We’ve now been in Boulder for over two weeks and are about to finally head on the road.
Our first week began with a meet and greet with the office staff here at IMBA, the International Mountain Bicycling Association. We learned quite a bit, and are a bit overwhelmed even with the sheer amount of data. The popular term for it around here is “taking a drink of water from a fire hose.” I’d say it is pretty accurate. Thanks to all the volunteers, clubs, and staffers, there is a huge amount of progress being made in Trail Advocacy today.(we’ll touch on this in a future post) Inga and I are extremely excited to be able to directly be a part of it, and make a difference on such a larger scale.
Our first day of work began with a bit of a surprise. We opened the door to see everything covered in about four inches of snow. This was a bit of a mind-blower, but the Outback provided by Subaru for IMBA use is an incredible vehicle to pilot in the snow. In fact, we’ve gotten loose a few times, and I can tell you the car handles awesome. (of course we drive responsibly at all times) I’ve become so comfortable in the snowy turns that I’ve began to fantasize about becoming a Rally Cross driver.
The weather here has been blowing Inga’s mind, as she really is a California girl at heart. She has been adapting well though, and I’m happy to say she found a face creme that is effective in cold and dry conditions. The snow has really limited the amount of actual mountain biking we have been able to do though, which has been a bummer. We were fortunately enough to get out a bit one day with IMBA’s Ryan Schutz. Ryan took us out and we did a trail assessment that was very educational.
We have been absorbing a ton of knowledge on the subject of trail design, and it was great to apply it to the field. After walking a trail with Ryan though, I won’t be able to look at a piece of single track the same way again.
Most of our second week here was taken up by Staff Week, where we were able to meet IMBA field staff that flew in from all over to attend the meetings. Again, we learned so much about all the different projects going on all over that we’re still actually processing everything that is happening. (More on that soon)
In our spare time we have been riding as much as we can. Our current hosts, Jimmy and Tammy Donahugh have been the best, taking us all over Boulder, Fort Collins, and Denver to show us the best the dirt jumping and park scene has to offer.
Jimmy and Tammy are straight-up plain awesome. We’re totally going to miss hanging out with these guys. They are super fun, and are crazy about going fast and jumping stuff just like us. They also have the best yard ever. I’m not talking pump track, I’m talking dirt jump lines that end in a wall ride and/ or half pipe. Their yard deserves a post of its own.
That’s it for now. The last few days have been taken up with just trying to get set up for the reality of our job. We still have to set up the new car, transfer racks, and repack the car. Traveling every week to a new location is fairly daunting, and has required a new outlook on everything. Tomorrow we meet with Kelly and Collins, the other half of the Trail Care Crew, to sit in on our first presentation with representatives of COMBA, the Colorado Mountain Bike Association.