NMMBA Board of Director’s Annual Meeting
Date and location: Sunday, January 6th, Timber Ridge Resort
Board present: Chad Jordan, Tim Reicha III, Kim White, John Roe, Mike Walters, Tim Jenema, Cotipaxi Sprattmoran, Michele Andrews and Steve Mentzer.
Board absent: Dustin Webb & Don Clewley
After a ride and dinner, Chad formerly called the meeting to order at 5:40 p.m.
Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association
2018 Financial Report
Current cash situation reflects 2 solid years of excellent fundraising through our races and events;
Plans for accumulated cash include upcoming grooming equipment replacement as well as pavilions at Cadillac Pathway trail head (under way) and the Vasa Single Track trail
head (each at a cost expected to near $50,000);
New for 2018 we are the fiduciary of the Dan Morley Memorial Fund; current value
2018 equipment purchases include:
o new snowmobile for grooming at Leelanau State Park;
o new open trailer for hauling equipment for trail work bees;
o new logo canopy and feather flags;
o a down-payment on a new snowmobile for WSST (coordinating trade in of our oldest snowmobile).
We have donated over $12,000 out to community partners and programs;
Our merchandise is actually profitable thanks in a large way to Nate Farran for designing
the new logo and applying it to merchandise you all apparently want; our president
Chad Jordan for shipping out all the online orders; and Cody Sovis for marketing it online
(and enlisting his brother Wes for modeling);
Our memberships, now processed in-house, has improved by almost 400% (caveat, the
number includes almost half of 2017’s membership funds which were delayed in being
collecting from another source);
Received wonderful, large donations from several family foundations which were
specific to the new Bike Leelanau program and funded the purchase of a snowmobile for
winter grooming efforts at LSP;
Lastly, little of our efforts in fundraising would be as successful if we hadn’t been able to
obtain our charitable status; this was greatly assisted by our new by-laws and articles of
incorporation done by Dan Morley.
Chad then announced that a vote was needed to officially name Tim Jenema to the NMMBA board.
He made a motion to name Tim Jenema to the board. It was met with a unanimous vote.
Chad then gave his president’s message.
Some of the highlights:
Chad spoke about the many jobs he has had. Jobs that came with a paycheck. This was what brought he and his co-workers back every Monday. A great work environment but without the passion.
But with NMMBA it’s different. There are no paychecks but plenty of passion.
Motivation is to ride great trails, build more trails and take care of these trails so they can be ridden and loved for years to come.
The board consists of 11 members who embrace this passion.
Yes, our meetings can run long but what emerges is the imagination of what is possible for those of us that ride in northern Michigan.
He then introduced the members of the NMMBA board:
Tim Reicha III
He then spoke of who is NMMBA and what do they do?
In the past this has been a difficult question to answer.
We are good at both building and maintaining trail but not so good at self promotion and marketing.
This was corrected with the hiring of Cody Sovis. Cody let’s our community know all our doings through social media and blog posts.
Thank you Cody!
With our ever expanding trail networks we created chapters. These chapters needed their own identity. So we turned to Nate Farran to create a brand for our 6 chapters.
Thank you Nate!
These 6 chapters are:
TC Winter Sports Trail
Traverse City Trails Network
Glacial Hills Pathway
High Country Pathway
Chad then expounded on each chapter as to 2018 happenings and beyond.
TC Winter Sports Trail:
10 dedicated groomers are ready to take care of up to 22+ miles of trails for the 2018-19 season. This has allowed NMMBA to define what a four-season trail can be.
Through our record badge sales this year we have solidified a method to get out grooming reports to badge holders minutes after grooming has been completed. It also has provided funding to obtain the best equipment to keep our trails in their best condition.
Traverse City Trail Network:
Last year brought some revisions to the iconic VST(Vasa Single Track). Some of these changes were apparent at Mud, Sweat and Beers in May. It’s not always easy to make changes to a trail where most got their start in mountain biking. And we listen to each comment, good or bad and take them all seriously.
