April Board Meeting Minutes

NMMBA Board of Directors Meeting

Date and location: Wednesday, April 10th, 2019. Keen Loft

Board present: Chad Jordan, Kim White, Tim Reicha III, Mike Walters and Steve Mentzer

Board absent: Tom White, John Roe, Tim Jenema, Michele Andrews, Dustin Webb, Cody Sprattmoran and Don Clewley.

Guests: Nate Farran

Chad opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m. There was no quorum present.

March meeting minutes were formally approved.


Financials:

Kim led the discussion on the financials.

Kim had presented the balance sheet for NMMBA. She had designated separate accounts for the different trails. Among those accounts was one labeled General funds.

She indicated that the fund balance stood at $9160.96

Contributing to this total was the revenue generated by the Beard of Zeus fatbike race. Also all costs associated with that race were volunteer generated so no billing went out.

Kim also touched on the Morley fund. Betsy Morley had indicated that some of the monies were to be used for the future pavilion to be located at the Supply road trailhead.

Kim is advocating that the fund be put into a  separate interest bearing account.

As to the pavilion, Cherry Capitol Cycling Club(CCCC) is still interested in contributing to the pavilion. So any discussions going forward should include Bill Danly, president of CCCC.

Other notable numbers from the financials include account balances.

BCE checking acct balance stood at $31,614.94

Bike Leelanau/NMMBA balance stood at $47,038.65

Merchandise Branding:

Nate unveiled the color representing Traverse City Trails Fest(TCTF).

Orange!

Aligns with the DNR and also presents a high visibility to it that will promote safety.

Nate also showed some more apparel samples which will be marketed to the local bike shops(LBS).

NMMBA logo will always be evident on all merch. T’s, cups, caps, etc.

He will present a sell sheet to the LBS.

Looking down the road the LBS will have the technology and capability to sign up memberships in store. Either through an ipad or scanning a QR code on a hangtag.

Nate also proposed logowear for the board members in the form of a vest or jacket. It would be a way to identify board members at functions and events. If we went with this idea the logo would identify and label each “board member” instead of title.

Another idea was using a lanyard with a card inserted to identify each board member. Could be incorporated into branding. More to come.

Nate also proposed the idea of a guided mountain bike service. The idea being that you purchase a membership to NMMBA and are awarded a free guided tour on the VST. These tours would be led by our current members or board members. It would be another way to engage our membership base.

Discussion about eliminating the intimidation factor people have when heading out to ride. These tours would have both a leader and sweeper. No one gets dropped. A bit of history and trail etiquette would also be a part of the tours for newer riders.

This program would benefit both NMMBA and the bike shops.

It was suggested that we start with one shop and grow it from there.

City Bike shop in Traverse City and McLain’s in Cadillac would be the pilot programs.

Nate to meet with the merchandise committee.

Check in with Mark Mueller as to the progress on the marketing doc to be presented to Nate.

MSB update:

Mike led this discussion as to the upcoming MSB race. And what is needed. With trails having been added and re-routed, new signage is needed. Also new maps for the trailhead kiosk are needed. New riders heading out  from Supply will not have current information. Could lead to some lost riders. Safety is paramount!

In other MSB news, race permit is still not in hand. GPX file with new routes should be completed by Monday the 15th.

Strombolis Lake section is complete and just a bit more work is needed on the ditch pickle section.

McLain race team is set to mark the course.

Round Table:

Steve brought the board up to date with the Insurance situation. Received a quote from Fischer agency in Bellaire. Policy premiums are very close in cost. Most likely from quotes coming from the same carrier. Michigan Miller.

Few more numbers have to come in then board will make their decision as to remaining with Larkin or switching companies.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Submitted by

Steve Mentzer, secretary

Committee reports:

Cadillac Pathway:

finalizing the pavilion over the next couple of months.

Working on Bear Claw Epic-Saturday September 28, 2019.

TCTF:

()  MSB race route review is complete with the DNR.   Awaiting approval. 3

new sections of single track this year.  Look for new/better trail in the

F-Bomb area (just off Special K), Tom's Cruise Down will hopefully be in

this year.  The next phase of Strombolis Lake is complete and rides like it

has been there for a year.  The course will clock in at 23 miles this year

and will be fun and playful mix of single track and open stuff.  Team

McLain is marking the course this year.  Woohoo! Thank you!!!!!!

() Single Track Love Machine Cutting Head is still on track for mid July

delivery.

()  Meeting set up for May 11th to review final phase of Strombolis Lake

with DNR.  Goal is to have the Strombolis Lake trail 100% complete by TCTF.

Total Strombolis Lake trail is just over 4 miles of money shot single

track.  Work will commence IMMEDIATELY after MSB and DNR approval.

