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Old 11-13-2009, 06:47 AM   #16
DrewM
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Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
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.
Lee,

I know that you have a thick, and crusty, skin.

If my comment was directed at you I would have written: "LeeLau should shut up and go ride his bike."

I have heard a few people that were involved say, publicly, some hurtful things about the state of the organization and the people that have run it these past few years. The comment was in reference to that.

-D
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Last edited by DrewM; 11-13-2009 at 06:50 AM. Reason: wording
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:12 PM   #17
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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?

PM sent.
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:24 PM   #18
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PM sent.
Not suitable for public posting Dan? We'd love to hear your thoughts. As Lee is demonstrating, the ideas can be quite "harsh" but the truth is really important here, and constructive criticism is obviously the expectation here.

If you can, please post your thoughts.

Great debate and ideas so far. I really wish I had more time I would love to get more involved. As much as we can afford to, the NSMBA can count on myself, my wife, and North Shore Bike Shop for support. Hopefully we can pull through this tougher time.

Additional props to Matt, Chris, Robin, and all the other remaining executives who take so much time out of their personal lives to work hard for this organization.


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Old 11-13-2009, 06:05 PM   #19
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Okay here they are:

1.Get a paid Administrator. Enough said! I had asked what the key to success with a muliple of other "volunteer Organizations " were and that was the ticket. Why didn't it happen when I was President? I was told by the other directors that they felt if someone was being paid that they should be paid as well.

2.I agree on all of Lee's points.

3.Make sure that all the Directors are on the same page. I found that many had their own hidden agendas, or their own thoughts on what would be best for the organization. I was actually told by one of the Directors after I stepped down that the NSMBA would be none existent in the coming years as a "Trail Crew" that worked for the District/LSCR would be taking its place and they would be paid by the District/LSCR. I was once told by one of the directors when I was president that I should step down and let someone else be in the spotlight for once. I had no idea that being in the spotlight was what was important.

4.Be more transparent. Even when I was preseident, it felt like a secret society. Be more approachable! I was told after I stepped down that even I was unapproachable. Probably couldn't get a word in with all my talking.

5.Realize that there are 2 fronts to the NSMBA, the Trail Building and the Corporate side. Far too often the one side thought that they were better than the other side. They failed to realize that without the yin and the yang of the two of them each would not succeed. Trail builders are people that like to go out into the woods and build stuff, not such great people to send out for sponsorship or to get the attention of the general public. Like wise the corporate side probably don't enjoy/have time to go out and build stuff. One is not better than the other.

6.It is still a gentlemans club, sorry ladies. It seems that if you don't hang around each other all the time that something is wrong. Just because someone wants to help doesn’t mean that they want to be friends (or need to be friends) with everyone involved.

7.Realize that you don't have all the answers for how trail work should be done, that types of riding changes and everyone should be included. Realize that most of the stuff that is being built is not for the greater mass of the riders on the Shore. That more challenging stuff is going to have to built or you are going to loose even more followers. That not everyone likes skinnies and wooden ladders, and guess what, realize that is okay!

8.Realize you have a huge way to go in even coming close to thinking that you represent the greater mass of riders on the Shore. For every one member of the NSMBA, there are a hundred riders that don't care about it. Want proof, go out and ask. One of the most disheartening things about when I stepped down was comments from people that I knew. Most amounted to "So glad you are out of that organization, just a bunch of losers."

Those are some of my experiences with the organization. I went to every trailday the 2 years before my tenture, helped organize the gear swap and outdoor show.

Dan
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:20 PM   #20
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One more, Learn to take critisim. That is life! Most people, myself included can't articulate their throughts appropriately so it ends up coming off as a personal attack. People have things that they want to say, let them say it without jambing down their throat that they should pick up a shovel... blah blah blah.

(Not an attack on you Andrew!)

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Old 11-13-2009, 06:39 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
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
I totally agree with you that it would be better to do a limited number of things well. As a straw-man (it's just an idea not a plan!), what if we flipped your idea upside-down and said that the NSMBA should actually get out of trail day business and become an organization that focuses on advocacy, liaising, fund raising through grants and membership, and funding of trail projects to be built by contractors?

