Traverse City

Traverse City Trails Festival Registration Is Open!

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Last year was great. Let’s make 2019 even better.

Registration for the 2019 Traverse City Trails Festival is LIVE and already gathering up riders for our even on July 20. If you’ve made it for the previous two editions of TCTF, you know what it’s all about. This is race. It’s a tour. It’s a party.

NMMBA works hard to build and maintain trail all over northern Michigan. On the Traverse CIty Trail Network, that trail experience is divided up into the Vasa Pathway (or 25km), the Vasa Singletrack (from Supply Road), as well as nearly 70 miles of unmarked singletrack that stretches from Bunker Hill Road to Supply Road, Timber Ridge to Kalkaska. The vast web of trail offers months, even years of opportunity to explore. Even locals that ride all the time often know only a small portion of the vast spiderweb of interconnecting trails.

One day a year, we create a 40, a 25, and 15 mile course and map out those otherwise hidden trails to offer racers and riders alike a unique chance to experience these gems without worrying about navigating or getting back to our start/finish venue, Ranch Rudolph. This race also gives us the opportunity to create a few miles of new trails and expose riders to these freshly created sections and begin to incorporate these inventions into their normal rides!

Most importantly, this is a ride about everyone. We’re proud to have some of the fastest mountain bikers in the state line up for the 40 and 25 mile events. But we’re just as honored to see riders of all abilities seize the opportunity to explore together by signing up for the 25 and 15 mile tours. Take on the day, and some big miles of singletrack, at your own pace, with your very best pals. It’s the perfect no-pressure platform for someone who doesn’t want to race, but wants to get more involved in the event and the community. We see this as the ideal day to bring together Elites and Beginners, trail gnomes and first-timers. Put a name to face, meet people for the first time, and celebrate our world-class trail experience; together.

We have a whole website dedicated to providing information on race categories, the day’s schedule of events, and more. We can’t do it without the support of our sponsors, especially Short’s Brewing Company. In addition to picking up Mud, Sweat and Beers, they remain the title sponsor of the TCTF and the three-race NMMBA Trail Series, which includes the TCTF, Short’s Glacial Hills Challenge, and Bear Claw Epic.

There’s plenty of time for more chatter; get yourself signed up and help us out by posting the event on Facebook, emailing it to a friend, or making a donation to further your support of what is our biggest fundraiser of the year.

Vasa Fat Bike Race Course Info

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We are just over a week away from the North American Vasa, the highlight of winter here in northern Michigan!

The 43rd Annual North American Vasa is a true festival of races, inviting winter enthusiasts to test themselves against the trail and the elements in freestyle and classic skiing, plus 40 or 20 kilometers of fast, fun fat bike racing later in the afternoon. It’s an event that as grown and re-shaped itself to serve the winter sports community over the years, and the current iteration of the Vasa offers a little something for everyone, while bring all sorts of athletes to celebrate winter in all its glory.

The fat bike races are known as some of the prestigious and beautiful event on the calendar. It’s a rare holdout in that it doesn’t rely on short, 1-2 mile laps like many fat bike races. While those are really fun for racers and spectators alike, most were born out of necessity; it takes a lot fewer resources to groom a mile or two compared to maintaining 10 miles or more! We’re committed to grooming not only our normal Winter Sports Singletrack, but have added sections of Riley’s Loop and Logger’s Run, plus helping clean up section within Timber Ridge, to offer racer a chance to explore the full cornucopia of trail flavors we are so lucky to have access to here in Traverse City.

The two races take on one and two laps of the 20 kilometer course. The lap includes an exciting mix of singletrack and wider two-track to allow for plenty of passing opportunities, which you’ll want to take full advantage of before spilling into Yeti’s Revenge, a seasonal ‘floating trail’ floating singletrack that has become a local favorite. It’s a course that is as fun as it is challenging, and whether you’re going for the crown or going for fun, it’s really a treat to ride.

Last year, a number of riders finished the 40km race inside two hours, while plenty of others were comfortably withing two and a half hours. It’s a race that is very much dependent on snow conditions, and with that in mind, our groomers have been in the woods almost non-stop since this recent blizzard fired up. We’re working hard to clear and compact trail, and the warm-up this weekend should be a big help in turning a great base into a firm and fast track for race day.

