Board Meeting Minutes: March 2019

NMMBA Board of Director’s Meeting

Date & location: Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 Keen Loft

Board present: Chad Jordan, Tom White, Kim White, John Roe, Tim Jenema, Tim Reicha III, Mike Walters & Steve Mentzer.

Board absent: Cotipaxi Sprattmoran, Dustin Webb, Michele Andrews and Don Clewley

Guests:Mark Mueller

Chad called the meeting to order at 6:40 p.m.

Introduction of Mark Mueller

Tom introduced Mark Mueller to the board. Mark is a local attorney who was asked to help formulate an agreement in regards to our merchandise sales.

As stated in the February minutes Nate Farran had come up with some new designs that would be marketed through the local bike shops(LBS).

is agreement would ensure that all involved would be accountable in regards to inventory levels and compensation. And also if agreement is ever ended by any of the parties it would be an amicable agreement.

Mark to prepare a rough draft to present to the board.

Acme Bike Park:

Tim J. had submitted a written update on this project which will be attached to the final minutes. He spoke of some specifics to fill in the blanks.

Tim had assembled some people with ties to the local community to provide input on this project.

They include Nate Farran who has connections with Norte’, Steve Lagerquist who is with the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy(GTRLC), and John Kerkov.

This project all falls within county property.

Tim also spoke of the need for financing. TART has committed $10,000 towards the park and he was seeking a $5000 commitment from NMMBA. Overall their goal is to secure $30,000 and look for matching grants.

There was discussion of possible fundraising methods they could employ. Among those was an adopt-a-berm. Similar to stretches of roads and trails financially backed by different groups. Groups could financially back sections of the trail. Some felt that not all would be on board with this.

Tim outlined that the project would be constructed in phases. Initially it will be hand built and will contain a skills section.

A motion was made by Kim with a 2nd by John to earmark $5000 towards the Acme Bike Park pending approval of the project.

Unanimous vote.

Single Track Love Machine:

Tom filled in the board as to the status of the Single Track Love Machine(STLM).

Rough design has been completed. If given the okay it will be finished by July. As presented the cost of the STLM is $12,087. Quote is not perfect as in if the STLM does not do what we want it to, we are out the money.

It attaches to a ditch witch and because of its movement, that of a roto-tiller, DNR has okay’d its use on the trails.

It measures approx. 19” x 27”.

There was general discussion as to its uses, reconditioning old trails and how it will cut time in making trail.

Mike made a motion to allocate $12,087 for the STLM. Tim R. 2nd the motion. More discussion and then put to a vote. Unanimous.

Strategic Planning:

Tom handed around a strategic planning report he had put together.

This plan is extremely important for our organization moving forward.

It will be ever evolving so that it keeps its relevance for current and future members.

He touched on some of the aspects:

There are 4 strategies. Okay, maybe 5.

-Economic

-Product/Name brand

-Relationship

-Distribution

-Organizational

Each titled strategy was then broken down even further to reflect our mission.

Tom asked for comments on this plan; additions, subtractions, etc. by April 1st. At our next meeting in April these suggestions will be discussed and maybe implemented.

Trail series:

Aspects of the trail series were discussed. Still under consideration was making it a point series.

Pros and cons were brought up in regards to this point.

Age classifications can be its downfall. They would have to be uniform.

Fat bike series was discussed as well. Saw increases in each race. Age classifications were varied per each race. Some had 45+ Masters categories and some races featured more defined age groups.

So, then does it become a participation series? With swag going to all who race the whole series?

Old business:

John Roe reminded all about the Groomer appreciation party to be held at Timber Ridge on Thursday the following evening.

Steve mentioned he had emailed Mark Irwin at the Fischer agency in Bellaire with a request on quotes for equipment and general liability insurance. Still awaiting a response.

Meeting adjourned at 9:08 p.m.

Submitted by

Steve Mentzer, secretary

Attachments:

Committee reports.

Glacial Hills

  • anecdotally, by parking lot observation and social media engagement, this was the best year for groomed trail use in our four years of grooming

    • biking, xc skiing, and snowshoeing

    • GH had very little foot traffic on the groomed trail this year

  • spring trail clean up tentatively scheduled for Sat., April 20 from Vandermark parking lot

  • 2019 will include data collection and communication for 2020 MNRTF grant application to move forward with connecting trail to village of Bellaire

  • need to review draft agreement with Antrim Conservation District re shared employee

    • any potential for NMMBA to hire shared trail maintenance staff in the future?

