Resignation Announcement

Hello friends and Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists,

It is with bittersweet feelings that I announce to you my resignation from my position as Executive Director for MORC. On January 7th I will begin my new role working for the City of Duluth as Trails Coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Department. I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead and very excited to continue my passion for supporting recreational access to the outdoors.

I’m proud of how significantly the organization has developed in my 5-years serving as MORC’s ED, and though writing this message is indeed tinged with mixed emotion, I do feel this transition will ultimately prove a positive next step in the evolution of MORC. The organizational structure, policies, procedures, and systems we’ve implemented allow MORC to operate unlike most any other trails nonprofit. Our trail volunteers get to focus on the trails themselves, while our Directors and Committee volunteers take care of the day-to-day business operations, events, marketing, branding, communication, finance, fundraising, membership, and technology needs. 

For the time being MORC will revert to once again operating as a 100% volunteer nonprofit organization. Today MORC is comprised of 90+ trail volunteers, supported by a board of 15 Directors serving on 7 standing committees. I leave the organization stronger than it’s ever been, and it’s thanks to our outstanding community of riders, members, supporters, as well as our incredible, selfless, and devoted volunteers.

There is much gratitude and appreciation to give but I’d like to give my sincere thanks to each and every one of you. If you’re reading this message then YOU are MORC! By simply enjoying the trails, you are a “roll” model and an advocate. By being a member you are staying connected to what’s happening in Twin Cities area off-road cycling (sometimes behind the scenes) and strengthening our voice. Your support is what makes it all possible, without you we’re nothing. Thank you. It’s been a great ride and I’m glad to have been part of it.

Ride on,
-Matt Andrews

2018 MORC Board of Directors

MORCtober News!

2018 Q3 Accomplishments Report

The MORC organization is comprised of a large network of volunteers (roughly 100 regular/recurrent individuals). Besides providing great trails and awesome experiences, the organization focuses on several initiatives in support of our mission. In order to better communicate the work we do, the following report is produced and published each quarter.

  • Hosted REI National Trails Day
  • Attended City of Minnetonka Open House
  • $125,000 Recreational Trails Program grant accepted for Carver Lake Park
  • …click here to read more

Monti the Moose!

Did you hear about “Monti” the moose? A young bull moose recently made headlines here in central Minnesota after he was spotted visiting several area parks in and around Monticello- including the mountain bike trails at Bertram Chain of Lakes! Our guess is he heard of the 4-miles of new trail and recently installed features, and just needed to see it for himself

Though it’s quite likely he’s now left the area, there’s a Facebook group dedicated to tracking his movements.

Battle Creek Awesomeness

The Battle Creek crew have aggressively ramped up efforts to build, improve, and maintain trails! There are still 3 trailwork sessions scheduled yet this Fall, check out the Facebook page to learn more about supporting our efforts in St Paul, and to see images of all the awesome work our volunteers are doing out there. Trail Steward, Scott Thayer, has also established an email distribution list, email to join.

MORC in May

Dig em All Challenge!

Throughout the 2018 Dirt Season, MORC challenges our community to get out and DIG with us!

Last year we introduced the ‘Ride em All’ Challenge, encouraging our community to get out and ride all 13 MORC destinations. This year we’ll award points for attending regularly scheduled, weekly trailwork days and offer 3 tiers of prize packages for participants.

Simply click the image to the right to visit the campaign page and learn more!

  • Register for a weekly trailwork session at any of the trails
  • Go dig, have fun, meet the volunteers responsible for providing such awesome trails
  • Log your Hours in order to accumulate points- 1 point per session, up to 2 points per trail, a total of 24 points possible
The upcoming REI National Trails Day (Saturday, June 2nd at Betram) will also be a points qualifying work session! Register with REI online, then log your hours via the Dig em All Challenge webpage.

Thank You for making our Spring Member kickoff a smashing success! Membership contributions account for up to 30% of our annual operating budget. Suffice to say that we simply could not accomplish our goals without the support of our community- thank you for being a part of it!

MORC News- April

 

Minnetonka Open House

Advocacy efforts continue thanks to the Minnetonka MTB Trail Advocates! The City has identified Lone Lake Park as a potential site to host sustainable, family-friendly, multi-use singletrack trails. However, a small but vocal opposition group continues to express concern. In effort to help mitigate these concerns, and provide education on what exactly singletrack is, MORC will be present at the upcoming Minnetonka Open House. We encourage you join us, especially if you’re a Minnetonka resident!

