WANTED: SHAUMS MARCH, last seen on a bubba green Marin Wolf Ridge in Albuquerque, New Mexico!
The Marin Bikes and Mad March Racing New Mexico REI/IPMBA tour kicked off in Albuquerque with 5 or so shop visits first on the agenda. Lots of Marin demo tours and group rides to enjoy and help me get a feel for New Mexico. This area has plenty of great riding plus lots of other cool and secretive things like Area 51. I met one guy, who was heading to Area 51 to get a little “mental tweaking” as he called it, and he was excited about it! Hmmm, I know it takes all kinds but with all of the police officers here for the IPMBA conference (International Police Mountain Bike Association www.ipmba.org) he better watch out.
New Mexico is a dry dessert with a unique beauty, green chili on every meal, and the best chorizo breakfast burritos ever. After 5 shop visits in the first two days of the trip, we spent the next two days hanging out on some of the Santa Fe trails with some REI staff members. The Marin demo van was stacked with all the hot 09 bikes so we had plenty of rigs for the employees to test ride and enjoy, as well as any other interested riders we came across on the trail. We had a great time sharing the trails and bikes with a few groups as well as one or two solo riders. Afterwards we finished up the shop tours and headed down to Albuquerque for the IPMBA conference. Picked up Mark from Marin at the airport, who flew in to drive the Marin truck back to CA for an upcoming demo event. What a trooper – thanks Mark!
Now it was time for the IPMBA conference! As a special guest coach and speaker I hooked up with Charlie, one of the IPMBA Board of Directors and my main contact. He’s a jolly guy about 6’6 and 250±lbs, someone who could easily hurt you, but who also has mad bike skills. No wonder he’s an IPMBA board of director. He took pride in giving me the run through of what was going on for the week and letting me see other programs that were going on and being offered; he is truly dedicated to police bike officers and IPMBA – which has over 3,000 members!
Out of all the courses my favorite was the SIMS. Basically we got to shoot each other with real guns that shoot out foam pellets – and yeah they hurt! I did get a few good shots in before I was dropped with stinging pain from pellets each time. I had a head shot between the eyes and heart shot which the officer’s vest would have stopped. After a of couple of hours I was sweating from the maxed-out adrenaline rush. Oh, and by the way it kind of hurts to have a knee in your back and cuffs on!
While I was being shot at and cuffed Marin was showing their support in the conference exhibit center letting police officers from all over the world test ride 09 Marin bikes like the Mount Vision, a favorite among the IPMBA members. Several members even rode Marin bikes for the end of conference bike competition, a highlight of the conference, and the two fastest times where done on Marin bikes! No surprise there.
During the main conference ceremonies IPMBA awarded us(Mad March Racing) with a plaque to recognize the coaching and support we provided at the conference. I did two guest coaching classes and these two classes had the highest attendance and received overwhelmingly good feedback from participants and IPMBA instructors. I feel honored to have of been part of this conference and am looking forward to a long partnership with IPMBA, as they are such a great group of enthusiastic riders that support our sport and are really good at their jobs! We hope to working with law enforcement cyclist all around the world!