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Called to Order: Fall 2015 SORBA Board of Directors Meeting Recap

By Robin Allen

To say that the Fall 2015 SORBA Board of Directors Meeting was a success is an understatement. How do I pack two fat days of mountain biking AWESOMENESS into an article short enough that you want to read it? I’ll try to be brief, but it’s going to be hard.

The Ocmulgee Mountain Biking Association worked with Frankie Willis, The Village at Indian Springs, and Dauset Trails Nature Center to create an unforgettable experience for meeting attendees. It began Friday evening, November 13th, at the McMichael House, a 1913 Arts and Crafts home in the heart of The Village. Meticulously restored, this three-bedroom home, steeped in history, but with a contemporary feel, created a warm and welcoming backdrop to an evening of casual elegance and camaraderie as the SORBA Board and friends gathered to renew and forge new acquaintances.

A bright, crisp fall morning greeted attendees as they gathered at the Visitors’ Center at Dauset Trails Nature Center, a venue offering a meeting room with the warmth of a log cabin, animal and farm exhibits, and miles of hiking and, more importantly, mountain biking trails. Special guests at the meeting were Kevin Adams, IMBA Vice President of Chapter and Membership Services, and Bruce Alt, Vice President of Government Relations. Tom Sauret, Ray Egan, and Frankie Willis welcomed the audience of 80+ mountain biking movers and shakers, and Frankie entertained the crowd with a history of Indian Springs and what The Village offers contemporary visitors (luxury accommodations, shopping, a state park, Dauset Trails, an outfitter store and bike shop, Southern Hospitality, and more).

Dan Zaffuto launched the business meeting, and a new chapter, the Florida Mudcutters from Fort Meyers, Florida was inducted into the organization. The Board discussed the importance of the officers' Code of Conduct and voted on a new set of business requirements for chapters. Kevin and Bruce spoke to reinforce the importance of chapters, and IMBA’s commitment to supporting local efforts. 

The business meeting ended with several chapter leaders talking about their experiences at IMBA leadership training, admonishing all to take advantage of these learning opportunities.  After a barbeque lunch from Fresh Air Barbeque, Terry Palmeri gave an update on the Cost Share Agreement signed with the Chattahoochee National Forest Blue Ridge District, and she also spoke about the upcoming Down n’ Dirty Gala, to be held in Atlanta in May.

Bryson City and Nantahala Area SORBA will host the Southern Mountain Bike Summit, March 18-19 2016. In addition to Land Manager training and topics, the Summit will also offer sessions on fundraising and how to bring new riders into the sport, with an emphasis on women riders.

The meeting ended at 1:30, and the troops headed to Dauset Trails for an afternoon of riding the local trails. Rocky Mountain Bicycles group photoand Cartecay Bike Shop offered sweet demo bikes; the sky was blue, the weather warm, and a fat tire, dirty good time was had by all.

After the ride, OMBA, Frankie, and The Village at Indian Springs treated us to another social with grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, dessert, and refreshements. Everyone then bundled up and gathered around fire pits at the amphitheater for an outdoor movie and the much-anticipated drawing for a free Thomson Titanium Elite 275 mountain bike. The raffle was a fundraiser for OMBA’s Arrowhead Trail, which was severely damaged by tornadoes some years back, and still needs repairs and improvements. Mike Urbanski won the bike, and OMBA raised $7500 for Arrowhead.

After the movie, some stayed to socialize by the fire, some drifted off to their lodging, but all left with memories of a weekend they’ll never forget. This meeting is over, but we’re all looking forward to meeting again in March in Bryson City. Won’t you join us and help to create, enhance, and preserve great mountain biking experiences?