Author: Doug Heady (Page 1 of 3)

Triple Trail Challenge – Order Merchandise by August 16th

Register today for Triple Trail Challenge 2023!

Tree Fort Bikes and the Potawatomi Mountain Biking Association are proud to present the 2023 Triple Trail Challenge!  Riders will experience nearly 50 miles of SE Michigan’s premier single-track combined with scenic gravel roads, all nestled in the heart of the Waterloo-Pinckney State Recreation Area. Ride it all or try a shorter loop.

Similar to last year, this year’s Triple Trail Challenge is a 2-day, pre-register only event. You can ride on Friday, September 15 or Saturday, September 16 or both!  The rain date is September 17th. This non-competitive ride is capped at 700 riders, so register early!  

Entry to the event is $40 and is pre-register ONLY. There will be no day of registration! You will receive a number plate for your bike and a wristband which is required for entry to the beer garden. Proceeds and donations from TTC 2023 will help fund the Poto Revitalization Project.

Register for 2023 Triple Trail Challenge here

Registration includes a course map, an aid station stocked with food, hydration and mechanical support, AND an entry to the after party. The aid station and after party will take place on Saturday only (rain date Sunday the 17th).  The aid station, post ride food, swag, and entertainment are provided by Tree Fort Bikes.  Local craft beer from Wolverine State Brewing Co. will be available for $5 per glass. 

Pre-order merchandise by August 16th at midnight

TTC logo pint glasses and men’s and women’s event T-shirts (see below) are available by pre-order only here! Pint glasses are $15, and t-shirts are $30. 

Packet pickup

Number plates, wrist bands and pre-ordered merchandise can be picked up at Tree Fort Bikes 1866 Whittaker Rd. Ypsilanti from September 11th to 15th. We will also have a pickup station one night only at Wolverine State Brewing Co., 2019 W. Stadium Blvd in Ann Arbor. Look for the Poto MBA tent in the parking lot on Thursday, September 14th from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. 

The Route

The route will be similar to last year, using the connector as a one way trail, paved path to the Waterloo hiking trail at Green Lake/M-52 to Bush Rd./ McClure Rd. into Sugar trail, then the return route. Be aware that trails may run through areas open to hunting, so orange or bright colors are recommended.

The after party is held on the picturesque shore of the Silver Lake swimming area. You can take a refreshing dip in the lake and hang out! Each trail has a unique character. Poto is known for its “old school”, technical climbs and descents, and that big loop trail design that makes you feel like you’re far away from everything. The Waterloo-Pinckney hiking trail is a rare sight for riders and will allow you to experience the rustic beauty of the recreation area that might otherwise go unseen. Then roll on to the flow of Michigan’s “Dirt Roller Coaster”. The DTE Energy Foundation Trail is full of sculpted berms, rollers, jumps and rock piles that will have you grinning and feeling like a kid again. 

You and your friends can challenge yourself with a full-on epic adventure or scale it down to one of the shorter loop options. 

Triple Trail Challenge is the single largest fund-raiser for the Poto MBA, so register today! More info about Triple Trail Challenge can be found here:

Membership promotion – Join or renew your IMBA membership with auto renew at 2023 TTC and you will receive a free limited edition Poto pint glass. 

Triple Trail Volunteers Needed!We need your help! For this event to run smoothly, we need many volunteers during TTC and beforehand. A little of your time can go a long way! You can volunteer and still do the ride. Sign up for one of the many flexible volunteer options on Sept. 16 here or to help with handing out merchandise and registration packets at Wolverine State Brewing on Sept. 14th here.

Bike Skills Clinic at Brighton Recreation Area

Potawatomi Mountain Bike Association will be hosting a mountain bike skills clinic the weekend of June 3-4th at Brighton Recreation Area. The clinic will run Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 am to 4 pm. You can sign up for Saturday or Sunday or BOTH. Two clinics on Saturday and one on Sunday will help you improve your skills! Cost is $150 dollar per day. Space is limited so sign up today! 

