NMMBA Board of Directors Meeting - May

NMMBA Board of Directors Meeting

Date and location: Wednesday, May 8th, 2019. Keen loft

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

Board absent: Michele Andrews, John Roe, Dustin Webb, Tim Jenema and Don Clewley

Guests: Cody Sovis, Steve Petoskey and Doris Petoskey

Chad opened the meeting at 6:34 p.m.

Quorum present.

Agenda item Evart Trail moved to first item.

Evart Trail:

Steve and Doris Petoskey were introduced as guests. Citizens of Evart and owners of a bicycle repair shop, Steve and Doris are interested in developing a portion of the Pere Marquette forest west of Evart for mountain biking. They have approached NMMBA as to the best process to realize their dream.

Steve had initiated talks with Scott Slavin of the DNR and he recommended they contact NMMBA.

The proposed trails are located north of the US 10/M-140 intersection. The number of acres has not been determined but all fall within state lands.

A local company Evart Ventra, LLC has committed to provide funding for the project.

Questions arose as to what other user groups were present and what bodies of water were in the vicinity.

As far as Steve knew there were no dedicated ORV groups that used the lands/trails regularly and other than a few streams, no large bodies of water existed.

There was additional discussion as to soil types, trail miles, etc.

Tom then guided Steve on the best way to proceed.

Contact other user groups and see what plans they may have for that area, talk to the DNR and ask what their plans are: logging, etc.

Get the okay from other groups and the DNR’s Forestry division.

Steve and Doris will gather information and report back at a future meeting.

MMBA Update:

Kim had a short update to present. With the departure of Melissa Werkman the MMBA lacks an Executive Director(ED). This has caused the organization’s strategic plan to be unobtainable.

There is a need to work with committees in Lansing to advance our cause.

One person on the forefront is Jason Aric Jones of the PotoMBA.

There has been some new Director’s orders about to come down that will give conservation officers a clearer enforcement of certain rules.

Those particular rules were not available as of this meeting.

Certainly more to follow.


As always Kim presented the complete financial picture for NMMBA.

Not much discussion came about but some of the figures presented include:

NMMBA Checking acct. Balance which stood at $49,290.84. In addition, Bear Claw Epic(BCE) account balance is $32,541.71


Just a reminder that to serve on the board one must maintain their NMMBA membership.

By the end of 2019 members will have the option to renew automatically.

VST Pavilion:

John and Chad had met with a potential donor for the pavilion. A donation figure will be agreed upon.

Cherry Capital Cycling Club has also expressed interest in helping to defray the costs.

Costs associated with the project were discussed.

An engineered site plan should run about $2000. Tim J. will have connections in regards to this.

Dave Heim, a local architect had offered to help as well.

It was decided to get Tim J. to solicit engineers and report back to the board.

A site for the pavilion has always been assumed. DNR (within the DNR there have been two suggested locations)  Based on trails merging, etc they have advocated it being located off the parking lot in the woods.

Pavilion committee which consists of Chad, Mike, Tom and Tim J. will determine location among other aspects.

More to follow.

Hayo-Went-Ha Camp:

Hayo-went-ha Camp is located in Antrim county. They have exchanged emails with NMMBA with tentative plans to meet in person. They are looking for advice/direction on building trails within the camp’s property. With the possibility of a connector to Glacial Hills.

More to follow when/if that meeting takes place.

But talked turned to our role and expenses put out for these requests to design and build trail. And more importantly how much will be asked of the organization(s) soliciting our services.

Will it be pay to play?

The Singletrack Love Machine(SLM) will play a pivotal role.

All monies generated by the SLM will go to pay our expenses.

Our own trails will pay a maintenance fee.

Trail building outside our organization will pay additional expenses.

In addition to providing their own ditch witch.

Design fees was also brought up.

What exactly do we charge and how is that money treated?

Donations or revenue?

Does Tom’s role as a  trail designer be looked at separately?

Does he get paid but donate back dollars to NMMBA?

Bit cloudy at this point. More to follow.


Chad led the discussion on this.

He states that Nate wants to get moving on this new branding and partner outreach enterprise.

Board reviewed a rough draft of a compensation agreement drawn up by Mark Mueller. This agreement would be between Nate Farran and NMMBA.

Question as to how Nate is compensated and how is NMMBA get their portion of the dollars. Retail or wholesale?

Talk of new memberships with each bike sale through the local bike shops(LBS). Guided tours to new riders.

With the potential of hundreds of new members how do we keep them in front of us? Emails? Lots to work out.

Tim R. to get with Mark Mueller to iron out a few sections of the document.

TART/Acme bike park:

With the absence of Tim J. at tonight’s meeting, there was no formal update given.

It was decided that the committee consisting of Tim J., Tom and Kim would meet with TART.


