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  1. #1
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    Sedona Kicked Out of I.M.B.A!!!

    I opened my email yesterday and found this message from Patrick Kell, I.M.B.A.'s Southwest Regional Rep:

    Hello, I hope this email finds you well. I'm contacting you to let you know that the Sedona Mountain Bike Club (SMBC) will no longer be part of the IMBA chapter program, we have given the SMBC Board 60 days notice of this action. This action has been taken due to the fact that IMBA and some members of the SMBC Board have divergent approaches to many of the fundamental components of mountain bike advocacy, and IMBA cannot align with the style of advocacy that some SMBC Board members are putting forth.

    We sincerely thank you for your support and hope that you can continue to support IMBA in the future, your current IMBA membership is still active. Should we re-establish an IMBA chapter in Sedona, we would welcome your renewed membership. Until then, we plan to work cooperatively with the Verde Valley Cyclist Coalition, as a leading advocacy group, the USFS at the Red Rock Ranger District as strong partners on a local, regional and national level, and other groups, agencies and individuals in the area. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts and feedback on this, please feel free to email or call at the number below.

    Thanks,
    Patrick

    Patrick Kell
    Southwest Regional Director
    International Mountain Bicycling Association
    802-371-9033
    patrick.kell@imba.com
    International Mountain Bicycling Association

    Of course, the main reason that I joined I.M.B.A. was that the Sedona Mountain Bike Club had become an I.M.B.A. Chapter. I never joined the Verde Valley Cyclist's Coalition, even though I had plenty of opportunity to do so for over ten years. And I did not join I.M.B.A. prior to the formation of the Sedona Mountain Bike Club, even though I.M.B.A. has been around for at least two decades.

    So, I have requested that my membership fees be refunded in full, as it appears as if I.M.B.A. officials had already made up their minds to give the Sedona Mountain Bike Club the boot even before I joined, and that seems to me like I.M.B.A. accepted my membership fees under false pretenses.

    This is incredibly lame of I.M.B.A. and I will be encouraging ALL of the other 80 or so Sedona Mountain Bike Club members to follow suit...
    If more people rode more bikes, more places, more often, the world would be a more better place!

  2. #2
    Lakvoodoo
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    Let's clarify... "Sedona" per se was not asked to step away from IMBA; rather, the SMBC was. The VVCC (which is a coalition of all types of riders throughout the Verde Valley to include Sedona) still has a good working relationship with IMBA as does the forest service.

    Full-disclosure: I am a member of both clubs as well as a long-time member of IMBA.

    Club or no club...it's all about moving forward. Out of curiosity, what did you expect from joining a club? Funding? Social beni's? Other? Social ties can (and will and should) continue. The money you put toward SMBC...what did you expect to get from that? If you were the local trail overlord, what would you want to see happen? And why?

    Happy trails...
    .
    Get Outside!

  3. #3
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    You guys sure have a lot MTB of drama down there.

  4. #4
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    Well, not really surprising news given how Patrick had already distanced himself from the Sedona chapter and "appeared" to be working more closely with VVVC.

    This has been posted before but it's a pretty good, unbiased overview of the scene. Sedrama - Growing Pains in Sedona - Pinkbike
    "Fart in a paper bag, after eating the #17 plate from filibertos. STRAVA!" M77Ranger.

  5. #5
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    The Sedona Mountain Bike Club would seem to be the predominant club, but perhaps the Verde Valley cyclists are interested in building level sustainable trails for horses?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  6. #6
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    Sedona Kicked Out of I.M.B.A!!!

    Shucks.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  7. #7
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    Your action of requesting a refund on your membership and telling everybody else to do the same is a prime example of what I assume IMBA (and the USFS) didn't want to deal with anymore. No offense, but a select few members of SMBC have feared change and haven't been afraid to let it be known. I wonder how much harm SMBC has done to local biking compared to how much good they have done...

