August 25th, 2003, 06:58 PM
You may have read PK's article on MTBAccess (http://www.mtbaccess.com/) in DR issue 102.
What are your opinions on this organization as an alternative or counterbalance to IMBA?
September 19th, 2003, 09:56 PM
Well, one army fighting for you is good, two is twice as good :-)
However, there is something shady about that web site, that makes me a little apprehensive.
September 20th, 2003, 10:34 AM
I have mixed feelings, and I think it has a lot to do with the way MTBAccess positions themselves.
(In full disclosure, I am an IMBA board member, although these are my views and not necessarily those of IMBA)
So far MTBAccess has been very antagonistic against IMBA, with exaggerations that reduce their crediblity and criticisms (fair and unfair) that divide the mountain bike community. Could IMBA improve? Sure. But we are not a large enough constituency that we can fight against each other and still win.
However, after a lot of thinking about this issue, I've come to the conclusion that, if they can differentiate themselves from IMBA in a amicable way, maybe they can bring in a different constituency that wouldn't otherwise join IMBA. For example, I thought Mark Flint did a decent job in the Dirt Rag Interview highlighting differences, e.g., that they often align themselves more with motorized use. (In comparison, Steve Anderson just badmouthed IMBA.) Mark's approach helps educate the mountain bike consumer.
As the mainstream organization, IMBA, I believe, is doing the right thing and has made huge progress positioning mountain biking as a legitimate, environmental activity. But if MTBAccess can carve out a more extreme niche without being at odds with IMBA (and hopefully not "sullying" our image TOO much!), then I hope they can make some strides where IMBA hasn't.
However, I do think that they are underestimating how hard mountain bike advocacy is and how much IMBA has already accomplished. I'm not sure if the "good cop, bad cop" approach will work with us (since we're not exactly in a position of power) but it's worth a try.
I am disappointed in their approach so far, but I think it's not too late for them to change it and maybe have a positive impact.
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