IMBA World Summit: What did both sides commit to..or not?

DashRiprock

Active Member
Try as I may...there doesn't seem to be any information currently available concerning Larry's trip to this bi-annual meeting of those controlling the vast majority of mountain bike trails on public lands here in America.
The first shot fired across our bow went something like this:

From bicycleretailer.com:
LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (BRAIN) — Do electric mountain bikes belong on the trails? As IMBA plans to discuss the question at next week's World Summit in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the August 15 issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News takes a look:

A few suppliers are selling e-powered mountain bikes now, most major suppliers are selling them in Europe, and most plan to sell them in the U.S. soon no matter what IMBA’s policy may be now or in the future.

On the other hand, it’s fair to say that industry officials desperately want to avoid a run-in with IMBA. Instead, they say that cooperation, education and experience 'will' mitigate many of the is- sues IMBA’s executives and its army of volunteers have raised.

Mike Van Abel, IMBA’s president and executive director in the U.S., was reluctant to include the topic at this year’s biennial World Summit, but concluded that IMBA needed to get in front of potential conflicts now rather than later.


“We’re crystal clear that mountain biking is human powered,” Van Abel said.

Having spent many years observing the atv/side-by-side industry proceed absolutely nowhere with their product/loyal customers in terms of expanded access to public lands...the above rallying cry to his troops by Mr. Van Able is not surprising.

Are topics such as these 'off-limits' due to "...industry officials desperately want(ing) to avoid a run-in with IMBA.."(?)...
...or are all ebike customers currently breaking down these barriers with their hard earned cash, forever changing the sport of mountain biking/biking period for the better and rudely being pushed off of their own public lands for no good reason whatsoever...the overriding focus?

I'm not expecting Larry to jump right in here after jet-lagging it there/back and getting ready for Europe...yet I believe that it is the responsibility of those who give a rip as to where we can currently ride and where we can't to at least learn exactly why that is while thanking those presently in the trenches concerning same.
 
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DashRiprock

Active Member
Question: If one physically visits the very location where one is attempting to exercise their right to access not only public but publicly funded lands...and those physically blocking public access to same don't necessarily want to 'cooperate', be 'educated' or certainly experience what you are willing to offer them (out of the goodness of your own heart)...exactly when does the above bike industry position become nothing more than what one would expect given their admitted "desperation" to avoid a "run-in" with these same individuals...especially given Mr. VanAble's arrogant and dismissive posture before even so much as a word is even spoken (publicly) regarding our access rights...period?
 

ChrisD_

Member
Electric mountain bikes are powerful topic at IMBA World Summit (link)

"...Larry Pizzi, president of Currie Technologies and a panelist, said the industry is cognizant of the issues these bikes raise. “The industry wants to make sure we do the right thing, and in no way do we want to jeopardize IMBA’s work that has been done over the years,” he said.

...

"Pizzi told the audience that the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA) has formed a committee to work on these issues and has broad support among major suppliers.

"As the committee’s newly named chairman, Pizzi said he will push for studies and data to support the industry’s position that e-bikes are compatible with current IMBA guidelines and pose few problems in terms of trail degradation.

"Austin McInerny, executive director of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), defined a strategy for IMBA and the industry to consider:
  1. No throttles.
  2. Put an IMBA representative on the BPSA committee.
  3. Suppliers selling e-bikes should support IMBA.
  4. Suppliers need to educate retailers about where and how e-bikes should be ridden.
  5. Suppliers and retailers need to aggressively educate consumers about e-bike etiquette.
  6. Enforce a sense of civility on trails.

"Mike Van Abel, IMBA’s executive director, pointed out that it’s not IMBA’s mission to help the industry grow its sales. “Our goal is stewardship of public lands,” he said. “But the industry needs our help because we can geek out on that stuff (public land issues) pretty deep.”

"IMBA’s policy is clear—bicycles are human-powered conveyances, and e-bikes fall outside of that definition. It is a motorized vehicle and is banned on trails and in areas designated as non-motorized use only."
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
I wholeheartedly agree with Mike Van Abel's position.
 

