Michigan Trails Week: The Cadillac Pathway

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The Cadillac Pathway has been around for a long time, but it’s only been in the past three years that a team of volunteers have breathed new life into the trails. Michele Andrews, Erik Rogers, Dustin Webb, and a handful of others have turned the Cadillac Pathway into a community resource that’s greatly in need in Wexford County.

The Pathway currently consists of hiking, running, and mountain bike trails with loops ranging from two to eleven miles. The undulating, rolling terrain is perfect for riders of all abilities, with a few sections of tighter singletrack offering cyclists great mix of riding in a relatively small area.

That breadth of terrain also lends itself to a great mountain bike race. For the fourth year, racers from all over the state enjoyed the Bear Claw Epic, the biggest fundraiser for the Pathway and a chance for the community to show off the trails, businesses, and people that make our hometown so great.

While the big race of the year is behind us, we have plenty to look forward to in 2018 and beyond. We’re expecting our new Pavilion to be completed this fall, offering a place for everyone to come together, eat, relax, and mingle after a fun day on the trail. We also offer winter grooming for cross-country skiing and fat biking, which will begin as soon as we see the first sustainable snowflakes of the season!

And finally, we’re extremely proud to announce that the Michigan DNR just approved our plan to add another eleven miles of trail, with work on those trails to begin in spring of 2019! We see the future of the Pathway as full of potential, and we can’t wait to welcome you to our neck of the woods!

For maps, parking, donation, and more information, head to cadillacpathway.org and make sure you keep up with the latest Pathway news on Facebook and Instagram.

It's Michigan Trails Week with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources!

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This week is all about highlighting trails across Michigan, and since we’re pretty partial to a few in our neck of the woods, we’re going to highlight one trail every day.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has selected September 22 through September 29 to celebrate all of the incredible state-owned recreational trails across Michigan. The week is meant to offer information about the trails to help people learn about their history, their use, and what’s next for non-motorized recreation in their area. We’re proud to work with the DNR in managing and protecting our natural spaces, and to help with the week, we’ve put together a little info about each trail that we have-as well as what’s to come!

This week, watch our Facebook and Instagram accounts for stories, photos, and more from the following trail systems:

Tuesday: Cadillac Pathway
Wednesday: Glacial Hills
Thursday: Vasa Singletrack and Pere Marquette Forest
Friday: Bike Leelanau

We’ll focus on what trail conditions and terrain is like right now for each trail, but also offer some of the exciting things to come, including more miles of trail, new features and amenities, and events that you’re not going to want to miss.

Of course, if you really want to stay in the loop, make sure you become a member of NMMBA, and sign up for our monthly newsletter that’ll keep you up to speed on all things trails between Cadillac, Bellaire, and Northport!

September Board Meeting Minutes

NMMBA  Board of Directors Meeting 

Date and Location: Wednesday September 12th, 2018 Keen Loft

Board Present: Chad Jordan, Tim Reicha III, Tom White, John Roe, Michele Andrews, Cotopaxi Sprattmoran, Steve Mentzer, Mike Walters, Kim White and Tim Jenema.

Board Absent: Dustin Webb and Don Clewley

Chad called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.

Before heading into the agenda Chad recognized newest board member Tim Jenema and also Tim Reicha as NMMBA V.P.

With a motion from Tim R. and a 2nd from Tom the minutes from August were approved. Unanimous vote.

 

Our mission statement was a part of our agenda. And will appear on all future agendas. A slight revision bringing attention to our trail building will be inserted.

 

Michele started out with great news. Her trail proposal which had been awaiting approval from the DNR was approved after 2 years!!

 

Online Voting:

Some topics that need approval that fall in between scheduled meetings require a majority vote to proceed. This requires online discussion and voting.

Topics are outlined with brief discussion then a motion is made. Further discussion then occurs. A 2nd  to the motion is then made.

Chad then makes the call as to when a vote is made. These email threads should be confined to the topic and nothing else.

 

Bear Claw Epic:

Michele stated that all is set for the race. A 10 x 10 tent is needed. Also feather banners would look great as well.

Merchandise to be sold at event.

Michele expressed a need for an announcer. Some names were suggested. Among those were Tim Brick.

 

In other Pathway news the pavillion architectural drawings were still being reviewed.

 

 

 

Camp Greilick Update:

Tim and Chad met with Nick Killian. They currently have a 3 mile walking trail now. Lot's of potential to build additional trail and connect to VST via Muncie Lakes trail.

Many amenities for a variety of activities.

 

Some questions came up as to what is expected of NMMBA and what do we expect in return for our services.

