Who We Are
We are a group of cycling and outdoor enthusiasts dedicated to the success and expansion of mountain biking in the Miami Valley. We help to maintain our local trail systems and educate on riding skills and sustainable trail use. Our work helps to keep natural spaces open for use by the entire community and ensures the safety and usability of the trails. Our events draw in every kind of rider, on every kind of bike, for every conceivable reason, mostly because the events are fun!
If this sounds like something you want to be a part of, read on about our history, take a look at our calendar of events, and check us out on Facebook. We’d love to have you along for the ride!
The Miami Valley Mountain Bike Association started as just a group of people who loved to get out and ride together. A small group of riders started talking about building a trail system for mountain bikes in the Miami Valley of Southwest Ohio. Some time later, an employee at Wright Patterson Air Force Base named Mahmoud received permission to build mountain bike trails on an unused portion of land at John Bryan State Park. After Mahmoud left the area, a member of the Wittenberg University Cycling Club, Nate Hawkins, kept things going. During this period a small core group formed to help maintain the new trails, and together they became the Miami Valley Mountain Bike Association. [The Frankenlight trail at John Bryan is named in honor of Nate!]
MVMBA joined the statewide Ohio Mountain Bike Association as the sport surged in popularity. MVMBA began to host races at John Bryan such as FastLaps and the 6-hour Race for Relief to support its efforts financially. In 2006-07, in conjunction with Five Rivers MetroParks, MVMBA assisted with the construction of a brand new trail system at Huffman MetroPark. The new trail system, MoMBA, brought mountain biking into Dayton proper, opening up the sport to thousands more area residents.
In 2012, under the leadership of Jade Gianakopulos and her husband Stacy, MVMBA joined the International Mountain Bicycling Association as an official Chapter. The club grew under their tenure and contributed to the improvements and representation of its two trail systems at MoMBA and John Bryan State Park.
After years of dedication by a few passionate volunteers, the club has progressed in filling all 13 Executive Board spots, growing its membership, launching a monthly newsletter, hosting more member social events, and more actively engaging members in trail maintenance projects. In 2018, the club joined 7 other Ohio mountain bike clubs to form Ohio MTB, a regional coalition formed to share experiences and advocate as one voice for mountain bikers of Ohio in front of land managers and elected officials. In 2019, the Troy Mountain Bike Area trail system was brought under the MVMBA umbrella.
As we go forward, MVMBA will continue this trend of strong leadership and community involvement, adding new trails and expanding riding opportunities for all riders of all abilities, throughout the Miami Valley. RIDE ON!
Meet our Board
PResident: dawn Allen
Vice President: Trent Walters
Trent has been a mountain biker for 25+ years. He has been married to his wife, Melissa, for 21 years. He proposed to her while the two were on a mountain bike ride together. He has two children Madie (age 15) and Katelyn (age 18), both of which have been into mountain biking, for over 10 years. When he is not riding or spending time with his family, Trent works as a mechanical engineer for Intelligent Construction Tools, which is a joint venture between Trimble and Hilti. When going on a family vacation, it isn’t uncommon for it to be near mountain biking locations, such as Whistler, BC , Park City, Utah, etc. On a side note, Trent prefers it when a trail points down but is okay with earning his turns.
Secretary 1: susan roosen
Susan has been a mountain biker for 12 years and has lived in the Dayton area for six. Her husband Ryan is also a mountain biker and they have a five year old son named Julian who loves to shred the local trails just like his parents. Susan is a part-time BIM Designer for a Cincinnati-based structural engineering company. She enjoys running and swimming along with biking and hopes to compete in an off-road triathlon someday soon. Her family likes to vacation at their cabin on Norris Lake in TN or in their camper all over the east and midwest, which usually puts them near some mountain bike trails!
Secretary 2: Chris Buck
Chris is a lifelong resident of the Miami Valley. He has been an avid mountain biker for the past 17 years. He currently is the Business Development Manager for Bike Miami Valley. He spends most of his time monitoring the Link Bike Share system and as well as promoting special events to engage new users of the Link Bike Share program. He is a League Certified Instructor (LCI) through the League of American Bicyclists. Chris is passionate about getting more kids on bikes and growing the number of kids that are involved in mountain biking. Chris enjoys riding bikes with his 2 young sons and can be found trying to keep up with them around the local trails.
Membership & Outreach Director: Monika Kaleps
Monika Kaleps lives in Columbus, but she was born and raised in the Dayton area and is often found enjoying the local MVMBA trails year-round, biking solo, with friends, or mentoring new riders. And she’s always up for some trail maintenance. She refers to John Bryan as her happy place and loves the challenges that MoMBA has presented her with over the years. Monika began her mountain biking journey in 2013 on an ancient 26” Giant without suspension in an effort to “conquer fears.” After suffering from a life-threatening fall while vacationing in CA she found herself confronted with something unfamiliar: Fear, a fear of heights, and fear of falling in particular. After setting a series of challenges to address these fears, including hikes, with steep climbs and drops and indoor rock climbing, it was mountain biking that presented her with her greatest challenges, ultimately becoming her greatest passion. The sport terrified her, and she was terrible. At that time there weren’t many women riding the local trails, and those who did were pretty darn good. While she did have some friends who occasionally “coached” her, she found that setting new challenges or goals every time she rode, which was often 4 or 5 times a week, was her best training. As her fitness and ability grew, so did her confidence. Sometimes it was two steps forward and one step back, but her fear of falling went away, as she got really good at falling a lot! She began her journey in the spring riding locally and in the fall she headed (with her ancient Giant) to Big South Fork, in Tennessee, an IMBA Epic ride. While she didn’t soar, and the climbs about killed her and she walked a lot of features, her heart soared! It was one of the best days of her life. After that ride, she upgraded to a new Trek, her Superfly 100 Aluminum. She continued to challenge herself, eventually racing in the Fast Laps series, the John Bryan 6 hour, and the TMBA 4 hour, and exploring parks outside of the Dayton area. Monika is very excited to be apart of the MVMBA board so she can encourage others to find their mountain biking journey and promote opportunities and new trails to make that possible.
