5 Questions with Shub of BROC

Did you know that Roanoke IMBA recently changed to BROC (Blue Ridge Off-Road Cyclists)?

The mission of mountain bikers in this organization hasn’t changed. BROC describes itself as a group of dedicated and passionate individuals whose mission is to create, enhance, and preserve trail opportunities for mountain bikers in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

Here’s more about the group of cyclists from Shabnam Gideon, or “Shub” as she is better known throughout the region.

1. Why the name change (from Roanoke IMBA to BROC)?

A couple reasons! When IMBA changed its chapter program a year or so ago, that reignited a question that had been on the back burner for a while, which was whether we should rename to be more inclusive of areas outside of Roanoke. The trails we ride and for which we advocate extend way beyond Roanoke proper, and we want to be sure our name represents all the trail systems and trail users that we support.

We don’t intend to dissociate from IMBA, and we want to make it clear that our interests and involvement aren’t limited to only Roanoke or to only mountain bikers. Our mission and vision support all off-road cyclists and routes in Roanoke and the surrounding Blue Ridge.

2. How is BROC funded?

Primarily through fundraising, made possible by a network of generous partners. The majority of our yearly income comes because we work with Roanoke Outside to organize and staff the significant volunteer effort for GO Fest beer sales. In exchange, we receive a portion of the event beer proceeds.

Other sources of income include membership fees, monetary and in-kind donations, and fiscal sponsorships.

3. What does BROC spend money on?

  • Trails: Sponsoring or organizing trail projects; renting or buying equipment
  • Rides and socials: Sponsoring or organizing group rides; organizing club socials
  • Education: Sponsoring or organizing trail building or trail riding workshops
  • Partner initiatives: Donating to partner organizations for specific projects
  • Members: A portion of member dues is retained by IMBA
  • Overhead: All the other basic things that go along with running a non-profits (taxes, website fees, bank fees, email platform costs, etc.)

4. What is something our region needs to be cautious of, as we continue to develop as a mountain bike destination?

Overdevelopment, meaning focusing on growth and expansion to the exclusion of preserving what makes us an excellent ride destination in the first place. Whether building trail, furthering ride opportunities, or any other activity that seeks to attract visitors and/or build usage, we must look ahead to the threats of overuse, overcrowding, and increased maintenance. Every time we create a new reason to ride here, and people take us up on it, we also expand our needs for trail maintenance, a long-term endeavor that requires planning and resources.

5. If a person is new to the area, or wants to get more into mountain biking, what advice would you give them on how to tap into our network of mountain bikers?

For events and group rides, check out: