Traverse City Trail Network

Mud, Sweat and Beer Trail Day: Thanks For All Your Help!

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It was a busy weekend on the trails! From our trail day to course marking we got a lot done thanks to a lot of hardworking people!

Mud, Sweat and Beers is just days away, and that meant this past weekend was crunch time to clean up and clearly mark the 2019 route. Tom and the crew have put countless hours of thought and planning into crafting a course that offers just a bit of everything, but without some rakes on the ground, it’s all just imagination and theory.

Sunday was all about getting things done. The short section of private land that links the Holiday Village neighborhood to the Vasa Pathway always needs a bit of work, but after a long winter and with a few twists added, it needed more attention than usual. Luckily, we had a few folks raise their hands and hit the woods with us. We spent a few hours raking and clearing from the pavement to the power lines, offering riders a safe, fast trail to link up the opening few miles of the race to the real meat and potatoes of the 2019 course.

And that’s where McLain Race Team took over. They had nearly their entire team out marking the course, putting up pink Stout and blue Pale Ale arrows, taping tight corners, and adding a racer’s perspective the the course that we’ll all really benefit from on Saturday. Board member Steve Mentzer and a dozen other riders handled one section, while the Ernsts and another crew split off to cover more ground.

Of course, it wasn’t all work. Sunday was one of the last nice, sunny days in the forecast leading into race week, which meant it was the last chance to recon the course. The Norte crew had dozens of kids riding the Stout and Pale Ale course, putting in some impressive times and showing everyone how to really rail the singletrack. There were all sorts of groups soaking up the sun and making notes on important sections trail that might play a big role in on Saturday.

Thanks to everyone who dedicated their free time to helping us get things primped and primed, and to everyone who went out and made all that hard work worth it! DIg what we’re doing? Make sure you re-up or join NMMBA and help support more work just like this all season long.

Updates From The Traverse City Trail Network

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This past weekend was a glorious preview of weather we hope to see consistently by the end of the month, and it gave us a nice head start on our spring trail work.

One of the first items on our to-do list is to get started on our spring trail design for Mud, Sweat and Beers. We’re back to help design the perfect course for May 4’s annual fundraiser to support Mt. Holiday, and we don’t have to tell you just how much this events means to Traverse City. MSB is more than just a fundraiser to support TC’s non-profit ski hill on the east side, but it also serves as family reunion, Opening Day, and the first big party of spring. For many, it’s the first race since Iceman Cometh the previous fall, and the first chance to catch up with all our riding buddies and racing rivals.

It’s also very popular as the first race ever for many new mountain bikers, and we work hard to ensure a course that’s accessible and safe for all, but challenging even for the fastest and most experienced racers. The balance of Vasa Pathway, unmarked singletrack, and connecting bits of trail is the perfect way to highlight the diverse riding experiences we offer, but also the ideal way to balance a course the works for everyone. We want the person completing their first Pale Ale and the Stout winner to both leave Mt. Holiday feeling tired, tested, and thoroughly happy with their day in the woods!

Our trail crew made the very most of the warm weather by getting to work on a new section of singletrack that will make its debut at Mud, Sweat and Beers. It was also a really good opportunity for us to take a look at just how much snow is still out in the woods. The open areas are remarkably clear, but anything heavily wooded or groomed is still covered with that hard packed-snow-turned-ice. A few more days of warm weather would have given us hope for spotty riding as soon as the 14th, but with cold temps this week mean it could be nearly the end of the month before we see 100% dirt.

Because of that variability, our TC Trail Network and indeed all of our trails have to be a bit flexible when it comes to schedule trail days. While Glacial Hills is good to go for their first Spring Clean-Up on April 20, Cadillac, TCTN, and Bike Leelanau will be a bit more short notice. If you’re interested in helping out, make sure you follow us on Facebook and join our newsletter to get the trail days in your inbox!

