SDMBA Ends Chapter Affiliation with IMBA

The San Diego Mountain Biking Association ends chapter affiliation and joint membership program with International Mountain Bicycling Association.

Independence from IMBA allows SDMBA to focus on opportunities and challenges in San Diego County.

After lengthy and careful consideration, the Board of Directors of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association has voted unanimously to discontinue its chapter status with the International Mountain Biking Association, effective April 29, 2018.

“SDMBA has evolved to be one of the strongest mountain biking associations and advocacy organizations in the country, and ending our chapter status agreement with IMBA means more dollars and resources we develop will stay local,” said Kevin Loomis, president of SDMBA. “After several failed attempts to reconcile our differences, we feel a complete separation from IMBA is aligned with the wishes of a majority of our members and needed to help SDMBA flourish. We wish them success in their future endeavors.”

SDMBA has worked closely with IMBA to make many improvements to the national organization over the past few years, including: 

  • Unified California into one region with a state representative
  • Provided input to overhaul the chapter program to benefit chapters of all sizes
  • ​Created a national voice and helped establish extraordinary contacts that continue to be leveraged to this day   

However, with the evolution of both organizations in similar but different directions, these financial, philosophical and diminished member services have made the relationship unsustainable for SDMBA’s board and its membership. For more than a year, the SDMBA Board of Directors has struggled with the question of whether to remain a chapter of IMBA after assuming that status in 2013 and made multiple efforts to reconcile the situation. Polls of membership also showed a majority supported SDMBA’s independence from IMBA.

Key issues include:

  • Financially, SDMBA is not experiencing sufficient return on investment given the amount of revenue staying with IMBA via dual membership programs, where a substantial portion of revenue SDMBA raises goes to IMBA
  • Philosophical differences over bikes in Wilderness as evidenced by IMBA’s formal non-support of HR1349 and concerning support of motorized e-bicycles on non-motorized trails
  • Diminished member services, including an inability to maintain adequate and affordable insurance and dissolution of IMBA regional directors including our statewide California representative

SDMBA has invested considerable time and energy over the past year strengthening its organization and ability to serve its membership.  It has become one of the largest IMBA chapters in recent years and today serves more than 1,000 members. SDMBA is here to speak for all mountain bikers in San Diego and will continue to work everyday to be at the tables where trail decisions are made.  

About your membership:
If you are currently joint member of SDMBA/IMBA your membership will be honored through your current expiration date. At the end of April, SDMBA will roll out a local membership program to best serve SDMBA’s membership.  

Questions?  president@sdmba.com