Keen Technical Solutions and NMMBA Out'n'Back Cook Out!


September is one of the best months of the year to ride! This weekend, help us cap off summer and celebrate fall with the first big Out’n’Back of autumn. 

In northern Michigan, Labor Day Weekend is infectious. Once the kids are back in school, the temperatures start to dip, and a few more days of rain mean the trails are absolutely perfect for plenty of saddle time. September is a transitional month, blending warm days and chilly nights to give us a gentle shift to a new season, with the biggest race of the year creeping ever closer. 

This weekend, Keen Technical Solutions is hosting a BIG Out’n’Back at Timber Ridge. Starting at 9am, rider of all abilities can hop in and put in some miles before peeling back for brats, burgers, and a chance to cap off summer with a dip in Timber Ridge’s new Justin TimberLake! 

Here’s the game plan. We’ll have three main groups. One group will add on a little more to a traditional Out’n’Back, riding as much singletrack as possible until hopping onto Sand Lakes Road near Williamsburg Road. Another group will head straight out Sand Lakes Road at 17-19mph, shooting to ride the full course back in about two hours. A third group will take it a little easier, shooting for 75 minutes out and 2.5-3 hours back, with a regroup at Broomhead. 

You’re going to want to make sure you’re there early, too. Keen is going to have cookies and coffee from Breakaway Cafe at Timber Ridge for us! Meeting up early will help everyone find a group to ride with and listen for any last minute instructions. 

Once you’re back, plan on sticking around. Keen is grilling up brats for everyone, with the new NMMBA Cantina parked up and bringing the party! We’ll also have some refreshments from Short’s Brewing Company, and if you can, consider bringing chips or a dish to pass. 

Love events like this? Join NMMBA and support great trails and a strong mountain bike community!

August Meeting Minutes

NMMBA Board of Directors Meeting

Date and location: Wednesday, August 21st, Kim White’s house

Board Present: Chad Jordan, Tim Reicha III, Tom White, Kim White, Tim Jenema, John Roe and Steve Mentzer

Board absent: Mike Walters,  Coti Sprattmoran and Michele Andrews

Guests: Kasey Mahoney

Meeting called to order by Chad at 6:50 p.m.


Kim passed around the financials for all to review. 

The profit & loss picture for July was much clearer due to money for TCTF coming in sooner. TCTF cleared around $15 - $18K.

NMMBA checking account stood at $79,680.43.

Bear Claw Epic (BCE) account was at $30,485.97. Due in part to a grant amount recently deposited.

Winter Grooming:

John announced the groomer’s party had been set for Sunday, September 22nd. It was planned to include all groomers. 

Ride at Glacial Hills then food and drink to follow at Short’s. 

Roundtable discussion among the groomers would also be on tap.

Budget was discussed.

John made a motion to allocate $500.00 for the party. Kim 2nd the motion.

Unanimous vote.

Community Comments:

Guest Kasey Mahoney, District supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources(DNR) spoke on recent updates to the state’s position on e-bikes.

The DNR is currently exploring placing carsonite decals/stickers at designated spots to alert the public of restrictions on e-bike use. Decals would include a QR code which would take people to the DNR website. There they would find a one page document explaining the current rules and regulations

Also the DNR proposed hangtags be attached to the local bike shops e-bike inventories. These would also contain the same QR code as well.

How would this proposal be received by the shops? If presented by the DNR, this proposal would carry a great deal of weight.

Discussion was about current public awareness of when they are allowed and where they are allowed.

Feds see them as motorized which immediately makes them not allowed on federal lands.

Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA). State allows the use of e-bikes but puts a limit of “walking speed” as far as how fast they can move.

Non-Motorized Advisory Workgroup(NAWG) 

Link to their website: 

This groups will explore these and other related issues at their next meeting in November.

Look for enforcement to increase as the rules become more defined.

Other discussion was centered around whether wider trails would be able to accommodate multiple users. Nothing formalized.

TCTF Review:

A date was suggested for TCTF for 2020. Looking not to conflict with other events. 

Motion by Chad and a 2nd by John to set the date for TCTF 2020 on July, 18th, 2020. Unanimous vote.

450 registrations is the target number. Food and beverages worked out well and should be repeated. And because of the amount of smoothie ingredients that remain, they will be back as well.

Acme Bike Park:

The name Acme Bike Park is being accepted as the name of the trail. Gives Acme some ownership. 

Trail builders, including Flo-track are submitting bids to construct the trail system. Some materials have been purchased from Elmer’s.

The work bees have been attracting some good numbers of volunteer labor. All this despite some conflicts with other events.

Tim J. mentioned that a Grand Opening is being set for sometime within the next month.

John made a motion to have Chad sign a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) for Acme Bike Park with TART.

Tim Reicha III 2nd the motion. Unanimous vote.

Committee reports:

Fat Bike: John needs an MOU to sell badges through TART again this year.