  • GH board and volunteers plan to have new permanent wayfinding signs with 11 suggested/marked loops (3-4 from each trail head) printed and installed by Memorial Day weekend

    • 1/2 mile connector (shortcut) trail to be built before maps are printed

    • likely mid to end of April, if anyone is willing to help remove some downed trees on the new route with a group, let me know

Bike Leelanau

Updates:

1) Grooming was highly successful this year, most importantly the Winter Sports Trail has facilitated positive relationships with Northport/Omena folks and businesses. Most of whom fully support the trail and the winter business it brings in.

2) When the snow melts, work will resume on the second loop of the Intermediate MTB Trail at Palmer Woods. A 1 mile multi-use trail will be built by Bike Leelanau at the Leland Township property Provemont Pond - this will be an initial multi-use loop to test mountain biking on the property, with potential to up to 7 miles of mtb trails on the property.

3) We are in discussion with Up North Pride and the Bay Theater to co-host a Pride Ride and Movie in Suttons Bay for Pride month.

4) There is a potential for single track to be built adjacent to the TART Leelanau Trail on the northern part of the trail.

Cody

Acme Bike Park-

Attached is site plan concept.

Still working through planning stages to start early this summer building the Blue and Red loops on the site plan. We have a potential of $15k in funding and 2 grants being applied for through Tart and NMMBA. Brick Wheels is helping with a grant applications through Quality Bike Parts Community Grant. We are actively sourcing materials for the skill development area, if anyone knows good sources for flat rocks for rock garden, drops and other features let me know.

Chris Kushman from Tart and I have put together a small committee to help steer this project in the right direction with members from a few cycling groups and the land conservancy, we plan to meet right after spring break.

We plan to work on plans for the re working BMX track area, add skill development area and future pump track.

Tim Jenema

TCTN

1)  The entire network is 3 feet under.  The forecast looks tough for

MSB....as always.  Final race map for MSB is finished and submitted to the

DNR.  Not yet approved.  There will be 1.0 mile of new trail this year and

massive clean up and prep efforts will begin as soon as the snow breaks.

It is gonna be tight timing.....again.

2)  The Single Track Love Machine design and final drawing is done.  Ready

for board review and decision.

3)  VST - the 2019 reroutes are defined, mostly flagged out and the next

section of Strombolis Lake is APPROVED for build out!  The work season for

the VST can begin when the snow breaks.  The parts included in the MSB will

be addressed first.  The parts in TCTF addressed next.  The work in 2019

will make the VST a MUCH better finished product.  Everything tingles when

I think about it.

4)  TCTF - Sponsor package sent to Bob's Furnace for review.  This will

fill the M22 hole.  Meeting at the Ranch being set up to to review the new

beer sale plan and other event/site specifics.  Course route and final map

to be complete by mid April.  Tick tock!!! Flyer to be out April 1.  Sign

up to go live April 15ish.  Social media/website update to happen when the

map comes out (April 15th ish).


It's As Easy As Predicting The Weather...

SNOW BIKE HAHA.JPG

Just when we thought we’d seen the last of stellar winter conditions, things froze up, firmed up and shined up on trails!

Last week was the perfect example of how northern Michigan weather. From 55 degrees and rain midweek to some of the fastest, firmest conditions of the year just two days later, this time of year can be incredible variable and often extremely fun! Our groomers will be checking in with each, riders, and our friends at TART to make decisions about any further grooming efforts. It’s a bit of a process, and we need your help to make any more snow riding work.

First off, we’re heading into a freeze/thaw cycle. In many other places, this refers to frozen and wet mud; the guys down at WMMBA are already battling mornings with rock-hard mud and afternoons with peanut butter soup. For us, the cycle is more of an issue with snow. What is hard and fast in the morning gets soft by late afternoon on days when the sun is out and the temps rise quickly over freezing. If riders hit the trails while it’s soft, those tracks and ruts freeze up, meaning any other riders are riding in their frozen wake.

Now, there’s a point in the season where we just can’t fix these issues, and we also don’t really want to when we know the base is going to be gone soon, anyway. For the next week or two, we’ll be watching the 5 and 10 day forecasts to determine if we’ll invest any more grooming efforts for the season. If we see warm weather for a full five days, which is something we’ve got on our radar now, we don’t anticipate any more grooming for spring.

