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: 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.
Vice President: Trent Walters
Trent has been a mountain biker for 26+ years. He has been married to his wife, Melissa, for 23 years. He proposed to her while the two were on a mountain bike ride together. He has two children Madie (age 16) and Katelyn (age 19), 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: 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.
Secretary 2: Jenny bagwell
Jenny has joined the Miami Valley mountain biking community in the last few years. She and her spouse, Grady, have been riding together since 2012 starting in Athens, Ohio where her riding adventures first began. Grady, their son Oliver (age 3), and Jenny can be found riding around town, on the local trails or hanging at the nearby playground after a good family ride. Jenny enjoys spending time outdoors whether riding, hiking, playing a game of pickup soccer, or "attempting" to rock climb. You can also find her at Sinclair Community College where she works in helping students achieve their academic and career goals. Jenny is passionate about bike accessibility for all people especially providing this opportunity to local kids of all ages.
Social Media & Promotions: 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.
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.
race director: John coppock
At Large Troy: 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.
At Large Sponsorship: Lynne and James Mowery
James and Lynne Mowery have been together for over 25 years. As a husband and wife team, they do everything together. Several years ago, they decided to take up mountain biking and enjoyed riding the MOMBA and John Bryan trails. Through one of their mountain biking adventures in Roanoke, VA, in 2017, they were inadvertently introduced to Cold Brew Coffee, and as a result, the idea of Fifty Rivers Cold Brew was born in January 2018. It is a family-owned business that manufactures ready-to-drink cold brew coffee in convenient pouches, along with producing lemonade (Riverade) and tea (River Chilled Tea). The Fifty5 Rivers BARge, a mobile trailer, serves its products in an open glass. Together they have found something that resonates with them in Fifty5 Rivers Cold Brew and continue their commitment to growing the business and supporting the community during their adventure. Time to be able to ride trails since starting the business has not been as feasible, but their passion for promoting mountain biking and trail riding continues, and they look forward to hitting the trails again at some point. In the meantime, they will support the biking community in every way possible.
Individually, James, along with the behind-the-scenes duties and being the master brewer at Fifty5 Rivers, is also part of a franchise business consulting team. He is an entrepreneur passionate about business, leadership, and mentoring. Lynne runs the day-to-day retail operations of Fifty5 Rivers Cold Brew.
At Large Springfield: Zachary Thorsky
I grew up always obsessed with bikes and dirt bikes. As a youngster I begged my dad to buy me a dirt bike, and once I got a dirt bike it was on from there. I started racing and riding motocross at the age of 12, and was riding BMX bikes even before that. Motocross was a very difficult sport financially, and my parents could no longer afford it, so naturally I gravitated towards freestyle BMX. Growing up near Cleveland Ohio, I was a 15 minute drive to Rays indoor MTB park. I rode there very frequently and continued riding BMX up until I left for the Air Force in 2010 at the age of 18.
After joining the AirForce, I ended up being stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB after my first 6 years at Youngstown Air Reserve Station. Being away from home and not knowing anyone in the area, I looked for a hobby to fill my time. I bought a Dick’s Sporting Goods 500$ MTB and started riding it around and instantly fell in love with mountain biking.
After participating in my first MVMBA fast laps, I was hooked. I began looking for more local races to do but the fast laps series ended, which eventually led me to hearing about the Mad Cow Fat Bike Club. The MCFBC put on free local grass roots MTB races all the time. After starting riding with the MCFBC I developed a lot of strong friendships with the cows and started training and racing more advanced competitive races.
Fast forward to now, and I was lucky enough to have the honor of riding for Cyclotherapy as one of their team sponsored riders, and in 2022 I raced over 15 national/state Gravel and MTB races and podium’d in a couple as well in the Expert/pro category, and was 2nd in the Ohio Mountain Biking Championship series (OMBC) behind my good friend, the great Larry Rust.