Bellaire

Your Autumn Challenge: Ride A New NMMBA Trail!

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Fall is just around the corner, but that means mountain biking in northern Michigan is just getting started! We’re lucky to have a long autumn to enjoy the trails in Traverse City and around the region, and we’ve got a challenge for you; ride somewhere new! 

You’ve got a few months before evenings are dark and the snow will have Head Groomer John Roe licking his chops. Between now and fat biking season, we want you to ride a trail that you haven’t checked out before. Whether you’re a TC local who hasn’t made it to Glacial Hills, or a Cadillac rider yet to make the trip north to Palmer Woods, make a plan to make it happen. 

One of the best things about our part of the state is that the terrain, soil, and design of our forests allow for deceptively diverse riding options. While sand is universal, the hills, the valleys, and the men and women behind creating our singletrack trail networks make each NMMBA trail feel, ride, and look different. 

Vasa Singletrack/Unmarked. In a word, ‘natural’. Both the Vasa Singletrack and the miles of unmarked singletrack that extends like a spider web out from the VST weave into the Vasa 25km Pathway, creating the Traverse City Trail Network. Much of that singletrack is hand cut, narrow, winding, and offers a feel of riding through the forests with reckless abandon. It never feels like the trails were made as much as were just there. There are no features, no wide sections, and you’d be hard-pressed to be able to spot the trail unless you’re physically on it. 

Cadillac Pathway. Much like the Vasa 25km Pathway, Cadillac’s trail offers a wider, cross-country ski trail that serves as the backbone of the network, with a mix of unmarked singletrack jumping on and off. That’s going to change with the construction of eleven miles of trail this fall, the culmination of a years-long process to bring real, marked, and thought-out singletrack to Cadillac. The Pathway is also home to a slew of new amenities, including a new Pavillion, bike rack, even solar powered lights! If you’re really looking for a chance to ride it, make sure you’ve got the Bear Claw Epic on your calendar. The BCE is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Cadillac Pathway and the final event in the NMMBA Trail Series on September 28. 

Glacial Hills. While it is wide enough to ski, the elevation that gave this trail system it’s name make this much more of a mountain bike trail! The rolling, twisting, flowing singletrack isn’t as wide as Cadillac or Traverse City’s pathways, but still allows a little room for error for riders letting gravity have its way. While there is plenty of elevation, the expert, machine-made trails allow for plenty of momentum. Do a lap and you’ll pocket nearly 1,000 feet of elevation, but it never feels like that much climbing! The closest comparison to Glacial Hills might be the Arcadia Dunes trails near Frankfort, which were shaped by the same designer. Make plans to hit Bellaire, shred Glacial Hills, and stop by Short’s Brewing, a company that supports the trails, outdoor events, and a NMMBA like no one else. 
Palmer Woods. The new trail is enjoying its first full season in 2019 and people are loving it! Instead of mile after mile of natural, Palmer Woods offers a feature-filled circuit for riders looking to practice and show off their technical skills. The Leelanau Conservancy and Bike Leelanau have put a lot of heart into creating something that attempts the impossible; keep everyone happy. We think they’ve nailed it. There are plenty of lines to make the trail system accessible to beginners and kids, but enough jumps and drops to make the drive out to Wheeler Road in Maple City well worth it.

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!

December Board Meeting Minutes

Date and location: Wednesday, December 12th, Keen loft

Board Present: Chad Jordan, Tom White, Tim Reicha III, Kim White, Mike Walters, Michele Andrews, Tim Jenema, Don Clewley, Cody Sprattmoran and Steve Mentzer

Board absent: John Roe and Dustin Webb

Guests: David Leith

Chad opened the meeting at 6:37 p.m.

Financials:

Financials were presented. Account balances stood at $31,454.42 for BCE and $46,578.24 for NMMBA.

Question was brought up as to a dollar figure on the P&L that was labeled over budget. Any implications as it applies to a non-profit. Answer was no. Just a figure that is included in the general fund. If we were a governmental entity there would be some implications.

In other financial news, Iceman submitted a check for race clean up. This check of $500.00 was earned by the  McLain’s Race team but was intended for the Dan Morley fund. Also a check was written to NMMBA from Iceman for race trail prep. It was also $500.00.

Grooming badge sales have hit nearly $9000 for the season! These include WST, Cadillac Pathway, Glacial Hills and Bike Leelanau.

David Leith introduced the group to his company Three Tree Tent.

www.threetreetent.com

He had his product, tentsile tents at Iceman and would like the opportunity to display his product at future NMMBA events. Such as TCTF, BCE, Glacial Hills Challenge and possibly at Beard of Zeus.

