Long shadows, crisp air, and a stillness in the forest

Love them or hate them, Michigan winters are part of the experience of living in this great state. You could spend months on the trainer enduring the season, or you can embrace the experience and keep in top riding condition by riding all year long.

There's a lot of great advice on clothing, tires, and other winter riding topics in the MMBA Tips and Techniques forum.  Here are some of the most important:

  • Layers and technical fabric.  Old school cotton and fleece start out warm, but the fabrics capture sweat and snow and it's not long before they are wicking away all of your warmth. There have been huge advances in running, biking, and active winter sports gear that make them are worth their weight in chain lube out on the trail. They keep you dry, they keep you warm, and they have features like vents to help you shed heat after a strenuous climb. Stores like REI and your local bike shops can help you make good choices.
  • Ride with a friend. Not only is it more fun to share the misery, a friend in need can save your life. A broken bone or twisted ankle is a definite downer in any season, but in freezing temps it can be deadly. You don't need to be in the Alaskan tundra to die of hypothermia; it could happen on your favorite trail. If you must do solitary rides, make sure someone knows where you are, when you enter the trail, and let them know when to expect a call that you're finished. Keep your phone warm (so the batteries last longer) and carry a back up device. One of my friend's life was saved by a whistle, used to signal for help after the phone battery died during a 911 call. 
  • Be prepared to walk out. Cold temps are harder on machine than man, and obscure failures seem to haunt my winter rides. I prefer to ride flat pedals and winter hiking boots, but whatever your preference is make sure you could walk out of the trail if you needed to.
  • Stay hydrated. Your body uses a lot more energy when it's cold. Feed it - eat and drink often (as if I needed an excuse...)

Fat is fun and owning a fat bike can definitely extend your riding opportunities, but people have been riding snow covered trails for decades on normal mountain bikes. You can too - no excuses, get out there!

FAFL Award Winners

Congrats to our 2014 FAFL award winners! Each of these volunteers has reported at least 10 hours of boots on the ground construction and maintenance work this year at a chapter trail, and will receive a small token of appreciation from the chapter.

  1. Amber Koa
  2. Bill Hermann
  3. Bob Spleet
  4. Bryan Garchar
  5. Carole Mousigian
  6. Chris Smith
  7. Dave Bastine
  8. Dave Cox
  9. Dave Hurst
  10. Dave Seidel
  11. Dean Clark
  12. Diane Ursu
  13. Don Chisholm
  14. Dave Mackey (241 hours!)
  15. John Jedynak
  16. John Wilds
  17. Joseph Foy
  18. Katherine Rose
  19. Ken McLouth
  20. Kevin Petts
  21. Loren Konkus
  22. Mark Dombrowski
  23. Matt Bushore
  24. Matt Dughi
  25. Michael Faulk (204 hours!)
  26. Mike Flack
  27. Mike White
  28. Nate Sefcik
  29. Norbert Skorupski
  30. Sharon James
  31. Steve Steinberg
  32. Tim Slabach
  33. Taiyo Ichikawa
  34. Terry Brown
  35. Terry Young

Thanks to all!

Reflections on 2014

Passion for mountain biking is alive and well in the MCMBA! The enthusiasm of our trail coordinators and other volunteers is contagious, and it’s an awesome team that I feel proud to be a part of.

Let’s look back at some of their accomplishments:


  • A new 24 page full color MCMBA magazine was published, chock full of information on our trails and upcoming events. This booklet was great promotion for the chapter, and helped spread word of our mission and sign up new members.
  • The chapter hosted a great booth at the MMBA Expo with videos, cookies, and merchandise. Several new members were recruited.
  • We congratulated Don Chisholm as the MCMBA Volunteer of the Year for 2013.


  • A liability insurance crisis was narrowly averted as we found a new carrier to cover the chapter’s needs after our previous carrier ceased covering trailbuilding activities.
  • The Chapter purchased a branded canopy tent for use at expos and events.


  • We joined CRAMBA in hosting a great booth at Detroit Bike City in Cobo Hall, selling merchandise and signing up members. Each year, this event grows and improves.


  • Culminating a decade of discussions, the MCMBA signed a trails agreement with Wayne County Parks, opening the way for the construction of new singletrack mountain biking trails in Hines Park. Over the summer, traildays were hosted weekly as a dedicated crew designed and built several miles of new trails at this park.
  • New rerouted section of trail at Hickory Glen was developed.
  • The MCMBA facebook group crested 500 members.


