Call To Serious Action: High Country Pathway Work Weekend


NMMBA past-President Glen R is leading another ambitious work bee on the High Country Pathway, and you can help! 

The High Country Pathway is one of the really wonderful trail systems that remains an undiscovered gem for far too many mountain bikers. This spring, we're heading back to the remote forests that serve as the backdrop of this wonderful trail to fix, clear, and enjoy a few select parts of the pathway on Memorial Day Weekend. 

The DNR has given us access to the Staff Bunkhouse, giving us overnight accommodations for both Friday and Saturday night. We'll meet Friday at 9 am for the first of two days of trail work. Because of this unique location, volunteers need to remember that this is especially tough work. We'll have to ride in to access work sections, as well as be prepared to carry all our own tools and water for four or more hours of work per day. 

The meet-up location and where we'll be bunking is right here: 9966 Twin Lakes Rd, Vanderbilt, MI 49795 

All food and lodging will be covered by NMMBA, but that muscle and elbow grease comes from trail stewards like YOU! For more information about this unique trail day, make sure you email Glen at Spots are limited, so if you're interested, let us know as soon as you can. 

For more information about the High Country Pathway, head here

Meeting Minutes: May 9

May 9 2018 Meeting Minutes

Call to Order: Chad Jordan, President 6:36pm

Attendees: Kim White, Tom White, John Roe, Mike Walters, Chad Jordan, Michele Andrews, Tim Reicha, Cody Sprattmoran

Guest: Cody Sovis

Board members absent: Steve Mentzer, Don Clewley, Dustin Webb

• Approval of prior meeting minutes: Tom motion, Kim 2nd - passed

• Wrap-up of MSB- Tom White:

Mostly positive feedback on the course; Tom spent many hours, with a fabulous crew of volunteers, prepping the course and removing snow/ice; Tom also trained a volunteer from Norte on how to mark for a race… many hours; time will tell if he lived/learned. Overall Pro/Elite winner said “best course ridden; had a little bit of everything.”  Announcer (Kerkhof) made several mentions of NMMBA and Tom’s work as well as pushed membership. He joined the night before with a round-up donation; this is progress as he’s been critical of us.

• Formation of the Committee for membership:  Chad Jordan, Kim White, John Roe and possibly other members; will seek volunteers via emails to members

·       Motion to approve $1,500 budget for additional merchandise by Kim; 2nd Tim - Approved

• Formation of the Committee for merchandising: Chad Jordan, Cody Sprattmoran, Tim Reicha; will seek volunteers via emails to members

• Financials- Kim White: All programs have good balances in the bank; Cadillac is starting to spend funds on their pavilion.

• EZ Form- Kim White: Provided for board to review via email; John Roe motion to approve; 2nd by Michele – passed. Kim will e-file the return.

• DNR news – for events of 20/25 people or more which have been publically advertised, regardless of if there’s a fee to participate, local officials have requested a use permit be obtained (can be blanket for recurring rides). This is understood to now include team/shop/club group rides and Speed-of-Light.  The use permit requires insurance. Cody and others to work through this with TART, CCCC and race teams.

·       Important dates:

o   May 12, 9am – Glacial Hills, Bellaire work bee

o   May 19, 10am – Cherry Basket Farm, Omena fundraising bike tour; includes lunch, wine, bread and cider tasting at various stops and dinner including cocktail and wine.

o   May 26, tbd – Cody will create event to share, contest for picking up trash on your local trails

o   May 26-28 – High Country Pathway work bee (Glen Ruczynski and TOMMBA hosting)

·       Traverse City Trails Festival – Tom White

o   Use permit going in next week

o   Will highlight new VST re-routes

o   Working with Ranch Rudolf on food options

o   Working with Norte on kids race, possible Strider bike race for wee ones

o   Has confirmed MC – the other Iceman, Brian Allen (Liz Belt’s hubby, he announces for snow-cross races with 30,000+ attendees as far away as Alaska and Western Canada)

o   Will need NMMBA board and volunteers to help with course marking, day of duties like SAG and search/rescue, aid stations (Kim to cover 1st , 45 North Vineyard taking 2nd and GT Cycles will provide finish line recovery).

o   Massages offered? Kim to check with L&S masseuse, Raina B

·       Strombolis trail proposal update: DNR rejected. Tom will re-submit after creating a new joint proposal with TART; meeting soon to establish trail surface design, trail width and grooming.

·       Bike Leelanau Update – Cody Sprattmoran

o   Palmer Woods (Leelanau Conservancy project) will start August with 1st 3-5 miles on the ground this “season”

o   Echo Valley (NPS/Friends of Sleeping Bear) staying in touch regularly; halted as Friends group had other things come up with SBHT

o   Provement Pond in Lake Leelanau (township) 4 miles by end of summer; starting with an existing trail

o   Herman Park in Suttons Bay (village) looking at pump track for 2019

o   Leelanau State Park working on donations/grants for new grooming equipment; lots of community support, little negative feedback

·       Cadillac Pathway – Michele Andrews

o   Pavilion has a contractor; found local source for white oak (free!) but might be too green to use for Cadillac. “Tears to cheers” in one day for Michele with the issues on getting this project a reality. Gift letter from NMMBA to State still tweaking all the legalese.

