A Year of Progress

Riders are embracing the association’s new statewide membership model. With the best two months of riding still ahead of us, and a bunch of winter coupons good through April of 2015, it’s not too late join the family (www.vmba.org/membership). Rider benefits made a big jump and our partners have reported higher rates of redemption in 2014 – this is great news for everyone.

VMBA is proud of its progress and the relationship shared with chapters. Your membership is critical to these relationships and quickly translates into chapters delivering sweet events and more trails for you to enjoy with family and friends. The 2014 riding season illustrates the connection between chapters and VMBA like never before.

The VMBA Trail Grant assisted Fellowship’s new bridge in Saxon.  Ascutney Trails hosted the ’14 festival and paid for an archeological study for a new trail project with the VMBA Trail Grant. Hoot Toot & Whistle enjoyed five re-purposed kids’ bikes for an afterschool program from VMBA. Melo Velo used their VMBA Trail Grant to hire commercial builder, Brooke Scatchard for a mapping and design work on Cricket Hill. Brewster River delivered another awesome Tour De Valley and VMBA provided insured for the chapter, riders, and landowners during the event. VMBA assisted Mad River Riders during a huge season of new trail openings, research, and grants. Three state grants were facilitated by VMBA for trail work on Perry Hill this season. We’ve accomplished a lot!

As part of the chapter benefits, VMBA is now hosting online membership services for chapters at vmba.org. Riders have responded exceptionally well to this new platform. VMBA has learned a lot about this process, but is proud of how things turned out during the first year. The best part of the new platform is the ability for riders to support additional chapters and feel great about their contribution. So far this year riders have purchased over 120 add on chapter memberships beyond their home chapter. This means extra revenue for chapters and trails!

There is a big slate of items coming up for the association. VMBA continues to work on developing the 10-year expansion plan with the Dept. of Forests Parks & Recreation. When completed this agreement will thoughtfully lay out long-term plans for trail expansion throughout the state. Beyond more mileage for riders to enjoy, the agreement will foster stronger relationships between chapters and district coordinators and ease some of the tension surrounding trails on private land.

VMBA continues to advocate for expanding fat biking access to meet the growing demand. Stay tuned for the “Trail Issue” of the newsletter for all the beta we learned from the recent survey. The state and USFS have expressed interest in partnering with the association to develop new corridors. Recent discussions have been fruitful and we look forward to creating an amazing 12-month riding scene in Vermont. In the meantime, members are enjoying great winter deals as a part of the member benefits program.