Timber Ridge

Beard of Zeus: Capping Off The Short's Brewing Fat Bike Series In Style


Beard of Zeus was, in a word, stellar. If you made it out to join us at Timber Ridge, then you know what a race, what a party, what an event the finale of the Short’s Brewing Fat Bike Series was for 2019.

Last year, the race was cancelled due to ice. This year’s edition of the race couldn’t have seen a more idyllic winter day. With temps hovering in the mid-20s and the sun peeking intermittently between batches of puffy, lazy clouds, it was the perfect weather for shredding. With a two-mile course for the day, we put in a load of work to pack the dry, powdery snow. John Roe was out at 4am on race morning to give the entire course a final pat, with just an inch of fresh stuff settling over the topped of the packed base. With over 100 riders putting in 8-10 minute laps for the leaders and 15-20 minute laps for the more party-minded, the course help up just about as well as we could have possibly hoped with the dry snow.

There was plenty to race for Saturday, too, and the Men’s Open took center stage. With Sunset Scott and Rick Wetherald tied on points, whichever rider finished ahead of the other on the day would nab the Series. Previous BoZ winner Jorden Wakeley was ready to take the spoils of the day, while Series regulars like Eric Langley, Paul Olson, and Kyan Olshove were eager nip onto the podium, should the opening arise.

After riding together early, a crash saw Sunset distanced, and cost him a bottle cage ripped right out of his frame. He spent the rest of the day chasing against a 1’20” gap to Rick and Jorden. Ahead, Rick was all-in on the front to keep that big gap open, knowing that with lapped traffic and any mistakes, 60-odd seconds could disappear in the blink of an eye. Wakeley was happy to sit on and race for the last lap, while a bigger chase group that would eventually collect Langley and Olshove was headed up by the Master’s podium fight, including John Duby, Kris Sands, Rob Goepfrich, and Scott Diment.

On the women’s side, Susan Vigland easily stayed perfect with a fourth straight win, putting in a few minutes early and holding the gap for the full 90 minutes. Chelsey Schlict put in some rock-solid lap times for second, while women’s master’s leader, Cindy Duby, also stayed perfect, riding away meter by meter from Amelia Hasenohrl and Kamie Wade.

Sunset never quite got back into the hunt for the race win, and with a move with a half a lap to go, Wakeley survived the lapped traffic pitfalls to take his second win of the Series out of two starts. Wetherald came home second with Sunset third, enough for the pair to stay comfortably first and second in the final Series tally.

Paul Olson won the men’s master’s, but it was John Duby who claimed the Series after riding with metronome-like consistency since things started way back in January at Fat Chance. Cindy’s perfect season means the Duby mantle must be getting a bit crowded with medals and trophies early in 2019!

We had an absolute blast really taking on Beard of Zeus, and event we’re happy to add to our ever-expanding calendar of races and rides that covers every season. Of course, we couldn’t done it without the dozens of volunteers that manned the registration table, marshaled all afternoon, helped with parking, and contributed to make this one of the most enjoyable fat bike events of the winter! And you can feel good about being there; 100% of proceeds from BoZ go straight to NMMBA, helping us bring you the best grooming, new trails, and advocating for our sport around the region and across the state.

A big thanks to Short’s Brewing, Einstein Cycles, Bearclaw Bicycle Co., 45NRTH, Velocity, State Farm Insurance Agency, Paddles and Pedals of Bellaire, Timber Ridge, and all the folks who helped to bring this together. A very special thanks to the guys at up.bike, who turned their hand to designing some very unique medals at Fat Chance and Series trophies for us, both times on short notice!

Make sure you head over to check out the full race results and take just a second to congratulate a racer for their hardwork. We had a great experience with our old friend Jason Whittaker on hand running the timing, and it’s always a pleasure to have accurate results in hand the second the last rider rolls through.

Want To Help Us Throw A Party? Beard of Zeus Is Almost Here!


On March 2, we’re putting on the biggest party of winter, and one of the most fun fat bike races around!

This year’s Beard of Zeus Fat Bike Race at Timber Ridge is 100% our thing, with 100% of proceeds going right back into the trails. We’re aiming to make this year’s race the most fun edition yet, and that’s no small feat. The circuit-style course on Timber Ridge’s property makes for fast, exciting racing for athletes and spectators alike, and there will certainly be spectators. The original winter party in the woods, Suds’n’Snow, starts just as we’re wrapping up, which gives us plenty of enthusiastic fans for the final few laps.

