We’re a bit partial to the woods. With so many incredible trails, awesome events, and wonderful people to ride with, being a mountain biker in Traverse City is kind of a no-brainer.
We have a lot of people to thank for all those trails and races, but Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association deserves a lot of the credit for giving us so many great places to ride. For over a decade, NMMBA has led the way as our local trail stewards, advocates, and now, race promoters with the third edition of the Traverse City Trails Festival presented by Short’s Brewing.
The TCTF is a special event for a number of reasons. First, it’s the biggest fundraiser of the year for NMMBA, a vital way to support their trail efforts across the region. It also offers rider a chance to ride up to 40 miles of unmarked trails; for 364 days of the year, this singletrack has no signage due to DNR regulations. Just one day a year, you can explore the trails with arrows and a group of friends! And that’s another plus; in addition to 40, 25, and 15 mile races, you can also opt to tour the 25 and 15 mile courses at your own pace with friends, without worrying about competing.
It’s extra special to City Bike Shop because the TCTF is the labor of love of long-time team leader and racer Tom White. Tom has dedicated so many hours of his life to offering others an incredible trail experience. His mountain biking and trail building efforts span over three decades and have served as the basis for nearly every inch of riding we enjoy in Traverse City. His efforts to spearhead the TCTF, on top of his every day trail work, is a massive investment of time and we all owe him a ton. Want to say thanks? It’s as easy as signing up for the TCTF.
This past Saturday, riders took an early look at the 2019 TCTF course, including our own Bryan Warner, John Duby, plus Tom White led the 25 mile ride. The word on the 2019 route is really encouraging. Some of the rougher, newer trails from 2018 are ridden in and much faster, and the way Tom has woven in a great mix of old favorites and new places to ride, like the Strombolis Lake Loop, really make for a fun day in the woods, whether you’re racing, touring, or just rolling around the woods.