As these trails melt, we do ask that as dirt is exposed, riders make smart decisions on wet soil. We are likely three or four weeks away from see the forest floor again, so you won’t need to watch for a while. If you’re wondering just how much snow is still in the woods, take a step off the groomed trail. Yesterday, we sunk in to mid-thigh in many places, and it’s often even deeper on hillsides and drifted areas! Once that snow does melt, avoid riding around mud puddles, which causes wider trails and more erosion. We’ll work hard to keep you updated on trail conditions as the wet season approaches.

Conditions at Glacial Hills and Cadillac Pathway could be very different from those in Traverse City, and the Winter Sports Trail at Leelanau State Park is closed just in case we get another cold snap.

Until then, we’ll be busy. We’re already finalizing details for the 2019 Traverse City Trails Festival, putting together the Mud, Sweat and Beers course design, plus getting a head start on place for the 30th edition of the Iceman Cometh Challenge!

Beard of Zeus: Capping Off The Short's Brewing Fat Bike Series In Style

DSC01023.jpg

Beard of Zeus was, in a word, stellar. If you made it out to join us at Timber Ridge, then you know what a race, what a party, what an event the finale of the Short’s Brewing Fat Bike Series was for 2019.

Last year, the race was cancelled due to ice. This year’s edition of the race couldn’t have seen a more idyllic winter day. With temps hovering in the mid-20s and the sun peeking intermittently between batches of puffy, lazy clouds, it was the perfect weather for shredding. With a two-mile course for the day, we put in a load of work to pack the dry, powdery snow. John Roe was out at 4am on race morning to give the entire course a final pat, with just an inch of fresh stuff settling over the topped of the packed base. With over 100 riders putting in 8-10 minute laps for the leaders and 15-20 minute laps for the more party-minded, the course help up just about as well as we could have possibly hoped with the dry snow.

There was plenty to race for Saturday, too, and the Men’s Open took center stage. With Sunset Scott and Rick Wetherald tied on points, whichever rider finished ahead of the other on the day would nab the Series. Previous BoZ winner Jorden Wakeley was ready to take the spoils of the day, while Series regulars like Eric Langley, Paul Olson, and Kyan Olshove were eager nip onto the podium, should the opening arise.

After riding together early, a crash saw Sunset distanced, and cost him a bottle cage ripped right out of his frame. He spent the rest of the day chasing against a 1’20” gap to Rick and Jorden. Ahead, Rick was all-in on the front to keep that big gap open, knowing that with lapped traffic and any mistakes, 60-odd seconds could disappear in the blink of an eye. Wakeley was happy to sit on and race for the last lap, while a bigger chase group that would eventually collect Langley and Olshove was headed up by the Master’s podium fight, including John Duby, Kris Sands, Rob Goepfrich, and Scott Diment.

On the women’s side, Susan Vigland easily stayed perfect with a fourth straight win, putting in a few minutes early and holding the gap for the full 90 minutes. Chelsey Schlict put in some rock-solid lap times for second, while women’s master’s leader, Cindy Duby, also stayed perfect, riding away meter by meter from Amelia Hasenohrl and Kamie Wade.

Sunset never quite got back into the hunt for the race win, and with a move with a half a lap to go, Wakeley survived the lapped traffic pitfalls to take his second win of the Series out of two starts. Wetherald came home second with Sunset third, enough for the pair to stay comfortably first and second in the final Series tally.

Paul Olson won the men’s master’s, but it was John Duby who claimed the Series after riding with metronome-like consistency since things started way back in January at Fat Chance. Cindy’s perfect season means the Duby mantle must be getting a bit crowded with medals and trophies early in 2019!

We had an absolute blast really taking on Beard of Zeus, and event we’re happy to add to our ever-expanding calendar of races and rides that covers every season. Of course, we couldn’t done it without the dozens of volunteers that manned the registration table, marshaled all afternoon, helped with parking, and contributed to make this one of the most enjoyable fat bike events of the winter! And you can feel good about being there; 100% of proceeds from BoZ go straight to NMMBA, helping us bring you the best grooming, new trails, and advocating for our sport around the region and across the state.