The soft opening took place at the ribbon cutting in August. It was the first ever Speed of Light and Time Trial and a summer fiesta cookout.
Lots of chicken were consumed, washed down by various libations and lots of stories about summer adventures were told.
Next up was the TCTF. Despite a dismal forecast, bikers of all abilities were able to race a fully supported and marked “unmarked” trail system. This is NMMBA’s biggest fundraiser and it cannot happen without the efforts of our sponsors and dedicated volunteers.
The crew stepped up again when asked to layout the Iceman route. It took a lot of work compacting, grading and re-routing but the result was a fantastic route for what proved to be the Super Bowl of mountain biking. Right here in our own backyard.
Often one is asked can one person make a difference? The answer is yes!
In regards to the CP, Michele Andrews has set the bar high with her vision for that trail system.
Like the TCTN, CP lies all within state land. They are paving the way with improvements to the amenities as well as a new soon to be completed pavilion.
The structure is the result of a multi-year process. Considerable paperwork, design approval, insurance, acceptance of concept, contractors, organizing volunteers and working with the DNR have earned Michele high marks in patience and perseverance. Combined with this is trying to raise $50,000 to get it done! Bravo!
The Bear Claw Epic race every 4th Saturday in September contributed nicely to the fundraising in that last years race saw a jump in riders by 115! Now boasting 415 participants.
Also approved by the DNR was an additional 11 miles of single track. The result of a two year process.
Glacial Hills Pathway:
GHP has seen many improvements over the summer.
Parking lots at both Vandermark and Orchard Hills.
Changing rooms, vault toilets and maintenance storage to name a few.
Over 2000 man hours provided by a dedicated crew of volunteers kept the trails enjoyable for all riders and especially the Tuesday and Wednesday rides.
New maps and wayfinding signage to be installed in the spring of 2019.
Added 5 miles to the already 7+ miles for winter groomed snow biking.
Cotopaxi came on board a year ago and wanted change in her home of Leelanau county. And she stepped up and lead the way.
She partnered with the Leelanau conservancy(LC) to bring the first flow trail to northern Michigan at Palmer Woods. Together they have identified 20+ potential miles of trails to be developed over the next few years.
Working with the DNR BL has provided oversight with their Leelanau State Park(LCP) floating trails.
Provided funding and acquisition of a new grooming sled.
Organized the grooming crew and kicked it all off with a Trail Day party!
Their future vision includes getting more people on bikes.
This will be done through Spring Earth day for kids, establishing a bike library and hosting a series of women’s and coed skills clinics.
High Country Pathway:
Although a bit out of the way the HCP is a real gem. And a yearly clean up organized by past NMMBA president Glen Ruczynski has been happening for over a decade. Over 80 miles of trails await you.
Be sure to put this on your bucket list.
2019 and beyond:
What does 2019 and beyond hold for NMMBA?
A continued partnership with
Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy
Leelanau Conservancy and
Projects slated for 2019 and beyond:
CP trailhead improvements
NMMBA emergency response system
Continued phases at Palmer Woods
Master plan contributions at LSP
GH improvements and wayfinding signage
The meeting ended with the awarding of the inaugural Dan Morley volunteer of the year award.
This award had been discussed for months but came to fruition at the December board meeting.
With the help of up.bike an award was fashioned that captured the spirit of the award perfectly. A drivetrain symbolizing the way that volunteers drive NMMBA.
The recipient was was also discussed and the name that kept coming back was Dan himself. His efforts with NMMBA and other organizations around the state will last for years.
Steve presented the award to Betsy, his wife. It was a very emotional moment. Betsy accepted to a standing ovation. And she gave a brief speech that accurately captured Dan’s passion with mountain biking.
On this note the meeting was adjourned at 6:30 p.m.
Steve Mentzer, secretary