We also wanted to point out one of the unique and incredibly cool ways to take on the Vasa. The race offers two combination races, the SkiFatalon and the Triple Threat Challenge. The SkiFatalon combines your time from the 27km ski and the 40km fat bike race, a grueling way to get in both of your favorite winter sports in a single morning. If that isn’t enough, you can always do more, as in doing the full 50km ski, the 40km fat bike race immediately after, plus hopping in the 35km Classic race on Sunday!

If you’re ready to go give the 2019 course a look, you can use the gpx files right here. We’ve also got all the Vasa maps you need uploaded to the Vasa site right here.

See our incredible trails for yourself on February 9; sign up for the 43rd Annual North American Vasa and see the best singletrack around!

It's A Big, Big Weekend : Iceman, Memberships, and Palmer Woods!

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You’ve got plenty of things to look forward to kick off November in northern Michigan!

It’s a sort of Holy Week for mountain bikers all over the Midwest, but we all know, no one has it better than us! The Iceman Cometh Challenge is the biggest one-day mountain bike race in this hemisphere, but there’s a lot more to this final weekend of racing than just the iconic (and often grueling!) jaunt from Kalkaska to TC. We’ve got your itinerary planned!

Friday night’s SRAM Ice Cycle Expo kicks things off. Part packet pick-up, part flea market, part of the fun, the Expo serves as a chance for riders to see old friends, check out the latest gear and the best deals, plus make sure they’ve got everything they need for race day. For NMMBA, it’s a chance to see hundreds of members face-to-face, shake hands, answer questions, and connect with folks we often see blurring by while we work on the trails.

This year, it’s also YOUR chance to win one of seven custom stainless steel display stands from up.bike. Just join NMMBA or renew your membership online or in-person on Friday, November 2, and you might pick up a little something special!

We’ll also have trail reps from every trail system, plus special shirts, hats, and stickers from your favorite places to ride. Show the world your hometown trail, or the one you always hit when you’re in the area! We’ll have as much stock as possible to make sure no one goes home without a chance to grab a shirt from Cadillac Pathway, Glacial Hills, or Bike Leelanau.

And it’s Bike Leelanau that is going to keep you going Sunday. After you’ve emptied the tank on Saturday, you’ll be able to meet up with pals and relive all the action at Palmer Woods! That’s right, the long-awaited, much-anticipated trail is finished, and we’re all heading out to Glen Arbor to celebrate. The plan is to sleep in, then meet up around 1 pm. You can track all the event plans here. Put in as many laps on the 3 mile finished section as you feel like, take in the gorgeous colors of Leelanau County in November, and reflect on just how many amazing opportunities we have to race, ride, and enjoy the great outdoors in northern Michigan.

Michigan Trails Week: Vasa Singletrack

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Michigan Trails Week rolls on with a Traverse City landmark!

Ask nearly any local mountain biker where they learned to love mountain biking, and it’s a pretty safe bet they’ll smile and tell you about their first time on the Vasa Singletrack. Located on Traverse City’s east side on Supply Road. The trailhead serves as a gateway to the Pere Marquette Forest, with a marked trail offering riders a place to twist and turn on natural, well-maintained trail that seems to magically appear through every turn.

That marked trail also connects to the Vasa 25km Pathway in two locations, as well as ties into untold miles of unmarked trails, many of which also connect to gravel roads and the K to TC Trail. The 12 mile marked trails are a sort of spine from which any number of other nerves spread out!

The VST you ride today is a far cry from the state of the trail even two years ago. Our reViSiT project, just completed this fall, has refreshed a trailbed that had taken decades of abuse without necessary work to fix and improve it. Working with the DNR, we were able to make re-routes and add changes that breath new life into the trail experience for bikers, runners, and hikers.

Of course, a huge part of what’s changed the VST and NMMBA over the past few years has been our ambitious winter grooming program. Our grooming has offered fat bikers an unparalleled chance to ride all year long, and thanks to NMMBA members, badge supporters, and partners like Short’s Brewing have allowed our volunteers to put in hundreds of hours to make the trails simply amazing, every single day.

