SWMMBA — the Southwest Michigan Mountain Biking Association
End of Summer Update
Well, I missed the chance to have a “Mid-Year” update, so I’m going with an End of Summer Update.
To say we had a hectic start to 2014 would be a gross understatement. We dealt with insurance debacles, communication miss-steps and advocacy issues. Working as a team with new members is never easy and we didn’t have much time for holding hands and singing Kum Ba Yah. However, we overcame those challenges and kept pushing forward.
20Th Anniversary Stampede
Kudos to our race committee for putting on an excellent race! The new course design was very well received and we had numerous compliments on the experience. We appreciate suggestions you may have for improving the experience and encourage you to please send in your comments via email. Please use “Stampede” in the subject line.
We have talked to many of you at the trails or around town about the new trail for Markin Glen (MG). We hired Spectrum Design to help layout the new trail and in particular, help with some very challenging switchback issues and bi-directional design concerns. If you are not familiar with Spectrum, they designed and built Merrell Trail in Rockford and the trail system in Brown County, Indiana.
The MG trail has been approved by the county parks board and is also included in the latest Master Plan for the park. We are working with the county park director to secure our Memo of Understanding and present the phased build plan to begin trail construction later this fall or early spring. Once the plan is approved and the M.O.U. signed, fund raising will begin and we will announce organized activities. We hope to do this soon and are thinking about a kick-off party to get the word out.
That seems to be the underlying theme to most of the comments we have received so far on our membership survey. We need to do a better job on Facebook, our website and through email blasts. We also need to check our speilling spelling. To help us get the word out, we created a Twitter account as well. If you tweet, please follow us at #swmmba. We will be working harder to ensure information in all forms is up to date and reminders on club activities are early and often.
Other Such Stuff
There are a number of activities we are engaged in at the moment:
- Bike Swap - Early spring, possibly between the Barry-Roubaix and Yankee Time Trial.
- Mountain Bike 101 – We held our own event and are holding another 101 clinic for a private group in early September. This is an exciting opportunity to reach out to new riders of all ages and make sure they have safe, fun experiences on the trails.
- Club Jerseys – Hopefully, we can get some long sleeve jerseys in time for IceMan. Look for pre-order communications soon.
- Monthly Meetings – We are having very productive meetings at our new location but general member attendance is low. That’s ok. I will try to hold a quick update meeting once a month following our Thursday night group ride. I can give you the general updates and answer questions. We’ll look to start that after our September board meeting.
Thanks for reading,
The Fort Custer Stampede is trail benefit mountain bike race that assists our organization in raising the necessary funding to maintain the trail system at Fort Custer. It allows us to provide the necessary materials to keep Fort Custer one of the top destinations to ride.