Author Topic: Forum Issues  (Read 5285 times)

David Kuehnen

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Re: Forum Issues
« Reply #60 on: September 11, 2013, 09:56:59 AM »


Hi David - I fully agree that this forum should be one of those processes. My rant was really to stress that the HMBA is not huge like the IMBA....


The point I would make is that this forum IS currently one of those processes.  To take it further, to only way for HMBA to get larger is for people to GET INVOLVED.  It is easy to gripe and complain on the forum, but it takes a much higher different level of concern or interest to show up to a volunteer activity like the upcoming HOE or the many Trail work sessions we have year round. 



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Re: Forum Issues
« Reply #61 on: September 11, 2013, 10:17:31 AM »
The point I would make is that this forum IS currently one of those processes.  To take it further, to only way for HMBA to get larger is for people to GET INVOLVED.  It is easy to gripe and complain on the forum, but it takes a much higher different level of concern or interest to show up to a volunteer activity like the upcoming HOE or the many Trail work sessions we have year round.

Yes! Again I fully agree.
 
I'm going to make an assumption that you have been around here a while and I respect that. (Following is not pointed at you, David)  I also think that being around the HMBA a long time makes the more experienced members not see just how hidden the HMBA really is at times.
 
I feel my message ties directly to your quote above.  My message is to newer people like myself, wanting them understand that the HMBA and these trail systems are being maintained by far less people than we realize.
 
I think it's safe to say that people rarely rise to the occasion or volunteer when they think everything is under control and their help is not needed. 
 
Sorry for being so random.... I need to wait and post after work. haha!

DeepVI

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Re: Forum Issues
« Reply #62 on: September 11, 2013, 10:33:08 AM »
I can't believe that I've raced 6 DINO races this year and not noticed one HMBA banner or heard one shout-out on the PA system.  (not pointing at you Brian or Paul - just saying we need some teamwork)
 


Kind of my point about organizing group rides here and there with maybe a banner or pop-up to catch the eye.  Sure I can spread the word about HMBA when I'm out and every time I've been out in my short time here, I've talked about HMBA. However one person is kind of a disjointed effort.  Group riding events can bolster the ranks and possibly simmer down some forum bickering, as this thread was originally started for.  Maybe it's something that can be taken up this winter after the BCBD and things have settled down.  I would love to lead a group ride, to meet new people, and help those newer to the sport.  It's great fun to watch someone ride something they've never ridden before or see them progress as a whole.  However I'm not going to unless there's a blessing from the board and it's something they are behind.  It wouldn't take anymore resources.  Hopefully there would be enough people to step up and lead rides. 
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Re: Forum Issues
« Reply #63 on: September 11, 2013, 06:51:19 PM »
Andy Williamson is our Great Lakes IMBA representative.  He lives near Dayton (Yellow Springs, OH) and has been pretty accessible.  I moved to Indy (after a long absence) in December and started getting involved with HMBA a few months later.  I have met Andy on a couple of occasions.  There's been talk of hiring a more locally-focused IMBA rep who would report directly to Andy, but that requires money to pay the person.  Something that will take time.  IMBA is there in other capacities with their Trail Care Crew leading training and other support roles for club leaders.  There are clubs in Indy, Fort Wayne, and the South Bend area that take advantage of those resources in different capacities.  There is nothing preventing locals in Evansville or anywhere else in the state from banding together and starting a group of their own, or working underneath another club's umbrella.  Contacting Andy Williamson would be a good step towards forming a local group, as as part of his job is to help get any organization going.


As for other activities like group rides, all ya gotta do is post them up here in the forums.  There's the Bike 'n Brew that gets advertised at Town Run.  When I get a more regular schedule, I'd like to organize a regular beginner ride.  This year didn't work for me because my schedule has been terribly erratic and I couldn't schedule anything regular.


Having a functioning calendar on the website would help with events.  That's something we're working on.  Be patient and we'll get something going.