Work with winter grooming has also played a part in our partnership with the Michigan DNR to offer floating trails and put on what has become our keynote event, the Traverse City Trail Festival. The TCTF is a chance for mountain bikers of all abilities to come together and explore 25 and 40 miles of trails that are marked just one day per year! The TCTF has become our biggest fundraiser of the year, and the success of the event and the course has increased our design work for events like Mud, Sweat and Beers, and now, the Iceman Cometh Challenge.

The VST was the trail that really started it all, for individuals and for NMMBA. We can’t wait to see what this trail can offer our community for generations to come!

September Board Meeting Minutes

NMMBA  Board of Directors Meeting 

Date and Location: Wednesday September 12th, 2018 Keen Loft

Board Present: Chad Jordan, Tim Reicha III, Tom White, John Roe, Michele Andrews, Cotopaxi Sprattmoran, Steve Mentzer, Mike Walters, Kim White and Tim Jenema.

Board Absent: Dustin Webb and Don Clewley

Chad called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.

Before heading into the agenda Chad recognized newest board member Tim Jenema and also Tim Reicha as NMMBA V.P.

With a motion from Tim R. and a 2nd from Tom the minutes from August were approved. Unanimous vote.

 

Our mission statement was a part of our agenda. And will appear on all future agendas. A slight revision bringing attention to our trail building will be inserted.

 

Michele started out with great news. Her trail proposal which had been awaiting approval from the DNR was approved after 2 years!!

 

Online Voting:

Some topics that need approval that fall in between scheduled meetings require a majority vote to proceed. This requires online discussion and voting.

Topics are outlined with brief discussion then a motion is made. Further discussion then occurs. A 2nd  to the motion is then made.

Chad then makes the call as to when a vote is made. These email threads should be confined to the topic and nothing else.

 

Bear Claw Epic:

Michele stated that all is set for the race. A 10 x 10 tent is needed. Also feather banners would look great as well.

Merchandise to be sold at event.

Michele expressed a need for an announcer. Some names were suggested. Among those were Tim Brick.

 

In other Pathway news the pavillion architectural drawings were still being reviewed.

 

 

 

Camp Greilick Update:

Tim and Chad met with Nick Killian. They currently have a 3 mile walking trail now. Lot's of potential to build additional trail and connect to VST via Muncie Lakes trail.

Many amenities for a variety of activities.

 

Some questions came up as to what is expected of NMMBA and what do we expect in return for our services.

 

Do we just build trail and walk away? Or do we dictate when we use the trail? When connected we could host many events from CG.

 

And would we serve on an advisory committee to decide future events?

 

And should we enter into further discussions with Nick to develop a trail network. Yes!

Committee formed. Cotopaxi S., Tom, John and Dan Novak.

 

Pure Michigan Trail Designation:

There were some discussions with Melissa Werkman and because of concerns this topic was tabled.

 

Emergency Response Plan for VST:

All felt this was critical to have a plan in place.

Anything from downed trees to someone needing attention requires a precise mapping system.

Iceman and Vasa Ski club have similar plans in place.

 

Pat Parker from G.T. Fire Dept. has a GPS device to help with mapping. Downside is for it to be effective one can go no faster than 6 mph.

 

More to follow.

 

Naming the Unmarked trails:

What do we call this trail system?

Traverse City Trail System

Traverse City Trail Network

Pere Marquette Forest Trails.

 

Decision can be made over the winter.

Excel spreadsheet to be accessible by all.

 

 

 

Tom:

Tom had a handout (attached) of various projects and task trackers.

 

Discussion centered around TCTF and possible venue change and sponsor dollars.

 

It was agreed that NMMBA was committed to the Ranch for 2019. If any venue change would be made it would not come until 2020. But we would need a new model if venue changed.

Also brought up was that if race/tour switched to Sunday, Ranch waives fees. So in an effort to cut costs we could switch to Sunday.

 

Sponsor fees and how that money is spent was also discussed. Tom's model was that fees would decline thereby making cost cutting efforts paramount.

