Traverse City Trails Festival

A Traverse City Trails Festival Thank You!

25 SHRED.jpg

After so much work, so many smiles, and so many new friends, the only thing we can really say is thank you. 

The third annual Traverse City Trails Festival presented by Short’s Brewing offered us another chance to come together to celebrate a world-class outdoor experience right here in our backyard. For the second year, rain threatened in the forecast much of the week and overhead on race morning, but we were lucky to stay dry and enjoy perfect temperatures. Just like we ordered up, we promise! 

With over three hundred riders and racers signed up online and another few dozen signing up in person on Friday and Saturday at Ranch Rudolf, we were thrilled with the support our community has given to this event. It’s different, and especially at race pace, it isn’t easy; to see this many locals show up and pedal is really something special. With the new 15 mile route, we were really happy to see so many people make this their first race, and to those who made their race debut, congratulations! 

Of course, we had plenty of veterans on the line, and the sheer speed of the fields from the 40 and 25 mile events were extremely impressive. After our two recon rides in the past two months, we were expecting to see winning 40 mile times around two hours and forty minutes, with 25 mile times hovering around one hour and fifty minutes or so. Both of those benchmarks were blown away this year, a real testament to the skill and fitness our cycling community has to offer. 

Jorden Wakeley was the only rider to break the 2:30 mark, coming home in 2:29:06 to take home the TCTF title. On the women’s side, Kaitlyn Patterson won an absolute thriller! She was just two second clear of local hero Megan Doerr, who was just two seconds clear of third place Laura Webb! After a brutal 40 miles, to see the podium separated by just four seconds is incredible! 

Things were equally close in the 25 mile races. Kyle MacDermaid took the Men’s Expert category with a perfectly timed sprint to inch out John O’Hearn for the win, ending up seconds clear of the M22 rider with a time of 1:40:16. The O’Hearn household will have plenty to talk about until next year, because Erica was in the same boat. She was just narrowly out-sprinted by City Bike Shop’s Shannon Kochis, who put down a time of 1:53:52. 

We had hundreds of riders race and tour without any concern to their results, as well. We have to thank everyone for their positive, inclusive camaraderie, especially when the courses overlapped. We did hear about some back-ups in the singletrack, but so many also involved a lot of friendly interactions and safe passing. 

At the line, our Team Bob’s Chillers were a big hit. We’ll have our post-race smoothies back for 2020, as well as GT Cycles’ granola and bananas! We sold over 100 paella lunches thanks to the Keen Technical Solutions guys, all washed down with Short’s Brewing Company’s finest offerings. 

This certainly isn’t the end of the fun, either. You’re less than a month away from our second annual VST TT! On Thursday, August 15, join us at the Vasa Singletrack for the second edition of our time trial with the Speed of Light crew; it’s the only time of the year that SOL leaves the Pathway, and it is the perfect time to really see just how fast you can complete the full loop! 

That’s a well-timed tuned up ahead of August 18 and the Short’s Glacial Hills Challenge. This Championship Points Series stop is also the second of three races that highlight NMMBA trails system in the NMMBA Trail Series. You can check all the boxes by hitting Glacial Hills and keeping the momentum going for the Bear Claw Epic, Cadillac Pathway’s biggest fundraiser of the year! 

On behalf of everyone here at Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association, thank you for support the Traverse City Trails Festival and helping us bring our region some of the best trails in the Midwest. We’ll see you back at Ranch Rudolf in 2020!


TCTF Recon Ride Schedule: Saturday's Game Plan

TCTF_025.jpg

You spoke (well, typed) and we listened!

This Saturday is your first chance to get the gang together for a fun morning in the woods. We’re leading a number of different groups over different distances to give everyone a closer look at the 2019 Traverse City Trails Festival courses. When we put up an 8am start time, only the early birds (who do get the worms, it must be said) smiled. And so, we’ll be splitting into two start times.

The faster-paced 40 mile group will be busting at out 8 am from the Muncie Lake Pathway Trailhead, just up the hill from the race’s official start at Ranch Rudolf. Expect a steady tempo with an finish time of roughly 3.5 hours to complete all 40 miles. You can nab the file here, and we’ll have limited, low profile marking in place for just a few hours that morning to help you out.

