Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series 2016 Sponsorship Opportunities

2016 Series Sponsorship Opportunities

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Seeking Sponsors for the 2016 Season:  As 2016 begins, we have been busy planning for our 14th season of mountain bike racing here in Iowa. We are seeking local sponsors throughout Iowa to help us continue offering the very best mountain bike racing experience at a good value for all Iowans. The Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series is 100% run by volunteers.  Any and all sponsorship support goes back into our series, the riders, and donations to our hosting trail organizations.

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We experienced a 38% jump in participation numbers during the 2015 season over the prior year. In fact, we ended up with our second largest overall participation numbers in our history. We remain excited for the ongoing growth of the IMBCS as we have seen participation numbers grow from 345 participants in our first season back in 2003 to our current level of 1100-1200+ participants.  Our sponsors help us deliver a family friendly series of events that continues to thrive in the state of Iowa.  We accept sponsorships at all levels for the season.

If you or your business is interested in supporting the Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series, please contact our Sponsorship Director – Rose Ayers at rose@agribiz.org or IMBCS Co-Director Bruce Brown at bruce.brown@simpson.edu for more information.

Marathon Series for 2016 Solidified…

The IMBCS Marathon Series is now set for 2016.

Sugar Bottom’s Race Director, Mike Frasier, confirmed today that the date has now been set as May 22nd for the Special Event Marathon at Sugar Bottom. We will not hold one of our traditional XC race length races in conjunction on that particular date (instead – Sugar’s traditional length XC event will be held later in the season on August 21st).

This means that everyone who races XC and doesn’t normally participate in the marathon category has a chance to check out what it is like and have a go at a 4 hour event at Sugar Bottom.

Start training now!

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We were able to schedule our five Marathon Events for 2016 with enough recovery time between events for racers to bounce back (3 weeks minimum between events). A special thank you to all of our 2016 Race Directors and their volunteer crews for agreeing to host one of these 4 hour Marathon events: Noel Kehrt, Mike Frasier, Dave Roll, IMBCS.org, and Bruce Brown.

Our five IMBCS Events that will feature the Marathon Category for the 2016 Series are as follows:

Beverly Fat Tire Frenzy – May 1

Beverly Park
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Sunday, May 1, 2016

IMBCS Special Endurance Event – Sugar Bottom Marathon – May 22

Sugar Bottom Recreational Area, Coralville Lake
Solon, Iowa
Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Ingawanis Woodland Shreddfest – June 11

Bremer County Ingawanis Woodland
Waverly, Iowa
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Whiterock Conservancy Liberty Bell Cup– July 2-3

White Rock Conservancy
Coon Rapids, Iowa
Saturday & Sunday, July 2-3, 2016

The Mullet Fall Classic – August 28

Lake Ahquabi State Park
Indianola, Iowa
Sunday, August 28, 2016

For our IMBCS racers that like to go long – we are proud to offer these five events for you in our 14th Season.

Here is the link to our full IMBCS 14th Season’s XC, Trail Run & Marathon Events for 2016.

Whiterock Conservancy Liberty Bell Cup – IMBCS Event July 2-3, 2016

IMBCS is excited to be hosting the Liberty Bell Cup at Whiterock Conservancy on the 4th of July Weekend this year. Plans are in the making for the two day mountain bike racing format event, a trail running race, camping, lodging, hog roast, barn dance, and fun for the entire family. This is one of our new events for the 2016 season and will be a feature destination mountain biking weekend as IMBCS celebrates its 14th Season. Can you think of a better way to celebrate Iowa’s newest trail system?

Now is the time to start planning your summer travels and vacation time, so mark this one down on your calendars. Racing will be on the 2nd and 3rd. Whether you arrive on July 1st, or the morning of July 2nd – it’s all good. And of course we encourage everyone to stay over on the 4th to enjoy a day at Whiterock Conservancy. There are plenty of things to do at Whiterock. Camping will be available for the weekend. If you don’t like to camp, you can book a room at THIS link. All of White Rock’s available rooms have been set aside for our mountain biking weekend. So book now to reserve your spot.

If you have not been to Whiterock outside of Coon Rapids, take a look at this video to get a better idea of Iowa’s newest singletrack. 13 miles of singletrack are completed and the final 3 miles will be built and finished by the time we race.

More details to come as the event organizers work together to develop this exciting new weekend of Iowa destination mountain biking!

