Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 143
  1. #1
    YRG
    YRG is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    272

    Betterride drops IMBA

    Check out the article at betterride.net! Gene starts a discussion about how IMBA has lost it's soul and no longer benefits mountain bikers. Lot's of great discussion and ideas.

    Some questions asked are:
    1) Is imba using not for profit status to under bid legit trail builders?
    2) Do they kinda suck at building trails?
    And many more interesting thoughts
    Check it out and start a dialog.

  2. #2
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,830
    Link?
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    649
    Pretty weak if you ask me.

    Come on...they are cutting back the cactus too far...really?
    www.JORBA.org
    You Dig?
    "The rides to short to not kick against the pricks" M.F.

  4. #4
    YRG
    YRG is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    272
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob W View Post
    Pretty weak if you ask me.

    Come on...they are cutting back the cactus too far...really?
    Yeah, I thought that was weak also
    Rideit, the website doesn't have good link, go to betterride.net and click articles. It is the second one

  5. #5
    ~~~~~~~~
    Reputation: airwreck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,783
    IMBA definitely helped build the trails that Betterride will be using for their camp that utilizes our local trails! We wouldn't be where we are at today without IMBA, the local land manager requires affiliation with a national organization.

  6. #6
    North Van/Whistler
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,567
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  7. #7
    YRG
    YRG is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    272
    Quote Originally Posted by airwreck View Post
    IMBA definitely helped build the trails that Betterride will be using for their camp that utilizes our local trails! We wouldn't be where we are at today without IMBA, the local land manager requires affiliation with a national organization.
    Could be why Gene was an imba supporter for so many years. The questions being raised concern what they are doing now. But if you have to affiliate with a national organization and there is no one better, then you really have no choice except to maybe help imba get back on track.

  8. #8
    ~~~~~~~~
    Reputation: airwreck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,783
    Quote Originally Posted by YRG View Post
    Could be why Gene was an imba supporter for so many years. The questions being raised concern what they are doing now. But if you have to affiliate with a national organization and there is no one better, then you really have no choice except to maybe help imba get back on track.
    What they are doing now? They are providing legitimacy to satisfy the land managers. Our new trail built this summer and other skills areas under construction now would not have been built without IMBA and Trail Solutions assistance. I'm sure Betterrides customers will enjoy them. Unfortunately commercial activities are prohibited on these trails. See what I'm getting at? IMBA has been on track for our situation, we are trying to manage growth of the activity, unsuccessfully until we solidified the relationship with IMBA. Not much to complain about...

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Joules's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,355
    The trails we've had IMBA's help with.. are tame and boring and I believe we could have done better without them. All they really seem to be interested in doing is putting their logo on everything and taking credit for they mostly didn't do (when the local club brings a 5-6 hundred volunteer man-hours, and they bring a so/so "crew leader" (who was in no way essential), it's not "an IMBA project" no matter how much they want to claim it is.
    And the details of IMBA's first proposal for us as a chapter make me so angry I can't even talk about them. The gist was IMBA gets 60% of our membership dues and all decision-making for our club (there was even a clause that we couldn't use our logo or name without an imba logo or "an imba chapter" attached), and in return we got... nothing at all.

    Now some of Gene's complaints like IMBA web site offering info for free that one used to have to buy from a shop, are so weak that they detract from his valid point: that, at least from where I'm sitting, these days IMBA is more about egos and power than access or trails. I'm well aware they've done important work in the past, but I don't see them having done much lately.
    And the IMBA-built trails I've seen do kind of suck, in the sense that they aren't innovative or challenging, but pure lowest common denominator stuff that a first timer could ride on a hybrid wearing flip flops.

  10. #10
    ~~~~~~~~
    Reputation: airwreck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,783
    Our local chapters experience has been the complete opposite of what I am reading here. I would like to hear what some of these locations are with all these "problems" and hear what the land managers have to say about it.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    357
    Great thought provoking article Gene. All mountain bike advocates should read this because for the most part, WE are IMBA, and IMBA is US. Most if not all IMBA employees are just local advocates who decided to take their skills(or lack there of!) to a national level. If we don’t like it ….we should change it.