 

Also talked about was beer/food sales.

 

Discussion centered around a Winter Fat bike event at the Ranch. Some discussion.

Tim R. made a motion to hold a Fat Bike event this winter, Cotopaxi 2nd the motion. Unanimous vote. Details to be worked out by November meeting.

 

The Summer Fiesta was a huge success and will be an annual event. Time Trial format to remain.

 

Membership committee to hear study results. Kim spearheading this.

 

VST MOU. Kasey along with Scott Slavin from the DNR have prioritized this and Chad will follow up with any new info.

 

Website update: Questions board members are getting are “why are the trails not listed on our website?”

 

We can start with core trails then add Vasa(TART). Drop down links would identify BCE, Glacial Hills, Bike Leelanau and VST.

 

Was decided to continue this discussion online.

 

Another marketing tool was brochures. Seasonal brochures promoting summer and winter biking options.

 

 

 

 

Winter Badge Program:

Badge program specifics to be hashed out by committee.

 

Costs of badges to the public were discussed.

Currently Glacial Hills charges $39.00. Cadillac Pathway charges $25.00 and TC charges $60.00

 

It was decided that badge sales for Bike Leelanau would not go far in sustaining their expenses so they can be lumped into TC in that regard. Still to be sold for $39.00

 

Any combo sales would result in $10.00 off total. CP to mull over raising their price to match GH at $39.00

 

John to order 500 badges.

 

Some brought up a possible design change to the grooming badges. One idea was a “mother” badge with room for 4 stickers depicting the four different trail systems.

 

Questions arose as to how these would be distributed to the trails and who would absorb discounts on multiple badge sales. Each trail would absorb the discount?

 

More discussion needed.

 

Bike Leelanau:

Talk of hiring an Executive Director. Would be a paid position. This person would be responsible for grant writing among other duties.

 

Decisions needed on payroll, benefits, multi-year commitment. What expenses are reimbursed: cell phone, travel, etc.

 

Bentonville MTB Summit:

Cotopaxi S. and Chad are willing to attend on behalf of NMMBA. Then present upon their return. Summit is In October. Also going is Brian Beauchamp of TART.

Cotopaxi and Chad are looking to have some of their expenses reimbursed.

 Discussion as to mode of travel, entry fee, housing, etc.

 

Kim made a motion to budget $700.00 for each. Tim R. with the 2nd.

Unanimous vote.

 

 

 

 

 

MTB Summit in Grand Rapids:

Event will be the week after Iceman. Tuesday through Thursday November 6th – 8th.

 

Cost is $175.00 each. Rooms are $142.00 apiece but better deals can be had.

6-7 board members may attend. More to follow on this.

 

Attachments:

GH Update:

Glacial Hills update:

·     e-bike sign installation happening (see attachment)

·     building moving paid for and waiting to be scheduled for vault toilets/changing rooms and new ATV shed

·     Glacial Hills Challenge, 303 racers, up from 235, $2015 check received

·     also received several donations from racers to the ATV challenge

·     consider course change/ alternate direction for 2019

·     grant writing: any small grants on anyone's radar? Skills clinic, bike fix stations (4)

·     ATV challenge update $11,501 received, ATV and shed purchased

·     ten new marked loops being mapped and installed this fall

 

Bike Leelanau Update:

Now on to the Bike Leelanau notes:

Flow Track has made huge headway at Palmer Woods and the trails are beyond beautiful. A volunteer orientation is scheduled for this Thursday from 6-8 to get volunteers on-boarded and ready to go. There will be a trail opening party at some point in October, keep an ear out for dates and more info.

 

We have been given approval to build an initial 1 mile of multi-use trail at Provemont Pond just outside of Lake Leelanau.

Thanks to Chad, the application for a permit for the 2018/2019 winter sports trail has been sent in. We are waiting to hear back from the DNR regarding the position.

As officially written in the Leelanau Enterprise, the National Park Service has the environmental assessment for the Echo Valley Trails on the books for the 2019 fiscal year.

