In 2013 the Oahu Mountain Bike Ohana was founded as the first and only non-profit organization on Oahu (501(c)3), focused solely on the preservation and expansion of mountain bike access. Following the lead of new trail development on Maui, 11 riders from all backgrounds of mountain biking came together as the founding board to work with land managers to expand the riding opportunities on Oahu, by becoming a chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association. The International Mountain Bike Association is the parent organization that has built hundreds of new trails during it’s 30 year history all over the world. Through their chapter program we get insurance for events, legal assistance, leadership advice, support on critical issues, trail building classes, and their wisdom and experience to solve any issue that comes up. They have already conquered the same issues we have here. Too little land with too few trails.
The OMTBO Board
Travis Counsell – President
I grew up in Vermont and spent all my time in the woods. This led to a love for mountain biking. Starting in middle school I would ride my bike 5 miles to school and back. During college at Elon University in NC, I was cycling club president. In 2009 I rode 4000 miles from Baltimore to San Francisco to raise funds for cancer research. I managed the Great Bicycle Shop in Florida for 3 years and found my way to Hawaii for my wife’s PhD. The mountains of Hawaii were a welcomed reminder of Vermont and I quickly found myself back in the woods! I currently work for the Hawaii Bicycling League and advocate for improved safety and rights for all people riding bicycles. Being a part of OMTBO will offer a way to further my time in the woods and help create great mountain bike opportunities on Oahu. Now get out there and ride aloha!
Leland Reames – Vice President and Founding Board Member
I was born and raised on Oahu and I’ve lived here for most of my life, minus a few years. My first real dabble into mountain biking was going down Tantalus in the 90’s on a fully rigid Huffy, bouncing off the riverbeds and rocks. I was still primarily a skateboarder though, and in those days, it was pretty much illegal to skate anywhwere. Fast forward to today and there are skateparks in every neighborhood and city park, but now I ride a mountain bike. I helped found OMTBO because this time around I can change that, mountain biking should be accessible to everyone of every age, I think we should have bike parks in every neighborhood and an abundance of accessible trails. I look forward to the day when this becomes a reality.
David Nash – Treasurer and Founding Board Member
Starting in 1989 mountain biking became a part of my life and introduced me to people and places that have become the fabric of my life. Mountain biking has given me so much it was time to give back. I would like for everyone on Oahu to be able to ride from their home to a trail system nearby, for the most part everyone lives within a couple miles of public lands on Oahu and there is no reason that those resources can’t support jump parks, trail systems, or other riding opportunities. The trail system around Olomana is my favorite on island, but I live in town, so I would like to pioneer some sustainably built MTB trails near the Makiki complex. After moving from Colorado I love never having to ride with a jacket, leg warmers, or survival gear in Hawaii. H2O and GO!
Elaina Paredes – Secretary
Born and raised in Hawaii, I actually started mountain biking in college, some 20 years ago in the mountains of Washington State. I never realized all the hidden mountain treasures Oahu had until I returned to start my career as a teacher. I’ve participated in various mountain bike events from the Mountain Man Triathlon to local MTB races and even helped organize a bunch of them. I am always amazed at the passion mountain bikers bring with them to these events! As a mom, I am fortunate to be able to take family mountain bike trips to the mainland and support my family while they compete. As a board member, I aim to advocate for active living for families, bicycle safety/education, and environmental awareness through mountain biking events. At the end of the day, it just feels great to finish a ride knowing we had quality family time without the interruptions that life brings us!
Kyle Paredes – Founding Board Member
Being a lifelong athlete, I have immersed myself into every element and fabric of this sport. Along the way I’ve come to realize that there are those that “SAY” and those that “DO” and there is much to do for our sport, in our community, in our Hawaii. I have been racing mountain bikes competitively since 1996 competing locally, nationally, and internationally. I understand the importance of grass roots development and have worked for years to help grow the sports in which I am involved, by providing all of the support, guidance, training, and leadership I can. In the process, I have also co-founded the Hawaii Bike Festival, which serves to unify the cycling community by providing opportunities and creating one voice for future generations. On top of that, I also serve on the board of directors for the Hawaii Bicycle League (HBL).
Steve Villiger – Board Member
I’ve lived on the North Shore of Oahu since 1983. I was very involved with the North Shore windsurfing scene in the ’80’s and the ’90’s. I got my first mountain bike in 1988; a rigid frame, because the suspension fork was surely a gimmick that would never catch on. Today, I ride a Specialized Enduro. Needless to say, my opinion about that “gimmicky suspension” thing has changed considerably. I’m super stoked to be involved with OMTBO. Together we can really make a positive impact on the local MTB scene. I ride primarily at the Pupukea Paumalu State Forest Reserve. To help fund my passion for awesome mountain bikes, I build custom homes on the North Shore of Oahu.
Michael Walker – Board Member