Boost Your Bike Club's Membership: 16 Proven Strategies

For mountain bike clubs, bike parks and associations

How do I get more members in my club?

Unlock the secrets to growing your mountain bike club's membership with our 16 proven strategies!

In this article we talk about how to increase membership sign ups and to attract more members to your club. These strategies range from behind the scenes technology and process improvement to more public member engagement and wider community connection.

Read on for inspiration on how to boost your club’s membership



As anyone behind the scenes of a volunteer organisation knows, growth is really important for a number of reasons.

  • Revenue
    - membership subs are a vital source of consistent income and the greater your funds, the more you will be able to achieve.
  • Community
    - building a strong community that people want to support and be a part of.
  • A louder voice
    - when it comes to applying for funding or lobbying for access, the more people your organisation represents, the more leverage you have
  • Collaboration
    - as a larger organisation with a strong local presence, securing sponsorship, member deals and support from other local businesses can be easier
  • A cycle of positivity
    - members can tangibly see that their investment in the club brings results that benefit them and the club as a whole.
Dramatic image of riders at night

Member Lifecycle Management (MLM) Funnel

The local terrain attracts a diverse pool of mountain bikers, yet a mere fraction, estimated between 2% to 10%, are currently enlisted as members of the local MTB club. This gap represents a vast opportunity for membership expansion.

The MLM Funnel is designed to channel a greater number of local riders through a structured journey, transforming them from casual riders to committed club members. The ultimate objective is to migrate as many riders as possible down the funnel, converting them into active club members.

Member retention is a crucial phase within this funnel, aimed at sustaining membership longevity and re-engaging individuals whose memberships have lapsed. By focusing on delivering consistent value and maintaining a vibrant club culture, we aspire to not only retain active members but also rekindle the interest of expired members.

Member funnel
Member funnel diagram
Local MTB Riders
The broadest category representing all mountain bike riders in the local vicinity. These riders may or may not be aware of the club.
Action: Identification and Outreach. Pinpoint local riders through community events, social media, and biking trails, and initiate contact to introduce them to the club's offerings.
Club Prospects
Riders who have shown interest or engaged with the club in some capacity, yet haven’t committed to membership.
Action: Engagement and Conversion. Engage these prospects with personalised communication, exclusive event invitations, and membership benefits previews to encourage membership conversion.
Club Members
Riders who have transitioned to full membership, actively participating in club activities and events.
Action: Engagement and Retention. Foster a vibrant community, provide value through organised events, skill development sessions, and regular communication to ensure ongoing member satisfaction and retention.
Expired Members
Individuals whose memberships have lapsed, but with a potential interest in rejoining the club under the right circumstances.
Action: Re-engagement. Reach out to these former members with special rejoining offers, updates on club improvements and new benefits, aiming to reignite their interest and encourage membership renewal.

Member Acquisition, Engagement and Retention

While some of the MLM methods below are specifically for either acquisition, engagement or retention most of them cover all of these areas. Methods that should form a basis of any MLM plan are marked as Core.

Implementing a mix of these strategies can help in creating a vibrant, growing mountain bike club. Each club is unique, so it may be beneficial to tailor these suggestions based on the specific needs and characteristics of your club and its current members.

