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  1. #1
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    IMBA Canada news

    News I did not know:
    IMBA Canada Announces Year of Restructuring | International Mountain Bike Association Canada

    Briefly, when Laura (the ex-head of IMBA Canada) went on mat leave, IMBA US took over, and, due to cash flow difficulties (in 2012, they got just $24,000 in memberships), cut IMBA Canada almost to the bone. Now, Laura's back, and with Igor H, is looking to bring IMBA Canada back.

    in many ways IMBA Canada has been a victim of its own success. We have done so well at empowering local clubs, working with land managers, and fighting for trails nationally, that our work largely gets taken for granted. Most mountain bikers do not see the connection between the work of the national organization, and success at the grassroots level. They don't ask how the work gets funded; they just assume that IMBA will be at the table when trails are at risk.
    Last edited by Nerdgirl; 05-16-2014 at 05:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!
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    I just read the write-up on the IMBA Canada facebook page, too. I believe they said that it was $24G's, but that amount only represents 600 memberships.

    600 MEMBERSHIPS?!? In all of Canada? That is appalling!

    Seriously, if you are reading this right now and you aren't a member, kick yourself in the ass, then head over to the web site and become one.

    The work they do behind the scenes is immeasurable, and they do it thanklessly, on your behalf. The price of a membership is a pittance to pay for the benefit of a strong and respected voice for the mountain biking community across the country.

    Even if you just make a donation of a smaller amount, every little bit helps.

    Thank you.

  3. #3
    Evil Jr.
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    I couldn't agree more. Our club has benefited tremendously from being IMBA affiliated and I bet most other riders in Ontario have benefited from IMBA too whether they know it or not.

    Renew those memberships folks!
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    " 600 MEMBERSHIPS?!? In all of Canada? That is appalling! "

    Perhaps they could just get a government grant so that we could all just enjoy the benefits without the restrictive cost.
    Ask Hudak if this one is on his top 10 list.

    On the other hand in the last federal budget there was 5 million allocated to development for snowmobile trails (promoting more co2 emissions). Would it be safe to say that many sled heads would be conservative supporters?

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    No it will not be on Hudak's top 10 list ... it is not even on MTBers list, well OK it is on 600 riders list, but there are a few more riders then that in Canada.

    Sledhaeds have a mandatory seasons pass around $200 and a mandatory license sticker that makes the Ontario Governing Liberals money.

    MTBers get it for free and it needs to stay that way, we are defiant right. Do not dare charge us for this beautiful singletrack that just appeared for free.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by temporoad View Post
    Ask Hudak if this one is on his top 10 list.

    On the other hand in the last federal budget there was 5 million allocated to development for snowmobile trails (promoting more co2 emissions). Would it be safe to say that many sled heads would be conservative supporters?
    The sled industry has come a long way. With the modern four-stroke engines, the emissions issue has been largely resolved. And, don't forget, sleds don't create nearly the environmental devastation that, say, bikers can, since they're running on a carpet of protective snow. What's more, sledders are being held to account in interesting ways. Last winter, what with the best ice in more than 20 years, a couple of dudes attempted the Tobermory to Owen Sound run. They didn't get far before hitting spotty ice, and one guy went down. It just so 'appened that 'e was fortunate to escape without the sled. But then, Parks Canada informed 'im that 'e'd 'ave to fish it up and get it out of the Park waters there. Waters there are probably about 200 feet deep or so, just off Halfway dump or whereever it was. Apologies for the digression (I find the notion of recreational snowmobiling kind of amusing). Best of luck to IMBA getting back up and running again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    Sledhaeds have a mandatory seasons pass around $200 and a mandatory license sticker that makes the Ontario Governing Liberals money.
    The 200$ goes to the OFSC not any government (in Ontario) and they do a nice job of maintaining and grooming the trails.
    BBB (big beautiful bike)

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    I so rarely comment, but ....

    About two years ago, I signed on for a IMBA Canada family membership via the internet. I didn't receive any acknowledgement or recognition of having received my money (they describe the "perks" of membership) on the web site. Several emails and phone messages left, without any response.

    Time for renewal this year ... mid submission, I recognize that my browser is telling me that the financial transmission may not be secure. Fine, I'll print it off and submit via mail. Sent to the address from the website and returned by Canada Post - address unknown. Two more phone calls, messages left. No response.

    I tried really hard to support IMBA Canada this year.

    Kevin Gordon

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    The $200 madatory seasons pass goes to OFSC and they do a great job of maintaining their trails by machine. Many many MTBers do a great job of maintaining our singletrack by hand and most think it should be for free.

    The mandatory license sticker money goes to the governing liberals in Ontario, non of this money goes towards the sled trails.

    Better temporoad?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay. View Post
    The sled industry has come a long way. With the modern four-stroke engines, the emissions issue has been largely resolved.
    If an internal combustion engine is still using fossil fuels there is still lots if emissions and a snowmobile is a very inefficient form of transportation. In fact I suspect most people don't use them for transportation at all but rather leisure activities.
    We all have to embrace more environmentally friendly leisure activities.
    BBB (big beautiful bike)

  11. #11
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    And all MTBers ride their bike to all trailheads ...

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    Food for thought:

    I am not a member of IMBA.

    However, last year I volunteered every Monday from May to September in the Don Valley with a Stewardship team maintaining and building Trails in Crother’s Woods. We pulled garlic mustard, hand weeded other invasive species, talked with other trail users, were general stewards of the trails. I also participated in several cleanup efforts in various locations and separate sanctioned trail building days. In my spare time, closer to home, I regularly work on my local trail fixing drainage issues, pruning, removing deadfall, cleaning up garbage, taking out new riders, playing tour guide for people who haven’t ridden my local trails and discouraging improper and illegal use of the trail by MX riders and people riding in poor conditions.

    I have attended many meetings, written councillors and city officials regarding the opening of the a local Bike Park and other riding related initiatives. I have begun to form relationships with these people by showing them my passion and commitment. I have sought out how and begun to attend meetings for the Etobicoke/ Mimico Creek Watershed Alliance – with hopes of one day becoming a member of the Coalition to better advocate on behalf of mountain bikers.

    I have come upon the advocacy scene relative recently and know that there are many who have been at this for a long time. I appreciate your efforts. It has also occurred to me that there are many way in which to advocate and arrive at the ultimate goal of sweet, sweet legitimized single track. In my opinion there is no single fix to any trail/ access issue – different landowners, different locations, different solutions.

    I am not here to toot my own horn. Just to offer a different perspective. I am sure there are many non-IMBA members out there doing much more than me for their riding community. Just as there likely many IMBA/ Club members out there that have slapped down their money for membership and never thought about advocacy/ trail work again until it was time to renew next year. I am not judging. At the end of the day shouldn’t it be about what helps you sleep at night knowing that you have given back to your community?

    Do I think IMBA does excellent work? Absolutely. Should I be a member of IMBA? Probably. Will I become a member of IMBA? Likely. But the question remains – Am I a ‘bad’ person for not joining IMBA?

    I know IMBA Canada has been through a rough patch – that is unfortunate. Perhaps they can use this opportunity to rebrand themselves. Perhaps I am just out of the loop but maybe if they did a better job blowing their horn and communicating where they have been at the table in discussions, keeping people abreast of what they are working on, or towards, people would become more engaged. Again, I am not pointing fingers just offering some suggestions through my eyes as a non-IMBA. I can only imagine the difficulty of running something like IMBA given their staff and the size of Canada – but I guess that comes down to money once again.

