Urban Friday Night Lights: Thank You!


The second edition of the Urban Friday Night Lights was even better than last year! We had nearly 60 riders join us for a nocturnal romp behind the historic Old State Hospital Grounds to kick off winter in style, and raise some funds, too!

With rifle season in full swing, this is the second time we’ve opted to kick off fat bike season in town, and the first time we lucked out with perfect weather for it. Day-long temperatures in the mid-to-low 40s made the riding rather comfortable, but didn’t do much to melt the linger snowfall in the woods just a few blocks away from our start and finish spot, Brew.

We had nearly 60 riders light up Seventh Street on the way over to ride, with all sorts of groups sorting themselves out and putting in some very vertical loops. We were lucky to have Brew owner Sean Kickbush show us some of his favorite singletrack circuits, and Norte’s Varsity super-star, Kyan Olshove, absolutely shred the downhill descents.

Once back at Brew, we had dozens more friends and NMMBA members join us for some Short’s and Starcut Ciders refreshments. The Mosa cider was the hot (or cold?) ticket for the night, pairing surprisingly well with Brew’s famous homemade Cheeseburger-and-Beer Soup. We also got a chance to show-off our full line-up of NMMBA hoodies, t-shirts, hats, and memberships.

Altogether, we raised nearly $2,000 on the night, a huge help as we gear up for some ambitious projects, including supporting the proposed 11 miles of new singletrack in Cadillac, trail proposals at Lake Dubbonet, new permanent signage at Glacial Hills, plus winter grooming at all our trail networks!

Thanks to Brew and Short’s for hosting this event, and thanks to everyone who showed up and took the opportunity to reconnect with all their biking buds for the first time since Iceman at the start of the month.

Did you miss the chance to join up? You can always become a NMMBA member online right here!

Urban Friday Night Lights at Brew!


It’s back! We’re heading back to Brew on Friday, November 23 for a fun, casual night ride at the Commons and chance to support Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association the easy way…with Short’s Brewing beer.

Last year, we had dozens of riders join us for jaunt into the darkness in spite of the rain for 60-75 minutes of fun, giggle-inducing riding behind the State Hospital. Because it can be tough to keep everyone together, make sure pick a riding buddy (dibs on Don Marsh) and meet-up at the Green Spire School before we roll back to Brew, where the ride starts and finishes.

Once back, you’ll have two Short’s Brewing options that will be good for 100% of proceeds going directly to NMMBA! This money will go to help NMMBA gear up for the ambitious grooming season head, as well as support trail projects, our NMMBA Trail Series, and a whole lot more.

2018 was our most ambitious year yet, and we’re ready to bring you even more in 2019. From new trails at the Cadillac Pathway, more miles at Palmer Woods, trail proposals in Traverse City, and the peerless perfection of Glacial Hills, Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association is working to bring you fun trails that you can ride year-round. We’re proud of what we’ve done, and more motivated than ever to do even more.

Bring the kids, too. Brew will have deals on food and drinks, and no one makes a hot chocolate like Sean Kickbush. No one.

No time to ride? Short’s Brewing proceeds from 5:30 until 9 pm go toward the fund, so stop by for dinner!

The snow is here, the fat bikes are out, and it’s time to fight the darkness with bright lights and great friends!

NMMBA Fundraiser 5:30- 9 pm at Brew. 108 E. Front Street

Optional bike ride from 5:30-6:45. All skills welcome. Bring lights.

We’ll regroup at Greenspire School at 6:20 to roll back to Brew together.

You DO need to wear a helmet and ride with a light. Dress for the conditions and remember, it’s not a race, it’s a rolling party! Let’s see those bikes lit up!

For updates on the ride, check the event page here.

Glacial Hills Signage Fundraiser at Short's Brewing!


Join us Sunday, October 21 for an afternoon of fun, bikes, food, beer, and a great cause!

Glacial Hills grew quickly, and while balancing the interest of multiple user groups, our signage needs have changed, ebbed, and flowed since day one. One of most common pieces of feedback from mountain bikers over the past few years is to alter signs to make putting together loops easier, without having to slow down and check trail markers.

After some small-scale testing this summer, we’ve not only got a color-coordinating solution, we’ve got a few loops already in place for you to check out! But that’s just the start; we’re going to upgrade and update signage at Glacial Hills across the board, but we need your help to make it happen! Luckily, we’ve got Short’s Brewing to make it really, really easy and really, really fun to support our new signs.

On Sunday, October 21 from 2pm until close, proceeds from all sales at Short’s Brewing Company’s pub in downtown Bellaire will go directly to our signage fundraiser! Yep, just by grabbing a beer and some grub, you can help us bring the new look we’ve all been hoping for to Glacial. For those who’ve ridden here before, it’s a great chance to get up and ride the trails, spin out the legs from Peak2Peak the day before, or bring a friend to the trail for the first time, this is really the perfect chance as our autumn season comes to a close in the next few weeks.

