Welcome to the Fort Bend Mountain Bike Association

A local MTB story with a happy ending! 

A local MTB story with a happy ending! 

Spoiler alert, Great news for SLMTB and FBMBA.

A local MTB story with a happy ending! 

Spoiler alert, Great news for SLMTB and FBMBA.

At the beginning of 2019, MTB life was good in Sugar Land (SL). Trails were in good shape, and the final trail planned at Oyster Creek park was under way. Then a couple concerned neighbors called the police during a trailwork party. This ended up with the trail captains, asked to leave, the trail being fenced off, and a maintenance ban of all Sugar Land MTB trails. This severely offended the local MTB community (MTB) and built a figurative wall between the parks department and the local MTB stewards and captains. No charges were pressed, but the spark was lit!

At that point, we decided to that it was time to take action. Against recommendations, I started a petition in favor of Sugar Land MTB that received over 1300 signatures, that went straight to the city manager, SL parks department, and the mayor. Although we were speaking loudly for the past previous years, our voice was finally being heard, and the city reached back out to meet with us. After a few meetings it was clear that the current situation between SL and MTB was not ideal for either party. MTB wanted to be viewed, not as the stereotypical punk kids on bikes, but as the hardworking volunteers that are adding valuable resources and opportunities to the local community. The city wanted an organized, structured, local nonprofit that they could communicate clearly with in order to work together effectively and safely.

After careful consideration by the stewards, captains, and trail gnomes in SL, we came together with overwhelming support to form the Fort Bend Mountain Bike Association (FBMBA) as a chapter of the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). With IMBA support, and an amazing, hardworking team of captains, gnomes, board members, and many other volunteers, FBMBA has jumped off to a great start. We have become more organized, recruited more volunteers, worked more cohesively to plan and organize the plans and goals for our entire trail network. Both the FBMBA board and our amazing team of trail captains meet (at least) on a monthly basis to determine what the needs and goals of the network. By coming together, we have seen some major upgrades to the network over the last year and plan to continue this for years to come.

The FBMBA grassroots membership drive supported by: Pergolas, Inc.; Sugar Cycles; Society Cycleworks,  Dr. Michael Krynski, Podiatry; AFC Urgent Care of Richmond; BatteriesPlus of Sugar Land, and Handlebar Cyclery was a great success. Our local sponsors allowed us to kick start the nonprofit formation and to them we are grateful.  We have recruited over 230 members so far and hope to continue growing support. Without the support of our sponsors and members, this journey would be much more difficult, but with the support of the community we know we are doing a great thing in Sugar Land and surrounding areas. 

The FBMBA board has worked hard to represent the local MTB community. Through countless, meetings among ourselves, with captains, with other MTB associations such as GHORBA, with other outdoor advocates including Shape Up Fort Bend, and Fort Bend Fit, the Sugar land Parks and recreation department, with the Sugar Land PARCS board, and finally with the Sugar Land city council we have fought for local MTB rights and access. The entire community has come together to show that local nature trail access for mountain biking, trail running, and other recreational activities is of great importance to us all.

Last night while most were getting off work, or eating dinner, Sugar Land city council took action on the pending license agreement between FBMBA and the city of Sugar Land. 

WE ARE VERY PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE LICENSE AGREEMENT PASSED UNANIMOUSLY, AND THE FORT BEND MOUNTAIN BIKE ASSOCIATION IS THE OFFICIAL TRAIL STEWARDS OF THE CURRENT AND FUTURE PROPOSED NATURAL SURFACE TRAILS IN SUGAR LAND PARKS. 

Included in the current SL parks trails are:

Justin P. Brindley MTB trail, 

Brazos River Park trails( tower run 1 &2), 

River Bend MTB trail, 

and we are super happy to say Oyster Creek natural surface trails! 

We are looking forward to opening, maintaining, enhancing, and expanding all of the trails under our agreement, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for Sugar Land and Fort Bend MTB. Please stay tuned for upcoming work parties to restore the trails and if you haven’t already, consider joining FBMBA to continue this wild ride with us!

Be safe, have fun, see ya on the trails!

Richie Rys

FBMBA

Senior Director of Trails

WWW.FBMBA.ORG

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