MMMBA Chapter Meeting Minutes
July 14, 2013
Location: Buddies (Holt)
Andy Williamson (IMBA)
Laurie DeYoung (Board)
Chris Mensing (Board)
David Frost (Bennett TC)
Brad Potter (Anderson TC)
General Chapter and Trail Updates
- Anderson Park is in good shape, but Brad reports he could use an assistant trail coordinator. The Thursday night group rides are not as well-attended as in the past and not as many people seem to be out doing basic maintenance. A reroute on the red section is needed due to a fallen tree, and there is definitely more space for development, but Brad’s time to organize those activities and keep up with land disputes and parking expansion is limited. Also, the map is fading (others mentioned this is an issue at all our trails) and could use a reprint on better paper with better ink.
- Bennett Park is in good shape, but could use some trimming. David is pleased with the increase in local riders and volunteers, but needs a core group of regular volunteers to expand the trail. He figures there is room to add 2-3 miles, but until he has consistent help, that can’t happen.
- Jeff Popard, our Burchfield TC, was absent but the Board reported on his recent email indicating he had received approval from the park to hold a night ride. Andy suggested we could use this as a membership drive; Chris suggested it could be a chapter fundraiser. All agree that Burchfield is a great trail and those who participated enjoyed the ride there earlier this morning.
Chapter Survey Results
- Laurie reported on the recent survey, which included 43 responses from both members and non-members in the mid-Michigan area. A more complete summary of results is in progress, but key findings include:
- 44.2% of respondents were from the greater Lansing area.
- The most ridden local trails were Burchfield and Anderson. If mid-Michigan mountain bikers are not riding there, chances are they are visiting trails outside our chapter boundaries.
- Over half of respondents are not MMMBA members, but nearly 75% of them are willing to volunteer in some capacity. 39.5% already volunteer in the form of trail maintenance.
- According to their preferences, chapter priorities should focus on trail maintenance and new trail development, with some advocacy and social events thrown in the mix. Races were not a priority for this group.
Building a Healthy Chapter
- Andy Williamson, our IMBA rep, started by praising our accomplishments so far. Though we are struggling to move forward, the fact that we have great TCs and well-maintained trails should be a point of pride.
- As our main next steps, he suggested (1) reporting our survey findings to members and the larger mid-Michigan mountain biking community; (2) developing a follow-up survey designed to get an idea of where our members’ (and potential members’) talents lie; and (3) scheduling a visioning meeting that he will facilitate to outline chapter goals and strategies for the next 3-5 years.
- He also emphasized the importance of having a “trailhead speech” to deliver to people we meet on the trail and indicated that IMBA can help us with templates for print materials to have on hand.
- He offered to help us if we want more trails in mid-Michigan to become recognized IMBA trails, which has the benefit of protecting volunteers with insurance should anything go wrong.
- He strongly urged us to find a local retailer who could provide support, promote our efforts, offer a meeting space, etc. The group feels this could be a challenge.
- He encouraged us to think about kiosk messaging; it should be consistent across all our trails.
- He suggested making our next meeting – the visioning one, probably in September – attractive by paying for pizza and/or beer. Laurie spoke with the Buddies staff after the meeting and we can have one of their banquet rooms for free ($50 deposit, refunded when you show up). They will work with us on food, too.
- Anderson Park: Assistant trail coordinator and trail maintenance; contact Brad at firstname.lastname@example.org and watch the Facebook page (Anderson Park MTB trail)
- Bennett Park: Trail maintenance and possible expansion; contact Dave at email@example.com
- Leadership: Anyone interested in helping reinvigorate the chapter; contact Laurie at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Web Site: Anyone with experience with WordPress sites; contact Laurie at email@example.com
Proposed Next Steps
- Laurie and Brindley will compile survey results into a report to distribute.
- Chris will create a second survey to accompany report.
- A leadership group will meet in August to plan the visioning meeting.
- After the survey has been posted for two weeks, Laurie will review results and propose to the leadership group a date and time for the visioning meeting, then make the arrangements and begin communication initiatives.
- Andy will plan to attend the visioning meeting and facilitate discussion.