Member retention image
  • Community Engagement
    • Build awareness
      amongst trail users that there is a simple and cost effective opportunity to support the organisation that plans, builds and maintains the trail network they enjoy. Core
    • Engage
      with the local community through both riding and non-riding events, workshops, or trail building or maintenance initiatives. Being active in the community can attract individuals who are interested in mountain biking or outdoor activities.
    • Skill Development Workshops.
      Organise beginner-friendly rides and workshops to attract individuals who are new to mountain biking. Offering a supportive environment for them to learn and enjoy can improve member retention. Offer workshops that focus on developing technical skills for more advanced riders and under-represented groups, i.e: women and youth
    • Local School Engagements.
      Engage with local schools to introduce mountain biking to students. Organising school visits or offering special club memberships to students can attract younger members.
    • Events.
      Competitions or social events can create excitement and draw in new members who want to be part of an active, competitive community. Core
    • Popup Information Booths.
      Set up information booths at popular local trails or outdoor events to promote your club and interact with potential members. Local market days present a great opportunity for building awareness, collaborating with other organisations or selling memberships and merchandise.
    • Open days.
      If your trail centre is a ‘pay to play’ area, encourage potential new members by offering a free or discounted ride day. If your trail centre is free to use, consider choosing a weekend to have a presence at the hub to raise awareness, chat to trail users and promote upcoming / ongoing projects and events in the area.
    • Q&A night.
      Invite members and encourage them to bring along non-members to answer questions and find out more about how the club works and spends their membership fees etc.
    • Host Charity Rides.
      Organise charity rides where members and non-members can participate to raise funds for a good cause, thereby improving community engagement and attracting new members.
  • Technology
    • SEO.
      Optimise your club's website for search engines so your club is displayed when local riders search for related topics.
    • Responsiveness.
      Ensure that your website functions well on mobile devices as a large proportion of potential members will be on mobile.
    • Online advertising.
      This is a complex topic and we will release a future article about this.
  • Marketing
    • Social Media Marketing.
      Utilise social media platforms to showcase the benefits and experiences of being a member of your club. Sharing images, videos, and stories from current members can help in attracting new members.
    • Influencer Marketing.
      Collaborate with local or industry-specific influencers such as top athletes to promote your club on social media platforms. Also ask your followers to # tag your organisation when they’re out enjoying your trails. It’s a great way to gather free content that can be really great.
    • Merchandise.
      Promote your organisation by creating merchandise that people want to buy and wear with pride, helping with club visibility and desire to be part of the club.
  • Collaborations with other organisations
    • Local Businesses.
      Partner with local bike shops, cafes, breweries or other businesses to offer discounts to your club members. In return, these businesses could promote your club to their customers. Ensuring that members perceive a high value in their membership will aid in retention. Core
    • Work with Tourism Boards.
      Collaborate with local tourism boards to promote your club as a part of the local adventure tourism scene which could attract visiting enthusiasts.
    • Engage with Local Government.
      Engage with local governmental bodies to promote mountain biking as a healthy recreational activity and explore possibilities for support or promotion through city channels.
    • Run partner events
      or information nights with other non-profits who may have aligned interests; i.e: conservation, replanting or trapping.
    • Collaborate on trail projects
      with other trail relevant organisations (where applicable), to create an overall more comprehensive, stronger trail network.
  • Competitions
    • Raffle / lottery.
      Set up a members only competition. E.g. 3+ consecutive years of membership, go in the draw to win a bike, or twice yearly draws from the membership pool to win a prize or a coaching session etc.
    • Milestone prizes.
      Promote membership milestones and offer prizes to new sign ups. Close to a milestone e.g. 1000 members. Offer a prize for the 1000th member.
    • Name a trail competition.
      Hold a vote or take suggestions for a new trail name. This can be done via social media or at an event. The winner can open the trail and have the first run down.
    • New member rewards.
      Random members that signed up that month are selected for a prize from a sponsor.
  • Referral program
    • Establish a referral program
      where existing members can refer new members in exchange for some benefits like discounts on membership fees, exclusive merchandise or a chance to win a prize.
  • Automated Reminders
    • Send email reminders
      to complete the registration process to those who have not yet become paid members. Core
    • Easy renewal.
      Once a membership has expired, make it quick and easy to renew. E.g. One click renew from email. Core
  • News Updates
    • Maintain regular communication
      with members through newsletters or mobile app notifications to keep them informed about upcoming events, club updates, and other benefits. Core
    • Keep members informed
      of where money is being spent / what work is happening. This can be done on the club website, via comms channels and by ensuring that local media are supplied with interesting up to date information on club projects, events and plans. Core
    • Send out regular newsletters
      that include interesting information relevant to a wide audience. There is a clear difference in performance of clubs that do regular good social media and newsletter updates vs none. Core
  • Member feedback
    • Establish feedback loops
      to understand the needs and preferences of your members. Addressing their concerns and continuously improving the club based on feedback can result in higher retention rates.
    • Some member feedback could be used as testimonials.
      You could use testimonials from satisfied members in your marketing materials to build trust with potential new members.
    • Establish easy and clear channels
      for two-way communication that are available at any time. When members have an initiative that they want to share with their club, it should be easy.
  • Offer other membership types
    • Family and group memberships.
      Providing the option for family or group memberships can encourage more people to join together. Often a single rider may join their entire family to help support the club and to encourage their family to get more involved in riding.
      Group memberships, especially with incentives like discounts for groups of five or more, can attract a broader audience. Moreover, tailored membership packages for corporate teams and school groups can further expand club participation and engagement. Core
    • Recurring subscriptions.
      Auto-renewing subscriptions significantly benefit member numbers by enhancing retention rates. When memberships automatically renew, it eliminates the delay and potential hesitancy or procrastination that often comes with manual renewal processes. Core
    • Rolling memberships.
      A new membership is automatically dated for 12 months from the date or sign up, rather than expiring at a fixed date. Members don’t typically sign up in the last 3-6 months of a fixed term, so a rolling membership can help boost members numbers. Core
    • Short term memberships.
      Visitor memberships can be a great way for those visiting the area to support the club financially and become engaged in your club culture. QR codes on the trail or partnership with local bike shops can be a great way to promote this.
    • Membership tiers.
      Offer different membership tiers with varying benefits and price points to cater to a wider audience e.g. bronze, silver, gold. Your membership platform should have a way for members to easily upgrade their memberships to a higher tier and provide additional benefits.
  • Registration process
    • Make signing up to your organisation as simple and seamless as possible.
      . If the user has to pause or think they can drop off. Using QR Codes is a great way to send a potential member directly to the registration screen. Core
  • Volunteer Recognition
    • Recognize and celebrate members who volunteer
      their time for club activities, which can foster a positive community and encourage others to get involved.
  • Develop a Unique Club Identity
    • Create a unique identity
      or culture for your club that sets it apart from others, making it an attractive choice for individuals seeking a distinctive community. This can tie in with merchandise sales.
  • Transparency
    • Greater membership satisfaction
      can be gained by ensuring the club is transparent about everything so its members know what is going on and where money is being spent etc. This needs to be done regularly, more often than once a year at the AGM.
  • Under-represented member demographics
    • Targeting under-represented member demographics
      , including women and youth, can enhance club participation. Organising tailored coaching sessions, races, and events for these groups creates a more inclusive environment and can positively impact membership numbers.
  • Sponsorship
    • Sponsor a local youth rider
      to help them get to local/national races or overseas. Give them free extra coaching, bike maintenance assistance or a branded kit from their local club for them to race in. Ask them to be an ambassador and mention your support on social media.


If you're in the market for a membership management platform, don't miss our comprehensive step-by-step guide.
Our Membership Software Buyer's Guide for Bike Organisations has everything you need to make an informed decision.

Our next article will cover some real world case studies of these methods in action. The link will be added here.

We would love to hear if you found these useful or had any ideas to add.
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Written by
Ronnie Baker
Flon Mackenzie