What to Do About IMBA? Do You Want Effective Advocacy?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum What to Do About IMBA? Do You Want Effective Advocacy?


Tagged: ,

This topic contains 5 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  charding 9 months, 1 week ago.

  • Author
  • #230888

    “It is time to seriously consider the relevance of IMBA in advocating for access for Mountain Bikers.” T Arnold. This post is absolutely correct. IMBA has become tragically irrelevant; riders no longer support or believe in their ability to advocate for their interests. Do we burn it down and rebuild from the ashes, or do we launch a better organization? But it is critical to understand this: IMBA never has been a membership organization. Consider that the Board of Directors is self-elected (no member voting, nominations or input process). There is no process for “members” aka dues payers to provide input on policy making, i.e. e-bikes, bikes in Wilderness, etc. There are no task forces or committees for “members” to serve on to accomplish anything. IMBA is designed, on purpose, to be tone-deaf to dues payers. Surely mountain bikers deserve better? How best to advance riders and access??

  • #230889

    Maybe we should look to examples from other industries, or heck, even our “competition.” We keep hearing that environmental groups like the Sierra Club are better organized, funded, etc. If this is true, what makes them so effective?

  • #230895

    For anyone in central Florida, or close by, that wants to support groups that are not affiliated with IMBA, there is SWAMP  https://www.swampclub.org/ in the Tampa area, and OMBA in the Ocala area.  http://www.omba.org/index.htm

  • #230920

    Just saw this earlier today: SDMBA is calling for the IMBA board “to be replaced with elected mountain bike leaders with a strong, accomplished history of outstanding advocacy wins in favor of mountain biking.”


  • #241549

    IMBA, more like NIMBY.  A bunch of IMBA folks came in and rerouted some of our trails in Sprain Ridge Park.  Blue Mountain and Sprain Ridge are known for challenging, technical trails, including some that are fall-line or straight-up boulder piles.  In the Northeast, we have very rocky soil, good vegetation, and consistent rainfall which means that trail erosion is just not a big deal.  I am not some anti-environmentalist but our dirt is just tougher than yours.  We do not need IMBA coming in and nerfing our trails to some national safety and environmental standard which does not suit our needs.

  • #241725

    Why do we need to have bike access to wilderness areas? I do understand people being frustrated when a trail they have ridden, and maybe even helped maintain, for years is suddenly closed with seemingly no good reason, so I think there’s discussion to be had there where perhaps MTB “corridors” could be designated for trails that are historically used by mountain bikers. But I really don’t understand why people are so adamant that they should be allowed into all wilderness areas with their bikes. As I understand it, the rules governing wilderness areas include a ban on all mechanical transport. Is there a legitimate argument that a bike is not a mechanical transport that one can make? I could maybe understand people’s frustration over this and anger towards IMBA’s stance if we had very limited open space and a dearth of good trails, but I think we can all agree we in the US are very lucky when it comes to the quality and quantity of MTB trails available to us. Sites like this, with it’s lists and rankings of a seemingly infinite number of trails and trail networks seem to prove this point. When I look at some folks’ trail wish lists, it seems we all have more places to explore than time or resources allow. So why are so many US mountain bikers pushing this issue so hard? I honestly don’t get it and I sometimes wonder if we Americans are too spoiled to appreciate what we already have.

    Note: I am not a member of IMBA, so I don’t have a stake in their image or how they are viewed. I am a dues-paying member of NEMBA, and they are adamantly opposed to IMBA’s stance, but I support their overall mission even if I don’t agree with every little detail.


You must be logged in to reply to this topic.