IMBA recognizes Santa Fe as a Silver Level Ride Center
Every year, the International Mountain Bicycling Association recognizes locations with outstanding mountain bike trails. This year Santa Fe was recognized as a 2014 Silver level Ride Center.
IMBA's Ride Center award recognizes large-scale mountain bike destinations that offer a wide range of trails for every riding style.
According to IMBA, “Ride Centers not only invite you to plan a multi-day trip with your full quiver of mountain bikes and the whole family, they take care of you both on and off the trail by being places where mountain bikers are welcomed.”
Santa Fe County and the City of Santa Fe are actively promoting the outdoor recreation economy in business recruitment efforts, event sponsorship, tourism, marketing and trail infrastructure creation and maintenance. Both governments remain committed to continue this effort to enhance the outdoor recreation and ecotourism opportunities and to growing Santa Fe as a mountain biking destination. Santa Fe County has invested millions in building and enhancing trail infrastructure, working to improve and expand the nearly 200 miles of trails available throughout the county.
“Santa Fe County is proud to be part of the Outdoor Recreation economy and to receive this designation. This award in conjunction with the City of Santa Fe hosting the IMBA World Summit in 2012, is validation of the excellent mountain biking infrastructure we have. Mountain biking is becoming an important element of our economy,” said Katherine Miller, Santa Fe County Manager.
“The Santa Fe Fat Tire Society is proud that Santa Fe has been recognized as an IMBA Silver Level Ride Center and we look forward to building the trails that will take us to the Gold level,” said Tim Fowler of the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society.
With the Silver Ride Center award, Santa Fe benefits from the extended reach that IMBA has worldwide in marketing the region to a global audience. IMBA describes its list of Ride Centers as “the trails worth traveling to, the best places to introduce someone to the sport we all love and the facilities builders and advocates should look to for inspiration. They vary from gorgeous adventures in the backcountry to innovative trail systems located near large population centers.”
Santa Fe County is home to the Outside Magazine Bike and Brew Festival, which recently drew 8,500 participants and hosted a variety of mountain biking and craft brew events. The county is also host to a variety of other mountain biking racing events including: La Tierra Torture, Dirty Duathlon, Big Friggin Loop and Xterra.
This award is the result of a collaboration between Santa Fe County, local IMBA chapter Santa Fe Fat Tire Society, City of Santa Fe, BTI and others. But the award is not the only recognition Santa Fe has started to receive for outdoor tourism. In the past Santa Fe topped lists for high-altitude sports including mentions by USA Today and Outside Magazine.
The money that locals and tourists spend on recreation generates $6.1 billion in New Mexico annually. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, having plenty of outdoor recreation options "creates jobs, supports communities, generates tax revenue and helps drive the economy."