    As I said, food for thought. This is not meant to undermine IMBA or suggest that people not join. That is after all their decision. Nor is it meant to point fingers or call anyone out. That is FAR from helpful.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    The mandatory license sticker money goes to the governing liberals in Ontario, non of this money goes towards the sled trails.
    Are you sure about that? Have a look at the OFSC web site

    "Your Snowmobile Trail Permit gives you access to any available OFSC Prescribed Trail. Permits generate the revenue OFSC clubs need to maintain snowmobile trails and buy groomers. They are the only source of funding for trail operations. By purchasing a permit, each rider contributes to the cost of providing snowmobile trails as part of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs OFSC User Pay System."
    BBB (big beautiful bike)

  14. #14
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    Back on topic.

    About 3 years ago I renewed my IMBA membership, mailed it in and never saw the charge on my VISA statement and kind of forgot about it. I never got asked to renew again. If this is part of the problem it would not take too many people resources, just software or sub it out to a 3rd party.

  15. #15
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    From the IMBA website:
    May 15, 2014 -- IMBA Canada wishes to assure its members and supporters that despite updates being required to IMBA Canada's website security certificate, transactions made via the website are secure. This includes membership applications and renewals, donations, and online store purchases.

    IMBA Canada is in the process of renewing the website's security certificate, and because of this, some users may be given a security warning upon opening membership or donations pages. Rest assured, a secure, third party, payment processor (iATS) is used for all online transactions, and all cardholder data is hosted on the 100% secure iATS servers in accordance with PCI compliance.

    Our apologies for any concern that this has caused.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Gordon View Post
    I so rarely comment, but ....

    About two years ago, I signed on for a IMBA Canada family membership via the internet. I didn't receive any acknowledgement or recognition of having received my money (they describe the "perks" of membership) on the web site. Several emails and phone messages left, without any response.

    Time for renewal this year ... mid submission, I recognize that my browser is telling me that the financial transmission may not be secure. Fine, I'll print it off and submit via mail. Sent to the address from the website and returned by Canada Post - address unknown. Two more phone calls, messages left. No response.

    I tried really hard to support IMBA Canada this year.

    Kevin Gordon

  16. #16
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    The comments about IMBA Canada not doing a professional enough job strike me as a bit of a chicken and egg conundrum. When your total revenue ($24G) is not even enough to provide one staff member a living wage, it is inevitable that some things are not done up to par. Unfortunately, it sounds like this has included collecting the very money that keeps them going. Similarly, it can be tough to do a professional public relations job of tooting your own horn, when so much of your time goes into your actual job: keeping trails open. I feel for them.

    It's all very well and good for individuals to step up when dealing with land owners (in fact, it's very good!) but bureaucracies really like dealing with larger organisations - like IMBA. That way, they have some assurance that they aren't just dealing with a lone crackpot. Certainly, our club has found that getting IMBA involved in the conversation with landowners has lent us a lot of credibility. (Plus the Trail Care Crew was incredible.)

    I think IMBA Canada has done a great job helping mountain bikers advocate for more and better trails (the most boring part of trail work!). I hope they can grow into something bigger and better.

  17. #17
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    i think IMBA's role has diminished compared to private accredited trail building consultants/contractors with greater resources seeking tenders with municipalities and regions.

    on the plus side civic governments are starting to see the value of having natural surface cycling recreation opportunities. this will also diminish the role mtb/hiking/horse clubs will have influencing these projects for the very same reason. this is not a bad thing since it will open up greater revenue sources for these projects and involve more of the community.
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  18. #18
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    Sad to say but in all honesty, IMBA Canada has never been on my radar. I learned more about the excellent work it does reading this thread than I have ever learned from the organization itself. Kind of speaks volumes.

    I'm going to sign up and join today. Thanks Nerdgirl for posting and bringing this to my attention
    Strava made me do it....

  19. #19
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    They don't do very much in the west, so not many people out here signing up for paid membership with IMBA.

    WORCA in Whistler has 1200+ paid members.
    NSMBA in North Van now has 400 paid members (new all time high in paid members).

    Both of those member numbers can be attributed to events. People don't just sign up as a paid member for the warm and fuzzies, you need to do some special to attract them. In our case it's $2 weekly race series. The series is a break-even event to draw out the people for their $40 membership.

    As a club/organization there is a bonus in being an IMBA affiliate for the club insurance.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    Sad to say but in all honesty, IMBA Canada has never been on my radar. I learned more about the excellent work it does reading this thread than I have ever learned from the organization itself. Kind of speaks volumes.
    Doesn't your team have a joint membership with IMBA? When I was a member I thought we all joined. I certainly did, it was an extra $20 well spent.

    I agree that they're terrible with self promotion, but their money goes to the trails.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnikcdn View Post
    their money goes to the trails.
    Any idea which trails in Ontario have received IMBA funding assistance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satan2 View Post
    Any idea which trails in Ontario have received IMBA funding assistance?
    It certainly seemed to me that the ridge section of the Don valley trail went through a phase with a lot of imba input. However, not sure which direction the money was flowing.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    They don't do very much in the west, so not many people out here signing up for paid membership with IMBA.

    WORCA in Whistler has 1200+ paid members.
    NSMBA in North Van now has 400 paid members (new all time high in paid members).

    Both of those member numbers can be attributed to events. People don't just sign up as a paid member for the warm and fuzzies, you need to do some special to attract them. In our case it's $2 weekly race series. The series is a break-even event to draw out the people for their $40 membership.

    As a club/organization there is a bonus in being an IMBA affiliate for the club insurance.
    What is the current going rate for one year with WORCA?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satan2 View Post
    Any idea which trails in Ontario have received IMBA funding assistance?
    Believe the most MTB Kingston received from IMBA was a visit from the trail crew for a weekend. Other then that up till this year IMBA was simply for insurance as none of the trails are public access the club has access to.

    After some conversation on the weekend the lack or communication and paper work SNAFU's last year are concerning this. My hunch is another source for insurance is being considered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    What is the current going rate for one year with WORCA?
    WORCA is $50.
    NSMBA is $40.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pucker Factor View Post
    600 MEMBERSHIPS?!? In all of Canada? That is appalling!
    Fewer. I always kick in at a higher membership level so it's not just 24,000/$40. Pretty sad.

  27. #27
    rbs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    ...and a mandatory license sticker that makes the Ontario Governing Liberals money.
    Really? That's how you think the government works? Shaking head sadly....

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbs View Post
    Really? That's how you think the government works? Shaking head sadly....
    WOW lots of “sticklers” on here. Shaking head with a smile.

    Let me try this for the third time.

    and a mandatory license sticker that is spent by the bureaucracy the Ontario Government is in charge of.

    If it is still not better perhaps the people who want it corrected could correct it.

    I have a large collection of socks, so you are correct the math is likely off ... LongLiveLongRides

  29. #29
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    Longtime IMBA supporter here, my wife and I do the family membership each year and pitch in where we can on trail maintenance days but it has been tough lately with two little kids to take care of.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satan2 View Post
    Any idea which trails in Ontario have received IMBA funding assistance?
    That's a good question. IMBA Canada really could do a better job of highlighting this. From a quick search, in 2012, the Trail Care Crew visited 28 locations across Canada, eight of which were in Ontario, including Toronto, Barrie, Kingston and Midland. In 2013, they visited 18 sites, five of which were in Ontario, including Kolapore, Peterborough and Sudbury. In addition, they have visited Hamilton, St. Catherine's and Ottawa (and a number of others pre-2012, but I'm too lazy to dig through the whole blog) - see Success Stories.

    I know they were incredibly helpful getting the Hamilton Cycling Club trail system going. Applying for the Trail Care Crew to come visit provided us the push to get a firm commitment from the Conservation Authority to build trails (and the credibility for them to provide it). We got 100 people out to the Trail School and inaugural build day. IMBA's Trail Care Crew at the time (Chad and Deanne) went way above and beyond in helping us. They came early, helped us create a trail plan for the entire area, engaged with the Conservation Authority, helped build almost a km of trail - all in a very limited time.