IMBCS #5 – Whiterock Conservancy Liberty Bell Cup*– July 2-3

Whiterock Conservancy
Coon Rapids, Iowa
Saturday & Sunday, July 2-3, 2016

*Denotes a Marathon Race Category Included

Happy New Year 2016!!!

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Happy New Year to all IMBCS Racers, Sponsors, Volunteers, Race Directors, Trail Organizations, and Land Managers!

Come and race with us in 2016!!

A reminder of the chances we have to celebrate together on dirt in 2016 for our 14th Season in the Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series

IMBCS #1 – FORC Illiniwek Abermination – April 17

Illiniwek Forest Preserve
Hampton, Illinois
Sunday, April 17, 2016

IMBCS #2 – Beverly Fat Tire Frenzy* – May 1 

Beverly Park
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Sunday, May 1, 2016

IMBCS Special Endurance Event – Sugar Bottom Marathon* – May 22

Sugar Bottom Recreational Area, Coralville Lake
Solon, Iowa
Sunday, May 22, 2016

IMBCS #3 – Summerset Shootout – June 4

Banner Lakes at Summerset State Park
Carlisle, Iowa
Saturday, June 4, 2016

IMBCS #4 –The Ingawanis Woodland Shreddfest* – June 11

Bremer County Ingawanis Woodland
Waverly, Iowa
Saturday, June 11, 2016

IMBCS #5 – Whiterock Conservancy Liberty Bell Cup*– July 2-3

White Rock Conservancy
Coon Rapids, Iowa
Saturday & Sunday, July 2-3, 2016

IMBCS #6 – FORC Side Thrill Ride – July 10

Sunderbruch Park
Davenport, Iowa
Sunday, July 10, 2016

IMBCS #7 – Ewing Park Slam – July 17

Ewing Park
Des Moines, Iowa
Sunday, July 17, 2016

IMBCS #8 – George Wyth MTB Race – August 13

George Wyth State Park
Waterloo, Iowa
Saturday, August 13, 2016

IMBCS #9 – Sugar Bottom Scramble – August 21

Sugar Bottom Recreational Area, Coralville Lake
Solon, Iowa
Sunday, August 23, 2016

IMBCS #10 – The Mullet Fall Classic* – August 28

Lake Ahquabi State Park
Indianola, Iowa
Sunday, August 28, 2016

*Denotes a Marathon Race Category Included

2015 IMBCS Trail Gnome Awards…

IMBCS is proud to announce the 2015 IMBCS Trail Gnome Awards!

Thanks to all who emailed, messaged, or contacted me with their particular choice to receive one of our trail gnome awards and a written explanation why they should receive it. There are many who are deserving of this award year in and year out throughout our state. This is the first year that IMBCS is recognizing a select group of gnomes. We raise a toast to everyone who dedicated some of their volunteer hours and time to work on our trails in Iowa – award winner or not. None of us would be able to ride our bikes on singletrack without the work everyone puts in to build and maintain our dirt. If you are not a member of your local trail organization, please consider joining, donating money, volunteering to help, and being a part of the other side of the mountain biking experience.

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Central Iowa Gnomes hard at work at Summerset State Park

We all know that Snow White had 7 Dwarfs. IMBCS was fortunate to have more Gnomes than Snow White had Dwarfs, but we did manage to narrow down the list and focus in on the Lucky Seven Gnomes that helped make it happen for 2015. When I put out the call for nominations earlier this year, the following seven were all nominated by Race Directors and Trail Organizations for their work that was recognized as going above and beyond during 2015 to help make our Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series race courses ready for action on race day.

Each Gnome will be receiving a special gift from IBMCS, and each Trail Organization that they are associated with will be receiving a $50 financial gift per winner from IMBCS on behalf of their respective Lucky Seven Gnome Award Winner. Please join me in thanking the following recipients. Raise a toast to them for the work they did on our trails during 2015.

