Winter Is Coming...Get Your Grooming Badge!

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We've partnered with our friends at TART to bring you the 2018 Grooming Badge program! 

While we're loving the good weather to enjoy the trails and get ready for some fall races, we're admittedly getting just a little antsy for winter! Experts are calling for a cold and snowy winter once this warm weather moves on, and we're ready for another year of grooming on the Winter Sports Singletrack! 

Our grooming efforts are fueled by a collective passion for the trails, the hard work of a half-dozen volunteers that are often in the woods by 3 am, and by your support through our grooming badge program. Your badge purchase goes to help cover the fuel and equipment expenses that go into what can be a daily effort to keep the trails rideable. With lots of snow expected, we're going to need all the support we can get in order to give our trail users a world-class experience. 

If you fat bike or use the Winter Sports Singletrack (which is the Vasa Singletrack on Supply Road), your badge purchase is essential to keeping the trail open. There is also the option to buy a Combined Badge, which splits fund between the WST and the Vasa 25km Pathways. We have plenty of friends who love to ski and fat bike, and wish to support both trail efforts. Getting a combined badge will save you $10 compared to purchasing both separately! 

Traverse Area Recreational Trails are handling all badge sales to make it easy to find and easy to buy. You'll receive your badge in the mail in just a few days from when you purchase it. You can find more information on the grooming program and all things TART here, and make sure you indicate that you heard about the badges from your pals at NMMBA! 

To get right to the checkout page, you can head here. 

Watch for NMMBA grooming badges for sale at local bike shops like City Bike Shop, Brick Wheels, Einstein Cycles and more over the coming weeks. 

Tom White Awarded Jim Mudgett Trail Pioneer Award From TART

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Our friends at Traverse Area Recreational Trails have named Tom White the 2017 recipient of their Jim Mudgett Trail Pioneer Award. The honor is given to those who have shown leadership and passion in building and maintaining trails. Since 2004, the award has gone to trail stewards and advocates such as George Lombard, Ted Okerstrom, and a number of other worthy winners. In naming Tom their 2017 winner, TART has shown a new recognition for the year-round efforts of mountain and fat bike enthusiasts, in addition to its rich history of honoring skiers, walkers, and other non-motorized trail users. 

Tom has spent over three decades building and maintaining trails, and his expertise has reinvigorated Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association, as well as the countless volunteers that lend their time and effort to building a better recreational experience for others. 

Congratulations, Tom, and thank you for all that you've done to build our area into a trail mecca! 

NMMBA Fundraiser at Brew November 17!

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Michigan Mountain Bike Association is the state-wide organization that represents YOUR interests in Lansing. To help keep mountain bikers and all non-motorized trail user heard where it matters most, our friends at Short's Brewing Company and Brew hosting a fundraiser night! 

Join us at Brew at 5:30 for a fun, casual ride over the Commons and back with lights! We'll have two groups, ride for a while, and wheel back to Brew no later than 6:45 for some well-earned refreshments. 100% of the sales of two Short's Brewing beer options will go to MMBA! 

Can't make the ride? No worries. All Short's Beer sales between 6-8pm will go toward the fundraiser, so swing by when you can. 

To learn more about MMBA head here. While you're on the site, make sure you join NMMBA, your local chapter! 

Thank YOU For Supporting The 2017 Bear Claw Epic

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This past weekend, hundreds of mountain bikers of all abilities poured onto the Cadillac Pathways to celebrate and support the hard work and dedication that's gone into that trail system. 

NMMBA is proud to support the dedicated crew of volunteers who have invested so much time and effort into building and maintaining the Pathways. The trail system is of tremendous value to the Cadillac community, as well as being the main place to ride for people around the area. The seven mile loop serves as unmatched and unrivaled recreational riding, and on Saturday, it proved to be an impressive place to race as well! 

The third edition of the Bear Claw Epic as plenty warm, so much so that race organizers Michele Andrews and Dustin Webb, two NMMBA members, made the right call to shorten the Expert race to three laps. That's not a normal decision to have to make at the tail end of September in Northern Michigan, but it was well-received and put rider safety at the forefront of the day's affairs. 

Racers finishing we welcomed into the finish tent with pizza from G&D's, plus baked goods from Blue Heron. There were also plenty of volunteers handing out cold water and taking care of the tired riders, which was an absolute treat. Indeed, the volunteers out on course were a huge help, directing traffic and offering plenty of encouragement to every single racer, from 9am in the morning until the last rider across the line around 3pm. Events like the Bear Claw Epic, and the many fundraisers and rides we offer and support, are simply impossible without the time donated by countless of selfless individuals. 

Sean Kickbush and Lauri Brockmiller won the men's and women's Elite races, but there were impressive rides all day long. For many athletes, braving the hot conditions was challenge enough, but the fast, fun course made it an enjoyable challenge to say the least. 

