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Old 11-12-2009, 08:35 AM   #1
Reverend
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Future of the NSMBA and 2010 Activities

Riders of the Shore!

I've volunteered to put together a survey before the NSMBA AGM (soon to be announced pending venue confirmation) and as part of that I'd like to get a few ideas flowing around the future direction of the NSMBA (think: vision) and also around some specific activities that you feel need to get done in 2010. The plan is to use ideas from here to help create a survey that we'll put out to all the supporters and members of the NSMBA and with any luck, we'll have some results to present and discuss at the AGM.

As a thought starter:
1. What's your vision of the NSMBA?
2. What are the top 3 things that you believe have to get done in 2010?

I'll refrain from priming the discussion with my personal biases but there have been some good past discussions. Here are a few links for some background:

Official Minutes of Past AGMs

2008 AGM Article on NSMB
2008 AGM Discussion Thread on NSMB
2008 AGM Announcement Discussion Thread (has a couple of tidbits)

2007 AGM Article on NSMB
2007 AGM Discussion Thread on NSMB
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:44 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Reverend View Post

As a thought starter:
1. What's your vision of the NSMBA?
2. What are the top 3 things that you believe have to get done in 2010?
I'll bite.

1. An organization that advocates to other organizations (government, sponsors etc) in the interest of riders and builders on the North Shore.

2. I think more people that run their mouths about this-that-and-the-other should step up either at traildays, by adopting one of any number of trails that need a lot of love, or by volunteering with the organization.

-D
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:57 PM   #3
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FWIW......this is WORCA's mandate that's been our focus since inception 20 years ago. I've found during my time on the board that having a clear mandate for our activities allows us to remain focused on our priorities and goals. Its easy to get waylayed and sidetracked by other things, but if you can stay true to your main goals, you'll probably be successful....

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Our Mandate

A resolution was passed on February 27th, 1989, adopting the following mission statement and objectives:
The purpose of the Society is to advise and represent to Government, private enterprise, and the general public, on matters concerning mountain biking in the Whistler Area by:
  • Educating cyclists in the safe and responsible use of mountain bikes.
  • Promoting appreciation of and care for public lands.
  • Securing and maintaining appropriate mountain bike access to public lands.
  • Encouraging participation in recreational and competetive mountain biking to people of all ages and abilities.
  • Ensuring that mountain bike access and trail planning become an integral part of the recreational philosophy and planning in the Resort Municipality of Whistler.
  • Understanding the balance of expectations between the different user groups.
</H2>
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:03 PM   #4
LeeLau
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The NSMBA is so under-resourced that it seems to be unable to coordinate volunteers. Just an observation from someone who has offered to volunteer.

Therefore the NSMBA should carefully consider limiting its scope to one thing and one thing only - planning, holding and implementing trail days. These trail days should only be held on the more popular armoured trails.

NSMBA should give up doing these things which it currently purports to do:

- advocacy
- liasing with trailbuilders
- communications with landowners
- coordinating grant-funded trail projects

It is my opinion that the NSMBA has already either abdicated its role in doing those above things (or is doing them so poorly) that it would be better for the NSMBA to simply not do these things anymore. A void is better then the pretense of filling a role or doing something.

These tasks listed above could be again taken up by the NSMBA if there is a resource (ie a person) who will not only volunteer to do it but will actually do it (note the distinction between thoughts/ideas and actual action)

Some of you might take offense to what I've proposed. Take note that I'm doing this in response to a call for thoughts on the NSMBA's future role. Also take note that this is my opinion and my opinion only. If you want to debate the substance of what I've written might I suggest having respect for Reverend's thread and we can start another completely separate thread devoted to substantive discussion
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:12 PM   #5
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2. I think more people that run their mouths about this-that-and-the-other should step up either at traildays, by adopting one of any number of trails that need a lot of love, or by volunteering with the organization.
Thanks for biting . Any thoughts on how we might convert "people that run their mouths about this-that-and-the-other" into trail adopters, volunteers, donors, or whatever? Is it because they've never been asked? Because it's too easy to bitch using an alias? Because the NSMBA seems like some big all-seeing-all-doing organization that will magically take care of all? Or something completely different?
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Reverend View Post
Thanks for biting . Any thoughts on how we might convert "people that run their mouths about this-that-and-the-other" into trail adopters, volunteers, donors, or whatever? Is it because they've never been asked? Because it's too easy to bitch using an alias? Because the NSMBA seems like some big all-seeing-all-doing organization that will magically take care of all? Or something completely different?
BEER.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
Some of you might take offense to what I've proposed. Take note that I'm doing this in response to a call for thoughts on the NSMBA's future role. Also take note that this is my opinion and my opinion only. If you want to debate the substance of what I've written might I suggest having respect for Reverend's thread and we can start another completely separate thread devoted to substantive discussion
Geez Lee, I was hoping that the discussion here could be substantive! I think it's important that we get a lot of ideas flowing about the future. I've had only minimal involvement with the NSMBA so far and I think that the organization is at a bit of a turning point and it's worth discussing all alternatives.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:45 PM   #8
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OK. I just didn't want to make this a bitchfest and it can sometimes turn that way. I think it's really good that you're helping out and trying to do your part. I also respect the fact that Matt is/has been a one-man show and is probably completely deluged.

I just think that any organization has to recognize that it can only do what it wants to do given the resources it has available. I am always of the belief that you should never promise what you can not deliver. I think the NSMBA overpromises and under-delivers.