    Beyond the Trail Care Crew, they run a number of events (including Take a Kid Mountain Biking). I know they have been involved in advocacy directly with a number of Ontario clubs, including DMBA and WCC, but I don't know details - or how many clubs (though I would imagine quite a few). Even just being a member club (as quite a few clubs are) provides credibility to the clubs with landowners (and, as previously mentioned, access to insurance). They do attempt to highlight local stuff here.

    Beyond the Trail Care Crew and above-mentioned activities, they have a number of other programs, including an Instructor Certification program, Model Trails, National Mountain Bike Patrol and Trail Solutions Consulting. Online, they actually have more resources available than IMBA US. I would highly recommend anyone dealing with building or advocacy go check out that page.

    They do a LOT. But they are a national organisation, so it's hard to have the grassroots events that attract members in the way that clubs do. Perhaps they should look to clubs for stronger support and less so to individual memberships? It's a great organisation, but I don't have the answer as to how to make it financially sustainable.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by temporoad View Post
    Ask Hudak if this one is on his top 10 list.

    On the other hand in the last federal budget there was 5 million allocated to development for snowmobile trails (promoting more co2 emissions). Would it be safe to say that many sled heads would be conservative supporters?
    huh? how did you link conservatives with sleds??? you kidding?

    maybe organizations like TRCA should not spend OUR money on maintaining over 150 mansions in beautiful natural setting and renting them out to their own brass including the head of TRCA who is paying $1200 monthly rent to live in a mansion... although he is retired with $140,000 public money pension, he was rehired at the same meeting on a contract worth another couple of hundreds of thousands of dollars on top of his barely third world country pension. Maybe Imba Canada could have used a few tens of thousands of dollars that this leech would not even have felt missing?

    is this also a conservative fault?
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbs View Post
    Really? That's how you think the government works? Shaking head sadly....
    what are you sad about?
    a billion wasted on gas plants relocation to buy votes?
    a billion wasted on non existing e-health project?
    a billion wasted on Ornge scandal?

    which one of these is making you sad? or all of them?

    you do need to shake your head, indeed...
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  33. #33
    rbs
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    It's not always what you see....

    I'm not quite sure where the resistance to joining a national mountain bike advocacy group comes from. I think most of the people who find their way to MTBR are pretty committed cyclists, and a $40/year membership in an advocacy group seems like a good deal to me.

    Think about that cost for a minute. It's about the same as an O-Cup race. I will barely fill my gas tank 1/2 way. It wouldn't buy me a new tire for my bike.

    Membership in some organization is important, be it IMBA or local club. Anyone who has attended meetings with landowners knows that about the #1 factor in getting your voice heard is to have an organization speaking for you. Individuals just don't have much standing in the process.

    Behind the scenes , a group like IMBA (or TORCA/GORBA/etc.) will have contacts that you or I will never make. When people are invited into the process, it won;t be individuals who are contacted, but groups like IMBA.

    Here are some examples of that high-level work:
    • Many clubs in Ontario benefit from IMBA Canada's insurance program -- Insurance being one of the biggest road blocks when it comes to opening trails.
    • IMBA Ontario Tool Trailer -- Free tools to use for IMBA Canada club members
    • IMBA Canada Trail Care Crew -- Free education to member clubs
    • Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day - Developing resources and tools to get the next generation on bikes
    • Attending countless public and behind-the-scenes meetings to advocate on Ontario mountain bikers' behalf
    • Working with corporate supporters to provide financial support to clubs through grants, etc. (ie. the MEC Trail Grant Program, OCA Trail Grants in the past, etc.)
    • Working with provincial government to make sure that mountain biking is recognized in the Provincial Trails Strategy and the Regional Tourism Offices
    • Ensuring that mountain biking is at the forefront of any trail discussion that occurs at the government level


    I recognize that a lot of that is in Ontario, but I think that's the nature of the current size on IMBA Canada.

    Someone asked about trails that IMBA had direct involvement with. I didn't have a ready list so I asked IMBA:
    • Kolapore Uplands - Involved in resolving lawsuit, trail assessment, trail education (TCC), tool trailer
    • Bruce County trails (Brant Tract, Lindsay Tract, Albermarle Tract) - Trail assessment, trail education (TCC), trail project management, involvement in lawsuit, tool trailer
    • Hydrocut trails (Waterloo Cycling Club trails) - Trail assessment, trail education (TCC), tool trailer
    • Puslinch Tract - Trail assessment, trail planning
    • Guelph Lake trails (GORBA trails) - Club insurance, Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, trail education, tool trailer
    • Kelso Conservation Area - Trail education (TCC), trail assessment, Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, tool trailer
    • Hilton Falls Conservation Area - Trail education, volunteer management, advocacy, planning, tool trailer
    • Hilton Agreement Forest - Trail advocacy, trail planning, tool trailer
    • Shorthills Provincial Park - Trail education (TCC), tool trailer, advocacy
    • Durham Forest trails - Trail education (TCC), Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, trail planning, advocacy, tool trailer
    • Don Valley trails - IMBA Canada has been involved in the Don Valley for more than 10 years, working in partnership with the City of Toronto to improve and maintain trails, make a case for mountain biking, develop a local club presence, etc. These trails have benefitted from every program that IMBA has to offer.
    • Dundas Valley Conservation Area
    • Mansfield Outdoor Centre
    • Kingston mountain bike trails
    • South March Highlands -
    • Pembroke trails
    • Bancroft
    • Peterborough
    • Albion Hills
    • Hardwood Hills Mountain Bike Centre
    • Blue Mountain
    • Sudbury
    • North Bay
    • Sault Ste Marie
    • Thunder Bay
    • Dryden
    • Rouge National Urban Park - Working to ensure that mountain biking is included in Canada's first urban national park
    • Bruce Peninsula National Park
    • Georgian Bay Islands National Park
    • Thousand Islands National Park
    • Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area


    I know I've benefited from that work. I don't always see IMBA people (after all, there aren't that many) but I do see the benefit. When you are out working on the trails during an organized trail day, you have to thank the group that worked with the land-owner to make that trail and that work day happen.

    In the past I was active with GORBA and the OCA, and put in a ton of time at Guelph Lake. Right now my personal responsibilities don't allow me the time to put in much sweat equity. So for the time being, I make sure I have a voice, by purchasing my IMBA membership. One day I'll have a little more free time and I'll be back out working on trails and attending meetings, but I will still be an IMBA member.

    Rob

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    Very well put rbs. Especially this.

    "Membership in some organization is important, be it IMBA or local club. Anyone who has attended meetings with landowners knows that about the #1 factor in getting your voice heard is to have an organization speaking for you. Individuals just don't have much standing in the process. "

    Trail workers need support and money to make good things happen. To not support them with your money is short sighted.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post


    It's a great organisation, but I don't have the answer as to how to make it financially sustainable.
    The only way to make it as sustainable as everyone claims they want a to accept a reality. That reality is that to keep money coming in at the levels everyone here claims they want. That requires the organization to follow the examples of The Kidney Foundation for example. And hire a person who's only job is to seek any form of funding they can. From grants to organizing gala events to bring in money needed to keep it going.

    And the only way you will find someone with the fundraising skill set to take the job is to offer a god wage. Because those who work in that field make the money they do for good reason.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    Very well put rbs. Especially this.

    "Membership in some organization is important, be it IMBA or local club. Anyone who has attended meetings with landowners knows that about the #1 factor in getting your voice heard is to have an organization speaking for you. Individuals just don't have much standing in the process. "

    Trail workers need support and money to make good things happen. To not support them with your money is short sighted.
    MTB Kingston trails reall should not be lumped in under the trail advocacy of IMBA in this thread.

    As I mentioned before there is no public trail access. And all permissions we have to ride on the trails are because of neighbours knowing each other.