 

Do we just build trail and walk away? Or do we dictate when we use the trail? When connected we could host many events from CG.

 

And would we serve on an advisory committee to decide future events?

 

And should we enter into further discussions with Nick to develop a trail network. Yes!

Committee formed. Cotopaxi S., Tom, John and Dan Novak.

 

Pure Michigan Trail Designation:

There were some discussions with Melissa Werkman and because of concerns this topic was tabled.

 

Emergency Response Plan for VST:

All felt this was critical to have a plan in place.

Anything from downed trees to someone needing attention requires a precise mapping system.

Iceman and Vasa Ski club have similar plans in place.

 

Pat Parker from G.T. Fire Dept. has a GPS device to help with mapping. Downside is for it to be effective one can go no faster than 6 mph.

 

More to follow.

 

Naming the Unmarked trails:

What do we call this trail system?

Traverse City Trail System

Traverse City Trail Network

Pere Marquette Forest Trails.

 

Decision can be made over the winter.

Excel spreadsheet to be accessible by all.

 

 

 

Tom:

Tom had a handout (attached) of various projects and task trackers.

 

Discussion centered around TCTF and possible venue change and sponsor dollars.

 

It was agreed that NMMBA was committed to the Ranch for 2019. If any venue change would be made it would not come until 2020. But we would need a new model if venue changed.

Also brought up was that if race/tour switched to Sunday, Ranch waives fees. So in an effort to cut costs we could switch to Sunday.

 

Sponsor fees and how that money is spent was also discussed. Tom's model was that fees would decline thereby making cost cutting efforts paramount.

 

Also talked about was beer/food sales.

 

Discussion centered around a Winter Fat bike event at the Ranch. Some discussion.

Tim R. made a motion to hold a Fat Bike event this winter, Cotopaxi 2nd the motion. Unanimous vote. Details to be worked out by November meeting.

 

The Summer Fiesta was a huge success and will be an annual event. Time Trial format to remain.

 

Membership committee to hear study results. Kim spearheading this.

 

VST MOU. Kasey along with Scott Slavin from the DNR have prioritized this and Chad will follow up with any new info.

 

Website update: Questions board members are getting are “why are the trails not listed on our website?”

 

We can start with core trails then add Vasa(TART). Drop down links would identify BCE, Glacial Hills, Bike Leelanau and VST.

 

Was decided to continue this discussion online.

 

Another marketing tool was brochures. Seasonal brochures promoting summer and winter biking options.

 

 

 

 

Winter Badge Program:

Badge program specifics to be hashed out by committee.

 

Costs of badges to the public were discussed.

Currently Glacial Hills charges $39.00. Cadillac Pathway charges $25.00 and TC charges $60.00

 

It was decided that badge sales for Bike Leelanau would not go far in sustaining their expenses so they can be lumped into TC in that regard. Still to be sold for $39.00

 

Any combo sales would result in $10.00 off total. CP to mull over raising their price to match GH at $39.00

 

John to order 500 badges.

 

Some brought up a possible design change to the grooming badges. One idea was a “mother” badge with room for 4 stickers depicting the four different trail systems.

 

Questions arose as to how these would be distributed to the trails and who would absorb discounts on multiple badge sales. Each trail would absorb the discount?

 

More discussion needed.

 

Bike Leelanau:

Talk of hiring an Executive Director. Would be a paid position. This person would be responsible for grant writing among other duties.

 

Decisions needed on payroll, benefits, multi-year commitment. What expenses are reimbursed: cell phone, travel, etc.

 

Bentonville MTB Summit:

Cotopaxi S. and Chad are willing to attend on behalf of NMMBA. Then present upon their return. Summit is In October. Also going is Brian Beauchamp of TART.

Cotopaxi and Chad are looking to have some of their expenses reimbursed.

 Discussion as to mode of travel, entry fee, housing, etc.

 

Kim made a motion to budget $700.00 for each. Tim R. with the 2nd.

Unanimous vote.

 

 

 

 

 

MTB Summit in Grand Rapids:

Event will be the week after Iceman. Tuesday through Thursday November 6th – 8th.

 

Cost is $175.00 each. Rooms are $142.00 apiece but better deals can be had.

6-7 board members may attend. More to follow on this.

