A Traverse City Trails Festival Thank You!

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After so much work, so many smiles, and so many new friends, the only thing we can really say is thank you. 

The third annual Traverse City Trails Festival presented by Short’s Brewing offered us another chance to come together to celebrate a world-class outdoor experience right here in our backyard. For the second year, rain threatened in the forecast much of the week and overhead on race morning, but we were lucky to stay dry and enjoy perfect temperatures. Just like we ordered up, we promise! 

With over three hundred riders and racers signed up online and another few dozen signing up in person on Friday and Saturday at Ranch Rudolf, we were thrilled with the support our community has given to this event. It’s different, and especially at race pace, it isn’t easy; to see this many locals show up and pedal is really something special. With the new 15 mile route, we were really happy to see so many people make this their first race, and to those who made their race debut, congratulations! 

Of course, we had plenty of veterans on the line, and the sheer speed of the fields from the 40 and 25 mile events were extremely impressive. After our two recon rides in the past two months, we were expecting to see winning 40 mile times around two hours and forty minutes, with 25 mile times hovering around one hour and fifty minutes or so. Both of those benchmarks were blown away this year, a real testament to the skill and fitness our cycling community has to offer. 

Jorden Wakeley was the only rider to break the 2:30 mark, coming home in 2:29:06 to take home the TCTF title. On the women’s side, Kaitlyn Patterson won an absolute thriller! She was just two second clear of local hero Megan Doerr, who was just two seconds clear of third place Laura Webb! After a brutal 40 miles, to see the podium separated by just four seconds is incredible! 

Things were equally close in the 25 mile races. Kyle MacDermaid took the Men’s Expert category with a perfectly timed sprint to inch out John O’Hearn for the win, ending up seconds clear of the M22 rider with a time of 1:40:16. The O’Hearn household will have plenty to talk about until next year, because Erica was in the same boat. She was just narrowly out-sprinted by City Bike Shop’s Shannon Kochis, who put down a time of 1:53:52. 

We had hundreds of riders race and tour without any concern to their results, as well. We have to thank everyone for their positive, inclusive camaraderie, especially when the courses overlapped. We did hear about some back-ups in the singletrack, but so many also involved a lot of friendly interactions and safe passing. 

At the line, our Team Bob’s Chillers were a big hit. We’ll have our post-race smoothies back for 2020, as well as GT Cycles’ granola and bananas! We sold over 100 paella lunches thanks to the Keen Technical Solutions guys, all washed down with Short’s Brewing Company’s finest offerings. 

This certainly isn’t the end of the fun, either. You’re less than a month away from our second annual VST TT! On Thursday, August 15, join us at the Vasa Singletrack for the second edition of our time trial with the Speed of Light crew; it’s the only time of the year that SOL leaves the Pathway, and it is the perfect time to really see just how fast you can complete the full loop! 

That’s a well-timed tuned up ahead of August 18 and the Short’s Glacial Hills Challenge. This Championship Points Series stop is also the second of three races that highlight NMMBA trails system in the NMMBA Trail Series. You can check all the boxes by hitting Glacial Hills and keeping the momentum going for the Bear Claw Epic, Cadillac Pathway’s biggest fundraiser of the year! 

On behalf of everyone here at Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association, thank you for support the Traverse City Trails Festival and helping us bring our region some of the best trails in the Midwest. We’ll see you back at Ranch Rudolf in 2020!

2019 Traverse City Trails Festival p/b Short's Brewing Race Day Guide

It’s race week! Save this page for everything you need to know ahead of the most fun, most shredable fundraiser in the history of trails! Saturday, July 20, we’re celebrating great singletrack and a great cycling community at Ranch Rudolf. This is the full schedule of events, parking, results, and more.

Remember, online registration closes Wednesday night, so save some cash for an extra post-race beer by getting committed. Sign up here.

The Details

Location:  Ranch Rudolf, 6841 Brown Bridge Rd, TC, MI 49696 (RACE DATE is July 20th).

Packet Pick up: July 19th at Ranch Rudolf in the Main Lodge.  Pick-up hours are: 4-7pm.

Early morning packet pick up is in the main lodge from 7am to 8:45




Start Times:

- 40 Mile RACE Starts at 9 am (Pre-Race Meeting at starting line at 8:45)*

- 15 and 25 Mile RACE Start at 9:30 am (Pre-Race Meeting at 9:15 at the starting line)*

*Mass start with self-seeded waves.  Elites on front row, then experts, then sport.  Lots of room to pass for the first 5 miles.

