IMBA member survey indicates increased trail access

Perceived negative image of mountain biking ranked as No. 1 threat

Based on its survey, IMBA says its members contributed more than 700,000 volunteer hours in the past year.

Based on its survey, IMBA says its members contributed more than 700,000 volunteer hours in the past year.

Our friends at the International Mountain Bicycling Association just released the results of their annual member survey and there are a host of interesting nuggets.

Three-quarters of IMBA members said mountain bike trail access has increased in their community in the past decade, with 18% of respondents saying access has stayed the same, and 6% reporting a decrease in access. Seven in 10 IMBA members ranked the perceived negative image of mountain biking as the No. 1 threat to gaining new mountain bike trail access.

Another stat that jumped out to us was the lack of diversity. Of the 6,299 IMBA survey respondents, 87 percent are male and 93 percent are white. You can learn more about the community and more in the info graphics below (click the image to enlarge).


Overall, the survey covered topics, including access issues, resource allocation, volunteerism, chapter development, and member demographics. “We were encouraged by exceptionally strong participation from our members and look forward to rolling out initiatives that reflect their feedback,” said membership manager Joshua Lawton.

This strategic planning effort is helping IMBA create a blueprint for trail building, access, and advocacy work at every level, from local trails to national initiatives.

IMBA Member Survey

Members were asked to rank the top four most important issues IMBA should dedicate its resources toward, choosing from 12 available categories. The top-ranked issues were:

  • Including access for mountain bikes in federal lands
  • Including access for mountain bikes in state forest and park lands
  • Promoting bike-friendly land use policies at all levels of government
  • Promoting positive land managers interactions through relationship building and educational outreach

Top issues did vary regionally. For example, while “including access for mountain bikes in Congressionally designated Wilderness,” did not rank among top issues nationally, members residing in Montana and California ranked it as a top-four issue.

IMBA Member Survey

IMBA’s regional staff and chapters assess these regional priorities and continue to focus advocacy efforts on future Wilderness proposals and recommendations that meet IMBA’s Wilderness strategy criteria.

On volunteerism, about half of IMBA members volunteered time for at least one trail work day in the past year. Three in 10 volunteers worked more than 20 hours. From this data, IMBA can conclude its members contributed more than 700,000 volunteer hours in the past year. These work days are also attended by non-member volunteers, increasing the volunteer hours IMBA chapters contribute to trails.

IMBA Member Survey

The margin of error of survey results is 1% at the 95% confidence level, with 6,299 members completing the survey in full and representing all 50 states. The professional, third-party survey was directed by the Cultivation Center in partnership with Simon Analytics between May 3 and May 17, 2016.

IMBA Member Survey

IMBA will continue to study the survey results and refine comments and feedback from members to guide its strategic planning. For more info please visit

About the author: Mtbr is a site by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. We are the best online resource for information for mountain bikers of all abilities, ages and interests.

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  • Rider says:

    I stopped supporting IMBA after I learned they campaign/support for MORE Wilderness Areas. That’s right more. Hands held with the Sierra Club it would appear. NO Thanks

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