This month is pretty busy with events.  If anyone in this discussion has not registered to help with the Hoosier Outdoor Experience, check the events forum for the thread about it and sign up to help.  If you haven't helped with getting ready for the Breakdown, consider RSVP'ing to help in Yellowwood or sign up to volunteer during the BCBD itself.  Both of these are big events for HMBA.
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Paul_Arlinghaus

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Re: Forum Issues
« Reply #64 on: September 12, 2013, 12:23:03 AM »
~~~~LEE3: My best summary of this rant is to say that HMBA is not as large as it appears.  Please don't think that Paul has some powerful network of people helping him work his way through the political arena.!~~~~

Just a thought....   

Maybe the HMBA should have thought about that before declaring themselves the state wide representative of mountain biking and state wide organizer of the mountain biking community in Indiana in order to chase down federal funds to spend on public property.

I don't know, just seems more logical to be organized and capable of a such a task before announcing such things.  Not the other way around.

The only place the HMBA seems to be really organized is Brown County and Indy.  A few other parks managing to get some money weren't decided on by the HMBA, but by the source of the money who dictated which parks were to get the money.  Not sure you can really contribute the success of these few other trail systems to any real effort by the HMBA other then to do the minimum that was asked of them by the source of the money and then disappear.

It's a big responsibility taking on a state wide position.  One of the primary goals should be to get HMBA divisions all over the state.  This doesn't seem to high a priority and so the current people in charge just end up spread thin.  The cart was put before the horse!

 
 Looks like it is time for some history.  HMBA did not just one day declare themselves the State Wide Group.  In the late 90's mountain bikers in Indiana and across the country were losing access.  In Indianapolis, Fort Harrison became a State Park and State Parks prohibited mountain biking.  Indy Parks decided that they would no longer allow mountain biking at Southwestway and Eagle Creek Parks, and a developer bulldozed the trails north of 96th St. 



The local Cycling Club, Indy Spoke Breakers, realized that unless there was a local advocacy group, there would be few places to ride.  Meanwhile a small group of advocates (Mike Hufhand, Jonathan Juilerate, and Rich Ries to name a few) had their sights set on State Parks and State Forests.  In their discussions with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), it was the IDNR who said they wanted one state wide group to deal with.  This was modeled on how they worked with established groups like the Indiana Trail Riders or the Hoosier Hiker Council, which required a mountain bike group to be a 501 (C) (3) and to have insurance coverage for trail construction.


There was a lot of discussion around the State.  There were other mtb groups, the largest being the Northern Indiana Mountain Bike Association (NIMBA).   Becoming a 501 (c) (3) was a large hurdle that no other group appeared be ready to take on.  Additionally the IDNR headquarters is in Indianapolis.  With the limited possibilities for mountain biking in Indianapolis, the mtb advocates in Indianapolis were willing to take on the additional work required to work with the IDNR. 



So the Indy Spoke Breakers, turned into the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association, It also became a 501 (c) (3). 



Around 2003 the IDNR director decided to give mountain bikers a shot and to the suprize of many who thought we would have to start with State Forests, HMBA was given access to Versailles State Park and Brown County State Park.  Riders in Indianapolis were hunger for trails and were willing to drive over an hour to these properties to  partner with local mountain bikers.  At Brown County, North Tower, North Gate, Aynes, HP were built.  At Versailles, Creekside, Turtle, Centerloop and part of Grand View were build.


In 2005 HMBA submitted an RTP application for BCSP.  We receive the $150,000 grant for trails at BCSP.  This grant, combined with a lot of volunteer support built Schooner, Walnut, LimeKilne, and Pine Loop.  The IDNR was impressed and other Park Managers started asking for trails. 



Somewhere along the way, NIMBA worked with the Park Manager at  Potato Creek State Park.  I am not sure if the Park manager new that NIMBA and HMBA were not the same group, but since NIMBA and HMBA where both IMBA members, HMBA worked to support NIMBA.  I did go up as they were building trails and provided some guidance, but since then HMBA has been very hands off.  NIMBA, like HMBA has taken advantage of IMBA’s support and training and had developed the trail building skills needed to develop trails in there area.


