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Tarheel TrailBlazers Host SORBA’s Fall Board of Directors’ Meeting

BOD pic66 enthusiastic advocates from the Southeastern region attended SORBA’s fall Board of Directors’ meeting in Charlotte, NC on Saturday, November 15. Attendees participated in a business meeting and strategic planning, and heard presentations on Mecklenburg County parks, mtbproject.com and NICA in North Carolina. Once the meeting adjourned, the group headed to the Backyard Trail for guided rides, and they met up at Lola’s for dinner, beer, and a raffle to benefit the Tarheel TrailBlazers.

The Board voted to adopt a new, concise mission statement: SORBA’s mission is to create, preserve and enhance great mountain biking experiences in the Southeastern United States. The new statement is short, sweet, and encapsulates everything we do, from trail building to group rides.

During Strategic Planning, attendees broke up into seven work groups, with each group devising strategies to address one of seven Big Questions for the organization. The questions were (ranked in order of importance):

  1. How do we support our chapters so that they can effectively carry out their missions?
  2. How do we grow membership?
  3. How do we get more participation in our programs?
  4. How do we train our leaders?
  5. How do we ensure SORBA’s sustainability?
  6. How do we most effectively work with other organizations (land managers and user groups) for mountain biking-friendly trails?
  7. How do we increase community visibility?

Facilitators led the discussion, and led the groups through a strategy screening process to determine if the proposed strategies could or should be implemented. Each facilitator presented the group’s findings to the meeting attendees, and a report of all findings will be compiled and released to SORBA’s members.

Gwen Cook, Director of Greenway Planning and Development Services spoke on the long-standing partnership jay huckingwith the Tarheel TrailBlazers and Mecklenburg County parks. Over the past 20 years the two organizations have created an extensive multi-use trail system for mountain biking. Attendees got a taste of these trails on the group ride at Backyard Trails.

Leslie Kehmeier and Brian Smith, IMBA mapping specialists, presented information on MTBProject, a web site and app for collecting and displaying information about mountain bike trails. The trail data continues to grow, and SORBA chapters are adding to that body of knowledge.

Mike Long of the Tarheel TrailBlazers spoke on the status of NICA in North Carolina. North Carolina High School Mountain Biking is the state league, and Mike is in the process of creating a bid proposal to the National Interscholastic Cycling Association to bring competitive youth cycling to North Carolina by 2015. Working with NICA, the league wishes to strengthen the mind, body and character of North Carolina’s youth through mountain biking.

The SORBA Board meets again during the Southern Mountain Bike Summit, March 20-21 in Auburn, AL. Mark your calendars, and join us there!