When the IMBA Chapter Program ended (replaced by IMBA Local), HMBA began to investigate managing membership without IMBA’s help. Once we developed this capability, we discussed the pluses and minus of remaining with IMBA, or separating from the IMBA membership system.
After much discussion within HMBA’s board and getting feedback from HMBA members at our 2019 annual meeting and through a membership survey, we have decided to leave the IMBA Local Program. This allows all your membership funds to go to mountain bike advocacy in Indiana. It also allows HMBA members to join HMBA without supporting some of IMBA’s controversial positions such as Wilderness access.
The HMBA/IMBA local membership ended on May 1st. We have finalized the details on HMBA’s membership system and are ready to start taking memberships.
One other benefit of the new HMBA membership system is that it allows members to choose their local/favorite trail or local HMBA chapter. This allows us to allocate membership funds to your local trails. You may chose your local trails / Chapter or support HMBA overall.
Under the IMBA Chapter Program HMBA was asked to focus on Central Indiana and allow IMBA to support local IMBA chapters in other parts of the State. Some felt like HMBA did not support riders outside of Central Indiana. This change allows us to support local mountain bike advocates all across Indiana. The IMBA model also did not allow members to specify the trails they would like there membership dollars to support. The new systems allows riders to chose specific trails or Chapters and allocate their membership dollars to those areas.
There is still a need for National Advocacy and you can still support IMBA or the Sustainable Trails Coalition separately from HMBA.
Tippecanoe Mountain Bike Association
The Tippecanoe Mountain Bike Association is the first HMBA Chapter. The partnership between TMBA and HMBA will allow HMBA to support Local Mountain Bike Advocates. If you are a mountain biker in the Lafayette area, please join the HMBA-TMBA Chapter.
For more details on joining the Tippecanoe Mountain Bike Association, read about the decision here: https://tinyurl.com/yd9zgyx7
How to Join
To join the HMBA just navigate to https://www.hmba.org/membership, fill out the form, and submit your payment. You will be sent a confirmation email containing a link to your membership portal. In the portal, you can update your contact information, record volunteer hours, track your volunteering over time, and see your membership expiration date. If you lose the confirmation email with the link to your membership portal, head back to hmba.org/membership and use the form on the sidebar (“My Membership Info”) to retrieve it. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you encounter any problems.
For those who where HMBA/IMBA members, your exisiting membership data was imported to HMBA’s system. Your HMBA membership will still be valid through your previous expiration date.
I moved to Indiana in 1998. At the time we were losing access to trails. Its been a tough fight to advocate for recreational trails in Indiana. Outdoor Recreation has not been prioritized by Indiana’s Land Mangers. But through hard work we have managed to turn the tide from losing access to trails to gaining new trails every year.
With all the great trails we have built and all the riders who enjoy these trails, we would expect our park systems to see this success and want more. But the comment we have been getting more and more is “when are you going to have enough trails?” As the Covid-19 Lock down has shown us, we aren’t anywhere close to having enough trails.
The near future of mountain bike advocacy in Indiana will require public support. Our strength in numbers will matter. The most basic way you can support mountain bike advocacy in Indiana is to join a local mountain bike advocacy group. This doesn’t have to be the HMBA. There are many mountain bike advocacy groups in Indiana. It doesn’t matter whether you join HMBA or another organization. What is important is that you join.
For a list of mountain bike organizations in Indiana, please click here:
Joining is the most basic thing to do. But there are many more ways to contribute
- Advocate. Take action when asked to contact your elected officials or take park in park planning events.
- Set a good example. Ride trails only when open/dry, slow down when encountering other trail users, yield to climbing riders, and generally be nice to others.
- Speak Up. Take new riders under your wing and help them learn the ropes of mountain biking, or speak up when riders you know are not setting a good example.
- Lead. Some riders sit back and wait for others to come into their local area and build trails. Others step up and get organized and lead the way to more trails in their area. Politically, it’s very hard for HMBA to approach local leaders about building trails in their area. They want to hear from people who live and vote in their area.