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Race. Tour. Volunteer. Your chance to support the people who support your trails is coming up QUICK. 

Tom White makes trails. He’s been doing it for longer than I have been alive (because he is old). The miles and miles of unmarked singletrack that we all enjoy are there largely due to his efforts. People area always thanking Tom for his time, his commitment, and his enthusiasm for the trails. And you know what? That’s super cool. You should thank Tom, and the whole NMMBA board. You should buy them beer. You should buy Steve Mentzer lots of it.

But if you want to thank Tom, and if you want to support Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association, you need to sign up for the Traverse City Trails Festival, presented by the endlessly supportive Short’s Brewing Company. The July 22 race is going to be the main fundraiser for the year, replacing the Long and Short’s Ride.

With some awkward arm-twisting and light harassment (no charges filed, at least), the DNR approved the event on very short notice, and the NMMBA board have put their efforts into overdrive to make sure the race and tour are a hit. Yep, that’s one of the charms of the day; you can ride the same marked course at your own pace. It will be the only day you’ll ever get these 40 or 25 miles of singletrack flagged and marked. Want to learn the trails? There’s really no better way to do it, and no excuse not to be out there.

It’s also going to be a great chance to see some of the area’s best bike handlers in action. This isn’t going to be a simple drag race; this is a serious singletrack race, using only the best sections of the former X100 route to test the endurance and skills of TC’s best bike riders. You’re going have to turn. Lots. More than this writer has probably ever turned in a day. We’ve seen some riders step up to the challenge, too, including Eric Grassa and Josh Zelinski. They’re in for the Elite 40, with Jorden Wakeley, Sean Kickbush, and Jason Johnson all confirmed as well.

It’ll also be a great chance to Beth Craven in her element on the women’s side. No one is going to have more fun than Barb Beauregard, and she’s in for the Women’s Expert/Elite as well.

It’s late notice, but you can join the Dirt Church gang at Muncie Lake at 9am on Sunday, July 9 to do the full 40 mile route. You can download files from the TCTF site here. 

Support the people that support your trails, and let’s make this a point of pride for local mountain bikers. We’ll have a full race preview up by July 17, so get your team #STOKED for race day and signed up by then to get some #PROPERS on the #INTERNETZ.