    They’ve done a lot of good in our state, though they’re not perfect. I hate saying “they!” (See above)

  12. #12
    It's about showing up.
    Reputation: Berkeley Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    11,273
    I don't agree that IMBA is "us." They have taken dues from the SF Bay Area for 25 years and done precious little here. I'm a mountain biker of nearly 30 years, an advocate of 15, a leader of riding programs of all this time and and substantial advocacy leader for 5 and IMBA certainly is not me.

    Maybe they used our dues in your neighborhood but not in ours. How nice for you.
    I don't rattle.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    159
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob W View Post
    Pretty weak if you ask me.

    Come on...they are cutting back the cactus too far...really?
    When cactus is the only thing that keeps singletrack narrow in the desert, this is a BIG deal.

  14. #14
    ~~~~~~~~
    Reputation: airwreck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,783
    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    Maybe they used our dues in your neighborhood but not in ours. How nice for you.
    Lots of people from your neighborhood ride in ours. How nice for them. Sorry about your attitude, maybe that is part of your problem.

  15. #15
    It's about showing up.
    Reputation: Berkeley Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    11,273
    Calling my opinion "attitude", arrived at through years of working this equation, is pretty dismissive. As one of the 3 founding organizations of IMBA and the Northern California nexus of advocacy which IMBA took over, this opinion is shared by a very large group of advocates around here.

    Where is your neighborhood?
    I don't rattle.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: slop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    346
    You said it Mike. Biggest mistake was letting NorCamba die on the vine. Regional organizations with paid staff are going to give the most bang for the buck. I moved from the Bay Area up to Seattle four years ago and we've been able to build an organization with paid staff that is able to get things done...meet with land managers, we have our own project manager and trail builder, and we've built an amazing Mtn bike park, Duthie Hill, and are adding miles of local trails in the hardest terrain to build in. IMBA wants in in a desperate way, but they would give us nothing! And the local land managers agree. Of course you won't read anything about what we are doing in the IMBA newsletters...

  17. #17
    Shaman
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    636
    Glad we have helped get this discussion started. In each of the past few years, Gene wrote blog articles about why he was donating so much money to IMBA (and other trail orgs). This year, he wrote and article about why he is donating to other groups instead of IMBA. Not meant to attack, but rather to question a group that has done lots of good, but may be straying from it's mission.
    Skills coaching loved by passionate riders of all levels and trusted by the pros.
    www.betterride.net

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    357
    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    I don't agree that IMBA is "us." They have taken dues from the SF Bay Area for 25 years and done precious little here. I'm a mountain biker of nearly 30 years, an advocate of 15, a leader of riding programs of all this time and and substantial advocacy leader for 5 and IMBA certainly is not me.

    Maybe they used our dues in your neighborhood but not in ours. How nice for you.
    Why haven't you used IMBA for your local initiatives? Has IMBA been an enemy to your local advocacy efforts?

    They've been helpful to us in educating our membership with regards to trailbuilding, advocacy, growing our group, etc. We partner with them when we can and it makes sense, but we've done a lot on our own too. We have strengths, they have strengths. And we've built ALL kinds of trails, all of them to the specs WE CHOSE and all of them contour and obeying the rules of good trailbuilding, sustainability whatever you wanna call it. Anybody who says you can't build a techy trail to "IMBA" standards is just plain wrong and isnt looking hard enough. There's plenty of sustainable trails that are bulletproof. ie. Squirrel Gap, Laurel in Pisgah, Schooner at Brown Co, Jekyll and Hyde at Oak Mtn, Sinkhole at Santos.

    Don't get me wrong, we've had a few disagreements with IMBA thru the years too, but the overall picture has been good. Heck, we have disagreements within our own local group(roughly 400 paid members)too, but what dynamic group of individuals don't have a few rough patches that an epic ride and few beers can't solve!?!

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    180
    Maybe our club (Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew) has been gifted a smooth ride by the mountain biking gods, but we have not had any of the issues mentioned above.

    Also, in Minnesota at least, Trail Solutions has never undercut a bid, so I can't speak to that.

    Look, IMBA is an organization made up of people like you and me. Because of that, they are imperfect and make mistakes. On top of that, you can never please all the people all of the time. So no matter what they do, someone is going to complain.

    A few things to keep in mind though:

    1. The IMBA Chapter program has been a raging success here in the upper Midwest. Maybe its because we don't have a lot older clubs that are set in thier ways, but everyone seems happy with the process and program so far.You don't get "nothing" for the 60% of dues your members pay. You get IMBA taking care of all the membership paperwork and a LOT of the back end stuff. That costs money. Either money your club would have to pay or tons of volunteer hours from your club members. Also, its nice if you have questions and need help on some matter to have a direct personal contact with IMBA be a phone call away.