You can fix this in two ways; cutting back on your promises - or - improving what you deliver. I am of the opinion that cutting back on the NSMBA's promises are the more practical way to go about it.

Again, I'm trying to put this clinically as possible

Last edited by LeeLau; 11-13-2009 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:16 AM   #9
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Following Lee's comment, I don't want this to turn into a bitchfest...*however*, one thing that the NSMBA could really work on is its ability to take donations from the public. As an example, earlier this year I had a bundle of personal funds *plus* a significant amount of matching funds from my company that I could put towards NSMBA donations. Multiple emails to the NSMBA yielded not so much as a response, so the money went elsewhere.

It seems to me that if the NSMBA is resource-constrained so much that little is happening, maybe a key strategic thing to focus on would be to, oh I don't know, get more resources? (After that, we would of course need to come up with decent things to put them towards).
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:54 AM   #10
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NSMBA Nonprofit org??

If NSMBA is not a Non-profit org then apply for that particular designation.
That way, folks who want to donate funds can do so.
Then maybe huge fund raising events could potentially bring enuf $ to increase resources.
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:56 AM   #11
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psh... you think you guy's have got problems...

http://bb.nsmb.com/showthread.php?t=128144

I think the source of many of our problems (by "our" I'm refering to the mountainbike comunity as a whole) is the lack of bodies commited to helping out. BUT, we've got several organizations throughout the lower mainland (NSMBA, SORCA, FVMBA, WORCA, SORCE, LMBA, BMBA) I live in Langley and I'm a member of the LMBA (and FVMBA but I don't get out to any of their stuff) as that's where I live and the park I work on is right by my house. HOWEVER, I hardly ever ride in that park and I only ever use the pump track. 90% of my riding is on the shore. I'm sure if you asked the members of all those other clubs out there where they ride you'd probably get a similar answer. Perhaps the NSMBA and all the other clubs out there should try to share resources? Just because somebody lives in South Surrey or Abbotsford and can't attend meetings in West Van dosen't meen that they can't contribute to the NSMBA in some other way (membership, web page, trail maintenance, emailing politicians and businesses) But of course this would require some sort of organization and I'm sure the other clubs out there would like some reciprocal help. I know I'd kill to get some other people out to help with the park, but people in North Van see themselves living in Nirvana and they would never come out to the valley to help build a park they'd never ride.
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:38 AM   #12
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Spud - Exactly the same experience as you 2 years ago.. I couldn't give $500 away.
PVTA got the cash in the end.

One of the largest mountain bike enabled cities in the world...and struggling to keep the advocacy group going

Focus on inclusive toonie rides (a la worca/pvta) and trail maintenance.

Last edited by Darklord; 11-13-2009 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:26 AM   #13
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Since no one has re-raised the issue, a big help would be a part-time paid position to do the grunt work that nobody wants to do. Maybe including some fund raising. Lousy thing to suggest in a downturn year, but the paid hours can be matched to the available funds.

Burn out is a huge problem for volunteer groups. Kudos to Mathew for stepping up and keeping things going.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spud View Post

It seems to me that if the NSMBA is resource-constrained so much that little is happening, maybe a key strategic thing to focus on would be to, oh I don't know, get more resources? (After that, we would of course need to come up with decent things to put them towards).
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Originally Posted by AlanB View Post
Since no one has re-raised the issue, a big help would be a part-time paid position to do the grunt work that nobody wants to do. Maybe including some fund raising. Lousy thing to suggest in a downturn year, but the paid hours can be matched to the available funds.
Apparently Pemberton's association has seen great results from hiring a full time coordinator to write grants, respond to e-mail etc.

It is third hand information but the person has basically more then paid for their position ($:$) in the grants they have received.

So the organization needs to raise enough funds to pay that person and that person brings in the funds for the rest (tools, grants to pay for trail work).

It seems to me that that may be an avenue worth pursuing but there are a couple of issues:

1) You need to find an effective person to fill the role.

2) You still need a strong volunteer organization to support them

...

...

...

More then anything the NSMBA needs to focus on getting new blood into the organization at an organizational level (not just at trail days where you see lots of new faces) to replace people that are leaving.

I see this as a two pronged approach. Firstly it needs to be broadcast clearly how desperately they need fresh blood, energy and ideas at an executive level.

Secondly, past executives need to either be positive, helpful and considerate resources for new executives or shut up and go ride their bikes.

...

My last suggestion is to hold a few traildays a year on weekdays for those of us who work every weekend.

I have offered to look after picking up tools, arranging sponsor snacks, coordinating work efforts, prizing and etc. <--- Money where mouth is.

-D
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:40 AM   #15
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Drew - in terms of "past executives need to either be positive, helpful and considerate resources for new executives or shut up and go ride their bikes" ... Reverend is asking for input. I'm giving it. I refuse to get drawn into a e-argument about the appropriateness of my response.

As for concrete aid, I have offered in the past and still continue to go on the record as helping to write grant proposals. However, I will not help with grant administration or implementation. That is perhaps where a paid administrator can help.

EDIT: to add some substance and hopefully not have this degrade into sniping, budgeting for a paid administrator was discussed at the last AGM. My recollection was that the previous Board were not receptive to this idea, in large part due to the lack of financial resources.

Another organization that has a paid part-timer in our neck of the woods was WORCA (Lisa I believe Todd?). I recollect that her work was not in grant-writing but in helping support general operations of WORCA.

Last edited by LeeLau; 11-13-2009 at 06:48 AM.
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