Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Changing MTB Scene: New Rider Membership Program Will Benefit All Riders

Members participate in a VMBA trail-building workshop at Perry Hill.
There's a new deal on trails this spring. Riders in Vermont are joining the Vermont Mountain Bike Association and selecting a local chapter to support in the process, rather than the old method of directly joining local chapters. It organizes all riders under one roof, supports the state-wide mtb scene, and gives chapters access to thousands of riders.

When you join VMBA, you affiliate with a local chapter, which you choose from a drop-down list when you join VMBA. The money gets split 50/50 with VMBA and the local club of your choice. This arrangement takes the place of clubs paying dues to VMBA, which they've always done in the past in exchange for insurance, nonprofit status, and many other benefits. So it doesn't necessarily change the volume of cash flow, just the direction of it. And the benefits to a club from VMBA (insurance is a biggy) are tremendous, so its a good deal for you, and a good deal for the club. It means we now have a statewide membership program, through which you also support your local club, and you can support additional clubs for $24.50 each if you want.

A strong statewide membership allows VMBA to leverage more resources for all of us.VMBA coordinates state level land-use agreements, landowner liability policy and insurance, and trail grants programs, all of which directly benefit the chapters working on the ground (see a feature article on VMBA past and present). With this new membership structure, riders directly support that state-level advocacy. Then, by selecting a chapter to join, 50% of membership dues go to the local chapter's coffers, to be used for trail building projects and events. As founders of the Plainfield-Marshfield Mountain Bike Club (stay tuned for a much more fabulous name in the near future), Tristan and I are really excited about this new structure.

We encourage everyone to check out the membership benefits (including a digital subscrip to Dirt Rag magazine and over 80 coupons for places riders go - seriously, the list is long, check it out). Let us know if you have questions - we'd be happy to talk about the new membership program.

Happy trails,
S. & T. 

See this recent post on on what the organization has been up to. (Hint: it's all about strengthening chapters, securing access, and building long-term partnerships so we can build more trail!)


  1. I am a member, but I'll spread the word!

  2. The association is super stoked about the new program. If we all get just one friend to join, we all get more trails to ride. Our riding community has a bunch of momentum - 2014 is going to be incredible.