·       WST – John Roe

o   TART/DNR wrap meeting done. DNR wants more specific MOU

o   Will work on VST pavilion project

o   End of year survey found little support for a NMMBA combo badge (all groomed trails: CP, WST, GH, LSP)

o   TC Track Club and TART will be meeting re: trail running and possibly winter groomed running trail

·       Communications – Cody Sovis

o   As always, needs our photos of being out on the trails; text or email to him

·       Glacial Hills – Tim Reicha

o   Gravel being set this week for parking lot expansion; material free, but cost to move $6,000

o   Next up, adding vault toilets and changing rooms at both Eckhardt & Vandermark trail heads; done by end of June.

·       ReViSiT – Mike Walters

o   Prepping for MSB took care of a VST re-route

o   TCTF prepping will take care of trouble areas. 

Meeting adjourned 9:12pm                                    

Minutes Submitted: May 12, 2018 Kim White, acting secretary

A Mud, Sweat and Beers Thank You!

 Photo Credit: Birgit Yetter

Photo Credit: Birgit Yetter

Folks, it was an unforgettable day at the 2018 edition of Mud, Sweat and Beers this past weekend. 

As many of you know, the directors of Mud, Sweat and Beers, NMMBA board members and volunteers, plus ample support from Norte put in a massive amount of man power to make sure this great event went off safely on Saturday. For two weeks, we pulled out all the stops (and all our axes) to shovel snow, cut trail, and literally chop ice in order to clear sections of the Vasa Pathway and several miles of singletrack to make a course that was not just rideable, but really enjoyable, too. 

All the work was well worth it. This Saturday was a truly unforgettable coming-together of our cycling community, with hundreds of enthusiastic, healthy, and friendly folks joining forces to make the 9th edition of MSB one of the most spectacular yet. We want to give a special nod to board members Mike Walter and Chad Jordan for racing even after plenty of hard work shoveling. We also need to thank Tom White, Dan Ellis, and all the other folks who manned their shovels over the past ten days to help make this course possible. We're also very thankful to Norte and Jason Plum for doing a lot of work to mark the course and make sure no one ended up in Kalkaska on race day! 

This summer, join us in supporting more great events, great memories, and great rides. Your membership helps us keep the trails not just open, but a thriving place to connect, relax, and enjoy nature. If you enjoyed this past weekend, we have great news; we're only getting started! 


May Rides, Fundraisers and Trail Days In Northern Michigan


Spring is finally here and we're ready to hit the dirt! 

Of course, some of that dirt is still buried under some ice and snow. We'll be keeping you up-to-date on course conditions for Saturday's Mud, Sweat and Beers as much as we can through race day. We want to thank everyone who has spent time with a shovel in hand to make the course safe; if you're out riding, take a second to break up some snow or ice, pick up sticks, and watch for missing arrows, too. 

There are plenty of great events beyond Saturday, and you don't have to wait long! While you're cleaning up your mountain bike, consider heading out the Jolly Pumpkin for the Spring Pumpkin Pedal on May 6 at noon. Donations go to our friends at TART, with 20 and 40 mile routes to choose from and a few hundred riders to roll with. 

Next weekend, Glacial Hills is calling all hands on deck for their Spring Work Day! Originally planned for Earth Day, the long winter meant the big work bee- and most trail work- has been pushed back May 12. We're going to need all the help we can to get Glacial in primo shape. You can lend a hand at 10 am, with plenty of more details here. 

After a weekend of racing and a weekend of working, why not relax a bit? Bike Leelanau has organized a ride that the gourmand is sure to love. Hop in for a bike tour, dinner, and wine tasting with some of Leelanau County's finest culinary experts! May 19 is a great chance to indulge at Spoke'n'Fork, the first of what we hope with be a recurring event to ride, eat, and make merry! 

If you've still got a bit in the tank by May 19, consider making the short drive south for the Arcadia Grit & Gravel! Our friends at the Grand Traverse Regional Conservancy work hard to keep Arcadia in great shape, and this annual race features fast gravel roads before putting racers onto the singletrack. It's a treat to race in the blooming trilliums, too! 

Riding conditions at Cadillac Pathway are already great, so make sure you keep up to date on future trail days and rides on their Facebook page

Leelanau Conservancy: Earth Day Bike Demo

There are some great things happening in Leelanau County! Bike Leelanau, the Leelanau Conservancy, and 45 North Recreational Trail teamed up for an Earth Day Bike Demo. It's events like this that help show families the fun of spending time together on two wheels. These organizations offer alternatives to screens that enrich the health of families, communities, and help to instill an appreciation for the outdoors that lasts a lifetime!