Best Benefit Ever: Environmental Protection for Bicyclists
Prompted by a successful membership drive, we look at what keeps a bicycling association's wheels spinning.
What’s the benefit? The International Mountain Bicycling Association is celebrating an “unprecedented” membership drive that has led to more than 9,000 sign-ups and renewals. What does IMBA offer those new and loyal members? One of its biggest benefits is its role in protecting bike trails and the environment around them. The association leads volunteers and members in conducting field research; offers insights into how to negotiate with stakeholders about the preservation of untamed, natural areas; and has supported initiatives to preserve wilderness in California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, and Virginia.
Why it works for members: Without well-maintained trails in beautiful surroundings, mountain biking just isn’t the same. “The vast majority of mountain bicyclists enjoy riding in natural areas on narrow trails, away from roads, development, and resource extraction. Our activity brings us closer to nature and fosters a desire for environmental protection,” IMBA states on its website.
Other perks: IMBA offers professional certification programs for those looking to lead their own clinics or group rides. Members can also participate in the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew, a grassroots program that helps promote sustainable trail building, and the biennial IMBA World Summit, which last year was held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.