Trails

Choose Your Champion: Taco Competition Added To VST TT!

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On Thursday, August 15, we’re having a fiesta. It’s part time trial on our reworked, beloved Vasa Singletrack, located on Supply Road in Traverse City, Michigan. It’s also partly a membership drive, a way to bring people together and get them face-to-face with other members, volunteers, and our board. But just as importantly, it’s a fiesta, and since we take our fun very, very seriously, we’re adding a not-too-competitive twist on it this year: a taco competition. 

While you may not be able to threaten the leaderboard on the Vasa Singletrack, don’t worry, this is your time to shine. Around 7:30, once the bulk of the day’s riders are back from their hot lap around the VST, we’ll come together to enjoy another form of athleticism, the ability to throwdown ten tacos in no time. 

Here’s how it works. We’ve identified ten clubs or teams in Traverse City, and we’re inviting each squad to nominate a champion. In ancient times, tribes and nations would send their strongest warrior against the best fighter from another tribe, with a winner-take-all, single combat showdown deciding everything. It’s kind of like that, but with ten champions. Each champion will face ten tacos, and whoever knocks them down first is the winner. 

We’re asking each team to donate $200 for a chance at this amazing honor, with all the money going straight to NMMBA and the trails. Then, we want you all to show up to cheer on your champion, whether you’re up for putting down a hot lap on the VST or not. Yell, scream, and urge your teammate to glory...or at least not vomit. To cover your $200 entry fee, show up with cash or check, or indicate your team champion in the notes when you donate online here

If you do want to earn those tacos, or give the refreshed Vasa Singletrack a go, make sure you’re at the Supply Road Trailhead by 6pm. This VST TT is a big deal; it’s the only night of the year that the Speed of Light crew leaves the Vasa Pathway and hits the tight stuff. They’ll kick stuff off first, with their top WorldTour riders going in points-order. The first ten riders will go in one-minute intervals, with everyone else taking off in thirty-second intervals. We’re encouraging everyone to seed themselves; if you’re going for it, get up front. If you’re there to party, make light a mullet and hang at the back. 

You in? Of course you are. Here are all the details you might need to know. 

-The latest Speed of Light WorldTour standings are here. Check to see who is ahead of you and behind you to make it easier when you line up. 

-Sign up your CHAMPION right here.

-Want to join up? Make our August membership drive a success join OR renew right here.  
-RSVP to the event on Facebook, and stay in the loop with any changes.

Oleson Foundation Helps Two Trail Projects Move Forward

Oleson Foundation Helps Two Trail Projects Move Forward

Plans for projects on two trail developments will advance this summer thanks to grant funding from the Oleson Foundation. The Vasa Skills Building Trail, a collaborative project between TART Trails and Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association (NMMBA) to create a 2-mile youth mountain biking trail on the Vasa Pathway, has received $5,000 toward project costs.

NMMBA Board of Directors Meeting - May

NMMBA Board of Directors Meeting

Date and location: Wednesday, May 8th, 2019. Keen loft

Board present: Chad Jordan, Tom White, Kim White, Tim Reicha III, Mike Walters, Cotipaxi Sprattmoran and Steve Mentzer

Board absent: Michele Andrews, John Roe, Dustin Webb, Tim Jenema and Don Clewley

Guests: Cody Sovis, Steve Petoskey and Doris Petoskey

Chad opened the meeting at 6:34 p.m.

Quorum present.

Agenda item Evart Trail moved to first item.

Evart Trail:

Steve and Doris Petoskey were introduced as guests. Citizens of Evart and owners of a bicycle repair shop, Steve and Doris are interested in developing a portion of the Pere Marquette forest west of Evart for mountain biking. They have approached NMMBA as to the best process to realize their dream.

Steve had initiated talks with Scott Slavin of the DNR and he recommended they contact NMMBA.

The proposed trails are located north of the US 10/M-140 intersection. The number of acres has not been determined but all fall within state lands.

A local company Evart Ventra, LLC has committed to provide funding for the project.

Questions arose as to what other user groups were present and what bodies of water were in the vicinity.

As far as Steve knew there were no dedicated ORV groups that used the lands/trails regularly and other than a few streams, no large bodies of water existed.

There was additional discussion as to soil types, trail miles, etc.

Tom then guided Steve on the best way to proceed.

Contact other user groups and see what plans they may have for that area, talk to the DNR and ask what their plans are: logging, etc.

Get the okay from other groups and the DNR’s Forestry division.

