Michigan’s Edge Mountain Bike Association

Nobody needs to hear about how 2020 went a little differently than planned, so let’s skip it and talk about the good stuff! This is the first in a series of posts about what was accomplished at MEMBA trails in 2020. So let’s get right into it and talk some stats!

Total ridelogs4,9013,219+52%
Unique riders373239+53%
Trails ridden12,3448,764+41%
Avg time moving1:14:5001:19:00-4 min, 10 sec
Trails per ride33
Total distance68,771 mi45,376 mi+52%
Total time7,635 hrs6,363 hrs+20%
Data from Trailforks

Wow! Multiple stats with 50%+ increases is amazing! One thing to point out initially is that while Trailforks data isn’t a great way to get a sense of total use, there is enough data to make the difference stats worthwhile.

Breakdown by trail

Upper Mac1,047971+8%
Mosquito Creek631200+216%
Bass River360203+77%
Allegan SGA11151+118%
Shore Acres7728+175%
Data from Trailforks

Whoa, what the heck happened at Mosquito Creek? Oh yeah, Matrix opened up at the end of 2019 and it is sweet. Something tells me MC may be challenging for the top spots on the leader board in 2021…

It looks like word got out about the amazing care being taken by the team at Bass! Owasippe fans definitely took advantage of the 2020 situation allowing the trail to be open for the summer. Upper Mac and Riley saw modest bumps to their already high traffic and it’s great to see considerably more folks getting out and exploring Allegan and Shore Acres!

Lakeshore Mountain Biking Sisters at Upper Mac

9 miles of new trail…

Without building any trail! Bass and Riley became new trails, provided you show up on the right day. Both trails now feature directional-by-day signage that was completed thanks to a lot of hard work by the respective trail teams, volunteers, and their coordination with the DNR and Ottawa County Parks. Also shout out to MC for going from bidirectional to directional-by-day in 2020!

All in all

With 2020 in the rear view, it’s not hard to see how much value trails bring to our community. It is, however, tough to thank the folks involved in making it that way enough! Members, volunteers, community: thank you!

Next up: we’ll be diving deeper into individual trails as we continue recapping 2020.

Main post photo: 📷 Josh VerHage at Bass River

Targeting 5-7 miles of professionally built single track on approximately 150 wooded acres featuring multiple large ravines.

  • MEMBA has contracted with the International Mountain Biking Association for trail design (early 2021) via initial funding.
  • A project team is in place consisting of Ted Schneider, Joe Lampen, Kerry Bairski, Kirk Walter, Aaron Jones, Tim Lampen, & Jen Jones.

How can you help this trail get built?

  • Join / contribute to Michigan’s Edge to support initial expenses for the project.
  • We seek individuals to assist the team with our upcoming capital campaign for this project. Contact us at membatreasurer@gmail.com.

Future updates will be posted here and on Facebook as they become available!

As 2020 comes to a close, we are reflecting on one of the few constants amongst a crazy year: TRAILS! If nothing else, 2020 has brought us a renewed appreciation for the many options we have to get out into the woods. And for all of our new friends that have found their way into them! Keep your eyes here in the coming weeks as we break down what this year brought to MEMBA trails.

So what will we be up to in 2021? New trail projects, reviving old trail projects, maintaining trail, building trail, MEMBA apparel, and with any luck (🤞) some events!

This year has given us a ton of momentum and we would love for everyone to join us as we carry it over to 2021! If you’re looking to contribute a year-end donation, you can do so here! And as a reminder, MEMBA is a 501(C)(3) charitable non-profit corporation.

Winter is upon us and we can’t wait to get out and groom some trail! Together with our pals over at the WMMBA, we offer a plethora of options for fatbiking in western Michigan. There are 9 total groomed options with a handful of others that will get ridden-in on their own.

MEMBA groomed trails: Riley, Mosquito Creek, Owasippe, & Bass River

WMMBA groomed trails: Merrell, The Dragon, Yankee Springs, Indian Trails, & Cannonsburg Ski Area (head over to wmmba.org for more info)

📷 Dave Peterson, Bass River

Grooming reports: We’ll be posting reports as frequently as possible here on ridememba.com as soon as we start grooming. West Michigan Trail Conditions on Facebook and Trailforks are other good spots to look for updates.

Want to help? Of course you do! Most of these options are free and while our volunteers genuinely love doing the work, equipment and gas is not free! First: join us! Join MEMBA here and WMMBA here. Done that and still looking to offer more support? Donate!

What else? Show us the photos! What does a group of volunteers love more than seeing folks enjoy the result of their hard work? Nothing. Tag us wherever you’re posting and make our day.

No snow or looking to take a trip? Our friends up north tend to hit the snow jackpot and have a bunch of awesome fatbiking options as well; check them out over at nmmba.net.

While the trails may be perfect right now,

we have a warm weekend ahead which is a recipe for trail damage! Please stay off the trails if the weather warms up to the point where tires are leaving ruts. Want to dive deeper into freeze/thaw? MMBA and Bicycling.com both have excellent, detailed posts about it.

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Still not sure about making the trip to Mosquito Creek?! Check out the review and recent ride video (featuring George, George, George of the Jungle) from the Adventures with Remax crew!

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Itching to get some extra use out of that OECC season pass parking permit? Missing the glory that is 13 miles of old school, lung-busting XC trail? Perhaps you’ve been longing for serene cabin views down in the valley. Well good news! Owasippe opens back up on Friday, 12/18. If it hasn’t snowed yet: hero sand. If it has snowed: hero groom.

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Michigan’s Edge Mountain Biking Association (MEMBA) was recently asked to consider allowing ebikes at the Mosquito Creek MTB trail. The request came from a donor whose business has been engaged with a large bicycle manufacturing company in marketing and promoting their developing line of ebikes. There are no trails in the MEMBA area that currently allow ebikes. At first blush, we felt that this was a bold request. As an organization that looks to promote more riders riding more trails sustainably, we felt it was appropriate and responsible to educate ourselves on the issue of ebikes before making a decision to request access from the landowner. Here’s what we learned.

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Mosquito Creek Ribbon Cutting Ceremony!

Date and time: May 11, 2019 at 10am

Put it on the calendar!  Demo bikes, food trucks and more.  Bring the family, friends and your neighbors!  Expect a program that includes donor recognition, ribbon cutting, and a project update.