    Maybe Patrick could shed a little light on this, but I heard that an affiliate club (Like VVCC) gets to keep more of the money they raise locally while a chapter club (Like SMBC) has to give more of the money they raise to IMBA to be distributed elsewhere. Again, this is just something rumored in another forum.

    But please don't get your panties in a wad because I haven't been a member of either VVCC or SMBC.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
    - Julie Furtado

  8. #8
    IMBA south west
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    Dean - no we absolutely did not accept your dues having already made a decision, that would be unethical and it's not how I or IMBA operate. That sounds like another Sedona conspiracy theory to me. The final decision was made very recently. Like I said, i'll consult with a co-worker regarding a refund and will get back to you.

  9. #9
    IMBA south west
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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    Your action of requesting a refund on your membership and telling everybody else to do the same is a prime example of what I assume IMBA (and the USFS) didn't want to deal with anymore. No offense, but a select few members of SMBC have feared change and haven't been afraid to let it be known. I wonder how much harm SMBC has done to local biking compared to how much good they have done...

    Maybe Patrick could shed a little light on this, but I heard that an affiliate club (Like VVCC) gets to keep more of the money they raise locally while a chapter club (Like SMBC) has to give more of the money they raise to IMBA to be distributed elsewhere. Again, this is just something rumored in another forum.

    But please don't get your panties in a wad because I haven't been a member of either VVCC or SMBC.
    Thanks for the common sense Woahey

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    The Verde Valley Cycling Coalition is mostly a roadie oriented entity and even most of the V.V.C.C. members who identify themselves as being "mountain bikers" are really just road riders on dirt, while the Sedona Mountain Biking Club consists mostly of hardcore, technical riders and also includes in its membership many of the original Sedona residents who are responsible for riding many of the routes into existence that are now the "famous" trails that people come from all around the World to ride. Without these original Sedona mountain biking pioneers, there wouldn't even be 1/4 of the trails here, and there would not even be enough of a Sedona mountain biking scene for us to even be having a discussion on this forum about Sedona trails and Sedona mountain biking politics.

    And, if it was not for the vision and dedication of the original Sedona mountain biking pioneers, who are the core of the S.M.B.C, I would have probably moved to Boulder City, Nevada or Whistler, British Columbia when I left Zion; so I am super grateful for all of the hard work they have done over the past few decades and all of the challenges that they have faced.

    To me, it is totally chicken$hit of I.M.B.A. to abandon the S.M.B.C; mostly over a disagreement over whether a petition opposing the recent illegal trail closures instituted by the Forest Circus included enough or accurate enough information. It is not the job of ANY petition to fully articulate the opposition's viewpoint, and the Forest Circus certainly presented extremely selective/biased/inaccurate info when they held their meeting announcing that they were "thinking of" (read that "had already decided to") implement their "mountain biking cross-country travel ban".

    In fact just the wording, "cross-country travel ban" is extremely and intentionally mis-leading in my estimation; since it is really a "trail closure", more than anything else. All that the petition pointed out, was that the closure ONLY targeted mountain bikers, not hikers, trail runners, equestrians, climbers, etc; and was therefore discriminatory.
    If more people rode more bikes, more places, more often, the world would be a more better place!

  11. #11
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    Patrick,

    I spoke with Dave Cichan yesterday after he read my original post here; and he informed me that he has a copy of a recording of a phone conversation between you and Rama, which validates my belief that you and/or IMBA had already made the decision to pull the SMBC's charter BEFORE I joined the SMBC, but had just not made the official announcement. Speaking directly with Rama further confirmed my suspicions.

    It is also interesting that after certain Forest Service employees told you that they did not wish to work with the SMBC, that you used that as partial justification to revoke the SMBC's charter, rather than having the balls to tell the Forest Service that you had over 70 members in a local club who are willing, able, and knowledgeable, and that they would need to find a way to incorporate these volunteers into their plans, in order to gain some trust and cooperation. Perhaps you need to grow a pair!
    If more people rode more bikes, more places, more often, the world would be a more better place!