We’re making it easy to get out to the trail, too. We’ll be leading a guided hike from Eckhardt Road at 2pm, and a guided, relaxed pace mountain bike ride from Orchard Hill at 2pm as well. Feel free and encouraged to get your group together for a ride on your own schedule, too, and make sure everyone meets back at the pub to help make this signage fundraiser a big success!

For updates, make sure you follow along on the Facebook event page, and post up your ride, run, or hike plans for the day if you want to make it open to more people!

Glacial Hills Challenge and ATV Fundraiser Updates


Have you ever seen a more perfect mountain bike race? The weather for Sunday's Glacial Hills Challenge was phenomenal, and there's no wonder why over 150 riders signed up day-of for one, two, and even three laps of one the most fun, flowy trails in the state! 

Brent Walk and the Fun Promotions team brought a lot of riders from all over Michigan north to Bellaire this past Sunday. Many of those riders were looking to pick up some Championship Series Points as the season nears its final few events of 2018, and those that made the trip were rewarded with a simply amazing day in the woods. The trail was very dry, but the hard-working trail crew has done a wonderful job of keeping it fast and fun! 

The morning's race saw the Elite, Expert, and a few Sport classes in action, with demanding uphill start from John R. Rodgers Elementary. After completing their prescribed number of laps, every racer got to enjoy some well-earned speed on the pavement for a two-mile drag race to Downtown Bellaire.  We were especially excited to see NMMBA board members Chad Jordan and Mike Walters, as well as trail helpers extraordinaire Kyle Macdermaid and Dan Ellis drop their loppers and get in on the action! 

Of course, it still took a lot of help to make the race happen, with Glacial Hills trail rep Tim Reicha joining nearly all of the Glacial Hills trail crew marshal the course! They don't just make the trails happen, they make the events happen, too! 

That's why this month's August ATV fundraiser is so important. The Friends of Glacial Hills are working to purchase an ATV to help carry and pull the heavy equipment needed to keep these trails in such great shape. Even with the myriad access points, reaching different sections of trail in the steep, tight terrain of Glacial Hills is more difficult than many trail systems, and transporting tools up and down those ravines or even along the trail is always tough and sometimes even dangerous. 

An anonymous donor has generously offered to match up to $5,000 toward the ATV fund, and we want to make sure we get the full $10,000 we need for a new machine. If you can contribute, you money is essentially doubled from now until August 31! 

All those riders from the Glacial Hills Challenge sure do appreciate the trail crew's hard work; between the Rubber Ducky Days and Sunday's Race, plus previous donations this month online, we're at $2,800 with just over a week left until the matching donations end. Now is the time to see this thing through!

If you can donate, please do so here, with a reference to the ATV in the donation's memo. Glacial and Bellaire have a truly special thing going, and we can all enjoy the fruit's of that labor all season long! 

Brewin' Up Something Good: Friday Night Fundraiser A Smash Hit

We want to thank everyone who attended our fundraiser this past Friday at Brew! 

Even with a sprinkle starting an hour before the scheduled ride, we still had about sixty riders willing to head off into that great known, brakes squealing and rain pouring. The right clothes made it just another ride in Northern Michigan....we're a remarkably hearty breed. With riders in their 60s down to two Norte heroes, we were also joined by Velo City Cycles owner and profession road racer Brad White and reigning US National Road Race Champion Larry Warbasse!

We kept the big guys relaxed and enjoyed a soggy but very fun circuit behind the State Hospital. The trail held up very well, with riders testing their headlights and nerves on a few steep and perilous descents, but as far as we know, everyone made it out alive. Probably. 

Back at Brew and out of the rain, Kim, Michele and the rest of the NMMBA crew smart enough to stay out of the weather had a wonderful display set up featuring grooming badge sales, raffle prizes, and information about the trails. Sean, Missy, and Erin from Brew had something even more important: Short's Brewing Company beer. It was flowing in copious amounts as our 60 or so riders were joined by over one hundred other local riders relaxing, catching up, and trying to recognize each other off the bike and out of the woods! 

And those raffle prizes went really well; M22, Glacial Hills, 45NRTH, Short's, and Clif Bar all donated bundles of sweet stuff to win for just a few bucks! 

Irma won! 

Irma won! 

We also heard from Tom White about the mission of the night, which as to allow NMMBA to make a donation to Michigan Mountain Bike Association. MMBA is our voice in Lansing, and we're proud of the Traverse City Cycling Community for recognizing how valuable it is to have a presence and voice in so many committees in the capital. 

The event was a perfect chance to get together and enjoy an evening together, and also gets us very excited for the winter riding season. With snow in the forecast a few days a week, it's only a matter of time before it sticks and we're out grooming some of the best winter singletrack in the world, right here in our backyard! 

Thank you for supporting our mission, for giving to a worthy cause, and for being wonderful company on a rainy night in Traverse City. We'll see you on the trails!