Trail Advocacy Director: Emmy Fabich
Emmy Fabich is a downtown Dayton dweller and co-conspirator of various community projects since 2011. She received a degree in Environmental Studies from Hiram College because she loves to be in the woods. She moved to Dayton to work in the outdoor recreation industry teaching backpacking and paddle sports programs and then managed volunteers for the local MetroParks until 2015. She was also the former program manager for Bike Miami Valley - planning the Miami Valley Cycling Summit and advocating for regional cycling initiatives.
Emmy has been a bike commuter and self-taught mountain biker for almost a decade. She is a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) through the League of American Bicyclists. She also teaches river kayaking courses in her spare time and walks her dog along the nation’s largest paved trail network with her wife Katie.
business development & Marketing Director: Jordan Hart
Jordan is an Outdoor Recreation Program Specialist for Five Rivers MetroParks helping to support cycling, backcountry and paddling programs. He has a background in photography, is a local scout leader. When he’s not hitting the local trails he sometimes takes off on long distance adventures, like a 2016 cross-country bicycle tour. A current Bike ICP Level 1 Ride Guide and Fundamentals Instructor.
Treasurer 1: Paul Jones
Paul has been riding bikes as a kid and grew up riding bmx/freestyle. After growing up with quarter-pipes, half-pipes, and launch ramps sprinkled in his backyard, Paul discovered mountain biking during his time in the military in the early 90’s (the OG era of John Tomac) which combined his enjoyment of nature and cycling. Having done mountain bike and road bike racing throughout the Midwest when he was younger, Paul continues to enjoy the same pleasure in riding he did as kid and the freedom of exploration with his friends, family, and meeting people from different backgrounds at any cycling venue or event. Whether its commuting to the office on the extensive paved trails in the Dayton area, riding the surrounding mountain bike trails in the Miami Valley and beyond, or going to Mike’s Bike Park to dust off the jumping skills, cycling will always be part of Paul’s recreational activities. Paul is also the President of Bike Miami Valley, which operates a bike share system in core of Dayton, Ohio and also advocates and promotes cycling in surrounding communities. Paul is married with 2 boys that enjoy riding and is a CPA by profession.
Merchandise Director: Mark Allen
Mark is a Trail Specialist for Five Rivers MetroParks helping to design, build, and maintain hiking, equestrian, and mountain bike trails. He travels to mountain bike destinations and follows other trail builders on social media to stay up-to-date on current trends and techniques on trail construction. Mark’s goal is to work with local land managers to create diverse riding opportunities close to home. When he’s not designing or riding the local trails, he focuses his creativity on designing and finding local business to produce the MVMBA merchandise.
At-Large 1: Josh Welhener
Josh Welhener has been an active cyclist his entire adult life. He bought his first mountain bike (Giant Iguana) at the age of 18 and has been actively mountain biking and touring ever since. Josh always chooses riding with friends and having fun over speed and devoutly lives by the adage, “The faster you go, the less fun you have”. Josh’s primary riding partner is his son Philip (age 13) and they can be found regularly riding the mountain bike trails in the Miami Valley as well as going on long distance tours.
Recently Josh and his son began working with the Troy Mountain Bike Area trail crew and have found the experience very rewarding. For 2021 they plan to increase their involvement and hope to help plan more events at TMBA.
Professionally, Josh is a trained non-profit professional that has a lot of experience with all facets of non-profit management. For his 9-5, Josh works to help the disability community develop social capital as well as helping youth with disabilities transition from school into adulthood.
At-Large 2: mike bisig
Michael Bisig is the owner of Mike’s Indoor Bike Park, an indoor cycling facility with full-service bicycle shop, in Dayton, OH. Before opening Mike’s Indoor Bike Park, Michael received his Bachelor and Masters of Music Education degrees from Wright State University (Dayton, OH) and spent close to twenty years as a music educator in Ohio.
When Michael is not hitting the trails on his mountain bike or speeding around on his road bike, you can probably find him performing in any number of funk and rock bands throughout Ohio!
Treasurer 2: Brian & Angie Straughn
Brian and Angie Straughn started their journey with mountain biking four years ago while visiting Asheville, NC. They rented bikes and spent the day riding trails in DuPont State Forest. Since that first ride, Brian and Angie have ridden mountain bike trails in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Nevada, and several systems in Ohio. While they love to mountain and road bike, they have jobs to support their biking habit. Brian is an engineer with Honda of America in Anna, and Angie is a pharmacist at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. They live in Troy and have two children Allison and Adam who they keep trying to get interested in mountain biking.
Trail Steward Leads: Kyle & Kellye Texter
Kyle was introduced to mountain biking as a kid in Erie, Pennsylvania. He picked up the sport again a few years after moving to Ohio and finding trails in the area. He is an IT Administrator for a plastic injection molding company. Kellye started mountain biking several years ago, becoming more active over time, with experience and learning to love her rides. She is a Physician Assistant in Urology/Surgery. Kyle and Kellye also enjoy road biking and other outdoor activities. With two trips to Bentonville completed, they plan to include more mountain bike based vacations in their future travel plans.
Kyle and Kellye look forward to increasing and facilitating participation in trail maintenance so everyone can continue to enjoy our local trails.