December Board Meeting Minutes

Date and location: Wednesday, December 12th, Keen loft

Board Present: Chad Jordan, Tom White, Tim Reicha III, Kim White, Mike Walters, Michele Andrews, Tim Jenema, Don Clewley, Cody Sprattmoran and Steve Mentzer

Board absent: John Roe and Dustin Webb

Guests: David Leith

Chad opened the meeting at 6:37 p.m.

Financials:

Financials were presented. Account balances stood at $31,454.42 for BCE and $46,578.24 for NMMBA.

Question was brought up as to a dollar figure on the P&L that was labeled over budget. Any implications as it applies to a non-profit. Answer was no. Just a figure that is included in the general fund. If we were a governmental entity there would be some implications.

In other financial news, Iceman submitted a check for race clean up. This check of $500.00 was earned by the  McLain’s Race team but was intended for the Dan Morley fund. Also a check was written to NMMBA from Iceman for race trail prep. It was also $500.00.

Grooming badge sales have hit nearly $9000 for the season! These include WST, Cadillac Pathway, Glacial Hills and Bike Leelanau.

David Leith introduced the group to his company Three Tree Tent.

www.threetreetent.com

He had his product, tentsile tents at Iceman and would like the opportunity to display his product at future NMMBA events. Such as TCTF, BCE, Glacial Hills Challenge and possibly at Beard of Zeus.

David can be reached via email at leither@threetreetent.com

Annual NMMBA Meeting:

Discussion as to how the format should be laid out. Each committee should give a presentation of their year in review.

Instead of individual speakers it was decided to have tables representing each trailhead set up with the respective board member there to talk more in depth about what’s been happening.

With the results of the online survey presented at the last meeting entitled Who is NMMBA?  It was suggested that at the annual meeting it should be presented NMMBA: What we do!

One idea was to empower our membership base to be more involved in our growth.

Ways to accomplish this were to have them be a part of different aspects of NMMBA

These would include membership, volunteer, pavilion, grant writing and merchandise. Each separate committee should enlist at least one current board member. More to follow.

Instead of a potluck style meal it was decided to have a buffet taco bar type setup. Tim R. to get quotes from several food vendors.

Timeline for the meeting will follow this:

3 p.m.: Ride. Ride leaders and sweeps are Tom, Tim R., Mike, Don Cunkle and Erin Reicha.

4:30: Hall set up. Several have volunteered to assist.

5:00 p.m. Meal

5:30 Meeting gets underway with a message from the President, Chad Jordan. With highlights from each trail.

6 p.m.: Chapter roundtable visits.

Presentation of the Dan Morley volunteer of the year award.

We will have our tent set up inside the banquet hall with merchandise for sale. Cody Sprattmoran. to head this up.

NMMBA of the future:

NMMBA of the Future

NMMBA Structure

  • NMMBA board: 2 year terms elected by membership (at annual meeting); officers are selected by board also 2 year terms(not at annual meeting)

    • 12 members (or less? Bylaws state 3-15)

    • Includes chapter reps (1 from each?) plus others that will be actively engaged

    • Committees for what? (merch, membership???)

    • ?

  • NMMBA function...

  • We inspire people in Northern Michigan to experience the outdoors on bicycles.

  • We promote mountain biking and healthy trail use in Northern Michigan. Advocate

  • We build and maintain sustainable trails for everyone to enjoy.

    • To support all of the mountain bike trails in our region

      • Organize like minded folks to help with that

    • Combine efforts that do not need to be duplicated by each trail group

      • Staffing, work days, possibly equipment purchases, grant writing, education (ourselves and our members)

      • Insurance coverage

    • ?

NMMBA fundraising

  • NMMBA retains rights to merchandising with NMMBA logo (chapters can add logo to their own merch funded through chapter sources

  • Membership dollars

    • Increase annual membership fee?

        • $50 individual, $75 family (70/30% or 60/40% NMMBA/Chapter split with option to “support additional trail chapters at $15 individual or $20 family

  • Targeted grant writing, for NMMBA goals or to assist chapter projects (under NMMBA 501(c)3

Chapter Structure

  • Cadillac Pathway

  • Glacial Hills

  • Bike Leelanau

  • Traverse City Trail Network

Future...