    2. I've heard the complaint about "sanitized" trails and I'm not sure how much IMBA itself has to do with that. The Trail Solutions guidebook and standards allow for lots of diversity. But what gets flagged and built often is more about time and budgets than diversity. Then you get "I don't want to be sued" land managers. Work with your land manager and use club build days to personalize the trail some.

    3. One more thing about "sanitized" trails: it seems the people that complain about this most are bike jocks with some serious skills. But not everyone is that. Having trails that only appeal to that segment loses people that aren't that or will never be that. I've seen that when I visit Indiana. The trail builders down there do love their log crossings (even in supposed "everybody" trails) and aren't too forgiving about doing run-arounds or helper ramps off to the side. The result? Every trail I've been to down there seems to used by mostly bike jocks, and mostly male ones at that. (Or at least that is who is on the trails and in parking lots when I'm there.) Contrast that with trails in MN. We do our technical stuff mostly as b-lines or dedicated XX trails with the main trail fairly rollable. The result is that all riders can feel comfortable and progress skill wise. I think it shows in who uses our trails: on the weekends it is nearly 50/50 male/female and lots of families. In the long run, which rider group will foster good growth for our sport?

    4. If you want IMBA to change its direction, more will get accomplished from inside the system then outside. We here in the Midwest have some frustration will IMBA's focus on the West for trails. It would nice to see more of our dues go to a new trail system in MN,WI, or MI than yet another trail expansion in Park City, UT. But taking our ball and going home isn't going to help that happen. Working with your IMBA Regional Director will, however. (Shout our to our Regional Director, Hansi Johnson, who has been amazing.)

    5. Help yourself if you expect IMBA to help you. There is no nice way to put this: sometimes mountain bikers hurt IMBA's cause and then expect lots of help from IMBA. A lot of illegal riding happens in certain localities and it has soured many a city, county, or state park and lands department on mountain biking. Then many of the same jackwagons that ride trails illegally complain about a lack of mountain bike trails in an area. Take responsibility for your area, stop hurting the cause, and work with local authorities and land managers. IMBA will take notice then, trust me.

    Rideon makes a good point: people disagree. There is nothing wrong with that. What's wrong is when people won't try to work on fixing it.

  20. #20
    ~~~~~~~~
    Reputation: airwreck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,783
    I love it when people feel it's better to neg rep than actual contribute to a discussion...

    Got this one from "sambs827", berkely mike's "attitude" can be chalked up to the absurd amount of heart and soul he's poured into SFBA biking. dig around a bit and you'll see what i mean.

    Well sambs827, Mike's attitude I'm referring to is in regards to his forgetting that IMBA isn't here only for the bay area or Sedona.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    166

    funny to see this- COPMOBA was thinking this as well.

    From what I recall 2 years ago, my gf was interviewing a staff at COPMOBA for her rec management term paper. The staffer mentioned COPMOBA were thinking of dropping COPMOBA because they felt the IMBA were straying from its mission as well. Don't know ended up with that.


    Quote Originally Posted by BetterRide View Post
    Glad we have helped get this discussion started. In each of the past few years, Gene wrote blog articles about why he was donating so much money to IMBA (and other trail orgs). This year, he wrote and article about why he is donating to other groups instead of IMBA. Not meant to attack, but rather to question a group that has done lots of good, but may be straying from it's mission.

  22. #22
    YRG
    YRG is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    272
    Quote Originally Posted by snowboy76 View Post
    Maybe our club (Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew) has been gifted a smooth ride by the mountain biking gods, but we have not had any of the issues mentioned above.



    2. I've heard the complaint about "sanitized" trails and I'm not sure how much IMBA itself has to do with that. The Trail Solutions guidebook and standards allow for lots of diversity. But what gets flagged and built often is more about time and budgets than diversity. Then you get "I don't want to be sued" land managers. Work with your land manager and use club build days to personalize the trail some.

