Liability and Insurance
Anybody who rides mountain bikes has probably, at some point, pitched off the bike and fallen into the dirt. Falling is part of mountain biking. And when those falls result in injuries, lawsuits can follow.
Fear of injuries and lawsuits has made landowners reluctant to allow recreation on their property and has sometimes made government agencies wary of building new trails. But safety and liability can be managed.
In the United States, IMBA has partnered with RJF Agencies to design and develop insurance coverage that provides protection specifically for the members, volunteers, directors and officers of IMBA-affiliated mountain biking organizations. Only IMBA-affiliated clubs in the United States are eligible to participate in the RJF Agencies program.
Insurance is part of the solution for managing risk and liability. IMBA also promotes good legislation — like inherent risk legislation — to recognize the risky nature of the sport and discourage lawsuits against private landowners who allow public access to their trails.
IMBA's books offer our most comprehensive treatments for this and many other important topics. Consider picking up copies of Trail Solutions: IMBA's Guide to Building Sweet Singletrack and Managing Mountain Biking: IMBA's Guide to Providing Sweet Riding at IMBA's online store.