New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

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New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

Postby Greg Heil » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:16 pm

IMBA now has 3 designations of trails that they are awarding every year: Ride centers, Epics, and Flow Trails. This recent post on the IMBA website details all of the new awards for 2012: http://www.imba.com/news/2012-model-trail-award-winners

2012 Ride Center Awards

Copper Harbor, MI, USA: Designated a bronze-level Ride Center in 2011, Copper Harbor wasted no time in adding additional trails.
Sun Valley, ID, USA: This world-famous ski area also has world-class mountain bike trails, from in-town pump tracks to epic backcountry singletrack.
Taupo, NZ: If the scenery wasn’t enough, the Taupo area has stellar trails for a range of riders topped with healthy serving of Kiwi bike culture.
Central Savannah River Area, GA/SC, USA: The famous FATS trail system is at the heart of this Ride Center’s 150 miles of singletrack.
Mt. Buller, Victoria, AUS: With a trail network by the renown Glen Jacobs, Mt. Buller sets the standard for mountain bike trail development at Australian ski resorts.

2012 Epic Awards

Bangtail Divide, MT, USA: Long climbs are always rewarded with long descents, and earning your turns is even more sweet after cresting the 22 switchbacks to the top.
Warner Lake/South Chilcotin Mountains, BC, CAN: “Epic” is the only way to describe a ride that starts with a float plane.
Bernina Express, Graubünden, SUI: Rocky, challenging trails that weave by cafes at mountain passes and down endless backcountry descents.
Switchgrass Trail, KS, USA: With over 20 miles of twisting trails, this destination has something for everyone, from beginners to hammerheads.
Colorado Trail (southern portion), CO, USA: One of the few iconic long-distance trails that allow mountain biking, the Colorado Trail does not disappoint.
Waldo Lake Trail, OR, USA: Circling its namesake lake, the beauty of the High Cascades await those who ride this loop.
Douthat State Park, VA, USA: Cresting both sides of the valley, this trail offers a hearty mix of rocky and fast singletrack that defines this region of the Appalachian mountains.
Big South Fork/All 5 Ride, TN/KY, USA: Deep forests, rocky faces, and views into river gorges compliment the fun, challenging trails on this ride.

2012 Flow Country Trail Awards

Sand Hog Trail, MN, USA: Part of the Cuyuna Ride Center, the Sand Hog Trail has brought a grin to many a rider from the Midwestern US.
Runca Trail, Laax, Switzerland: The first Flow Country trail in the Swiss Alps winds through forests thick with dense ferns, providing a fun, scenic experience.
The Flow Trail, MI, USA: Although the Copper Harbor Ride Center is overflowing with flow trails, this one was added specifically to appeal to beginner riders.
Flow Country Trail, Bischofsmais Bike Park, GER: Created by Diddee Schneider, one of Europe’s most famous builders, this fun and photogenic trail sets the standard for Flow Country trails.


Interesting items of note:
-I thought Copper Harbor was already a ride center? http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-tr ... e-centers/
-The FATS area is now a ride center!
-IMBA Epic in Kansas! http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-tr ... in-kansas/
-Amazing that the Colorado Trail wasn't ALREADY an epic... and interesting that they're only designating the southern portion. Or was the northern already designated as an epic?
-Individual trails are being designated as "flow trails" within Ride Centers and/or epics. How's that for confusing?
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Re: New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

Postby John Fisch » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:45 pm

I think the wilderness issue prevents the entirety of the Colorado Trail from being an epic. To go end to end, you're faced with seven Wilderness areas forcing literally hundreds of miles of detours--hardly a continuous bit of singletrack. The southern portion makes a great epic though. It is a superb,long stretch of subalpine and high alpine singletrack through some of the worlds most beautiful mountains, finishing off with a 4k ft descent into Durango, one of the original MTB meccas. Makes sense to me.

The northern part has too many wilderness interruptions. Actually, a couple parts of the CT have been designated by association. The CT passes through the Buffalo Creek trail system and it also joins the Monarch Crest for a few miles.

I've flown by Switchgrass on I-70 a few times, but never had the time to stop. I may have to change that if I go that way again.
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Re: New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

Postby Greg Heil » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:50 pm

skibum wrote:I think the wilderness issue prevents the entirety of the Colorado Trail from being an epic. To go end to end, you're faced with seven Wilderness areas forcing literally hundreds of miles of detours--hardly a continuous bit of singletrack. The southern portion makes a great epic though. It is a superb,long stretch of subalpine and high alpine singletrack through some of the worlds most beautiful mountains, finishing off with a 4k ft descent into Durango, one of the original MTB meccas. Makes sense to me.

