Most, if not all mountain bikers are probably on board with IMBA’s mission statement:
To create, enhance and protect great places to ride mountain bikes.
Yet, judging by reader comments on Singletracks and Facebook, not everyone agrees with how IMBA is going about fulfilling their mission. So my question is, will you be renewing your IMBA membership this year, and why or why not? And if you’re not already a dues-paying member but plan to join for the first time this year, chime in as well!
Yes, if only for the magazine subscription and to support the great work my local chapter does.
Just out of curiosity, what are the issues people have with the organization? I’m not very informed with what goes on outside of my local riding scene. Is it regarding the restriction of trail access particularly in the west?
I did renew this year for the same reason as some of the other folks here, my local club is affiliated with IMBA. The board of the local decided to become a part of IMBA a couple years ago, presumably they saw some value in it. They looked into it, I didn’t. I admit, with the exception of membership, my only interaction with the club is limited to carrying a shovel and chainsaw into the woods once in a while. That is Ok for me.
I’m renewing my membership because after I went to the World Summit last November, I came away thinking they were doing the best they could to spread the good word of mountain biking with the resources they had. Any organization that aims to protect mountain biking is one I’m willing to support.
Cost/Benefit ratio not attractive any more. Users did not like going through IMBA to support Camba. Direct donations to Camba that went through IMBA, IMBA takes a significant cut. Full info at http://www.cambatrails.org
First paragraph excerpt:
<h3>”CAMBA WITHDRAWS FROM IMBA CHAPTER PROGRAM</h3>
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After considerable debate and deliberation the CAMBA board of directors has voted to withdraw from the IMBA Chapter Program. CAMBA became an IMBA chapter in 2012 very early in the development of the chapter program. Over time it has become apparent that CAMBA, as a mature and well developed trail advocacy organization, does not experience the same level of needs as other smaller and younger clubs and associations around the country and was not realizing a commensurate return on our revenue sharing arrangement with IMBA.”
To answer your question: One issue is a difference of philosophy between IMBA and the new spin-off the Sustainable Trails Coalition about bicycles in wilderness. New wilderness withdrawls have eliminated historic use of trails by cyclists. IMBA sides with the Sierra Club on a strict no mechanized use of wilderness while the STC believes that some use of wilderness is appropriate and should be up to local land mangers to decide. See articles here in Singletracks.com:
My membership isn’t due until late this year but I plan on renewing my membership gladly. I was able to go by this weekend to a Pivot demo at my local MTB trail at Chicopee Woods and my SORBA chapter was there with a membership drive. Swapping and selling various items with the proceeds going to the Chapter. I didn’t ride as it was CROWDED as could be but, I did stop by and purchase an awesome coffee mug to help out financially!
Just more of why I stopped supporting IMBA a few years ago, and won’t return my support until they dramatically change their tune:
“Jackson resident Luther Propst sits on the board of the International Mountain Bicycling Association, a group that historically has not fought to gain bicycle access in wilderness. Speaking personally, Propst said he is both opposed to and concerned about the bill.
“This is part of a wide-ranging, comprehensive effort to undermine our public lands,” he said, “and it’s a small part of a bigger package of efforts.”
Propst said the interests of cyclists aren’t motivating members of Congress backing H.R. 1349 and similar past legislative efforts.
“These bills are being pushed because they want to get the camel’s nose under the tent of the Wilderness Act,” Propst said.”