(I should probably say at this point that you should keep in mind that I am not a director and my complete lifetime involvement with the NSMBA consists of 1. Being a paid member 2. Helping to write a grant application 3. Starting this thread. I hope to do a bit more though....)
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:53 PM   #22
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One of the biggest things that I have seen from being a member of the organisation, is there is a lot of talk of what needs to be done, but no action/not enough action to follow up and actually get it done.

I agree with Lee, I think NSMBA needs to reinvent itself, even if it means dissolving the group and restarting it with a new image, mission statement etc.

On the subject of mission statements; it may seem like it's just a collection of words, but it really should define what the organisation is, then when direction is needed, the statement can help define the path forward. I know that there is one, but I can't remember it, and I cannot find it after a brief search through the NSMBA site. The statement should be synonymous with the name.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:55 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by biggles604 View Post
On the subject of mission statements; it may seem like it's just a collection of words, but it really should define what the organisation is, then when direction is needed, the statement can help define the path forward. I know that there is one, but I can't remember it, and I cannot find it after a brief search through the NSMBA site. The statement should be synonymous with the name.
About NSMBA
Mission Statement:

The North Shore Mountain Bike Association is an organization dedicated to the accessibility of trails and support of mountain biking on the North Shore.

# To keep trails challenging
# To be a voice for mountain biking on the North Shore
# To maintain the trails
# To keep the trails open
# To promote respect for the environment through cooperative trail maintenance & education
# To promote multiple use of trails & etiquette
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:01 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Sharon View Post
About NSMBA
Mission Statement:

The North Shore Mountain Bike Association is an organization dedicated to the accessibility of trails and support of mountain biking on the North Shore.

# To keep trails challenging
# To be a voice for mountain biking on the North Shore
# To maintain the trails
# To keep the trails open
# To promote respect for the environment through cooperative trail maintenance & education
# To promote multiple use of trails & etiquette

http://nsmba.bc.ca/index.php?option=...d=18&Itemid=31
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:07 PM   #25
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A common issue in this thread, and something I've heard and seen personally, is the limited number of people wanting to step up to volunteer for non trail day work. Some reasons for that have been mentioned previously in this thread.

Another reason may be the size of the organisation. Can anyone give us the number of paid, non corporate members? Any demographic statistics?
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:39 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharon View Post
About NSMBA
Mission Statement:

The North Shore Mountain Bike Association is an organization dedicated to the accessibility of trails and support of mountain biking on the North Shore.

# To keep trails challenging
# To be a voice for mountain biking on the North Shore
# To maintain the trails
# To keep the trails open
# To promote respect for the environment through cooperative trail maintenance & education
# To promote multiple use of trails & etiquette
Thats the first time i've seen that although I don't ride the shore that often so have never taken much time to look into the running of it or the like, it is perhaps something i would like to get more involved in at some point although some of Dan's comments almost put me off doing that.

There is a lot of talk about applying for grants and things. But i figure it must be difficult to build a case to support our little group of perceived extreme mountain bikers. To me the general perception of riding on the shore is that its all extreme and not for regular people which is true to some extent. The mission statement also talks about keeping the trails challenging which to me reads kind of like we want to keep our little extreme playground how it is, but in terms of generating funding thats maybe not the best way to go about it... maybe!

While not involved in anything like that back in Scotland there have been a lot of new trails built all over the country in the last few years and mtbing has almost become a serious part of the tourism industry there. The trails built there also cater for all levels of riding from getting people started at the very basic level up to black level trails (which are probably like the easy trails on the north shore) and this is where I see a failing in the mission statement above.

I'm sure a lot of experienced riders will roll their eyes at the thought of easier trails on the shore but providing trails that everyone can ride (maybe just one or two or even just building in chicken routes) can be promoted in terms of benefits to the whole region in terms of promoting exercise and increasing fitness and reducing obesity, etc, and its another angle to promote when applying for grants.

It seems like they are fighting to keep what they have rather than looking at new examples to expand. Maybe thats just the politics of building on the north shore. At the moment I see the NSMBA trying to protect the trails rather than promote mountain biking in the area. Preaching to the converted so to speak.