David can be reached via email at leither@threetreetent.com

Annual NMMBA Meeting:

Discussion as to how the format should be laid out. Each committee should give a presentation of their year in review.

Instead of individual speakers it was decided to have tables representing each trailhead set up with the respective board member there to talk more in depth about what’s been happening.

With the results of the online survey presented at the last meeting entitled Who is NMMBA?  It was suggested that at the annual meeting it should be presented NMMBA: What we do!

One idea was to empower our membership base to be more involved in our growth.

Ways to accomplish this were to have them be a part of different aspects of NMMBA

These would include membership, volunteer, pavilion, grant writing and merchandise. Each separate committee should enlist at least one current board member. More to follow.

Instead of a potluck style meal it was decided to have a buffet taco bar type setup. Tim R. to get quotes from several food vendors.

Timeline for the meeting will follow this:

3 p.m.: Ride. Ride leaders and sweeps are Tom, Tim R., Mike, Don Cunkle and Erin Reicha.

4:30: Hall set up. Several have volunteered to assist.

5:00 p.m. Meal

5:30 Meeting gets underway with a message from the President, Chad Jordan. With highlights from each trail.

6 p.m.: Chapter roundtable visits.

Presentation of the Dan Morley volunteer of the year award.

We will have our tent set up inside the banquet hall with merchandise for sale. Cody Sprattmoran. to head this up.

NMMBA of the future:

NMMBA of the Future

NMMBA Structure

  • NMMBA board: 2 year terms elected by membership (at annual meeting); officers are selected by board also 2 year terms(not at annual meeting)

    • 12 members (or less? Bylaws state 3-15)

    • Includes chapter reps (1 from each?) plus others that will be actively engaged

    • Committees for what? (merch, membership???)

    • ?

  • NMMBA function...

  • We inspire people in Northern Michigan to experience the outdoors on bicycles.

  • We promote mountain biking and healthy trail use in Northern Michigan. Advocate

  • We build and maintain sustainable trails for everyone to enjoy.

    • To support all of the mountain bike trails in our region

      • Organize like minded folks to help with that

    • Combine efforts that do not need to be duplicated by each trail group

      • Staffing, work days, possibly equipment purchases, grant writing, education (ourselves and our members)

      • Insurance coverage

    • ?

NMMBA fundraising

  • NMMBA retains rights to merchandising with NMMBA logo (chapters can add logo to their own merch funded through chapter sources

  • Membership dollars

    • Increase annual membership fee?

        • $50 individual, $75 family (70/30% or 60/40% NMMBA/Chapter split with option to “support additional trail chapters at $15 individual or $20 family

  • Targeted grant writing, for NMMBA goals or to assist chapter projects (under NMMBA 501(c)3

Chapter Structure

  • Cadillac Pathway

  • Glacial Hills

  • Bike Leelanau

  • Traverse City Trail Network

Future...

  • Kalkaska? (Maybe a committee of TCTN?)

  • Lake Dubonet/Lake Ann (TC West? Maybe a committee of TCTN?)

  • Arcadia? (might be tough as GTRLC is 501(c)3)

  • Chapter boards

    • Does NMMBA help recruit chapter board members through NMMBA membership?

    • Need to standardize NMMBA-chapter agreements with allowance for customization as needed

  • Chapter fundraising

    • Portion of all new and renewal memberships based on members direction

    • Chapter fundraising (not chapter membership)

      • Allow Glacial to possibly offer opt in NMMBA membership for GH $150 annual supporters (for $25)?

      • Other chapter ideas to increase support of NMMBA and chapters and improve partnership?

    • Chapter boards write grants for trail/infrastructure improvements

What’s with TCTN?

  • As NMMBA becomes inclusive of trails outside of TC and the VST, it is only fitting that we highlight TC riding and the VST and it’s connected trails

  • Who from the current NMMBA board is the leadership of TCTN?

    • Tom? Mike? John? Tim J?

    • Do all current NMMBA board members that are willing to be part of TCTN leadership remain active on the NMMBA board for the duration of their term?

    • Does NMMBA ask for additional TCTN board members at the Jan. annual meeting?

      • If so, what does that look like?

        • ?

        • ?

      • If not, what then?

        • Just a few folks from the NMMBA board making decisions and maintaining TC trails?

Tim presented the above document and lead the discussion.

Some of the hot points included memberships and fees attached.

Do we do group memberships? And if so, do we discount the fees?

