By Lee Uehara
(NEW YORK) – A popular New York City mountain biking forum is now the official chapter for this region of the International Mountain BikingAssociation, officials said.
“The significance of becoming an IMBA chapter allows us to support mountain biking internationally as well as bringing valuable resources to the trails of New York City,” said Dawson Smith, co-founder and vice president of the New York City Mountain Biking Association (NYCMTB). “It also gives New York City riders an opportunity to voice support for mountain biking trails across the country, strengthening our voice in advocacy.”
The New York City chapter of IMBA, now known as NYCMTB/IMBA,advocates mountain biking trails in all five boroughs in the city. Currently,there are trails in only three boroughs: Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. Before joining the IMBA, NYCMTB was an online forum with about 1,000 users.
“We’ve never had a formal membership structure, so that’s why this is exciting,” Smith said. As the New York City chapter of IMBA, NYCMTB now receives a percentage of each IMBA membership originating from the area, retroactively since January 1, 2012. “IMBA helps us with resources, and we help IMBA with the membership numbers,” Smith said.

NYCMTB/IMBA New Members Todd MacGregor, Veronica Tomaselli, and Kimberly Slovak.

NYCMTB is one of 15 clubs around the country joining the chapter program, according to Frank Maguire, IMBA’s director  of the mid-Atlantic region.
“The Chapter program allows IMBA to bring our national resources and expertise down to a local level and really make an impact on the ground. At the same time, we know that our local clubs are the ones that own the relationships with land managers and with our support can take advantage of the multitude of opportunities that are out there,” Maguire said in an e-mail. “We’re excited to see what we can do in NYC, because as has been shown already with the success of Highbridge Park, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere,” Maguire said.
NYCMTB/IMBA celebrated on Wednesday evening its first meeting at the Eastern Mountain Sports store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. There, the new board members introduced themselves and encouraged attendees to become members.
“We now have 30 new members because of tonight!” said NYCMTB Secretary Eugene Sorenson, who is also a member of the New York City chapter of Trips for Kids Metro NY, a non-profit organization devoted to teaching urban children how to mountain bike and other environmental education lessons throughout the state. “This has been a great night,” he said.
Kimberly Slovak, 33, from Brooklyn, has been riding for three years. She attended the meeting with friends. They were five of the 30 people who signed up as a new member of the NYCMTB/IMBA chapter.
“I’m a mountain biker, and I like the idea of this organization — to do advocacy work and to support trail-building in the city,”Slovak said. “I’m excited to see the chapter getting new members and to see the community really grow.”
The New York City Mountain Biking Association was formed in 2005. It builds and maintains trails in New York City. The group also advocates for mountain biking and produces adult and youth programming throughout the city. Anyone can join NYCMTB/IMBA.
“IMBA is bringing together all the little voices of mountain biking together – globally,” Smith said.

For more information:

The International Mountain Biking Association: www.imba.com
The New York City Mountain Biking Association: www.nycmtb.org
Trip for Kids Metro NY: www.tfkmetrony.org
BACK ROW L-R: Eugene Sorenson, Secretary of NYCMTB/IMBA; Matthew Hayto, IMBA NYC Director of Membership; Dawson Smith, Co-Founder and Vice-President of NYCMTB; Daniel Ingerdal, Treasurer of NYCMTB. FRONT ROW L-R: Christopher Trombley, President NYCMTB; Andree Sanders, President, Trips for Kids Metro NY.
 

NYCMTB/IMBA New Members Todd MacGregor, Veronica Tomaselli, and Kimberly Slovak.
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