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About IMBA

Our mission

To create, enhance, and protect great places to ride mountain bikes.


Our Vision

Everyone across the U.S. has access to great trails- from close-to-home rides to iconic, backcountry experiences.


Our Goal

To grow the quantity and quality of mountain bike trail communities across the U.S. By 2025, we aim to partner with 250 new communities on equitable access to diverse, high-quality trails.


Our Focus

More trails close to home.


35+ years
of advocacy

trails built

affiliate groups


Why Close to Home?

Trails close to home mean more quick hits for mental health and fun. In large cities and small rural towns alike, trails enhance quality of life, provide economic benefits and create community. We know all of this because IMBA and our local partners have been making these things happen worldwide for 35+ years, and we want to make sure trails happen in more places, more rapidly.

Core Values

IMBA is committed to a values-driven culture within our organization. These values guide our commitments to our neighbors, the land, responsible riding, and sustainable trails.



Our work supports communities, wellness, economies, and public lands for present and future generations. We support mountain biking communities to bring people together, to keep neighbors health, to diversify and strengthen economies, and to protect and expand outdoor spaces.



We share a responsibility to protect our national environment for its intrinsic value and so communities can cherish the great outdoors. We ensure mountain biking is an environmentally low-impact activity that aids in protecting and enjoying open space, and we promote sustainable trails to minimize impacts on the environment, natural resources, and wildlife.



We promote equity and inclusion in mountain biking and work toward increased trail access to ease entry into the sport. We recognize a strong community must be a diverse community- we encourage, embrace and celebrate diversity and inclusion. We want everyone to experience the joy of mountain biking.



Collaborations are vital to our success. We are proud to partner with trail champions to support their vision, tenacity, and journey toward more and better trails. We are inspired by working with local organizations on shared values and common goals that will change lives by building welcoming and inclusive mountain biking communities.



Working on behalf of mountain bikers
for more than three decades

Mountain biker riding on single track in Fort Ord, surrounded by brown dirt and green hills.
Photo courtesy of: Darius Rike

Our History

The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) creates, enhances, and protects great places to ride mountain bikes. IMBA wants everyone to have access to great places to ride, from close-to-home rides to iconic, backcountry experiences. Since 1988, IMBA has partnered with communities across the country and the world on trail advocacy, trail education, trail solutions, and trail stewardship for more and better mountain biking for every body, everywhere.

Black and white photo of a group of white men talking about bikes with bikes in the background, somewhere in CA.

The Firsts in Organized MTB Advocacy

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Access 1988
The Firsts in Organized MTB Advocacy

1988... were you born yet? We were. Between 1988 and 1990, IMBA created, copyrighted and published the "Six Rules of the Trail” to encourage responsible riding and ease land manager fears of adding bikes to trail use agreements. Two years later, it was in the hands of over a million people. IMBA hosted our first conference and festival which was dedicated to meeting the nationwide crisis in trail closures to mountain bikes. A whopping, highly-dedicated, forty-eight people attended. (If you were there, please email We want your story!) In these early days, we sponsored our first trail research project with Montana State University and produced an educational paper called “What to Do to Prevent Trail Closures." IMBA also joined with several cycling advocacy groups and bike companies to form the National Mountain Bicycle Task Force to raise money for advocacy and to promote responsible riding.

IMBA at 1991 Interbike with poster presentations.

Getting Serious

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Community 1990
Getting Serious

Would you ride with those dudes (in the pic)? We would. In the early '90s, Kris Kross was making us jump, and we weren't telling anyone about Miley Cyrus's dad's achy breaky heart. What we were doing was co-hosting the first national mountain bike conference in Washington, D.C., called “Mountain Bikes on Public Land: Access, Accommodations and Management, " and convening our first meetings with the Bureau of Land Management at the inaugural Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Championship for mountain biking in Durango, CO. IMBA also began publishing our bi-monthly newsletter, sending it to land managers, mountain bikers, local organizations, and other trail user groups nationwide. It contained mountain bike access news, valuable environmental-impact research, pro-mountain bike editorials, educational information for volunteers and club leaders, and reminders to ride responsibly. We have been recycling that content for 30 years now, and it's going great! (Just kidding. We have a lot of new stuff to talk about these days.)

Mountain bikers and horses sharing trail

Recognition & Momentum

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Access 1994
Recognition & Momentum

In 1994, IMBA and The Sierra Club reached an agreement in which mountain biking was officially recognized as a “legitimate form of recreation and transportation on trails, including singletrack,’ and we signed a five-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the U.S. Forest Service that encouraged the agency to promote mountain biking. In 1995, we published the first trail bible: Trail Development & Construction for Mountain Bicycling. It was the first-ever comprehensive, professional and widely-distributed manual designed to "aid cyclists in the development of trails, particularly the type of trails we so enjoy.” We also published the first edition of "Managing Mountain Bikes: A Guide for Activists and Land Managers." In 1996, the year we ALL learned "The Macarena", the first round of RockShox/IMBA Club Assistance Grants were awarded, and our affiliated clubs built more than 400 miles of new trails and donated 150,000 volunteer hours to trail work.

