2018 Trailforks Awards: Advocate of the Year Winners

Dec 21, 2018
by Trailforks  

Advocates of the Year Winners

Most of our awards recognize the brilliance of a particular widget or the achievements of athletes. This award is a bit of a departure. The Advocacy award is given out, instead, to the people and organizations who are actively investing in our sport and our trails.

We also depart from the usual PB awards story line by giving the prize to several parties--this time around, there is no cage match in which one nominee emerges victorious. Why not? Because it's nigh impossible to measure the value of one good deed or do-gooder against another. It's the reason you probably haven't witnessed a whole lot of brawls over whether Mahatma Gandhi was better than Mother Theresa or vice versa. Along those lines, we think all four of the award winners listed below deserve our recognition and thanks. So without further ado, here they are: Bitterroot Backcountry Cyclists. Stillwater Area Scholastic Cycling Advocates, Michigan Mountain Biking Association and the North Shore Mountain Bike Association.

Why they get the nod:

Centered around Hamilton, Montana this group has been heavily affected by trail loss due to Wilderness Study Areas and Proposed Wilderness. After losing more than 130 miles of trail, they, along with some local motorized recreation groups, filed a lawsuit against the Forest Service. Late this summer it was temporarily successful and allowed mountain bikes back onto the trails while a new travel plan was created. Unfortunately, these trails have since been closed to bikes and the Bitterroot Backcountry Cyclists continue to push back.

Why they get the nod:

This group started with a local NICA Team needing a closer place to ride. From that need, the Stillwater Area Scholastic Cycling Advocates was born and they've been developing and maintaining trails in often overlooked and forgotten plots of land. In addition to providing students with trails to train and race on, they’re also building a culture of stewardship in the riders of tomorrow.

Why they get the nod:

Grassroots advocacy is the backbone of mountain biking. But there’s only so much that a small local trail association can do, especially when it comes to lobbying state legislatures or big picture capacity. The state of Michigan has banded together under the MMBA and its 14 and growing chapters and clubs are getting additional support and resources. Following in the footsteps of Vermont, New Jersey and Washington State, they are showing the value of clubs and chapters working together. Other states and provinces should be paying attention.

Why they get the nod:

The NSMBA has always pushed the envelope of mountain biking. And now they’re making the sport of mountain biking more accessible to more people. Under construction right now is a new accessible trail on Mount Seymour that, when completed, will offer a fully aMTB friendly loop. In addition, the NSMBA released their Trails for All Statement and although it has received criticism from online commenters, it’s meant new and exciting partnerships for the Trail Association that will have a lasting effect on mountain biking for the future.

MENTIONS: @trailforks

Author Info:
trailforks avatar

Member since Mar 25, 2014
18 articles