Michigan

NMMBA's PA288 Update From Tom White

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We've been up to a lot this summer, and there have been few efforts as important as our work to help construct a safe, sustainable, and workable solution to PA288. PA288 addresses access to state forest roads all over Michigan, of which there are plenty that intersects the trails and singletrack in Northern Michigan. We took a look at PA288 earlier this summer, and we're excited to bring you an update on where we stand. 

NMMBA helped form the PA288 Motorized and Non-motorized Coalition to help compile goals and concerns with other interested trail user groups. Skiers, mountain bikers, hikers, dirt bikers, ORV users and more all worked to establish a person to represent their group as serve as their respective advocates. 

Over the course of several meetings, we made a number of compromises that will open select corridors that will allow ORVs to access the interior of the Vasa 25k Pathways through established East/West and North/South roads. On the face of it, this may sound dangerous, but we've all worked to make sure that these access points are existing roads that cross the path, which means there won't be any new roads or crossing used by ORVs. 

The coalition then submitted a plan to the DNR for their consideration, and we believe this plan will play a large role in the how the DNR deals with forest roads around the state. 

Even more importantly, the coalition helped establish a relationship between all the user groups, and that's crucial. The ability to connect and converse will help NMMBA, TART, and all trail advocacy groups work with different groups to prevent conflict and support sustainable trail practices. These are the exact relationships we need to make sure that we can protect our trails and our forests in the decades to come. 

May Is National Bike Month!

Bike Month is a great way to highlight the many ways cycling adds to the health and growth of our community. There are benefits to every sort of cyclists, and at the end of the day, we love seeing people pedal any way they enjoy. 

We are very fortunate to have a number of cycling-friendly organizations in Traverse City, and NMMBA is just one of those groups that work to make our region more supportive, accessible, and enjoyable for enthusiasts in the region. Bike Month, for us, is an opportunity to invite cyclists of all ages and abilities to enjoy the trails and see if mountain biking is something they'd enjoy. We understand that there are so many ways ride, and would like to encourage everyone to try something new this month. 

We find that the most accessible way to try mountain biking is to take a lap of a well-marked and well-maintained trail system, and that's something we work very hard to provide to locals and tourists in the region. We also understand that have guidance is important; riding with a friend, joining a club, or even contacting local groups like NMMBA or a local shop, are great ways to learn more about where to access trails and what to bring with you when you're out there. 

Conversely, we'd like to challenge our members and die-hard mountain bikers to try something new themselves in celebration of Bike Month. Try a new commute, experiment with a new paved trail, or make an effort to bring a friend that has never ridden out into the woods with you in May. Bike Month is a time to support bike organizations and initiatives, but also to highlight the simple pleasure of pedaling with a friend. 

Want to make sure we have trails to enjoy this Bike Month, and for a long time to come? You can donate to NMMBA and stay in touch on Facebook and Instagram for news on events, trail days, and more. 

To learn more about National Bike Month, head over to our friends at The League of American Bicyclists