Tom

Glacial Hills

  • Spring work day: Saturday, April 20, 10am-1pm meet at Vandermark (see you at Short's after) (*I'm riding my bike out, leaving at 7:30am from top of Holiday Rd if anyone wants to join, hit me up)

  • there are still many trees down on the trail from the winter, they are gradually being cleared by volunteers

  • working on finalizing maps and kiosk signage to place massive sign order to complete wayfinding redesign before summer

  • 1/2 mile connector will be built in the next month as a shortcut for long route between Eckhardt and Vandermark

  • laying groundwork for disc golf course to be constructed this year

    • obtained initial permission from Village and Bellaire public schools to plan/layout course for final approval

  • also in initial planning with GTRLC for MNRTF grant application for property acquisition and trail construction to connect the Village of Bellaire to the trail

Happy trails!


Tom White's Mud, Sweat and Beers Preview!

MSB2019.jpg

It’s becoming a tradition just as exciting as race day itself! Tom White talks you through the 2019 Mud, Sweat and Beers course!

Things have changed a TON since the first few editions of MSB. Those races rarely strayed far from the wide-open and fast Vasa Pathway, and while still absolutely thrilling, those events didn’t offer riders much more than a tease of singletrack. When NMMBA stepped up to help design a course, the goal was always to ask more of the rider. We wanted to balance a safe, fun, and accessible route with something that would challenge more than just the engine of the rider, but also demand some amount of technical skill and tactical nous as well. We think our 2019 is the best iteration of MSB yet!

Tom’s turn-by-turn narration is included below, and we also have a file that includes much of the course available here. We do want to stress that riding on private property anytime outside of race day is prohibited. You can access the course from a number of places, and if you hop on the 25 km from Bunker or Timber, you’re going to see markings in no time.

Tom White’s MSB Turn-by-Turn

- Same start and finish as last year.
- Ample passing for the first 5.5 miles.
- The first piece of single track after the private land is the "F-Bomb"
area.  We plan to revamp this crappy section so it flows.
- This will flow into the "Das Boot" section and into the always popular
Jam Sesh single track.
- A fun portion of the winter sports trail is next.
- The course opens up to the rolling part of the the 25K and then into two
rolling hills in Jack Pine Valley.
- A very short single track takes you out of Jack Pine and onto another two
track to intersect the new section of VST by Post #5 (Saplings).
- The "saplings" section transitions into a 1 mile section of new single
track in Strombolis Lake (we will build in April).
- Same gas line and single track as last year (The Other White Meat).
- A 3/4 mile section of Sand Lakes Road is next to allow for passing and
roadie power to shine.
- New section of VST (Ditch Pickle and Tingling Bits) is next.
- After Tingling Bits we transition to some bits and pieces of unmarked
single track and then onto a downhill piece of Perch Lake Road.
- Then it is back into unmarked around Perch Lake and onto the two track
that will take you to the base of the Wall.
- From there we hit a portion of the Vasa 25k and then turn left onto a
seldom used piece of Tom's Cruise.
- Next we hit the Vasa 10k, then two tracks to the private land for a open
and high speed finish.
- There will be a safer merge with Pale Ale riders.
- Approximately 23.5 miles long.

Want to help Tom, Mike, and the whole TC Trail Crew get the course ready for race day? Join us at Mt. Holiday on Sunday, April 28 at 12:30. You can stay up to date on the game plan right here.

How You Can Save The Day, Every Day, In Just Five Seconds...

IMG_0139.jpg

This one goes for anyone on the trails. And that’s any trail. Please, pick up a stick.

While we host a number of trail days, most of the trail work that make the woods fun to bike, run, walk, and explore happens by our own trail volunteers. They spend hours each week heading deep into the forest to make structural changes or clear big, dangerous issues. Clearing downed trees, carefully pruning face slappers, fixing damage to trail, marking and recording future trail plans…they have a lot to do, and they squeeze all of it into daily life. They’re already sacrificing saddle time (which is dramatic enough), but they’re also missing time with family, friends, even work time to make sure we have a place to ride!

Can’t make that commitment? You don’t have to. You can join NMMBA, and you can trade those five hour work days for about five seconds per ride. How? Pick up a stick.

No, seriously. Picking up sticks, gel and snack wrappers, or any trail debris that you can address with your strong, bare hands is a huge help to our trail volunteers. Especially this spring, strong winds and a few weeks of ice and rain have brought down a lot of sticks, limbs and branches. If you can kick those clear, you’ll not only save our volunteers a ton of time, but you might also save one of your pals, too. Those sticks are rear derailleur killers, and if everyone can help out, we might be able to save a few of our friends a very long, sad, and expensive walk back to the parking lot.

Get out and ride! With the Cadillac Pathway almost completely clear and 90% of the unmarked trails in Traverse City ready to roll, this is a great week to sneak out and put in a few miles. Take a hot second each time to pick up a stick or two, pocket any stray wrappers, and let’s get things in pristine shape for the rest of spring and summer.

