What. A. Ride. Iceman 2018 Was Incredible!


There really is nothing quite like Iceman.

A frosty chill in the air, some frozen sleet and a touch of snow in the morning, and a flying-fast course will make 2018 go down as one of the quickest editions of the race in the past 29 years. 5,000 riders braved the cold to thrown down on what might be the freshest iteration of the race route in a number of years.

NMMBA put countless hours into designing a balance route that offered a little something for everyone, while always putting safety first. When you pour 5,000 riders into a singletrack, you’re putting both people and trail into a tough spot. That’s why Tom White and the rest of our trail crew offered up some new sections of gravel road before and after crucial points of the race that contributed to opening up gaps between riders, and rewarding smart positioning and good bike handling.

That new gravel road was extremely important, leading directly to what may have been the decisive point in the day for most waves. Tornado Alley is a short but important stretch of singletrack before crossing Dockery Road, and by all reports, served as the first test in both the first few morning waves and the Pro races later in the afternoon.

We were happy to receive some glowing reviews of the course, as well as very few reports of singletrack back-ups, which have been issues in years past. We also gathered plenty of feedback on our trail work the other 364 days of the year at the Expo on Friday. Thanks to plenty of volunteers from TC, Glacial Hills, Bike Leelanau, and Cadillac Pathway, were were able to talk, answer questions, and sign up plenty of new members both in person and online! Seven lucky people also strolled home with a custom, stainless steel display stand from our pals at up.bike!

Congrats to everyone who raced, and a special thanks to all the volunteers that make such a big event possible. While it might be the end of racing this fall, we’re only just gearing up for winter fat bike riding. You can help us prep the Winter Sports Singletrack this Saturday, November 10 from 9-12. We’ll get sticks, limbs, and branches cleared to avoid any issues once the snow falls. We’ve got a very narrow winter to do so before rifle season starts the following weekend, so if you can make it, we need all the hands we can get!

It's A Big, Big Weekend : Iceman, Memberships, and Palmer Woods!


You’ve got plenty of things to look forward to kick off November in northern Michigan!

It’s a sort of Holy Week for mountain bikers all over the Midwest, but we all know, no one has it better than us! The Iceman Cometh Challenge is the biggest one-day mountain bike race in this hemisphere, but there’s a lot more to this final weekend of racing than just the iconic (and often grueling!) jaunt from Kalkaska to TC. We’ve got your itinerary planned!

Friday night’s SRAM Ice Cycle Expo kicks things off. Part packet pick-up, part flea market, part of the fun, the Expo serves as a chance for riders to see old friends, check out the latest gear and the best deals, plus make sure they’ve got everything they need for race day. For NMMBA, it’s a chance to see hundreds of members face-to-face, shake hands, answer questions, and connect with folks we often see blurring by while we work on the trails.

This year, it’s also YOUR chance to win one of seven custom stainless steel display stands from up.bike. Just join NMMBA or renew your membership online or in-person on Friday, November 2, and you might pick up a little something special!

We’ll also have trail reps from every trail system, plus special shirts, hats, and stickers from your favorite places to ride. Show the world your hometown trail, or the one you always hit when you’re in the area! We’ll have as much stock as possible to make sure no one goes home without a chance to grab a shirt from Cadillac Pathway, Glacial Hills, or Bike Leelanau.

And it’s Bike Leelanau that is going to keep you going Sunday. After you’ve emptied the tank on Saturday, you’ll be able to meet up with pals and relive all the action at Palmer Woods! That’s right, the long-awaited, much-anticipated trail is finished, and we’re all heading out to Glen Arbor to celebrate. The plan is to sleep in, then meet up around 1 pm. You can track all the event plans here. Put in as many laps on the 3 mile finished section as you feel like, take in the gorgeous colors of Leelanau County in November, and reflect on just how many amazing opportunities we have to race, ride, and enjoy the great outdoors in northern Michigan.

October Board Meeting Minutes

NMMBA Board of Director's Meeting


Date and location: Wednesday October 10th, 2018, Keen loft

Board present: Chad Jordan, Kim White, John Roe, Cotopaxi Sprattmoran, Steve Mentzer and Mike Walters


Board absent: Tim Reicha III, Tom White, Michelle Andrews, Tim Jenema, Don Clewley and Dustin Webb.


No guests

Chad called the meeting to order at 6:41 p.m.