  12. #12
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    Bike Doc, no offense meant but it seems like if your life is constantly filled with MTB drama it might not be the fault of everyone else around you.

  13. #13
    IMBA south west
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    Dean, i've been thinking about it for a long time, there is no doubt about that, and have gone back and forth in my own mind about it. As I have said several times, I didn't make the final decision until very recently.

  14. #14
    parenting for gnarness
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    IMBA is only partially representative of mountain biking, and they are extremely political. Every organization is, but being a bike organization its easy to forget that they are not necessarily on your side. IMBA is concerned with IMBA's platform and priorities - flat trails, lame grades, beginner-intermediate difficulty, brown-nosing whatever powers-that-be in the interests of 'promoting' mountain biking. I can ride my bike just fine without a bunch of whiny apologists, thank you. Maybe they saw 'progress' and 'change' as good...the 'answers' with Sedona imo lie somewhere between the dorks at IMBA and actual real mountain bikers. But what is DISGUSTING about IMBA they use their title and pulpit to bully, this is a perfect example. If you are not with the dirt roadies, you are against them. They obtain power by reacharound agreements with Land Managers where they purport to represent mtbrs, but they only represent 1 slice of us. I will never join IMBA. If you don't like how they want to denude you as a mtbr, speak out that they do not represent you. Let them all go ride multi-use paths with the Sierra Club. I hope they keep their boring, lame ideas out of K-trail. BCT is fun, but its just a decent trail. GO AWAY IMBA, Pemberton is calling.

  15. #15
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    I typed a half serious, half smartassed response and wound up deleting it in an effort to show some tact. All I really can say is this: If the SMBC is such a great club what SMBC members need to do is try to keep it together. The SMBC can still go on without IMBA's backing. Prove that it is an organization that is needed to make Sedona biking better. Make it so that the majority of local bikers support the causes SMBC states are important but do it with honesty and integrity.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
    - Julie Furtado

  16. #16
    SamuraiBunnyGuy
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball View Post
    IMBA is only partially representative of mountain biking, and they are extremely political. Every organization is, but being a bike organization its easy to forget that they are not necessarily on your side. IMBA is concerned with IMBA's platform and priorities - flat trails, lame grades, beginner-intermediate difficulty, brown-nosing whatever powers-that-be in the interests of 'promoting' mountain biking. I can ride my bike just fine without a bunch of whiny apologists, thank you. Maybe they saw 'progress' and 'change' as good...the 'answers' with Sedona imo lie somewhere between the dorks at IMBA and actual real mountain bikers. But what is DISGUSTING about IMBA they use their title and pulpit to bully, this is a perfect example. If you are not with the dirt roadies, you are against them. They obtain power by reacharound agreements with Land Managers where they purport to represent mtbrs, but they only represent 1 slice of us. I will never join IMBA. If you don't like how they want to denude you as a mtbr, speak out that they do not represent you. Let them all go ride multi-use paths with the Sierra Club. I hope they keep their boring, lame ideas out of K-trail. BCT is fun, but its just a decent trail. GO AWAY IMBA, Pemberton is calling.
    you could have just said they're like union leaders...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball View Post
    IMBA is only partially representative of mountain biking, and they are extremely political. Every organization is, but being a bike organization its easy to forget that they are not necessarily on your side. IMBA is concerned with IMBA's platform and priorities - flat trails, lame grades, beginner-intermediate difficulty, brown-nosing whatever powers-that-be in the interests of 'promoting' mountain biking. I can ride my bike just fine without a bunch of whiny apologists, thank you. Maybe they saw 'progress' and 'change' as good...the 'answers' with Sedona imo lie somewhere between the dorks at IMBA and actual real mountain bikers. But what is DISGUSTING about IMBA they use their title and pulpit to bully, this is a perfect example. If you are not with the dirt roadies, you are against them. They obtain power by reacharound agreements with Land Managers where they purport to represent mtbrs, but they only represent 1 slice of us. I will never join IMBA. If you don't like how they want to denude you as a mtbr, speak out that they do not represent you. Let them all go ride multi-use paths with the Sierra Club. I hope they keep their boring, lame ideas out of K-trail. BCT is fun, but its just a decent trail. GO AWAY IMBA, Pemberton is calling.
    We seem to go round and round on this, but if IMBA's goal is to promote mountain biking, I'll make the educated assumption that the majority of those who call themselves "mountain bikers" are what you refer to as dirt roadies. I've said it from day 1, but if you want promote more the more aggressive riding aspect of mountain biking, you need the grassroot groups. And you need to keep the discussion private or semi-private. This is why I was so hard on some on this board. Certain folks had a place in mt biking, but using a public forum to promote their agenda was going to bit him in the ass.