It’s the fourth stop in the Short’s Brewing Fat Bike Series, which means it’s the final chance for riders looking to pocket a few valuable points before wrapping up the season. After the Dogman Challenge, standings are tighter than ever, the Men’s and Women’s Open categories couldn’t get much tighter! Expect to see some aggressive, competitive racing from the Series regulars, as well as plenty of folks out taking on their first race ever; it’s one of the most accessible events of the whole year, so if you haven’t toed the line before, make it a priority to join us on Saturday!

If you aren’t planning on racing, we could use a few folks to help us make this party one folks won’t soon forget! If you’re available Saturday from 10-11:45 to assist with day-of registration and packet pick-up, and could even stick around to cheer, shout, and heckle, we might have some goodies for your efforts.

Registration for the SBFBS Beard of Zeus is open right here.

If you can help out, email us at communications@nmmba.net and we’ll be in touch!

Vasa Fat Bike Race Weekend: Fun, Sun, and Great Memories


Our team of groomers put in a lot of work to battle cold temperatures and soft snow heading into another edition of the North American Vasa Fat Bike Race this weekend! Somehow, we always get lucky on race day; the course held up extremely well even with over 100 racers on course, and the sunny skies only made the race more enjoyable. 

The weekend started off with the race itself, with the 12:30 start of the 18km Short'n'Fat Race. These guys and gals got the first tracks on a course that received plenty of attention from our grooming volunteers, including a pre-race roll from Heath Day. Doug McKibbon took the win, and you can check out all the results from the Short's race here. 

The 42km Short's Grand Fat kicked off 30 minutes later, with Jorden taking his second win of the day after crossing the line first in the 28km ski earlier in the day. All the races agreed that the inclusion of the all-new Yeti's Revenge completely changed the race from previous editions, adding some short and sharp climbs before the longest section of singletrack just a miles later .The softer snow was also a challenge, but didn't stop Wakeley from holding an average speed of 14.87 miles per hour! Dave "Sunset" Scott and Cody Sovis rounded out the men's podium, while Christa Hoyt was an equally dominant winner on the women's side ahead of City Bike Shop teammate Cindy Duby in second and Erin Reicha in third. You can see the 42km results here

Jorden Wakeley rolls through Timber Ridge at the end of the first lap.


IMBA Executive Director Dave Wiens joined us for the awards at the Short's Brewing Party Tent after the race, and even made it down to Brew for some post-race chat and a discussion about the future of mountain biking and trails around the country. We even got the six-time Leadville 100 champion out on the Winter Sports Singletrack on Sunday morning. It was an absolute treat to have Dave in Traverse City, and we really appreciate him braving the blizzard that hit the lower part of the state to make it up for our big weekend of fat biking! 

Thanks to everyone who helped make this weekend happen, including our many volunteer course marshals and the whole North American Vasa crew that keeps this Northern Michigan tradition going strong. 

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. 

Winter Trails Day at Timber Ridge


It's the perfect chance to get a friend off the couch and into the woods this winter! 

Winter can be long, cold, and tough for folks who see it only as a time to hibernate. It's not so bad! If you can get the first step out the door and onto a fat bike, skis, or perhaps a pair of snowshoes, it's a great time to discover new trails or explore familiar places now covered in snow!

We are incredibly fortunate to have access to trails all over the region, and our friends at TART are helping show you one in Traverse City. The Vasa Pathways and Winter Sports Singletrack offer skiing and fat bike opportunities that are nearly unmatched in the state. Each year, we celebrate Winter Trails Day at Timber Ridge as a way to get more folks out to make the most of the incredible recreational opportunities. 

You can join us on January 6 from 10:30 am to 2 pm for a chance to try out fat biking, skiing, and snowshoeing for free! That's right, sample a little of everything and see which sport just might become your new winter passion. There will be groups of skiers and a few different fat bike rides, but you can always just do a lap on the half-mile Timber Ridge inner loop, or the 1 mile loop that offers two small climbs to test your legs. 

The event is totally free, but we do ask that you register online to help TART plan on numbers and allocate skis, snowshoes and more evenly.