Updates From The Traverse City Trail Network

TCTN.jpg

This past weekend was a glorious preview of weather we hope to see consistently by the end of the month, and it gave us a nice head start on our spring trail work.

One of the first items on our to-do list is to get started on our spring trail design for Mud, Sweat and Beers. We’re back to help design the perfect course for May 4’s annual fundraiser to support Mt. Holiday, and we don’t have to tell you just how much this events means to Traverse City. MSB is more than just a fundraiser to support TC’s non-profit ski hill on the east side, but it also serves as family reunion, Opening Day, and the first big party of spring. For many, it’s the first race since Iceman Cometh the previous fall, and the first chance to catch up with all our riding buddies and racing rivals.

It’s also very popular as the first race ever for many new mountain bikers, and we work hard to ensure a course that’s accessible and safe for all, but challenging even for the fastest and most experienced racers. The balance of Vasa Pathway, unmarked singletrack, and connecting bits of trail is the perfect way to highlight the diverse riding experiences we offer, but also the ideal way to balance a course the works for everyone. We want the person completing their first Pale Ale and the Stout winner to both leave Mt. Holiday feeling tired, tested, and thoroughly happy with their day in the woods!

Our trail crew made the very most of the warm weather by getting to work on a new section of singletrack that will make its debut at Mud, Sweat and Beers. It was also a really good opportunity for us to take a look at just how much snow is still out in the woods. The open areas are remarkably clear, but anything heavily wooded or groomed is still covered with that hard packed-snow-turned-ice. A few more days of warm weather would have given us hope for spotty riding as soon as the 14th, but with cold temps this week mean it could be nearly the end of the month before we see 100% dirt.

Because of that variability, our TC Trail Network and indeed all of our trails have to be a bit flexible when it comes to schedule trail days. While Glacial Hills is good to go for their first Spring Clean-Up on April 20, Cadillac, TCTN, and Bike Leelanau will be a bit more short notice. If you’re interested in helping out, make sure you follow us on Facebook and join our newsletter to get the trail days in your inbox!

2019 NMMBA Trail Series Schedule

IMG_9684.JPG

All three of our races are confirmed! We’ve got three dates for you to circle in deep blood red on your calendar this summer and fall.

The NMMBA Trail Series is all about celebrating and enjoying our trails. Northern Michigan offers some incredible riding opportunities, but it isn’t always easy to make the drive or plan the trip to a new place to ride. Summer and fall as insanely busy for cyclists, plus day-to-day life tends to make long drives to different trails tough without having it set in stone weeks or even months ahead of time. Races make it easy to ride a marked trail, often designed to let you enjoy the best sections designed by NMMBA or the local trail crews to make sure you leave smiling from ear to ear.

This summer, we’ll be offering the same trio of trails you enjoyed last year, though you can count on some big changes at each event to keep them fresh and to help you discover new trails, new sections, and more fun than ever.

Traverse City Trails Festival, July 20. We’re headed back to Ranch Rudolf for the third edition of the TCTF! Tom White’s pipe dream has turned into the premier singletrack event in the state, offering 25 or 40 miles of racing or more laid back touring! The race plays a vital role in adding more singletrack to Traverse City’s ever-expanding network of both marked and unmarked trail at the Vasa Singletrack, Vasa Pathway, and all over the Pere Marquette Forest. As always, the race will finish alongside the creek at Ranch Rudolf, with great food and beer to help you recover and enjoy the day!

Short’s Glacial Hills Challenge, August 18. The second leg of the triple header, Glacial Hills is in prime shape in August! Under sunny skies and with flying-fast conditions, Brent Walk and the Fun Promotions LLC. crew is back with another event that not only draws some of the best riders from around the state, the event also raises money for the trails. The local trail crew does an incredible job getting the trail in simply perfect condition, and riders of all ability enjoy their one or two laps on course. It’s also the event that brings us all to Short’s Brewing Company’s backyard, and while our friends at Short’s have a massive presence at every event, it’s a little extra special when you can hit the pub after your race!

Bear Claw Epic, September 28. The summer racing season caps off at the Bear Claw Epic, the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Cadillac Pathway. Few races have grown as consistently as the BCE, and with good reason. Offering tons of categories and a course that is equally challenging to elite racers and beginning riders, the event has morphed into the perfect way to cap off summer and bridge into the fall campaign in the long lead in to the Iceman Cometh Challenge.

Racing one, two, or all three of these events supports the local trails and NMMBA, and we challenge everyone to hit all three. Pre-register for every NMMBA Trail Series event and you’ll pick up an exclusive water bottle, which you’ll be able to proudly show off at Bear Claw Epic. Race, tour, explore, and support these trails by showing up and having fun. Questions? Let us know!