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    You may be right. I was fortunate enough to win a free membership for this year at the end of year party so I did not actually sign up in the way I usually do. If I recall correctly, last year you could opt in/opt out of IMBA as part of the membership process. So I may already be an IMBA member or I may not. If I am, the fact that IMBA Canada has not sent me a newsletter/membership card/any literature at all kind of speaks volumes.

    I'll join anyway...sounds like IMBA could use all the help it can get...
    Strava made me do it....

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    Just tried to join through the website. The link still doesn't work. [facepalm]
    Strava made me do it....

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    People should give their tithe to places like IMBA instead of their church.

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    I support Simcoe County Mountain Bike Club because I know where my money is going. Time to get my money worth. When are we riding Tom?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    " 600 MEMBERSHIPS?!? In all of Canada? That is appalling! "

    But not surprising. When given the choice between free or pay, most people choose free. Singlesprocket says that to pay or user fee is actually restrictive. Perhaps IMBA should just be free to all so that it is less insular. Perhaps they could just get a government grant so that we could all just enjoy the benefits without the restrictive cost. Would it not just be better for all to give it away?
    This current problem IMBA Canada is nothing new really when it comes to any sport type body in Canada. I showed this to some coaches tonight in other sports here and in Ontario and they where not surprised that IMBA Canada is on essentially a pay cheque to pay cheque existence.

    Really this is a reflection of how things have been done for years in Canada when it comes to this type of stuff. Reality is that in this day and age in Canada the era of love of the trails and such will only raise so much money above memberships if you are lucky. To truly make an organization like IMBA Canada rebuild and survive will as I mentioned take a far more drastic step of hiring a professional who's only job is to find the revenue sources that exceed the previous activities. And help elevate the brand outside the mountain bike world. And that can't be done by Igor and company as the era of volunteers doing that has passed.

    That is what it takes to get an organization like IMBA Canada, Alpine Canada, or any current successful not for profit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    I support Simcoe County Mountain Bike Club because I know where my money is going. Time to get my money worth. When are we riding Tom?


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    Your money is going to keep old buff and build new all with the tried and true method of $upporting a club. Many people see the value of group effort. So much more reliable then waiting for Government hand outs.

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    are you paying fair market value to rent/use the county's land?

    if not it's the pot calling the kettle black

    it's incorrect to devalue the effort of the individual. a persons effort and actions is a valuable contribution to the community (cycling or otherwise). that is the foundation for stewardship. to charge a person a fee to show stewardship is not a sustainable model, you exclude a large part of the community in doing so. most conservation authorities realize this and are changing their models of operation.

    here's a simple example how an individual can make a valuable contribution to the cycling community:

    Toronto releases new smart phone app for cyclists - Toronto - CBC News

    Apps - Open Data - Accessing City Hall | City of Toronto


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    Your money is going to keep old buff and build new all with the tried and true method of $upporting a club. Many people see the value of group effort. So much more reliable then waiting for Government hand outs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    are you paying fair market value to rent/use the county's land?

    if not it's the pot calling the kettle black

    it's incorrect to devalue the effort of the individual. a persons effort and actions is a valuable contribution to the community (cycling or otherwise). that is the foundation for stewardship. to charge a person a fee to show stewardship is not a sustainable model, you exclude a large part of the community in doing so. most conservation authorities realize this and are changing their models of operation.

    here's a simple example how an individual can make a valuable contribution to the cycling community:

    Toronto releases new smart phone app for cyclists - Toronto - CBC News

    Apps - Open Data - Accessing City Hall | City of Toronto
    SCMBC is paying the required user fee for county land and fair market value on private property.
    Zero extra tax dollars has gone into the development of our singletrack. By extra I mean no money has been spent that was not already being spent weather we are there or not.
    That is zero tax dollars for this pot and your black was around 1 million. Big difference.

    It is very incorrect to devalue the effort of a club like you have done many times before. “ this whole club mentality is outdated model of doing things. “

    http://forums.mtbr.com/eastern-canad...ut-908606.html

    A groups effort is a more valuable contribution to the community, many hands make light work.
    Free is not sustainable so I am not sure how conservation authorities can care for a property without funding.
    To talk as if a person on a bike can afford the bike but not the cost of the trail is plain old wrong and short sighted. I find it laughable that a large portion of our MTBing community would find themselves excluded from trail systems because they had a car, gas and bike, but no entrance fee. If a MTBer was to support IMBA and 4 trail associations it would cost around $200, the same cost of a snowmobile pass.

    To think that my grandmothers tax dollars should pay for my hobby is wrong. Fix the roads please.
    To think that the government has deep pockets and can pay for our sport is wrong. Ask a hockey family what they pay for their sport.
    To think that an individual is a better way then a club is wrong. No community vetting process.
    To think that your way is the only way is just completely unsustainable. Many minds come to a better result then one mind.

    I am not sure what you have going on with the TRCA, but I know that their/your model will not work in areas with lots of land and few taxpayers.

    Instead of talking like you already have all the answers singlesprocket, perhaps you should open your ears to other ideas and together we will build many different and interesting places to enjoy singletrack. Variety is the spice of life - Shake a little on your brain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    MTB Kingston trails really should not be lumped in under the trail advocacy of IMBA in this thread.

    As I mentioned before there is no public trail access. And all permissions we have to ride on the trails are because of neighbours knowing each other.
    You did specifically mention advocacy, but MTB Kingston appears to have benefited from working with IMBA:

    Upcoming IMBA Trail Building School in Kingston ? Trail Swag

    https://www.imbacanada.com/civicrm/e...id=178&reset=1
    (Current SSL cert expired...)

    MTB Kingston is a group who has some level of agreement with the landowner (though I have no idea what those agreements are). There may be a key person who has done much of the work, but that is also typical of many of the groups.

    As I said, being a member of some/any group has benefits.

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    Tom - I agree with you, but this is probably a poor example:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    To think that the government has deep pockets and can pay for our sport is wrong. Ask a hockey family what they pay for their sport.
    A fair number of tax dollars go in to building and maintaining rinks. I don't think I even want to know what the 'real' cost of having a child in hockey would be if we had to carry the cost of the rink entirely on the backs of the participants.

    Golf might be a better example but even then I could argue myself in circles because there are particular rules for the property (and thus tax rate) valuation of golf courses.

    And then this discussion again degenerated into a political discussion....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    To think that the government has deep pockets and can pay for our sport is wrong. Ask a hockey family what they pay for their sport.
    You are wrong. The federal government does contribute to sport for some family members including hockey.

    see "Children’s fitness tax credit" from CRA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbs View Post
    Tom - I agree with you, but this is probably a poor example:



    A fair number of tax dollars go in to building and maintaining rinks. I don't think I even want to know what the 'real' cost of having a child in hockey would be if we had to carry the cost of the rink entirely on the backs of the participants.

    Golf might be a better example but even then I could argue myself in circles because there are particular rules for the property (and thus tax rate) valuation of golf courses.

    And then this discussion again degenerated into a political discussion....
    Politics is unfortunately part of many aspects of our lives, including bicycling. It is perceivably ok to ask for as much money as we can get from the government for our hobbies and if the spending of our tax dollars was conscious and responsible - we would have enough money for many services without having governments hand too deep in our pockets all the time.

    Unfortunately we live in different world. A degenerated one. The tax dough is spent on many useless bureaucrats whose positions can not be justified even by a long stretch of imagination. By the time all these salaries are handed out - there is very little left for the real cause - so let's tax more. That is a vicious cycle and we are still on the downward spiral.

    That is why instead of funding some government body where 90% of my money goes to heir salary and 10% for the real cause - I would rather spend my money with the group which will put 100% of my money into trails that I and many others will use.

