It's official: After months of courting and wooing, we finally gave in to IMBA's solicitations and VMB is now officially an IMBA Chapter! We received word earlier in the month and all the final paperwork has gone through, making us the country's newest IMBA Chapter.
As we said when we began exploring chapter status, this has several important benefits for us as a club, and greatly improves our ability to build, maintain, and promote mountain bike trails in the region:
* We now can dial up IMBA experts in land management, grant writing, trail building, fundraising, membership development, and event management.
* We have access to and preferential standing for IMBA regional grants
* IMBA will now manage membership fulfillment, renewals, and new-member acquisition
* Any IMBA members in our territory automatically become VMB members
* We get special pricing on custom jerseys and apparel from Primal Wear
By becoming an IMBA chapter club every VMB member also automatically becomes an IMBA member at no additional cost. (I'll let Jared plug the Subaru discounts in another post )
Our territory now roughly extends from Bangor in the northeast, west to Tamaqua, southeast to Perkiomanville, over to Doylestown, and north again to Bangor.
When we joined, current IMBA members in that territory also became VMB members, pushing out total membership to 113
We also now have a database of more than 1,000 past members and contacts that IMBA will use for a major outreach and membership drive beginning this fall.
The move to IMBA chapter status is an important step for the club, one that will strengthen our reputation with land managers, provide additional operational support (which we all can agree we needed) and help grow our membership. Because this is such an important step for VMB, we wanted to develop a new logo, something that conveyed the strength of the mountain bike community and the respect we have for our local trails. It took longer than I had hoped to get made, but I'm stoked on the new design. (And of course we'll keep the existing logo around, because it's cool, too).
A lot of work went into this, and we're excited to work with IMBA on improving our local trails and adding new ones. Anthony Duncan, our regional rep is an outstanding resource and has already been in the area several times this spring and summer and provided invaluable advice on Trex and other projects. Working with him and the rest of the IMBA staff in Boulder will add a whole lot of awesome to our local trails and the eastern PA riding scene.