A brief discussion concerning online voting. Topics voted on included the previous month's meeting minutes, naming of the trail network as TCTN(Traverse City Trail Network) and purchasing banner flags for events.


John Roe:

John discussed grooming badges. Badges are to be sold at the upcoming Vasa Ski swap being held at Brick Wheels on Saturday October 13th.

With each sale a new name is added to the grooming reports. John to convert to Mail Chimp for compiling these lists and sending these reports out.

Some discussion as to how each trail report is sent.

Among the questions were; does each trail send out it's own report or does one report cover all trail conditions? Best to send one report and include each trail condition.

Stickers are to be given with each trails badge sold. It was decided to give a $10 discount on multiple badge sales.

500 badges have been ordered. Stickers for each trail number 125 except fot TC which was doubled to 250.

Cotopaxi Sprattmoran:

Cotopaxi discussed the acquisitions of area parks by Garfield Township. Among those were the Traverse City Light & Power(TCL&P) 50 acre parcel that would be a connector between Hickory Hills the Commons.

Another parcel was the Ransom parcel of 18 acres.

Discussion centered on the connector to Hickory Hills and the Commons. In the past the relationship between NMMBA and representatives of the Commons was less than ideal. It was decided to form a committee to work along side the Commons group to fortify a better working relationship.

That committee is comprised of Chad, Cotopaxi and Steve.

Also noted was an opportunity to guide trail builders at Hickory. We would be only an advisory body not the actual builders.


Safety issues:

Last month it was discussed  of an ongoing need for an emergency response system. Pat Parker from GT Fire Dept. had ways to map the trails.

Tonight we emphasized the need for NMMBA to set the protocol. Set the example.

That safety issue goes all the way down to our volunteers. We need to have each volunteer sign a DNR waiver before starting any work.

Talk of linking a waiver to our website.

On a related note there was to be a mock rescue operation performed on Sunday October 14th in Kalkaska.

Beard of Zeus:

Sponsorship up for grabs. 4 race series to include: Vasa, Dogman, Fat Chance and Beard of Zeus. March 3rd is the date that has been set for this race.

Tim R. and John to head this up. Tim R. to create a spreadsheet on expenses/revenue for this event.

On a related note it was thrown out the possibility of acquiring our own timing equipment. Would this be a cost savings as timing companies generally charge upwards of $1500.00+ per event.

Acme bike park:

Moving forward. Not rushing things.

Cadillac Pavilion:

Plans have been approved. Should be a structure to last many, many years. A lasting legacy

A committee to see this project through was formed. It includes Chad, Cotopaxi and John.

It was suggested that in the future, committees be made up of members. Board is being spread thin.


It was noted and discussed as to the additional equipment that has been acquired recently. These items need to be added to our policy. And does location of said equipment need to be designated for claims purposes.

Steve to reach out to Larkin and research this.


$2500.00 covered needs for Kalkaska signage.

Some discussion as to designated trailheads in Kalkaska.


VST ride direction:

Mike talked about alternate ride directions re:VST. Riding it backwards brings an all new perspective to the trail and creates more even wear.

Tom advocated starting this in 2020 as it would coincide with Mud, Sweat & Beers.


MTB Summit:

John to print and mount posters for this event. Discussion as to if each trail submitted a poster and what content/message was to be conveyed.

Discussion to continue online. Kim to spearhead this project along.


Reports submitted by Tim Reicha II

Glacial Hills

·    Vault toilets/changing rooms are installed

·    new door hardware, paint, finishing touches are ongoing

·    Antrim Conservation District has begun landscaping around Eckhardt building, adding flowers in the spring (this looks great!)

·    New shed installed at Vandermark (for ATV/snowmobile), previous shed moved to Eckhardt (with Rokon/hand tools)

·    Temporary loop signage installation nearing completion, targeted to be done by fundraiser

·    October 21, 2-8pm permanent signage replacement fundraiser at Short's

·    2pm group ride at Orchard Hill, group hike at Eckhardt, 4-8 hang at Short's all food and bev proceeds got to GH

·    Grooming route meet up to be scheduled with groomers in the next two weeks

·    will need to clear trees from sections of two tracks

·    GH board received a 30 minute lecture from one angry ebike user at the Sept board meeting following installation of signage prohibiting ebike use

·    he stated he will be pulling his support as he "put money in the donation tube every time" he rode

Report submitted by Cotipaxi Sprattmoran

Bike Leelanau:

Palmer Woods: Nearing completion. We are putting together a trail opening party.