- 15 and 25 Mile TOURS Start at 9:45 am (Pre Ride Meeting at 9:35 at the starting line) (No early departure! We need to track your start AND finish to know you are safe).

- Kid's race starts at 1:30!

Race/Ride Distances:

- The 40 Mile is 40.8 actual miles on a mechanical odometer.  Garmin/GPS style will read less.

- The 25 Mile is 27.5 actual miles on a mechanical odometer.  Garmin/GPS style will read 25 nearly on the nose.

- The 15 Mile is 15 actual miles on a mechanical odometer.

-  Kid's race is 8 miles.

Road Crossings:

There are 4 Paved Road Crossings.  Details for each below.....

- For all RACERS, Dollar Lake/Supply (Mile 5) will have a Sheriff stopping CARS so racers can glide right through.  Tour riders will self-cross all intersections.

- For 40 Mile RACERS, Williamsburg Rd on the trip OUT (mile 10) to Sand Lakes Quiet Area will have a volunteer crossing guard stopping BIKES if necessary.  Race times will be adjusted at the end if a stop is longer than 10 seconds.

- For 40 Mile RACERS, Williamsburg Rd on the trip BACK (mile 16) will have a volunteer crossing guard stopping BIKES if necessary.  Race times will be adjusted at the end in a stop is longer than 10 seconds.

For all RACERS, Supply/Strombolis Rd (mile 22.5 or mile 35) will have a Sheriff stopping CARS so racers can glide right through.  Tour riders will self-cross.

- There are 6 minor road crossings that will NOT be posted with a volunteer.  These will be self-crossings for all riders and racers.  Every attempt will be made to mark them and to make oncoming traffic aware of the race route.  Please listen for motorized vehicles and stay alert while riding.   Ear buds are not recommended for this reason.


- Podiums will begin as close to 2pm as possible.

NMMBA Board of Director Meeting Minutes - June 2019

NMMBA Board of Directors Meeting

Date and location: Wednesday June 12th, 2019 Keen loft

Board present: Chad Jordan, Tom White, Kim White, Mike Walters, Michele Andrews, Tim Jenema, John Roe, Cody Sprattmoran and Steve Mentzer

Board absent: Tim Reicha III

No guests

Chad called the meeting to order at 6:33 p.m.


Kim presented the financials and provided a few particulars. 

There were some donations taken in for Traverse City Trail Fest(TCTF). 

Profit & Loss statement for TCTF showed a profit of nearly $4500.00

Checking account balances:

Bear Claw Epic(BCE): $24,621.91

NMMBA/Bike Leelanau: $51,834.79

Kim presented to the board IRS form 990-EZ Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.

Chad signed the form and the board voted to file it.

Chad motioned to file the form. Steve 2nd the motion. Unanimous vote.

Evart update:

Steve and Doris Petoskey, the principles behind this project were unable to attend but will email Chad any updates. Agenda item was tabled until next month. 

Bike Skills Clinic:

Cody Sprattmoran was happy to report that this Saturday’s session was full!

A few openings were still available for Sunday’s clinic.

Camp Greilick:

Chad, Tom and Mike met with the camp’s new director Jamie Hedges.

Jamie indicated the desire for trails within the property. NMMBA can utilize the Singletrack Love Machine(SLM) to get them built. But it would come at a cost to GOREC(Greilick Outdoor Recreation & Education Center). GOREC is committed and will seek grant funding as well as in kind donations. Revenue from the Camp would be another funding arm.

GOREC is also interested in winter events. 

They have also slated a chainsaw clinic set for July 27th

It is NMMBA’s desire to build a connector to Dollar Lake and these trails are close to the unmarked trails and ultimately the VST.


More volunteer positions have been set.

Bill Unger & Heath Day will coordinate the kids race.

John Roe & Steve Mentzer will once again pre-ride and road marshall Williamsburg Rd.

Cody Sovis will handle the MC duties.

Spotter is needed at the top of the 1st climb to direct racers both when they start and as they finish.

Discussion as to placement of merchandise tent, beer sales, etc.

Help is also needed at the merch tent.

Went down the list of sponsors and what they have committed to dollar wise. Also covered were what ones still needed to pay.

Signage was discussed. Need will be for 600 signs for the 40 miler, 450 signs for the 25 miler and 200 for the 15 miler.

Steve and John to coordinate paper, etc.

Acme Park:

Tim J. was happy to announce that the $5000 grant from Olsen’s had been awarded. NMMBA had agreed to match so we will provide $5000 as well!!

Tim J. indicated that ground will be broken soon. Any hand tools needed would be provided by NMMBA. He indicated they had gotten the okay to do some “light clearing”. More extensive clearing will come later.