Need a little more beauty sleep? No problem. Tom White and a number of other NMMBA board members will be shredding the 25 mile route at 10 am. We’ll have different groups and different speeds available, so the more people who show up, the more likely you’ll have a solid crew knocking along at your pace. Here’s the 25 mile file, too.

Bring plenty of snacks and water and let’s enjoy a morning in the woods! Make sure you’re following along on the event page here for any updates with weather; things look just a tiny bit iffy, but we that could chance (several times) before the weekend.

Grab a friend and join us!

2019 Traverse City Trails Festival: Which Distance Should I Do?

IMG_9684.JPG

Multiple distance, races and tours, plus loads of age groups…which event should you sign up for?

In this third edition of the Traverse City Trails Festival presented by Short’s Brewing, we’re seeing interests from racers around the state and new riders from right here in northern Michigan. As the event grows, we’re excited to welcome more riders of all abilities to experience this great day on the trails. With folks asking which event is right for them, we wanted to take a second to talk about each distance and course.

The 40 Mile Race. Forty miles on a bike is nothing to sniff at. Forty miles in the woods is even tougher. Forty miles of singletrack? Now that’s a big day in the saddle. Don’t let the distance intimidate you; regular and consistent riding is all it takes to not just survive the full forty, but enjoy it! The course is twisting, flowing, and engaging; while you’ll never get bored, you’ll also have rare opportunities to hit your top speeds like in other more open, straight races like Peak2Peak or Iceman Cometh. Even with a quick pace, it’s still a big day in the saddle. For reference, our 2018 winner, Tyler Weston, finishing in two hours, thirty-one minutes. Our slowest finisher was in at four hours, twenty two minutes, with the bulk of riding finishing between three and three and a half hours.

We look at the 40 mile event as an endurance race. While the marathon mountain bike race events are often closer to 60 miles, due to the amount of singletrack, we see very comparable times to old school marathon races like Boyne Mountain, which were frequently finished in times right around three and a half hours. Whether you’re looking to win or just finish, this race is about the long haul, pacing, hydration, and riding to your own beat.

The Twenty-Five Mile Race. This distance is tried-and-true, classic cross-country mountain bike racing. It’s right on par with events like Mud, Sweat and Beers, Iceman, Yankee Springs Time Trial, and other events shaped to take around 90 minutes to complete. We certainly don’t see this as the ‘Sport’ class race, and that’s why there’s full complement of categories from Elite/Expert through Sport; if you race and ride consistently, this is the perfect race to test the legs for events later in the year, like the Glacial Hills Challenge and Bear Claw Epic.

With some open and fast mileage at the beginning and end, this course offers a shorter distance but more aggressive racing across categories. Last year’s winner, Garrett Jenema, led home a star-studded field with a time of one hour and forty-two minutes, with most racers finishing between two and two and half hours.

The 25 Mile Tour. Want to just go? Enjoy the day at your own pace, with your pals, or meet new folks to ride with. Both the 25 Mile and 15 Mile Tour are designed to get new riders and never-racers involved by offering a marked course without the the pressure of competition. By far the biggest smiles of the day last year were on the faces of riders like Don Cunkle, who spent their morning cruising through the woods, chatting with pals, and stopping for snacks along the way. The value of the tour is to experience these trails and learn them for yourself, and get the chance to meet members of our incredible cycling community before, during, and after your time on the trail.

The 15 Mile Race. Is this for beginners? Well, yes and no At nearly two hours for even experienced riders, the 25 mile race is a really tough day in the saddle if you’re pushing yourself. So, new for 2019, we decided to piece together a fun, fast, but accessible route for riders looking to save themselves ten miles and still get in between 60 and 90 minutes of racing. This also suits a large number of the Norte riders who’d find the 8 Mile kid’s race a bit short, but who may not find the full 25 mile event in their wheelhouse.

Because the 15 mile race uses the same faster, wider trails that open the 25 and 40 mile events, riders can expect to average over 10 miles and hour for the first and final three miles, with a dip in speed once they hit some smooth, manicured singletrack. We’re pulling out all the stops (and the roots, and the bumps) to make sure this is smooth, fun, and enjoyable for beginners, kids, and folks who want to be back to the party a little before everyone else!