And getting back to empowering our members, do we ask for something in return?

As to membership fees in the future we can have members designate what trail they most support. And have their dollars go into the maintenance, etc. of that trail.

Tim R. presented a scenario where fees for both individual and family were increased.

Based on 250 members if the fees for both were bumped by $10 dollars the revenue generated would be $8750.00 for NMMBA and $3750.00 for the other trails based on a 70/30% split. Or a 60/40 split would adjust those numbers to $7500 and $5000.

Splits based on NMMBA carrying the majority of the associations expenses.

Some questioned the need for the increase. What’s most important memberships or dollars?

We not only ask our members to support with their dollars but also ask of them to purchase grooming badges, merchandise and more.

There was also talk of all season passes and student rates. This was illustrated by Tim R. with how the NTN(Noquemanon Trail Network) works. With our ever expanding trail network should we consider membership options as well?

These future trail networks may include Kalkaska, Lake Dubonnet/Lake Ann and Arcadia.

Tom passed around a spec sheet on a skid steer. Possible acquisition for trail maintenance.

Meeting was then adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

Submitted by

Steve Mentzer, secretary

Committee updates:

Kalkaska:

We have experienced another setback: When I last met with Dave Lemmien, he had asked to that we include additional trail layers onto our map: Horse, ORV and Snowmobile. After numerous emails, Katie Armstrong finally shared the layers mid-Nov. Jon Throop was able to import these layers just before maternity leave. Dave and Katie have this map for final review and I have just sent a follow up email. Signage has been paid for and reimbursed, so naturally I want to have these signs in hand. Image 360 is on standby.  4x4 post have received at Jeff's campground, concrete is stored in my shop.

Completing this signage installation May 2019 is my end goal and will signal my departure from NMMBA.

NMMBA – Kalkaska MTB Trail Wayfinding

  1. Kiosk large

    1. Aluminum Composite – Solid Core – 4mm

    2. Trail maps on 1/8  ASC. Full Color

    3. 24x36

    4. QTY: 3

  2. Trail Map

    1. Aluminum Composite – Solid Core – 4mm

    2. Trail maps on 1/8  ASC. Full Color

    3. 12x12

    4. QTY: 10

  3. Directional Arrows

    1. ACS ECONO 3mm 1/8 - 3.5 x 3.5 directional arrows back on white

    2. QTY: 120

  4. Parking “P” Signs

    1. ACS ECONO 3mm 1/8  - 3.5x3.5 blue on white, rounded corners

    2. QTY: 10

  5. Number Signs

    1. ACS ECONO 3mm 1/8  - 3.5x3.5 black on white,

      1. N0. 1 QTY: 5

      2. N0. 2 QTY: 6

      3. N0. 3 QTY: 10

      4. N0. 4 QTY: 42

      5. N0. 5 QTY: 30

      6. N0. 6 QTY: 12

      7. N0. 7 QTY: 18

  6. TC2K Signs

    1. ACS ECONO 3mm 1/8 - 3.5 x 3.5 back on white

    2. QTY: 60

  7. Caution Rd Crossing Signs

    1. ACS ECONO 3mm 1/8 - 5 x 9 back on Yellow, rounded corners, black boarder

    2. QTY: 40

  1. Totals:

    1. 53- 4x4x8 posts


ReViSiT:

All

For the ReViSiT/TCTN committee, the last month has been planning for future projects due to the early snowfall not allowing us to work in the woods since Iceman.

Tom and I have reached out to our friends at the MDNR about the 25+ miles of unmarked single track trails around Lake Dubonnet that have been on my radar for years.   Most of the trails are fully functioning trails that connect Lake Dubonnet pathway and Ransom Lake pathways that we would like to make legal with the DNR.

Tim Webb and Patrick Cotant of the DNR are looking into these and we are just waiting to here if we can move forward with getting the GPS data collected and seeing where this falls into there logging plans in that area.

Stay tuned!

Ditch Pickle area logging update.

The final section of trail to be built to complete our revisit plan is currently being logged as we speak and looks like we should be able to hit the ground running and finish this new 3/4 mile section when the snow leaves us this spring!

Thanks!

Bike Leelanau:

- New sled bought and ready for grooming the WST at the Leelanau State Park

- Winter Sports Trail cleared with a re-route keeping folks off Purkiss Rd, signage up

- MTB Clinic scheduled for June 15-16 with a women's only clinic Saturday and the Sunday clinic open to all

Cadillac Pathway:

1.  Still need more snow to groom the WST and make it an enjoyable experience.   We need snow to smooth out the trail otherwise it is a bumpy experience.

