(Teton Valley, Idaho) - If you know any mountain bikers, you would know that many of them spend more money on their bikes than rent, cars, etc. This is true for Mountain Bike the Tetons
Executive Director Amanda Carey, who laughed as she told us her bike was
worth twice as much as her car.
With many passionate mountain bikers in the area, there aren't many
organizations to serve the trails and the interests of the group -- until
recently. Mountain Bike the Tetons is a fairly new organization, but this
summer they are poised to expand their staff and their programs
The founding board members started looking into the possibility of the
organization in early 2013, and it was official in 2014. Carey was hired as
the first permanent employee in December 2014. Mountain Bike the Tetons was
initially Mountain Bike Teton Valley before the International Mountain
Bicycling Association (IMBA) asked them to take on the full region.
"There is such unbelievable potential for mountain biking to bring
sustainable tourism dollars not only to Teton Valley, but to Jackson Hole.
We grew mountain biking with this purpose in mind," said Carey.
Currently, the Teton Region is a Silver Level Ride Center (as ranked by
IMBA), but Carey says that with recent improvements they would reach Gold
Level if they reapplied.
"What we are trying to do is get the Teton Region attention as being a
fantastic destination location. That is a two part thing -- it is going to
inject a lot of money into our riding economy, which in turn is going to
help us create jobs through hotels, gas, shops, etc. Mountain bikers spend
money on par with golfers," she said.
Their mission is to maintain existing trails, look for new trail building
opportunities and grow the sport. The organization is working to bring
people here, but also serve the local mountain biking community. And some
new hires this summer will help them achieve these goals.
According to Carey, Mountain Bike the Tetons is planning to hire two
full-time trail crew employees this summer. They are also hiring a head
coach for the high school mountain bike team.
Beyond the new staff, the organization has increased programming for the
season. They will continue their "Maintenance Monday"
program starting May 23, where volunteers gather from 4 - 8 p.m. to
socialize and work on a part of a trail.
"We pick easy trail maintenance projects that are attainable through
volunteers," said Carey.
They also have a trail ambassador program with the forest service in Idaho.
These programs, along with the new trail crew employees can make a huge
impact on the trail system.
"We have so many trails that people don't ride, so we feel that if we can
slowly chip away at those maintenance projects, then we can make a huge
impact on the riding," Carey added.
The organization is also collecting donations through the 2016 Trail Fund
and working to connect with the community through events like "Get to know
MBT at Snake River Brewing"
"We really want to hear from the community," said Carey. "Where they want
to ride, where they can't ride but want to ride now, what can we address
that isn't being addressed, and what they would like us to work on."
The event at Snake River Brewing is tomorrow, May 19, from 5 - 7 p.m.
*Feature Photo: Amanda Carey on Grand Targhee last summer. h/t Amanda Carey