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Kitsbow Announces Inaugural Trail Advocate Program and Recipients

Kitsbow, maker of premium cycling clothing and accessories, announces its inaugural Trail Advocate Program and its first Trail Advocate of the Year recipients—Joe Lopresti (Homer Glen, Illinois), Tim Kugler (Gunnison, Colorado) and Erik Mickelson (Northvale, New Jersey)—helping to steward advocacy and community throughout North America.

“Community is vital to the mission of Kitsbow—communities create and maintain our trails, and without trails we have no mountain biking. We have taken that fellowship on the road with us wherever we travel, whether it be for work or play,” said Zander Nosler, founder of Kitsbow. “In recognizing important members who serve their local communities, we’re bringing our message back to the two things that make our company a reality: the people and the trails.”

In recognizing important members who serve their local communities, we’re bringing our message back to the two things that make our company a reality: the people and the trails. Zander Nosler, Founder of Kitsbow

The three Trail Advocates were nominated by their peers in February 2018, with over 800 total votes online. All are allied with trail organizations in their respective communities with a passion for trail advocacy and building. The three recipients will receive a selection of awesome technical gear from Kitsbow, as well as Kitsbow’s help in spreading the word about trail advocacy in Colorado, Illinois and New Jersey.

Trail Advocate, Joe Lopresti is a board member and Trail Coordinator with Chicago Area Mountain Bikers (CAMBr). He discovered a passion for mountain biking as a child in Idaho and Washington. Upon learning that a local bike park was on the brink of being shut down, he championed a group of fellow riders to rally and preserve the bike park. He later became CAMBr’s new park coordinator, board member and has served many other trail associations.

Tim Kugler is the Executive Director of Gunnison Trails and a proud member of the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (CBMBA). Both entities maintain, educate and build sweet trail in the Gunnison Valley. He competed in and completed the Colorado Trail Race in 2010.

Erik Mickelson works for the New York New Jersey Trail Conference and with JORBA and Palisades MTB. He also works and volunteers with Tahawus trails, CLIMB and NYNJTC. Mickelson found his way into trail advocacy through his involvement with San Diego Mountain Biking Association and has coined the word “trailology” to describe his passion for trails.

Kitsbow will start accepting nominations for its 2019 Trail Advocate program early next year. You can find more information on Kitsbow here.


Below via Kitsbow website:

TRAIL ADVOCATES OF THE YEAR

MEET YOUR TOP TRAIL ADVOCATES

Drumroll, please… The results are in! Big congrats to our top three Trail Advocates of the Year. As a thanks for their hard work and commitment, we’re hooking them up with some sweet Kitsbow gear. Thanks to everyone who nominated and voted — let’s all roll up our sleeves and get out there with these advocates!


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JOE LOPRESTI

@loprestijoe

LOCATION

Homer Glen, IL – a southwest suburb of Chicago

BIO

1. Are you allied with a trail organization?

I am a board member and Trail Coordinator with Chicago Area Mountain Bikers aka CAMBr.

2. How did you get involved in trail advocacy/trail building?

I grew up in places like Idaho and Washington, as a kid I loved being out in nature, on my bike or exploring a trail. You could find me carving passages through sagebrush, constructing jumps in underground spud cellars, or out exploring the world on my bike. When I moved to the Chicago area as a adolescent I got my first taste of urban trails scene. The local jump spot was hidden in a small patch trees behind a large department store. The lips were sketchy, the run in was fast, and the younger kids had placed shopping carts on their sides between the doubles so they could had sort of a springy landing if they couldn’t clear the jumps. It was crude but it had a purpose. We sessioned that place for hours. I went home and tried to build my own jumps right away.

Those kind of memories fueled my passion for mountain biking and trail building as an adult. After a short bicycle hiatus involving a drivers license and several cars and girlfriends, I found myself back on the bike and searching for MTB locations in a place completely devoid of mountains. To my surprise, the sport was alive and well in the Chicago suburbs. It only took a season or two to realize who was doing the work and upkeep on the trails. Once a new trail opened at Palos (our local mtb mecca) I decided to be involved in some way moving forward. So I volunteered, I showed up at a few work days, I helped teach a beginner MTB class, I participated when I could and I paid my local club membership dues. After a while I got pretty decent at riding bikes and ended up injuring myself due to successive impacts from jumping and learning tricks which resulted in several spinal surgeries and finally a fusion of my L5S1 vertebrae.

While sidelined and trying to recover, I found out one of our local bike parks was in serious danger of being shut down. I organized a few of my fellow builders and rallied to save bike park. CAMBr appointed me as the new park coordinator, I became an official board member and we resurrected the park. We took out the dangerous broken skills sections, rebuilt numerous jump lines, worked with the park district, removed the old pump track and built a new one 4 times the size and we built a completely new advanced jump section. I’ll be going on my 4th year at the leading the way over there. I work at other trail locations as well, Andres Bike Park, Palos, and Raceway woods to name a few. I also teach the CAMBr MTB classes and work with bike shops and bike manufacturers to arrange demos and events.

