How the International Mountain Biking Association Works

Benefits of the International Mountain Biking Association

If you are mountain biker, joining the International Mountain Biking Association can benefit both you and the recreational activity you have come to value. You will not only have the advantage of belonging to worldwide association of people who share your interest, but you will have the chance to contribute to the growth and enhancement of mountain biking as a form of recreation, too. Your membership will help ensure that trails around the world will be protected and maintained so that mountain biking experiences are available and enjoyable for those who seek them.

Members also receive various perks, including discounts on new car purchases, health care plans, accident insurance, bikes and biking gear. While all members receive a subscription to the IMBA's newsletter, "Trail News," those who sign up online may also opt to receive "Mountain Bike" and "Bicycling" magazines [source: IMBA].

You'll have opportunities to participate in more practical ways, as well. For instance, you'll have the chance to do volunteer trailwork through the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crews, and you may learn how to build new trails through the IMBA's Trailbuilding Schools. You might even want to join the National Mountain Bike Patrol, which helps to assist and educate trail users and land managers across North America [source: National Trails Training Partnership].

If you are a bicycle dealer, there are additional benefits to joining the IMBA. Your membership fee, in a way, may assist in keeping the market for mountain bikes alive and kicking. After all, your business can only benefit from mountain biking continuing to grow as an enjoyable form of recreation. Your membership may help keep you in tune with cycling events going on in your area, too. The IMBA also has an interactive map of all member retailers on its Web site, which could add to your exposure in the marketplace [source: IMBA].

Additionally, the IMBA has partnered with various local organizations that you may also be interested in joining, depending on your whereabouts. The Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA), for example, is the largest nonprofit mountain biking association found in the Southeast. Its goal is similar to that of the IMBA -- to promote mountain biking through trail access, preservation and development [source: SORBA].

For more information about the IMBA and other cycling-related topics, visit the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • International Mountain Bicycling Association. "IMBA History;' "IMBA History -- A Chronology;" "Membership;" "Membership Benefits: Individuals and Families;" "More Trails = More Sales;" "Get Involved with the National Mountain Bike Patrol!;" "Benefits;" (Accessed 1/06/10).
  • International Mountain Biking Association UK. "Sharing Access with Horses -- A Scottish Perspective of Interest to All." (Accessed 1/06/10).
  • National Trails Training Partnership. "Training and Education." (Accessed 1/06/10).
  • Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association. (Accessed 1/06/10).
  • "International Mountain Bike Association." (Accessed 1/06/10).
  • U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. "IMBA's Rules of the Trail." (Accessed 1/06/10).