Irresponsible mtb sponsorship message

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    • #87082

      No organization does more to promote the sport of mountain biking than IMBA. And every organization needs strong sponsorships to be successful, but that partnership must be a cohesive one that sends a message that ties in with the mission and goals of the organization being sponsored.

      As a trail builder and trail advocate, it can be a frustrating battle trying to educate local riders to stay off the trails when wet and muddy to avoid damage. When a major magazine like Bicycling magazine, page 6, runs a full page Subaru ad promoting the love of mud for truck and bike, it confuses those new to our sport. The IMBA logo seems to endorse this attitude. Surely IMBA could review the message before allowing the use of their logo.

      Image

    • #87083

      The best (worst) part is the text below the image:

      And with help from our dedicated partners, you can be sure there will be plenty of muddy trails and a means to enjoy them for a long time to come.

      I’m pretty sure IMBA is working to ensure there [i:1y27ixgl]won’t[/i:1y27ixgl] be muddy trails. I’m also really surprised that IMBA’s logo is on there but from what I understand their corporate sponsors are allowed to use the IMBA name and logo however they choose (no formal review process required). Perhaps that will change after this…

      I’m putting my Subaru up for sale on Craigslist right now 😀

    • #87084

      No one mentioned the Gary Fisher logo.

      I moved on from Subarus years ago.

    • #87085

      Great. I just bought a Fisher. 😈 Oh well, the only thing I can do is to continue to practice responsible mountain bike riding. Glad I bought that Acura instead of the WRX i was looking at a few months back. 😉

    • #87086

      I have to say any time a company outside of the sport offers support thats a good thing… I couldnt say that I have never rode a muddy trail before. I think that trail preservation is very importain but so is support. I look at all of the races I have been to on muddy courses… I think before we can pass judgment on outside companies and newcomers to the sport us veteran and enthusist riders should set a good example… just offering another side to the story. thanks and happy ridding

    • #87087

      Good point nelsoncycles, though I have to disagree that just because a race is scheduled it’s ok to ride wet trails. In fact, having hundreds of riders on a wet trail is WAY worse than just a few individuals doing it. Several years ago I rode Tsali a few days after a wet 24 Hour race and the trails were utterly destroyed. 😢

    • #87088

      No… I forgot to mention… I think its not ok to race wet courses due to the damage caused to the trails… that was my point, I couldn’t even count the number of races I have raced in mud and I always left with my dirty bike thinking why is today different….

    • #87089

      i really like riding in the mud, but recently the trail right by my house, the one at gainesville college has become a swamp…there are constantly riders there and the rain that we keep getting doesnt help either. but no matter what theres never signs that the trail is closed.

      im pretty knew to the sport just over a year or so, but i came from EnduroCross on a dirt bike so mud has always been fun to me, but i’ve started to see how it totally destroys a trail. i just wish i could do something about it.

    • #87090

      Ok, now I am going to sound contradictory, I don’t mind racing when it’s wet! It’s the one time where the protocol is ok to ride on wet trails and really get a macho muddy moment!

      Having been the race organizer last year and a volunteer for several prior years for the Sizzler XC race in Greensboro, I understand why you have to have a "race no matter the weather" policy. The schedule dates are few and far between, scheduling with sanctioning bodies, racers traveling from out of town. Rain storms can pop up just minutes before races and to cancel due to a shower would be chaotic. It is also one of the biggest revenue generators for the local club sponsoring the race so if you cancel, it can really hurt the local club financially.

      Yes, 200 racers on a muddy track can do some real damage, but the organizing club accepts that risks and is prepared to rally the volunteers afterward. Worth the price to have 200 racers from across the state and more to experience your trails and drive revenue for future trail maintenance.

      The difference is that racing if wet is just one weekend out of the year. Bandit riders that continue to ride in all weather at their will year round, do continual damage year round that makes it difficult to keep up with and frustrate local trail volunteers.

    • #87091
      "FBTrek321" wrote

      but no matter what theres never signs that the trail is closed.

      From what I have seen most trails will stay open rain or shine during the warmer months. It’s kind of like a code of ethics for you to not tear up the trails and ride them when they are muddy.

      I know it kind of sucks to wait all week to go hit a trail on the weekend for a nice long ride to only have it pour buckets the night before. I have had it happen plenty of times before and only ridden a muddy trail once. I will never do it again. Besides all the deep ruts I was leaving behind on the trail my bike was trashed, I was a walking mud ball from head to toe, and the inside of my car got trashed as well.