Steve and Doris will gather information and report back at a future meeting.

MMBA Update:

Kim had a short update to present. With the departure of Melissa Werkman the MMBA lacks an Executive Director(ED). This has caused the organization’s strategic plan to be unobtainable.

There is a need to work with committees in Lansing to advance our cause.

One person on the forefront is Jason Aric Jones of the PotoMBA.

There has been some new Director’s orders about to come down that will give conservation officers a clearer enforcement of certain rules.

Those particular rules were not available as of this meeting.

Certainly more to follow.

Financials:

As always Kim presented the complete financial picture for NMMBA.

Not much discussion came about but some of the figures presented include:

NMMBA Checking acct. Balance which stood at $49,290.84. In addition, Bear Claw Epic(BCE) account balance is $32,541.71

Membership:

Just a reminder that to serve on the board one must maintain their NMMBA membership.

By the end of 2019 members will have the option to renew automatically.

VST Pavilion:

John and Chad had met with a potential donor for the pavilion. A donation figure will be agreed upon.

Cherry Capital Cycling Club has also expressed interest in helping to defray the costs.

Costs associated with the project were discussed.

An engineered site plan should run about $2000. Tim J. will have connections in regards to this.

Dave Heim, a local architect had offered to help as well.

It was decided to get Tim J. to solicit engineers and report back to the board.

A site for the pavilion has always been assumed. DNR (within the DNR there have been two suggested locations)  Based on trails merging, etc they have advocated it being located off the parking lot in the woods.

Pavilion committee which consists of Chad, Mike, Tom and Tim J. will determine location among other aspects.

More to follow.

Hayo-Went-Ha Camp:

Hayo-went-ha Camp is located in Antrim county. They have exchanged emails with NMMBA with tentative plans to meet in person. They are looking for advice/direction on building trails within the camp’s property. With the possibility of a connector to Glacial Hills.

More to follow when/if that meeting takes place.

But talked turned to our role and expenses put out for these requests to design and build trail. And more importantly how much will be asked of the organization(s) soliciting our services.

Will it be pay to play?

The Singletrack Love Machine(SLM) will play a pivotal role.

All monies generated by the SLM will go to pay our expenses.

Our own trails will pay a maintenance fee.

Trail building outside our organization will pay additional expenses.

In addition to providing their own ditch witch.

Design fees was also brought up.

What exactly do we charge and how is that money treated?

Donations or revenue?

Does Tom’s role as a  trail designer be looked at separately?

Does he get paid but donate back dollars to NMMBA?

Bit cloudy at this point. More to follow.

Branding:

Chad led the discussion on this.

He states that Nate wants to get moving on this new branding and partner outreach enterprise.

Board reviewed a rough draft of a compensation agreement drawn up by Mark Mueller. This agreement would be between Nate Farran and NMMBA.

Question as to how Nate is compensated and how is NMMBA get their portion of the dollars. Retail or wholesale?

Talk of new memberships with each bike sale through the local bike shops(LBS). Guided tours to new riders.

With the potential of hundreds of new members how do we keep them in front of us? Emails? Lots to work out.

Tim R. to get with Mark Mueller to iron out a few sections of the document.

TART/Acme bike park:

With the absence of Tim J. at tonight’s meeting, there was no formal update given.

It was decided that the committee consisting of Tim J., Tom and Kim would meet with TART.

Roundtable:

Cody Sprattmoran talked of the June bike skills clinic to be held at Palmer Woods. $75 for entry either of the two days designated. Saturday will be for those who identify as women and Sunday will be open to all. Clinic goes from 9am to 5pm daily. Lunch will be provided. Two renowned instructors, Lori Hauswirth and Lianna Miller will provide instruction.

Cody Sovis let the board know that some registrations are coming in for TCTF.

Talk of the tent being present for Mud Sweat and Beers. Merch sales, flyers for TCTF and handouts also will be on hand.

Meeting adjourned at 8:40pm.

Submitted by

Steve Mentzer, secretar

Committee updates:

Fatbike Grooming:

We are at the time of year that we forget about winter grooming. Happy Spring.

However, the planning for next winter is already started. Here is what I have going.

1) Groomer gifts are ordered. Waiting on Nate, TC will pay for all trails

2) Grooming survey in review

3) Snowmobile and equipment maintenance in process - all equipment should be prepared for next season by the end of June. Oil change, minor repairs, inspection and modifications.

4) I am ordering a new drag for TC Tidd Tech Narrow Gauge groomer with flaps and having flaps put on our V-Plow.