  • Kalkaska? (Maybe a committee of TCTN?)

  • Lake Dubonet/Lake Ann (TC West? Maybe a committee of TCTN?)

  • Arcadia? (might be tough as GTRLC is 501(c)3)

  • Chapter boards

    • Does NMMBA help recruit chapter board members through NMMBA membership?

    • Need to standardize NMMBA-chapter agreements with allowance for customization as needed

  • Chapter fundraising

    • Portion of all new and renewal memberships based on members direction

    • Chapter fundraising (not chapter membership)

      • Allow Glacial to possibly offer opt in NMMBA membership for GH $150 annual supporters (for $25)?

      • Other chapter ideas to increase support of NMMBA and chapters and improve partnership?

    • Chapter boards write grants for trail/infrastructure improvements

What’s with TCTN?

  • As NMMBA becomes inclusive of trails outside of TC and the VST, it is only fitting that we highlight TC riding and the VST and it’s connected trails

  • Who from the current NMMBA board is the leadership of TCTN?

    • Tom? Mike? John? Tim J?

    • Do all current NMMBA board members that are willing to be part of TCTN leadership remain active on the NMMBA board for the duration of their term?

    • Does NMMBA ask for additional TCTN board members at the Jan. annual meeting?

      • If so, what does that look like?

        • ?

        • ?

      • If not, what then?

        • Just a few folks from the NMMBA board making decisions and maintaining TC trails?

Tim presented the above document and lead the discussion.

Some of the hot points included memberships and fees attached.

Do we do group memberships? And if so, do we discount the fees?

And getting back to empowering our members, do we ask for something in return?

As to membership fees in the future we can have members designate what trail they most support. And have their dollars go into the maintenance, etc. of that trail.

Tim R. presented a scenario where fees for both individual and family were increased.

Based on 250 members if the fees for both were bumped by $10 dollars the revenue generated would be $8750.00 for NMMBA and $3750.00 for the other trails based on a 70/30% split. Or a 60/40 split would adjust those numbers to $7500 and $5000.

Splits based on NMMBA carrying the majority of the associations expenses.

Some questioned the need for the increase. What’s most important memberships or dollars?

We not only ask our members to support with their dollars but also ask of them to purchase grooming badges, merchandise and more.

There was also talk of all season passes and student rates. This was illustrated by Tim R. with how the NTN(Noquemanon Trail Network) works. With our ever expanding trail network should we consider membership options as well?

These future trail networks may include Kalkaska, Lake Dubonnet/Lake Ann and Arcadia.

Tom passed around a spec sheet on a skid steer. Possible acquisition for trail maintenance.

Meeting was then adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

Submitted by

Steve Mentzer, secretary

Committee updates:

Kalkaska:

We have experienced another setback: When I last met with Dave Lemmien, he had asked to that we include additional trail layers onto our map: Horse, ORV and Snowmobile. After numerous emails, Katie Armstrong finally shared the layers mid-Nov. Jon Throop was able to import these layers just before maternity leave. Dave and Katie have this map for final review and I have just sent a follow up email. Signage has been paid for and reimbursed, so naturally I want to have these signs in hand. Image 360 is on standby.  4x4 post have received at Jeff's campground, concrete is stored in my shop.

Completing this signage installation May 2019 is my end goal and will signal my departure from NMMBA.