    3. One more thing about "sanitized" trails: it seems the people that complain about this most are bike jocks with some serious skills. But not everyone is that. Having trails that only appeal to that segment loses people that aren't that or will never be that. I've seen that when I visit Indiana. The trail builders down there do love their log crossings (even in supposed "everybody" trails) and aren't too forgiving about doing run-arounds or helper ramps off to the side. The result? Every trail I've been to down there seems to used by mostly bike jocks, and mostly male ones at that. (Or at least that is who is on the trails and in parking lots when I'm there.) Contrast that with trails in MN. We do our technical stuff mostly as b-lines or dedicated XX trails with the main trail fairly rollable. The result is that all riders can feel comfortable and progress skill wise. I think it shows in who uses our trails: on the weekends it is nearly 50/50 male/female and lots of families. In the long run, which rider group will foster good growth for our sport?



    5. Help yourself if you expect IMBA to help you. There is no nice way to put this: sometimes mountain bikers hurt IMBA's cause and then expect lots of help from IMBA. A lot of illegal riding happens in certain localities and it has soured many a city, county, or state park and lands department on mountain biking. Then many of the same jackwagons that ride trails illegally complain about a lack of mountain bike trails in an area. Take responsibility for your area, stop hurting the cause, and work with local authorities and land managers. IMBA will take notice then, trust me.

    Rideon makes a good point: people disagree. There is nothing wrong with that. What's wrong is when people won't try to work on fixing it.
    Very nice contribution to the discussion, Thanks
    Like to comment
    2) Sanitized trails. I like BC's response to IMBA's trail theory (specifically about safety) , which essentially said: "yeah that's nice, but we don't need to do that because our environment is unique" Sounded like they were saying: yeah, that may be good, but we can do better. Which of course they do, by a lot. I believe there is a way to balance the idea of fun with the idea of "I live in america and whatever I do is not my fault". Meaning we can have fun trails and protect ourselves from stupid people trying to say their stupidity is the trailbuilder's fault.

    3) Sanitized trails vs. ability. I live in a town with poor riding skills (Park City, Utah). Since most of our riders are unskilled, we think we have a great trail system. Mostly because we have so many trails. I believe any rider can develop skills. I believe average people can be expert riders. So I believe there should be beginner trails up to extremely difficult trails and everything inbetween. I also believe that every trail should be fun. I know beginner trails that are a total blast to ride. Trails can also accommodate a wide range of ability. Things like alternate lines and different take offs.
    Mostly, I don't like the conversation of sanitized trails. I do like the conversation of fun trails with defined ability ranges. There should be trails I can't ride until I can ride at a certain level. This is where the frustration comes. Take a trail that people can ride. Say 5% of the people can ride all of it. 95% have to walk some. Perfect! There is no better way to remind a person that skills can be improved than by walking something other people ride. I hate it when we try to take an existing trail and make it so an average rider can ride everything. That lowers the bar. Let's train the rider.
    5) Illegal riding has been a driving force for advancement and problems. I think it has done more good than harm. Moab's best trails were illegal. Pirate builders cooperating with land managers has been a great evolution to mountain biking. I think this conversation is to ask IMBA to stop it's new practice of hurting mountain biking. Maybe this is only growing pains but I see them as:
    Bad for my community, by reinforcing the idea that our poorly built trails are epic.
    Bad for riders, there idea of a certified instructor is seriously lacking
    Bad for fun, THEY just don't build great trails. We have a company here in Park City who build most of our trails and they kinda suck. They say they are giving the people what they want. (unimaginative trails, bull dozed in straight lines with switchbacks) But that is like saying, bad riders should stay bad and not learn to be good riders.
    Let's be better riders and let's have great trails. IMBA should want that! If they have to get out of the way to do it, so be it

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by YRG View Post
    Illegal riding has been a driving force for advancement and problems. I think it has done more good than harm. Moab's best trails were illegal. Pirate builders cooperating with land managers has been a great evolution to mountain biking.
    Clearly, you have never had to deal with not getting/loosing trail access over the issue of illegal trails. Its happened before and its happening currently. Our club gets a lot "how did you guys do it" calls and we occasionally get some groups that have awesome terrain, awesome clubs, but are having a hard time getting expansions going due a culture of illegal riding. It becomes this sort of thing: "Why should we approve new trail? You guys are adding your own without our permission anyway."

