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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.

Markin Glen
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.

Communications
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,
Travis

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Attention Everyone - MSTAC/DNR Suervey

 

This is our opportunity to let our voices be heard! Please read the following information and fill out the survey.

 

The Michigan Snowmobile and Trail Advisory Committee (MSTAC) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are committed to better understanding trail user interests, needs and concerns. The MSTAC and the DNR are developing a plan for a statewide trail network that will address snowmobile, ORV, hiking, biking, paddling, and equestrian needs. The plan moves the state toward the goal of becoming known as “The Trail State”. The plan will identify priorities for improving the system and constraints for implementing those priorities. It will also serve as a marketing piece showcasing Michigan’s incredible trail network and the opportunities expanding this network presents to Michigan’s quality of life and economic prosperity. As we plan for the future of the state’s trail system, we need your help.

 

We would like to know your membership’s opinions about the state’s trail system, how you use the system, and ways the system could be improved. We ask that you electronically forward this entire note to your members or to other trail users. The link to the survey can be found at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7H2SCSJ. The completed survey will not be sent back through your organization, but will be available to the DNR for analysis. The DNR will not have access to who filled out the survey or their email address. We are asking that the survey be completed by August 31.

 

The information collected from this survey will be compiled, analyzed and provided to the MSTAC members and to the DNR trail planning team. The trail plan is required to be completed by the spring of 2013.The draft plan will be submitted to your organization for additional input.

 

This is the first step in improving communication with trail users. In the future, we will inform you about trail events, opening of new trails, and seek your opinion on a variety of subjects. If you are not the right person to receive these emails, or your organization is not interested in being on this list serve, please send the corrected information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

SWMMBA Goals

SWMMBA acts as the primary trail developer for the Fort Custer State Recreation Area located in Augusta, MI. The Fort Custer Recreation Area currently has 18 miles of dedicated mountain bike trails, with 5 additional miles of multi-use trail. Future goals include increasing both membership and mountain bike trail mileage, working with land managers in partnership to achieve this goal, and building relationships with government and business organizations to inter-connect trail systems in the region.

TRAFx Counters

We have exciting news! The SWMMBA is now installing invisible counters that will assist us with keeping track of the number of mountain bike riders that visit our trail systems every day. This will assist us in gathering data about trail usage. It will assist us to better understand and manage our trails and can also be used when applying for grants and other funding as well as assist us with working with the DNR.

To learn more about the trail counters we use, please click this link.

Next SWMMBA Meeting

 

SWMMBA Meeting

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
Time - 6:00 pm
We will be meeting at KRESA in Portage off Milham Road

Next Trail Day

 

SWMMBA Trail Day

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Meet at trailhead at 8:00 am

Special Announcement

 

Markin Glen Park

As many of you have already heard we are working with the Kalamazoo Parks department to get mountain bike trails on Markin Glen Park!

We are in the fundraising mode now, so we need your help to raise funds to make this dream a reality!

Donate Now!

SWWMBA Survey

In order to better serve our members, the Southwest Michigan Mountain Biking Association board has commissioned this survey to better understand your interests, needs, and perceptions of the organization.

Take Survey

Report Volunteer Hours

 

Report Volunteer Hours

It's very important to us for everyone to record their volunteer hours. Both trail work as well as administrative. So if you could please click this link and log your hours it would be greatly appreciated.

Report Your Hours

News

Markin Glen Update

Markin Glen Update NEW TRAIL APPROVED!!!!

Your SWMMBA leaders have been very hard at work, meeting with the Kalamazoo...

Markin Glen Master Plan Meeting

Markin Glen Master Plan Meeting, Aug. 27th KALAMAZOO COUNTY PARKS AND RECREATION:

Your SWMMBA leaders have been...

MSTAC/DNR Suervey

Attention Everyone - MSTAC/DNR Suervey   This is our opportunity to let our voices be heard! Please read the following...
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Support the SWMMBA

1

Become a MemberRegister to be a SWMMBA Member NOW.

2

Donations Donating money allows our group to do trail maintenence at the park.

3

Get Involved We have scheduled trail days, volunteer your time.
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