The northern part has too many wilderness interruptions. Actually, a couple parts of the CT have been designated by association. The CT passes through the Buffalo Creek trail system and it also joins the Monarch Crest for a few miles.

I've flown by Switchgrass on I-70 a few times, but never had the time to stop. I may have to change that if I go that way again.


Ah good points... reading GimmeAraise's recent blog posts should have clued me in to that. :oops:
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Re: New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

Postby brianW » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:04 am

Recently saw something about opening the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) to mt bikes. This would open only 60% of the trail due to Wilderness Areas. Still a good thing.

Wow I live in a "Ride Center" now! Over the years i have seen mt biking grow a lot in the Augusta, GA area (CSRA) It is not just FATS, but the other trails are seeing more riders. Last weekend I came across two riders, one from FL and another from PA on Bartram, there second trail and they were still planning to go ride FATS. Both having a great time.
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Re: New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

Postby Greg Heil » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:35 am

brianW wrote:Recently saw something about opening the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) to mt bikes. This would open only 60% of the trail due to Wilderness Areas. Still a good thing.

Wow I live in a "Ride Center" now! Over the years i have seen mt biking grow a lot in the Augusta, GA area (CSRA) It is not just FATS, but the other trails are seeing more riders. Last weekend I came across two riders, one from FL and another from PA on Bartram, there second trail and they were still planning to go ride FATS. Both having a great time.


If the pct was opened up that would be AMAZING! There's a reason they refer to it as the Perfect Cycling Trail. The grades are all perfect for bike riding--much more modern and sustainable construction than the Appalachian trail.

Do you have a link to an article about this?
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Re: New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

Postby John Fisch » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:39 pm

Yeah, I might have to put Tahoe on my "must return to" list if the PCT is addes to the mix!
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Re: New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

Postby brianW » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:56 pm

I thought it was over on mtbr.com but couldn't find it.
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Re: New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

Postby CraigCreekRider » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:05 pm

brianW wrote:I thought it was over on mtbr.com but couldn't find it.

I think it was on MTBR Passion forum for a while but I could not find it. Stuff moves through there so quick its easy to lose
http://forums.mtbr.com/oregon/big-news- ... ost9736764

There is a facebook link on the second page.

It would really surprise me if it happened but I am all for it. I just can't see the through hikers and horseback riders gladly sharing the trail with mountain bikers even though they have wilderness areas for themselves already.
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Re: New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

Postby CraigCreekRider » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:10 pm

Good to see Douthat State Park recognized as an epic. Much thanks to the CCC for building that system and all the cool trails on the surrounding national forests (George Washington and Jefferson NF's).
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Re: New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

Postby lylevs » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:06 pm

The statement on Copper Harbor, MI is confusing. I think they really just forgot to complete their sentence. Copper Harbor got promoted from a 'Bronze' to a 'Silver' level ride center because they added some more trail and some services in town that gave them a few more points on IMBA's criteria.
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Re: New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

Postby Greg Heil » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:49 pm

lylevs wrote:The statement on Copper Harbor, MI is confusing. I think they really just forgot to complete their sentence. Copper Harbor got promoted from a 'Bronze' to a 'Silver' level ride center because they added some more trail and some services in town that gave them a few more points on IMBA's criteria.


Ok that makes sense. Thanks for clearing that up!

Anyone know if anywhere else has made gold, or is park city still the only one?
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Re: New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

Postby lylevs » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:12 pm

99% sure that Park City is still the only Gold ride center
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Re: New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

Postby RogerFarrier » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:17 pm

I had the pleasure of living in Oregon about 20 miles from Waldo Lake for most of my life and am really pleased to see this trail get the credit that it deserves. This is a great trail. It's about 22 miles long and borders the Diamond Peak Wilderness in places. It is generally rolling terrain with some technical sections but is one of my favorite trails. Now I live in the land of sugar sand (Florida) when I take a trip back this will be one of the rides I do during my visit.
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Re: New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

Postby brianW » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:38 am

posted this morning:
"Tom Sauret Executive Director of SORBA just made the official announcement at the Georgia-lina Bike Summit that IMBA has designated the CSRA as a Bronze Level Ride Center! Only ten ride centers (gold, silver or bronze) have been designated so far in the US and internationally."

Read more: http://sorbacsra.proboards.com/index.cg ... z29qWXvkzK
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Re: New 2012 Ride Centers, Epics, and Flow Trails

Postby fleetwood » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:57 am

CraigCreekRider wrote:Good to see Douthat State Park recognized as an epic. Much thanks to the CCC for building that system and all the cool trails on the surrounding national forests (George Washington and Jefferson NF's).

+1!
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