Saturday’s 9:30 am to 4 pm Tech Clinic will focus on the skills necessary to navigate technical trail features. We’ll start with some building blocks and then move into our other topics of slow speed maneuvers, navigating up and down steep features, high speed cornering, and technical climbing and descending.

Sunday’s All Day Air Clinic

This clinic will focus on getting your wheels off the ground (safely). The morning will start with some building blocks and then move into drops practice followed by jumps. Most of the day will be spent off trail on ramps and will be progression focused.

To sign up click here:–4

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day – It’s Back!

The Potawatomi Chapter of the Michigan Mountain Biking Association is excited to announce its Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day event (#TKMBD) at Brighton Recreation Center, Sandhill Pavilion, on Saturday, June 11 from 10am-2pm. This event is part of an international celebration supported by IMBA to encourage communities to join together and ride mountain bikes with kids. Learn more by clicking here.

For more information on our event

Poto Chapter Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

Poto Revitalization Project Orange Jerseys

Poto Revitalization Project Orange Jerseys – Order by September 19

Looking to be highly visible for the Fall and hunting season? We’ve updated this year’s Castelli jersey in orange in multiple short and long sleeve designs with men and women sizing. $15 from each jersey sale goes directly to the Poto Revitalization Project.

In order to access the Castelli store, view jerseys and place an order, you will need to create an account first. The store closes on September 19th and jerseys are expected to ship around Halloween. Jerseys will ship directly to buyers and have a shipping cost of $15. Order here.

Poto Revitalization Project Jerseys

Poto MBA is pleased to announce this exciting new Castelli jersey design to commemorate the Poto Revitalization Project. We couldn’t decide on a single color theme, so you have the option of two color choices! You can pick your preferred one in the store, or order both if you can’t pick just one! You must create an account to access the Castelli store. $15 from each jersey sale goes directly to the Poto Revitalization Project, where we are continuing to add sustainable improvements to the trail while maintaining the ruggedness that we all love. Jerseys will ship directly to buyers after the store closes. The shipping cost is $15. Order yours today! Store closes on July 10th.

Catch-up, Volunteer, Donate

Post-Meeting 2021 Poto Email Communication

Thank you to all of you who were able to join us for this week’s Poto MBA Membership meeting. It was great to see so many members in attendance. 

Catch-up: Membership Meeting Presentation

A lot is underway in our chapter. For those of you unable to join, catch-up by reviewing the presentation.

Volunteer: We need your help.

We are looking for help in three main areas:

  • Trail maintenance: Segment Adopters, Brush mowing crew, Trail work days
  • General support: Board member, fundraising, grant writing, marketing/social media, graphic design, volunteer recognition and more…
  • Event support: Take a Kid Mtn Biking – 6/13 (co-lead and day of support), Triple Trail Challenge – 9/18 (planning and day of support)

Learn more and let us know of your interest in the 2021 Poto MBA Volunteer Interest form

Interested in being a DTE Foundation Trail Segment Adopter? The sign-up for each section is now available:

Questions? Email

Donate: No time, but still want to contribute? Make a financial donation? PotoMBA is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Your donation is tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

Poto MBA General FundContribute to maintenance, trail, operations, and equipmentDonate to Poto MBA via PayPal

Donate to Poto MBA via Square
Poto Revitalization ProjectContribute to revitalizing the Poto!Donate to the Poto Revitalization Project via PayPal
DTE Foundation Trail FundContribute to further development of DTEDonate to the DTE Trail Fund via PayPal

DTE Energy Foundation Trail Adopt-a-Segment Program

We get many inquiries from folks about how they can volunteer for trail work at DTE. Well, it is your lucky day! We are re-opening our DTE Energy Foundation Trail Adopt-a-Segment Program to the public today. Read the text on the Sign-Up Genius link below. Most things are explained there. The only thing we’ll reiterate here is that, if you sign-up to adopt a section, please make sure you are willing and able to commit to the adoption – not unlike picking up a new pet at the Humane Society. As stated on the page, we will be having a Zoom meeting in early April to go over section adoption protocols and procedures. All slots at this point are on a first-come-first-served basis.

