Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz dumps IMBA affiliation...

Discussion in 'Trail Advocacy' started by mtbMike, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. mtbMike

    mtbMike Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oceanside
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer & Primer
    Anybody else see that? Yet another chink in the armor. San Diego's group pulled out earlier this year and now their group (SDMBA) apparently has record numbers of members from what I've heard. I wouldn't be surprised if IMBA withers away by 2020.

    https://www.bikemag.com/news/mbosc-leaves-imba/
     
  2. kioti

    kioti iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    Jim Jennings
    Current Bike:
    ibis ripley
    Gotta stay relevant and that includes engaging with new riders and the issues of the day. I wonder how many young riders even know who they are?
     
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  3. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Yeti ASR5c, SC Hightower
    I think the article links to a more impactful article by BIKE.
    It's a good read about the struggles and positions of IMBA and I encourage all of you to read it if you can:
    https://www.bikemag.com/features/originals/a-cause-for-question/

    Here is an excerpt from that article:
    In February 2017, IMBA hired Wiens, who'd joined the board 13 months earlier and was elected chairman in November. Big changes followed. IMBA did away with memberships and changed its E-bike stance in November 2017--a shift with particularly large implications on already-crowded metro areas. Instead of saying all E-bikes were incompatible with non-motorized trails, as they had in 2015, IMBA said pedal-assist motors are OK as long as they don't jeopardize access for traditional mountain bikes--and as long as local land managers and riders deem them acceptable. Vitriol followed, much of which centered around IMBA's apparent willingness to side with corporate interests--notably those of certain board members who stood to make more money from increased E-bike access--over riders' interests. "If I can be clear," one member wrote in an e-mail, "and in the strongest of terms, I sincerely hope that you sit down for lunch today and think about eating a pile of old dildos. While the potential of choking on a pile of old dildos may be scary, it does not even compare the threat that ebikes pose to the crowded multi use trails of southern California."

    One month later, IMBA's letter about H.R. 1349 went public. Many of the staff, who had little to no notice, were furious that it cast IMBA in such a controversial light. More nasty emails rained down. "F@ck you imba," read one. "You're failing because you're a dickless org. F@ck you and F@ck weins [sic]. Dickless cocksuckers. Get on your 29er single speed and suck a dick."

    A lot of IMBA's critics theorized as to who was behind the letter--and why IMBA felt the need to write it. Wiens, who drafted the letter with IMBA's government relations team, says he was unaware of a confidential side agreement between IMBA and STC--"Section V" of the joint statement they crafted in May 2016, titled "Mutual Respect"--that promised neither would "defame, disparage, or in any way criticize" the other, including to "members of Congress and their staffs." It's subjective as to whether this move violated that pact. None of IMBA's board members were involved with writing it; instead they received it by e-mail a few hours prior to its release. "But the board position was what I had to go on," Wiens explains. "We don't support amending the Wilderness Act."
     
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  4. Torrent77

    Torrent77 Member

    Name:
    Dave
    Long story, here is the short version...

    Weins inside the ivory tower asks board members and only the board, who supports e-bikes? Everyone raises hand. Weins' states, "that's good enough for me, lets write this defaming letter and piss off every moutainbiker."

    I hope Santa Cruz, Oregon, Seattle, San Diego and Socal will form a new entity that will service local trails as well as open doors for more trails across the west coast.
     
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  5. tick

    tick Member

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    Tick
    Current Bike:
    Process 111
    The Santa Cruz club’s press release says they are starting a membership program. Recall from the article that IMBA killed membership in 2015. I assume that’s a change to the bylaws-membership implies a right to vote for the board. You are still asked to send money to IMBA but now you can’t have a say in the operation. No thanks...

    It’s worth noting that STC is basically a political action committee with zero accountability to donors too. Not interested in being a part of that either.
     
  6. mtbMike

    mtbMike Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oceanside
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer & Primer
    What do you need a say in? They have a singular goal of getting The Wilderness Act changed to allow bicycles.....at the discretion of the land managers in those particular areas. So in some Wilderness areas, you'll still never see a bike while in others, bikes will be allowed.
     
  7. tick

    tick Member

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    Tick
    Current Bike:
    Process 111
    Since I estimate the number of congresspersons willing to spend political capital on bikes in wilderness as somewhere between 1 and 10, with 218 needed to be useful, any donation to this org is just buying the officers nice dinners in DC restaurants with hill staffers.
     
  8. mtbMike

    mtbMike Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oceanside
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer & Primer
    The same amount of Congress (1-10) probably believes in 98% of the bills that come across their desk. They still have to, or have the opportunity to, vote on them. For better or worse, that’s how the game is played. I don’t like it either but if you don’t at least try, you have zero chance.
     
  9. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    That's the attitude that gets us much of what we have. If you truly believe that, then you are right. Nothing will change.

    However, comma, I still think that congresscritters will listen to the squeakiest wheel. Sierra Clubbers are vocal, and they let their reps know what they want. That's how they often get what they want, because the representatives will listen to those who make noise.
     
  10. BonsaiNut

    BonsaiNut Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Laguna Hills
    Name:
    Greg P
    Current Bike:
    Custom XTR 29er
    Absolutely! I wish they had a triple "like" button.

    The reality is that this country isn't a representative democracy. It's being run by the less than 10% who care enough (or who have enough free time) to march and protest and show up for town hall meetings. And the louder you whine, or the more violently you protest, the more likely the national news will pick you up because (we're not in the business to make money but... if it bleeds it ledes) controversy = ratings = ad sales = dollars.
     
