The North Texas Mountain Bike Patrol (NTMBP) was established in January, 2006 by a group of local mountain bike enthusiasts and organized by Rick Buckley. The local patrol falls under IMBA’s (International Mountain Bike Association’s) National Mountain Bike Patrol (NMBP) program. Currently the patrol has 25 members and is still expanding. The patrol supports both public and private trails throughout North Texas. It has also established formal agreements with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for two of its largest parks, Cedar Hill State Park and Palo Duro Canyon State Park.
NMBP has a fairly simple mandate for its local patrols. They are to assist with medical and mechanical issues, educate trail users of proper trail etiquette, work with land managers and owners to maintain and gain trail access for mountain bikers and to offer volunteer services at races and other events.
The NTMBP has been very active in these matters over the past 6 years. They sponsor two weekly family rides on different sides of the DFW Metroplex, host special events including Beginner Rider Clinics, and provide support for charity road bike rallies and parades. They’ve also organized and supported local and state mountain bike races and even supported running marathons and ultra distance trail running races.
We have expanded our mission to help support other charitable groups who have similar missions. We are a supporter of Spokes for Folks, Ground Works Dallas, and we even are the sponsoring organization for a Boy Scouts Venture Crew. In February 2011, the Boy Scout Mountain Bicycling Venture Crew #2629, located in Garland, was established as a first of its kind mountain bike group. It is still in its early stages but it has great potential to offer a variety of experiences for youth who are interested in outdoor activities and especially in mountain biking.
Spokes for Folks is a Non-Profit group which provides bicycles to anyone who wants one but can’t afford it. They collect donated bicycles, refurbish them and give them to either individuals or other organizations which request them. Routinely they hold “Bike Builds” where volunteers work on these bikes. The services of the patrollers has been invaluable to these wrench days.
Early in our formation, the patrol saw a need in the local area to convey IMBA standards for trail building and maintenance. The NTMBP sponsors an annual trail school and invited land managers, trail builders and local club volunteers. The school is currently scheduled each February and is taught at the Boy Scout’s Sid Richardson Ranch. The Lone Star Trail Building School is comprised of three distinct courses, a basic, advanced, and Land Manager’s trail building course. In the basic trail building course, students are taught how to design and build sustainable trails. The advanced course is geared towards repeat attendees. A specific advanced design topic is chosen and taught. Up to this point, topics have included rock crossings, bridge building, and technical trail features. The land managers course topics such as liability, sustainable trail building techniques, signage, just to name a few.