Trail segments are broken down into striders, >10 years of age and older kids. Trail features will have jumps, rock gardens, etc.

Tim J. indicated they were pursuing an additional 40 acres but talks have stalled with the DNR

TARTnership in Leelanau county:

Chad and Cody Sprattmoran had a meeting with TART’s Julie Clark.

Among the items discussed were a pump track to be constructed at Herman Park, development of 700+ acres privately owned held in public trust and a natural singletrack to be parallel to sections of the Leelanau trail.

Pump track at Herman park would be smallish in size. Township board is being positive about the project if funding can be found.

A composite model can be brought in to generate excitement. Then funding can begin.

The singletrack proposed for sections of the Leelanau trail would be 4 season trails. Grooming in winter would allow fat bikes to traverse the trail without riding on the ski portion.

A $75,000 grant has been written and is just waiting for approval.

VST Pavilion:

Tim J., Chad, Mike, Tom and Duane Archambo to meet with Scott Slavin of the DNR.

Branding Update:

Mark Mueller had presented the contract. Nate Farran has revisions he would like worked into the contract.

Roundtable talk:

Talk of securing a storage unit for merchandise, tents, banners, etc.

Steve checked into it with Colonial Self Storage. 5 x 15 unit is available for around $50/month.

Chad made a motion to secure the unit, Tom with a 2nd. Unanimous vote.

Gear boxes were next on the table. DNR has set some rules as to where they can be located without obstructing the trail and what they may include as to contents. Especially the first aid kits. They want no sharp objects(scissors) aspirin, Tylenol, neosporin and other pain killers.

John had requested all unsold grooming badges be returned. He also wanted to explore a stipend for some of the groomers who had been with the program the longest. He also indicated the groomer gifts were still being finalized at Trophy Trolley.

Meeting adjourned at 8:14 p.m.

Submitted by 

Steve Mentzer, secretary

Committee reports:

Bike Leelanau:

Provemont Pond .8 mile multi use trail is built, waiting on signage before officially opening to the public. 

Palmer Woods trail work continues to be done, no estimated date for full open of the trail. 

Bike clinic this weekend. Full Saturday, a couple of spots remaining for Sunday.

Cadillac Pathway Update:

The cement has been poured for the pavilion, outhouse installed, final grading of sidewalks and parking lot.  

The fireplace construction has begun and the ETA is June 30th.  

The funding of the pavilion was done by Cadillac Leadership and Bear Claw Epic.  A grant from the Cadillac Rotary club is funding the fireplace, bike/ski racks, gear boxes and potential solar lighting.  

Received a grant from the DALMAC Fund for $2,000 to fund the Bike FixIt Station and bike pump.  

Cole Mortenson who is pursuing Eagle Scout will be fundraising for the wood and building of 6 picnic tables.  Bear Claw Epic is also help fund this project. Table Jacks have been ordered and will be delivered this week.  Picnic tables will be built and in by mid July at the latest.  

Working with the Cadillac Area Visitor's Bureau and the Missaukee County on helping to fundraise for the building of 11 miles of single track.  Our first meeting is next Tuesday to discuss.  

Cadillac Pathway Winter Sports Trail:

I am in need of more groomers.  Looking for at least a one day commitment each week to successfully groom for the upcoming season.  Looking for 2-3 people. Grooming is about a 2 - 2 1/2 hour commitment. 

TCTN - Update

1)  MSB was a bumpy one in terms of course marking.  McLains declined

doing it for 2020 unless NMMBA reclaims ultimate responsibility.  In other

words, McLains will mark the course (after NMMBA designs, builds and

pre-marks), but will not do the night before or race day marking and

pre-ride checking.  This responsibility falls back to NMMBA.  We should


2)  The Strombolis Lake trail build (4.2 miles) is complete.  Final trail

proposal submitted.  Huge thank you to all that pitched in.

3)  TCTF course is laid out and mapped.  One section remains to be

finished.  Waiting on DNR blessing.  Obviously, ten million more things

need to be done before the race can happen, but progress continues to be


4)   The TCTN grand vision was shared with Scott Slavin at the DNR and he offered his suggestions to making it a reality.  The GOREC property ties

into our grand vision.  Dollar Lake and Gorec will be our next trail

development sites.

5)  The Jack Kline Memorial event is tentatively scheduled for July 21st

(the day after trail fest) at the Ranch.  Working on cost packages with the

Ranch now as we have already booked and paid for some of the services at the ranch.  They are working with me on it. Should NMMBA offer some

financial assistance for this event?

