Richmond Wins $33K Bell Built Grant for New Mountain Bike Trails

by | May 20, 2014 | POLITICS

The votes have been tallied and Richmond came out on top, in the race for the Bell Bicycle Grant Project.

The votes have been tallied and Richmond came out on top, in the race for the Bell Bicycle Grant Project. The grant will donate around $33,000 to Richmond’s state park systems, rehabilitating existing trails and building 20 miles of new trails.

Bell Built, in partnership with International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Trail Solutions, will donate 100,000 in technical assistance grants to fund the three winners mountain biking facilities. Richmond, as well as Flagstaff, AZ and Cottage Grove, MN. took the winning spots.

Construction on the new sites will begin in June, and will last until 2015.

The contest was created to help give back and engage with the biking community, “if nothing else, we hope to create legal, accessible trails that all riders can enjoy while hopefully building a stronger community of Bell enthusiasts along the way,” Said Brand Manager at Bell Built Nikki Jaimes.

IMBA Trail Solutions will design and plan the winners new park systems, with the help of local volunteers. Rod Judd, membership manager for IMBA, states that the organization was selected to develop the winners trails for their expertise, “IMBA’s trail building teams literally wrote the book on trail building techniques, and these methods are now recognized internationally as the gold standard for trail building by land managers and trail building professionals alike.”

IMBA wished to get involved in this contest in order to showcase the process of trail building. The Bell Built project offers a unique opportunity to the community; “The opportunity to activate the grassroots mountain bike community to partner with IMBA pro trail builders and Bell – To create some world-class riding in local communities,” said Judd.

This partnership will help educate the mountain biking community on the complex process behind building trails. From receiving land manager permission, community support, raising funds, trail design, building and maintenance the entire undertaking is a huge task. Because of this, IMBA will be working with local volunteers to build the winning trails.

Helping IMBA to undertake this task is RVAmore, the sponsors that submitted Richmond into the contest. Founded ten years ago, RVA more is a volunteer based group dedicated to the mountain biking community in Richmond. The group promotes environmentally friendly mountain biking and has been a strong presence in the development of Richmond’s trail systems over the past decade.

The organization, which became an IMBA chapter last year, plans to construct new trails throughout the Pocahontas State park with the grant. The project will create “Flow Trails;” these advanced paths will use stacked loop trail system for riders to enjoy while on the trails. It will also include beginner, intermediate and advanced trails for riders of all skill levels to enjoy.

Greg Rollins, a member of RVAmore, states that the project is a piece of a larger project, to make Richmond into an IMBA Ride Center. Ride Centers are recognized as the “Gold Standard” for mountain bike trails. As of 2013, IMBA recognized ten ride centers across the nation for their superior trails, with the help of this grant Richmond could soon be added to the list.

RVAmore has also been involved in the development of trails along the James River Park system and are currently working with Henrico county to develop more trails in the area.

For more information on the project check out Help Improve Belle Isle Bike Trails with Bell Built Grant. To volunteer this summer to help build the trails visit the RVAmore website to sign up.

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

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