Provemont Pond: Received approval to build a 1 mile multi-use trail.

Leelanau State Park: Permit application sent in, there will be an open house October 15th where people talk to the DNR about the proposed trail. Trail work days need to be scheduled.





Meeting adjourned at 8:37 p.m.

Submitted by

Steve Mentzer, secretary

Iceman Cometh Membership Drive: Iceman Doesn't Mean We're Done Riding!


Iceman isn’t the end! While it used to be that mountain bikers tended to hang up their bikes (often still covered in mud) after the biggest race of the year, that’s definitely not the case now! We’re more excited than ever to help offer year-round riding at NMMBA trails, as well as continue to work with local governments and organizations to advance your interests as a mountain biker at every level of decision-making.

This year, celebrate that commitment to year-round riding and hard work by joining Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association. On Friday, November 2, every individual or family that joins NMMBA for the first time or renews their membership will be entered to win one of 7 NMMBA branded bike display stands from up.bike. Made of stainless steel and designed to fit any bike, it’s a little extra incentive to join us in the mission to bring fun, natural, non-motorized trails to outdoor enthusiasts all over northern Michigan.

2018 was huge, but we’re hoping to make 2019 even bigger. From the new pavilion at the Cadillac Pathway, new bathrooms and outbuildings at Glacial Hills, and the 3-mile head start of trail building at Palmer Woods, there’s a lot to look forward to heading into next spring. Of course, there’s plenty to look forward to much sooner than that! With grooming programs kicking off December 1 in Traverse City, Cadillac, the Leelanau State Park, and Glacial Hills, you’ll be able to ride some of the best groomed trails in the Midwest with just a grooming badge and a sense of adventure.

You’ll also be able to look ahead to our ambitious course design work for the Iceman Cometh, Mud, Sweat and Beers, and more local events in the years to come, plus another year of the NMMBA Trail Series presented by Short’s Brewing. Each of our three races, the TC Trail Festival, Glacial Hills Challenge, and Bear Claw Epic, grew in size and in reach this season, and we’re making plans to keep the momentum building in 2019!

Your support also helps us support local organizations like Norte and even the Michigan Mountain Bike Association, who advocates on behalf of all mountain bikers in Lansing.

Look for our booth at the SRAM Ice Cycle Expo on November 2 to check out our NMMBA gear, join up or renew, and meet some of the men and women that make northern Michigan just an incredible place to ride. Can’t make it? Join online, too!

Iceman Course Update for October 15

iceman logo.png

As we work to bring you the best Iceman Cometh Challenge course possible, we’re providing updates on current conditions through race day!

What a difference a week makes! Even with some warm temperatures, we saw just enough rain over the past ten days to have a huge impact on the course. In mid-to-late September, sand was the word, as it always is in early fall. This year was no different, and perhaps a touch worse; sections from Kalkaska to Dockery Road were, in the opinions of many, some of the slowest we’ve ever seen!

Luckily, a mix of cold nights and rain have gotten the course into great shape, and aside from the infamous sand pits that you just know are coming, there’s nothing out there that will make you feel like you’re at the beach.

Tom and the crew were out putting in the finishing touches on the new Water Bottle Hill Bypass. That new section of trail is bench cut and riding faster and faster every week. While it does criss-cross the old bypass, you won’t have any trouble staying on the right trail thanks to a few blue flags places at all the pertinent intersections. While the segment is too close to the previous trail to be accurate, this should give you a good look at where the bypass is on the course.

Another big confirmation from the weekend is that we’ll stick with the same Wall Bypass used in the 2017 edition race, taking a long, lazy bend left before the Wall and hopping on a few bits of two-track and singletrack before rejoining the 25km just about a half-mile from the infamous Boonenberg climb. That one-two punch is always tough, especially after a few fast miles from Williamsburg Road and onto the 25km itself.

Finally, the finale. While it’s unmarked and very tough to follow at the moment, you can count on a serpentine, sinuous sprint through some winding singletrack from the time you enter Timber Ridge, nearly leave it entirely, then come back to the line after going over and under two shipping containers!

While plenty of people were out enjoying the course, Melissa from Michigan Mountain Biking Association was at Timber Ridge helping put on the Iceman Clinic this past Saturday. 30 riders got a little instruction and a lot of confidence ahead of race day, and were treated to hot brats, chips, and a great time by MMBA and Keen Technical Solutions.