Cody Sprattmoran talked of the June bike skills clinic to be held at Palmer Woods. $75 for entry either of the two days designated. Saturday will be for those who identify as women and Sunday will be open to all. Clinic goes from 9am to 5pm daily. Lunch will be provided. Two renowned instructors, Lori Hauswirth and Lianna Miller will provide instruction.

Cody Sovis let the board know that some registrations are coming in for TCTF.

Talk of the tent being present for Mud Sweat and Beers. Merch sales, flyers for TCTF and handouts also will be on hand.

Meeting adjourned at 8:40pm.

Submitted by

Steve Mentzer, secretar

Committee updates:

Fatbike Grooming:

We are at the time of year that we forget about winter grooming. Happy Spring.

However, the planning for next winter is already started. Here is what I have going.

1) Groomer gifts are ordered. Waiting on Nate, TC will pay for all trails

2) Grooming survey in review

3) Snowmobile and equipment maintenance in process - all equipment should be prepared for next season by the end of June. Oil change, minor repairs, inspection and modifications.

4) I am ordering a new drag for TC Tidd Tech Narrow Gauge groomer with flaps and having flaps put on our V-Plow.

4) I am meeting with the DNR on Tuesday May 21. I need to have the Cadillac's expenditures and Northport's expenditures and log (should include total mileage and volunteer hours).

5) After TCTF we need to plan a Fatbike Committee meeting. I can collect unsold badge then. We will discuss plans for next season and badge sales structure.

6) Norte is starting a Fatbike program. (They will have a fleet of FB for kids to use)


John Roe

TCTN Updates......

- MSB course received rave reviews.  The marking had issues, but upon

deeper analysis it was only a few people leading large groups off course.

Some great corrective actions are already in place and I think 2020 will be

even better.

- We just got DNR approval today for the final extensions on the VST and

the complete build out of the Strombolis area.  By TCTF we will have 80% of

it done and in the event.  The approvals today will bring the VST total

distance to 21 miles.....up from the lowly 15.5 it is today.  This is a

huge day.

- TCTF sign up is going.  The event application turned in.  Lots of work

happening daily.  One last attempt to get Norte on board for this year.

Two solid starts have failed.  Have one more possible option cooking.

- A motorized wheelbarrow and equipment hauler has been ordered using

private funds.  This will allow us to carry all our equipment (including

the stump grinder) deep into the forest to fix problem areas.  This will be

a huge help.

- The Love Machine is still on track for mid July delivery.  Once the machine is tested and proven, it will be put to use reconditioning old trail, building the extension on the VST, improving the Iceman course and hopefully other user groups can use it to recondition their trails too….such as the ORV (mainly dirt bike) trails.  

Glacial Hills

  • We had 25 volunteers attend the April 20 work day and work the entire 31 miles of trail

  • Our shared employee with Antrim Conservation District began working at Glacial Hills last week, April 30. Zach will be working Monday and Thursday each week, coordinating efforts with our volunteer maintenance crew plus maintaining the buildings and infrastructure.

  • The trails are in great shape and there are wildflowers everywhere, get out there!

2019 Traverse City Trails Festival: Which Distance Should I Do?


Multiple distance, races and tours, plus loads of age groups…which event should you sign up for?

In this third edition of the Traverse City Trails Festival presented by Short’s Brewing, we’re seeing interests from racers around the state and new riders from right here in northern Michigan. As the event grows, we’re excited to welcome more riders of all abilities to experience this great day on the trails. With folks asking which event is right for them, we wanted to take a second to talk about each distance and course.

The 40 Mile Race. Forty miles on a bike is nothing to sniff at. Forty miles in the woods is even tougher. Forty miles of singletrack? Now that’s a big day in the saddle. Don’t let the distance intimidate you; regular and consistent riding is all it takes to not just survive the full forty, but enjoy it! The course is twisting, flowing, and engaging; while you’ll never get bored, you’ll also have rare opportunities to hit your top speeds like in other more open, straight races like Peak2Peak or Iceman Cometh. Even with a quick pace, it’s still a big day in the saddle. For reference, our 2018 winner, Tyler Weston, finishing in two hours, thirty-one minutes. Our slowest finisher was in at four hours, twenty two minutes, with the bulk of riding finishing between three and three and a half hours.

We look at the 40 mile event as an endurance race. While the marathon mountain bike race events are often closer to 60 miles, due to the amount of singletrack, we see very comparable times to old school marathon races like Boyne Mountain, which were frequently finished in times right around three and a half hours. Whether you’re looking to win or just finish, this race is about the long haul, pacing, hydration, and riding to your own beat.