You can see all of the day's results right here. 

You can stay in touch with Bear Claw Epic on Facebook and on their website, and stay in the loop with the Cadillac Pathways as well. 

Join Your Local MMBA Chapter

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There have been some very cool updates over on the MMBA.org site that make it easier than ever to join your local chapter and support the trails! 

JoinMMBA.org makes it easy to identify your local chapter, the trail systems they cover, and to join as a member. 80-90% of your membership dues stay right in your local chapter. That's right; the vast majority of funds stay right in here in Northern Michigan when you join Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association! Your funds go towards trail maintenance, events, and equipment costs that support our efforts across our region. 

You can join NMMBA today by visiting JoinMMBA.org and help us build, maintain, and protect the trails we love. 

ViSiT Updates Taking Shape

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Northern Michigan has been given a second lease on summer this week, with perfect riding temperatures and a reprieve from an especially soggy week to start September. Make the most of it, and take a look at some of the updates to the Vasa Singletrack. As a part of our two-year plan to make the Vasa Singletrack more sustainable and more fun, our crew have taken the trail piece by piece and shaped the current trail system to reflect better trail conditions. It's an almost signpost to signpost dissection to address exposed tree roots, sand pits, and stumps to make the trail flow better and hold up better to the peak traffic of autumn.  

Last week, our volunteers took on the opening section of the VST to reduce exposed roots and close tree stumps that have become issues with the trail. It's been a very fun project to address the look and ride quality of the trail, and the feedback we've received has been extremely positive. We've also addressed other sections of the trail, with bigger changes and long re-routes currently in the hands of the DNR in the form a trail proposal. While the approval process takes time, we are able to make these small scale changes to make your experience better today. 

We've also been working with our pals from TART to make changes to the Vasa 25km over the past few weeks in an effort to reduce erosion. Not only will these efforts make the riding experience better, but reducing the depth of the trail bed will allow for more consistent grooming conditions and a more even base for groomers this winter! 

The next time you head out into the woods, give the VST a spin and let us know what you think! 

2017 Bear Claw Epic Volunteer Sign-Up!

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It takes everyone to put on one heckuva show! The 2017 edition of the Bear Claw Epic in Cadillac is under a month away, and our pals are looking for a few helping hands to make the race a hit. 

Not racing? There are still plenty of reasons to head to Cadillac on September 23. Donating your time to the biggest fundraiser for the Cadillac Pathways is an incredibly useful way to help the trail become better and better. There's certainly plenty on the horizon for the Pathways, including a trail proposal for more singletrack and features that is making its way through the DNR right now. 

The race itself is worth watching, too. Some of the best riders in the state will be on the start line, with many of them using the Bear Claw Epic as THE race to kick off their fall build up towards other Nothern Michigan classics like Peak2Peak and the Iceman Cometh Challenge. 

What do we need help with? Our volunteer needs include registration and packet pick-up, course marshals, as well as course set-up and course tear down. 

If you're able to help, please fill out our 2017 Volunteer Form here. Don't forget to pick your t-shirt size so you're looking fresh for the whole day..and every time you wear it. 

 

Bear Claw Epic Is One Month Away!

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Our pals from Cadillac know how to put on one heckuva bike race! 

The 2017 edition of the Bear Claw Epic is just a month away, and we're hoping you've got September 23rd circled on your calendar. The BCE is a fundraiser to help us maintain and protect the Cadillac Pathways. The area is lucky to have a committed group of riders who have dedicated their time to not only building this race, but making sure the Pathways grows as a resource for the community. 

The race itself has already become a classic in Northern Michigan. The late September date is perfect for racers getting ready for a full fall campaign, with eyes set on the Iceman Cometh race in November. The timing of the event allows a good hard test of the legs, with plenty of time to gain fitness afterwards based on how the day goes. Cadillac is also an easy destination for riders in Traverse City and Grand Rapids using US-131 and we're expecting to see folks from all over back for this year. 

The race offers Beginner (1 Lap), Sport (3 Laps), Expert and Elite (4 Laps) category options for both men and women, in addition to age groups awards. There's even a cash purse that means you could win back your entry fee! 

Each lap is 7 miles with a combination of two-track and singletrack, with great opportunities to pass. It also offers 600 feet of climbing, which means the Expert and Elite riders will see over 2,000 feet of elevation gain over the course of their race. That's a significant challenge in Michigan, and the winner of the Bear Claw Epic is always someone that possess the ability to handle tough climbs and technical singletrack equally well. 

Racing starts at 9am with the Beginner and Sport categories, with Expert and Elite taking off at 1pm. Registration is open on the Bear Claw Epic website, along with plenty of details on the race, the course, and the day's events.