    Now, since there is our money in governments coffers - that we can pry out of their greasy hands - lets do it. And convert it into trails as much as we can, even with 10% efficiency.

    But for crying out loud - lets not pee on hard working clubs and those that want to fund them In order to ride more and better trails. I understand the competition concerns on part of the government funded individuals and projects, as clubs with less money usually outdo these mega projects using just the fraction of the funds. And build more trails.

    Good post Tom. Plain and simple. Would you be interested in running for Mayor in Toronto? Maybe we can get something going?
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    Quote Originally Posted by temporoad View Post
    You are wrong. The federal government does contribute to sport for some family members including hockey.

    see "Children’s fitness tax credit" from CRA.
    Tax credit on $500 spent on sport activities?

    While dinging us multiple times more in taxes for who knows what else?

    Kinda pathetic really in my opinion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    As MTBers there is no way we could purchase property,
    Some day, maybe we could follow the model of the Bruce Trail Club and purchase properties (/sarcasmOn and exclude foot traffic /sarcasmOff). But then, they also have secured government grants for those purchases. Damn - every road leads back to government.

    One thing for certain, there are no easy answers, and I'm suspicious of anyone who offers up simple solutions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbs View Post
    Some day, maybe we could follow the model of the Bruce Trail Club and purchase properties (/sarcasmOn and exclude foot traffic /sarcasmOff). But then, they also have secured government grants for those purchases. Damn - every road leads back to government.

    One thing for certain, there are no easy answers, and I'm suspicious of anyone who offers up simple solutions.
    quite true. imba Canada has a difficult path to go down. in some ways they have became the victim of their own success. in other words as mtbing becomes more accepted the need for special mtb advocacy groups decline. this is a good opportunity for imba to reinvent itself and perhaps widen it's scope to reach more of the cycling community. one just has to look at the cycling infrastructure in Holland or Denmark to see what opportunity's are out there...
    Last edited by singlesprocket; 05-22-2014 at 12:07 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbs View Post
    You did specifically mention advocacy, but MTB Kingston appears to have benefited from working with IMBA:

    Upcoming IMBA Trail Building School in Kingston ? Trail Swag

    https://www.imbacanada.com/civicrm/e...id=178&reset=1
    (Current SSL cert expired...)

    MTB Kingston is a group who has some level of agreement with the landowner (though I have no idea what those agreements are). There may be a key person who has done much of the work, but that is also typical of many of the groups.

    As I said, being a member of some/any group has benefits.
    I will repeat....there was no advocacy from IMBA Canada used for trail access. The listed date was in fact a trail building work shop for land access was already given.

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    I'm not sure we're so accepted that there's no more need for a specific MTB advocacy group. I doubt broadening their focus would help then in their current state. Witness any struggling company/group; either pick a new direction or focus on core strengths. If we can't get MTB riders to support a club, getting road user is going to be even more difficult. After all, I'm legally allowed on the roads, so why would I need an advocacy group?

    I'd like to be accepted as an equal trail user where ever I go. Right now, that's not the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    I will repeat....there was no advocacy from IMBA Canada used for trail access. The listed date was in fact a trail building work shop for land access was already given.
    I'm really unclear on your point. Did MTB Kingston benefit from IMBA's participation?

    I noted your point about advocacy, but I don't understand why are you calling out advocacy separately from the other activities that IMBA is involved in, such as trail design and trail building workshops?

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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    quite true. imba Canada has a difficult path to go down. in some ways they have became the victim of their own success. in other words as mtbing becomes more excepted the need for special mtb advocacy groups decline. this is a good opportunity for imba to reinvent itself and perhaps widen it's scope to reach more of the cycling community. one just has to look at the cycling infrastructure in Holland or Denmark to see what opportunity's are out there...
    Agree with you here SS. I look at the City of Toronto and their recent publication regarding natural surface trails. Check it out there is some very interesting information here.

    Natural Environment Trail Strategy - Community Involvement - Parks, Forestry & Recreation | City of Toronto

    This is a strong indication that municipalities (gasp - even Toronto) are gradually accepting Mountain biking into the fold as a legitimate recreational activity that requires infrastucture to meet the demands of a specific user group (see also Sunnyside and Marie Curtis Bike Park). It is encouraging to see the rise in Urban MTB destinations in a world were sustainability is becoming more of a concern. Toronto could be a model of this with the vast network of ravines. Warning - Torontocentric Commment - Perhaps this is an area were IMBA could increase their focus/ role (I know they have been working in the Don for many years). There is already a great document to work from (NETS) and by far the largest population concentration in the country. Increased visibility and expansion of legitimized trail networks beyond the Don may lead to increased membership.

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    quite, a major accessible trail network radiating out from the gta, connecting communities is a critical part of cycle tourism/culture. imba can certainly play a role in this. councilors have already expressed interest in such networks that will run to lake simcoe or my dream: all the way to georgian bay.


    Quote Originally Posted by fietserTO View Post
    Agree with you here SS. I look at the City of Toronto and their recent publication regarding natural surface trails. Check it out there is some very interesting information here.

    Natural Environment Trail Strategy - Community Involvement - Parks, Forestry & Recreation | City of Toronto

    This is a strong indication that municipalities (gasp - even Toronto) are gradually accepting Mountain biking into the fold as a legitimate recreational activity that requires infrastucture to meet the demands of a specific user group (see also Sunnyside and Marie Curtis Bike Park). It is encouraging to see the rise in Urban MTB destinations in a world were sustainability is becoming more of a concern. Toronto could be a model of this with the vast network of ravines. Warning - Torontocentric Commment - Perhaps this is an area were IMBA could increase their focus/ role (I know they have been working in the Don for many years). There is already a great document to work from (NETS) and by far the largest population concentration in the country. Increased visibility and expansion of legitimized trail networks beyond the Don may lead to increased membership.
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    I love that idea. And here's where governments could help (and I know I'm talking crazy here!), but when new communities are planned the trails need to be designed to be connected. This needs to be done by the planning depts. when builder submit community plans.

    In those corridors, we should have our mix of crushed gravel and natural trail surface. As we get out of the urban areas it would be nice to find a way to entice landowners to allow access to fence lines and ravines.

    Milton would be a good example of a community that could put this to great use if you could ride from downtown to Kelso. If we can support a bus to Kelso for car-less skiers in the winter....

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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    WORCA is $50.
    NSMBA is $40.
    Isn't both WORCA and NSMBA not under IMBA or Cycling BC coverage?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbs View Post
    I love that idea. And here's where governments could help (and I know I'm talking crazy here!), but when new communities are planned the trails need to be designed to be connected. This needs to be done by the planning depts. when builder submit community plans.

    In those corridors, we should have our mix of crushed gravel and natural trail surface. As we get out of the urban areas it would be nice to find a way to entice landowners to allow access to fence lines and ravines.

    Milton would be a good example of a community that could put this to great use if you could ride from downtown to Kelso. If we can support a bus to Kelso for car-less skiers in the winter....
    Wishfull thinking but sounds great.


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    Quote Originally Posted by rbs View Post
    I love that idea. And here's where governments could help (and I know I'm talking crazy here!), but when new communities are planned the trails need to be designed to be connected. This needs to be done by the planning depts. when builder submit community plans.

    In those corridors, we should have our mix of crushed gravel and natural trail surface. As we get out of the urban areas it would be nice to find a way to entice landowners to allow access to fence lines and ravines.

    Milton would be a good example of a community that could put this to great use if you could ride from downtown to Kelso. If we can support a bus to Kelso for car-less skiers in the winter....
    you have hit the nail on the head: connecting communities. it is not crazy talk, but policies/plans are being drafted for this. it is important to push this forward in council, public advisory committees, and with your provincial legislature representative. interesting you talk about corridors. easements are a method to provide access to private lands for connector trails, the issuing of building and other permits is another method.
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    A good debate that suddenly broke out here. The hockey thing is a good point of reference. Hockey is part of the culture, the mainstream. The deal for the new arena in Leaside was that the community would raise on its own, about 20% of the cost. In addition to putting up most of the money, the city also facilitated the purchase of the land. So overall, a major subsidy for hockey families.

