- 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, freeride, 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 supporting 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
Our Staff: Mountain Bike the Tetons has an eight-member board, one full-time staff person, Executive Director Tony Ferlisi, a seasonal professional trail crew and a seasonal youth program coordinator.
Our Relationship with IMBA: MBT is an official chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) but operates under our own organization’s 501c(3) status. Become an IMBA member and 100% of your dues are funneled to MBT. As a chapter and as part of the “IMBA Local” Program, MBT has direct access to IMBA’s substantial strengths (both regional and national) in land planning, trail building/consultation, corporate supporter relationships and to a suite of organizational tools. 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.
History: Mountain Bike the Tetons was established in 2013 as Mountain Bike Teton Valley (see the narrative below). After realizing the benefits of advocating for mountain biking on both sides of Teton Pass, MBT 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.
- Funded and hired a 3-person, professional trail crew for 20 weeks
- Maintained 104 miles of Teton Region trails
- Constructed 4.2 miles of new trail (including significant re-routes)
- Cut 86 trees out of existing trail and over 160 trees for new trail
- Cleaned over 300 water bars and drains
- Hosted 6 volunteer trail days
- Spent 1922 hours working on your local trails and bike parks
- Constructed the region’s first bike park just for kids alongside our partners at Jackson Hole Friends of Pathways and the Town of Jackson
- Launched the Sprockids Program, a youth mountain bike education program for 6-11 year old riders to resounding success
- Represented Mountain Biking stakeholders as a member of the Teton County Wyoming Public Lands Initiative committee to protect mountain biking opportunities in Teton County, WY
- Secured significant grant funding for two major trail projects, grant funding for purchase and maintenance of new trail building tools, and grant funding for critical general operating
- Updated our 5-year strategic plan to guide progress forward
- Launched the first ever “Cariboo Jack” mountain bike race – a backcountry stage race in the Palisade range
Goals and Projects
Mountain Bike the Tetons has a busy upcoming agenda in 2019!
- Employ our own, 4-person full-time trail crew for summer 2019. This crew will continue to focus on projects to improve the trails most important to mountain bikers in the region.
- Continue work on the Southern Valley Trails (Mike Harris) network with our partners.
- Grow the Sprockids program by increasing enrollment in Teton Valley and expanding the program to Jackson
- Continue our Maintenance Monday trail work program by evolving alongside local needs and expectations
- Continue our partnership with the Teton Freedom Riders to support Teton Pass trail development.
- Focus trail work in the Horseshoe Canyon Trail Network
- Continue work with Friends of Pathways and the Town of Jackson on construction and management of Jackson Bike Parks
Mountain Bike the Tetons: Origins and History 2013-2014, a Story
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 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-profit, 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.