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Thread: IMBA and change

  1. #1
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    IMBA and change

    There have been a few threads lately discussing the love'em or hate'em opinions of IMBA.

    This thread is specifically focused on how IMBA needs to change or evolve or focus their energy. Some chapters are actually dropping their affiliation with IMBA and the question for us is why, and is their reasoning valid and worth discussing amongst our local chapters?

    This is not meant to be a b•tch fest nor is it meant yo be a love fest either. It is meant to help IMBA choose their course for the future.

    Without getting all passionate, uppity, or holier than thou, state your back ground with IMBA, your issue, how and if it was resolved. This is meant to be constructive endeavor, if you can't get there, don't chime in...
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  2. #2
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    Been an IMBA member since 2001. Our club has been a SORBA/IMBA chapter since 2010. Only real issue we ever had was getting our member database integrated with IMBA and accessing it with the CiviCRM site. That and getting our chapter checked during new and renewal memberships. Was handled by Jason B. with IMBA and us updating our membership links on our website. Haven't had any problems since then.

    I will preface that we have been a club since 1990 (almost as long as SORBA and IMBA) and have pretty much had our own autonomy, our own 501c3 status and done our advocacy "in house" as it were. Our reason for becoming a chapter had more to do with becoming part of the bigger group and not really so much needing help from either group.

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    I was an IMBA member for some years, but when I had to reduce my charitable giving, dropped them in favor of my local club. I don't really have issues with IMBA.

    I think any organization will have members leaving and members joining. What's critical is whether more folks are leaving than joining. So my questions back to you are: What are the reasons chapters choose to leave, and are the numbers significant?

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    Re: IMBA and change

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan View Post
    So my questions back to you are: What are the reasons chapters choose to leave, and are the numbers significant?
    That is point of this thread. To pin down the discourse and to see what the clubs want that they don't feel they are receiving from the organization.
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  5. #5
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    There have been a few threads lately discussing the love'em or hate'em opinions of IMBA.

    This thread is specifically focused on how IMBA needs to change or evolve or focus their energy. Some chapters are actually dropping their affiliation with IMBA and the question for us is why, and is their reasoning valid and worth discussing amongst our local chapters?

    This is not meant to be a b•tch fest nor is it meant yo be a love fest either. It is meant to help IMBA choose their course for the future.

    Without getting all passionate, uppity, or holier than thou, state your back ground with IMBA, your issue, how and if it was resolved. This is meant to be constructive endeavor, if you can't get there, don't chime in...
    What Chapters have left IMBA voluntarily? Are there any?
    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
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    I know of one that was kicked out of SORBA.

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    I would like to hear about examples. I know there are some great east coast clubs that do local/regional work and are not IMBA affiliated, but I don't think most of them started out as IMBA clubs and left in disgust or anything.

    -Walt
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  8. #8
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    IMBA has 148 chapters at this point in time. Previously, three chapters lost their status because of late/missing filings with the IRS, but they are likely to reapply for chapter status once those issues have been resolved.

    One chapter lost its status because it did not want to follow IMBA policy in regards to land access issues.

    There have been no instances of IMBA chapters asking to leave the program, revert to club status or otherwise voluntarily end their affiliation with IMBA.

    -- Mark E (IMBA Communications Director)

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    Thanks Mark. That's good information to have at the front end of this discussion.
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  10. #10
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    If no one has a legitimate beef with IMBA or change they feel is necessary, then there should be a lot less whining in the future.
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  11. #11
    AZ
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    The number of chapters that have left IMBA for whatever reason is not a complete picture, it does not address the number of clubs or organizations that did not or will not become chapters of the IMBA. Just sayin. The bias makes the data useless.

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    If a club or organization chooses not be become part of IMBA, it is a problem or just a difference of opinion? Lots of clubs have done well for themselves and not joined. Others have joined and, as it appears, none left.

    There is no rule that says you have to play by their rules. Don't like it? Don't join. It is pretty simple.
    Apathy will get you exactly what you deserve

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    Re: IMBA and change

    Quote Originally Posted by bankerboy View Post
    If

    Don't like it? Don't join. It is pretty simple.
    No kidding.