      The best thing to do is to wait for a nicer day to ride. If you just have to go ride that day do a road ride for the exercise or try to find some non paved back roads and you can get muddy that way without damaging the trails! 😉

    • #87092

      Anti-MTBR’S? What is this nonsense you speek of Chili? 😆 😆

    • #87093

      i usually ride on the golf course by my house when it rains, there are tons of hills and you can really get going fast and every now and then i go onto the course and do a drop into the sandpits which are great to drop into cuz even when you screw up its not too rough of a landing. the golfers dont take to kindly to me whizzing around the course at full speed…but thats why i ride there on days when no one wants to go outside. i try my best to ride everyday whether its trails or just to school and back.

      I really like riding in parking lots and parking garages too, in fact theres a Sam’s club building that moved to a bigger place a while back and is abandoned and thats a great place to ride jumping from loading dock to loading dock and then down the 7 set of stairs is always fun plus the big open traffic free parking lot is great to get tons of speed and try to do manuals(which i suck at… pointers?)

      i do agree theres other options but i love riding in the mud especially in the summer on a hot day blasting thru a puddle and getting a nice cool off is nice, plus i think my bike is rather pretty when shes covered in mud!

    • #87094

      cjm

      It all depends on who is responsible for the trails. Some places you either ride them muddy or don’t ride. Those, who frequent Snowshoe, know it’s a grease pit most of the summer. If Snowshoe closed every time muck or mud was present, they would be open fewer than 20 days a year. The hillside swamp, known as Diablo Freeride park, would experience problems staying open, too. The PacNW can be mucky. Whistler opens for biking in late April or May. They literally shovel snow off the trails. You think the trails are dry? In the early days of summer, on River Run trail towards the base, there is a ladder bridge that is supposed to armor the trail. The snowmelt can make a mud pit that covers the ladder. I have actually seen them remove the ladder (I’m guessing safety reasons). We were bombing the trails at Winter Park during a downpour this summer, covered head to toe in mud. The trail builders were cheering as we blasted by. Granted those are all maintained by private funds.

      Here’s some public access notes. There’s a trial in Colorado high country with a posting that states, "if your tire sinks 1/2 inch in the mud do not ride." That is an incredibly, mucky trail. Two sections of trail in Golden Gate Canyon have been overrun by adjacent creeks. The only time those sections aren’t mud stew is when they are frozen. Conversely, you’re terrified of trail closures if you leave tracks due to some hikers spilt cup of coffee in Fairfax County, Va or Jefferson County, Co and you should be. Fairfax county is a swamp. Bikers riding wet conditions deepen puddles or widen the trails. These puddles stay for a longer time ruining the experience for hikers. Jefferson County has lots of clay. The arid nature of the high plains causes the clay to dry quickly and nearly as hard as cement. Tire tracks and hoof prints cause nasty ankle twists for trail runners. Trail over-use compounds problems in those counties.

      Every region and many trails in each region has their own rules for wet riding. Generally, pay-to-play riding areas have more liberal wet riding standards. If Subaru took that picture on private property in Georgia, that waits for the first rain of hurricane season to hold the "Mud Bog 12," who are we to criticize them?

      Wet weather riding does turn some "blue" rated trails into triple black diamonds. Individuals drawn to mountain biking to test their skills and not their stamina, will always have a short love affair with wet rather riding. Espousing the deontological ethic regarding the naughtiness of riding soupy trails bears similarity asking Senators for term-limitations or a balanced budget. Thus, this really is the best part, "And with help from our dedicated partners, you can be sure there will be plenty of muddy trails and a means to enjoy them for a long time to come." Trails targeted at riding wet and muddy should be supported by private funds. If more private funds were pushed to building trails for wet sloppy riding, you would see far less riding on trails poorly funded by over-stretched tax dollars.

      If you’re curious I hate riding in muck. That’s part of the reason I moved away from Virginia. The heretic monkey will stop flinging feces.

    • #87095

      @cjm:
      I agree. It was always my view that chairlift-accessed resort-maintained trails should be fair game if the resort is open. And it is no knock on the resort for opening them when wet, becuase THEY pay big $$ to maintain them, and they take full RESPONSIBILITY for maintaining them. Thus, it’s not a public access type issue.

      Otherwise, know what region of the country you’re from. Down here in Georgia, right now, it may take the better part of a week of sunshine before i can ride singletrack again. so until then, I’ll probably ride wet USFS and 4×4 roads and probably get pretty muddy!

      Up in wisconsin in some of that sandy soil, it can rain the night before and the trails can be ready-to-ride by the next afternoon.