Merchandise: Inventory is getting low on items. Talk of expanding the line to include bike kits or at least jerseys with the NMMBA logo. Maybe some new colors to create a new buzz?

There was discussion as to what advantages linking sales with Amazon Smile would mean. A percentage of each sale would go to NMMBA.

This needed to be explored further.

Status of the Single Track Love Machine. Still awaiting delivery but only because the manufacturers were not happy with some aspects of the machines performance. They are rebuilding the drum.

Pavilion will be a go next year. But there was talk of getting some digital prints with a possible redesign. Talk of donations, grants, etc to fund the project.

Also discussed was a parking plan the DNR had. Could expand the lot to accommodate an additional 40+ vehicles.

Also proposed was an update to the present kiosk.

Lastly with the Fiesta Cantina a big hit there was talk of an end of the year party. No solid dates as of yet but do want to couple the party with a ride.

Meeting adjourned at 9:06 p.m.

Submitted by

Steve Mentzer, secretary

Your Autumn Challenge: Ride A New NMMBA Trail!


Fall is just around the corner, but that means mountain biking in northern Michigan is just getting started! We’re lucky to have a long autumn to enjoy the trails in Traverse City and around the region, and we’ve got a challenge for you; ride somewhere new! 

You’ve got a few months before evenings are dark and the snow will have Head Groomer John Roe licking his chops. Between now and fat biking season, we want you to ride a trail that you haven’t checked out before. Whether you’re a TC local who hasn’t made it to Glacial Hills, or a Cadillac rider yet to make the trip north to Palmer Woods, make a plan to make it happen. 

One of the best things about our part of the state is that the terrain, soil, and design of our forests allow for deceptively diverse riding options. While sand is universal, the hills, the valleys, and the men and women behind creating our singletrack trail networks make each NMMBA trail feel, ride, and look different. 

Vasa Singletrack/Unmarked. In a word, ‘natural’. Both the Vasa Singletrack and the miles of unmarked singletrack that extends like a spider web out from the VST weave into the Vasa 25km Pathway, creating the Traverse City Trail Network. Much of that singletrack is hand cut, narrow, winding, and offers a feel of riding through the forests with reckless abandon. It never feels like the trails were made as much as were just there. There are no features, no wide sections, and you’d be hard-pressed to be able to spot the trail unless you’re physically on it. 

Cadillac Pathway. Much like the Vasa 25km Pathway, Cadillac’s trail offers a wider, cross-country ski trail that serves as the backbone of the network, with a mix of unmarked singletrack jumping on and off. That’s going to change with the construction of eleven miles of trail this fall, the culmination of a years-long process to bring real, marked, and thought-out singletrack to Cadillac. The Pathway is also home to a slew of new amenities, including a new Pavillion, bike rack, even solar powered lights! If you’re really looking for a chance to ride it, make sure you’ve got the Bear Claw Epic on your calendar. The BCE is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Cadillac Pathway and the final event in the NMMBA Trail Series on September 28. 

Glacial Hills. While it is wide enough to ski, the elevation that gave this trail system it’s name make this much more of a mountain bike trail! The rolling, twisting, flowing singletrack isn’t as wide as Cadillac or Traverse City’s pathways, but still allows a little room for error for riders letting gravity have its way. While there is plenty of elevation, the expert, machine-made trails allow for plenty of momentum. Do a lap and you’ll pocket nearly 1,000 feet of elevation, but it never feels like that much climbing! The closest comparison to Glacial Hills might be the Arcadia Dunes trails near Frankfort, which were shaped by the same designer. Make plans to hit Bellaire, shred Glacial Hills, and stop by Short’s Brewing, a company that supports the trails, outdoor events, and a NMMBA like no one else. 
Palmer Woods. The new trail is enjoying its first full season in 2019 and people are loving it! Instead of mile after mile of natural, Palmer Woods offers a feature-filled circuit for riders looking to practice and show off their technical skills. The Leelanau Conservancy and Bike Leelanau have put a lot of heart into creating something that attempts the impossible; keep everyone happy. We think they’ve nailed it. There are plenty of lines to make the trail system accessible to beginners and kids, but enough jumps and drops to make the drive out to Wheeler Road in Maple City well worth it.

2019 VST TT // Fiesta: Thank You!


Bikes, beer, tacos. For years, we’ve focused on building trails. For the second year, we’ve found a new mission that matters just as much; building community. Last night’s VST TT // Fiesta was the highlight of a summer filled with great rides, races, and events that all work to keep our close-knit community growing. 

NMMBA is just one of many local organizations that support this community, add to it, and contribute unique experiences that bring people together and get more people pedaling. We are so lucky that no matter how or why you ride, there is a way to share that passion with others. Our VST TT saw dozens of riders of all abilities, from some of the fastest in the state to kids taking on the 3 mile Kinglet Loop for the first time! 

