Friends of Otero (FOO) was founded in the summer of 2003 by a group of local volunteers opposed to the closing of one of the state’s most well known mountain biking trail networks, Otero Canyon.
Another well-known organization, Trail Partners, was a long time Trail Building organization initially established in 1984 by Charlie Ervin, owner of Two Wheel Drive. Trail Partners had a long and well established reputation for supporting NM Trail Networks under the leadership of Mark Reineke and Margie Tatro. In 2008, Friends of the Otero and Trail Partners merged to become Friends of the Outdoors (FOO).
In 2012, FOO went through the process of becoming an IMBA chapter.
In May, 2013, FOO received notice from the IRS that its 503(c)(3) status was revoked for not filing a Form 990 with the IRS. After some investigation, it was determined that in 2008 the IRS changed their policy and all organizations were required to file a new form (990-N) just for small nonprofits. So when FOO joined IMBA and applied for 501(c)(3) status, the IRS realized the missing tax forms and 501(c)(3) status was revoked.
After consulting with tax professionals and other IMBA chapters who were facing the same challenge, it was determined that the best course of action was to disband FOO and establish a new organization. On March 19, 2014, at a FOO meeting, all members present voted to dissolve FOO.
Throughout the rest of 2014 and into 2015, efforts were made to solicit volunteers willing to help with the formation and continuation of an Albuquerque based mountain bike organization. The process was slow, but over time, and with the help of Patrick Kell, IMBA southwest representative, a core group of people stepped up to start the rebuilding process.
As of April, 2015, AMBA (Albuquerque Mountain Bike Association) has been an IMBA chapter. Tapping into the roots of the former FOO organization, our goal is to continue mountain bike advocacy in the greater Albuquerque area. AMBA is building community as well as trails.