Thanks in advance to all of our great volunteers who help make DTE one of the best trails around!

Poto Fall Membership Drive

Want More Trails Close to Home?

Mountain biking has helped us all get away, clear our heads, stay healthy, and enjoy time outdoors. We suspect every mountain biker has looked down the trail and appreciates it now more than ever.

Our quality trails don’t magically appear.  Trails happen because of the efforts of the Potawatomi Mountain Biking Association, dedicated members and volunteers.   We need your support to continue to create, maintain, and preserve your mountain bike experience.

Trail stewards and advocates matter now more than ever. Protecting and maintaining the trails we all love and enjoy is increasingly important as mountain biking popularity grows. Now is the time to get more involved.

Join  or renew anytime, but prize drawings are only available until October 31!!  Sign up by midnight on Halloween you will be registered to win a Yeti SB1165 C2, Yeti SB140 C2 or several other prizes from the International Mountain Bike Association!

Join Now.

Letter from the President

Dear Poto MBA Membership,

As you know, the Poto MBA decided to cancel our membership meeting this evening due to the COVID-19 pandemic we are experiencing. It’s an unprecedented time of uncertainty, frustration, and restlessness. As a result, I wanted to take the opportunity to write this letter to membership to share some exciting and positive news from the Poto MBA. 

First, I’d like to introduce myself as the new President of the Poto MBA, effective March 1st. I’ve been Vice-President for 4+ years. Professionally, I work for a global company as a Product Environmental Compliance Manager. In short, I make industrial products more environmentally friendly. I’ve been riding for about 13 years. I’ve done some racing in the past, but I’m mostly about adventures and embracing nature on the trails. I dabble in gravel as well. Life throws unexpected things at us at times, so I’m a bit rusty in my current state, but I’m currently working up to riding from Banff to Whitefish, Montana this summer. I’m pretty stoked, but enough about me.

The current Poto MBA board consists of:

Chapter Officers:

Jenny Schultz, President
Carl Loomis, Vice-President
Mike Balhorn, Treasurer
Amanda Hatfield, Secretary

Board Members:

Jason Aric Jones
Jen Conine
Julie Ingram
Doug Helland

I rode Poto for the first time in quite a while on Sunday. There was still some ice on the bodies of water in places. The birds were singing, and the trees were budding. It was nice to see all the social distancing in progress – many hikers and riders were out experiencing the joy of the trail. Our trails are officially open for the season. 

Spring is a time of renewal. It’s also an excellent time to think about revitalization of the Poto. 

In early 2020, a membership survey was distributed. A few key points from the survey results are listed below.

 • Responses reinforce the mission of the Poto MBA around trail maintenance, development and advocacy for mountain biking

• Users view the “Top 4” most important Poto MBA’s objectives to be: trail maintenance (77%), new trail development (59%), sustainable reroutes (51%), protecting challenging terrain (51%) and advocacy (49%).

• Views on 2020 fundraising objectives prioritize improving the quality of existing trails, adding features to build skill, and building new trail

• Top focus for targeted fundraising: 1). addressing erosion concerns at the Poto, 2.) addition of technical features/drop/jumps (not trail specific, general comment) 3). more mileage/trails

• Trail maintenance responses suggest there is greater desire for trail maintenance volunteer opportunities than is being offered currently

• 61% expressed interest in trail maintenance volunteering, 34% felt not enough opportunities, 19 provided their names to be contacted to volunteer, 52% would like to learn more trail techniques

• Enhanced communication on trail maintenance opportunities is needed

• More clarity on PotoMBA goals and progress and enhanced communications are desired

• The majority of users feel PotoMBA trails meet their wants (71%), but they would like to continue to see more to continue the trajectory the chapter is on

• Recognition for chapter efforts is evident and most view PotoMBA as effective (8.25/10), with room for improvement

Our mission is to “maintain and develop mountain biking trails, promote and advocate for the sport of mountain biking, and build the mountain biking community in Washtenaw and Livingston counties. The Poto MBA values the survey feedback and we are taking action to incorporate the survey outcome into our planning for 2020 and beyond.

