It helps to know that there are people who have your back once you start a new hobby or take up a new activity. When it comes to Washington state and the surrounding areas, there is no lack of groups and organizations that focus on promoting the popularity of mountain and backcountry biking and increasing its availability. It’s always great when those organizations grow to become huge because then their impact can reach way beyond their members. And that’s exactly what Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance has done. Read up, because if you’re into mountain biking at all and you live in the Washington area, you must know about this organization.
Established in 1989, Evergreen Mountain Bike association was first intended to be an organization with political advocacy purposes. Brought together due to the fact that nature trails were actively being closed in the Northwest, active lifestyle proponents decided to take matters into their own hands. Originally called Concerned Off Road Bicyclists Association, in 1990 it merged with another, also recently-established, group, Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club, gained its current name and a strong standing as a big organization capable of carrying out various tasks and improving the conditions for mountain biking in the Northwest.
Over time, the members gained forestry, trail maintenance, education skills and started broadening the mission of the organization. Let’s take a look at what we have as of today.
Evergreen Mountain Bike alliance is the largest statewide organization dedicated to mountain biking. It reaches across eight regions and constantly brings together thousands of mountain biking enthusiasts determined to give this awesome activity more exposure and attract more people. It doesn’t just organize events and spread awareness of the benefits of mountain biking, but it is also putting active effort into making sure mountain biking is accessible, which includes trail maintenance and trail building, education about mountain biking safety and other similar activities. It is also working towards increasing the preservation of nature and wildlife.
Over the years, it has gathered together over 5000 members, all of whom contribute to the work of the organization on a volunteering basis. In the past 8 years, Evergreen Mountain Bike Association succeeded in expanding the mountain biking trails by an impressive total of 200 miles. It could be said that the organization switched from a reactive approach, meaning pointing out issues and advocating the right causes, to a lot more of a proactive one, meaning actively fighting for preservation of this hobby, trails and nature as a whole.
The vision and activities
As of now, these are the main focus areas of the organization:
- Communicating and making arrangements with landowners and land managers to ensure access to trails.
- Organizing races and mountain biking competitions.
- Carrying out educational programs for children which include theoretical lessons and safe mountain biking activities.
- Constantly maintaining high-traffic mountain biking trails.
- Providing rider skill and safety classes to mountain bikers of different levels.