NMMBA – Kalkaska MTB Trail Wayfinding

  1. Kiosk large

    1. Aluminum Composite – Solid Core – 4mm

    2. Trail maps on 1/8  ASC. Full Color

    3. 24x36

    4. QTY: 3

  2. Trail Map

    1. Aluminum Composite – Solid Core – 4mm

    2. Trail maps on 1/8  ASC. Full Color

    3. 12x12

    4. QTY: 10

  3. Directional Arrows

    1. ACS ECONO 3mm 1/8 - 3.5 x 3.5 directional arrows back on white

    2. QTY: 120

  4. Parking “P” Signs

    1. ACS ECONO 3mm 1/8  - 3.5x3.5 blue on white, rounded corners

    2. QTY: 10

  5. Number Signs

    1. ACS ECONO 3mm 1/8  - 3.5x3.5 black on white,

      1. N0. 1 QTY: 5

      2. N0. 2 QTY: 6

      3. N0. 3 QTY: 10

      4. N0. 4 QTY: 42

      5. N0. 5 QTY: 30

      6. N0. 6 QTY: 12

      7. N0. 7 QTY: 18

  6. TC2K Signs

    1. ACS ECONO 3mm 1/8 - 3.5 x 3.5 back on white

    2. QTY: 60

  7. Caution Rd Crossing Signs

    1. ACS ECONO 3mm 1/8 - 5 x 9 back on Yellow, rounded corners, black boarder

    2. QTY: 40

  1. Totals:

    1. 53- 4x4x8 posts


ReViSiT:

All

For the ReViSiT/TCTN committee, the last month has been planning for future projects due to the early snowfall not allowing us to work in the woods since Iceman.

Tom and I have reached out to our friends at the MDNR about the 25+ miles of unmarked single track trails around Lake Dubonnet that have been on my radar for years.   Most of the trails are fully functioning trails that connect Lake Dubonnet pathway and Ransom Lake pathways that we would like to make legal with the DNR.

Tim Webb and Patrick Cotant of the DNR are looking into these and we are just waiting to here if we can move forward with getting the GPS data collected and seeing where this falls into there logging plans in that area.

Stay tuned!

Ditch Pickle area logging update.

The final section of trail to be built to complete our revisit plan is currently being logged as we speak and looks like we should be able to hit the ground running and finish this new 3/4 mile section when the snow leaves us this spring!

Thanks!

Bike Leelanau:

- New sled bought and ready for grooming the WST at the Leelanau State Park

- Winter Sports Trail cleared with a re-route keeping folks off Purkiss Rd, signage up

- MTB Clinic scheduled for June 15-16 with a women's only clinic Saturday and the Sunday clinic open to all

Cadillac Pathway:

1.  Still need more snow to groom the WST and make it an enjoyable experience.   We need snow to smooth out the trail otherwise it is a bumpy experience.

2.  The Cadillac Pathway that transforms into a classic xc ski trail in the winter is still be used by all users until more snow is acquired.  Pretty sweet riding right now.

3.  Pavilion Update

  Rough in inspection has indicated that we will need the cross lateral bracing between trusses.  We had hope to eliminate that since we have stamped drawings from the truss company. This will add in $500 cost of materials and do not know amount for labor.  

 January 5th volunteers are installing tongue and groove ceiling.  I have a crew of 4 people and still seeking 2 more individuals.

 In the spring we will pour concrete, wrap trusses, and stain.  

 Currently working on bids to build a masonry fireplace and seeking a boy scout looking for Eagle ranking to take on building picnic tables.

4.  Building Trail - just ideas rolling around.   

Acme bike park:

Acme bike park-We are still waiting on DNR approval for the small portion of state land we want to incorporate into the development. Scott Slavin is in favor of it but Dave Lemmien is still yet to give us the thumbs up. Chris Kushman from TART is working hard on this. In the mean time Brad Gerlach, Chris K and I are working on phase 1 design on county property with locations to easily link up to the state land portion when and if we gain approval.

The goal is to have the phase 1 design ready to begin building this spring.

TC WST:

Working on finalizing signage. Does anyone know who can make a pretty map for our WST?

I am working with the DNR on new safety standards for grooming, stay tuned.

Glacial Hills update:

Not much happening on property right now...

  • Waiting for snow


  • Tried to groom last Friday, found a mouse nest under the hood of the snowmobile


    • A few chewed wires lead to a $550 repair bill

    • Sled will be picked up Thursday

  • Beginning work on MNRTF grant application to acquire property and connect trail to the village of Bellaire


  • Working behind the scenes to plan possible disc golf course on Bellaire property adjacent to GH