Michigan’s Edge Mountain Biking Association

As of Saturday, June 19th, 2021 (tomorrow), at 10am: Mosquito Creek Trails consists of 11 miles of singletrack open to the public!

https://www.facebook.com/events/324300399161811

The full trail opening is a long time coming and we absolutely can’t wait for all of you to get out there and see it! Thank you to everyone that has contributed financially & physically, ridden the trail, and posted about the trail: Mosquito Creek Trails wouldn’t exist without you! Now it’s time to celebrate!

https://www.trailforks.com/region/mosquito-creek-22097

The festivities start at 10am with food & drink, donor recognition, and the best part: ripping 5 miles of fresh new trail!

In less than two weeks, Mosquito Creek will have officially DOUBLED in length! Come celebrate the project completion with us on June 19th!

While the Dirt Artisans crew has been busy finishing up the new trails, they also jumped over to The Matrix to add in a couple rock gardens:

And that’s not all! Volunteers came out last week to put in some work on The Faz Track:

Lastly: there’s still time to donate and grab some MC goodies before the opening! Blue tees have been added and the original green tees are also still available (fairly limited quantities left in both). We hope to see you all out at the trail on June 19th!

https://www.mosquitocreektrails.org/store

Looking to lend a hand at your local trails? ‘Tis the season! We hosted a trail day at Shore Acres last weekend and have two more, Mosquito Creek and Beechwood, on the docket for this weekend!

First up: Shore Acres!

While we continue to work toward getting a more thorough improvement plan together, might as well work with what already exists out there! A small-but-mighty crew kicked off their Memorial Day weekend by cleaning up some nasty erosion ruts, starting to unearth the two main jump lines, and scoping out the confusing areas of singletrack for new signage. It’s hard to do too much with the lack of rain we’ve seen, but everything is more rideable than it was and work will be ongoing!

No reason to let a cool setup sit unused while we plan for the long term future of the park! We’re working to get these two lines cleared off, running well, then assess the situation from there. There’s a bunch of cool stuff hidden under the grass on the left side of the photo too!

Next: Mosquito Creek!

In case you haven’t heard, the MC project is nearing completion! This is an incredible landmark and the first of its kind for MEMBA. The last section of trail, which will double the mileage of the trail system, was roughed in by Dirt Artisans in the fall and volunteers have been tirelessly building puncheon bridges along it since. Dirt Artisans have been back for the past week or so finishing it up, and volunteers will be back on the trail this Friday doing some handwork.

Lastly: Beechwood!

The newest (for now…) trail on the lakeshore will soon be at Beechwood Church in Holland! This one’s going to be hand-built which means: we need your hands! The MEMBA crew has been busy flagging the first loop and doing some preliminary clearing ahead of the trail day this Saturday from 3-6pm.

Looking to help out, but don’t know where to start? Joining MEMBA is a great first step! Drop us a line at hello@ridememba.com or on Facebook and we’ll talk about how you can get involved!

Trail design has officially kicked off! Chris Orr from IMBA Trail Solutions has been on the ground since late last week, scouring the property for the best lines. Some of the MEMBA team joined Chris for the initial site walk and there continues to be a ton of work going on behind the scenes to keep this thing moving. Exciting times, more soon!

Do not go gentle into that good night

Old age should burn and rave at close of day

Rage rage against the dying of the light…..

I’m no expert, but I’m quite certain that when Dylan Thomas penned his famous lines, mountain biking wasn’t really a ‘thing’ and obviously this pandemic was several decades off yet. And I know it has to do with not giving into death without a fight – but still – come along with me.

Let’s be brutally honest, and no one needs to raise their hand, but how close to home is this – how many of us are fighting to not give in to that good night?  Who has a marriage that breaks their heart?  Is still blindsided by a loss they never saw coming? Has prayers that are unanswered for months or years or decades?  Lost a job this past year?  Working and schooling from home exposed cracks in their marriage or parenting or mental health that were otherwise fairly well smoothed over when things were still ‘normal’?  Or things were NEVER normal, and now everything has slidden so far sideways you’re not sure what to do?

Mental health has become pretty ‘buzzy’ lately and for good reason.  The vast majority of us are struggling with SOME form of a yawning pit in front of us whether it’s the result of trauma or it’s “just” the “new normal” that seems utterly endless and wearisome. We. Are all. Broken in varying degrees.

I honestly don’t think I would have held it together at all in the past year without my bike. It’s almost embarrassing to admit how connected I became to my little pink whip (her name is Claire, BTW).  SHE helped me rage against the dying of the light over and over and over again, early in the morning as the sun rose, breaking spider webs at Upper Mac with my face, or rattling over roots at CSGA, or flying through Mosquito listening to my 8-year-old process his own ‘stuff.’  Poor Claire visited the shop after many rides that were filled with tears, with cathartic conversations that were had with thin air, with aggression that could only be absorbed by dirt and trees.

If you are struggling in any way, do not give in to it.  Do not go gentle into that night.  Obviously help comes in varying degrees, but in this space we are acknowledging that our bikes have become more than the N+1 obsession we laugh about. I can’t be the only person who could say that my bike has been my glue, my therapy, my neurotransmitters, my sanity…and the world is a little more appropriately on its axis when I’m done with a ride.  Nothing in the world was fixed, but my mind is a little better and the metaphorical close of day seems a little farther away.

I feel like the local mountain biking community became a little more cohesive this past year, and names and profile pictures are becoming actual people, and those actual people may become one of the best support networks we can get.  Get back on your bike.  Dig into our amazing trails.  Connect with your fellow riders.  Breathe. Sweat. Burn and rave when it feels like the close of day.  Your bike has your back and so do we.

Spring is here and that means that JAMESTOWN DESIGN IS COMING! Chris Orr from IMBA is scheduled to be in town and work some magic in late April. It’s happening folks! Just in case you need a reason to be more excited about this project, check out this article Freehub Magazine wrote about Chris. Stay tuned!

Read More

Who turned off the winter machine?? It’s incredible to think about how much snow was still on the ground this time last week. We hope you got to show some skin early this week and are now extra amped for an amazing spring. Everything is “closed” for now, but if this sunshine keeps up that’ll change before ya know it! Thanks for riding along with us this winter and spending thousands of dark, cold, sunny, snowy, glorious hours out at the trails. Be sure to thank a groomer if you see them!

Read More

Welcome to March! Don’t let the sunshine fool you, the cold temps at night are keeping things “rideable” as long as you’re up for an adventure (and/or have studded tires)! Get out there in the morning or after things have firmed up at night (#dontbeaturd) to get some more rides in before spring-thaw-no-go time.

Read More

Wow, what a change a week can make! Here we are, still a ton of snow, but highs of 30-40+ degrees with no sign of letting up. However, most nights are cooling off to offer some adventurous sunrise rides if you’re up for it! Also, remember, we’re in Michigan and it’s not even March yet. Don’t call it a comeback!

Read More

Snow and a bit of a warmup mean fantastic conditions ahead!

Read More

Riley & MC are your best bets this weekend!

Read More

SNOW! It’s cooling off quickly, but we’re working diligently to get all this packed in as the temps drop. Get out and enjoy it this weekend! Bundle up and stay safe, especially on Sunday with wind chills below zero all day.

Read More