Grooming

It's As Easy As Predicting The Weather...

SNOW BIKE HAHA.JPG

Just when we thought we’d seen the last of stellar winter conditions, things froze up, firmed up and shined up on trails!

Last week was the perfect example of how northern Michigan weather. From 55 degrees and rain midweek to some of the fastest, firmest conditions of the year just two days later, this time of year can be incredible variable and often extremely fun! Our groomers will be checking in with each, riders, and our friends at TART to make decisions about any further grooming efforts. It’s a bit of a process, and we need your help to make any more snow riding work.

First off, we’re heading into a freeze/thaw cycle. In many other places, this refers to frozen and wet mud; the guys down at WMMBA are already battling mornings with rock-hard mud and afternoons with peanut butter soup. For us, the cycle is more of an issue with snow. What is hard and fast in the morning gets soft by late afternoon on days when the sun is out and the temps rise quickly over freezing. If riders hit the trails while it’s soft, those tracks and ruts freeze up, meaning any other riders are riding in their frozen wake.

Now, there’s a point in the season where we just can’t fix these issues, and we also don’t really want to when we know the base is going to be gone soon, anyway. For the next week or two, we’ll be watching the 5 and 10 day forecasts to determine if we’ll invest any more grooming efforts for the season. If we see warm weather for a full five days, which is something we’ve got on our radar now, we don’t anticipate any more grooming for spring.

As these trails melt, we do ask that as dirt is exposed, riders make smart decisions on wet soil. We are likely three or four weeks away from see the forest floor again, so you won’t need to watch for a while. If you’re wondering just how much snow is still in the woods, take a step off the groomed trail. Yesterday, we sunk in to mid-thigh in many places, and it’s often even deeper on hillsides and drifted areas! Once that snow does melt, avoid riding around mud puddles, which causes wider trails and more erosion. We’ll work hard to keep you updated on trail conditions as the wet season approaches.

Conditions at Glacial Hills and Cadillac Pathway could be very different from those in Traverse City, and the Winter Sports Trail at Leelanau State Park is closed just in case we get another cold snap.

Until then, we’ll be busy. We’re already finalizing details for the 2019 Traverse City Trails Festival, putting together the Mud, Sweat and Beers course design, plus getting a head start on place for the 30th edition of the Iceman Cometh Challenge!

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

Don't Wonder, Know: Get Your Grooming Badge AND Get Trail Reports In Your Inbox

Support Winter Grooming.png

Your grooming badge doesn’t just put gas in the tank of our grooming sleds. It doesn’t just help us build and fix grooming equipment. It doesn’t just put well-earned beer in the cooler. It also gives you access to the most up-to-date trail reports around!

It’s weeks exactly like this that having timely, accurate trail information to decide whether or not to make the trip to the trail. Freezing temps overnight, sunny and above freezing daily highs, and only the odd chance of snow makes nearly every day this week a bit of a crap shoot. Luckily, those who have already purchased their grooming badges have been getting grooming reports!

It’s a system we’ve implemented for years now, and it’s proven to be one of the most useful tools fat bikers can use to plan their rides. Unless you’re lucky enough to live right next to the Winter Sports Trail, the Cadillac Pathway, the Winter Sports Trail at Leelanau State Park, or Glacial Hills, it’s often just a bit of a hike to get the trail head, and knowing the conditions before you head out can be key.

We offer grooming reports every single time we head out to work on the trails. Our groomers all over northern Michigan relay what they see on the ground so that we can direct riders to the best places to ride, alert them of any trail issues, and keep everyone in the loop for trail events. It’s definitely a great tool when we have a lot of snow, but it’s these more uncertain days that we can often help you save a trip to the trail for less than ideal, or even dangerous, conditions due to weather.

Trail reports come from trail crews at all of our trails, including the trails at Leelanau State Park and Glacial Hills. Because most folks don’t live close to these trails, they’re perhaps the most important to have accurate information on so you know you’re getting to experience the very best of these two very fun and unique winter trails. It’s been a ton of fun working to bringing you these opportunities, and we really hope you make the trip to all of our trails over the course of this winter!

We’re only just getting started for what looks to be a beautiful winter if we can hold on to the snow that we have! As always, use your best judgement as we roll into what could turn into a weekend warm-up; riding Monday through Wednesday in the morning may provide the best riding conditions. We should also note that muzzle loader season is still open, so while you’ll see fewer hunters in the woods, make sure you have plenty of blaze orange or bright colors to help keep everyone safe out there.

Don’t have your grooming badge yet and want to get those Grooming Reports in your inbox? There’s a lot of winter left to enjoy! Get your badge today and help us get things rocking as we await a long overdue blizzard.

Support The Winter Trails at Leelanau State Park with Just An Email!

LSP.jpg

Let's keep the momentum going! Help Bike Leelanau, NMMBA, and winter enthusiasts everywhere by raising your voice to keep the Winter Sports Trail for 2018-2019. 

This past winter, a big group of businesses, volunteers, and reps both the DNR and NMMBA came together to create, groom, and enjoy the Winter Sports Trail at the Leelanau State Park. The new winter-only trail offered more mileage and options for winter enthusiasts from all over Northern Michigan, especial Northport locals who could access the trail with just a short drive. By bike, ski, and snowshoe, adventure-seekers, families, and day-trippers enjoyed a whole new way to experience Leelanau County! 

We want to make sure this season trail is back in 2018-2019, but we need your help! If you had a chance ride, ski, or walk the trail, or if you're eager to give it a try, consider writing a quick email to make it happen. Email the LPS Lead Ranger Stephanie at ROSINSKIS@michigan.gov and let her know that you loved the trail, supported local businesses, or just can't wait to have it back next year. Your comments could prove vital to the bringing the trail back, or even expanding it! 

Thank you for your involvement! 

 

 

Grooming Plans This Week on the Winter Sports Singletrack, Plus A Party!

26731634_1906149366081635_4815928572815772317_n.jpg

Fat bikers enjoyed incredible conditions this past weekend! Who knew we'd have some of the best riding of the nearly halfway through March! 

Our plan this week is to groom as conditions allow, with all of our efforts focused on the 'original' WST loop as it was groomed last year. Yeti's Revenge is closed for the year, and with good reason; if we present this section to the DNR in the same state we started grooming it in December, we may be given permission to groom even more floating trails in 2018-2019. We're asking everyone to stay off that section both now and when the snow melts. 

Looking at the weather the next few days, we're looking at temperatures well below freezing most nights, which will make the mornings an ideal time to ride. When it gets to be over freezing in the afternoon and evening, we ask that you continue to watch your impact on the trail so that we can enjoy riding as long as the season allows. Next weekend, we may see enough melt that the ice could return, but we'll do our best to keep you up-to-date here, in grooming reports, and on all our social channels. 

Don't forget to join us at Blue Tractor this Wednesday, March 14 at 5:30 for the Groomer's Appreciation Party. Our annual get-together honors TART and NMMBA groomer crews for their hard work in maintaining the trails and to put a cap on another great winter skiing and riding season!