In 2008, the IDNR’s division of Outdoor Rec got a $19million State Trail Grant.  The gave $250k to HMBA.  We met with the Director of State Parks and HMBA and State Parks decided to build trails at Versailles, O’Bannon, and Harmonie State Parks.  During the construction of these trails, Myself and Alex Stewart spend a great deal of time at those locations.  I host IMBA trail care crews at both Harmonie and O’Bannon.  Despite Harmonie being 4 hours from my house, I made a dozen  trips to Harmonie and even more to O’Bannon.  Alex and I lead many volunteer work days and put in a great deal of effort working to develop a local group to support those trails.


In Evansville a group of local mountain bikers revived the Evansville Mountain Bike Associaton (EMBA) name and started to organized.  In the mean time, HMBA was working with IMBA to better support mountain biking in the State.  IMBA roled out the IMBA Chapter Program, which HMBA joined.  IMBA hired a regional Director (Andy Williamson), who did make trips down to Evansville.


The EMBA decided not to become an IMBA Chapter.  And based on their Facebook postings are really more of a club than an Advocacy group.   Clubs are fun.  They don’t have the restrictions of 501 (c) (3), which means they can serve their members instead of the general public.  Rather than dealing with grants and public meetings, and insurance, and the long trail approval process required on IDNR property, they can focus on riding and racing and events.  But without being affiliated with HMBA or IMBA, this prevents them from taking a leadership role on IDNR property.  Someone posted that EMBA could likely organize a larger ride than HMBA.  I agree. But they can not build trails on IDNR property and HMBA can.



Being a State Wide group has been a challenge for HMBA.  A small group of us have been taking vacation days, spending long weeks ends and giving up a lot of riding to support trails that are hours away from our homes.  I took a vacation day today support HMBA efforts.  And in reward, I get to stay up late typing on the forum.

 One thing I would suggest is that as an IMBA divisions, chapter, whatever it's called...  IMBA should be there to assist in these matters.  Where are they?   It's one thing to suggest every region should be getting organized, it's another to expect it to happen without guidance.  All you end up with is years of mistakes, wasted effort and still no organization.  Isn't that the whole point of joining a bigger organization who has been there done that?  To help speed up the organizing and avoid the pitfalls.
 
 I have no doubts that around here, getting organized is going to be an undertaking.  It would be nice to know what was done in other smaller cities.   IMBA should have plenty of experience by now taking leadership over these issues in smaller cities.  Evansville isn't small by any means, but if you look at any particular activity like climbing, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, it feels very small when it comes to dedicated participants.
 


You clearly have not spent any time trying to understand the history of Mountain Bike Advocacy or what groups like IMBA or HMBA are currently doing.  HMBA and IMBA have invested time into the Evansville area, as we have spent time in many areas of the state.  At the end of the day, the local groups have to decide if they want to be a part of what HMBA and IMBA are doing. 



The IMBA Chapter Program is not intended for State Wide Groups.  The long term goal in Indiana is for HMBA to become a Central Indiana focused group, with IMBA chapters around the State.  The IDNR relationship would shift to IMBA to oversee and ensure each local Chapter is working within the guidelines of the IDNR.  As we transition, local groups and choose to not be part of HMBA and IMBA and focus on local parks, they can become IMBA Chapters and work with Andy to develop trails on IDNR property, or they can work under HMBA’s umbrella until they can form their own local chapter.


HMBA and IMBA are working on a plan to have paid staff dedicated to Indiana.  Ideally in a few years we would have 2 or 3 paid staff who can travel the State supporting IMBA chapters.


I have discussed this at HMBA annual meetings over the past few years.  This information is not a secret, but riders wanting to have an influence on mountain biking need to take action.  Attend meetings, travel to work days at other parks, go to the IMBA site read the information provided, attend IMBA trail care events (they have whole sessions of club development).  And for heaven’s sake, join IMBA.  If you don’t like the big mean HMBA, then just join IMBA.  They send out emails, and newsletters with information on what is going on. 



HMBA has accomplished a great deal over the past 10 years.  As with any volunteer group, we are not perfect or able to do everything we would like, but if we did not step up to be the State Wide group to work with the IDNR, there would be no Brown County, Versailles, O’Bannon, Potato Creek, Harmonie, or Fort Ben. As with any successful group, HMBA has be willing to change and adapt to deal with our successes.  HMBA is doing this, but at the end of the day, those areas where local riders get organized and are willing to give up some time in the saddle to do their part will enjoy more trails access than those who wait for others to do it for them.

 