 

Attachments:

GH Update:

Glacial Hills update:

·     e-bike sign installation happening (see attachment)

·     building moving paid for and waiting to be scheduled for vault toilets/changing rooms and new ATV shed

·     Glacial Hills Challenge, 303 racers, up from 235, $2015 check received

·     also received several donations from racers to the ATV challenge

·     consider course change/ alternate direction for 2019

·     grant writing: any small grants on anyone's radar? Skills clinic, bike fix stations (4)

·     ATV challenge update $11,501 received, ATV and shed purchased

·     ten new marked loops being mapped and installed this fall

 

Bike Leelanau Update:

Now on to the Bike Leelanau notes:

Flow Track has made huge headway at Palmer Woods and the trails are beyond beautiful. A volunteer orientation is scheduled for this Thursday from 6-8 to get volunteers on-boarded and ready to go. There will be a trail opening party at some point in October, keep an ear out for dates and more info.

 

We have been given approval to build an initial 1 mile of multi-use trail at Provemont Pond just outside of Lake Leelanau.

Thanks to Chad, the application for a permit for the 2018/2019 winter sports trail has been sent in. We are waiting to hear back from the DNR regarding the position.

As officially written in the Leelanau Enterprise, the National Park Service has the environmental assessment for the Echo Valley Trails on the books for the 2019 fiscal year.

The Leelanau Bike Library is almost out of bikes. We are currently accepting donations for more balance bikes. Huge thanks to Suttons Bay Bikes for matching donations up to 10 balance bikes. Anyone you know want to donate a kids bike in good condition?

 

Pending approval from Suttons Bay Township, the Leelanau Bike Library will move from Chad's barn to a Suttons Bay Township Park. Thanks to Bahle's Storage of Suttons Bay for donating the mobile storage units.

 

We are looking at a match grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to build a pump track at Herman Park in Lake Leelanau.

Submitted by

Steve Mentzer, secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 NMMBA  Board of Directors Meeting

 

Date and Location: Wednesday September 12th, 2018 Keen Loft

Board Present: Chad Jordan, Tim Reicha III, Tom White, John Roe, Michele Andrews, Cotopaxi Sprattmoran, Steve Mentzer, Mike Walters, Kim White and Tim Jenema.

Board Absent: Dustin Webb and Don Clewley

Chad called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.

Before heading into the agenda Chad recognized newest board member Tim Jenema and also Tim Reicha as NMMBA V.P.

With a motion from Tim R. and a 2nd from Tom the minutes from August were approved. Unanimous vote.

Our mission statement was a part of our agenda. And will appear on all future agendas. A slight revision bringing attention to our trail building will be inserted.

Michele started out with great news. Her trail proposal which had been awaiting approval from the DNR was approved after 2 years!!

Online Voting:

Some topics that need approval that fall in between scheduled meetings require a majority vote to proceed. This requires online discussion and voting.

Topics are outlined with brief discussion then a motion is made. Further discussion then occurs. A 2nd  to the motion is then made.

Chad then makes the call as to when a vote is made. These email threads should be confined to the topic and nothing else

Bear Claw Epic:

Michele stated that all is set for the race. A 10 x 10 tent is needed. Also feather banners would look great as well.

Merchandise to be sold at event.

Michele expressed a need for an announcer. Some names were suggested. Among those were Tim Brick.

In other Pathway news the pavillion architectural drawings were still being reviewed.

Camp Greilick Update:

Tim and Chad met with Nick Killian. They currently have a 3 mile walking trail now. Lot's of potential to build additional trail and connect to VST via Muncie Lakes trail.

Many amenities for a variety of activities.

Some questions came up as to what is expected of NMMBA and what do we expect in return for our services.

Do we just build trail and walk away? Or do we dictate when we use the trail? When connected we could host many events from CG.

And would we serve on an advisory committee to decide future events?

And should we enter into further discussions with Nick to develop a trail network. Yes!

Committee formed. Cotopaxi S., Tom, John and Dan Novak.

 

Pure Michigan Trail Designation:

There were some discussions with Melissa Werkman and because of concerns this topic was tabled.

Emergency Response Plan for VST:

All felt this was critical to have a plan in place.

Anything from downed trees to someone needing attention requires a precise mapping system.

Iceman and Vasa Ski club have similar plans in place.

Pat Parker from G.T. Fire Dept. has a GPS device to help with mapping. Downside is for it to be effective one can go no faster than 6 mph.

More to follow

Naming the Unmarked trails:

What do we call this trail system?

Traverse City Trail System

Traverse City Trail Network

Pere Marquette Forest Trails.

 

Decision can be made over the winter.

Excel spreadsheet to be accessible by all.

Tom:

Tom had a handout (attached) of various projects and task trackers.

Discussion centered around TCTF and possible venue change and sponsor dollars.

It was agreed that NMMBA was committed to the Ranch for 2019. If any venue change would be made it would not come until 2020. But we would need a new model if venue changed.