With the Speed of Light nerds battling for WorldTour points, the first twenty of so riders hit the reworked Vasa Singletrack at warp speed. Now in its first full season after being updated and refreshed, the trail is holding up incredibly well, even with a huge influx of traffic of riders who have found a new love for TC’s original loop. Our locals pushed themselves to the absolute limit last night, going all-out for the title. 

Two early contenders found that limit and exceeded. The first rider off, John O’Hearn, crashed twice during his lap, causing him to be caught and passed by his 30 second man, Jeff Owens. Owens also crashed, and that put the overall result in some serious doubt. Garrett Jenema was on a strong night behind, and last year’s winner, Sunset Scott, never came out of his 11-tooth cog as he stood and threw his bike around the 13 mile course. Racing his last Speed of Light as a single man, Sunset hit the parking lot and immediately joined the scrum of finishers frantically slamming ‘refresh’ on Strava to see the results. 

Sunset did more than enough to keep his VST title, with strong rides from Jeff Owens second, Garrett Jenema third, and NMMBA trail rep Mike Walters showing his skills in fourth! You can see the the full results here.

Owens, Mike Walters, Kyle Macdermaid, Sunset, and John O’Hearn all picked up a big haul of WorldTour points, and a full thirty riders beat the hallowed one-hour mark! The whole women’s podium comfortably made that time, with Beth Grassa taking the win just ahead of Erica O’Hearn, Chelsey “Soon To be Scott” Schlicht and Laura Webb. 

As the dust settled, attention turned to the real show of the night, the Taco Competition. Ten champions, all representing local clubs, bellyed up to the taco bar for a gastronomical challenge they’re probably regretting now. Ten tacos, as fast as you can; straightforward, simple, and seriously tough. Jay Risk and Kent McNeil led early, with other ‘athletes’ hitting a wall after their second taco. In the end, Kent won by about a half a chicken taco, earning a title he’ll treasure for the rest of his life...or at least until he hops on a scale. 

From everyone at NMMBA, thank you for supporting a fun night in the woods! We hope you enjoyed the new NMMBA Cantina, which we’ll be rolling out often in the future! We also need to thank Short’s Brewing for the beer, but more importantly, for all of their support of trails across the region. No company is as dedicated to the outdoors, and we just wouldn’t be where we are now without their help. Keen Technical Solutions also pitched in, and we owe Keen so much for their support over the years. 

Until next year, enjoy the trails and make sure you’re a NMMBA member to support more fun nights like this one!

We’ve got a few favorite photos from the night below, but over 250 photos are available to download here thanks to!

Choose Your Champion: Taco Competition Added To VST TT!

Taco Competition.png

On Thursday, August 15, we’re having a fiesta. It’s part time trial on our reworked, beloved Vasa Singletrack, located on Supply Road in Traverse City, Michigan. It’s also partly a membership drive, a way to bring people together and get them face-to-face with other members, volunteers, and our board. But just as importantly, it’s a fiesta, and since we take our fun very, very seriously, we’re adding a not-too-competitive twist on it this year: a taco competition. 

While you may not be able to threaten the leaderboard on the Vasa Singletrack, don’t worry, this is your time to shine. Around 7:30, once the bulk of the day’s riders are back from their hot lap around the VST, we’ll come together to enjoy another form of athleticism, the ability to throwdown ten tacos in no time. 

Here’s how it works. We’ve identified ten clubs or teams in Traverse City, and we’re inviting each squad to nominate a champion. In ancient times, tribes and nations would send their strongest warrior against the best fighter from another tribe, with a winner-take-all, single combat showdown deciding everything. It’s kind of like that, but with ten champions. Each champion will face ten tacos, and whoever knocks them down first is the winner. 

We’re asking each team to donate $200 for a chance at this amazing honor, with all the money going straight to NMMBA and the trails. Then, we want you all to show up to cheer on your champion, whether you’re up for putting down a hot lap on the VST or not. Yell, scream, and urge your teammate to glory...or at least not vomit. To cover your $200 entry fee, show up with cash or check, or indicate your team champion in the notes when you donate online here

If you do want to earn those tacos, or give the refreshed Vasa Singletrack a go, make sure you’re at the Supply Road Trailhead by 6pm. This VST TT is a big deal; it’s the only night of the year that the Speed of Light crew leaves the Vasa Pathway and hits the tight stuff. They’ll kick stuff off first, with their top WorldTour riders going in points-order. The first ten riders will go in one-minute intervals, with everyone else taking off in thirty-second intervals. We’re encouraging everyone to seed themselves; if you’re going for it, get up front. If you’re there to party, make light a mullet and hang at the back. 

You in? Of course you are. Here are all the details you might need to know. 

-The latest Speed of Light WorldTour standings are here. Check to see who is ahead of you and behind you to make it easier when you line up. 

-Sign up your CHAMPION right here.

-Want to join up? Make our August membership drive a success join OR renew right here.  
-RSVP to the event on Facebook, and stay in the loop with any changes.