    Quote Originally Posted by YRG View Post
    I think this conversation is to ask IMBA to stop it's new practice of hurting mountain biking. Maybe this is only growing pains but I see them as:
    Bad for my community, by reinforcing the idea that our poorly built trails are epic.
    Bad for riders, there idea of a certified instructor is seriously lacking
    Bad for fun, THEY just don't build great trails. We have a company here in Park City who build most of our trails and they kinda suck. They say they are giving the people what they want. (unimaginative trails, bull dozed in straight lines with switchbacks) But that is like saying, bad riders should stay bad and not learn to be good riders.
    Let's be better riders and let's have great trails. IMBA should want that! If they have to get out of the way to do it, so be it
    I get what your are saying, but its not exactly 100% IMBA. If the trail builder is building bad trails, the first question I have ask is "why"? Is it a failure of IMBA standards? Is it a failure of plans and specs? Is it failure of flagging/inspection? Of those three, only one is IMBA's baby unless they are designing the plans and specs or flagging it (which they do very little of). Cuyuna was built to IMBA standards and its usually praised for its flow and fun. Copper Harbor is too. As a Dirt Boss I don't believe its the trail standards. That means the onus is on the plan and specs person and the flaggers/inspectors, not IMBA.

    To be honest, that is my only issue with Gene Hamiliton's article. He suggests every bad trail builder is somehow IMBA. Unless he lives in a part of the country where every mile of trail is built by Trail Solutions, his beef isn't with IMBA. He mentions that Trail Solutions underbids other trail builders. That may happen in his neck of the woods, but its not happening here. As someone that does engineering/survey/planning work for a living and has for years, I can tell you that for any trail on a non-private (i.e. municipal, state, federal) land, a bidding process is REQUIRED by law. So if the builders he likes aren't winning the bids, that's not IMBA's fault.

    I agree with you about IMBA needs to be more rigid on the standards as to what is a "Epic Ride". Mileage just isn't enough. Its got to be quality vs. quantity.

    On sanitized trails - Cuyuna has about no where near the amount of b-lines and technical features it was supposed to. Some might complain its "sanitized". That actually happens a lot, technical features dropped to ensure the project is completed. But this is where locals, working with the land manager, can come in and add some real personality.

  24. #24
    FKA Malibu412
    Reputation: Glide the Clyde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    4,352
    Quote Originally Posted by slop View Post
    You said it Mike. Biggest mistake was letting NorCamba die on the vine. Regional organizations with paid staff are going to give the most bang for the buck. I moved from the Bay Area up to Seattle four years ago and we've been able to build an organization with paid staff that is able to get things done...meet with land managers, we have our own project manager and trail builder, and we've built an amazing Mtn bike park, Duthie Hill, and are adding miles of local trails in the hardest terrain to build in. IMBA wants in in a desperate way, but they would give us nothing! And the local land managers agree. Of course you won't read anything about what we are doing in the IMBA newsletters...
    Isn't your "organization" an IMBA affiliate?

    I'd say sanitized trails v. techy trails and trails with more challenging features are more due to the local biking culture, terrain, local building partners, land manager requirements, etc. than the IMBA trail building guide book. Just ride Sandy Ridge in Oregon, a partnership between IMBA, the local affiliate NWTA and BLM. The trails there can challenge riders of any skill level.
    "I love the bike. It's my meditation. I think I'm bike-sexual." -Robin Williams

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: slop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    346
    Affiliate yes, chapter no. The only real benefit we get is membership insurance.

    Here is my point: We are getting a whole more done with local paid leadership. This did not happen overnight, but the results speak for themselves. And if Seattle can support a paid local organization to get new trails built, why can't the Bay Area. You get a full time local person who can meet with politicians and meet with land managers, and you can get results.
    Your other point is valid. Local this and that should have more say in what gets built. I just think money is better spent if it stays local.

Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Any BetterRide.net feedback
    By pyrofighting in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-31-2013, 02:10 PM
  2. betterride in Madison, anyone
    By desnaephoto in forum Minnesota, Wisconsin
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-08-2012, 06:14 AM
  3. BetterRide camps..experience?
    By pulpwoody in forum All Mountain
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-03-2011, 11:08 AM
  4. BetterRide MTB Clinic in Cincinnati
    By Malloy in forum Midwest - IL, IN, OH, KY, IA, MO
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 09-17-2011, 05:35 AM
  5. BetterRide Photo Contest
    By BetterRide in forum Apparel and Protection
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-14-2011, 05:11 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •