Every year SBTS gives special recognition to a partner that goes above and beyond to help us create Dirt Magic, and we are very excited to announce Shimano North America as the SBTS Partner of the Year for 2020.
For many people, 2020 was a challenging year, and it was no different for SBTS; we were forced to cancel three world-class events and could not assemble our powerful force of volunteer labor to complete trail projects. This left SBTS with a big financial gap to fill, as many of our grants require a volunteer match component, meaning, to satisfy a grant, a certain number of volunteer hours must be supplied. Any shortfall comes out of SBTS budgets.
Despite not being able to hold volunteer trail days or events in 2020 – a central component of SBTS partnership agreements – Shimano North America continued to fully support the SBTS cause of building sustainable, recreation-based communities through stewardship and job creation.
In addition to being an Adopt-a-Trail member, providing funds annually to help maintain Lavezzola Creek Trail in Downieville, Shimano is also one of SBTS’s longest-standing supporters with a big presence during the Downieville Classic, sponsoring the crowd-favorite Ron’s House of Big Air River Jump and Cast-Off Competition. In the wake of the 2009 economic collapse, Shimano stepped up as the Title Sponsor of the Downieville Classic that year. Without Shimano’s support, the 2009 edition wouldn’t have happened.
But Shimano’s support and involvement run far deeper than the Downieville Classic. Shimano backs our annual 5 Bucks-a-Foot fundraiser campaign, regularly going beyond contractual obligations to help outfit one lucky winner with a very nicely equipped mountain bike loaded with Shimano components.
Shimano has also been an invaluable partner in helping develop e-bike opportunities in Downieville, working together with SBTS to bring in land managers from the U.S. Forest Service and providing them with e-bikes to ride. These efforts have already helped immensely, providing education that’s informing sensible land management decisions around Class 1 pedal-assist bikes. It’s no coincidence that our partners at the Tahoe National Forest have taken a progressive and inclusive stance on Class 1 pedal-assist bicycles, and have already reclassified 35 miles of non-motorized trail in the Truckee Ranger District to include use of Class 1 e-bikes.
And finally, we are excited about Shimano’s involvement with the big SBTS legacy project, Connected Communities. Shimano recently renewed their partner agreement with SBTS and will provide support for a promotional film about Connected Communities that SBTS will soon release.
“Shimano and Sierra Buttes partnership exemplifies the ethos of mountain biking; giving back to the communities that support your freedom and taking care of the trails that provide endless smiles and experiences, said Megan Duehring, Shimano e-Bike Marketing Specialist. “Shimano is proud to extend our partnership with Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship through 2023 as we work together to leave the trails better than we found them.”
There’s so much more Dirt Magic to come in 2021, and SBTS is honored to have Shimano North America as an essential ingredient to making it all happen.