If you’ve shown up to any of the WMBC build days over the past couple of years, you’ve likely run into Michael, his wife, Leigh, and their trail dog. They are super approachable folks who love to ride and dig as much as possible. They also both recently received their USFS sawyer certifications and have dove head-first into our community….we’re really glad to have them!
Michael was a huge help on the Gate and Switch bridge last summer, has been helping clear blowdown a ton this winter and is game to help wherever needed. He’s one of those people who can take on projects that aren’t considered the glory work – like drainage or brushing a trail. We asked Michael a few questions about himself below.
WMBC: How long have you been mountain biking and how/where did you get your start riding trails?
MN: I started biking over 20 years ago. I really got into it when I was living in Ketchum in the late 90’s ski bumming, and it was the summer sport.
WMBC: Personal preference….XC or DH riding?
MN: DH is all smiles and high fives. Love the trail rides, but for pure fun factor I have to go with DH.
WMBC: Give us a couple of your favorite trails in the area.
MN: Double Black/Double Down is the new classic. On Galby, Prison Love/Lair of the Bear for creative design. Orient Express, SST, Bobs, and Evo get the smile going.
WMBC: How long have you been in Bellingham and what brought you here?
MN: My wife and I moved here 2.5 years ago. Seattle was growing and it was time to get out. We have family here, and wanted easier trail access.
WMBC: What motivated you to start doing trailwork? What’s the most rewarding aspect of digging to you?
MN: Being involved with Evergreen and learning from Bryan Connolly. I love doing problem solving in trail design, trying to figure out what the terrain is giving us, and how to make it fun.
WMBC: What does being a good steward mean to you?
MN: To me it is being a part of our environment and acting accordingly. Finding a balance that promotes recreational access while protecting the land, but also respects our neighbors, other user groups.
WMBC: Any shout outs you’d like to give or anything else we should know?
MN: I am constantly astonished from the Bellingham community of volunteers. For woodwork, a big shout out to Jimmy Fricker. For dirt work, I am a big fan of Jeff Jaap’s trails. The WMBC board does a fantastic job. I am amazed that I get to live here.