The Leelanau Bike Library is almost out of bikes. We are currently accepting donations for more balance bikes. Huge thanks to Suttons Bay Bikes for matching donations up to 10 balance bikes. Anyone you know want to donate a kids bike in good condition?

 

Pending approval from Suttons Bay Township, the Leelanau Bike Library will move from Chad's barn to a Suttons Bay Township Park. Thanks to Bahle's Storage of Suttons Bay for donating the mobile storage units.

 

We are looking at a match grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to build a pump track at Herman Park in Lake Leelanau.

Submitted by

Steve Mentzer, secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 NMMBA  Board of Directors Meeting

 

Date and Location: Wednesday September 12th, 2018 Keen Loft

Board Present: Chad Jordan, Tim Reicha III, Tom White, John Roe, Michele Andrews, Cotopaxi Sprattmoran, Steve Mentzer, Mike Walters, Kim White and Tim Jenema.

Board Absent: Dustin Webb and Don Clewley

Chad called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.

Before heading into the agenda Chad recognized newest board member Tim Jenema and also Tim Reicha as NMMBA V.P.

With a motion from Tim R. and a 2nd from Tom the minutes from August were approved. Unanimous vote.

Our mission statement was a part of our agenda. And will appear on all future agendas. A slight revision bringing attention to our trail building will be inserted.

Michele started out with great news. Her trail proposal which had been awaiting approval from the DNR was approved after 2 years!!

Online Voting:

Some topics that need approval that fall in between scheduled meetings require a majority vote to proceed. This requires online discussion and voting.

Topics are outlined with brief discussion then a motion is made. Further discussion then occurs. A 2nd  to the motion is then made.

Chad then makes the call as to when a vote is made. These email threads should be confined to the topic and nothing else

Bear Claw Epic:

Michele stated that all is set for the race. A 10 x 10 tent is needed. Also feather banners would look great as well.

Merchandise to be sold at event.

Michele expressed a need for an announcer. Some names were suggested. Among those were Tim Brick.

In other Pathway news the pavillion architectural drawings were still being reviewed.

Camp Greilick Update:

Tim and Chad met with Nick Killian. They currently have a 3 mile walking trail now. Lot's of potential to build additional trail and connect to VST via Muncie Lakes trail.

Many amenities for a variety of activities.

Some questions came up as to what is expected of NMMBA and what do we expect in return for our services.

Do we just build trail and walk away? Or do we dictate when we use the trail? When connected we could host many events from CG.

And would we serve on an advisory committee to decide future events?

And should we enter into further discussions with Nick to develop a trail network. Yes!

Committee formed. Cotopaxi S., Tom, John and Dan Novak.

 

Pure Michigan Trail Designation:

There were some discussions with Melissa Werkman and because of concerns this topic was tabled.

Emergency Response Plan for VST:

All felt this was critical to have a plan in place.

Anything from downed trees to someone needing attention requires a precise mapping system.

Iceman and Vasa Ski club have similar plans in place.

Pat Parker from G.T. Fire Dept. has a GPS device to help with mapping. Downside is for it to be effective one can go no faster than 6 mph.

More to follow

Naming the Unmarked trails:

What do we call this trail system?

Traverse City Trail System

Traverse City Trail Network

Pere Marquette Forest Trails.

 

Decision can be made over the winter.

Excel spreadsheet to be accessible by all.

Tom:

Tom had a handout (attached) of various projects and task trackers.

Discussion centered around TCTF and possible venue change and sponsor dollars.

It was agreed that NMMBA was committed to the Ranch for 2019. If any venue change would be made it would not come until 2020. But we would need a new model if venue changed.

Also brought up was that if race/tour switched to Sunday, Ranch waives fees. So in an effort to cut costs we could switch to Sunday.

Sponsor fees and how that money is spent was also discussed. Tom's model was that fees would decline thereby making cost cutting efforts paramount.

Also talked about was beer/food sales.

Discussion centered around a Winter Fat bike event at the Ranch. Some discussion.

Tim R. made a motion to hold a Fat Bike event this winter, Cotopaxi 2nd the motion. Unanimous vote. Details to be worked out by November meeting.

