SWMMBA — the Southwest Michigan Mountain Biking Association
You may have heard that your Southwest Michigan Mountain Bike Association has gone through some recent changes on the board and perhaps even heard rumors of new projects. I invite you stop by our next monthly meeting and get an update on what we’re up to. In the meantime, let me introduce our new (and some familiar) faces and a quick note on where we are heading.
First off, we have Megan Zapalowski as our Vice President. Not only does her name sound fast, she can back it up too. Meg is very active in the racing community both on a bike and on skis. She’s the equivalent of cranking up this club to 11! Her enthusiasm is contagious, so be careful around her.
Charlene Orwat is our Secretary and brings with her a whole bunch of great ideas and experiences from her work with the Western New York Mountain Bike Assoc. Having served as their Secretary and Bike Fest director, Char is an organized force to reckon with and is ready to make her mark in Kalamazoo’s mountain biking scene.
Rick McIntosh and Gordie Allen are graciously continuing their terms as Treasurer and State Board Rep until we can find some help. If you would like to be part of some very exciting changes and be on the board, please send me an email.
Pat Bagi is now in our mentoring board position, the Past-President spot. He is helping with this transition and guiding us through the quagmire we must follow to maintain the association and set things in motion for our new focus and renewed vigor.
Finally, rounding out the new board is me, Travis Bell. I have been involved with the mountain bike scene in Kalamazoo for many years and lurked in the shadows so-to-speak around the SWMMBA. I’m the guy you recognize at the bike shops, but probably don’t know by name. I’m ready to help the SWMMBA transition into a regionally based club with attention to new trail development and member value.
We have a wealth of county, city and municipal parks with wonderful terrain and land managers looking for self-sustaining activities to offset dwindling management budgets. Our club happens to have trail building expertise, tools and lots of labor resources. Sounds like a winning combination to us! In fact, we will soon have an update on a proposed trail the SWMMBA has been working on for the last two years! Its finally coming together and we are very excited by the recent progress. Stay tuned.
It’s All About YOU
Your SWMMBA is focused on what you want. We will be rolling out a survey soon to help prioritize our activities. We need your help. We need YOU to complete the survey, stop by our open monthly meeting (now held in Kalamazoo), say hi at an event and volunteer when you can. We are your Association; your chance to make a difference, build a new trail, leave your mark. We are up for the challenge. Are you?
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.