  • A National Mountain Bike Patrol orientation and CPR/First Aid training session at Maybury State Park was organized to provide training for new patrollers. Over the coming months as patrollers completed their registration, the ranks of active chapter patrollers grew to 18 patrollers.
  • Chapter volunteers helped the City of Novi to host a Kid’s Bike Rodeo event. New portable trail features were created to support this and future kid events.


  • The chapter was awarded an IMBA bike park grant from Fox Racing Shox for $1,000 for Lakeshore Park pump track improvements.  Over the summer, volunteers sculpted truckload after truckload of clay into a piece of freeride artwork.
  • Riders turned out in droves for the biggest Milford Challenge yet, capped by an awesome performance by the Orbitsuns.
  • The MCMBA provided assistance and $900 in matching funds to support of an Eagle Scout project at Island Lake, rebuilding the long bridge on the Yellow Trail.
  • As trail trimming needs grew, the chapter purchased an additional Stihl Kombi tool to help make our volunteers’ time more productive.
  • A Trailday was held at Lakeshore Park.


  • The chapter was awarded a grant from Community Financial Credit Union for $1,000 in support of our advocacy work.
  • A new tri-fold brochure highlighting the chapter was published.
  • The Tree Farm Relay benefit race was another huge success, with almost 500 racers and their families sharing a great summer Saturday together at Lakeshore Park.


  • Every two years, IMBA hosts a World Summit gathering with a chapter congress, providing an opportunity for chapter leaders to share best practices and provide feedback to IMBA on the chapter program. For the first time, MCMBA participated in this Summit.
  • The Chapter provided matching funds for an Eagle Scout project at Maybury Park, implementing a system of emergency rescue trail markers.
  • The Maybury Time Trial CPS race was another great success, with a fine turnout and a fun reverse course.
  • The MCMBA helped organize a Pedal to the Pints MiSCA benefit event at Ashleys.
  • Traildays were held at Maybury to prepare for the race event, and at Hickory Glen moving truckloads of dirt to address issues in the Oakley Park section.


  • Our new MCMBA Jerseys took the Paris runways by storm, and were available from the Primal store soon after.
  • The experience of riding Highland backwards was the hallmark of another Carlos Rameraz memorial ride.
  • The Chapter helped host a MiSCA race at Lakeshore Park.


  • Our MCMBA Trail School was relaunched with a trails 101 class held in conjunction with work at Hines Park.
  • October was a huge social event month, with Take a Kid Mountain Biking, a Rad MTB Skillz Clinic, and Forage at the Farm events. Great turnout, lots of fun had by all.
  • The Milford trail received a shiny new bridge.
  • An MCMBA representative participated in a multi-day MMBA Leadership Summit to share experiences and ideas for the future roll of the MMBA.
  • A significant re-route on the Kensington Connector was approved.
  • Our chapter gained an IMBA Certified Instructor, and a door was opened to brand new opportunities for chapter programs and events we will be offering.


  • An initial trail proposal for a new singletrack trail in west Novi was written.
  • A new committee organizational structure for the chapter leadership was proposed and adopted. This structure will help us grow to support more volunteers and events in the coming year.
  • Trailwork at Highland addressed a perennial muddy area, and the Kensington Connector re-route was implemented.
  • Two new National Mountain Bike Patrollers were added to the chapter, bring the number of active patrollers to 20.


  • As the trailbuilding season closed, 33 riders participated in an inaugural Hines Park group ride to check out our newest trail. The Hines Park trail maps were added to the chapter trail guide on our website.
  • The MCMBA facebook group surpassed 750 members.
  • 119 volunteers reported 2327 hours of volunteer work. Valued at $20.13 per hour, this represents $46,842 in value to our local parks and mountain bike trails.
  • 35 volunteers contributed over 10 hours of trail work, and will be awarded FAFL (First Across the Finish Line) tokens of appreciation.
  • Over $3,000 was invested in materials and supplies for trail work in 2014.

Whew!  A busy year. So much happened, driven by volunteers with energy and passion.  Just like you.

Want to make 2015 even better? We can do that! Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to share your ideas and get involved!


Some things change...

And some things don't. Leaving ruts in thawing trails has never been cool.

Chapter meeting

Join us as we wrap up a great 2014 and make plans for the new year!

Wed, December 10th, 7:00 pm

Bakers of Milford

2025 S. Milford Road, Milford MI



Agenda is available here.