For almost 20 years, the MMBA and our Chapter has recognized significant trail work volunteer efforts with the First Across the Finish Line (FAFL) awards. These awards began as a small token of appreciation made possible by an anonymous memorial to Ed Berta, a volunteer who lost his life in a traffic accident on a trail day. Last year, 35 members of the Motor City Mountain Biking Association contributed at least 10 hours of time trimming trails, clearing deadfall, armoring mud holes, or other boots-on-the-ground trail work. In appreciation, each volunteer is receiving a soft-sided beverage cooler emblazoned with both our chapter and the FAFL logos.
Times they are a changin. In recent years, the mission and role of the MCMBA has grown beyond our core trail work to include more advocacy and outreach activities. For example, we have a very active National Mountain Bike Patrol group in our chapter, members of which attend group rides, help with races, and act as ambassadors to the community. We organize several significant fund raising events and races in our chapter, organized and staffed by volunteers marking courses, handling registration, and all of the behind-the-scene work that make them seem fun and effortless. We have an IMBA Certified Instructor, and host riding clinics to grow the sport and introduce new riders to responsible mountain biking. We have volunteers who write grant proposals, keep websites up and running, and design great flyers and maps. All these volunteer efforts have value to our members, our community, and our land manager partners.
In recognition of this, we are pleased to announce the expansion of our MCMBA FAFL award program to include ALL volunteer contributions to the chapter in 2015!
Of course, not all volunteer time is equal. Dodging mosquitoes while trudging a wheelbarrow full of limestone down a mile of singletrack is just a little more taxing than working on a website, leading a group ride, or hiking a trail collecting GPS data for a map. To help level the playing field, we’re going to use a point system to determine FAFL eligibility. In 2015:
- 30 points wins a FAFL award
- A trail work hour counts as 3 points
- Each hour of non-trailwork volunteer time counts as 1 point
Recording your volunteer hours – all your efforts, not just trail work – is key to making this plan work. Click here to get started!