2.  The Cadillac Pathway that transforms into a classic xc ski trail in the winter is still be used by all users until more snow is acquired.  Pretty sweet riding right now.

3.  Pavilion Update

  Rough in inspection has indicated that we will need the cross lateral bracing between trusses.  We had hope to eliminate that since we have stamped drawings from the truss company. This will add in $500 cost of materials and do not know amount for labor.  

 January 5th volunteers are installing tongue and groove ceiling.  I have a crew of 4 people and still seeking 2 more individuals.

 In the spring we will pour concrete, wrap trusses, and stain.  

 Currently working on bids to build a masonry fireplace and seeking a boy scout looking for Eagle ranking to take on building picnic tables.

4.  Building Trail - just ideas rolling around.   

Acme bike park:

Acme bike park-We are still waiting on DNR approval for the small portion of state land we want to incorporate into the development. Scott Slavin is in favor of it but Dave Lemmien is still yet to give us the thumbs up. Chris Kushman from TART is working hard on this. In the mean time Brad Gerlach, Chris K and I are working on phase 1 design on county property with locations to easily link up to the state land portion when and if we gain approval.

The goal is to have the phase 1 design ready to begin building this spring.

TC WST:

Working on finalizing signage. Does anyone know who can make a pretty map for our WST?

I am working with the DNR on new safety standards for grooming, stay tuned.

Glacial Hills update:

Not much happening on property right now...

  • Waiting for snow


  • Tried to groom last Friday, found a mouse nest under the hood of the snowmobile


    • A few chewed wires lead to a $550 repair bill

    • Sled will be picked up Thursday

  • Beginning work on MNRTF grant application to acquire property and connect trail to the village of Bellaire


  • Working behind the scenes to plan possible disc golf course on Bellaire property adjacent to GH

Time To Sign Up for Your Favorite Races!

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We know you're busy, so we've put a few things together to make sure planning your summer and fall events is as easy as possible! 

The NMMBA Trail Series offers three events that celebrate the diverse and challenging trail networks that dot Northern Michigan, and to make sure it's easy for you to check each one of your list, registration for the Traverse City Trails Festival, Glacial Hills Challenge, and Bear Claw Epic is open and ready for you to get on board! 

Each event offers a different challenge, and with one race per month, you've got plenty of time between races to preview the next course, put in miles, and enjoy the trails. We're excited to have the chance to highlight a different city for each race, too. It offers a chance for riders to explore Traverse City, Bellaire, and Cadillac, meet new people, and stay motivated for a full season of racing and riding. 

Registration for all three events is open, and we it helps it make planning your season a little easier.

Traverse City Trails Festival

Glacial Hills Challenge

Bear Claw Epic  

For more on the NMMBA Trail Series, head here. 

Weekend Plans: Trail Conditions For 2/17-18

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With temperatures over 40 degrees today and a quick deep freeze overnight, we wanted to help you plan you riding this weekend! 

A crucial element to maintaining groomed trails in these conditions is the cooperation of trail users. Please stay off the trails if you're leaving any sort of rut; with such little snow, it's very hard to level the trail back out. If we're all smart Thursday and Friday, we'll have a great ride Friday evening and through the weekend. 

Winter Sports Singletrack, Traverse City: Yeti's Revenge is closed for the season. The DNR gave us permission to groom this section, and we've heard a lot of positive feedback about it from you! Please respect the tape on the entrances to this loop and leave it be; if we leave it as good as we left it, we may have more opportunities next for season trails next winter! Riding conditions should be improved by Friday afternoon and Saturday, with warmer temperatures making Sunday morning the end of prime riding time until we get more cold weather.

Glacial Hills, Bellaire: The trail is open and ready to roll. Watch for hard packed conditions to return Friday with the cool down, as well as great opportunities to ride Sunday morning as well. At this point in the season, the grooming team has decided to suspend operations, unless there are significant changes to the long-range forecast. 

Leelanau State Park Winter Trails, Northport: The trail is CLOSED until Friday due to soft trail conditions. Please stay off the trail until we get that promised freeze and have a bit of time to groom a flat, safe surface. The weekend should be incredible, however, so don't miss your chance to get out there! 

Cadillac Pathways, Cadillac: There is very little snow and soft conditions currently. Please stay tuned to any changes to trail conditions in the near future, and if you do choose to ride, make sure you're running a low tire pressure and riding safely, especially as the trail freezes over heading into the weekend.