NMMBA's PA288 Update From Tom White


We've been up to a lot this summer, and there have been few efforts as important as our work to help construct a safe, sustainable, and workable solution to PA288. PA288 addresses access to state forest roads all over Michigan, of which there are plenty that intersects the trails and singletrack in Northern Michigan. We took a look at PA288 earlier this summer, and we're excited to bring you an update on where we stand. 

NMMBA helped form the PA288 Motorized and Non-motorized Coalition to help compile goals and concerns with other interested trail user groups. Skiers, mountain bikers, hikers, dirt bikers, ORV users and more all worked to establish a person to represent their group as serve as their respective advocates. 

Over the course of several meetings, we made a number of compromises that will open select corridors that will allow ORVs to access the interior of the Vasa 25k Pathways through established East/West and North/South roads. On the face of it, this may sound dangerous, but we've all worked to make sure that these access points are existing roads that cross the path, which means there won't be any new roads or crossing used by ORVs. 

The coalition then submitted a plan to the DNR for their consideration, and we believe this plan will play a large role in the how the DNR deals with forest roads around the state. 

Even more importantly, the coalition helped establish a relationship between all the user groups, and that's crucial. The ability to connect and converse will help NMMBA, TART, and all trail advocacy groups work with different groups to prevent conflict and support sustainable trail practices. These are the exact relationships we need to make sure that we can protect our trails and our forests in the decades to come. 

The Traverse City Trails Festival Will Be BACK for 2018!

Great news! After a quick and unanimous vote by the board, you can count on another fun weekend of singletrack from Ranch Rudolf in 2018. 

That’s right! We’re happy to confirm that we’ll be back for the second edition of the Traverse City Trails Festival on July 21 at Ranch Rudolf.

We want to thank everyone for supporting our first-ever race, and we’re extremely happy with the feedback. The venue, the schedule, the course, the markings, the aid stations, and the party after got great reviews. We will be taking another look at how results are handled, but we’re really appreciative that everyone put having a good time ahead of posting a good time on paper.

Based on your responses, we’re going to work on a more diverse and more simple post-race meal option as well, so hold tight on that. We have some great ideas that will turn you afternoon from a “party” to a two-syllable “par-tay”.

We’re going to encourage more people to camp Friday night and consider staying overnight Saturday with us as well. The sleepover options also include very nice rooms at the Ranch, which give you a cozy place to crash and the ability to flip a switch for air conditioning!

We’re going to experiment with the opening 10 miles of the course and attempt to offer more passing options and reduce any backups in tight singletrack in the opening hour of racing.

and we’ll make any arrangements necessary, whether it be local cody.sovis@nmmba.net or communications@nmmba.netAnd we are certainly going to promise an improvement in the timeliness and accuracy of the race results. We have a list of people who have different results than what they may have been shown on race day, as well as a list of riders that may not have received their award due to either confusion or just having to take off. If you think you need an award, please email us at pick-up or mailing it.

2017 Traverse City Trails Festival Recap

Thank YOU for being a part of the the first-ever Traverse City Trails Festival! This past Saturday, over 200 riders took to the woods to celebrate our trails, and to help ensure their future. 

When we first thought of revamping our summer event, we had no idea how much support the idea would garner. Switching from the Long and Short's, we were looking to attract the full spectrum of our mountain bike community. From beginners to pros, kids to adults, and everything in between, the TCTF was shaped by what we hoped people would be excited to try. And after a lot of hard work, encouragement, and support, we think we nailed it. 

Ranch Rudolf is a great host, and the morning's light sprinkle died away with plenty of time for everyone to get in a dry, sunny warm-up around the ranch. As the 40 milers lined up, the sun peaked out, and on the gun, everyone was treated to a beautiful day. Shortly after, our 25 milers and two touring groups joined the action. We had riders as young as 14 on course, and rider over 65 joining them! 

We'd like to congratulate our 40 mile Elite winners, Jorden Wakeley and Lauri Brockmiller. These two local riders both blew away our expected times, with Jorden finishing in two hours and thirty-nine minutes, with Lauri finishing in three hours and three minutes! Kasey Wierzba and Kyle Macdermaid took the 25 mile crowns against some very tough competition. 