    I'm not going even pretend I know the specific issues that led to IMBA kicking out the Sedona group. But I'd venture to say that they did not see eye to eye on how to promote the sport.

    This is just my opinion, and I'm sure plenty disagree.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  18. #18
    parenting for gnarness
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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    I typed a half serious, half smartassed response and wound up deleting it in an effort to show some tact. All I really can say is this: If the SMBC is such a great club what SMBC members need to do is try to keep it together. The SMBC can still go on without IMBA's backing. Prove that it is an organization that is needed to make Sedona biking better. Make it so that the majority of local bikers support the causes SMBC states are important but do it with honesty and integrity.
    what is wrong with simply riding your bike and speaking out against discrimination? Why does SMBC have TO DO anything? Isnt a couple hundred signatures simply saying ' i like technical rides, I want access to my public spaces' being clear enough? Isnt a group having several dozen volunteers something the FS should seek out, instead of marginalize? Shouldnt a national biking org defer to a local one for local issues? Shouldnt Land Managers, as public employees with a mission to serve the public, be the ones concerned with positive actions and building bridges with the locals rather than discriminating?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball View Post
    Shouldnt a national biking org defer to a local one for local issues? Shouldnt Land Managers, as public employees with a mission to serve the public, be the ones concerned with positive actions and building bridges with the locals rather than discriminating?
    Isn't that what they are doing by working with the Verde Valley Cyclist Coalition?
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  20. #20
    Always a good day to ride
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    I blame Dale's Maps and the Ricochet trail.

  21. #21
    parenting for gnarness
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
    Isn't that what they are doing by working with the Verde Valley Cyclist Coalition?
    yes, but...they are blatanly ignoring many relevant stakeholders in so doing. IMBA is a private entity and can pick its allies, but to then spin that it speaks for the community is laughable. FS owes it to all citizens to incorporate their povs.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bik_ryder View Post
    I blame Dale's Maps and the Ricochet trail.
    Why do you have to bring race into this discussion?
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  23. #23
    Shovel Ready
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    Quote Originally Posted by casual observer View Post
    why do you have to bring race into this discussion?
    lmao!

  24. #24
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    As was posted here earlier IMBA has terminated the Chapter Charter Agreement of the Sedona Mountain Bike Club (SMBC). IMBA blames/justifies the termination on the board of directors of the SMBC for several stated “violations” among them:

    - the Change.org petition
    - conduct relating to the USFS
    - and complaints at the last RTCA meeting

    What is interesting is that the SMBC is a directly democratic organization. We do not act or speak for our membership but transparently follow their wishes. Most recently we asked our membership to vote regarding the change.org petition. Here is how our membership voted:

    77% - Leave the petition in tact
    17% - Dis-associate the SMBC from the petition
    7% - Take the petition down

    When the SMBC's democratic decision making process is taken into account IMBA's stated reasons for Chapter Charter Termination “violations” of our board amount to a lot of Heresay and seem petty and ridiculous.