4) I am meeting with the DNR on Tuesday May 21. I need to have the Cadillac's expenditures and Northport's expenditures and log (should include total mileage and volunteer hours).

5) After TCTF we need to plan a Fatbike Committee meeting. I can collect unsold badge then. We will discuss plans for next season and badge sales structure.

6) Norte is starting a Fatbike program. (They will have a fleet of FB for kids to use)

Thanks,

John Roe

TCTN Updates......

- MSB course received rave reviews.  The marking had issues, but upon

deeper analysis it was only a few people leading large groups off course.

Some great corrective actions are already in place and I think 2020 will be

even better.

- We just got DNR approval today for the final extensions on the VST and

the complete build out of the Strombolis area.  By TCTF we will have 80% of

it done and in the event.  The approvals today will bring the VST total

distance to 21 miles.....up from the lowly 15.5 it is today.  This is a

huge day.

- TCTF sign up is going.  The event application turned in.  Lots of work

happening daily.  One last attempt to get Norte on board for this year.

Two solid starts have failed.  Have one more possible option cooking.

- A motorized wheelbarrow and equipment hauler has been ordered using

private funds.  This will allow us to carry all our equipment (including

the stump grinder) deep into the forest to fix problem areas.  This will be

a huge help.

- The Love Machine is still on track for mid July delivery.  Once the machine is tested and proven, it will be put to use reconditioning old trail, building the extension on the VST, improving the Iceman course and hopefully other user groups can use it to recondition their trails too….such as the ORV (mainly dirt bike) trails.  

Glacial Hills

  • We had 25 volunteers attend the April 20 work day and work the entire 31 miles of trail

  • Our shared employee with Antrim Conservation District began working at Glacial Hills last week, April 30. Zach will be working Monday and Thursday each week, coordinating efforts with our volunteer maintenance crew plus maintaining the buildings and infrastructure.

  • The trails are in great shape and there are wildflowers everywhere, get out there!

Tom White's Mud, Sweat and Beers Preview!

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It’s becoming a tradition just as exciting as race day itself! Tom White talks you through the 2019 Mud, Sweat and Beers course!

Things have changed a TON since the first few editions of MSB. Those races rarely strayed far from the wide-open and fast Vasa Pathway, and while still absolutely thrilling, those events didn’t offer riders much more than a tease of singletrack. When NMMBA stepped up to help design a course, the goal was always to ask more of the rider. We wanted to balance a safe, fun, and accessible route with something that would challenge more than just the engine of the rider, but also demand some amount of technical skill and tactical nous as well. We think our 2019 is the best iteration of MSB yet!

Tom’s turn-by-turn narration is included below, and we also have a file that includes much of the course available here. We do want to stress that riding on private property anytime outside of race day is prohibited. You can access the course from a number of places, and if you hop on the 25 km from Bunker or Timber, you’re going to see markings in no time.

Tom White’s MSB Turn-by-Turn

- Same start and finish as last year.
- Ample passing for the first 5.5 miles.
- The first piece of single track after the private land is the "F-Bomb"
area.  We plan to revamp this crappy section so it flows.
- This will flow into the "Das Boot" section and into the always popular
Jam Sesh single track.
- A fun portion of the winter sports trail is next.
- The course opens up to the rolling part of the the 25K and then into two
rolling hills in Jack Pine Valley.
- A very short single track takes you out of Jack Pine and onto another two
track to intersect the new section of VST by Post #5 (Saplings).
- The "saplings" section transitions into a 1 mile section of new single
track in Strombolis Lake (we will build in April).
- Same gas line and single track as last year (The Other White Meat).
- A 3/4 mile section of Sand Lakes Road is next to allow for passing and
roadie power to shine.
- New section of VST (Ditch Pickle and Tingling Bits) is next.
- After Tingling Bits we transition to some bits and pieces of unmarked
single track and then onto a downhill piece of Perch Lake Road.
- Then it is back into unmarked around Perch Lake and onto the two track
that will take you to the base of the Wall.
- From there we hit a portion of the Vasa 25k and then turn left onto a
seldom used piece of Tom's Cruise.
- Next we hit the Vasa 10k, then two tracks to the private land for a open
and high speed finish.
- There will be a safer merge with Pale Ale riders.
- Approximately 23.5 miles long.

Want to help Tom, Mike, and the whole TC Trail Crew get the course ready for race day? Join us at Mt. Holiday on Sunday, April 28 at 12:30. You can stay up to date on the game plan right here.

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!