Also brought up was that if race/tour switched to Sunday, Ranch waives fees. So in an effort to cut costs we could switch to Sunday.

Sponsor fees and how that money is spent was also discussed. Tom's model was that fees would decline thereby making cost cutting efforts paramount.

Also talked about was beer/food sales.

Discussion centered around a Winter Fat bike event at the Ranch. Some discussion.

Tim R. made a motion to hold a Fat Bike event this winter, Cotopaxi 2nd the motion. Unanimous vote. Details to be worked out by November meeting.

The Summer Fiesta was a huge success and will be an annual event. Time Trial format to remain.

Membership committee to hear study results. Kim spearheading this.

VST MOU. Kasey along with Scott Slavin from the DNR have prioritized this and Chad will follow up with any new info.

Website update: Questions board members are getting are “why are the trails not listed on our website?”

We can start with core trails then add Vasa(TART). Drop down links would identify BCE, Glacial Hills, Bike Leelanau and VST.

Was decided to continue this discussion online

Another marketing tool was brochures. Seasonal brochures promoting summer and winter biking options.

Winter Badge Program:

Badge program specifics to be hashed out by committee.

Costs of badges to the public were discussed.

Currently Glacial Hills charges $39.00. Cadillac Pathway charges $25.00 and TC charges $60.00

It was decided that badge sales for Bike Leelanau would not go far in sustaining their expenses so they can be lumped into TC in that regard. Still to be sold for $39.00

Any combo sales would result in $10.00 off total. CP to mull over raising their price to match GH at $39.00

John to order 500 badges.

Some brought up a possible design change to the grooming badges. One idea was a “mother” badge with room for 4 stickers depicting the four different trail systems.

Questions arose as to how these would be distributed to the trails and who would absorb discounts on multiple badge sales. Each trail would absorb the discount?

More discussion needed.

Bike Leelanau:

Talk of hiring an Executive Director. Would be a paid position. This person would be responsible for grant writing among other duties.

Decisions needed on payroll, benefits, multi-year commitment. What expenses are reimbursed: cell phone, travel, etc.

 

Bentonville MTB Summit:

Cotopaxi S. and Chad are willing to attend on behalf of NMMBA. Then present upon their return. Summit is In October. Also going is Brian Beauchamp of TART.

Cotopaxi and Chad are looking to have some of their expenses reimbursed.

 Discussion as to mode of travel, entry fee, housing, etc.

Kim made a motion to budget $700.00 for each. Tim R. with the 2nd.

Unanimous vote.

MTB Summit in Grand Rapids:

Event will be the week after Iceman. Tuesday through Thursday November 6th – 8th.

Cost is $175.00 each. Rooms are $142.00 apiece but better deals can be had.

6-7 board members may attend. More to follow on this.

GH Update:

Glacial Hills update:

·     e-bike sign installation happening (see attachment)

·     building moving paid for and waiting to be scheduled for vault toilets/changing rooms and new ATV shed

·     Glacial Hills Challenge, 303 racers, up from 235, $2015 check received

·     also received several donations from racers to the ATV challenge

·     consider course change/ alternate direction for 2019

·     grant writing: any small grants on anyone's radar? Skills clinic, bike fix stations (4)

·     ATV challenge update $11,501 received, ATV and shed purchased

·     ten new marked loops being mapped and installed this fall

 

Bike Leelanau Update:

Now on to the Bike Leelanau notes:

Flow Track has made huge headway at Palmer Woods and the trails are beyond beautiful. A volunteer orientation is scheduled for this Thursday from 6-8 to get volunteers on-boarded and ready to go. There will be a trail opening party at some point in October, keep an ear out for dates and more info.

We have been given approval to build an initial 1 mile of multi-use trail at Provemont Pond just outside of Lake Leelanau.

Thanks to Chad, the application for a permit for the 2018/2019 winter sports trail has been sent in. We are waiting to hear back from the DNR regarding the position.

As officially written in the Leelanau Enterprise, the National Park Service has the environmental assessment for the Echo Valley Trails on the books for the 2019 fiscal year.

The Leelanau Bike Library is almost out of bikes. We are currently accepting donations for more balance bikes. Huge thanks to Suttons Bay Bikes for matching donations up to 10 balance bikes. Anyone you know want to donate a kids bike in good condition?

Pending approval from Suttons Bay Township, the Leelanau Bike Library will move from Chad's barn to a Suttons Bay Township Park. Thanks to Bahle's Storage of Suttons Bay for donating the mobile storage units.