The Twenty-Five Mile Race. This distance is tried-and-true, classic cross-country mountain bike racing. It’s right on par with events like Mud, Sweat and Beers, Iceman, Yankee Springs Time Trial, and other events shaped to take around 90 minutes to complete. We certainly don’t see this as the ‘Sport’ class race, and that’s why there’s full complement of categories from Elite/Expert through Sport; if you race and ride consistently, this is the perfect race to test the legs for events later in the year, like the Glacial Hills Challenge and Bear Claw Epic.

With some open and fast mileage at the beginning and end, this course offers a shorter distance but more aggressive racing across categories. Last year’s winner, Garrett Jenema, led home a star-studded field with a time of one hour and forty-two minutes, with most racers finishing between two and two and half hours.

The 25 Mile Tour. Want to just go? Enjoy the day at your own pace, with your pals, or meet new folks to ride with. Both the 25 Mile and 15 Mile Tour are designed to get new riders and never-racers involved by offering a marked course without the the pressure of competition. By far the biggest smiles of the day last year were on the faces of riders like Don Cunkle, who spent their morning cruising through the woods, chatting with pals, and stopping for snacks along the way. The value of the tour is to experience these trails and learn them for yourself, and get the chance to meet members of our incredible cycling community before, during, and after your time on the trail.

The 15 Mile Race. Is this for beginners? Well, yes and no At nearly two hours for even experienced riders, the 25 mile race is a really tough day in the saddle if you’re pushing yourself. So, new for 2019, we decided to piece together a fun, fast, but accessible route for riders looking to save themselves ten miles and still get in between 60 and 90 minutes of racing. This also suits a large number of the Norte riders who’d find the 8 Mile kid’s race a bit short, but who may not find the full 25 mile event in their wheelhouse.

Because the 15 mile race uses the same faster, wider trails that open the 25 and 40 mile events, riders can expect to average over 10 miles and hour for the first and final three miles, with a dip in speed once they hit some smooth, manicured singletrack. We’re pulling out all the stops (and the roots, and the bumps) to make sure this is smooth, fun, and enjoyable for beginners, kids, and folks who want to be back to the party a little before everyone else!

When in doubt, tour it out. This is about having fun, coming together, and enjoying the trails. If you’re nervous about taking on a distance or racing, we really suggest taking all the pressure and anxiety out of the day and joining a tour. You’re going to find yourself surrounded by friendly, knowledgeable, and fun folks no matter what, so sign up for what YOU think will be the most fun, get you the most prepared for other rides or race, or will offer you a chance to connect and learn more about these unique trails.

Sign up today. Your registration goes straight to NMMBA’s efforts to build, maintain, and protect non-motorized trails all over the region. Aside from becoming a member, signing up to race or tour the TCTF is the very best thing you can do to support trails!

Still can’t decide? Contact our Communications Director, Cody Sovis and he’ll help you pick the distance and category you should be in based on what YOU want out of the Traverse City Trails Festival.

May Field Trips: Palmer Woods Work Bee, Arcadia Grit & Gravel

FlowTrack Palmer.jpg

Your May challenge? Hit Palmer Woods. And help, if you can.

Palmer Woods is rolling into its first full season in action, and we want to challenge you to get out and see if for yourself. The new trail is a the product of grassroots support and advocacy from Leelanau Conservancy, pushed by Bike Leelanau and bike-lovers all over Leelanau County. The first phase of construction has already given us one of the most unique places to ride in the state!

Flowtrack Mountain Bike designed the trail and opened things up for riding last fall. Closed for winter, spring has given Palmer Woods its first chance to impress locals and riders visiting our region. We want to make sure everyone gets to experience the trail in prime shape. That’s why the Conservancy, Bike Leelanau, and Suttons Bay Bikes are hosting a trail day on Thursday, May 16. We’ll be looking to address trail debris, clear face-slappers, and make some minor repairs from a long, soggy winter and spring.

At the same time, volunteers from the Leelanau Conservancy will be tackling a spreading nuisance. Garlic mustard is an invasive species that’s been a huge problem in the area, and they’re calling on as many hands as they can muster to stop the spread at Palmer Woods. They’re looking for at least a dozen willing, strong-armed people who aren’t afraid to get dirty. That effort will run in conjunction with the bike work bee, which means Palmer Woods will be swarming with do-gooders. Make sure you bring your bike, too; there’s a very high chance a bike ride will break out after the trail work!

This weekend is also a great chance to go explore Arcadia. The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy manages Arcadia Dunes and has worked hard to developed the trail into one of the most fun, exciting, and flowing mountain bike trails in the area. This Saturday, Endoman Promotions hosts the Arcadia Grit & Gravel, a half gravel race, half mountain bike race that puts riders on 10 miles of dirt roads before tossing them into 11 miles of singletrack goodness. It’s one of the most unique events in the state, and one of the most beautiful. The race weekend always seems trillium in peak bloom; riders blur past hillsides and ravines covered in a blanket of brilliant white flowers over a vibrant green undergrowth.