2015 IMBCS Trail Gnome Awards

Drew Hansen: Trail Steward for Illiniwek Park, website manager, graphic designer, and trail building guru. Not many trail work days go down without Drew being there either leading it or volunteering. Drew has an excellent eye for flow and is largely responsible for the flow levels at Illiniwek. He also spent countless hours designing and constructing the new wood berms at Illiniwek this spring. – FORC

Aaron Mielke: Trail Steward for Sunderbruch Park. Aaron has done an excellent job of managing the trails at SBP during his stint as steward. He, and the rest of the SBP Trail Care Crew, spent many hours building and maintaining trail at the park in order to make the trails more sustainable and fun for users. The newest project at the park is a freeride/jump line, which is coming along nicely. – FORC

Chad Reisinger: CVAST would like to nominate Chad. Chad relentlessly works on and off the trails. He is vital in the upkeep, Wednesday night singletrack rides, and assists with the CVAST website. Chad easily comprises three members in one with volunteer hours. Every group should be as fortunate as CVAST is to have a member like Chad. – CVAST

Ken Barker: He is the main reason Beverly Park was prepped and ready for the race. He hands down commits the most time of anyone I know to trail maintenance and development in Iowa. He has spent time as a volunteer at Whiterock, Sugar Bottom, and other places across the state. Additionally, he doesn’t get stuck in the traditional build what I want to ride, but rather continues to hone his skill set as trail building changes. – LAMBA

Randy Aldridge: CITA Member for his tireless work this year at Banner Pits dealing with erosion issues caused by heavy rains, tireless hours of trail maintenance, and being an unsung here getting the trails ready for not only the Summerset Shootout, but for all trail users to enjoy throughout the year. – CITA

Brian Sheesley: CITA Member for his dedication, oversight, professional Gnoming abilities, and all matters dirt at the new Ewing Park Trail System in Des Moines. If Brian was not at work bringing home the bacon, he was at Ewing getting this system up and going. We salute his endless posts of the current trail conditions for all to see, his building and maintenance of the trails, and unending enthusiasm for the volunteer work that he does at Ewing Park. – CITA

Kevin Seydel: Kevin has been a main stay of the Sugar Bottom trail maintenance efforts for many years, and continues to put in more hours than any other volunteer. He has also been instrumental on the development of the Clear Creek Singletrack in Coralville, the first approved mountain bike trails in the IC/CV city limits. Though spending so much time on trail development limits the training Kevin can get compared with others, he can still be found in the sharp end of the Comp Class in IMBCS and WORS races. Kevin has been the glue that holds the Sugar Bottom trails together for years, a true Trail Gnome. – ICORR

Congratulations Gentlemen! We thank you for your work.

Season 14: 2016 Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series Dates

IMBCS #1 – FORC Illiniwek Abermination – April 17

Illiniwek Forest Preserve
Hampton, Illinois
Sunday, April 17, 2016

IMBCS #2 – Beverly Fat Tire Frenzy* – May 1 

Beverly Park
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Sunday, May 1, 2016

IMBCS Special Endurance Event – Sugar Bottom Marathon* – May 22

Sugar Bottom Recreational Area, Coralville Lake
Solon, Iowa
Sunday, May 22, 2016

IMBCS #3 – Summerset Shootout – June 4

Banner Lakes at Summerset State Park
Carlisle, Iowa
Saturday, June 4, 2016

IMBCS #4 –The Ingawanis Woodland Shreddfest* – June 11

Bremer County Ingawanis Woodland
Waverly, Iowa
Saturday, June 11, 2016

IMBCS #5 – Whiterock Conservancy Liberty Bell Cup*– July 2-3

White Rock Conservancy
Coon Rapids, Iowa
Saturday & Sunday, July 2-3, 2016

IMBCS #6 – FORC Side Thrill Ride – July 10

Sunderbruch Park
Davenport, Iowa
Sunday, July 10, 2016

IMBCS #7 – Ewing Park Slam – July 17

Ewing Park
Des Moines, Iowa
Sunday, July 17, 2016

IMBCS #8 – George Wyth MTB Race – August 13

George Wyth State Park
Waterloo, Iowa
Saturday, August 13, 2016

IMBCS #9 – Sugar Bottom Scramble – August 21

Sugar Bottom Recreational Area, Coralville Lake
Solon, Iowa
Sunday, August 23, 2016

IMBCS #10 – The Mullet Fall Classic* – August 28

Lake Ahquabi State Park
Indianola, Iowa
Sunday, August 28, 2016

*Denotes a Marathon Race Category Included

Link to Map of Events

IMBCS Survey Results and 2016 IMBCS Advisory Board Members Announcement…

I asked everyone near the end of October interested to participate in a ten question survey to respond to a variety of ideas discussed and introduced to me throughout the year. The IMBCS Advisory Board once again is preparing to discuss various topics moving forward with the 2016 season and beyond. I would like to emphasize the word beyond. Change and improvement require incremental steps, time, funding, and patience. Like last year, many of the questions asked in this year’s survey were with the beyond in mind.