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Re: Forum Issues
« Reply #65 on: September 12, 2013, 02:28:51 AM »
Hey Paul I remember talking to you at the Boat Sport and travel show about CIBA and you told me they had two parts, the club for ride organizing and many other things as well as the 501 (c) (3). I know there's paper work involved and it can't be an over night thing but could the HMBA have both also and the forum could be directly related to the club and the home page be related to the 501 (c) (3).


Just a thought but hey what do I know I'm just a college kid
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Re: Forum Issues
« Reply #66 on: September 12, 2013, 02:54:21 AM »
...Basically, anything in the State of Indiana dealing with IDNR property and mtb trail building, has to go through HMBA.  Even if a Southern Indiana advocacy group was formed, it will have to be affiliated with HMBA in order to deal with Indiana.  Am I not correct with this assessment?...

....The long term goal in Indiana is for HMBA to become a Central Indiana focused group, with IMBA chapters around the State.  The IDNR relationship would shift to IMBA to oversee and ensure each local Chapter is working within the guidelines of the IDNR.  As we transition, local groups and choose to not be part of HMBA and IMBA and focus on local parks, they can become IMBA Chapters and work with Andy to develop trails on IDNR property, or they can work under HMBA’s umbrella until they can form their own local chapter....

Sounds like by the time you could form a Southern Indiana advocacy group, you would only have to work with IMBA to access IDNR properties.

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Re: Forum Issues
« Reply #67 on: September 12, 2013, 02:53:34 PM »
Hasn't this freakin' thread died yet? GET ON YOUR BIKES AND RIDE! 8)

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Re: Forum Issues
« Reply #68 on: September 12, 2013, 04:55:43 PM »
HMBA is an IMBA Chapter, so in reality HMBA and IMBA are the same group.  We have explained this relationship to State Parks, and they understand and are excited about having a paid staff person as a resource.  So, this means that as other local IMBA chapters develop, HMBA will work with the IMBA representative to make sure the local chapters understands the requirements of the MOU and the expectations of the IDNR.  Then, HMBA will be willing to step back and let the local chapters and the IMBA rep take control.

Because of HMBA's location (Central Indiana), HMBA will likely continue to provide support state wide.  We will go to NRC meetings, meeting with State officials, look for State Grants, cover the Trails Advisory Board.


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Re: Forum Issues
« Reply #69 on: September 12, 2013, 08:31:09 PM »
Hasn't this freakin' thread died yet? GET ON YOUR BIKES AND RIDE! 8)
Dean, I think this thread has had some good dialogue and help many people gain a better understanding of how HMBA actually operates. I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there. It has been a net positive. 
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Re: Forum Issues
« Reply #70 on: September 12, 2013, 11:04:08 PM »
Paul, thanks for sharing a brief history on the HMBA. I really appreciate the insight and as a result have a deeper respect for the time and effort put in by everyone involved. Indiana Mountain Biking is the best it has ever been and I personally would like to thank all who have laid the ground work and who continue to build and maintain such an amazing network of trails.
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Re: Forum Issues
« Reply #71 on: October 27, 2013, 05:36:12 PM »
I understand the issues that are steering you towards the closing of the forum to non-HMBA members. Good leaders support and protect their top performers with utmost priority. The loyal volunteers deserve that.


I would ask you to also consider that HMBA has become not only a regional leader, but also a role model for similar groups.  The HMBA forum is educational and empowering for others who strive to accomplish the same caliber of mountain biking in less mature clubs.  I am no longer living in Indiana, but am still an active participant in the community.  I am an IMBA member and also a KyMBA Bluegrass Board member.  I value this forum as a resource to me and my local club.  I think access to this forum shows why being an IMBA member and having a local IMBA chapter is so important.  I think a less open forum may make more sense in the future when your paid IMBA staff is established and takes over some of the duties that have been taken on by HMBA.


I appreciate those who spend time moderating this forum... must be a huge pain, but your active and engaging forum is really something special.
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