When in doubt, tour it out. This is about having fun, coming together, and enjoying the trails. If you’re nervous about taking on a distance or racing, we really suggest taking all the pressure and anxiety out of the day and joining a tour. You’re going to find yourself surrounded by friendly, knowledgeable, and fun folks no matter what, so sign up for what YOU think will be the most fun, get you the most prepared for other rides or race, or will offer you a chance to connect and learn more about these unique trails.

Sign up today. Your registration goes straight to NMMBA’s efforts to build, maintain, and protect non-motorized trails all over the region. Aside from becoming a member, signing up to race or tour the TCTF is the very best thing you can do to support trails!

Still can’t decide? Contact our Communications Director, Cody Sovis and he’ll help you pick the distance and category you should be in based on what YOU want out of the Traverse City Trails Festival.

Traverse City Trails Festival Registration Is Open!

TCTF.jpg

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.

Board Meeting Minutes: March 2019

NMMBA Board of Director’s Meeting

Date & location: Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 Keen Loft

Board present: Chad Jordan, Tom White, Kim White, John Roe, Tim Jenema, Tim Reicha III, Mike Walters & Steve Mentzer.

Board absent: Cotipaxi Sprattmoran, Dustin Webb, Michele Andrews and Don Clewley

Guests:Mark Mueller

Chad called the meeting to order at 6:40 p.m.

Introduction of Mark Mueller

Tom introduced Mark Mueller to the board. Mark is a local attorney who was asked to help formulate an agreement in regards to our merchandise sales.

As stated in the February minutes Nate Farran had come up with some new designs that would be marketed through the local bike shops(LBS).

is agreement would ensure that all involved would be accountable in regards to inventory levels and compensation. And also if agreement is ever ended by any of the parties it would be an amicable agreement.

Mark to prepare a rough draft to present to the board.

Acme Bike Park:

Tim J. had submitted a written update on this project which will be attached to the final minutes. He spoke of some specifics to fill in the blanks.

Tim had assembled some people with ties to the local community to provide input on this project.

They include Nate Farran who has connections with Norte’, Steve Lagerquist who is with the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy(GTRLC), and John Kerkov.

This project all falls within county property.

Tim also spoke of the need for financing. TART has committed $10,000 towards the park and he was seeking a $5000 commitment from NMMBA. Overall their goal is to secure $30,000 and look for matching grants.

There was discussion of possible fundraising methods they could employ. Among those was an adopt-a-berm. Similar to stretches of roads and trails financially backed by different groups. Groups could financially back sections of the trail. Some felt that not all would be on board with this.

Tim outlined that the project would be constructed in phases. Initially it will be hand built and will contain a skills section.

A motion was made by Kim with a 2nd by John to earmark $5000 towards the Acme Bike Park pending approval of the project.

Unanimous vote.

Single Track Love Machine:

Tom filled in the board as to the status of the Single Track Love Machine(STLM).

Rough design has been completed. If given the okay it will be finished by July. As presented the cost of the STLM is $12,087. Quote is not perfect as in if the STLM does not do what we want it to, we are out the money.

It attaches to a ditch witch and because of its movement, that of a roto-tiller, DNR has okay’d its use on the trails.

It measures approx. 19” x 27”.

There was general discussion as to its uses, reconditioning old trails and how it will cut time in making trail.

Mike made a motion to allocate $12,087 for the STLM. Tim R. 2nd the motion. More discussion and then put to a vote. Unanimous.

Strategic Planning:

Tom handed around a strategic planning report he had put together.

This plan is extremely important for our organization moving forward.

It will be ever evolving so that it keeps its relevance for current and future members.

He touched on some of the aspects:

There are 4 strategies. Okay, maybe 5.

-Economic

-Product/Name brand

-Relationship

-Distribution

-Organizational

Each titled strategy was then broken down even further to reflect our mission.

Tom asked for comments on this plan; additions, subtractions, etc. by April 1st. At our next meeting in April these suggestions will be discussed and maybe implemented.

Trail series:

Aspects of the trail series were discussed. Still under consideration was making it a point series.

Pros and cons were brought up in regards to this point.

