Quality Bicycle Products has awarded its 2014 Clay Mankin award to Joe Brown, owner of Methow Valley Cycle and Sport in Winthrop, WA. The Clay Mankin award recognizes retailers who inspire others with their commitment to bicycle advocacy, industry growth, and their passion for cycling. Brown was nominated for the award for his advocacy efforts, which greatly increased fat bike and mountain bike trails in his native Washington. He also serves as a board member on the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, a statewide organization in WA.
Brown’s shop first assembled a small fleet of fat bikes in 2010. It might have remained small but it quickly grew as he worked with the U.S. Forestry Service, the MVSTA, the Washington Division of Fish and Wildlife, and Washington State Parks to establish both mountain bike and fat bike trails in the areas surrounding Methow Valley. These advocacy efforts received attention on a greater scale when Brown was asked to give a presentation about the successful integration of fat biking into Nordic ski areas at last month’s Global Fat Bike Summit in Ogden, UT. Joe’s advocacy efforts have introduced hundreds of people to the world of fat biking that would have otherwise not been exposed to it. QBP’s Advocacy Director, Gary Sjoquist, nominated him for this award.
“In the Methow Valley, hundreds of miles of mountain bike and fat bike trails were available provided someone did the work to contact the land managers and work with
state organizations to establish designated trails, and get maps and kiosks completed,” said Sjoquist. “Joe recognized this and reacted to this opportunity. Additionally, because Joe was a long time Nordic skier and groomer, he recognized that fat bikes, because of the low-pressure tires, could be ridden on groomed Nordic ski trails without damaging them. This opened many, many miles of the Methow Valley Trail network to fat bikes and created a niche market for him.”
Brown was presented with the award at a ceremony during Frostbike, QBP’s annual open house and tradeshow.