Think Tucson mountain biking is great? You aren’t alone.
Tucson joins a list of nine other silver level ride centers. Only Park City, Utah is a gold level city. There are 16 bronze level ride centers.
IMBA’s southwest regional director Patrick Kell said the Ride Center awards were created about five years ago to recognize the local organizations that were making their cities great places to ride and promote the cities as great destinations.
“I’m really happy to see that there are ride centers in the southwest,” Kell said. “It it shows that the local chapters have it going on.”
The application was submitted by the Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists advocacy group. SDMB board member Martha Lemen spearheaded the application process.
“I think it is a big deal that we got the silver,” Lemen said. “It shows Tucson is a mountain bike friendly city.”
Kell said local organizations rate themselves in the application process and then IMBA employees come out to the city and act as a sort of “secret shopper and complete the same criteria.”
Kell said the next step is to work with local and state tourism boards to promote the designation and feature Tucson as one of the best places in the country to ride.
Lemen said there was room for improvement, but was very pleased with the silver.
“It turns out Tucson is pretty dang impressive when it comes to amount of the trail we have and businesses that support mountain biking,” she said.