    However, hockey culture has plateaued, if not gone into a slight decline. The city probably won't be building another hockey rink in the GTA any time soon.

    Cycling infrastructure like planned and connected corridors, financed by government, will follow naturally as cycling activity becomes increasingly a part of the popular culture. So I agree with folks here who are saying it's about more than just buying a membership. Holding a membership in an organization like IMBA is good, but being personally visible in the broader community as an advocate is better. For my part, bike commuting is that advocacy. It's low-key, doesn't amount to much on its own, but collectively there are results. Taking an active role in the community, as a bunch of people here are doing, is of course a huge contribution. The common theme however is getting cycling issues in front of the broader (mostly non-cycling) community. culture takes time. It took what 40 or 50 years for hockey culture to grow and mature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay. View Post
    Cycling infrastructure like planned and connected corridors, financed by government, will follow naturally as cycling activity becomes increasingly a part of the popular culture. So I agree with folks here who are saying it's about more than just buying a membership. Holding a membership in an organization like IMBA is good, but being personally visible in the broader community as an advocate is better. For my part, bike commuting is that advocacy. It's low-key, doesn't amount to much on its own, but collectively there are results. Taking an active role in the community, as a bunch of people here are doing, is of course a huge contribution. The common theme however is getting cycling issues in front of the broader (mostly non-cycling) community. culture takes time. It took what 40 or 50 years for hockey culture to grow and mature.
    Ding! Another great point!
    Visibility is a key issue here. Think about it - how many 'trail heads' are visible to the general public? More often than not riders are either driving to (far off) destinations or riding to a trail head and then diving off into the woods. In effect we are escaping the public eye, which ironically, is why many of us enjoy the sport so much. This is incontrast to the road crowd who can be seen in large groups (along Lakeshore near me) creating a highly visible group of cyclists.
    Hopefully the Bike Parks, which will be in highly visible areas of Toronto, will also create a new venue for visibility and a contact point for the MTB community and other community members.

    Involving kids/youth will be another very important aspect of growing the culture of riding in our communities just as it was/is in the hockey community, to continue that comparison. Youth engagement (more than Take a Kid MTBing) could be another area of focus for IMBA going forward - it would help them rebuild themselves from the ground up. I would argue that the majority of their contributing demographic for money and advocacy would be above 30 years old, although I have no 'proof' of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    If you actually wanted more then that you would be openly discussing ways of alternative fundraising. However all that seems to be said is buy memberships. But at a certain point people stop always buying..
    OK - fair point. So how should IMBA Canada raise funds? So far, I've seen:
    - solar arrays on trails (I should note, economics on solar arrays suggest a very low economic return - investments do better)
    - community fundraising (this is generally successful for initiatives, but rarely for sustainable operation)
    - governments
    - general visibility (I'm not altogether clear on how this creates or maintains trails or raises funds to do so - unless we're back to "governments")

    Any other ideas? Major fundraising effort for a trail fund that never uses the capital?

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    How about something like this just of the top:

    $5/Foot: Buy a foot of Downieville area trail, win any Santa Cruz bike | Mountain Bike Review

    Pretty sure IMBA could get a bike co. to throw a bike their way. I know this is a still an initial injection of cash but it would be a start to draw people in to the fold and hopefully gain traction from there. This could also be your major fundraising effort that never uses the capital and gets invested (but I am not a wizard with money).

    My comment on visibility refers to people being able to 'see' what IMBA is doing for them in their area. The more people can actually see IMBA's efforts the more likely they are to contribute as they see return for their 'investment' (be that cash or sweat equity). More visibility, more 'investors', more money and around it goes. As I said regarding road riding being more visible - I would wager that their fundraising through memberships and clubs FAR exceeds the MTB community due to visibility alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Isn't both WORCA and NSMBA not under IMBA or Cycling BC coverage?
    NSMBA is an IMBA affiliated club. We purchase our insurance via their club program. We have no involvement with Cycling BC.

    I can't speak for WORCA as I don't know if they use the IMBA insurance or if they go their own. I have a feeling that they go on their own to purchase their policy.

    The Cycling BC options end up costing the club more, we get less money per individual member fee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    NSMBA is an IMBA affiliated club. We purchase our insurance via their club program. We have no involvement with Cycling BC.

    I can't speak for WORCA as I don't know if they use the IMBA insurance or if they go their own. I have a feeling that they go on their own to purchase their policy.

    The Cycling BC options end up costing the club more, we get less money per individual member fee.
    SCMBC is also a IMBA affiliated club. Does not give us any deal on our Oasis Insurance but we do it because we think it is the right thing to do, for now.

    Does any one know if the affiliated club fees are included in the (in 2012, they got just $24,000 in memberships),
    Does any one know the simple answer of how many people were members of IMBA in 2012?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Where I got it from? Easy....all that seems to be regurgitated around here ad nauseum is the view that if you don't buy a membership you don't support trails.
    I haven't read that in the comments here. I suspect that there's a little bias creeping into that interpretation. What I have read here, is that support for clubs helps supports trails, above and beyond what you do personally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    And various versions of that like that will fix that.
    I suspect that the issue here is really directed to those who buy a membership in IMBA/GORBA/whatever and call it done. That's not ideal, but it still supports the community.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    If you actually wanted more then that you would be openly discussing ways of alternative fundraising. However all that seems to be said is buy memberships. But at a certain point people stop always buying.
    Yes, but this entire thread did start with the idea of supporting IMBA Canada.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    And unfortunately as we are seeing in Ontario this method of advocacy is a limited resource. Ask any sport governing body about that.
    Alternatives? One thing I don't have a lot of right now, is spare time. So, for me, a membership is the least I can offer the community.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay. View Post
    Holding a membership in an organization like IMBA is good, but being personally visible in the broader community as an advocate is better. For my part, bike commuting is that advocacy. It's low-key, doesn't amount to much on its own, but collectively there are results.
    It's only advocacy when we speak up. It's only advocacy when you ask for the support that the activity requires and show people why that makes sense. Sorry, but I don't see participating as advocacy. As an example, if I MTB on illegal trails, is that advocacy? Will the mandowner one day realize that mountain bike need to be accommodated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kay. View Post
    Taking an active role in the community, as a bunch of people here are doing, is of course a huge contribution. The common theme however is getting cycling issues in front of the broader (mostly non-cycling) community. culture takes time. It took what 40 or 50 years for hockey culture to grow and mature.
    Yes. That's what we need in advocacy - someone speaking for us. Who's that going to be? I'll go back to my earlier statement that the single voice of a group's representative has more power than a bunch of individual voices. It's not the volume, but what get's heard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    - solar arrays on trails (I should note, economics on solar arrays suggest a very low economic return - investments do better)
    In Ontario, with the government support of feed-in tariffs for solar, the solar arrays mentioned are just two levels of government support - the municipal government that directs the revenue from the array to the trail, and the provincial government who subsidizes the rate for solar.

    (And for everyone who has an issue with the current Ontario green energy policies, I'm not arguing for or against those programs, just pointing out current situation. This is not the place for that discussion).

