- Building additional miles of purpose-built, sustainable, and well-marked trails suitable for all users
- Promoting responsible trail ethics so as both to respect the trails as well as encourage cooperation among all who use them.
- Teaching bike skills, hosting clinics, organizing group rides and otherwise connecting with all types of mountain bikers: cross-country, free ride, fat bike and bike park riders.
- Marketing and branding the Teton region as a world-class mountain biking destination in partnership with tourism boards, chambers of commerce and local businesses.
- Providing support and consultation for land managers and planners for all matters relating to Teton Region trails where mountain biking is present.
- Developing and support a trails Master Plan on both sides of the Tetons.
- Creating and managing events in both valleys to help promote mountain biking in the Tetons, including group rides, membership gatherings, and races.
- Supporting youth-oriented mountain biking activities, and introduce new riders to the sport and to promote health and wellness.
About Mountain Bike the Tetons
Mountain Bike the Tetons has an eleven-member board, one staff person, Executive Director Tony Ferlisi and a seasonal trail crew.
MBT is an official chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and operates under that organization’s 501c(3) status. As a chapter, MBT can tap IMBA’s substantial strengths (both regional and national) in land planning, trail building/consultation, corporate supporter relationships. IMBA’s worldwide network includes 35,000 individual members, 750+ chapters, clubs and patrols, more than 200 corporate partners, 600+ retailer shops. IMBA’s members live in all 50 U.S. states, most Canadian provinces and in 30 other countries.
Mountain Bike the Tetons was originally established in 2013 as Mountain Bike Teton Valley (see narrative below). After realizing the benefits of advocating for mountain biking on both sides of Teton Pass, it expanded its service area to include Jackson Hole and became Mountain Bike the Tetons. MBT hired its first Executive Director in late 2014 and has quickly made an impact to expand and improve mountain biking resources in the entire Teton region.
- Performed over 1,000 volunteer trail work hours through our volunteer days and our weekly Maintenance Mondays trail work days.
- Repaired and improved the Victor Bike Park pump track and jumps, and installed picnic tables and benches for all to enjoy. Now you’ll find fewer rocks, much improved flow, places to hang out and an added XL jump line.
- Paid for an additional 450 hours of skilled trail crew work on public land trail and park projects.
- Completed a major reroute on the Aspen Trail’s south end and secured funding to install a 25-foot bridge on the Aspen Trail’s largest stream crossing during summer 2016.
- Completed Phase I and II of the Mail Cabin reroute.
- Started and ran the Teton Region Composite Team, the region’s first-ever high school mountain bike team. Our dedicated coaches volunteered hundreds of hours to coach young riders from Jackson, Tetonia, Driggs, Alpine and Victor to a successful first year competing in the Idaho league.
- Worked with BLM and USFS officials to push forward approval of two new singletrack trail systems in southern Teton Valley.
- Secured grant funding to purchase our own 50-piece trail building tool cache.
- Held a free community trail building school with the IMBA Trail Care Crew.
<li “>Distributed 75 free handlebar bells to Teton region mountain bikers.
2016 Goals and Projects
Mountain Bike the Tetons has a busy upcoming agenda!
- Fund a full-time, year-round Executive Director to put MBT’s mission into action on a daily basis.
- Employ our own full-time trail maintenance crew for summer 2016. This crew will focus on projects to improve the trails most important to mountain bikers.
- Finish the final section of the Mail Cabin reroute.
- Continue to usher the Southern Valley Trails (Mike Harris) and Victor BLM trail network proposals through the approval process.
- Grow our high school mountain bike team program by hiring paid coaching staff for both Jackson and Teton Valley. Our goal is to provide both race team and club team options for grades 7-12.
- Continue our Maintenance Mondays trail work program and grow the volunteer Trail Ambassador program.
- Continue our partnership with the Teton Freedom Riders to support Teton Pass trail development.
- Expand groomed fat biking trail options in the Teton region.
Map: Identified, desired improvements to the Teton Valley trail network.
Mountain Bike the Tetons: Origins and History 2013-2014
For years, the Teton region has had many diverse champions for trails. Numerous non-profits, towns/counties, and enthusiasts in both Teton Valley and Jackson Hole have supported trail work as part of their advocacy for pathways and trails enjoyed by skiers, cyclists, hikers and equestrians.
The need for an advocacy group focused solely on dirt became apparent as mountain biking in the Tetons grew in popularity. Scott Fitzgerald, founder of Fitzgerald’s Bicycles, and David Treinis, International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) board member approached IMBA in early 2013 seeking national-level support for riding trails in the Teton Valley. They were advised the best next step would be to start an IMBA chapter.
Scott and David started out by presenting the idea to key Teton Valley mountain bike stakeholder groups to gauge interest in the concept. Teton Valley Trails and Pathways (TVTAP), Peaked Sports, Fitzgerald’s Bicycles and Grand Targhee Resort/Habitat were invited to join in the effort to create this new IMBA chapter.
The initial MBTV membership drive was launched at the Fitzgerald’s Bicycles annual St. Patrick’s Day party in March 2013 where founding members received signature MBTV red hoodies in recognition of their donations. A Board of Directors was formed later that spring with representatives from all stakeholder organizations. Mountain Bike Teton Valley (MBTV) was registered as an Idaho non-profitt, and the Board submitted its application to IMBA for chapter status.
Word of the new mountain bike group spread quickly. MBTV was designated as an IMBA Chapter of its Pacific Northwest Region that September, along with 501c(3) charitable not-for-profit status.
Soon thereafter, it became clear that Teton Valley was simply too far afield from the epicenter of the Pacific Northwest for the IMBA Regional Director to properly serve MBTV’s needs. MBTV petitioned IMBA to be moved out of the Pacific Northwest Region and into the Rocky Mountain region.
While reviewing this request, IMBA noted it would not be able to support separate chapters in Jackson Hole and in Teton Valley. While there was no current push for a Jackson Hole chapter, it was within reason that one could be formed in the future. Additionally, IMBA asserted that most visiting mountain bikers viewed Teton Valley and Jackson Hole as the same destination/region.
IMBA’s suggestion served as an a-ha moment for the MBTV Board. Might it better serve all Teton area riders to create one IMBA Chapter that combined the best offerings of both valleys, and extend membership to Jackson Hole riders as well?
To test the idea, MBTV hosted a facilitated concept-development session in January 2014, inviting representatives from WY Trails and Pathways, Teton Valley Trails and Pathways, Friends of Pathways, Town of Jackson Pathways, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King, and the Teton Freedom Riders. All parties agreed it made sense to expand the existing IMBA chapter’s area of influence to Jackson Hole, and to seek IMBA Ride Center status.
With the first amendment to the MBTV by-laws (qualifying Jackson Hole residents for the Board, expanding its service area, and revamping its mission statement) MBTV officially became “Mountain Bike the Tetons” (MBT) on February 18th, 2014, complete with new Board members representing Jackson Hole. That same year, MBT hosted a joint meeting of both Caribou-Targhee and Bridger-Teton National Forests land managers to solicit support for a mapping project involving both sides of the Tetons, further underscoring the organization’s mission that each valley should benefit from the virtues and resources of the other.
In 2014, Mountain Bike the Tetons applied for and received designation for the Teton Region as a “Silver Ride Center,” an accomplishment shared at the time with only nine other locations in the world.