NMMBA Trails Series Next Up: Short's Glacial Hills Challenge

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Our little trail series is pretty big fun! After the Traverse City Trails Festival, we go to the heart of Short’s Brewing country for race number two, the Short’s Glacial Hills Challenge on August 18.

We look at the NMMBA Trails Series as the best way to commit yourself to experiencing the diverse trails of Northern Michigan at full speed. Each of the three events on the calendar are designed to be inclusive and accessible to newer riders, but brutally challenging to even the most experienced racers. That wide ranging appeal goes hand-in-hand with how the trails themselves offer a little something different to every sort of rider.

Much like the TCTF, the Short’s Glacial Challenge offers three different distances to suit any fitness level. From the Elite and Expert 28 miler, a 20 mile miler, and a very fun half-lap at 11 miles, use your summer riding miles to take on a longer challenge or see what kind of a time you can thrown down over the two shorter options. There are also three different starts times, which means you’ll always be on course with people going about your speed.

Sunday, August 18 is going to be a really good time, and the perfect chance to make the trip north to Bellaire. It’s sort of a given that you’ll stop at Short’s after the race, but make sure you save enough in the legs to talk a walk through downtown and see what’s new!

The fun keeps rolling another neat month later with the race that really sparked the series, the Bear Claw Epic. The race is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Cadillac Pathway and played a big role in helping to get eleven miles of new singletrack approved and ready to be built!

Looking to get in a pre-ride at Glacial Hills? Patrick from Paddles and Pedals has you covered. You can check out and download the Elite/Expert, Sport, and Beginner files and get your pals out for a recon this weekend!

Ready to sign up? You can pre-register right here!

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.

Financials:

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

Membership:

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.

Branding:

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.

Roundtable:

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)

Thanks,

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!

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).


January Board Meeting Minutes - The Annual Meeting!

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

Guests: members

After a ride and dinner, Chad formerly called the meeting to order at 5:40 p.m.

Financials:

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

$7,908.84;

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

John Roe

Kim White

Tom White

Mike Walters

Michele Andrews

Cotipaxi Sprattmoran

Steve Mentzer

Tim Jenema

Don Clewley

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

Cadillac Pathway

Glacial Hills Pathway

Bike Leelanau

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.

Cadillac Pathway:

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.

Bike Leelanau:

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

Michigan DNR

TART

Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy

Leelanau Conservancy and

Local municipalities

Projects slated for 2019 and beyond:

WVASA

VST pavilion

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.

Submitted by

Steve Mentzer, secretary