IMBA Epic Copper Harbor Trails. Photo posted by copperhippie.

The International Mountain Bike Association is gearing up to pick its 2010 class of “Epic” mountain bike trails and anyone can submit their nomination online. If you’ve ever wondered how IMBA chooses its “Epics”, here’s a little peek into the selection criteria from IMBA Communications Director Mark Eller:

Many Epics are remote backcountry journeys that feature adventurous riding and incredible vistas. We also spotlight riding opportunities that break the mold and deliver innovative solutions, like Ray’s Indoor Bike Park. The essential components of great trails include engaged land managers, skilled trailbuilders, community involvement and dedicated volunteers, so many Epics feature engaging backstories that highlight these elements.

The nomination form is fairly lengthy and asks for some pretty specific information so it’s a good idea to do your homework before submitting a recommendation. On average about 5 Epics are added to the list each year so competition is sure to be stiff!

Now that we have a little more info on how trails become IMBA Epics, the question is: Can a trail lose its Epic status due to a lack of attention from local clubs, trailbuilders, and riders? If so I may have a nomination right here in Georgia…

# Comments

  • Goo

    Hey trek7k,

    Went on a ride with some locals the other day at your “nomination,” and I learned a little more history about the trails and how they ended up the way they did. Turns out SORBA used to be involved in the system, but the horse people claimed they were messing up the trails and got them booted out. Their abuse and lack of trail maintenance or quality design has resulted in nasty washouts, and so much singletrack that has widened from narrow 1-track to wide, loose doubletrack crap.

    No really, I rode some sections of trail that had been recently reworked, and the work basically consisted of some sort of mini dozer knocking everything flat and turning the trail into a 4-5 foot wide highway full of loose dirt and baby heads. What REALLY needed to happen was to have that whole area bypassed by a better-planned trail.

    -Greg Heil

  • trek7k

    Yep, agreed – the Bull Mountain trail system has really suffered over the years, so much so that there’s very little singletrack left. GoldenGoose and I saw some of the new work too and it was pretty nasty stuff (though hopefully the undergrowth will come back and narrow the trail a bit).

    Not to take anything away from the Fools Gold 100 taking place this weekend but the Bull Mountain trails were not designed with bikes in mind and it shows. It’s still a great area though so perhaps there’s hope for a better solution…

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