2020 has been challenging for everyone. From the tragic loss of life, months of isolation and uncertainty, and the economic hardship facing millions of Americans, we experienced a lot of sleepless nights. Perhaps that’s why missing out on our favorite group rides and cycling events have been so tough; when we need a sense of community and normality, so many of us look first to the trails.
Way back in the first weekend of March, the wonderful folks at the Iceman Cometh Challenge added the opportunity to donate to Michigan Mountain Biking Association to let racers choose to support our mission. That weekend, hundreds of Iceman riders raised thousands of dollars in just a few days, a generosity we didn’t expect but greatly appreciate.
Since then, dozens of important events have been canceled. Events like the Barry-Roubaix, Yankee Springs Time Trial, Mud, Sweat and Beers, the Traverse City Trails Festival, and many more were put on hold until 2021 in the interest of safety. What many mountain bikers may not realize is that those events are absolutely vital in funding projects and maintenance by local trail associations. Race participation and sponsorship are integral parts of funding new trails, basic maintenance, and supporting advocacy efforts at the local and state level.
Finally, near the end of summer, the inevitable happened. The Iceman Cometh Challenge crew canceled the November 7 race out of concern for racers and the wider community. They were still able to make their donation to MMBA this year thanks to the overwhelming support of racers, and we’re bringing it back to those racers’ communities. The donation, which totals over $16,000, will be used to help trail associations finish projects that may have been stopped or delayed due to issues caused by COVID-19.
We are already working with our affiliate chapters to identify their needs and invest in trails that offer communities important outdoor recreation experiences. If there’s a bright side to the pandemic, it’s been than more Americans than ever are finding a renewed love of mountain biking, hiking, and trail running. This push outdoors has offered Michigan an opportunity to welcome and grow a whole new generation of trail users that will continue to protect and grow our trails for years to come.
On behalf of MMBA and all our affiliate trail associations, we’d like to thank the hundreds of Iceman racers who donated to the cause. Together, we can create more memories once we’re all back together.
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook