Spring Trail Work Days Announced

The Northern Michigan Mountain Biking Association is currently seeking volunteers to help with spring trail maintenance on northern Michigan trails. We need your help getting the following trails back into shape for the 2013 riding season:

VASA Single Track: Meet at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, May 1 at the VASA Single Track parking lot off Supply Road. Bring work gloves, safety glasses, loppers, handsaws, and what ever you need to work comfortably. Plan for 2-3 hours of work. Contact John Roe at jroe48@gmail.com for more information.

High Country Pathway #1: Join us the weekend of April 27th for a full day of trail work beginning at 9AM Saturday on the Atlanta side of the Pigeon River Forest. Camping will be provided at Clear Lake State Park on Friday and Saturday night. Snacks and meals will also be provided on Saturday. Bring camping gear, your bike, water, and anything you need to work and be comfortable on the trails all day. Contact president@nnmba.net for details or if you plan on attending.

High Country Pathway #2: Join us the weekend of may 11th for a full day of trail work beginning at 9AM Saturday on the west side of the Pigeon River Forest. Lodging will be provided along with food and snacks at the DNR bunkhouse off Sturgeon Valley Road in Vanderbilt. We’ll be staying overnight on Friday and Saturday. Bring sleeping gear if you plan to camp, also bring your bike, and anything you need to work and be comfortable on the trail all day. Contact president@nnmba.net for details or if you plan on attending.

Aspen Park: Meet at 9AM on Saturday, May 4th at Aspen Park trailhead in Gaylord. Bring water, work gloves, loppers, handsaws, and what ever you need to work comfortably. Plan for 4-6 hours of work. Lunch will be provided. Contact Jeff Wegmeyer at jpw700@hotmail.com with questions or for more details.

Volunteer assistance is what the NMMBA is built on.  Giving us a few hours on a weekend is what makes great trails possible!

2012 in Review

It’s been a busy and rewarding season for the Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association, looking back it’s hard to believe 2013 is upon us as the year seemed to go by in a flash.

Thanks to our supporters and volunteers we have been able to accomplish a huge amount of work and generate more awareness of the fantastic riding opportunities here in northern Michigan.  Below are a few of the highlights of 2012.

  • For the first time ever we were able to clear all but one mile of the High Country Pathway from deadfall and large debris during the spring clean up.  We had volunteers come from as far as Ann Arbor and Grand Haven to assist on this epic 80+ mile loop.
  • Assisted the Grand Traverse Hiking Club by removing the storm damage from the Lake Ann trail while their normal trail maintainer was recovering from surgery.
  • NMMBA volunteers took part in the inaugural TART trail snow clearing initiative.  Our efforts helped keep Traverse City bike friendly all winter.
  • Cleaned up and opened the Vasa Singletrack loop in mid April thanks to a huge turn out by volunteers.  It took over 30 man hours to remove all the snow damaged trees and re-open the trail corridor after the most destructive snow fall the region has seen in years.
  • Assisted in re-opening the VASA 25k after the large snowstorm.  It took literally hundreds of man hours to get the trail system open again and we were glad to be a part of it.
  • The IMBA trail crew visit was a huge success.  The shared event with the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy helped train new trail builders from all over the state.   Beyond that, it generated awareness around the Glacial Hills trail which is well on it’s way to being a destination trail for riders from all over the state and beyond.  Our hat’s off to the land conservancy and we are happy to have helped be a part of this wonderful community supported gem.
  • The Long and Short’s ride was awesome! Thanks to those that rode, the volunteers and sponsors that made it possible.   Our events help generate revenue to do things like buy tools, signage, pay for volunteer food, camping etc.  While volunteerism and memberships are our number one priority to keep the lights on, finances are a close second.  Beyond keeping us on a strong foundation, the event also helped expose dozens of riders to riding trails that are often overlooked.   The North Country Trail and Muncie Lakes are just two of the fun rides that we are lucky enough to have in our region that don’t get the accolades they deserve.

Looking forward!
2013 has lots of work on the horizon and we’ll need your help.   We have a trail proposal nearing the approval stages inKalkaska, bridges and boardwalks to replace on the High Country Pathway, VASA Singletrack Re-routes and plenty of ongoing maintenance on all the trails we help manage.

We thank you again for your support this past season and hope you make it your new year’s resolution to come out for a trail day or two in 2013!

Happy new year!

Spring Clean up at the HCP

Thanks to the efforts of volunteers from all over the state, the High Country Pathway is clear and open for riders and hikers.  Over three weekends our volunteer crews put in over 150 man hours removing deadfall and opening up narrow trail corridors in the Pigeon River and Atlanta forests.  Keeping up with the 90 miles of trail contained within the High Country and Shingle Mill pathways is a daunting task, but the volunteers who are dedicated to this trail make the work fun and rewarding.  We are proud to work with the DNR and Pigeon River Association to keep this, the longest IMBA epic ride something special to all that experience it.

Want to get involved?  Email us at northern@mmba.org to find out how or like us on facebook.com/nmmba

VASA Singletrack Spring Workday

The 20″+ of snow out in the VASA is quickly melting, it’s time to think bikes instead of skis.

Saturday April 14th we’ll be meeting at the Singletrack trail head at 9:00 AM for the spring clean up.  We expect there to be a significant amount of debris down from the snowstorm this past weekend so the more hands the better.

What should you bring?  Bring water and what ever you need to be comfortable in the woods for half a day.  Loppers and small handsaws will be very helpful as well as eye protection if you have it.  We’ll bring along Mcleod’s for sand removal along with various other tools and loaner safety glasses.

Post clean-up lunch will be provided by the NMMBA.

Hope to see you there!

High Country Pathway Spring Workdays

It may still be cold out, but it’s time to start planning for spring and the clean up needed to keep a 80 mile loop open.

Saturday April 28th we’ll be starting on the Vanderbilt side and staying in the historic staff house located on Twin lakes Road next to the park headquarters. From here we’ll work on clearing the west sides of the trail.

Saturday May 12th we’ll be starting from and camping at Clear lake and working the east side of the trail system.

What should you bring?

If you plan on doing an overnight, any camping gear you would typically need for both clear lake and the staff house. We’ll feed you dinner/lunch and provide snacks for while you are out on the trail. Bikes are the preferred method of travel on this trail to help cover lots of ground. Loppers, backpacks for tools and supplies, and safety glasses also a good idea. And of course bring what ever you would typically need for a few hour excursion through the woods.

If you are not overnighting it and driving in the morning of, we’ll be starting at 9:00 AM on both days.

PM me or post up if you have any questions and thanks for your help in keeping the HCP epic!


Please see the thread at: http://mmba.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=108905 or email northern@mmba.org if you can attend.


MMBA Northern Chapter is now a part of IMBA!

As many of you already know we are now a part of IMBA under the chapter program.  The Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association will be building off it’s 21 years with the MMBA and bringing you even more cool opportunities in 2012.

Looking to join as a non-current MMBA, former or new member?  More info can be found below, or just click join on the right side of your screen:

Now that most of the MMBA chapters have transitioned into the IMBA chapter program, how do you renew your membership or join? Sign up for your IMBA membership at http://www.imba.com/join and select the appropriate chapter. When registering for your account, be sure to use the same email address that you used with the MMBA, if applicable.

If your chapter does not show up in the list, it probably hasn’t completed the transition. In that case, select “I don’t have a local chapter or my club is not listed” when you get to the last dropdown box. Your membership will merge with your chapter when it completes the transition.

If you already have an IMBA account, you can login by visiting http://www.imba.com/ and clicking on “Login” in the upper right corner. Afterward, click on “Edit Account” in the same spot to make changes or view your information.

IMBA membership money is split between IMBA and your local chapter.  Money for IMBA corporate sponsorships stay with IMBA.  Businesses who wish to support the MMBA with statewide advocacy efforts may sign up as an MMBA Corporate Sponsor.

Presidential Update

The MMBA hasmade their presence known to many new faces & organizations during the past year. Here is a rundown on some of the projects that have been completed within the past year or are in-progress. Thank you volunteers for sacrificing your time & energy for the cycling community in northern Michigan and beyond!

  • Glen Lake High School: A call early in the spring opened the opportunity for the northern chapter and community volunteers to help Jeff Barrett plan new trail behind the Glen Lake High School. Several work days saw local volunteers and students create a new trail for students to ride on. Thanks Chris Remy, Jon Rose, Jeff Snyder, Don Cunckle and others for the help in making this happen for the kids!
  • VASA/Cherry Capital Cycling Club: Glen spent several evenings at the singletrack clearing debris and deadfall in time for the heavy traffic season. In addition, a reroute has been complete in conjunction with member of the CCCC at the VASA singletrack off Supply Road. Three consecutive Tuesday evenings were spent marking new trail, clearing, clearing, and MORE clearing of the new section.  Kim Dittmar, John Roe, Tom White, Ali Bridson, Chris Remy and Dave Heim deserve a round of applause. Enjoy the ride!
  • Logsplitter: With the race just over a week away, the hard work is just begining. Thanks to the guys from Grayling, Brad Wagner, Ralph Opperman, Jon Rose, Kris Sutten, and Ali Bridson for helping get this race up and running again this year!
  • Glacial Hills: Helped the Grand Traverse Regional Land conservancy build single track and raise awareness of the build in the region.
  • Kalkaska Singletrack:  Finalizing with the DNR office.  Jeff Snyder, Gary Herbers, Bob Fenton and Jim Collins have been key in making this happen.

These are just a few highlights for the year, thanks for a great 2011!

Help preserve the Iceman course and trail access in Kalkaska

The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy and the MMBA Northern Chapter need your help!

For several years, both local Kalkaska single track and the Iceman course have incorporated a small portion of private property through permission from the land owners. Due to the fact that this section of land is under private ownership and separates the village of Kalkaska from the state forest to the west, no DNRE-recognized single track can be built there.  If the parcel is ever developed or sold to a private individual or group not receptive to allowing access to the trail, any trail that currently exists could be lost forever.

The State of Michigan has agreed to purchase the property and will contribute a significant portion of the purchase price. The Land Conservancy has agreed to raise the balance needed to cover the purchase price and other project-related costs. They still need to raise $25,000 by November 8 to seal the deal. Steve Brown, founder of the Iceman Cometh, has agreed to match all gifts up to $10,000 to help reach this goal.

Your donations are critical to preserving access to these trails not only for cycling but for all outdoor recreation enthusiasts.  The MMBA has committed to $1,500 in matching so your donations become even more valuable!  You can donate to the cause at the link below.


Donations can also be mailed to:

MMBA Northern Chapter
302 Kristy Jo
Cadillac MI 49601

We appreciate your support of this crucial corridor!

Success at the HCP!

After a cold wet weekend we are finally warming up, unpacking and looking back on what a great time the High Country Pathway was once again despite the damp weather. We sunk over 30 sign posts, cleared trail openings, improved markings, trimmed pesky aspens from the clear cut sections by Rattlesnake Hill and removed deadfall and debris on the “mushroom trail”.

A huge thanks to Kevin Rose for using his hookup at McBain Building Products and putting who knows how many miles on his pickup truck hauling posts all over the four counties in the Pigeon River Forest.

To the Bissonette’s for coming out to their first trail day and running down the dirty wet roads resulting in what will probably $28.50 in quarters at the car wash just to see what color the truck is again. I had a great time sinking posts with you guys!

To Jeff Snyder for helping us get jump started on Friday sinking posts and for handling the power auger rental. The 80 miler may have given you a hard time this fall, but huge props for rolling out at 6:00 AM to give it a go solo.

To Joe “felpaj”, Tom Landry and Brad “Bh357″ for sticking around on Sunday to clear trail to make it better for the next riders.

To Andrea for being on the roving brush and trim crew, getting smores stuff and being the bar tender.

And of course to Ali the other half of the roving brush and trim crew and the other half of me who keeps me grounded and refrains from inflicting serious injury upon my person when I get a little stressed about projects that should be fun like this one. :)

Thanks again to everyone, we got the heavy lifting done with the posts, the spring work should be a breeze and I’m looking forward to that epic ride in June!