    But this is about the bigger picture. A lot of folks are anti IMBA and we are trying to pin down why. Aside from the typical arguments based on ignorance and the stereotyping of sustainable trails as dumbed down, I am not seeing the valid points against them.

    I personally want to see more advocacy locally and to see the regional reps leading the charge at important meetings.

    Maybe the regional reps are the ones that need more support?
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  14. #14
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    Yeah, I think you nailed it- ignorance and stereotyping. I don't think IMBA will lose clubs, but it might lose individual members that are ignorant of trail design. Maybe IMBA needs to get some pro freerider or downhiller that the kids look up to, to be a spokesperson for sustainable trails. Perhaps a cool young guy with tatoos instead of a nerdy older guy. The nerd guys should be used for trips to Washington, etc.

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    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    No kidding.

    But this is about the bigger picture. A lot of folks are anti IMBA and we are trying to pin down why. Aside from the typical arguments based on ignorance and the stereotyping of sustainable trails as dumbed down, I am not seeing the valid points against them.

    I personally want to see more advocacy locally and to see the regional reps leading the charge at important meetings.

    Maybe the regional reps are the ones that need more support?



    You probably have a very valid point, top down is a model that rarely succeeds. But, I would suggest that rather than regional support it should be more local than that. Ideas and opinions tend to get lost at large scale. My two cents.

  16. #16
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    All the angst is because of the whole Sedona situation (about which I know very little) and it's unfortunate because it's now impossible to discuss IMBA without crazed rants being interjected.

    -Walt
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    No kidding.

    But this is about the bigger picture. A lot of folks are anti IMBA and we are trying to pin down why. Aside from the typical arguments based on ignorance and the stereotyping of sustainable trails as dumbed down, I am not seeing the valid points against them.

    I personally want to see more advocacy locally and to see the regional reps leading the charge at important meetings.

    Maybe the regional reps are the ones that need more support?
    A lot of folks? Compared to what? Certainly there are some folks who are very vocal and use the interwebz to amplify their voice, but are they really significant compared to the amount of people who appreciate and support what IMBA does? I'm not really sure there's a truly accurate way to nail that down without some real, statistically valid polling, but my gut feeling about this subject and similar threads is a few people speak loudly, a lot of people either reply with snark and sarcasm or try to present counter arguments in a calm and rational manner, and most people watch from the sidelines more or less indifferent.

    Regardless of what you see in bike porn vids and glossy MTB photos in mags, it's my observation that the vast majority of MTBers do what is labeled these days as "XC" or "trail" riding. (still not really sure what "AM" is supposed to mean, "XC" or "trail" riding, going slower on the ups (or shuttling) and faster on the downs on a bike with 6"+ of suspension that weights 30+ lbs I guess).
    Go to just about any riding area with stacked loops or a variety of types of trails and you'll see the vast majority of use on less technical or moderately technical trails. The hyper technical trails with big drops and serious injury potential get very little traffic comparatively.

    IMBA and most land managers know this and try to put their most effort into projects that serve the most people. That isn't to say that IMBA, or many land managers are inherently against more technical/expert trails as long as they can be done sustainably, but the numbers and demand will, at least for now, favor a higher ratio of trails suited to where most of the demand is with fewer "advanced" trails than what they describe as "dumbed down" or "boring" trails.

    There are also a fairly small in proportion to the overall number of people who feel they should be able to build/burn in trails without any land manager oversight and become very upset and indignant with anybody who questions their perceived entitlement or enforces the law.

  18. #18
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    I think the angst is bigger than one particular place. I hear a lot grumbling and I am on the other side of the country.
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    (about which I know very little) .

    -Walt
    Correct, and just because some people rant does not mean their opinions are not valid or valued.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ View Post
    Correct, and just because some people rant does not mean their opinions are not valid or valued.
    The same individuals who continually rant on the same subject actually do dilute their opinions...and the value they once had is greatly diminished.

    Those "few threads" started lately on this subject are exactly that....the same individuals ranting on the same subject in different forums.