First IMBA Trail Care Crew in 1997

Y2K Didn’t Stop Us

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Community 1997
Y2K Didn’t Stop Us

In 1997, the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew program began its nearly 20-year run, training local volunteers to organize productively and build sustainable singletrack. IMBA also hired our first advocacy director, Jennifer Lamb, who began building clout for mountain biking in the halls of government. In 1998, we signed a partnership agreement with the Bureau of Land Management on the agency’s 50th anniversary and our 10th. The partnership allowed hundreds of miles of routes to become established, signed, and designated open-to-bicycling over the next several years and in 1999, IMBA EPICS were born. We picked four great mountain bike trails in Colorado, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and California, and highlighted them through a series of celebration rides. We still celebrate these challenging, long-distance, backcountry rides and honor them as model trail experiences.

MBA president Ashley Korenblat met with Former President Bill Clinton

IMBA goes to D.C.

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Access 2003
IMBA goes to D.C.

In 2003, through our Legal Defense Fund, we hired a D.C. law firm to represent the interests of mountain bikers in Congress. We retained representation in D.C. for more than a decade, after which we transferred support to the Outdoor Alliance—an organization we helped found that is headquartered in the nation’s capital—to create an even stronger, allied presence in D.C. In 2004, we held the first Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day inspired, in part, by the belief that mountain biking could help improve the health of the nation's young people. We also published the first edition of IMBA Trail Solutions, combining cutting-edge trail building techniques with proven fundamentals in a colorful, easy-to-read format. ​​​​​​In 2005, we signed a five-year agreement with the National Park Service (NPS) and for the first time, the NPS formally recognized mountain biking as a positive activity, “compatible with the values of our national parks.”

2006 national trail classification system

Special Designations and Professional Trailbuidling

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Access 2006
Special Designations and Professional Trailbuidling

In 2006, we worked with the U.S. Forest Service on its National Trail Classification System, categorizing mountain biking as an “activity generally acceptable on all trail classes," and separate from motorized recreation. In 2007, the Ride Center program was launched to recognize and encourage all-around great trail communities. We published Managing Mountain Biking: IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. And, we joined with several other national recreation advocacy groups to form the Outdoor Alliance—an organization that unites the voices of outdoor enthusiasts to conserve public lands and ensure those lands are managed in a way that embraces the human-powered experience. In 2008, IMBA supported federal legislation that promoted mountain biking as an “appropriate” summer-use activity at ski areas nationwide, and partnered with the Professional Trailbuilders Association to host a two-day workshop on how to become a professional trail builder with a first-ever focus on mountain bike-specific opportunities.

Mountain biking in Europe in 2009

Progress Across the Pond

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Access 2009
Progress Across the Pond

In 2009, working with the SRAM Cycling Fund, we launched IMBA Europe and brought together existing mountain bike advocacy groups focused on policies and funding from the European Commission. We had partners and/or offices in Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom. In 2010, the IMBA Public Lands Initiative launched in two years had protected or expanded nearly 3,000 miles of trails across the U.S., trained hundreds of volunteer advocates, and reduced the number of trails threatened by wilderness designations by nearly 90 percent. At the outset of 2011, mountain bikers faced another threat of being removed from trails on land managed by the BLM in areas classified as “Wild Lands.” IMBA met with top-ranking BLM officials and clarified that biking is compatible with strong land protection measures. We turned the discussions to riders’ advantage by planning for enhanced partnerships between the BLM and IMBA chapters and affiliates across the country.

'12 - '14
IMBA Crews demonstrating rad bikes.

Innovation Continues

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Community 2012
Innovation Continues

In 2012, we worked with the National Parks Service (NPS) on a formal rule change that allowed for mountain biking on NPS properties, with superintendent permission. Our investment in services and programs that directly supported the advocacy, membership, and other needs of local affiliates surpassed $1 million annually. In 2013 and 2014, we partnered with Adventure Projects, Shimano, and PeopleForBikes to create The site and its associated app, now operated separately, is one of the premier mountain bike trail and ride-finding resources in the U.S. We also put out Bike Parks: IMBA’s Guide to New School Trails, providing a detailed look at all phases of planning, designing, building, and operating bike parks and large-scale bike-specific facilities. It was the first publication of its kind.In 2012, we worked with the National Parks Service (NPS) on a formal rule change that allowed for mountain biking on NPS properties, with superintendent permission. Our investment in services and programs that directly supported the advocacy, membership, and other needs of local affiliates surpassed $1 million annually. In 2013 and 2014, we partnered with Adventure Projects, Shimano, and PeopleForBikes to create The site and its associated app, now operated separately, is one of the premier mountain bike trail and ride-finding resources in the U.S. We also put out Bike Parks: IMBA’s Guide to New School Trails, providing a detailed look at all phases of planning, designing, building, and operating bike parks and large-scale bike-specific facilities. It was the first publication of its kind.