Thursday, May 17
7:30–9 a.m., 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 5–7 p.m.
Minnetonka Community Center
Council Chambers

4 New Miles coming to Bertram!

Thanks to our partnership with Wright County, and the award of a Federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant, Bertram Chain of Lakes in Monticello will undergo some exciting development and expansion in 2018. The North section of the park will see a total trail rebuild, multiple bridges, boardwalks, and various technical features will also be constructed throughout the park. All told, 4 new miles of singletrack will be established! Bertram remains one of MORC’s best kept secrets- if you’re looking for a new riding destination with a rugged, backcountry feel and advanced level features be sure to venture up to Bertram this upcoming dirt season!

Get your bike in NOW for service

Don’t wait until Memorial Day! That is, unless you want to wait a week, or longer, for your annual Spring maintenance to be complete. Our bike shop supporting partners are ready to receive your bike and provide you with great, professional service!

 

Other News:

MORC News- March

 
Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists Newsletter

Where’s the Beef…um, we mean Dirt

All area trails are closed for the bi-annual freeze/thaw period as we await the underlying frost to dissipate, but never fear- Dirt Season will soon be upon us (historically trails open early-mid April). With the Spring thaw will come some much needed maintenance and tender loving care from our community of volunteers- people just like you! Each trail hosts a weekly trailwork session April – October, stay tuned to your favorite trail’s Facebook page, or visit the community forums, for details on when/where you can get involved.

“Fat and Happy”

The crew at Prairie Sportsman recently spent a couple days with MORC filming a segment on fat bikes and Winter riding! Catch the recent episode at prairiesportsman.org

Won’t you be my neighbor?

MORC is thrilled to partner with local Minneapolis advocates working to engage and inform our neighbors, unite the bike community, rally advocates, and partner with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board in an effort to see bike parks (bicycle playgrounds, pump tracks, skills courses, and single track) added to our neighborhood and regional parks.
Check out the MPLS Bike Parks initiative, and be sure to join the conversation on Facebook. Together, we can bring more off-road riding opportunities to Minneapolis!
 

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

     Ridership Survey

As an organization, we often speak in terms of “ridership” rather than membership. Though membership provides up to 30% of our annual fundraising, we know the trails support a much broader range of users than is reflected by our membership. So, to help represent the interests of all, we’ve put together the following survey to gain a better understanding of our community, and how to improve upon creating equitable access to trails for all. Please take the time to help us do better by completing this survey. Link to Survey

MORC- February News

 Minnesota Spring
February 2018 News

More Trails? Yes Please!

Last month we shared news of the development being incorporated into the Battle Creek Master Plan. Today we’re very excited to share with you that approximately 5.4 miles of fresh singletrack has been approved for construction within Edina’s largest park- Braemar Park!

Congratulations to the City of Edina for completing the arduous process of developing the Braemar Master Plan, we look forward to a new riding opportunity coming to the West Metro!

Suds. Studs. and Singletrack

A heartfelt THANKS to our friends at Able Seedhouse & Brewery for hosting a MTB film night back in January to benefit MORC. Longtime supporters Angry Catfish Bicycle Shop + Coffee Bar, and Salsa Cycles provided complimentary bike demos, and many area industry friends contributed schwag to ensure a well attended event.

We’ll be coordinating more community events with area brewery partners throughout the year. Stay tuned to our Facebook events calendar to learn more!

Annual Trail Steward & Dirt Boss Meeting

Each year, MORC trail leadership gathers to connect, discuss, and collaborate on larger organizational initiatives, as well as review the maintenance and development plans for each trail. In addition to our annual budgeting and trail planning processes, this session provides opportunity for trail leaders to guide our initiatives. The MORC volunteer network is comprised of over 100 individuals, half of which have received training and hands-on instruction for sustainable trail design, building principles, and maintenance techniques. These individuals literally make your ride a reality- be sure to say thanks when seeing them out on the trails!
 

 

 

Events

 

 

Trail Update

The dreaded and sensitive Freeze/Thaw period is upon us as we welcome the sunshine and embrace feelings of Spring. Please be aware of the upcoming, system-wide, extended trail closures:
Trail Conditions Page.

MORC members and volunteers are our best trail advocates and ambassadors. We ask that you please continue to educate newer trail users in a friendly and positive way!