    The question on why chapters were leaving IMBA has been answered - none have....and one was dropped due to policy differences.

    Why hasn't anyone answered the "Ask a BLM guy for advice" thread here? You'd think having an insider offering invaluable first hand advice on how to approach trail building on our shared public lands would be the top thread in this forum.
    Ask a BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner
    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
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  21. #21
    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    The same individuals who continually rant on the same subject actually do dilute their opinions...and the value they once had is greatly diminished.

    Those "few threads" started lately on this subject are exactly that....the same individuals ranting on the same subject in different forums.

    The question on why chapters were leaving IMBA has been answered - none have....and one was dropped due to policy differences.

    Why hasn't anyone answered the "Ask a BLM guy for advice" thread here? You'd think having an insider offering invaluable first hand advice on how to approach trail building on our shared public lands would be the top thread in this forum.
    Ask a BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner



    That thread got hijacked by a couple of sock puppets whom were allowed to derail it, it fell down the page and was lost to the ages. I would also suggest that dealing with the BLM is a walk in the park compared to any dealings with the Forrest Circus (yes I have had a few) so the interest is not as high. I would also point to the IMBA being the sponsor of this sub forum and that the continued negative comments from mods gives an appearance of toeing party line. Pointing out what might be solutions is frowned upon since when? A discussion ceases to be one when one side is stifled by authority. With all due respect this thread was pretty civil until Walt jumped in with his antagonistic comments.

  22. #22
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    Re: IMBA and change

    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    The same individuals who continually rant on the same subject actually do dilute their opinions...and the value they once had is greatly diminished.

    Those "few threads" started lately on this subject are exactly that....the same individuals ranting on the same subject in different forums.

    The question on why chapters were leaving IMBA has been answered - none have....and one was dropped due to policy differences.

    Why hasn't anyone here answered the "Ask a BLM guy for advice" thread here? You'd think having an insider offering invaluable first hand advice on how to approach trail building on our shared public lands would be the top thread in this forum.
    Ask a BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner

    Chapter leaders deal with land managers on a continual basis. Its not a big secret how to deal with LMs. Just check out the IMBA handbook....

    This issue is bigger than any one land manager. Also, every land manager and org they represent is different and should be approached as such.

    I love that the BLM guy is here and offered himself up for discussion. He should be a huge asset to anyone dealing with the BLM. Probably not that much help for someone dealing with a state park or the USFS.
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

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    Re: IMBA and change

    I am just trying to cut through the hearsay, crap, and misdirection.

    My opinion of certain aspects of IMBA have changed over the last couple of months. And for the better I might add.

    But when people are talking about IMBA and using unethical as an adjective, it seems like its worth getting to the bottom it.

    I have asked members to post up their beef, with no real takers. It seems that the Sedona debacle has left a bad taste for some but it doesn't appear like it needs to be rehashed again.

    I also know of a couple of chapters that are considering dropping their status, but I doubt they will.
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    I am just trying to cut through the hearsay, crap, and misdirection.

    My opinion of certain aspects of IMBA have changed over the last couple of months. And for the better I might add.

    But when people are talking about IMBA and using unethical as an adjective, it seems like its worth getting to the bottom it.

    I have asked members to post up their beef, with no real takers. It seems that the Sedona debacle has left a bad taste for some but it doesn't appear like it needs to be rehashed again.

    I also know of a couple of chapters that are considering dropping their status, but I doubt they will.


    It's all a journey, no? I appreciate that you will engage the members here. I have no ill will towards your organization and was simply pointing out an observation. I really have no dog in this fight other than that observation, do what you will with it.

  25. #25
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    That is true, but when your medium is the written word, you can't persuade anyone if your writing doesn't make sense. The paranoid jeremiad is SOP for the internet, I know, but when you start talking about how people don't "know the real story" (tell it!) and can't encapsulate your grievances in a concise way (or even answer basic questions about what you dislike or want to change) you just end up hurting your own cause. That's pretty much what happened with the previous threads.

    -Walt

    Quote Originally Posted by AZ View Post
    Correct, and just because some people rant does not mean their opinions are not valid or valued.
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

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