In alignment with the top focus for targeted fundraising being addressing erosion concerns at the Poto, we would like to announce that we are focusing fundraising efforts on the “Potawatomi Trail – Sustainable Preservation and Improvement Plan”, or Poto Project for short. The Poto has some erosive unsustainable trail conditions due to dated trail building techniques and heavy usage by multiple user groups. The objective of this plan is to maintain the well-respected ruggedness of the Poto, while improving the longevity of the trail by implementing modern sustainable trail building techniques. We have set a target goal to raise $300K in the next three years to support this initiative, which will allow us to hire professionals to get the job done. We will be performing a formal assessment which will allow us to detail the plan further in a professional way. The plan will be broken into workable phases which can be prioritized accordingly.

On March 6 at the Friend’s Summit in Roscommon, the Poto MBA and Pinckney Recreation Area were awarded the opportunity to participate in the Trails-to-Table program. The Michigan DNR is partnering with New Holland Brewing Co. for the popular “Trails-to-Table” event in 2020 to highlight state park destinations and raise funds for groups’ projects. We were one of five groups across the state to be selected to partner on these events featuring curated meals, outdoor recreation, education opportunities and much more. This event is in the early planning stages, but volunteers will be required to manage ticket sales and to support the event. All proceeds from this event will support the “Potawatomi Trail – Sustainable Preservation and Improvement Plan”. The event will take place on Saturday, August 29th at Pinckney Recreation Area. 

We have been awarded a second Moosejaw/Walmart Foundation Grant. This grant was for $25k. Funding from this grant will also be applied to the Poto Project. The first Moosejaw/Walmart Foundation Grant enabled us to reinforce the entrance of the Poto trail with rock armoring by utilizing Spectrum Trail Designs professional trail building services. The intent was to showcase how we can use modern trail building techniques to address erosive conditions in an effective way. Feedback has been positive.

We have applied for an MDNR Partnership Match to match the second Moosejaw/Walmart Foundation Grant as well. And, this is hot news off the presses – we received confirmation today that we were granted the 2020 Partnership Match Program Award. Another $25k! We are so excited!

We are actively seeking other funding resources to support this initiative. This will be quite the undertaking, but given the tremendous success we have had at DTE Energy Foundation Trail, we believe that it is possible to revitalize the Poto. Naming rights for donors on sections might even be a possibility. We are open to ideas!

Let’s now move to the DTE Energy Foundation Trail. Green Lake, Big Kame, Winn, and Sugar loops have been fully built out. The trail has officially opened this week, and we are all eager to get out there. It is important to understand that the trail will require continued maintenance to keep it in pristine condition. We need to protect it and it is a priority for us. Poto MBA has agreed to allocate funds for maintaining DTE Energy Foundation Trail on an annual basis. Just because the trails are built out, does not mean that our work is done. We continue to graciously accept donations to help cover this ongoing expense.

It is appropriate to now mention a recent Michigan DNR Land Use Order that has been put into place which allows the Michigan DNR to ticket trail users when the trail is officially closed. Offenders can be cited and fined up to $500. An educational approach will be favored at first, but it allows the land managers to enforce the trail closures when and where appropriate on state land. This applies to Waterloo, Pinckney, and Brighton Recreation areas, as well as other state lands in Michigan.