Love Thy Trail- Join or Renew Your MORC Membership
to Help Maintain the Trails
Even though the “holiday” has come and gone, February is a great time to show your trail some LOVE. Please consider joining or renewing your membership today!

https://www.morcmtb.org/join

MORC in the New Year

Minnesota Spring
January 2018 News

New Year, New Initiatives

We’re excited to welcome 5 new Directors to the MORC organization this year! Alongside our Committee volunteers, MORC Directors remain focused on the many essential functions necessary to operate a non-profit business, granting our awesome network of trail volunteers the freedom to focus on providing quality trail experiences for all users.

For 2018 we’ll continue to hone our membership program, and will additionally be introducing new trail builder & trail user education services. If you’ve interest in serving any of MORC’s standing committees, simply reply to this email for more details!

 

Battle Creek Master Plan

Have you heard the news? Ramsey County, in partnership with MORC, is proposing an addition of 21+ miles of new singletrack! Public comment period is open now through February 3rd- review the plan, conceptual design maps, and add your voice by visiting the below website:
Battle Creek Master Plan

 

 

Events

  • Carver Lake Cold Catfish Cup- Sunday January 21st
  • Get Phat w/ Pat- Saturday January 20th & January 27th
 

Trails Update

Trail use during the sensitive Freeze/Thaw period caused excessive damages to multiple area trail systems. MORC members and volunteers are our best trail advocates and ambassadors, please continue to educate newer riders in a friendly and positive way!

EOY Giving

     
Winter is (Finally) Here-
And what an incredible year it’s been!

  • Over 1,000 Members! We exited the now discontinued IMBA Chapter Program, allowing us to keep 100% of member dues local, and facilitating membership growth.
  • Over 5,000 Volunteer hours! We saw outstanding work accomplished by our network of 100+ volunteers; over 10% of our membership are active volunteers.
  • Over $700,000 has been contributed to MORC trails since 2016.

Looking to the future, many opportunities exist for MORC to expand our reach and provide greater trail access to underserved communities throughout the metro. In the past year alone, MORC has been involved with supporting the establishment of, or improvement to, 9 new trail systems not currently within the MORC ‘Family of Trails’.

Unlike a traditional business however, we do not sell our services in order to fuel our growth. We instead rely on the financial support of our community in order to both maintain what we already have, and to meet current demands for expansion. If you ride the trails, and you’d like to see more riding opportunities developed throughout the Twin Cities metro, we need your support!

We are truly fortunate to have such incredible access to trails, and it is thanks to our community of supporting members, contributing partners, and dedicated volunteers. Without you, this simply would not be possible.

Wishing you a happy new year, with gratitude,
-Matt Andrews
MORC Executive Director

     

MORC News: End-of-Year

2017 in Review

Now that we’re fully in the midst of Minnesota’s annual freeze/thaw, the time is perfect to reflect upon the past riding season, the successes of our trails, and the organization as a whole.

Each and every MORC volunteer should be deeply proud of what has been accomplished through their dedication, persistence, and direct action. This was a year for us to celebrate surpassing 100 miles of singletrack under the MORC umbrella- but a time for celebration does not mean we can rest on our laurels and stop to smell the roses. With great trails, comes great responsibility! The trails, from Battle Creek to Bertram Chain of Lakes, and everything in between saw first-rate support with professional grade maintainance. Many crews also implemented impressive improvements to existing trail: armoring, re-routing, and awesome-fying the ride experience!

With the support of our outstanding partners, MORC hosted several successful and exciting community events. Happy Hour events with our friends at Sociable Cider Werks, Surly Brewing Company, Angry Catfish Bicycle & Coffee Bar (at their new Northern Coffee Works location), and UnMapped Brewing were a great opportunity to connect with our community, while raising some funds for MORC.

Our ‘Ride em All’ Challenge, and the accompanying TrailsFest event saw fantastic engagement and participation- reaching 1,000’s of riders.

In October we proudly welcomed Rebecca Rusch to Minnesota, and helped to host the screening of Red Bull Media film Blood Road- raising money in support of the Mine Advisory Group (MAG) working in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, to decomission unexploded ordinances leftover from the war which ravaged those countries and continue to be a danger to the local communities.

The 4th annual MORC Gala once again proved our single highest fundraising event of the season, drawing outstanding support from contributors, donors, and attendees alike.

Combined, our events were truly a model of success. The outpouring of support from our community surpassed our expectations and continues to inspire and guide our commitment as we head into our annual recruitment and planning phase.

Director Recruitment

Now through the end of November, MORC is accepting applications from those interested in supporting our Committees, and/or joining the Board of Directors.
To apply, please visit: https://www.morcmtb.org/apply/
Questions? contact us via email at: President@morcmtb.org