vmbaLogo-short2015 was another banner year for the Stowe Mountain Bike Club — an ever growing (and incredibly motivated) membership resulted in some of the Club’s most successful initiatives, events and fund raising efforts to date.  These successes are also thanks in part to the fact that the club added an executive director this year.

The construction of new trails and the maintenance of the existing trail network - will continue to be top priority as we make constant, even daily, efforts to ensure the trails are in the best shape possible. However, we also recognize that there are movements taking place beyond Stowe to create a more cohesive statewide mountain bike community, and the Vermont Mountain Bike Association (VMBA) is at the forefront of that initiative. SMBC has stood in support of VMBA since its inception, and has always supported VMBA’s mission.   But as the mountain bike scene evolved in the town of Stowe, so too did VMBA’s membership model.  We felt that this model was not in the best interest of SMBC’s members, and therefore made a considered decision to focus on our own efforts and remain independent, all the while being supportive of VMBA’s efforts and the great work of its chapters.

While we have been doing our work over the last year, VMBA has been doing its part by bringing on new chapters, increasing the dollar amount of their trail grants, advocating at the legislative level for access to state lands, and promoting a vibrant statewide community of mountain bikers.  Additionally, the VMBA board has made changes to their chapter model over the last couple of years that reflect their growing membership, and that encourage growth among individual chapters. In recognition of this updated membership model that we feel is in the best interest of SMBC’s members, and also in line with promotion of a state wide MTB community, we have voted to become a VMBA chapter and will be joining forces with other chapters around the state, most notably our neighbors, the Waterbury Trails Alliance (WATA).  .

What this means for SMBC members  is that we will be joining SMBC through VMBA’s website, where we will receive all of the VMBA membership benefits (year round discounts, passes, for biking and skiing, etc), and will also have the option of “adding on” additional chapters. SMBC will retain all monies brought in through sponsorships, and all membership dollars beyond VMBA’s standard membership fees.

It is the SMBC board’s opinion that this partnership is in the best long-term interest of the Club and its members, and will ultimately help us achieve goals that we could not otherwise do on our own. We look forward to working together with VMBA and its individual chapters, and expect that our participation will magnify the voices of mountain bikers around the state as we advocate for the sport we love. If you have any questions about SMBC becoming a VMBA chapter, please let us know. 

In the meantime, see you on the trails!

(featured image courtesy of Grant Wieler Photography)


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