      "FBTrek321" wrote

      i really like riding in the mud, but recently the trail right by my house, the one at gainesville college has become a swamp…there are constantly riders there and the rain that we keep getting doesnt help either. but no matter what theres never signs that the trail is closed.

      im pretty knew to the sport just over a year or so, but i came from EnduroCross on a dirt bike so mud has always been fun to me, but i’ve started to see how it totally destroys a trail. i just wish i could do something about it.

      dude we should ride sometime… i’m currently going to gainesville college. for trail closing info, check
      http://gainesvillesorba.org/wordpress/

    • #87096

      got a really good response from Mike at IMBA. They were quick to recognize this and respond to our concerns.

      Thanks for writing Dale. We all had the same reaction when we learned about this ad. Of course we had no knowledge of this until it was published. Otherwise we would have given them the skinny on why this is so problematic. So now it’s damage control (no pun intended) and we are calling it to their attention.

      Subaru is and has been a valuable partner with their generous sponsorship of the IMBA Trail Care Crew program. And that program, as you likely know, promotes the opposite message and stewardship approach than this recent ad.

      Someone among the Subaru ad team that came up with this is certainly not an IMBA member and certainly never attended a TCC event.

      Mike

      Mike Van Abel – Executive Director
      International Mountain Bicycling Association
      PO Box 7578, Boulder, CO 80306 USA
      ph: 303-545-9011 x102, fax: 303-545-9026
      mobile: 720-939-8909
      http://www.imba.com

    • #87097

      We had the IMBA trail care crew come to Augusta last year. They aren’t just supported by Subaru. Subaru isn’t just a sponsor – they pay for the whole thing – every dollar. The car, gas, salaries, equipment, hotels, food, EVERYTHING. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

    • #87098

      Considering how much support IMBA gives the mountain bike community I’m willing to cut them some slack if their marketing group comes up with a concept that is anathema to real bikers. I’m sure they thought it was cool and something outdoors types like us could relate to. That’s the risk you take when you let people who sit in offices all the time dream up ideas that they think people who do get outside will like. Hopefully that ad will quietly disappear.

    • #87099

      Glad to see this response from IMBA. Not to stir the pot further but what about Bicycling magazine’s responsibility? I know they’re a profit driven enterprise just like Subaru but I feel like [i:3686isly]they[/i:3686isly] should have known better.

    • #87100
      "trek7k" wrote

      Glad to see this response from IMBA. Not to stir the pot further but what about Bicycling magazine’s responsibility? I know they’re a profit driven enterprise just like Subaru but I feel like [i:2rxq2h27]they[/i:2rxq2h27] should have known better.

      to be honest, bicycling has never really seemed like a "core" mountain biking magazine to me. maybe they didn’t know any better because they spend too much time riding skinny tires and shaving their legs.

    • #87101
      "Goo" wrote

      [quote="trek7k":3ru6291o]Glad to see this response from IMBA. Not to stir the pot further but what about Bicycling magazine’s responsibility? I know they’re a profit driven enterprise just like Subaru but I feel like [i:3ru6291o]they[/i:3ru6291o] should have known better.

      to be honest, bicycling has never really seemed like a "core" mountain biking magazine to me. maybe they didn’t know any better because they spend too much time riding skinny tires and shaving their legs.[/quote:3ru6291o]

      I’m sure the editors at [i:3ru6291o]Bicycling[/i:3ru6291o] know better. It is biking after all, not JUST road biking. Sure it is geared towards roadies , but that is because they have a sister publication – [i:3ru6291o]Mountain Bike[/i:3ru6291o] magazine.

      This was just careless advertising that someone didn’t catch.

    • #87102
      dude we should ride sometime… i’m currently going to gainesville college. for trail closing info, check

      sure man, i need to get back in shape first….i was riding every day doing three laps at the college and then the weather and my girlfriend knocked me off my bike for a while…which has made me put on a bit of weight, and slowed me down a LOT. but as soon as im in good enough shape to not be ashamed then sure i live right by the trail and ride my bike there so pretty much any time.

    • #87103
      "FBTrek321" wrote
      dude we should ride sometime… i’m currently going to gainesville college. for trail closing info, check

      sure man, i need to get back in shape first….i was riding every day doing three laps at the college and then the weather and my girlfriend knocked me off my bike for a while…which has made me put on a bit of weight, and slowed me down a LOT. but as soon as im in good enough shape to not be ashamed then sure i live right by the trail and ride my bike there so pretty much any time.

      i’m not all that fast man. some of the locals around here consistently destroy me whenever we ride. so yeh we should totally ride sometime.

      edit to add:

      but i do ride 3-4 days a week, and am not all that slow either. i would like to think i fall somewhere in the middle.

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