That being said, thanks to one and all who took the time to participate in the survey and provide comments. There have been 56 responses recorded to date. Each member of the Advisory Board will now have the chance to see the results, and we will be meeting before the end of the year to put our creative heads together as we discuss and consider steps for next season and beyond.

I have also been in direct communication with our 2016 race directors for their comments, concerns, ideas, and thoughts. I have been working with Paul Jensen from IBRA to get the most conflict free 2016 schedule with other race disciplines and events in our state. In addition, we have done our best to avoid conflicts with most of the popular destination events that Iowans seem to participate in (Almanzo 100, Dakota Five-0, both Chequamegons, Cayuna 50, and RAGBRAI).

The results of the survey are available online at Survey Monkey for those who are interested.

We have an exciting line up of 10 XC races and 5 Marathon races ready to announce. The 2016 season rotates into the schedule two new venues for 2016 while three venues from the 2015 season rotate out as part of an effort to keep a 20-30% venue rotation each season. I just got off of the phone planning details with White Rock and I think it is safe to say everyone can start looking forward to the big 4th of July IMBCS weekend event at White Rock Conservancy featuring weekend racing, a hog roast, and live music as we all enjoy their new trails (even more will have been completed by July). The return of the Ingawanis Woodland to our schedule provides the opportunity for new race director Dave Roll to treat us all by welcoming us back to a venue that we haven’t raced on since the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

The addition of Sugar Bottom’s separate Marathon Race in the Spring will complete one of my goals of working up to 5 Marathon events as a series race category. It took a few years to develop, but finally arrives in earnest for the 2016 season! Look for other additions and announcements as we move forward – including the addition of a trail run series in 2016. All in all, we are building on the past as we move into the future by providing Iowans with a greater variety of opportunity to race on dirt.

In addition to an exciting 2016 schedule, we have a new and broader group of IMBCS Advisory Board Members to announce including the return of Cam Kirkpatrick who will join me as IMBCS Co-Director for 2016. Cam previously directed the IMBCS for a number of years until his work related move to Chicago led to Cam passing the torch on to me before the start of the 2014 season. We welcome Cam and Julie back to Iowa as well as having them both back involved with IMBCS. I am looking forward to working with Cam as Co-Director where we both felt we could combine our experience to continue the growth of mountain bike racing here in Iowa for IMBCS.

2016 Board Members

2016 Co-Directors: Bruce Brown & Cam Kirkpatrick
2016 Advisory Board: Julie Kirkpatrick, Rob Cook, Karmen Woelber, Nicholas Eckermann, Andy Peterson, Mike Frasier, Andre Rethman, Michelle Barker, Ron Cooney, Cheryl Dralle, Rose Ayers, Kevin Betters, Katherine Roccasecca, Tom Anderson
Series Points Coordinator: Rob Cook
Website Coordinators: Katherine Roccasecca & Eric Roccasecca

IMBCS statistics from our internet and social media groups…

2015 was a year that continued use of multiple sources to get the word out to potential participants about IMBCS and our individual events.

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Photo from George Wyth MTB Race Courtesy of Eric Roccasecca

In addition to our new IMBCS website, we used Yahoo Groups, Facebook, BikeIowa.com, and MTBReview.com.

583 Yahoo IMBCS Group Members

685 Facebook IMBCS Page Members

1,060 Views at our IMBCS BikeIowa.com Portal (where each individual race received between 1,000 – 11,000 views)

2,137 Views on MTBReview.com IMBCS Thread

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Photograph of the Sugar Bottom Scramble courtesy of Broken Photography

The multi-pronged approach certainly does help to get the word out to many interested in mountain bike racing. However, at several of our race events this year, people would stop by and ask what was going on and asked how they could find out about mountain bike racing in Iowa.

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I guess that means in our state of Iowa with a population of 3.1 Million, we still have work to do using various forms of media to reach deeper into the potential Iowa base of mountain bikers! Look for some focused, additional new media efforts in 2016.

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Photograph of the Hin und Zurück TT courtesy of Eric Roccasecca