DashRiprock

Active Member
It's as if one could have penned the meeting before it even began:

"Wellll...'first of all' (and most importantly)...we want every supplier in the world who sells an ebike...to make darn sure that you are not just supporting IMBA 'in spirit' but, you know, in terms of our salaries..."

"...Secondly, we don't know anything whatsoever in terms of layering in power while using a pedal assist drive...so we'll just ban every darn bike on 'our' land that has a throttle 'period' ...and by gosh that's that!...":mad:

"...We want 'enforcement' on the trails....and it just so happens that we (exclusively) have the 'non-profit' salaried/grant funded 'volunteers' to do just that....all over the country! (you know, those ebikers are more trouble than a motorcycle gang!).

"...Suppliers (in coordination with our marketing exclusively to keep all money 'in the family') need to educate these biker 'gangs' on where they can ride and where they can not!..." (the less desirable public land that we graciously 'might' give our 'blessing' to ride and the primo PUBLIC areas that we will fight like pretentious jerks to 'keep').

"...oh, and by the way, we'd just as soon have one of 'our' guys in on everything that you discuss or propose...just because we think all you guys and gals are just so peachy keen..."

Do I need to go on?

...or can somebody explain to me this gem: (this guy is a walking contradicition):
"...Mike Van Abel, IMBA’s executive director, pointed out that it’s not IMBA’s mission to help the industry grow its sales. “Our goal is stewardship of public lands,” he said. “But the industry needs our help because (only) 'we' can geek out on that stuff (public land issues) pretty deep...”
 
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ChrisD_

Member
I thought that last was consistent with the IMBA's belief that it 'owns' mountain bike policy - that the IBMA is deeply qualified / knowledgeable when it comes to public land issues and the e-bike industry needs its help. Doubt that... it's the IBMA membership and potential negative publicity that the manufacturers know better than to antagonize. This could be a losing battle if e-bikes are viewed as adaptive technology, but if they take a nostalgia, naturalism tack they could have a winning strategy.
 

DashRiprock

Active Member
I thought that last was consistent with the IMBA's belief that it 'owns' mountain bike policy - that the IBMA is deeply qualified / knowledgeable when it comes to public land issues and the e-bike industry needs its help. Doubt that... it's the IBMA membership and potential negative publicity that the manufacturers know better than to antagonize. This could be a losing battle if e-bikes are viewed as adaptive technology, but if they take a nostalgia, naturalism tack they could have a winning strategy.

I'm a big fan of adaptive technology for the less fortunate and even more when it is applied on public lands so I'm not sure that we're in agreement. I would also offer that the IMBA's knowledge of public land issues or any UNDEFINED 'help' supposedly being offered (to anybody) isn't even worth talking about when they're talking out the other side of their mouth as to how we don't even belong on those same public lands in the first place.

What ebikers need to realize is that this isn't about the vast majority of mountain bikers. It's about a whole organizational structure of salaried non-profit employees making a living off of keeping people apart. It's about a few MTBers who are so socially dysfunctional that they couldn't spend time with somebody who didn't look like themselves if it killed them. There are shocking organizational parallels to this everywhere here in America. People with similar enjoyments simply want to get together and ride. They don't give a rip what the other guy brought to the trailhead and they don't give a rip who gets to the first rest stop...'first'.
What the Mike VanAble's of the world and his 'lone wolf' sheeple constantly seek out is division and exclusion. As with the Sharpton and Jackson divisive missions...it is the only strategy which keeps them in power. Any unified biking community suddenly wouldn't need these type of (cough) 'leaders'. We would pool our money to achieve even MORE power, hire those ONLY committed to multi-use access (preferably mentoring only the less fortunate to lead;then moving them along into the real world) ...and that would be that.

We can create trail legacies for our kids and for those who have never dreamed of seeing what many of us have thankfully been blessed to see already.
There is simply a good number of individuals standing in the way of making this and so many other dreams happen here in the U.S. ...and they aren't going down without a fight (defined as a simple questioning of rights...which 9 out of 10 Americans today don't have the stomach for).
 
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