Cancel Your IMBA Membership – Send a Clear Message

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Cancel Your IMBA Membership – Send a Clear Message


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This topic contains 18 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of craZivn craZivn 1 year, 10 months ago.

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  • #230544

    Want to make a real impact?  Cancel your IMBA membership and demand a refund for the remainder of your membership. If you simply choose not to renew, the “trickle effect” of people doing this will be strung out over a long time period, up to 11 months, based on your expiration date. That won’t have a very big impact unfortunately. A huge, vocal cancellation aka mass exodus will. Just email the Membership Manager at with a cc: to and

    IMBA did not have to submit written testimony to the House’s Federal Lands Subcommittee stating that they would not support the bill. Everybody in Congress knows exactly what this means – IMBA opposes the STC bill plain and simple. For IMBA management and government relations staff to think that they could dodge and weave otherwise is evidence of “trying to thread the political needle in the Boulder Bubble.” Second, their now public opposition amounts to a knife in the back of STC because it violates the productive agreement that IMBA and STC came to in May 2016. IMBA agreed not to oppose STC’s efforts, privately or publicly. Unfortunately, this treachery is easily recognizable in the political and public policy world and only results in destroying integrity. By taking this action, IMBA unnecessarily angered their members, embarrassed their corporate supporters, lost their political integrity and jeopardized their future. Very bad decision by management. Huge. IMO, IMBA is now “dead man walking.”

  • #230546

    @LetsBeHonest, from what I understand, I agree with your assessment of what IMBA did.  They did not have to give any testimony.  Instead, they stabbed STC in the back.  They broke their word and agreement with STC.  They either lied to STC from the beginning and intentionally deceived STC from the beginning, or they changed their mind along the way and were not forthright with STC.  Whatever really happened, it amounted to sabotage.  They talked like they were friends and then struck against STC at the critical moment.  REALLY UGLY.  It is about as ugly as it gets.  Actions show the true character (and intent) of a man or woman.  Honestly, the sequence of actions taken this year by IMBA speaks horribly of the organization and I hate to say it the character of its leaders.

  • #230552

    I just sent this:
    <div>Dear staff members and board,

       In view of IMBA’s recent actions regarding Bill H.R. 1349, I feel that IMBA has not only failed to represent me as a mountain biker, but has failed their own mission statement as described on IMBA’s own website:

    <h4>The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is the worldwide leader in mountain bike advocacy, and the only organization in the United States focused entirely on trails, access, education and experiences for all types of mountain bikers in all parts of the country. IMBA firmly believes that great places for mountain biking make people, communities and landscapes better, and wants to change the world by getting more people on mountain bikes more often in more places.</h4>
    As a result of this failure of representation, I feel that I am justified in demanding that my membership be cancelled immediately, and that I be refunded for the remainder of the membership. As of Monday I will have nine months and ten days remaining on my membership, so the refund due me is $30.31 (thirty dollars and thirty-one cents).

    Until I have reason to believe that IMBA can be trusted to fulfill it’s stated goals, I will be directing my money to support local trails as well as national organizations that actually represent the best interest of the mountain biking community.

    Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

    Ivan Charneski

    IMBA Member ID# xxxxxx

    xxxx xxxxxxx RD

    Kronenwetter, Wi 54455

    • #230560

      Nice!  I just quit donating.  I actually had donations coming strait out of my check going to them.  Canceled that.  I also had donations going to them from stuff that sold on Ebay, just cancelled that too.

  • #230564

    I’d happily cancel with them over this latest, but I was done with IMBA back in June.

    • #230566

      Much of this could be because of the IMBA sponsors.   They may be driving this move.

      Consider this when buying mountain products.

  • #230569

    Did anyone here read the letter? Or see where they opposed the house bill but said they still supported the Senate bill, which is the STC bill?


    • #230577

      Both bills were prompted by STC.  The Senate bill was introduced in 2016 and the House bill in 2017.

      IMBA can not  not “still support the Senate bill” as it has expired when the 2016 legislative session came to a close. There’s nothing left to support.