It’s important for us to be mindful about the damage that can be caused when trail closures are not respected. The damage results in tireless hours of volunteer led repairs and increased maintenance cost. Please do not ride during trail closures, and educate your friends as well. DTE trail closures are posted solely on the DTE Energy Foundation Trail Foundation Facebook page. Trail condition status and closures are posted by volunteers on a regular basis. Not on Facebook? You don’t need to have an account to check the status on the page. Both Poto and Brighton were closed briefly recently. These closures are new initiatives to protect the integrity of the trails. We are still working out the best way to communicate trail closures for Poto and Brighton. Look out for closures from the land managers on their respective Facebook pages (Pinckney Recreation Area and Brighton Recreation Area). Another good resource for trail closure and trail condition information is the SE Michigan Trail Conditions group on Facebook. 

Another Michigan DNR Land User Order that I wanted to mention pertains to ebikes. Electric bikes (of all classes) are not permitted on MiDNR natural surface singletrack trails in Michigan, unless a land manager explicitly determines otherwise. If you see an ebike on a natural surface trail where ebikes are not permitted, report the incident to the local land manager, ranger, or conservation officer. This applies to state land (Waterloo, Pinckney, and Brighton Recreation areas, for example). Offenders can be cited and fined up to $500. Ebikes can be impounded. Many land managers are in the process of installing ebike prohibition signage.

Despite the lack of snow we received over the winter, we had very successful grooms at DTE and at Brighton. There was no shortage of people on the trails. Big thanks to Carl Loomis and Mike Balhorn for the significant amount of time they volunteered in making winter riding on our trails successful.

Nate Kearns has stepped up as Trail Committee coordinator. He will be collaborating with trail coordinators for all Poto MBA trails to understand specific trail needs, align on chapter objectives, and to encourage proper trail maintenance techniques and stewardship. I look forward to future trail days.

Now, let’s talk about membership. I’d like to give a big shout out to Doug Helland, Board Member and Membership Lead for Poto MBA. He has effectively taken initiatives to double our chapter membership, resulting in increased revenue for the chapter which allows us to continue to effectively build and maintain trails. Today, we have over 500 members in our chapter! You will see us out on the DTE trail at our membership drives later this year. 

We have a small core active team in the chapter and we actively seek volunteers to help with Poto MBA objectives, initiatives, and events.

Should you have any questions/comments or interest in volunteering opportunities, please email me directly or reach out to

Did you know that as a member of Poto MBA, you get a Mug Club discount at Wolverine State Brewing Co.? When ordering, identify yourself as a member of the Potawatomi Mountain Bike Association and ask for the Poto member mug club discount – $1 off a mug of beer! Thanks to Wolverine State Brewing Co. for their continued sponsorship. 

Upcoming Event Dates:

May 9 – Membership Drive and Skillz Clinic at DTE, Waterloo Recreation Area

June 7 – Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day at Brighton Recreation Area

August 29 – Trails-to-Table at Pinckney Recreation Area

September 19 – Triple Trail Challenge at Poto, Pinckney Recreation Area

October 3 – Membership Drive at DTE, Waterloo Recreation Area

October 16 – Batman Ride, Poto, Pinckney Recreation Area

October 31 – Poto Single Speed World Championship at Poto, Pinckney Recreation Area

December 12 – Abominable Snowman Ride at Poto, Pinckney Recreation Area

Now is a better time than ever to support the Potawatomi Mountain Biking Association as we have a lot of exciting activities planned for 2020 and beyond. Please consider joining/renewing today by clicking here:

Our trails are more important than ever. Take care of yourself, mentally and physically. Ride your bike. Be a trail steward. Enjoy nature. Be well.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. 🙂


Jenny Schultz
Poto MBA, President

Stay Connected:

PotoMBA Website
PotoMBA Facebook Page
PotoMBA Group Discussion
DTE Energy Foundation Trail Website

Join or renew your membership with the Potawatomi Mountain Biking Association today. We build and maintain the local trails that we all love to ride. Click here to join Poto MBA. 

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