Maybe its catch 22, you get more funding and provide more trails, but then the trails are busy and maybe inexperienced riders are getting in the way but then thats why its good to have different levels of trails, but then again this all seems a bit organised and not the same as it was (or is).

I don't know what the answer is, just throwing some stuff out there as I see it.
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:44 PM   #27
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A while ago there was even a bunch of people willing to throw a bunch of $$ towards hiring Sharon as a paid staffer.

It was never replied to by anyone from nsmba
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:56 PM   #28
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Sorry Roy I don't think you're seeing the other side of that coin. So much work is being done by the NSMBA at the low end of the spectrum that people wanting advocacy and trail work done at the high end are getting turned off from the organization. Hence one of the posts above which requested more work to be done at the upper end as well as maintaining the level of work being done at the lower end.

Also the keeping trails open mandate has always been and should always be the #1 mandate for any trail association. Protecting what mountain bikers already have from development and closures is the most important priority of any trail advocacy group and is usually the reason they're formed in the first place. Everything from the smallest mid-west groups to IMBA was formed on the premise of protecting mountain bikers' access "rights" (privilege). This second paragraph not so much directed at your comments Roy just a general statement.


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Old 11-13-2009, 08:11 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by roy View Post
Thats the first time i've seen that although I don't ride the shore that often so have never taken much time to look into the running of it or the like, it is perhaps something i would like to get more involved in at some point although some of Dan's comments almost put me off doing that.

There is a lot of talk about applying for grants and things. But i figure it must be difficult to build a case to support our little group of perceived extreme mountain bikers. To me the general perception of riding on the shore is that its all extreme and not for regular people which is true to some extent. The mission statement also talks about keeping the trails challenging which to me reads kind of like we want to keep our little extreme playground how it is, but in terms of generating funding thats maybe not the best way to go about it... maybe!
The Mission Statement needs revisiting. We first came up with that in 1997, Kenny Maude, Digger, Danger, MitchD, DanSed and I badly wanted to keep the "trails challenging" in the forefront. If the mission statement has changed, then so be it. I'm of the opinion that its fine for organizations to change and therefore, for missions to change.

As for grants. At first I thought the same as you but we were pleasantly surprised to find that recreation-oriented groups maintaining trails could get lots of funding. If I recall correctly, before the grant writing process was largely abandoned we had grown the grants received from 10k in the first year (2004 I think?), 65k in 2005, 85k in 2006 and then I don't know what happened thereafter (looks like this page is not updated?).

One thing we tried to do for grants was to target grants at trails which are not popular to work on for various reasons (mostly shuttle trails with huge traffic) or which give public-relations and demonstrable environmental or community benefit. Eg CBC (who really wants to work on that), Neds (see CBC), Baden-Powell (multi-use, good PR, good environmental), Lower Fromme trails (good PR, kids love it, good environmental).

Just to continue on long-winded it wasn't actually that hard to raise the money. It was actually really hard to spend and administer it. This gives you an example of what kind of work you have to do:

1. Read grant guidelines

2. Write the grant

3. Obtain the grant

4. Find a reliable person to pay for trailwork who can stick to timelines and do the work in a timely fashion. Note that the way I would do it was to ask the builder to set the time and guidelines

5. Ask the trailbuilder to document their work (you have no idea how hard it is to get someone digging dirt to just take photos of their work)

6. Account for the grant to the granting organization. We did that by a webpage with photos of the work before and after.


Steps 1 and 2 weren't easy but they weren't as bad as I thought. Steps 3 to 6 were really hard.
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:13 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Sharon View Post
About NSMBA
Mission Statement:

The North Shore Mountain Bike Association is an organization dedicated to the accessibility of trails and support of mountain biking on the North Shore.

# To keep trails challenging
# To be a voice for mountain biking on the North Shore
# To maintain the trails
# To keep the trails open
# To promote respect for the environment through cooperative trail maintenance & education
# To promote multiple use of trails & etiquette
You've proved my point. It should be on the front page, and it should be something that people can remember, not a bullet point list.
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