      What’s more, they never supported it in the first place, at the time issuing a statement on the Senate bill not unlike their recent statement on the current house bill.  If they’re now saying the support or ever supported the Senate bill, they’re full of it.



  • #230578

    Here is the actual wording of the bill.


    Section 4(c) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1133(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following: “Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use of motorized wheelchairs, non-motorized wheelchairs, non-motorized bicycles, strollers, wheelbarrows, survey wheels, measuring wheels, or game carts within any wilderness area.” 


    This, unlike what STC says, does not really give local land managers discretion. Also wheelchairs have been admitted since the disabilities act of 1990 so this is misleading. And do we really want game carts in the wilderness areas? Are they doing that to align mountain bikers with hunters and the NRA? I have to say I am skeptical Of IMBA, but just as skeptical of STC.  At the moment I am a member of a local mountain bike group that is not in my area, because they are not affiliated with either.



    • #230580

      Of course it gives local managers discretion.

      It says “Nothing in this section…”

      That means that they can not use this section of the Wilderness act as the basis to ban bikes.  Under the status quo, the have ZERO discretion with regard to Wilderness areas–bikes MUST be banned.

      But, according to this legislation, that lack of discretion will be removed, thus discretion is ADDED; all the other sources of authority the USFS/BLM/NPS currently use to restrict trail use will sill exist.

      Each of these agencies has enacted and enforced use restrictions on trails that ARE NOT in Wilderness areas. They didn’t need the Wilderness Act to be able to do so. This legislation only addresses the Wilderness act as a means of restricting bike use, but says NOTHING about other means of managing trail use, thus all other authority remains for ALL of the lands in their portfolios, INCLUDING WILDERNESS.

      When you find wording that says managers can’t restrict bike use period, or that their authority outside the Wilderness act has been restricted in some way, then you can make such a claim.  Until then, any other interpretation is either ignorance or blatantly dishonest fearmongering.

  • #230581

    It is not clear, it is in fact hopelessly ambiguous, and it will mean whatever the courts decide it means after years of court cases. But as written, the wording does not imply that locals with have say, and therefore any inference of same is erroneous.

    • #230582

      Again, please tell us what wording within the bill might indicate that anybody would be losing any discretion they currently enjoy.  Please point out what in the bill indicates, or in any way makes ambiguous, that the USFS can still exercise any of the other authority they currently have.

      There is nothing ambiguous when the whole thing is based on “nothing in this section,” referring to that particular section of the original act.  It very unambiguously limits the scope of this legislation to that section of the original act, clearly meaning that all other authority remains unaffected.

      First, you took everyone to task for not understanding that IMBA supported the first Senate bill.  But that was false.  You seem to have a level of zeal for defending IMBA, or simply discrediting this particular effort, that is leading you to either honestly misinterpret or deliberately mislead.

  • #230591

    John, I am defending the process of analytical thinking, and not jumping to conclusions with one-sided, emotional rhetoric.  As far as saying that IMBA supported the first bill, my mistake, I am sorry. I was reading a letter from a former IMBA board member and thought it was a current member.

    That in no way invalidates the fact it is being promoted that the wording of the bill will accomplish something it just may not do at all. Adding assumptions as to clarity in a legal document almost never works out the way intended. There is nothing in the bill that does, or does not grant local authorities any more latitude than they already have, and could as easily imply less local authority, rather than more. If the bill passes, it will be the courts that decide what it really means.

    Considering that only 3% of all public lands at this time are classified wilderness, and with many non wilderness areas actually adding new mountain bike trails over the last couple of years, the frantic race to make this a polarizing issue and divide the mountain bike community, (who are already out matched by hiking, horse back, and radical environmental groups more than ten to one), to me seems to be against the self interest of everyone that rides mountain bikes.

    • #230594

      If you’re basing this on “analytical thinking,” and coming to the conclusion that this removes discretion, then your analysis is faulty.

      As it stands right now, local managers have no discretion whatsoever with regard to bikes in Wilderness.  None.  Zero.  It is impossible to have less than zero, therefore this bill simply CAN NOT remove discretion as there is none to remove.

