dream build. This exclusive Front Range membership drive giveaway is brought to you by Boulder Mountainbike Alliance (BMA),  Colorado Mountain Bike Association (COMBA)Overland Mountain Bike Association (OMBA), and Commencal – see official rules. And if your rides take you all along the Front Range you can support all three organizations AND get three entries into the giveaway. Just make sure you use a unique email address for each membership.

With so many new people moving to the area or discovering mountain biking, we thought it would be good to share more about these vital advocacy groups that do so much to make mountain biking possible so close to home.

1. So what areas are COMBA, BMA, and OMBA responsible for?

BMA, COMBA and OMBA are all 501(c)3 non-profit mountain bike associations and chapters of the International Mountain Bicycling Association. There are 10 IMBA chapters across the state and several independent mtb associations.

BMA is Boulder County and Maryland Mountain in Black Hawk.

COMBA is JeffCo, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Park, Douglas and Arapahoe counties. Clear Creek and South Platte Ranger Districts

OMBA covers Laramie County and a portion of Weld County in Colorado and Laramie County in Wyoming

2. What are the greatest needs and most important projects that each organization has and is undertaking currently or in near future

COMBA– Project funding is typically our largest need, along with support for our advocacy efforts and community programs. The Floyd Hill and Maryland Mountain systems are the biggest impact and most well-known projects. But our new seasonal maintenance team and women-specific programming are making big impacts in the area as well.

BMA– Funding is also our greatest need. We build and maintain trails in the Marshall Mesa system, as well as at Heil Valley Ranch, Betasso Preserve, and Hall Ranch. BMA has also invested much in West Magnolia and as COMBA said, we have been partnering with them at Maryland Mountain. 

OMBA-Financial, membership,  and volunteer support are always major needs. Major projects now are focused on Cameron Peak fire recovery. We’re also focusing on new trail projects in Lory State Park and Curt Gowdy State Park. Bringing a bike park to the downtown area of Fort Collins and major enhancements to the Horsetooth trail system continue to lead our advocacy efforts. 

3. What are the benefits of being a member? 

Members are the backbone for our organizations and they make everything we do possible. Supporting the MTB community at-large is the main draw. Members also have access to industry discounts and special events.

BMA’s Wendy Sweet On Maryland Mountain near Black Hawk

4. What one or two projects have you recently completed that are most notable, most used, most proud of?

COMBA/BMAMaryland Mountain has been a huge accomplishment and has changed mountain biking in the Front Range with bike-specific trails and experiences not found in the area prior. It incorporates all the desired trail management techniques such as designated use, directional travel, and separation by speed.

OMBA– Quarry Ridge is a new 1-mile bike optimized trail in Lory State Park which takes advantage of natural terrain features and spectacular views. Additional Quarry trails are coming soon. OMBA volunteers also assisted with Gold Watch and Gold Standard (bike-only DH trails) in Curt Gowdy State Park. Additional Gold trails are coming soon too! 

5. One or two things each organization does that most people don’t know about

Everything that isn’t related to trails. 😉 Advocacy, land use planning, stakeholder committees, etc. Our organizations also collaborate with each other, like with this membership giveaway and we’re also helping build the Colorado Mountain Bike Coalition, a nascent state-wide group of trail associations throughout Colorado.

BMA builds community with fun rides and education. We host 3-4 group rides a week April – September, offer Skills Clinics and have one of the oldest and largest Bike Patrols in the world. BMA also has an endurance racing team, the Brute Squad (BMA Riders United in Training for Endurance). Registration for the team opens at the end of January and the squad completes a 16 week training program with a 50-mile mtb race goal.

OMBA’s trail agent program allows volunteers to conduct much needed maintenance on Forest Service trails throughout our region. After completing a few training classes, trail agents are equipped with packable trail tools and are allowed to conduct trail maintenance independently as their schedule allows. This much needed work will help eliminate the existing 10-year maintenance backlog on our Forest Service trails.  Fun fact: OMBA is the original nonprofit partner for New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat which started in 2000 in Fort Collins. 

6. How members can be involved.

Membership supports the work that these nonprofit organizations do, but anyone is welcome to join in our various community programs like group rides, skills clinics and events and we always have a need for volunteers. No experience is necessary to help with trail building and if digging in the dirt isn’t your thing, there are other ways to get involved too. Volunteers are board members, ride leaders, social media helpers, bike patrollers and many other positions.

 

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