Age classifications can be its downfall. They would have to be uniform.

Fat bike series was discussed as well. Saw increases in each race. Age classifications were varied per each race. Some had 45+ Masters categories and some races featured more defined age groups.

So, then does it become a participation series? With swag going to all who race the whole series?

Old business:

John Roe reminded all about the Groomer appreciation party to be held at Timber Ridge on Thursday the following evening.

Steve mentioned he had emailed Mark Irwin at the Fischer agency in Bellaire with a request on quotes for equipment and general liability insurance. Still awaiting a response.

Meeting adjourned at 9:08 p.m.

Submitted by

Steve Mentzer, secretary

Attachments:

Committee reports.

Glacial Hills

  • anecdotally, by parking lot observation and social media engagement, this was the best year for groomed trail use in our four years of grooming

    • biking, xc skiing, and snowshoeing

    • GH had very little foot traffic on the groomed trail this year

  • spring trail clean up tentatively scheduled for Sat., April 20 from Vandermark parking lot

  • 2019 will include data collection and communication for 2020 MNRTF grant application to move forward with connecting trail to village of Bellaire

  • need to review draft agreement with Antrim Conservation District re shared employee

    • any potential for NMMBA to hire shared trail maintenance staff in the future?

  • GH board and volunteers plan to have new permanent wayfinding signs with 11 suggested/marked loops (3-4 from each trail head) printed and installed by Memorial Day weekend

    • 1/2 mile connector (shortcut) trail to be built before maps are printed

    • likely mid to end of April, if anyone is willing to help remove some downed trees on the new route with a group, let me know

Bike Leelanau

Updates:

1) Grooming was highly successful this year, most importantly the Winter Sports Trail has facilitated positive relationships with Northport/Omena folks and businesses. Most of whom fully support the trail and the winter business it brings in.

2) When the snow melts, work will resume on the second loop of the Intermediate MTB Trail at Palmer Woods. A 1 mile multi-use trail will be built by Bike Leelanau at the Leland Township property Provemont Pond - this will be an initial multi-use loop to test mountain biking on the property, with potential to up to 7 miles of mtb trails on the property.

3) We are in discussion with Up North Pride and the Bay Theater to co-host a Pride Ride and Movie in Suttons Bay for Pride month.

4) There is a potential for single track to be built adjacent to the TART Leelanau Trail on the northern part of the trail.

Cody

Acme Bike Park-

Attached is site plan concept.

Still working through planning stages to start early this summer building the Blue and Red loops on the site plan. We have a potential of $15k in funding and 2 grants being applied for through Tart and NMMBA. Brick Wheels is helping with a grant applications through Quality Bike Parts Community Grant. We are actively sourcing materials for the skill development area, if anyone knows good sources for flat rocks for rock garden, drops and other features let me know.

Chris Kushman from Tart and I have put together a small committee to help steer this project in the right direction with members from a few cycling groups and the land conservancy, we plan to meet right after spring break.

We plan to work on plans for the re working BMX track area, add skill development area and future pump track.

Tim Jenema

TCTN

1)  The entire network is 3 feet under.  The forecast looks tough for

MSB....as always.  Final race map for MSB is finished and submitted to the

DNR.  Not yet approved.  There will be 1.0 mile of new trail this year and

massive clean up and prep efforts will begin as soon as the snow breaks.

It is gonna be tight timing.....again.

2)  The Single Track Love Machine design and final drawing is done.  Ready

for board review and decision.

3)  VST - the 2019 reroutes are defined, mostly flagged out and the next

section of Strombolis Lake is APPROVED for build out!  The work season for

the VST can begin when the snow breaks.  The parts included in the MSB will

be addressed first.  The parts in TCTF addressed next.  The work in 2019

will make the VST a MUCH better finished product.  Everything tingles when

I think about it.

4)  TCTF - Sponsor package sent to Bob's Furnace for review.  This will

fill the M22 hole.  Meeting at the Ranch being set up to to review the new

beer sale plan and other event/site specifics.  Course route and final map

to be complete by mid April.  Tick tock!!! Flyer to be out April 1.  Sign

up to go live April 15ish.  Social media/website update to happen when the

map comes out (April 15th ish).