Legislation. Policy. Planning. Education.
The access that mountain bikers currently enjoy is a result of decades of advocacy work, grassroots activism and widespread volunteerism. IMBA was the first organization dedicated to gaining acceptance of and access for mountain biking at every level of government and land management, and has remained at the forefront of those efforts for 30 years. Trail access is ours to go and get, but only if mountain bikers get organized, educated and involved.
IMBA works on legislation and land protection proposals that are crafted to include mountain biking. IMBA champions land protection solutions that both safeguard the land and preserve local mountain biking traditions. We have successfully found common ground in multiple states to advance both mountain biking and land conservation.
We operate at all levels of government to ensure that bike-friendly policies are taken into consideration and implemented. This includes rallying support for funding mechanisms like the Recreation Trails Program, which help fund trail construction and volunteer maintenance across the country. IMBA also works to ensure that the guiding directives followed by land management agencies are friendly toward managing bikes.
On public lands, existing access, opportunities for new rides and management of mountain biking all begin with a formal management plan. We work to influence these plans by informing our network and educating them on productive engagement, and crafting pro-bike comments to protect and enhance our interests. IMBA also works directly with multiple land managing agencies to implement pro-bike solutions.
We want local mountain bike organizations to be effective advocates for mountain bike trails and access. IMBA helps by hosting trainings, providing tools and resources, offering professional support for local issues, and passing along institutional knowledge gained over decades of experience. IMBA also works to activate its constituents to influence planning, legislation and policy decisions that benefit mountain biking.
How we do it
IMBA's staff works on a diverse range of issues in every region of the U.S., from the front country to the backcountry. The advocacy team is varied in its approach, but is rock solid in its commitment to providing long-lasting, sustainable and practical access solutions for mountain bikers.
You will find us in the field working closely with regional land managers and grassroots mountain bike organizations to influence local trail plans, and in Washington, D.C. working with federal land management agencies, elected officials and our recreation partners to educate them on mountain biking issues and influence pro-bike policies. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, we are subject to limitations on political and lobbying efforts. IMBA’s mission is to create, enhance and protect great places to ride mountain bikes. To accomplish such a broad mission, IMBA must balance the varied, competing interests of its constituents toward efforts that broadly serve all mountain bikers in all 50 states.Major successes
Success through partnerships
IMBA was founded in 1988 by a group of California mountain bike clubs concerned about the closure of trails to bicyclists. Those pioneers believed that the development and promotion of mountain biker education programs and innovative trail management solutions were the key to gaining and maintaining access. The threats have evolved, but IMBA remains committed to being a productive, educational and collaborative member of the outdoor recreation and conservation community.
IMBA is a founding member of the Outdoor Alliance (OA), a coalition of human-powered outdoor recreation groups. OA brings together the voices of the recreation community to protect our public lands and ensure that they are managed in a way that embraces the human-powered experience.
IMBA developed and maintains long-standing, positive and productive relationships with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service and many state parks agencies and state forests. These relationships are the baseline required for us and our grassroots partner organizations to grow and maintain mountain biking experiences on public lands nationwide.
Our advocacy work and resources
Rather than bring problems to a discussion, bring solutions and offer solutions that will be positive for the entire community, either through mountain biking or some other positive contribution that mountain biking may play a role in such as community health, quality of life or economic development.
Mobilizing the mountain bike community to create even better riding experiences in Crested ButteRead story
BOLT Act could make backcountry trail experiences more accessibleRead story
Meet the team
Please contact us if you have any questions.
For me, mountain biking is so much more than the feeling of ripping through a trail, crushing a climb, or coming through the finish line. It’s the moment when you leave all the stress behind and regardless of what’s happening in the world…out on the trail everything is perfect.Meet our team
Director of Government Affairs