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Help shape future trails, access – Take the IMBA Mountain Bike Survey now!

take the imba mountain bike survey and help shape the future of mtb trails and access
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If you like mountain biking and want more, better, or closer trails, then you should take this survey. IMBA leads or influences much of the major MTB trail projects, and they’re using this data to inform their actions over the next few years. I just filled it in and took about 10 minutes.

FROM IMBA: The National Mountain Biking Survey is now open and seeking the diverse opinions of America’s mountain bikers to understand their habits, access to trails and levels of engagement. Between August 20 and September 20, anyone and everyone who rides a mountain bike—from the professional to the casual—is encouraged to take the survey. Everyone involved in mountain biking, from individuals to companies to media, is encouraged to share the survey with their networks. The results will help inform national mountain bike advocacy efforts as well as enlighten anyone working to gain, grow and promote mountain bike access.

The survey is a joint effort among the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), the SRAM Cycling Fund and Ohio University. The survey is open to U.S. residents ages 18 and older. The survey may only be taken once per person and answers will be anonymous. Those taking the survey may choose to enter to win a SRAM GX drivetrain upgrade. Answers will remain anonymous as they will not be matched up to personal info.

Much is known about the habits and priorities of passionate and engaged mountain bikers—those who read mountain bike media, belong to local advocacy groups and take mountain bike-specific vacations. While their opinions are critical to the success of this survey, so, too, are the little-understood experiences and desires of those who ride only occasionally and casually, and those who might not even ride at all but are interested peripherally in mountain biking. Understanding what might engage more casual riders in mountain bike volunteerism and providing them their desired experiences is critical for both advocacy organizations and land managers.

IMBA will own the data and use it to guide its efforts. A high-level summary of the findings will be presented at IMBA’s 30th anniversary celebration in Bentonville, AR, October 26-28, and be made available online via IMBA.com after that date.

The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational association established in 1988. Its mission is to create, enhance and protect great places to ride mountain bikes. Learn more at imba.com.

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Celest Greene
Celest Greene
4 years ago

Like USAC, IMBA has gotten too big and dependent on large donors and in the process completely lost its way.

Once an advocate for self-reliance and backcountry experiences, the group now advocates for motorized recreation on behalf of its corporate sponsors and focuses on high-impact machine-built trails through its profitable trailbuilding arm. Afraid of offending the Sierra Club (who will never accept it or cyclists more broadly), it even fights against the restoration of wilderness access lost to a 1980s administrative action.

Because they are the only national advocacy group IMBA acts like it mountain bikers are obligated to support it, even when it is against our interests. It would be remarkable if this survey was used for anything other than to support predetermined positions.

So please vote with your dollars, as that seems to be what they’re most concerned with. Cancel your membership and direct any donations to non-IMBA local clubs, the STC, and NICA. Maybe encourage your local club to disassociate as many have done.

It’s time to start thinking about what a replacement for IMBA would look like. An organization that views mountain biking as a low-impact backcountry activity, not ghettoized into purpose-built single-activity parks like some new snowboarding or golf. One that brings together mountain bikers, bikepackers, and gravel cyclists in the name of land protection, access, maintenance, exploration and self-discovery.

Kevin L
Kevin L
4 years ago
Reply to  Celest Greene

I second supporting the Sustainable Trails Coalition (STC) over IMBA. Unlike IMBA, who only begs federal agencies and special interest groups to not take land access away with the stroke of a pen, STC is actually fighting to restore the original intent of the Wilderness Act to grant the same access to bikers that have been afforded to hikers and the like.

Marc L
4 years ago
Reply to  Celest Greene

I largely agree- though I would (and just did) make a point to complete the survey. It’s being conducted by a third party which should help.

How about “Backcountry Trails Alliance” as a name for this new group? It could even include equestrians and hikers 😮

Zoso
Zoso
4 years ago

Perfectly said Celest.

Heffe
Heffe
4 years ago

I agree with Celest. Well said!

Tom M
Tom M
4 years ago

Yes, absolutely agree! This is one of the best written comments on BR in a long time.

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