Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists may soon partner with the International Mountain Bicycling Association.

SDMB is set to vote on whether they should become an IMBA chapter at a retreat on Saturday.

SDMB’s president Zach MacDonald said the partnership makes a lot of sense for SDMB and there is a lot of support for the decision.

If the partnership is approved on Saturday and SDMB becomes an IMBA chapter, many administrative duties will be taken over by IMBA staff.

“We want to focus on the trails and giving back to the public,” MacDonald said. “As it is we spend a good deal of time doing administrative things and we are passing that on to them and they are equipped to do it.”

In addition, becoming an IMBA chapter provides representation and support from the regional director who lives in Phoenix.

“He provides a broader perspective and how other counties and cities have dealt with similar issues, so he is able to share solutions that they have come up with,” MacDonald said.

If the partnership goes through, the two groups will share the membership fees. If a bicyclist signs up to become an SDMB member their fee will be split between IMBA and SDMB and the bicyclist will become a member of both groups.

MacDonald said they recognize they might lose some membership revenue by becoming an IMBA chapter, but said they have been transitioning away from depending solely on dues.

“Membership isn’t our major source of revenue so we saw this as a good opportunity to make the change,” he said. “I think initially we will get a little less membership dollars, but in the long run we would really like to double, triple or quadruple our membership.”

The fees for membership will rise, however. Currently SDMB membership is $25 but will rise to match the IMBA membership of $35 a year.

MacDonald said SDMB will still be SDMB and be operated with the same bylaws and same directors.

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