A portion of the proceeds from the race go to GTRLC, helping preserve both the Arcadia Dunes and the many other ambitious conservation projects Glen and the gang have cooking. For riders in northern Michigan, who are so spoiled to have trails like the Traverse City Trail Network, Palmer Woods, Cadillac Pathway, and Glacial Hills right in their backyard, races like Arcadia Grit & Gravel are the perfect excuse for a field trip!

Traverse City Trails Festival Registration Is Open!


Last year was great. Let’s make 2019 even better.

Registration for the 2019 Traverse City Trails Festival is LIVE and already gathering up riders for our even on July 20. If you’ve made it for the previous two editions of TCTF, you know what it’s all about. This is race. It’s a tour. It’s a party.

NMMBA works hard to build and maintain trail all over northern Michigan. On the Traverse CIty Trail Network, that trail experience is divided up into the Vasa Pathway (or 25km), the Vasa Singletrack (from Supply Road), as well as nearly 70 miles of unmarked singletrack that stretches from Bunker Hill Road to Supply Road, Timber Ridge to Kalkaska. The vast web of trail offers months, even years of opportunity to explore. Even locals that ride all the time often know only a small portion of the vast spiderweb of interconnecting trails.

One day a year, we create a 40, a 25, and 15 mile course and map out those otherwise hidden trails to offer racers and riders alike a unique chance to experience these gems without worrying about navigating or getting back to our start/finish venue, Ranch Rudolph. This race also gives us the opportunity to create a few miles of new trails and expose riders to these freshly created sections and begin to incorporate these inventions into their normal rides!

Most importantly, this is a ride about everyone. We’re proud to have some of the fastest mountain bikers in the state line up for the 40 and 25 mile events. But we’re just as honored to see riders of all abilities seize the opportunity to explore together by signing up for the 25 and 15 mile tours. Take on the day, and some big miles of singletrack, at your own pace, with your very best pals. It’s the perfect no-pressure platform for someone who doesn’t want to race, but wants to get more involved in the event and the community. We see this as the ideal day to bring together Elites and Beginners, trail gnomes and first-timers. Put a name to face, meet people for the first time, and celebrate our world-class trail experience; together.

We have a whole website dedicated to providing information on race categories, the day’s schedule of events, and more. We can’t do it without the support of our sponsors, especially Short’s Brewing Company. In addition to picking up Mud, Sweat and Beers, they remain the title sponsor of the TCTF and the three-race NMMBA Trail Series, which includes the TCTF, Short’s Glacial Hills Challenge, and Bear Claw Epic.

There’s plenty of time for more chatter; get yourself signed up and help us out by posting the event on Facebook, emailing it to a friend, or making a donation to further your support of what is our biggest fundraiser of the year.

Mud, Sweat and Beer Trail Day: Thanks For All Your Help!


It was a busy weekend on the trails! From our trail day to course marking we got a lot done thanks to a lot of hardworking people!

Mud, Sweat and Beers is just days away, and that meant this past weekend was crunch time to clean up and clearly mark the 2019 route. Tom and the crew have put countless hours of thought and planning into crafting a course that offers just a bit of everything, but without some rakes on the ground, it’s all just imagination and theory.

Sunday was all about getting things done. The short section of private land that links the Holiday Village neighborhood to the Vasa Pathway always needs a bit of work, but after a long winter and with a few twists added, it needed more attention than usual. Luckily, we had a few folks raise their hands and hit the woods with us. We spent a few hours raking and clearing from the pavement to the power lines, offering riders a safe, fast trail to link up the opening few miles of the race to the real meat and potatoes of the 2019 course.

And that’s where McLain Race Team took over. They had nearly their entire team out marking the course, putting up pink Stout and blue Pale Ale arrows, taping tight corners, and adding a racer’s perspective the the course that we’ll all really benefit from on Saturday. Board member Steve Mentzer and a dozen other riders handled one section, while the Ernsts and another crew split off to cover more ground.

Of course, it wasn’t all work. Sunday was one of the last nice, sunny days in the forecast leading into race week, which meant it was the last chance to recon the course. The Norte crew had dozens of kids riding the Stout and Pale Ale course, putting in some impressive times and showing everyone how to really rail the singletrack. There were all sorts of groups soaking up the sun and making notes on important sections trail that might play a big role in on Saturday.

Thanks to everyone who dedicated their free time to helping us get things primped and primed, and to everyone who went out and made all that hard work worth it! DIg what we’re doing? Make sure you re-up or join NMMBA and help support more work just like this all season long.