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 vmba.org and view their strategic plan here.
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I’ve been a VMBA member for many years even though I live 7 hours away from Vermont and only get to ride those glorious trails a few days per year. I’ve seen the trails in the Stowe/Waterbury/Mad River area grow and expand and I feel good knowing I’ve helped support that. I’m a board member of my local IMBA chapter, and try to apply what I see in Vermont to my local scene. Selling people on IMBA membership is hard because it’s difficult to see the results at a national level – they would rather just contribute to a local organization. VMBA has such a great image and I wish our chapter had a parent organization like that.