Richmond 2015, the organizing committee for the 2015 UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) Road World Championships, last week, unveiled plans to create a Richmond Region IMBA Ride Center. This center will focus on mountain biking trails at Pocahontas State Park and Richmond’s James River Park System. The Richmond Region will become the 12th nationwide site of an IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) ride center.
“More than one of the world’s preeminent cycling events, Richmond 2015 has always been about leveraging the World Championships as a catalyst for transformational change throughout our region,” said Wilson H. Flohr, Jr., CEO of Richmond 2015.
IMBA is recognized as the international leader in the mountain biking community. Their ride centers featuring extensive trail networks are the organization’s strongest endorsement of a trail experience. The centers become travel destinations for mountain bikers from around the world. With the combination of trails in the James River Park System and those existing and to be created at Pocahontas, the Richmond Region facility is expected to be among the most highly rated IMBA Ride Centers.
The Dominion Foundation, the company’s charitable arm, has donated $50,000, matching Virginia’s investment in the project. This officially launches a fund drive to raise the remaining $700,000 needed for trail improvements to Pocahontas State Park, where an additional 30 miles of new mountain bike trails are planned. An additional $490,000 would also be needed for expanded parking, a restroom and event staging area.
The ride center would annually increase economic activity in Chesterfield County by $2.7 million. The 2015 World Championships is projected to generate approximately $158 million in economic impact, 450,000 onsite spectators and a global television audience of more than 300 million viewers.