    So, what is the REAL reason that IMBA terminated the SMBC's Chapter Charter Agreement? There are two: The first is related to the new unwritten conduct a Chapter is expected to follow. Take for instance the South Western Regional Director's territory:

    California
    Nevada
    Utah
    Arizona
    New Mexico

    How is a Regional Director to achieve his or her organizational goals when they are managing five states?!... Well, I'll tell you: That Director most likely is relying on his or her Chapters to follow instructions. I can tell you that having 20+ years worth of issues here in Sedona, our Chapter was not looking for marching orders. Our community had discussed and identified our priorities long before a South Western Regional Director position even existed. Also, there was no discussion of IMBA's agenda/goals prior to Chapter formation or after constitution. I can only guess that our directors goals were at conflict with our own goals from day one as he NEVER illuminated us as to what they were.

    The second reason can be found in the third paragraph of IMBA's termination notice to the SMBC:

    “The petition jeopardizes IMBAs reputation and partnership with the USFS.”

    Basically, by conducting ourselves as a democratic grass roots mountain bike advocacy organization; communicating and standing-up for our members interests, telling the truth, and acting with integrity we angered the USFS and embarrassed IMBA. Given how close IMBA has chosen to work with the USFS our conduct was inexcusable. When it was time to decide how to proceed IMBA sacrificed it's mountain bike members interests to secure it's relationship with the USFS. In doing so IMBA has sent a clear message to it's members about where they stand.

    Which brings me to an important point of clarification: The SMBC (Sedona Trail Stewardship Fund LLC.) did not draft the Change.org petition. Rather, we assisted in the process of drafting and posting the petition. The petition was actually created by a collective of more than 20 local mountain bikers (including input from a member of the VVCC). The SMBC's board had learned that due to the threat of an imminent USFS trail closure a group of riders was considering a much more negative response. We engaged with the collective and lobbied for a more constructive and effective approach. The petition was the product of those discussions.

    The relatively small act of creating the petition made a big difference to many local riders. They saw that we were serious about democratic, grass roots, mountain bike advocacy, and as a result many more riders joined the SMBC. Many who of which had NEVER belonged to a mountain bike advocacy group before.

    Many of the members who chose to join the SMBC happened to be pioneers of the Sedona mountain bike scene; local residents, riders, shop owners, and yes some illegal trail builders... the very people that we desperately needed at the table... people with deep roots, a lot of skin in the game, and a tremendous amount of passion. Having these folks willingly join the SMBC and become part of a public process was a HUGE victory and an important step towards working through the several decades old challenging relationship that had existed between mountain bikers and the USFS.

    However, IMBA has decided that moving forward in a very aggressive way is more important... In my opinion they are also seeking to re-brand mountain bike advocacy... to IMBA... They intend to OWN it. Everyone who spends time on this site understands there is more than one way to skin a cat. Any organization that seeks a monopoly is expecting the public to accept an incredibly dangerous precedent. Consider the words of professor Eben Moglen:

    “Sharing is how knowledge grows, 'Owning' is how knowledge shrinks.”

    IMBA needs to realize that the future of mountain bike advocacy is not top-down coercion but bottom-up, grass roots, 'crowd sourced' solutions and free community driven knowledge bases.

    From what I can see Sedona has become a significant part of IMBA's campaign to convince the mountain biking public that they are important/relevant. As an example IMBA has plans to hold it's World Summit in Sedona in 2014. The irony is that IMBA would not even be considering Sedona for their World Summit without the work of many of our members (Sedona's mountain bike pioneers)... who IMBA has just completely disrespected!

    One last thought: Metcalfe's law – is based on telecommunications networks but can be applied to human networks. It states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2). When applied to the larger mountain bike community, our network becomes stronger when we 'include' more mountain bikers. So how does IMBA figure that alienating 70 of it's newest members is “strong mountain bike advocacy leadership”? Maybe it's time for change?

    The Sedona Mountain Bike Club rides on. We will continue to ride together, participate in democratic grass roots mountain bike advocacy, and seek to engage the USFS in a mutually beneficial and respectful relationship.

    CB
    Last edited by CANADIANBACON; 07-13-2013 at 12:28 PM.

  25. #25
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    Why does something so fun and great have to have politics involved?
    “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”
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