Farewell, Winter!


This time, it really looks like winter is in the rear view mirror. 

Fat bikers and trail users were treated to a surprise second winter in the first two weeks of March, with some of the best conditions of the year coming on the heels of a two-day winter storm. Our groomers were back in action immediately, working to combine the fresh powder into the icy base. We were able to get the original WST loop in terrific shape, with some of the Universal Racing folks even tossing in a rare Friday Night Lights ride, plus dozens of folks enjoying some winter miles over the past two weekends. 

As we transition to spring, we're asking trail users to take caution when using the trail due to ice. With freezing temperatures overnight, the surface may stay frosty for another few weeks, but that surface will be extremely slick as that freeze and thaw cycle continues. As the ice and snow disappear, please use your best judgment riding in any wet or muddy conditions. In Northern Michigan, we're very lucky to have sandy soil that drains water quickly and efficiently. Still, any muddy spots that see heavy and consistent traffic can deepen and widen the trail bed and do lasting damage that could cause erosion, further re-routes, and detract from your riding experience. 

Looking ahead, we expect to see warmer temperatures this weekend and into next week. With a few nights over freezing and some of the precipitation in the forecast, the trails should clear rather quickly. We'll do our very best to keep you up-to-date! 

In the meantime, make sure you've got Friday, April 13 circled on your calendar. NMMBA has grown in leaps and bounds over the past three years, and we're working to change our structure and certain by-laws in order to do more for our trails, our members, and our communities. We'll use this special meeting to present information and invite your feedback, as well as vote on the changes discussed, if motioned. 

We'll see you on the trails, and thank you for your support! 


2018 King Vasa Fat Bike Race Recon


We hosted nearly 50 this Saturday for a roll of the 2018 Vasa Fat Bike course. 

Winter is back, and just in time for fat bikers and skiers to prepare for the North American Vasa's Festival of Races. Slated for February 10 and 11, the fat bike races caps off Saturday's events with a 1pm start from Timber Ridge. 

Eager to see how it all fit together, nearly 50 people were on hand for a low-key recon ride. Riders of all abilities were ready to roll out, and with over six hours of grooming in the bank on Friday, our groomers had the course almost perfect! 

We have to give a big thanks to the local snowmobile club for using their groomer to fix some dangerous 4x4 tracks on Riley's near the Supply Road Parking Lot. After their machine went through, you could hardly tell there was any damage at all. Easily ridden by fat bikes, there were tracks indicating that more than a few skiers made quick work of that short section as well. Thank you! 

The opening miles of the course are wide open and fast, with a short section of the Winter Sports Singletrack coming after two miles of Logger's Run. After just over a half a mile, it's back onto the Vasa 25km Pathway and Riley's Loop, where riders should hold speeds around 15-17mph for a big stretch before spilling down Riley's and by the lakes. It' s a short but very steep climb up away from the water, with gradients as steep at 17%. It's another few miles until the section that should decide the race, Yeti's Revenge. It's just shy of a mile, but the steep climbs and fast descents will see some big gaps form, especially for riders on their second lap in the 42km event. 

After a dash along the WST, there's a short section of Riley's before a relatively straight shot back to Timber Ridge, with just enough twisting and turning to get out of sight. 

We're planning on hitting the trails again tonight, with an emphasis on WST and the Riley's section from the Supply Road parking lot to the Kinglet turn off. 

Having fun on the trails? Make sure you grab your badge, there's plenty of riding left this winter! Celebrate the trails by challenging yourself at the Vasa Fat Bike Race, or consider volunteering. 

Here's a look at today's two lap ride of the course, hitting the full 42km (26 miles) on the docket for next week. You can also sign up for the 18km single lap race and be a bit quicker back to the Short's Brewing beer!