6)  The City Bike and NMMBA  co-branding umbrella is finished and in use.

This is a quick and easy attachment to the hitch of a pick up and offers a

bike work stand integrated within it.  Makes quite a visual statement at

the trail heads.

Oleson Foundation Helps Two Trail Projects Move Forward

Oleson Foundation Helps Two Trail Projects Move Forward

Plans for projects on two trail developments will advance this summer thanks to grant funding from the Oleson Foundation. The Vasa Skills Building Trail, a collaborative project between TART Trails and Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association (NMMBA) to create a 2-mile youth mountain biking trail on the Vasa Pathway, has received $5,000 toward project costs.

Prepared For Anything: What You Need In Your Flat Kit


With more riders putting in longer rides to prepare for the Traverse City Trails Festival, we take a look at what we bring in our flat kits.

This past weekend, we had dozens of riders out on the 40 and 25 mile Traverse City Trails Festival looking to get ready for July 20. Putting in big miles deep in the woods is fun, freeing, and a chance to explore trails that they may never have experienced before! The whole point of the TCTF is to encourage riders to take new turns, try new routes, and start to piece together more of the sixty miles of unmarked trails in the Pere Marquette Forest.

Taking on those remote trails does require a bit more forethought, however. As we rolled out for Saturday’s pre-ride, we noticed a a bit of a new set-up from the more experienced riders, and we thought it might be a good idea to share what riders bring for a three, four, or five hour ride in the woods.

The first thing we noticed plenty of riders grab is a hydration pack. They’re really handy to have for three big reasons. First, it’s much easier to drink with the tube while flying through singletrack than trying to reach down, grab a bottle, drink, and get the bottle back in the cage. Second, you can bring just about as much water as you’d ever need for a ride in the back. Many riders will run straight water in their pack and have a isotonic or sports drink in their bottle, often with more calories. Third, it’s another place to store the extra snacks you’ll want for such a long day in the woods. Being able to quickly and easily get to both food and water is a great way to avoid the dreaded bonk and prevent dehydration or heat stroke!

That extra storage also means you have plenty of room to bring the right tools and supplies you need to fix a mechanical issue even if disaster strikes on the most remote part of the course. Even when riding in a group, bringing tools, tubes, and even first aid is a really good idea.

  1. Tube and Air. Tubeless or not, bringing a spare tube and a way to re-inflate is elemental is riding safe. We recommend bringing at least one tube and a way to inflate it after a flat, whether it’s with a pump or a CO2. For rides like the TCTF recon, it’s worth bringing a second cartridge, just in case. A patch or two can also come in handy!

  2. A multi-tool. A 12 or 16 function multi tool can get you out of a lot of jams. A set of Allen keys can do everything from tighten a loose seat clamp to adjust your brakes.

  3. Chain breaker. A chain tool is a must for big days in the woods. In case of a broken chain, having a way to break a chain and use a quick link gives you a way to avoid a really, really long walk. Like a lot of these tools, it’s okay if you haven’t used them before or aren’t sure you can use it. If you have it, someone you’re riding with will almost certainly be able to help.

  4. Quick link. Always bring one. If you do break a chain, having a quick link will let you either fix the chain as good as new, or at least allow you to turn your geared bike into a singlespeed. Some people bring an 11 and 12 speed link, in case a buddy breaks down; just make sure you know which is which!

  5. Cell phone. The ultimate fix. Even if you don’t have service everywhere, you’ll be able to get to points in the forest with full bars. If you can’t make a repair, you’ll be able to call a friend and direct them to a safe place to get out of the woods. Phones are also a great way to allow friends and family to follow your progress and even get alerts in case of a crash or incident. Features like Beacon from Strava are a nice feature to improve your chances of getting out of the woods without calling Search and Rescue. If you use a GPS unit like Garmin or Wahoo, check with those companies to learn how to set up confidential live tracking features.

  6. EPI Pen and Bandages. First aid often gets overlooked, but bringing some basics is never a bad idea. Stuff a few bandages in your flat kit in case of light cuts and scrapped knees. We’ve even seen Band Aids pressed into service as patches! Zip-ties, tweezers, and gauze aren’t a bad idea, if you can find the space. If you’re allergic to bees, make sure you have your EPI pen with you; don’t put other trail users in a bad position by be unprepared. Plus, you may be able to use the EPI pen on someone who doesn’t know they’re allergic! With temperatures on the rise, bees are more and more active, and many hives are on the ground and may be disturbed by riders in more remote areas.

Be prepared keeps the rides fun. If you can bring it, bring it; you never know whose day you’ll save by having the right tools on hand.