'15 - '17
Youth advocates speaking in front of a large audience

Youth, Stewardship, & Quality Trails

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Community 2015
Youth, Stewardship, & Quality Trails

In 2015 and 2016, IMBA joined with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) to create the Teen Trail Corps, a national strategic initiative designed to inspire and empower today’s youth to become effective trail advocates and stewards. We played a significant role in passing the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act. IMBA Trail Solutions began offering advanced trail building schools. In 2017, IMBA and several partners developed and published Guidelines for a Quality Trail Experience, a book intended to improve the design, construction, and management of mountain bike trails all across the country. IMBA and its network of grassroots mountain bike advocates contributed more than $2.8 million of in-kind volunteer labor to our U.S. trails and public lands. And, the new Dig In campaign raised more than $122,000 dollars for various local trail projects. WOWZA.

'18 - '20
IMBA Trail workers

Three Decades of Trail Building and MTB Advocacy

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Access 2017
Three Decades of Trail Building and MTB Advocacy

During 2018-2020, IMBA turned 30, and we shifted our focus to creating and catalyzing more trails close to home to increase equity in access in our sport. We added two new Ride Centers and nine new IMBA EPICs, and hosted the first national women’s mountain bike advocacy event: UPRISING. We smiled under our masks as we welcomed droves of new neighbors to trails across the country. IMBA grew trail planning and design services to help communities envision environmentally and socially sustainable model trail systems, with communities including Hot Springs, Arkansas; Columbus, Georgia; and Cedar City, Utah welcoming our teams extended stays during these years. In 2019, IMBA launched the Trail Accelerator Grant program, which has served as a catalyst for unlocking more than $7.5 million dollars in additional funding for local trail projects.

'21 - '23
Rad little dude in bike park wearing imba bandana

More Trails and Counting

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Access 2022
More Trails and Counting

Trails and trail systems of yesterday are no match for the user needs of today and tomorrow as communities see the value of trails close to home and more residents get outdoors. So in 2021, IMBA was a catalyst in uniting local, regional, and national advocacy organizations to cast a new vision for trails through Trails are Common Ground. We continue our work partnering on dozens of priority bills for trail access and trail funding, and monitor and advise on dozens more legislative opportunities. In 2022 alone, 33 communities across the country created new trails and saw their visions come to life with IMBA’s support, and 37 more committed to trail planning and construction. Fueled by decades of momentum, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act passed into law to improve trail connectivity in Utah. And, 12 years in the making, mountain biking was explicitly protected in the new Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument.

Girl mountain bikers sitting on a red fence, looking fly and happy.

We're Just Getting Started

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Community 2023 and beyond
We're Just Getting Started

IMBA is mountain biking. IMBA is you. Whether you're a seasoned veteran of the old guard who can talk for days about riding your hard tail Breezer or Maverick through the 80’s and 90’s into today; a racer without fear looking for GNAR; a kid rockin' your Stryder and the future of our sport; or someone who just likes to be in the woods on two wheels, you make us IMBA. What does the future hold for mountain bikers and trails? You tell us. You're out there, building community on dirt trails in the woods, looking for ways to get active and have fun close to home. If you keep it up, we will too. We'll get up every day to create, enhance, and protect great places to ride.

IMBA staff riding in Cedar City, UT

Trail Enhanced Communities

Across the globe, trails enhance the quality of life, provide economic benefits, and help create community. Sustainable trails that are accessible and close to home improve the health of communities by inspiring more riders to get out and get active and creating more equitable access to recreation and green spaces. 

Mountain biker in air after high jump from dirt single track in Northwoods, Arkansas.

Let's Build More

By 2025, IMBA aims to partner with 250 new communities to create more trails close to home. Meet pivotal members of the team who brought the Northwoods Trail System to life in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The Making of Northwoods

More Trails and Counting

Thanks to the decades-long work of trail champions that continues today, there is a deepened understanding of the many ways trails add value to communities. IMBA supports community leaders as they build their vision for trails, and can partner with a community at any step in a trail’s process: advocacy, access, funding, assessment, planning, design, construction, stewardship, and beyond.