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.


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


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


Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy

Leelanau Conservancy and

Local municipalities

Projects slated for 2019 and beyond:


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 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

Roll Into 2019 Right: Your January Ride Forecast


While the weather doesn’t look nearly frightful enough for a true fat biker, we still have a full slate of rides coming up to get you moving into the New Year!

The trails are calling, and even if the snow has stuck around the way we would have liked, the riding is still really good if you can get to your local trailhead. Most of the trails in the region are offering a thin layer of crust that has yet to turn into ice, and even if you go later in the day, it’s still giving a bit of grip to make the riding enjoyable.

The snow is sure to come, and with our fingers crossed for it to happen sooner rather than later, we’ve put together just a few local rides to look forward to, no matter how much snow is on the ground.

If you are around Traverse City this weekend, you can join the Christmas Ride at 9 am at the Winter Sports Singletrack on Supply Road. They’ll have coffee and cookies, plus a number of groups rolling out throughout the morning to explore, enjoy, and savor the WSS before the big holiday.

We’re already looking forward to a new year, and what better way to ring in 2019 than by bike? For the second year in a row, the Cadillac Pathway is hosting the New Year’s Eve Gathering on December 31 from 6-9 pm. Check out the expanded parking lot, the new Pavilion, and celebrate the growing cycling community in Cadillac with a group picture at 6 and a ride to follow. If there’s snow, there will also be plenty of skiers and snowshoers, so tell your pals to meet up!

Believe it or not, there are still plenty of folks who have yet to throw a leg over a fat bike! If you’re looking for something to get excited about every winter, the best way to find a snowy hobby is to get out there and try them all! TART and NMMBA will both present at Winter Trails Day, a chance to try out fat biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing absolutely free. We’ll have group rides going on throughout the day, plus you’ll be able to check out our winter grooming equipment, all on Saturday, January 5. There’s still a lot of winter left to enjoy, and having something you’re passionate about makes the cold and snow so much more fun!

On Sunday, January 6, Timber Ridge plays host to our NMMBA Annual Meeting! It’s a chance for trail-lovers from all over the region to come together to ride, eat, and learn more about our big plans for the year ahead. We’ll have a group ride rolling out at 3pm, with a potluck ready to rock once we’re back from playing in the woods. After the meal, we ask that you stick around to hear trail updates, event plans, advocacy initiatives, and NMMBA goals and projects that are continuing or kicking off in 2019. We’ll have updates on the Traverse City Trail Festival, Glacial Hills Permanent Signage update, Palmer Woods and other Bike Leelanau goings-on, plus news from Lansing as well!

Finally, January also sees the start of the 2019 Short’s Brewing Fat Bike Series. The longest-running fat bike series in the state, things kick-off at Crystal Mountain for yet another edition of Fat Chance! The race that started it all is back with more singletrack and a reprise of the original course from 2012. On January 20, you’ll want to hop in for 90 or 45 minute circuit-style races, great food, and a fun start to the Series with event sponsors Iron Fish Distillery. Registration is open, and make sure you check out the Vasa Fat Bike Race and Beard of Zeus, two more of the series races, both right in Traverse City at Timber Ridge!

There are so many great rides, races, and events to look forward to next month, and we’re really excited that we get to start of 2019 riding bikes with all of our pals. Make sure you join us for a few of these, and if you want to see more, make sure your membership is renewed for another big year with Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association!

NMMBA Annual Meeting: January 6, 2019

GH Shred.jpg

Meetings are never this fun! Join us at Timber Ridge on Sunday, January 6 to ride, eat, and learn more about our big plans for 2019 and beyond!

We work hard to keep our members informed and engaged with everything we’ve got going on, and that’s a lot! We’re working on trail days and a full season of winter grooming at the Winter Sports Trail, Cadillac Pathway, Glacial Hills, and Leelanau State Park. But beyond the next several months of fat bike fun, we’ve got trail proposals and trail building opportunities all over our region. We want to get our members together to let them know what’s on the docket, put more names to faces, and get in some saddle time.

We’re back at Timber Ride for a full afternoon of fun to kick off January. Just as the new year starts to get revved up, we’re calling on members to join us for a ride, a meal, and an opportunity to voice your own priorities, questions, and concerns. We’ll get things rolling, literally, with a group ride at 3pm, with at least two groups heading out to enjoy the Winter Sports Trail, including a few new miles that have been added for this season! We’ll all be back by 5pm to dig into a potluck, so consider bringing a little something to share.