3. What’s your favorite trail? Why is it your favorite?

My favorite trail is always the next one! Unless it’s a really, really really good one I haven’t ridden in a while, but am currently falling back in love with. They are usually better if you yourself have helped to create, maintain, or saved them from destruction.

4. Fun fact?

As a side job, I carve ice sculptures and do live demonstration during the winter.


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TIM KUGLER

LOCATION

Gunnison, Colorado

BIO

1. Are you allied with a trail organization?

I am allied with Gunnison Trails. Actually, I’m the Executive Director of Gunnison Trails. I’m also a proud member of the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (CBMBA). Both of these fine entities maintain, educate and build sweet trail in the Gunnison Valley.

2. How did you get involved in trail advocacy/trail building?

While I started riding in my college days, it wasn’t until I moved to Crested Butte, CO that I got involved with trail advocacy. I spent a weekend with CBMBA building the Budd trail, a rad little connector off of the popular Lower Loop trail, with over 150 volunteers, at the end of which we swilled beer, gorged on BBQ, all to the tunes of a local bluegrass band along the banks of the Slate River – I was hooked. I even met the gal I would marry 7 years later; how’s that for a fairy tale. I attended the next CBMBA board meeting and was immediately welcomed into the family. I eventually went back to school here in Gunnison, received a Masters in Environmental Management, and took over leadership of Gunnison Trails after graduating. Truly a dream come true to follow my passion of trails and land a career right here in the Gunny Valley.

3. What’s your favorite trail? Why is it your favorite?

Hmmm, favorite trail? Since they are in separate states, I get to pick 2. (1) The trails on Observatory Hill (O-Thrill) behind my dorm freshman year at the University of Virginia. Terribly aligned, steep, rutted, littered with baby-heads…these trails were a proper introduction into riding. I flatted on these trails on every other ride, sometimes twice. The woods were overgrown, muggy, claustrophobic…damn, that was riding. (2) Ring Dike at Hartman Rocks. Just over a mile in length, this trail is not the iconic, alpine tundra-filled Colorado epic we’re known for around here. BUT, this is the trail I find myself riding 2-3 times a week. It’s a combination of granite slick rock, sandy, loose corners, steep fall line descents with punchy, cramp inducing climbs. Alternate lines abound, you just need to know where to look. I give myself a scare almost every time I ride it.

4. Fun fact?

I raced the Colorado Trail Race in 2010 having bike-packed once before – a one-night mission the weekend before the race. I was a confident lad who didn’t need gears, full suspension, or proper maps (the route is marked the whole way, right?) I packed light, planned on good weather, and assumed I was the fittest, most badass rider amongst the 35 odd riders there. Of all the adventures I’ve suffered through, the 2010 CTR takes the cake. I was beyond humbled by that 500 mile ribbon of dirt through the rockies. It rained everyday, sometimes all day. My feet were damp for 5 days. Every afternoon I enjoyed lightening and driving rain at a very exposed 12,000 feet. I rode the last 2 days with one brake. I ate the best blueberry muffin of my life in Silverton. The CTR humbled my arrogant self in a few short days…the highest highs and lowest lows I have ever had on two wheels.


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ERIK MICKELSON

@trailologist

LOCATION

Northvale, New Jersey

BIO

1. Are you allied with a trail organization?

I work for the New York New Jersey Trail Conference, and sometimes Tahawus trails. I work with and volunteer with JORBA and Palisades MTB. On occasion also with CLIMB. I also volunteer for the NYNJTC.

2. How did you get involved in trail advocacy/trail building?

That’s a long story. The short version: SDMBA (San Diego Mountain Biking Association)

3. What’s your favorite trail? Why is it your favorite?

That’s hard to say. The southeast has a lot of great trails. Maybe the Santa Ana River Trail in San Bernardino, California, because I get to descend for almost 11 miles.

4. An anecdote from Erik:

Is “Trailism” a word yet? I told a colleague that we are “trailologists,” he told another trail colleague this, who replied, “Well then I suppose that makes me a “trailosopher.”

 

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Jimmy Archer

Founder and Editor at DirtTRI.com. Jimmy has been a professional athlete for over 18 years as a runner, cyclist, mountain biker, cross country skier, and primarily, triathlete. Jimmy has a degree in exercise science from the University of Colorado and is a USA Triathlon and USA Cycling certified coach. Jimmy became a freelance writer in 2000 while competing and covering the ITU Winter Triathlon World Championship. Since that time Jimmy has been head editor at two magazines, been published in numerous publications within the endurance sport, recreation, and travel segments. Currently Jimmy is competing professionally in off-road multisport. In his spare time Jimmy passionately follows Formula 1, Moto GP, and is an avid cook.

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