The interest in mountain biking is growing not only across the country but also in Boise County. There is potential for mountain biking tourism in communities with trails interconnecting. With a wide array of geographic features that Boise County has to offer, there are people working on creating a mountain bike mecca of non-motorized trails and events for economic growth.
At the last Idaho City Chamber of Commerce meeting, Pete Maniaci, of Joyride Cycles, shared his interest in the area by presenting information on the hobby of Mountain Biking. He shared ideas including cleaning trails and mapping so that families or individuals can decide on biking trails best suited for their needs. He also noted the potential for mountain bike events in the town.
Lisa Hanson, Idaho City Chamber Chair, said that they listen to what people are asking for to improve the economy through tourism. Mountain biking is being well received. Hanson says, “Many of you have expressed that you would like to develop this outdoor recreation to increase tourism in our area as well as create opportunity for growth of new business.” Idaho City Chamber is looking for people to help, especially if you would like to be the Mountain Bike Boise National Forest, Idaho City Area committee lead.
Garden Valley has been working on biking as tourism for a year. A mountain bike team called “Wolverines on Wheels” was created for students through the GV School. A group of five is now growing with competitive girls giving it a shot at participating next year. There is an Interscholastic League that has a series of racing events throughout Idaho in the summer for kids to take part in.
Idaho XSports Adventure Park in Garden Valley is grooming trails and renting mountain bikes during the summer season. Kids can practice there as well. Trails have been earmarked for clean-up behind the Adventure Park to create more riding areas with the degree of difficulty minimized so that all ages can ride for the sheer enjoyment of it.
The Boise County Job Creation/Job Retention Council is involved in obtaining grants to set up signage, bathrooms and parking areas for trails. They have also played a significant part in networking with the Forest Service and BLM Identify established trails and do trail clean ups. Some BC JC/RC members met with George’s Cycles of Boise and the Boise Bike Project. This established a relationship and now these businesses are helping with training and equipment for the young riders for free or incentive programs to earn a bike.
Avid mountain bikers in the area are helping by riding sometimes obscure trails, and use a GPS to identify the trail. They map out the pitch and degree of difficulty of the trails. They note if there are trails that need clean up. Maps of trails are on the Boise County Adventures Facebook page.
Everyone working together can achieve one of the fastest growing tourism trends. The Idaho City Chamber, local businesses, the BC JC/RC and the GV Chamber support all efforts to spotlight mountain bike tourism. Goals are to establish connecting routes through the county and create events. Mountain bikers love to travel and spend money at the towns they frequent.