Vermont Mountain Bike Association

What's the Association Up To?

The web site will be significantly updated this winter on chapters' behalf. The "Landowner Relations Packet" will be developed and contain:

* Act 250 explained with state support

* Landowner Liability Act

* Rider Responsibility Code

* VMBA's insurance policy as related to land owners

* Letter of support from VMBA articulating trail construction standards

This packet of information is designed to best support chapters stewarding landowner relationships leading trails we all love!

VMBA will work toward uploading useful content to this layer such as program planning basics, event coordination items, risk management items, volunteer relations, Board of Director job descriptions, fiduciary functions and more. This will be ongoing.

Lastly, VMBA has developed many partnerships with numerous businesses throughout the state. The web site will be highlighting our shop partners and other member benefits sponsors.

RIDERS - please consider supporting those businesses that have provided so much for VMBA and your riding opportunities.

VMBA Membership

For the first time in association history, VMBA will be hosting membership for individual riders. Next month the association will be launching a membership campaign. Riders who are current chapter members will receive a steep discount on VMBA membership - all riders are encouraged to stay active in their local chapters.

Members will enjoy a coupon book filled with deals ranging from ski areas, shops, state parks, paid trail networks, downhill opportunities, subscriptions and of course discounts at VMBA events. It's a killer deal!

The membership calendar will operate from April 1st to April 1st - so be sure to get in early to take advantage of all the sweet benefits! Check-in on for your opportunity to registration soon!

VMBA Trails Grant Program

VMBA has established the "VMBA Trail Grant Program" and dedicated funds to support trail projects in 2013. Chapters may apply for all or a portion of the grant pool. Ideally, the pool will grow, but in the meantime, VMBA will continue working with the VYCC, the state for RTP funds and our US Forest Service partners to pursue funding on chapters' behalf.

The VMBA funds provide an opportunity for chapter to have an investment and a partial match while applying to other grant pools for projects. Granting agencies look favorably on requests that have already some level of secured funds. Hypothetically, if a chapter can put forth $1,000 and is successful in securing $1500 in VMBA funds - an outside source donation is a nice chunk to begin/finish a project or for the maintenance our trails need. It all translates into more awesome trails!

VMBA Sponsored Trail Building Clinic

VMBA will be hosting a trail clinic each spring to support chapters's hard work to produce the best trails in the country. The state is filled with talented builders. Exchanging ideas and sharing expertise * and learning new techniques * is critical to trail building while also allowing our trails to maintain their unique character.

Sharing our collective trail expertise is very important. As public land access expands, it is incumbent on VMBA and our chapters to establish base level building standards that ensure high-quality/low maintenance trail resources, while also preserving the latitude for each builder to display their style. It is the goal the association that this directive is a VMBA designed process.

Sharing techniques with each other is a great way to learn something new, meet builders in other chapters, be supportive of each others' issues and accomplishments and promote the awesome mountain biking scene in Vermont.

Riders are encouraged to support chapters by getting involved with trail days.

Advocacy & Access

VMBA was named as the partner in a recent jurisdiction identifying the Cotton Brook area is not subject to Act 250 permitting! This is huge. VMBA looks forward to managing this project with the local chapter.

This spring VMBA will be meeting with wildlife biologists and ecologists to better determine opportunities for mountain biking on Fish & Wildlife lands. The Dept. is open to discussing opportunities for mountain biking in various areas throughout the state.

This winter VMBA is revising our MOU with Forests Parks & Recreation. The agreement has served us well, but in need of updating given the association's progress.

VMBA is also in the process of working with the state to secure the "Vermont Trail Network" designation, which will afford VMBA expanded recognition at the state level and will better support our MOUs.

VMBA has reached out to the Dept. of Natural Resources for assistance on the "Land Owner Relations" packet on chapters' behalf. More information on this important piece of chapter support will be published this spring.

VMBA Youth Programs

VMBA has submitted a final proposal to Jamis Bikes seeking a youth programs partner. Jamis was happy to receive the proposal and conversations have been very positive. The proposal is seeking bike tools/stands and trail tools for riding and building clinics. VMBA is working on risk management pieces, curriculum, promotion and administrative templates to assist chapters in hosting youth programs. Please be in touch if you think your chapter might be interested in this opportunity.

Chapters This Winter

In the near future, documents fleshing out the details shared in the "VMBA Membership & Dues" document will be circulated among chapter presidents to share with their stakeholders. The documents in tandem are designed to articulate the partnership between chapters and VMBA.

Beyond the logistical basics of chapter affiliation, the document identifies some important cultural issues the association needs to consider as a riding community if Vermont is to realize its true potential - regardless of any individual's perspective on tourism, mapped/unmapped trails or the size of chapters.

In an August meeting chapters communicated they wished to maintain autonomy relative to membership. VMBA supports this desire. However, chapter autonomy is only as valuable as it allows for a community of unique chapters to thrive together. Isolation from each other will not accomplish anyone's long-range goals. Each chapter's success and identity will be supported by VMBA in every way possible and inspired by a unified community of chapters. Together we are a very strong association with the opportunity to create one of the most unique riding experiences in the country.

Developing a genuine community can be achieved in many ways. Here are a few:

* Collaborate with other chapters on rides, events and share expertise.

* Chapters & their boards being positive ambassadors of VMBA whenever & wherever possible.

* Work with VMBA when working with state land managers.

* VMBA wants to work with chapters as the designated corridor manager on state lands.

* Work with VMBA on grant proposals.

* Know that all chapters realize recognition anytime anyone does something great for MTBing.

* Participating in VMBA chapter programs.

* Ensure your chapter is represented on VMBA committees.

* Promote VMBA as a central partner on all your chapter's media.

* Be supportive of your members filling out member surveys and get data to VMBA.

* Appreciate there is a wide scope of chapter desires & interests.

* Is VMBA present on your home and membership web site pages?

* Be certain your entire board and membership is forwarded Association newsletters.

* Communicate your desires with VMBA via chapter liaisons, Jill Olson and Scott Mallory.

The VMBA Board of Directors will be reaching out to seek your questions and discuss the work of the Association on your behalf. The VMBA BOD wants to know how to best support your work as a part of the VMBA family. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to Tom with questions.

VMBA Committees

This winter Brooke Scatchard will be reaching out to chapters and individual riders seeking assistance with VMBA committees, which include:

* Downhill

* Youth programs

* Events

* Media

* Land management

* Trails (training & best practices)

If you're interested or know of someone who may be, please be in touch with Brooke at:

Feed the Hungry

In conversations with the Vermont Food Bank, VMBA learned riders have an opportunity to feed the hungry in Vermont. "Charity Miles" is a new phone app that enables people to earn money for a charity of their choice by going for a ride!

Riders download the free app at Once done, launch it on your smart phone and choose "Feeding America." Pocket your phone and get riding! Feeding America donates $.10 per mile. Folks hiking or running will earn $.25 per mile for the Food Bank. Imagine the impact we could have as a community of thousands covering hundreds of miles...amazing.

Stay tuned for more ways chapters can support the Food Bank.

Miscellaneous Items

The fundraiser in November was a success.

The Holiday auction with VYCC went well. We're not sure how much we made just yet.

The VMBA member coupon book is going awesome! We'll be headed to print soon.

VMBA has begun developing a "VMBA branding" plan moving forward.

VMBA will be more aggressively seeking 1% for the Planet Partners this winter.

The "Land Owner Relations Packet" will be developed this winter.

Planning for the 2013 Festival at the S.T.A.B. Trails is underway.

Be sure to watch for VMBA sponsored spring trail building clinics free to chapters.