January 2019 Newsletter

Over the past year the club has grown tremendously in membership. We currently have about 250 members. It’s been a long time since we’ve had that many members.

First a big shout-out to ALL our amazing ride leaders. Thanks to them we hosted more rides on Meetup than in any other year - 245 rides. That comes out to a ride every 1.5 days. A special thanks goes to Lena, Babs, David and Tami. We now have over 1000 members in our Meetup Group.

AMBA has always wanted to be able to offer some basic mountain bike instruction to its members. Unfortunately, we were restricted by a lack of insurance coverage. Things have changed, and we are now covered to offer beginner mountain biking instruction. With this coverage comes a new opportunity, and the club will be sending two of our most popular ride leaders to become certified instructors. So, if you are a beginner, you can look forward to more instructional opportunities this coming season.

One of the goals of the club has been to get more kids involved with mountain biking, which is why we’ve always hosted a “Take A Kid Mountain Biking” day. We have supported the NICA “Goatheads” youth team financially for a couple of years now, but this past November we decided to increase our partnership with them to get more kids involved in mountain biking. In the past, members of the team were restricted by insurance coverage to only riding during their official season. Starting this year, AMBA has now incorporated the Goatheads family into our Meetup online application so they can ride year-round. Now you can expect to see Goatheads affiliated coaches leading AMBA youth rides throughout the year. This is a huge step to keep kids riding. This is also your opportunity to become a youth ride leader. For more information about NICA teams in New Mexico. Contact abqmtbkids@gmail.com. Kids 5th grade and over are welcome without special approval, and you must sign our online application.

We had a great time supporting the Albuquerque Mountain Bike Festival with our donut station. The donut station has always been supported by Bikeworks, but they weren’t able to do it this year, so AMBA stepped in to carry the torch and continue this essential tradition. We also supported REI’s membership day and BikeABQ’s annual Meet and Greet. We had fun at both.

National Trails Day almost didn’t happen but we managed to squeeze in some trail work on the Challenge Trail and had a great BBQ (veggie burgers included) before the rain and lightning drove us to our cars.

Our board member, David Harding, has been a big supporter of Esperanza, the city run bike program designed to get people in need building and owning their own bikes. Over the summer the program ran out of brake cables which severely limited their ability to go forward with their mission. AMBA, in conjunction with Bikeworks, stepped up to purchase about $300 worth of cables so Esperanza could continue to build bikes. By the way, if you want to work on your own bike, or learn how to work on your own bike, or learn how to work on your own bike with the guidance of a bike “guru,” Esperanza is the place to do it. They have all the special tools and knowledge to get your bike running the way.

Thanks to David Burton, we have a new website. With the new website, you now have options when you join AMBA. You can join the same way you’ve always done, through IMBA, or you can join directly through our website. Joining through our website means all your money goes directly to the club. Also, on the site you can find links to Facebook, Instagram and Meetup as well as a list of our current board members.

Unfortunately, our amazing secretary and ride leader, Rachel Bobka, has moved back to Alaska. We will all miss her. Carley Parriot has graciously volunteered to be the club secretary as well as social coordinator.

As clubs mature, they inevitably go through growing pains. So, if you go on a Meetup ride, we ask that you postpone the celebration to after the ride. This means no alcohol or pot smoking on the ride, and if you listen to music please use ear buds.