Storm Clean-Ups And Trifectas: Rolling Into September

tagged as Blog,Community

Today, we want to make sure we thank all everyone who picked up a stick. Seriously. 

When weather hits West Michigan, cleaning up the trails can be a huge challenge. With so many places to ride, so many miles of trail, and volunteers having those pesky ‘day jobs’, tackling everything from Yankee to Luton in just twenty-four hours is a monumental task. The logistics of identifying, addressing, and clearing known trail obstacles like downed limbs and trees can be a very tall order, and as we hit fall storms, we’re going to be put to the test on a rather consistent basis.

You can help. First, we often rely on Trailforks to look for trail issues, so linking your Strava account to Trailforks or logging in to report the location and relative size of a tree or branch is often the fastest way for us to plan our trail clearing effort. It’s free, and it also serves as a great resource to check for mud conditions, grooming reports in the winter, and to find trails in other areas, too.

Second, pick up sticks. No, seriously. With only so much time with the tools, our volunteers need to address the big stuff first, usually going straight to safety hazards that make trail impassable. Especially on tight, twisty, or fast trails in the area, having those dangerous issues addressed quickly can literally be a matter of life and a really big dental bill, or worse. If all riders and hikers made it a point to pick up sticks for five minutes in different parts of the trail, you not only save our volunteers time, you let them address the really dangerous stuff that requires heavier equipment.

Finally, become an Ally. By helping arm our volunteers with equipment and resources, we can address storm damage quickly and efficiently, as well as make vital changes to the trail throughout the year that may reduce hazards when the wind and rain really start to hammer Grand Rapids. Things like well-attended (and well-fed) trail days, more frequent trimming, and removing dead, leaning trees that are bound to become issues before they fall all help us to save time when storms do happen, as well as improve the overall trail experience every single day of the year.

Ready to get started? Good! Head over here to join up; while IMBA runs our membership, WMMBA is now its own entity and 100% of membership dues stay right here in West Michigan. Plus, you’ll get $5 off the Trifecta Tour on September 8. There might be no better way to check out some of our favorite trails than by seeing three at once!