The Summer Fiesta was a huge success and will be an annual event. Time Trial format to remain.

Membership committee to hear study results. Kim spearheading this.

VST MOU. Kasey along with Scott Slavin from the DNR have prioritized this and Chad will follow up with any new info.

Website update: Questions board members are getting are “why are the trails not listed on our website?”

We can start with core trails then add Vasa(TART). Drop down links would identify BCE, Glacial Hills, Bike Leelanau and VST.

Was decided to continue this discussion online

Another marketing tool was brochures. Seasonal brochures promoting summer and winter biking options.

Winter Badge Program:

Badge program specifics to be hashed out by committee.

Costs of badges to the public were discussed.

Currently Glacial Hills charges $39.00. Cadillac Pathway charges $25.00 and TC charges $60.00

It was decided that badge sales for Bike Leelanau would not go far in sustaining their expenses so they can be lumped into TC in that regard. Still to be sold for $39.00

Any combo sales would result in $10.00 off total. CP to mull over raising their price to match GH at $39.00

John to order 500 badges.

Some brought up a possible design change to the grooming badges. One idea was a “mother” badge with room for 4 stickers depicting the four different trail systems.

Questions arose as to how these would be distributed to the trails and who would absorb discounts on multiple badge sales. Each trail would absorb the discount?

More discussion needed.

Bike Leelanau:

Talk of hiring an Executive Director. Would be a paid position. This person would be responsible for grant writing among other duties.

Decisions needed on payroll, benefits, multi-year commitment. What expenses are reimbursed: cell phone, travel, etc.

 

Bentonville MTB Summit:

Cotopaxi S. and Chad are willing to attend on behalf of NMMBA. Then present upon their return. Summit is In October. Also going is Brian Beauchamp of TART.

Cotopaxi and Chad are looking to have some of their expenses reimbursed.

 Discussion as to mode of travel, entry fee, housing, etc.

Kim made a motion to budget $700.00 for each. Tim R. with the 2nd.

Unanimous vote.

MTB Summit in Grand Rapids:

Event will be the week after Iceman. Tuesday through Thursday November 6th – 8th.

Cost is $175.00 each. Rooms are $142.00 apiece but better deals can be had.

6-7 board members may attend. More to follow on this.

GH Update:

Glacial Hills update:

·     e-bike sign installation happening (see attachment)

·     building moving paid for and waiting to be scheduled for vault toilets/changing rooms and new ATV shed

·     Glacial Hills Challenge, 303 racers, up from 235, $2015 check received

·     also received several donations from racers to the ATV challenge

·     consider course change/ alternate direction for 2019

·     grant writing: any small grants on anyone's radar? Skills clinic, bike fix stations (4)

·     ATV challenge update $11,501 received, ATV and shed purchased

·     ten new marked loops being mapped and installed this fall

 

Bike Leelanau Update:

Now on to the Bike Leelanau notes:

Flow Track has made huge headway at Palmer Woods and the trails are beyond beautiful. A volunteer orientation is scheduled for this Thursday from 6-8 to get volunteers on-boarded and ready to go. There will be a trail opening party at some point in October, keep an ear out for dates and more info.

We have been given approval to build an initial 1 mile of multi-use trail at Provemont Pond just outside of Lake Leelanau.

Thanks to Chad, the application for a permit for the 2018/2019 winter sports trail has been sent in. We are waiting to hear back from the DNR regarding the position.

As officially written in the Leelanau Enterprise, the National Park Service has the environmental assessment for the Echo Valley Trails on the books for the 2019 fiscal year.

The Leelanau Bike Library is almost out of bikes. We are currently accepting donations for more balance bikes. Huge thanks to Suttons Bay Bikes for matching donations up to 10 balance bikes. Anyone you know want to donate a kids bike in good condition?

Pending approval from Suttons Bay Township, the Leelanau Bike Library will move from Chad's barn to a Suttons Bay Township Park. Thanks to Bahle's Storage of Suttons Bay for donating the mobile storage units.

We are looking at a match grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to build a pump track at Herman Park in Lake Leelanau.

 

 

 

 

Submitted by

Steve Mentzer, secretary