After eating and spending some time to talk to all of our trail reps, we’ll have a short formal presentation from the board and highlight some of our goals for 2019, 2020, and beyond. You’ll get updates from each trail, a schedule of NMMBA events, including the Traverse City Trail Festival and Bear Claw Epic, updates on the Glacial Hills signage project, and a lot of big things happening in Leelanau County, including more on Palmer Woods.

We are really excited about what we have lined up to offer quality, natural, fun, and sustainable places to ride and reconnect with nature. The trails are such a vital part of the northern Michigan way of life, and we take that connection very seriously. Providing individuals and families a safe place to unplug and a great place to learn and develop a passion for mountain biking is at the heart of our mission. In 2019, we’re stepping up our game even more!

Make sure you check out the Facebook event to stay up-to-date on ride and meeting details here.

Reminder: Special Meeting Friday, April 13


Just in case this slipped off your radar, we're asking that our members join us Friday, April 13! 

There are TONS of fun things going on this spring, so we wanted to put this on your radar just one more time. This Friday, we're holding a special meeting to present a handful of changes to our by-laws and ask for our current members to vote to approve the changes. NMMBA has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years, and we have some crucial changes to make that will allow us to do more and represent your interests better! 

The meeting will start promptly at 6:30pm, and our board and legal counsel have already combined to keep our talking points brief and to the point. We don't anticipate the meeting taking very long at all, and even allowing for plenty of questions and discussion, should be concluded in a timely fashion. All you need to do is show up, let us know what questions you have, and vote on the changes. 

For more on the changes, why we need this vote, and the legal stuff involved, there are more details available here

2018 Annual Meeting: Perfect Trails and Delicious Meatballs


This past Saturday, over 80 riders joined us for a fun fat bike ride and to learn more about Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Associations big goals for the future. 

With temperatures near 20 degrees and the trails in simply immaculate shape, we were excited to see riders of all abilities get out to enjoy a fun afternoon jaunt on the Winter Sports Singletrack in Traverse City. With a half-dozen crockpots plugged in and doing their thing, we had just enough time to make the most of a firm base and an inch or two of fresh snow mixed in. For many riders, it was a chance to see groomers getting to enjoy the trails by bike, rather than snowmobile, with Mike Walters, John Roe, Chuck Hathaway, and Heath Day all giving us a lesson in bike handling. 

Back at Banquet Hall, we settled in for some delicious food and great conversation. Folks on hand were able to enjoy a plethora of meatball options, pizza, salads, and all those potluck classics that we've been lucky to enjoy every winter season in Traverse City. We also got a sneak peak at the new NMMBA logo (no spoilers!) and plenty of talk about trail plans for 2018. 

Of course, the biggest news of the night was the election of Chad Jordan as your new President. Chad has led the ReViSiT committee, working to reshape and enhance the Singletrack, as well as offered his time and expertise to the growing Winter Sports Trail at Leelanau State Park. He takes the reins from the hard-working Don Clewley. Don's energy has been instrumental in invigorating NMMBA and expanding our reach, our influence, and our purpose to more trails and more communities. 

We're also excited to welcome Cody Sprattmoran to the board as the Bike Leelanau trail representative. She joins Tim Reicha from Glacial Hills and both Michele Andrews and Dustin Webb from Cadillac Pathway as the voice and muscle behind developing and very exciting trails systems all over Northern Michigan. 

And if you're excited about see these trails for yourself, we've got some good news! With support from Short's Brewing Company and the directors of all three events, we're excited to announce the NMMBA Trail Series for 2018! The Series hopes to highlight the diverse, beautiful, and enjoyable riding in our region by encouraging racers and riders to try our three events. Anyone who pre-registers and takes on the Traverse City Trails Festival, Glacial Hills Challenge, and Bear Claw Epic will earn themselves a special edition NMMBA Trails Series water bottle, complete with a checklist of each event. Whether you're a serious racer or an adventurer, we invite you to see our great trails for yourself- and bring a friend, too! 

If you're excited about 2018 and the years to come, we invite you to become a member of NMMBA and add your voice and support to our mission of making Northern Michigan a mecca for cycling and a pillar of our community.