Benefiting the Black Hills One Trail at a Time
Black Hills Mountain Bike Association
Black Hills Mountain Bike Association (BHMBA)
The BHMBA is a non-profit cycling club based in Rapid City, SD comprised of
over 150 members of various ages, genders and abilities. Since 1997, the
BHMBA has provided educational opportunities regarding the benefits of cycling
as well as working to provide numerous non-motorized trails for recreation.
The mission statement of the Black Hills Mountain Bike Association (BHMBA) is to
promote mountain biking in the Black Hills . Goals include keeping up with the
progression and changes in mountain biking, making mountain biking available to all
ages and abilities, building and maintaining environmentally friendly and sustainable
trails, helping to promote health and activity in the youth of the Black Hills
The BHMBA works together with land managers, including the City of Rapid City and
the National Forest Service to help create recreational trails, as well as help manage
existing trails. Current projects and programs include:
-Cooperative effort with the National Forest Service to plan and construct a 5-mile
beginner/intermediate level non motorized trail system 5 miles west of Rapid City
(BHMBA applied for and received $25,000 in RTP funding to lease mechanized trail
building equipment). The trail will be completed fall 2008.
-Partnering with Rapid City Parks and Recreation in planning and promoting the annual
Black Hills Fat Tire Festival (www.bhFattirefestival.com).
-Instructing beginner Rapid City Parks and Recreation Mountain Bike Classes for women
-Plan and promote group rides and a summer mountain bike race series.
-Partnership with Hansen-Larsen Memorial Foundation, City of Rapid City, SD School
of Mines and Technology in planning and constructing a 12-mile trail system in Rapid
City (BHMBA applied for and received $247,000 in RTP Grant Funding, and will
contribute $50,000 worth of labor during Fall 2008 construction).
-Partner with Rapid City Parks and Recreation to develop a dirt jump and bike park.
International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA)
The International Mountain Bicycling Association is a non-profit educational
association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve great trail
experiences for mountain bikers worldwide.
Since 1988 , IMBA has been bringing out the best in mountain biking by
encouraging low-impact riding, volunteer trailwork participation, cooperation
among different trail user groups, grassroots advocacy and innovative trail
management solutions .
IMBA's worldwide network includes 32,000 individual members , more than 750
bicycle clubs , more than 130 corporate partners and about 200 bicycle retailers .
IMBA's members live in all 50 U.S. states, most Canadian provinces and in 30
IMBA Ride Centers
IMBA Ride Centers will be extensive trail networks, masterfully designed for
mountain bikers of every skill level and built by professional trailbuilders. They
will serve as social and educational hubs, where visitors can connect and learn
new riding techniques. The centers will provide the full range of mountain biking
experiences today's riders crave, from long singletrack journeys to family-friendly
loops, and areas with expertly designed technical challenges - including
sustainable downhill and freeriding options - to test accomplished riders.
The locations will be contingent on partners at the federal, state and private
level. IMBA's network of 750 affiliated clubs and patrols units will play a vital role
in this program. IMBA Ride Center locations will integrate the volunteer
stewardship of these groups, resulting in self-sustaining trail systems that are
maintained and nurtured by their constituents.
Ride Centers will also bring major economic benefits to their host communities.
IMBA has compiled online resources that describe they ways that mountain
biking supports tourism and enhances economic development in communities
around the globe Mike Van Abel, IMBA's executive director.
Black Hills Ride Center
Rapid City and the surrounding Black Hills will make for a terrific ride center. Already a
tourist destination, with attractions for the entire family, sustainable recreational trails
will expand the tourist base and tourist season (which has been year round the past
several years). Mountain biking generates millions of dollars of revenue in communities
such as Fruita CO, Moab UT, and Whistler BC, and the BH can reap similar recreational
and economic rewards. Centrally located in the United States on Interstate 90, the access
is easy. This doesn t include direct flights from Denver CO, Minneapolis MN, Chicago
IL (summer), Phoenix AZ, Salt Lake City UT, and Las Vegas NV. Trails already exist
for the entire family including beginner to expert level trails located within Rapid City
and the surrounding Black Hills. This doesn t include professionally designed trails that
are currently being constructed, or will be constructed in the near future. The BHMBA
feels that with help from local and federal government agencies, Rapid City and the
surrounding Black Hills can be developed into and designated an IMBA Ride Center.
By working with local land managers, creating riding opportunities and events, the
BHMBA is experiencing increased membership annually, not only by cyclists, but also
trail runners, walkers, and hikers whom also enjoy sustainable non motorized recreational
As BHMBA membership increases and trails are constructed, simultaneously Rapid City
becomes a healthier community. Trails of any type help fight obesity, provide a healthy
outlet for children, and an environmentally friendly form of recreation and transportation.
The local economy benefits from increased sustainable recreation opportunities, and
increased tax revenues from tourists. The BHMBA is working to expand the network of
non-motorized recreational trails within Rapid City and the surrounding Black Hills.
Benefiting the Black Hills one trails at a time .
Black Hills Mountain Bike Association, President
South Dakota IMBA State Representative