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  • Writer's pictureDavid Browning

2023 Year in Review

Now is the time when we look back on the last twelve months, to reflect on what we have accomplished and to prepare our plans for the coming year.  

For Orange County Mountain Bike Association, the "we" is awesomely unique because it is YOU!  Our role, our honor, is simply to represent the ridership of our home trails.  

As such, I hope you will allow me to boast a bit about what this amazing mountain bike community has accomplished in 2023 - what YOU have done together!

David Browning, President

 

Let's start with taking care of our trails. There are so many fantastic groups in Orange County, each of which has made it their mission to watch over a portion of the goodness you enjoy. The community worked with the USFS until, in May, we were able to enjoy the re-opening of the iconic Holy Jim Trail, and The Warriors Society continues to organize trail work to maintain it for your enjoyment.  RideRx has supplied OC Parks trained leads to make sure Santiago Oaks stays in great shape. SoCal Trail Alliance keeps the Luge flowing The Ramblas San Juan MTB Trails group has made sure there is joy to be had in San Juan Capistrano . OCMB collaborated with the Laguna Canyon Foundation in the coastal parks. And our many ride groups donated time such as Girlz Gone Riding at O'Neil.

OCMTBA has been honored to support these and many other groups with quarterly mixers, social media promotion, tool supply, as well as food and incentives as requested.  Our community continues to be the leader in giving back to our outdoor spaces.

 

And how about more places to ride?  In addition to the re-opening of the Holy Jim Trail, the City of San Clemente approved the park plans for pump tracks at Richard T Steed Memorial and the City of Fullerton opened West Coyote Hills, all in May.  And this year marked the opening of two new OC Parks Irvine Ranch Open Space properties; Saddleback Wilderness the same month and Gypsum Canyon in November.  The Craig Park Bike Facility, initiated with an IMBA grant arranged by our legacy S.H.A.R.E. MTB Club, has made material progress and our fingers are crossed for that and Red Rocks (also Irvine Ranch Open Space) to open, as well as the SOSB (San Clemente Single Tracks) lease to renew, all in the coming year.

OCMTBA has been privileged to be included in conversations with the USFS, CA State Parks, OC Parks and numerous Cities regarding protection of our access to their existing systems as well as growth of trail mileage to support the wonderful expansion of our community's and all outdoor recreation activity.  

 

This was a great year for events too.  We enjoyed activities like supporting OC Parks Kid's Rodeo in Casper’s Wilderness Park.  We hosted two showings of "Nothing's for Free" at Troy Lee Designs and Oakley headquarters.  We had booth presence at REI and the Coast Film Festival, Sea Otter as well as most Over the Hump races.  In September we joined Team Africa RisingLinked Cycling and thinkMTB in hosting the Good Dirt Ride to benefit TAR, Wheels for Life and your own trails!  What a great way to celebrate our MTB community with more than 700 riders enjoying the ride, the fellowship and the fun afterwards!  And then in November we had the "dry run" (pun intended) of our Dig.Ride.Event bringing land managers and recreation users together to talk all things trails.

OCMTBA had a blast working with the phenomenal industry supporters and partners in providing events that brought all of us together to celebrate the joys of our sports, our friends and the privilege we have of the opportunity to get outside.

 

We believe that communication is key.  Beyond the mixers, the events, the consistent presence at venues, we also strive to keep everyone connected via our newsletters and social media presence.  In addition, we have worked to present an accurate persona of the true OC MTB rider via efforts such as our collaboration on recreation/conservation balance and the recent Visit Laguna Trails Unbound segment.  We keep active in not only IMBA, but also CAMTB to make sure we have a pulse on all things mountain bike related from both a state and national perspective.

OCMTBA understands that part of our role is to link not only our region's riders, but to also keep a pulse on all that is happening relevant to our sport and passion.

 

"It takes a village".  This statement could not apply more than it does for Orange County Mountain Biking.  As we look back on 2023, it is with great appreciation for the incredible support we have received from industry, influencers, local bike shops and most of all - YOU. The PathRock n RoadTrek TustinPure Ride all participated in our retailer program. Crank Brothers hosted our advisory council meetings.  Oakley and Troy Lee provided venues. Gents like Richie SchleyHans Rey and Brian Lopes contributed their insights and sports leadership.  Our friends at Cassette Creative and Pedal Industries supplied us with branded gear.  And about 350 of you chose to support us with a membership contribution.  

We are blessed to have such a strong MTB community, it is our strength and the privilege of OCMTBA to have a small part in organizing, communicating and advocating for this group.


Thank you!


In closing, please allow us to restate our gratitude to serve as your representatives.  The OCMTBA Executive Team has worked tirelessly for you because they are committed to making a difference, to being a part of protecting and expanding our trail access for this and future generations of MTB'rs.  It's been an awesome 2023 and we're just getting started!

 

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