How the Vermont MTB Association Got Nearly 10K Dues Paying Members

VMBA Executive Director Nick Bennette talks about managing trails on private land, eMTB access, and why nearly 10K state riders choose to support the organization financially.
Photo: Mark Clement

Nick Bennette is the Executive Director of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association, a position he’s held for a little over two years. The group recently put together a 5-year Strategic Plan to “ensure the sustainability of mountain biking in Vermont and thoughtfully promote exceptional riding experiences for all through advocacy, education, and community-driven stewardship.”

  • How did your experience as a consultant help you craft the VMBA 5-year Strategic Plan?  
  • Vermont was an early adopter of a state advocacy model apart from IMBA. How has the VMBA Chapter model evolved since it was first launched?
  • How does Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion fit with trail advocacy? Aside from being the right thing to do, how does it benefit the MTB community?
  • Is e-bike access a hot topic in Vermont? Do you think it’s been framed properly in the past?
  • How did VMBA get to 10,000 dues paying members?
  • Is advocating for trails easier today than it has been in the past?
  • Are there additional considerations involved when public trails are located on private property?
  • Is relying on volunteers to help build and maintain trails viable in a state like Vermont where so many trail users live out of state?
  • What’s so great about mountain biking on the east coast of the US? Why is there a perception that the trails are better out west?

Learn more about the Vermont Mountain Bike Association at and view their strategic plan here.

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