A big thanks to Short’s Brewing, Einstein Cycles, Bearclaw Bicycle Co., 45NRTH, Velocity, State Farm Insurance Agency, Paddles and Pedals of Bellaire, Timber Ridge, and all the folks who helped to bring this together. A very special thanks to the guys at up.bike, who turned their hand to designing some very unique medals at Fat Chance and Series trophies for us, both times on short notice!

Make sure you head over to check out the full race results and take just a second to congratulate a racer for their hardwork. We had a great experience with our old friend Jason Whittaker on hand running the timing, and it’s always a pleasure to have accurate results in hand the second the last rider rolls through.

Want To Help Us Throw A Party? Beard of Zeus Is Almost Here!

BOZ2.jpg

On March 2, we’re putting on the biggest party of winter, and one of the most fun fat bike races around!

This year’s Beard of Zeus Fat Bike Race at Timber Ridge is 100% our thing, with 100% of proceeds going right back into the trails. We’re aiming to make this year’s race the most fun edition yet, and that’s no small feat. The circuit-style course on Timber Ridge’s property makes for fast, exciting racing for athletes and spectators alike, and there will certainly be spectators. The original winter party in the woods, Suds’n’Snow, starts just as we’re wrapping up, which gives us plenty of enthusiastic fans for the final few laps.

It’s the fourth stop in the Short’s Brewing Fat Bike Series, which means it’s the final chance for riders looking to pocket a few valuable points before wrapping up the season. After the Dogman Challenge, standings are tighter than ever, the Men’s and Women’s Open categories couldn’t get much tighter! Expect to see some aggressive, competitive racing from the Series regulars, as well as plenty of folks out taking on their first race ever; it’s one of the most accessible events of the whole year, so if you haven’t toed the line before, make it a priority to join us on Saturday!

If you aren’t planning on racing, we could use a few folks to help us make this party one folks won’t soon forget! If you’re available Saturday from 10-11:45 to assist with day-of registration and packet pick-up, and could even stick around to cheer, shout, and heckle, we might have some goodies for your efforts.

Registration for the SBFBS Beard of Zeus is open right here.

If you can help out, email us at communications@nmmba.net and we’ll be in touch!

43rd Annual North American Vasa: Thank You, Volunteers!

VASA SMiles.jpg

Much has already been said about the glorious weekend that was. Over two days, multiple races, and countless kilometers of skiing and biking, the 43rd Annual North American Vasa is in the books.

The Vasa is a tremendous undertaking, and while it always seems to go off so seamlessly, it take a lot of work to make all the pieces fit together. There are myriad races and disciplines within each race, putting a lot of pressure on timers, aid stations, course marshals, and our ski patrol volunteers to ensure that everyone is taken care of. There’s a remarkable tight time table to make sure those volunteers aren’t exposed to the elements for too long, and there are dozens of categories’ worth of awards, sponsors to thank, and plenty of Short’s beer to drink back in the Celebration Zone.

We just wanted to thank the race organizers, our own John Roe very much among them, for all of their hard work in fitting all of these pieces together and giving our community another Vasa to cherish. Events like this serve as a way to reconnect and reconvene our winter sports community and includes skiers and fat bikers like nothing else on the calendar. And it’s important to point out that fat bikers are skiers, and vice versa; two of the podium finishers from last year’s fat bike race were on ski podiums this year, including Jorden Wakeley! Some athletes even opted to both ski and fat bike, like Keith Conway and Joe Leppeck. One crazy person, Dan Novak skied, rode, and woke up Sunday to ski again for the ultimate Nordic experience.

Of course, no matter how much the Vasa organizers take on, there’s no way they could do it all without scores of volunteers. This year, Kelley Peterson did an exceptional job of corralling the efforts of volunteers like our own Tom White and Steve Mentzer, plus dozens of others who spent not just Saturday helping, but much of the day Thursday, Friday, and Sunday to pull everything together.

The event saw participation by our wider winter sports community, including riders who might usually call trails like Glacial Hills or Cadillac Pathway home. The Vasa also drew riders from as far away as Detroit, Grand Rapids, Holland, and Marquette, showing off our incredible trails, expert grooming, and charming hometown. We really see these winter events as a showcase of how vibrant, connected, active, and enthusiastic northern Michigan is year-round, not just during tourist season.

So from everyone at NMMBA, thank you, volunteers, to manning aid stations and registration, course marshals and podium ceremonies. You’re the ones who make all of our events possible, and the ones who make them so much fun, too!

Full results from the North American Vasa are available here.