Last month, the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) end its status as an IMBA chapter. Now, MBOSC has reverted back to an independent nonprofit with its main focus on local, Santa Cruz trails, and quickly signed up 100 new members on the first day of the change. The reasons for the restructuring and re-designation are mainly due to some of the recent changes that IMBA has made on the national level, specifically a shifting focus away from supporting local groups.

 "IMBA is a great organization and we've been happy to be a part of it for many years," said Matt De Young, MBOSC Executive Director. "But now is the right time to become independent and focus all our energy and resources on local projects and advocacy.”

Now, as an independent, MBOSC has the ability to dedicate 100 percent of its membership dues and donations to local trails and projects locally in Santa Cruz.

Credit: MBOSC

Existing members of MBOSC as an IMBA chapter will have their memberships automatically transferred to the new MBOSC structure and between now and January 31, all membership dues will be matched by donors up to $70,000. There are six membership levels in the new MBOSC: Trail Steward, Trail Guardian, Trail Boss, Trail Champion, Trail Hero and Trail Angel.

All new members who sign up and include auto-renewal will be entered into a drawing for a new Santa Cruz Bicycle of their choice.

"The most exciting reward is knowing how much this program will support our local trail-building and maintenance efforts," De Young said. "Membership is an important component of not only funding our work but also in showing the size and strength of the mountain bike community in our advocacy efforts."

Current and ongoing projects for MBOSC include large-scale plan developments for the far future with the City of Santa Cruz, new trail design and construction in Glenwood Open Space Preserve, trail re-routing in Wilder Ranch State Park and the design/construction of a new trail network in the San Vicente Redwoods. MBOSC also hosts annual dig days and is working on pumptrack construction and maintenance in several locations. Throughout the recent season, MBOSC staff and 398 volunteers completed 3,828 hours of trail work in Santa Cruz County parks.

For more information about the new MBOSC, including how to become a new member, visit their site here.

Some of the events and controversial decisions made by IMBA were discussed in a current Bike feature, "A Cause for Question," by reporter Devon O'Neil, which examines the recent history of IMBA and the organization's fluctuating position in the mountain bike political sphere.