We'd also like to thank everyone who showed up and challenged themselves. Taking on 25 or 40 miles of tough singletrack isn't easy, and we are so proud of everyone who pushed their limits. Racing or touring, completing either of these two courses is truly a wonderful accomplishment. We hope the Traverse City Trails Festival becomes a mid-summer goal for local riders. Whether that's stepping up to the 40 next year, or bringing a friend to their first mountain bike event, we want to be a part of those stories and a part of seeing what you're capable of. 

Saturday, we saw racers gut out tough finishers, and not just for the glory of winning. Riders like Tim Pulliam, who crashed with over half the race to go and still managed to finish, pedaling with one leg, for a top 30 overall. We saw friends rally each other to press on in both races and both tours. We saw folks ride with complete strangers and cross the line close pals, sharing their stories over some Short's Brewing Company beer. 

Short's and all of our generous sponsors all contributed to support a massive day, especially as our first race. Their support made it possible to bring you such a wide-ranging offering of distances, races, tours, and the very exciting kid's race. 

As great as the day went, we're excited to make the event even bigger in 2017! Please send your questions and suggestions to communications@nmmba.net and we'll bring all ideas to the table to make 2018 even better. 

To see the results from Saturday, head here. 


A Trophy Worth Winning at the Traverse City Trails Festival!

It's coming up so quick! On July 22, join us for the first ever Traverse City Trails Festival. 

There are plenty of opportunities to nab some glory or take it a little easy on the big day. For those really looking to test themselves against the technical, twisting turns of the Pere Marquette Forest, the ultimate confirmation of skill comes in a heavy, custom-branded TCTF trophy. 

We think it's one of the coolest trophies around, but we know of some other cool traditions. 

There are a number of very cool trophies in the world of cycling, and we hope this one becomes one of the most coveted. We made a list of just a few of our favorites.

Brewery Vivant Farmhand Fat Bike Race. Win one of the longest, toughest races in a stacked fat bike season, and you’ve got something that’s both fitting and functional. The Farmhand winner grabs the handle of a shovel! The 3 hour race at Cannonsburg Ski Area, just north of Grand Rapids, is one of the biggest fat bike races in the country and the winner’s shovel was certainly one of the most iconic images.

Your Weight In Beer. Not so much a trophy, but a great reward. This year at the Giro d'Italia, a cafe in Italy offered up 100 beers to the heaviest riders to make it over the Stelvio pass, one of the toughest climbs in the world. The bigger guys have a lot to carry up the famous switchbacks and hairpins, but it's certainly worth it for that much great feer. 

Tro-Bro Leon. This is maybe the best out there. The small race is usually called the baby Paris-Roubaix and takes places in western France. The winner, after surviving gravel roads and cobblestones and 200 kilometers of racing, get handed the normal cash prize. He also gets a more interesting award, a piglet. Yep, they give the winner a pig.

Ready to make a run at the 2017 TCTF trophy? Find out more about the race and get yourself registered at the official website! 

Registration is Open for the 2017 Shorts Brewing Co. Traverse City Trail Fest!

Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association's biggest fundraiser of the year is July 22. You can help support our trail maintenance and advocacy efforts by having an unbelievably fun day in the woods with friends. Yep. That's all you have to do. 

Registration for the 40 mile race, 40 mile tour, 25 mile race, 25 mile tour and kids' events are all open. If you have questions, please let us know! 

We have to thank all of our sponsors, including our title sponsor, Short's Brewing Co. Short's has always been an enthusiastic partner, and without their support, NMMBA wouldn't be able to take on all of our projects. From winter grooming to summer trail maintenance, their support, and the support of all our sponsors, adds up beyond dollars. It's the commitment to our community that really has value! 

For the racers, Tom White has put together a great course that takes some of the best singletrack in the Pere Marquette forests and weaves together trail systems that many riders don't always connect on a single ride. Aside from the first and last few miles getting out of Ranch Rudolf, this is a true singletrack smorgasbord, and we can't wait to see some of the local mountain bike legends show their stuff. 

We'll keep you updated on the race favorites, plus any groups that are planning to ride the 40 mile or 25 mile tours and stick together. Want to learn how to navigate some of these trails? Want to show your pals the world-class trails in our backyard? Here's your chance! 

Registration is LIVE! right here: Get Signed Up Today!