What's up with the strips?
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You may have noticed that the bike strip has two logos on it this year - VMBA and Outdoor Gear Exchange. OGE stepped up and made a major contribution to the chapter trail grant. OGE also plays host to multiple small project grants every year across the state.
VMBA seeks sponsorship from numerous shops every spring. Each of these shops are asked for sponsorship from a variety of groups, not the least of which are the chapters of VMBA. This dynamic can be difficult for everyone.
We had three options to ensure continued effective advocacy and keeping your membership investment going to the chapters while minimizing the "over-asking" of shops.
- increase membership dues, which we haven't since the state level membership model started in 2014
- increase the price of sponsorship levels, which won't likely inspire more participation among the shops; or
- seek larger sponsorship from a fewer number of entities, to which some will take exception. Each decision has consequences.
Things are changing relative to outdoor recreation in Vermont. VMBA must be diligent in making the voice of chapters heard in state level conversations that are currently outlining the future of outdoor recreation. This takes resources, thus sponsorship. Without successfully pursuing sponsorship, less of each member's dues goes back to chapters through services and grants.
That all said, I acknowledge that the strip is space we all share equally regardless of region, shop loyalty or chapter. Despite its capacity to generate funds for trails, this space should have remained neutral. The strip has become part of the culture of mountain biking here and has evolved to have a measurable meaning to individuals and shops.
For those members that prefer to have only the VMBA logo on their strip a replacement will be provided in exchange for those already mailed. To exchange your strip you have two options: 1. mail it to PO Box 2055, S., Burlington, VT 05407 I'll mail a replacement asap or 2. exchange it at an event. Each event that VMBA will be present for exchanges has been identified with an asterisk on the events calendar on vmba.org.
Anyone that renewed/joined after April 8th will be sent a strip with one logo. Anyone wishing to have a strip with OGE's logo can exchange it at OGE.
It is my sincere hope that the bike strip continues to be the shared unspoken bond among riders on Vermont singletrack.
Ride On -
VMBA, Executive Director