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    Quote Originally Posted by fietserTO View Post
    My comment on visibility refers to people being able to 'see' what IMBA is doing for them in their area. The more people can actually see IMBA's efforts the more likely they are to contribute as they see return for their 'investment' (be that cash or sweat equity). More visibility, more 'investors', more money and around it goes. As I said regarding road riding being more visible - I would wager that their fundraising through memberships and clubs FAR exceeds the MTB community due to visibility alone.
    I certainly hope this thread is helping!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbs View Post
    Yes. That's what we need in advocacy - someone speaking for us. Who's that going to be? I'll go back to my earlier statement that the single voice of a group's representative has more power than a bunch of individual voices. It's not the volume, but what get's heard.
    I agree that we need advocacy. However, I disagree with the power of many voices. Many voices present the need for something - whatever that maybe. I don't argue that a single tempered, well spoken voice is ultimately what is often needed at a table discussion.

    For example, if 5 riders show up at a town hall meeting for a proposed bike trail vs. 50 riders - what makes more of a statement? Similarly, if 1 person calls a councillor regarding a need vs. several regarding the same need it creates an awareness that there are a group of people with similar concerns. Agreed that ultimately to move forward the voice of one (or a handful) person/ people who hopefully represent the wishes of the group will be more helpful to move towards a solution/ plan.

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    in my experience on committee/talking to council... more people involved and making their voice heard the better. after all one representative voice does not cast votes, many individual voices do cast votes...


    Quote Originally Posted by fietserTO View Post
    I agree that we need advocacy. However, I disagree with the power of many voices. Many voices present the need for something - whatever that maybe. I don't argue that a single tempered, well spoken voice is ultimately what is often needed at a table discussion.

    For example, if 5 riders show up at a town hall meeting for a proposed bike trail vs. 50 riders - what makes more of a statement? Similarly, if 1 person calls a councillor regarding a need vs. several regarding the same need it creates an awareness that there are a group of people with similar concerns. Agreed that ultimately to move forward the voice of one (or a handful) person/ people who hopefully represent the wishes of the group will be more helpful to move towards a solution/ plan.
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    IMBA Canada Membership Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    SCMBC is also a IMBA affiliated club. Does not give us any deal on our Oasis Insurance but we do it because we think it is the right thing to do, for now.
    And I hope for the foreseeable future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    Does any one know if the affiliated club fees are included in the (in 2012, they got just $24,000 in memberships),
    Does any one know the simple answer of how many people were members of IMBA in 2012?
    So, Tom, since I know the IMBA Canada people personally, I asked (and offered to post). I got the numbers and a real sense of frustration.

    Membership is an ongoing challenge -- It has never sustained IMBA Canada wholly, and it never will. <snip> IMBA Canada's funding comes from membership (individual, club, retailer and corporate), individual support (donations), corporate sponsorship, trail consulting, product sales, and grants. At our peak, individual membership was at about 1,200 -- Still not an impressive number. Clubs range from 105-125 at a given time. Retailers have fluctuated from close to 200 at our highest, and 35 at our lowest. Corporate has been steady at about 40 members
    I think part of the problem in securing members for any club, is that from outside, it isn't easy to see what that club is doing that might benefit them.

    Every time IMBA Canada presents to a landmanager, they help legitimize MTB as a responsible recreational activity, and even if they don't actually secure the agreement, they've made it just a little bit easier for the group that does.

    Every time they hold a trail workshop, they train people on the correct way to build trails. (It was pointed out to me that even rogue trails are getting built better these days, as people have learned what works).

    Those two things alone take a lot of time and experience. And that's why I'm supporting IMBA. You may not know it (and by 'you' I mean anyone reading this), but even the paid staffers at IMBA are doing that because they love mountain biking and trails. Most people with those organizational skills could make a lot more money in some corporate soul-sucking job (like mine ). So even paid staffers are donating something.

    Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbs View Post
    I haven't read that in the comments here. I suspect that there's a little bias creeping into that interpretation. What I have read here, is that support for clubs helps supports trails, above and beyond what you do personally.



    I suspect that the issue here is really directed to those who buy a membership in IMBA/GORBA/whatever and call it done. That's not ideal, but it still supports the community.



    Yes, but this entire thread did start with the idea of supporting IMBA Canada.



    Alternatives? One thing I don't have a lot of right now, is spare time. So, for me, a membership is the least I can offer the community.
    good answers rbs. +1
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    NSMBA is an IMBA affiliated club. We purchase our insurance via their club program. We have no involvement with Cycling BC.

    I can't speak for WORCA as I don't know if they use the IMBA insurance or if they go their own. I have a feeling that they go on their own to purchase their policy.

    The Cycling BC options end up costing the club more, we get less money per individual member fee.
    With NSMBA being IMBA affiliated. How does that effect running events? Any issues you have run into?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay. View Post
    A good debate that suddenly broke out here. The hockey thing is a good point of reference. Hockey is part of the culture, the mainstream. The deal for the new arena in Leaside was that the community would raise on its own, about 20% of the cost. In addition to putting up most of the money, the city also facilitated the purchase of the land. So overall, a major subsidy for hockey families.

    Keep in mind that Hockey in Canada has a huge system of funding. Hockey Canada has created a system that pulls in huge $$ amounts that exceeds anything Sport Canada will ever give. To be brutally honest about that....Hockey Canada has not sat on it's arse just asking for more members. They put work into seeking out funding sources that would last. And once they earned those funding sources they keep putting the work in to either keep them or find a replacement if any is needed.

    This trickles down to provincial and so on levels.

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    I recently gave a statement to the City of Toronto (in my official capacity) regarding policy and development of MUP's. The jist of my statement is that the MUP's/pathways are the back bone of a trail system. That singletrack is connected to or runs parallel to the MUP's. The logic behind this is the high frequency of wandering trails that radiate from a MUP. This shows that even though the MUP is used, there is still a need for singletrack in these systems. This might also address mobility requirements regarding new standards being implemented. IMBA can play a big role in the design, education and advocacy of these adjacent singletrack pathways in a big way. We really need a voice in this area.

    just some of the projects going on:

    Greenbelt Cycles - Home
    Bikeway Trails Implementation Plan - Multi-Use Trails - Bikeway Network | City of Toronto
    http://www.york.ca/wps/wcm/connect/y...pdf?MOD=AJPERE

    there is sooo much going on with this, what i posted above is a tiny amount of info...
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    I recently gave a statement to the City of Toronto (in my official capacity) regarding policy and development of MUP's. The jist of my statement is that the MUP's/pathways are the back bone of a trail system. That singletrack is connected to or runs parallel to the MUP's. The logic behind this is the high frequency of wandering trails that radiate from a MUP. This shows that even though the MUP is used, there is still a need for singletrack in these systems. This might also address mobility requirements regarding new standards being implemented. IMBA can play a big role in the design, education and advocacy of these adjacent singletrack pathways in a big way. We really need a voice in this area.

    just some of the projects going on:

    Greenbelt Cycles - Home
    Bikeway Trails Implementation Plan - Multi-Use Trails - Bikeway Network | City of Toronto
    http://www.york.ca/wps/wcm/connect/y...pdf?MOD=AJPERE

    there is sooo much going on with this, what i posted above is a tiny amount of info...
    Good to read about wandering singletrack and IMBA having a role to play in developing and advocacy. The GTA has very close to half the population of Ontario and would need to look at things in a different way then a more rural area. Connecting pathways are certainly something that cities look at doing with a large amount of people in a small area. But when you get out to the country where large forest tracts are no where near existing MUPs or large groups of people the logic is that they will have nothing to do with connecting anyone to anything other then forested fun. Great to see many people working on different projects with a different set of realities. Certainly a club/association like IMBA has the capacity to view things from an overall perspective instead of this one size fits all so put it on. The truth is that like the highly subsidized hockey, if it is not $upported by the people who use/need it, then it just will not be around to help. Many have talked about all the tax and corporate money that goes into hockey, yes true, but more important is the fact that parents pay from $500 to $2000 for their child to play ... or they do not play. With IMBA we are talking $40 and we cannot see the value. Then we still seam to think that IMBA will still be there to
    help. Hockey would not survive without parents writing a big cheque and IMBA will not live without riders giving something.