  11. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Pssst...it's NOT a representative democracy. It's a constitutional republic. Kind of an important distinction.
     
  12. tick

    tick Member

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    Tick
    Current Bike:
    Process 111
    I agree. I’m fine with supporting losing causes that my conscience deems morally serious and important. While I consider MTB access to be important to me in a certain way, it is by no means Important-important.

    The Sierra clubbers have made up a religion that mashes together animism with a dash of 19th century Romanticism, topped off with echoes of early 20th century liberal Christianity. That gives them a zeal for their cause that I don’t feel about this. I’m willing to support a club that works for access. I’m not gonna give my charitable dollar to a PAC with a hopeless cause.

    (I guess technically the Sierra Club religion probably is closer to transcendentalism than liberal Christianity, but you get my point)
     
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  13. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Fair enough.
     
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  14. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Regarding the above commentary about the nature of our representative government, it occurs to me that there are really only two ways to get legislative attention. The normal way - which is through massive donations and lobbying from mostly corporate interests, or the occasional noisy cause fueled by public outrage about something. I would say the spit is about 80-20 - maybe more - in favor of purchased influence based on who will profit from what legislation. Influence peddling. Voters have very little to do with it, other then electing the people who will be peddling their influence. And we elect those who present the most convincing sound bites.

    I know, not a very idealistic version of our representative democracy - and I use that term to mean a government in which the citizenry votes for representatives to govern us - so yes scissors, we are by definition a representative democracy. We are also a Constitutional Republic. The two terms are not mutually exclusive. But since I am moving to Canada, I don't need to argue.
     
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  15. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Fair enough. :thumbsup:
     
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  16. tick

    tick Member

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    Tick
    Current Bike:
    Process 111
    Gravy and cheese on French fries, mullets and bike trails. Canada has everything!
     
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  17. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Calgary Stampede FTW!! Unless Quebec.
     
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  18. BonsaiNut

    BonsaiNut Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Laguna Hills
    Name:
    Greg P
    Current Bike:
    Custom XTR 29er
    Mikie and Danmtchl like this.
  19. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The road is where I call home
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    Ah...thanks for reminding what I enlisted for :bang:
     
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  20. tick

    tick Member

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    Tick
    Current Bike:
    Process 111
    It’s not quite that bad...politics is petty and venial when the stakes are relatively low, but you should go visit Congress sometime. I visited my rep’s office a few years back, and it was really encouraging to see how seriously everyone on the hill takes their job, with only a healthy level of skepticism that didn’t amount to cynicism.
     
  21. sir crashalot

    sir crashalot Well-Known Member

    Location:
    laguna beach
    Name:
    gary fishman
    Current Bike:
    2018 banshee rune
    Im sure they take their wrong-decision-making and voting in the interests of corporations instead of their constituents jobs very seriously
     
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  22. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The road is where I call home
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    Danmtchl likes this.
  23. MnMDan

    MnMDan Member

    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    Name:
    Dan Eitman
    Current Bike:
    Trek Superfly FS
    To keep this on point...

    The majority of powerful trail organizations in the US (including Santa Cruz, SDMBA, several in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic) were in existence nearly as long (if not longer) than IMBA and borne out of a necessity to protect and advocate for access within this growing sport in the late 80's/early 90's. This was the time when the concept of IMBA was created in order to bring clout at the political level where national decisions were being made, such as the administrative finding that resulted in the elimination of bicycles from Wilderness Areas (mid to late 80's). It was also at a point where a national/international organization was necessary in order to communicate the positions of an underrepresented, but growing, user group on a national, rather than regional, level.

    Fast forward and many of the "benefits" of associating with IMBA have fallen by the wayside as viewed on many levels: Corporate (withdrawal of Subaru after several decades), Industry (despite the e-bike advocacy, industry has pulled back their participation and funneled into other avenues, i.e. "People for Bikes"), and Membership (access to policymakers no longer requires massive letter writing campaigns, stamps, and effort...just click "send") activity have all decreased, except in certain pockets, usually funded by significant regional investment (Park City, Bentonville).

    Nearly all of those organization that have withdrawn from IMBA have support that IMBA no longer is able to lean heavily on, for whatever reason. Check out any of those organizations and they list among their sponsors local shops, local bike industry, and affiliated lifestyle partners (brewers, restaurants, and even local auto dealerships). Santa Cruz and San Diego have had strong numbers over the past decade (I believe 1000-2000) and that translates into a very strong core (think 10%) of active, passionate members at all levels that steer the ship and provide opportunity to the larger membership.

    Mountain Biking (and cycling) is still very regional. Take a road rider from OC to San Diego or the Walnut Creek area, and despite less than half the population, there are easily 10x the number of Spandex-clad people. Wide handlebars do not sell in Appalachia. Who uses a Hans-Dampf in SoCal? Does anyone south of Mikie know how to ride a trail with wet roots?

    Simply put, the organizations felt that the issues important to them were not being addressed by IMBA, and IMBA was moving in a direction antithetical to the desire of the local/regional membership.

    Good? Bad? Or just simply change?

    I know one thing, every time someone tries to lump (or even organize) Mountain Bikers together as one group, its in our nature to buck that effort...we tend not to seek out a peloton like others, we tend to cherish the solitude of a solo or group ride. That's our greatest strength and our greatest weakness.
     
  24. Torrent77

    Torrent77 Member

    Name:
    Dave
    The yellow one speaks truth!
     
  25. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Truth!

    (With a wee edit from me).
     
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