Singletrack

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

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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!

See You At The Vasa Singletrack Ribbon Cutting + Celebration!

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No doubt you've heard about it, and now it's time to get even more excited about it! Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association is inviting everyone and anyone with a love of the trails to join us at the Vasa Singletrack on Supply Road this Thursday, August 9 at 6pm to unveil the refreshed, retooled, revisited VST! 

As you may know, we've spent over two years getting permission to change and re-route certain worn out sections of this trail system in order to offer a more fun and enjoyable experience for riders of all abilities. The exposed roots, sandpits, unsustainable sections, and just plain tired portions of the VST needed to be redone. After working with the Michigan DNR and putting in countless hours of digging, trimming, and reshaping, the trail is better than it has ever been! 

This Thursday, the weekly Speed of Light ride that normal does a lap of the Vasa 25km Pathway is moving over to Supply for a one-lap time trial of the VST! They'll be going all out, one at a time, to see who can put in the fastest time on the trail. Want to give it a shot? Show up at 6pm and they'll get you queued up for your shot at a flying fast time! Riders will start at 30 or 10 second intervals, depending on where in the start list you're at. 

Don't want to give it the beans? We'll let anyone who wants to go as a group start together as soon as the last time trialer heads out; we're expecting this to be no later than 6:20pm. Ride with friends, meet new people, and take this chance to ride the VST on its 'debut' night at your own pace! We'll have the legendary Brad Miller from City Bike Shop Racing riding as our designated sweeper, so you're guaranteed not to be left in the woods (and to hear some great riding stories if you end up with him!). 

We'll also have plenty of kids taking on the 3-mile Kinglet Loop directly after the adults are off! This is very much a family-friendly night in the woods, so bring the lil' shredders out for a ride and some food when they finish up! 

You will want to get back to the parking lot, however, because we're going to have food and drink provided by Keen Technical Solutions and Short's Brewing Company! Hang out, eat really good food off the grill from Max's Service, and meet all your fellow mountain bikers. We're also going to spend just a little time thanking all of our wonderful volunteers! From trail work to board meetings, grooming to trimming face slappers at the height of summer, this is your chance to thank the men and women who make our world-class trail experience possible! 

Riders with Speed of Light WorldTour points will start first, with unseeded riders starting based on their own seeding after all the SOLers are off; if you're feeling good, try to be toward the front! You can see the WorldTour standings, which serve as a sort of start list, here

 Questions? Send an email to communications@nmmba.net and we'll help you out!