We are looking at a match grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to build a pump track at Herman Park in Lake Leelanau.

 

 

 

 

Submitted by

Steve Mentzer, secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NMMBA Steps Us As The Stewards of the Iceman Cometh Course

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This is a really big deal. For 2018, Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association will be the go-to organization for all-things course design for the biggest race in North America, the Iceman Cometh Challenge. 

For nearly 30 years, the Iceman Cometh Challenge has been a legendary part of the mountain bike season not just in Michigan, but for riders across the country. At nearly 5,000 riders, it's the biggest one-day point-to-point mountain bike race in North America, and we don't always appreciate just how lucky we are to have an event like this in our own backyard. From World Champions to the best racers in the Midwest, and from first-timers to the local heroes, Iceman is more than a bike race; it's a pilgrimage from Kalkaska to Traverse City, a turn from fall to winter, and a bridge from one racing season into the next. 

We also don't always realize just what a monumental task it can be to maintain a safe, fun, and sustainable course, and as a part of our race course design expertise, we'll be working to bring you the best possible course for 2018. Steve Brown and his team of Ice-people have asked us to help get the course into shape, and we're honored to have the opportunity to help create a course that Northern Michigan can be proud of. 

A big part of Iceman and the full experience starts well before race day, and we realize that weekly Out'n'Backs are a fun and important part of training for November. You may have already noticed that huge swaths of the course are clear of face-slappers and downed trees; we've had crews in the woods addressing these issues and more for a few weeks now, and we'll continue to keep the course clear all September and October. We want to offer the course to riders locally and to those making the drive to Traverse City for a recon and help every accomplish the right of passage that is your very first Out'n'Back. 

Stay tuned all fall for more course updates, and make sure you join us and our pals from kolo t.c. on October 13 for the BIGGEST Out'n'N'Back of the year. One week before Peak2Peak and three before Iceman, it's the perfect time for riders of all abilities to give the full Out'n'Back a go, especially if it's your first time. By that time in the fall, you've had plenty of rides in to get fit, and the October 13th ride is a great chance to see where you're at. 

Not ready for a full 43 mile mountain bike ride? That's totally cool. Michigan Mountain Bike Association is hosting a clinic session and pre-ride of the Slush Cup the same day, also at Timber Ridge. You can gain some comfort, skills, and confidence from experienced riders, and meet some friendly folks stepping into Iceman action right alongside you.

Ready to ride? Here's the most up-to-date GPX file of the 2018 course. Note, there are plenty of changes to come, but this will hit 95% of the trails you'll see on race day! 

Cap Off The NMMBA Trail Series at the Bear Claw Epic!

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Our three-race series is capped off with the always-tough, always-fun Bear Claw Epic at the Cadillac Pathway on Saturday, September 22! 

One of the big motivators for offering the NMMBA Trail Series is to encourage mountain bikers of all abilities to experience the diverse trails of Northern Michigan. Ask anyone who has already completed the TCTF and Glacial Hills, and it's really incredible what a 40 minute drive and very different trail builders can create with what we think of as the 'same' terrain and geography. Our region is home to some very different trails, and we like to think of the Cadillac Pathway as yet another unique place to ride and race! 

Now in its fourth year, the Bear Claw Epic has turned into one of the can't-miss races in the area. For a lot of local riders, it's the first important race in the lead-in to the Iceman Cometh Challenge in November. perfectly timed to get in some racing miles and see where you're at heading into the last month of training. For others, it's the last race before short days and rough weather make it a little harder to ride. Either way, the event attracts everyone from first-time racers to some of the fastest mountain bikers in the state, and it's a fun challenge for both of those extremes and everyone in between. 

The 7-mile course offers roughly 600 feet of elevation, much of it coming through the numerous short-and-punchy climbs that come throughout the lap. The course will go the same direction as 2017, clockwise, to make the most of the punchy climbs early in the lap. 

After a lot of feedback last year, there's also a new race distance! The 'Intermediate' category will be two laps totaling 12 miles, which is really perfect; now, racers can choose from one, two, three, and four-lap classes, which means there's the exact distance you're ready for. 

The volunteers at Cadillac Pathway have been putting in plenty of extra work to make sure the trail is manicured for race day. With 100% of proceeds staying right in Cadillac for trail maintenance and improvements, your race registration is one of the best ways to thank the volunteers and help grow the Pathway's future, which includes more parking, a pavilion,  and a nearly-approved trail proposal! 

Get signed up for the Bear Claw Epic here, and make sure you stay up to date with the Cadillac Pathway on Facebook and Instagram, as well as their website