      There are no assumptions being made here.  One doesn’t need to assume that other authority remains because, as long as it isn’t explicitly removed, it still remains.  That is not an assumption, but a logical statement of fact.     Since the bill’s wording explicitly limits the change to just that one section of one Act, one need not assume anything about anything else.  All else is unchanged and remains as it always was.  The USFS produces and regularly updates travel plans for ALL the lands within its portfolio.  During this process, they may regulate any and all users in the way they deem appropriate for ALL the lands covered within each travel plan.  That process and that authority remains.  Nothing there changes.

      As to your regurgitation of the 3% figure, that is straight out of the bike hater’s canned talking points playbook.  The vast majority of the land is PRIVATE!  After that, what’s left is largely developed.  Backcountry cyclists don’t want to ride logged, mined, or otherwise altered landscapes any more than backcountry hikers want to hike them.  In most states that have Wilderness, it comprises over 80% of the backcountry.  What’s more, many trails start and end outside Wilderness have some small portion that passes through Wilderness, rendering the entire route nonviable for biking.  You want to talk about an emotional response?  Think of how hikers would react if they were told their equally low impact, human powered form of travel was forbidden in 80+% of their most cherished lands!

      As for dividing the community, it was the ban that divided the community in the first place… and by “the community,” I mean the larger community of all conservation-minded outdoor enthusiasts.  As for bikers specifically, the Singletracks survey showed 96% in favor–hardly a “divided community.”

  • #230596

    Of course everyone is free to do what they want, but this seems a little like throwing the baby out with the bath water. Of course if the idea is to give money to a different (and hopefully more effective) MTB advocacy group, that’s great. But what other groups are out there that do all the things IMBA does to advocate for MTB? Local clubs can and do get trails built, but they didn’t write the book on trail building.

    Based on my own observations, IMBA does a lot of good things… and they also do some seemingly bad things (like this.) A few years ago I was really upset by a decision IMBA made, and many people suggested that Singletracks should cancel our corporate sponsorship. My argument against doing so was that by continuing to give to IMBA, (in theory) we would still have a seat at the table to make our opinions known. But if we were to leave, IMBA would have no obligation to listen to us at all.

    For those who haven’t cancelled their memberships yet, I personally suggest writing a letter to IMBA like @craZivn did (how’s that for a letter-writing campaign!) telling them we disagree with their stance. While many of us would like to think IMBA’s job is to represent ALL mountain bikers, their first obligation is really to their dues-paying members.

    In the end, perhaps this will be the final nail in IMBA’s coffin as all the reasonable mountain bikers (ahem, those of us who think bikes should be allowed in some Wilderness areas) jump ship. But unless we’re jumping onto another boat and starting a new, and competing MTB advocacy group, we’ll all be adrift in our tiny, local life rafts. (FYI, the STC is not offering another boat. They’ve said from the beginning they do not want to form a long term advocacy group.)

  • #230681

    The STC has just issued an URGENT action alert, for today only! That means December 12, 2017. All the info here:

  • #230931

    This is what IMBA’s posted on their website.  It’s supposed to provide IMBA’s rationale for not supporting HR 1349.  Lots of political speak but it never really addresses the issue.  Talk about political BS.  Checkout the comments from members at the bottom.

  • #230935

    Here’s my TL:DR of IMBA’s statement that Rmap linked:

    “We’ve been doing this a long time, a long time ago we started doing this, none of you understand this like we do because we’ve been doing this a long time, how dare you question us because we’ve been doing this a long time, we know best, we can’t please everyone but you’re all children to us anyway so next time we’ll try to explain more better why we do this.”

    Just my take, your read may vary. It’s really disgusting, everything IMBA is saying is confirming to me that it was a mistake to become a “member” (which is really nothing more than a monetary supporter) and I was right to demand my money back (a request which, of course, has been predictably ignored so far, no surprise).



  • #231033

    Just a quick update: I didn’t get any reply to the letter that I posted above. But looking at my bank account today, I noticed that my money was refunded in the amount that I requested on December 13th. So it appears that my request to cancel has been approved.


    Now I can put the money directly toward my local trails!




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