July 2013

MMMBA Chapter Meeting Minutes
July 14, 2013

Location: Buddies (Holt)

In attendance:
Andy Williamson (IMBA)
Laurie DeYoung (Board)
Chris Mensing (Board)
David Frost (Bennett TC)
Brad Potter (Anderson TC)
Ron Bock
Brindley Byrd
Aiden Byrd
Mitch DeYoung

Minutes:

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.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Anderson Park: Assistant trail coordinator and trail maintenance; contact Brad at bpotter08@gmail.com and watch the Facebook page (Anderson Park MTB trail)
  • Bennett Park: Trail maintenance and possible expansion; contact Dave at black_ice@att.net
  • Leadership: Anyone interested in helping reinvigorate the chapter; contact Laurie at lauriedeyoung@hotmail.com
  • Web Site: Anyone with experience with WordPress sites; contact Laurie at lauriedeyoung@hotmail.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.

Recent Posts

Over 30 people attended 2014 Season Pre-ride Meeting!

The MMMBA kicked off the 2014 Season with a chapter meeting held on Saturday, April 19. OVer 30 people attended the meeting which covered a lot of ground.

Brindley Byrd, president of the MMMBA gave an update of activity since the new chapter leadership came on on board. The biggest issue they worked through was the change in liability insurance for the chapter. Due to this change, the MMMBA does not endorse the use of chainsaws by volunteers. In the event of felled trees obstructing the trail, the MMMBA Trail Coordinators will work with the land managers to best determine how to remove the tree. All other tree work to be done from the ground using non-powered tools. We have taken this policy to minimize the risk to MMMBA volunteers and reduce the risk of claim on our new policy.

Reid Abel was recognized at the 2013 MMMBA Volunteer of the Year! He has dedicated many tireless hours making sure the obstacles and stunts at Burchfield Park are safe, fun and challenging. Thanks Reid for all your hard work!!

The Burchfield Park Trail Clean-Up Day is scheduled for Saturday May 3 from 8am – 4pm (rain day on Sunday, May 4). Meet at Riverbend parking lot. Please bring rakes, shovels, leaf blowers and non-powered tree-trimming tools. There are plenty of leaves to blow off of trail, ruts to fill and countless sticks on the trails. MMMBA will have coffee, breakfast snacks and fire up the grill for refuel at lunch. A group ride will commence at 4pm from Riverbend. Come Join the Ride!

On Sunday, May 4 from Noon to 5pm, the Felt Demo Tour will be back at Burchfield Park in the main parking lot. Park access fee required for entry. BikeWorks in Dewitt has again made arrangements for area riders to ride Felt’s line of mountain and road bikes. Representatives from the MMMBA will be on-sight to share information about our 2014 initiatives and welcome riders to the 2014 season! We will also be signing people up as members and take contributions for our 2014 Initiatives.

MMMBA 2014 Intiatives:

1) Start a MMMBA Bike Patrol.
2) Install markers and better signage on trails.
3) Establish weekly group rides for ALL level of riders.
4) Reach out to community youth groups and invite them to the trails.
5) Organized the 1st Annual Zombie Relay — a twilight relay race at Burchfield Park in October.

Please see the presentation for further information. 2014 Season Pre-ride Presentation

Thanks to you all that attended and support the MMMBA.

Join the Ride!

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