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    Trail wandering/braiding is a well documented problem pretty much everywhere rural or urban. The most successful ride centers and networks are ones that have interconnectivity beyond just driving in your car. I've seen this in Timmins where they embraced this concept. I've had a great time exploring the network even though there was a bear warning in effect. These networks also gave access to the full spectrum of riders in the greater community, are more inclusive and grow the sport. This is where I see growth for IMBA. To take a route based on provincialism is a disservice to the community and should be avoided.
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    Trail wandering/braiding is a well documented problem pretty much everywhere rural or urban. The most successful ride centers and networks are ones that have interconnectivity beyond just driving in your car. I've seen this in Timmins where they embraced this concept. I've had a great time exploring the network even though there was a bear warning in effect. These networks also gave access to the full spectrum of riders in the greater community, are more inclusive and grow the sport. This is where I see growth for IMBA. To take a route based on provincialism is a disservice to the community and should be avoided.
    I guess there are different ideas of success. One man's trash is another man's treasure. Many shades of gray and such. Only a closed mind would think that it has all the answers and should be avoided. My thoughts are that the only disservice to the MTBing community would be to think any one place including Timmins is the only model to follow and to wait until a certain criteria is achieved instead of rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. Someone dealing with trails in their community would know the local issues much better then someone in a completely different area. IMBA has had exposure to many situations around the world and does not have a closed mind with only one way to do things. Experience has shown them that there is many ways to bring trails to life. Just because some group is working to achieve success by trying something different, we should not crap on their efforts, but instead celebrate a variety of ideas.

    I am surprised Timmins had a bear warning. Is it 24-7 or just something for the tourists?

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    Well, it is reassuring that you have an open and liberal mind that values the experience of others. I find it refreshing and enlightening to have input from an outside organization like IMBA and others. It provides a unique and creative perspective. That's why trail PAC's seem to work so well in my perspective, the variety of users/riders providing input into the trail system. I wouldn't be so quick to be prejudice to the "outside" urban experience. The urban experience is the pressure cooker of problems and solutions that many of us face as trail builders, riders and mtb/cycling advocates.

    Bear warnings are intended for everyone...


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    I guess there are different ideas of success. One man's trash is another man's treasure. Many shades of gray and such. Only a closed mind would think that it has all the answers and should be avoided. My thoughts are that the only disservice to the MTBing community would be to think any one place including Timmins is the only model to follow and to wait until a certain criteria is achieved instead of rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. Someone dealing with trails in their community would know the local issues much better then someone in a completely different area. IMBA has had exposure to many situations around the world and does not have a closed mind with only one way to do things. Experience has shown them that there is many ways to bring trails to life. Just because some group is working to achieve success by trying something different, we should not crap on their efforts, but instead celebrate a variety of ideas.

    I am surprised Timmins had a bear warning. Is it 24-7 or just something for the tourists?
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    Well, it is reassuring that you have an open and liberal mind that values the experience of others. I find it refreshing and enlightening to have input from an outside organization like IMBA and others. It provides a unique and creative perspective. That's why trail PAC's seem to work so well in my perspective, the variety of users/riders providing input into the trail system. I wouldn't be so quick to be prejudice to the "outside" urban experience. The urban experience is the pressure cooker of problems and solutions that many of us face as trail builders, riders and mtb/cycling advocates.

    Bear warnings are intended for everyone...
    It is reassuring that you do not think this whole club mentality is outdated model of doing things. Not sure why you changed your mind. And I am not prejudice about anything trails related. As long as things are getting paid for and there for sustainable, it is all good. This thread started as IMBA is a little short on funds. I am sure that this long thread has informed many people. Will IMBA Canada fade away? Not sure but if it does it will be because they are cannot fund themselves. Trails that rely on Government hand outs could find themselves in the same boat. Trails that are surrounded by millions of people will likely keep getting tax dollars, but rural ones might just need to be a bit more inventive towards solutions that many city trails do not face. All in all a good discussion and it is good to see people understand that being in my official capacity or an events pro or a trail builder does not give you the right to think you have all the answers.

    Good luck IMBA.
    Too bad MTBR did not here directly from you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post

    I am surprised Timmins had a bear warning. Is it 24-7 or just something for the tourists?
    From 2 years ago.

    Wandering bear shot dead in Burlington

    http://forums.mtbr.com/eastern-canad...on-789265.html

    And have had confirmed bear activity just north of Kingston in 2009..

    Bear incidents have Frontenac residents on the ... | Kingston This Week

    And have heard verbally from landowners I know that they are seen a bit. But no major sightings.

    Just because they aren't romping through the centre of town every year and making headlines like in North Van or Whistler BC doesn't mean they aren't around. Just human ignorance that lets us think other wise.

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    the black bears we ran into out west where smaller in size then the ones we encountered up north (timmins)



    though there are lots of big ones out there...






    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    From 2 years ago.

    Wandering bear shot dead in Burlington

    https://forums.mtbr.com/eastern-cana...on-789265.html

    And have had confirmed bear activity just north of Kingston in 2009..

    Bear incidents have Frontenac residents on the ... | Kingston This Week

    And have heard verbally from landowners I know that they are seen a bit. But no major sightings.

    Just because they aren't romping through the centre of town every year and making headlines like in North Van or Whistler BC doesn't mean they aren't around. Just human ignorance that lets us think other wise.
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    Somebody mentioned about Government? Please note this little response from the now party in charge...

    http://www.ontariotrails.on.ca/asset...%20Council.pdf

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    I think the Liberals have been in charge since 2003. If they put more money towards trails and not just more money towards meetings talking about trails, that would be great.

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    good post enduramil. it's funny how the response touches on a lot of topics/solutions i've talked about in the past...


    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Somebody mentioned about Government? Please note this little response from the now party in charge...

    http://www.ontariotrails.on.ca/asset...%20Council.pdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    I think the Liberals have been in charge since 2003. If they put more money towards trails and not just more money towards meetings talking about trails, that would be great.
    even better point Tom.

    the sheep deserve the government the sheep elected...

    now let's put together a committee and discuss what will be discussed at the preparation meeting before we discuss suggestions from the prep meeting and.... oh wait, time for new election...

    i suspect that a bunch of our cash is being spent towards the trails. just did not get there yet. between the salaries of highly paid bureaucrats who push paper form one side of the desk to the other and the maintenance money spent on TRCA mansions which are rented to TRCA employees and executives, among others, at $1300 per month - i don't know how much trickles down to actual trail building etc... but if there is not enough, no prob. just hit the taxpayers wallet again... Tom, bend over.
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    even better point Tom.

    the sheep deserve the government the sheep elected...

    now let's put together a committee and discuss what will be discussed at the preparation meeting before we discuss suggestions from the prep meeting and.... oh wait, time for new election...

    i suspect that a bunch of our cash is being spent towards the trails. just did not get there yet. between the salaries of highly paid bureaucrats who push paper form one side of the desk to the other and the maintenance money spent on TRCA mansions which are rented to TRCA employees and executives, among others, at $1300 per month - i don't know how much trickles down to actual trail building etc... but if there is not enough, no prob. just hit the taxpayers wallet again... Tom, bend over.
    I am sure some good things have been done Oggie but I am not sure how much they have cost for the amount of trail put on the ground. Yes there needs to be more help then just volunteers, so government money for professional contractors would be great. Also we cannot rely on just user pay money, although we should not expect MTB designed singletrack to be funded by the public when it is a small number of people who want it.

    It will be interesting to see where MTBing singletrack goes in the next decade and how much of a focus it becomes. IMBA was seen as a big step forward a decade ago and the new Liberal Government was talking about doing some great things with trails.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/eastern-canad...egy-81747.html

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