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SORBA Creates First Provisional Chapter

ImageSORBA Tuscaloosa has been accepted by SORBA's Executive Board as the first provisional chapter in history. As a provisional chapter, SORBA Tuscaloosa has most rights and privileges of a regular chapter, but it lacks voting rights and an individual tax ID number. Provisional status allows the chapter to recruit members and raise donations until the next Board meeting, where they can apply for full chapter status. SORBA Tuscaloosa will be petitioning for full chapter status on November 22nd at the SORBA BOD meeting in Gainesville, GA.

"SORBA's Board meets only twice a year, which means that the Board can only create chapters once every six months. This wait was a stumbling block for new chapter formation. Pending chapters needed a faster way to recruit members, work with land managers, and raise funds for trail projects. Provisional status removes these obstacles, and gives the chapter a chance to prove its viability before the Board votes to confer full-chapter status on the club. This system works for the new chapter and for SORBA, so we're glad to welcome Tuscaloosa in this way," says Bob Grieco, SORBA President.

SORBA and Maxxis Team Up for Mountaintown Creek Work Party

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ImageOver 30 intrepid volunteers gathered on August 23rd to hike and clear the Mountaintown Creek Trail in the Chattahoochee-Oconee Forest outside of Ellijay, GA. Mountaintown Creek Trail is one of the more remote mountain biking trails in the forest, and one that mountain bikers hold near and dear for it's 5.6 miles of rocky, narrow, technical descent, laced with creek crossings. Riding this trail takes strength and skill, and hiking it does, too, especially when wielding trail tools.

Fontana Festival Takes Kids Mountain Biking

What's a great way for kids to enjoy the outdoors? Take them on a mountain bike ride. And that is just what happened on July 19th thanks to the organizers of the Fontana Fest. The Fontana Fest Mountain Bike Festival is a family-oriented fundraiser to benefit The Mountain Community School Bike Club. The festival features group rides to Tsali and Fontana Village trails, live music, games and contests, and much more. This year Rusty Sprocket Productions and Pisgah Area SORBA partnered to put on a kids ride.

The SORBA Trips for Kids bikes, which at stored at Gainesville State College, where loaded up and delivered to the event via the Subaru Tour de SORBA Forester. We fitted a few bikes at Fontana Village Saturday morning and then headed over to Tsali for a ride. It was a beautiful summer day to explore the Thompson loop trail. Tsali has long been a mountain bike destination in the southeast and we saw a few familiar faces, jerseys and bikes on the trail.

Mountaintown Creek Trail Proposal

ImageMountaintown Creek Trail is one of the oldest, most picturesque mountain bike trails in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests. Wild, narrow singletrack snakes down the mountain, tumbling over rocks and splashing across the creek. Flanked by verdant vistas, you keep your eyes focused on what lies ahead. Lose your focus, and the trail may trick you, throw you off. Mountaintown Creek demands your respect and attention-pay it or pay the price.

But, alas, at the end of the trail, the forest ends, and a stretch of private property, the Hills Lake neighborhood, lies between you and your car. This is a problem for anglers, hikers, and bikers alike, unless you want to turn around and climb up whence you came (a daunting task, at best). The Forest Service knows this is a problem for its users, and has begun to address the issue. The rangers of the Conasauga Ranger District,Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests have released a proposal to improve access to Mountaintown Creek Trail.

In summary, the USDA Forest Service proposes to route mountain bike traffic onto the existing Pinhoti Trail. The Pinhoti Trail intersects the Mountaintown Creek Trail about 1.7 miles up from the southern terminus, then turns north and follows the Mountaintown Creek trail to Forest Road 64. Mountain bikes are currently not allowed on this section of the Pinhoti Trail, and some rerouting of the trail is proposed to make the trail more suitable for mountain bike use. The Mountaintown Creek Trail below the Pinhoti Trail would be closed to mountain bikes and reserved for hikers. Also in this proposal, anglers would have a new trail built to the creek from the Bear Creek camping area parking lot. You can view the full proposal athttp://www.fs.fed.us/conf/sopa/recreation-nepa.htm.

Busy spring and summer in Middle Tennessee

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SORBA-IMBA Middle Tennessee's 1st annual RUMBLE at the ROCK cross country race finished off the 6th annual Fat Tire Fest at Hamilton Creek in Nashville. The 6.5 mile course was a bit damp for the first lap or two, but by the end of the Sport race, the trail was back to its rocky self. This 1st annual romp offered up 92 TBRA (Tennessee Bicycle Racer's Association) racers on top of the 150+ on site for Saturday's skills course, Pinnacle hill climb time trial, skid contest and kids events. The weekend was a huge hit, and we look forward to next year.

Our August 2nd Ride/ social at Lock 4 in Gallatin, TN had a great turnout. We challenged our mountain bike community to come out and ride one of our favorite trails, bring a friend and just have some fun in the dirt. We had several ride leaders that made the day a success along with our membership directors Amy and Scott Walvoord. Thanks again to Kelly Benward and all the ride leaders, Chris Cooper, Reed Lilly, and Tim Spencer. We had a large rider turnout on a perfect day on the trail.

Best of all, we had the opportunity to show several new members what we are all about. Yep, the day is always a success when we grow our membership and see so many trail and advocacy stewards out RIDING on the trails we maintain. Su-weet!

Tool fund
On July 2nd this year we started a tool fund to add some key professional-grade tools to our trail work arsenal. Within only a few weeks we exceeded $900 to add to the $500 from the Maverick Bicycle silent auction at the 2008 Dirt, Sweat and Gears 12 hour race. We have already purchased one mac-daddy Stihl brush cutter and are scheming for the next addition. Please help us grow this fund by hitting the DONATE link at www.sorbamidtn.org or email president@sorbamidtn.org.

Paulding County SORBA Dives into the Sara Babb Project

ImageWith great excitement and jubilation, on July 16th Paulding SORBA announced the signing of the MOU for Sara Babb Beginners Mountain Bike Park. On that day, Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin received the MOU from the City Attorney and made the decision to sign it.. Before the ink was dry on the MOU, Paulding County SORBA had over 100 volunteers registered from over 9 area churches to build the trail over the weekend of July 26th-27th. Paulding County SORBA had already worked with county officials to lay out two one-and-a-half-mile loops of beginner's singletrack at the park.

Sara Babb Beginners Mountain Bike Park, located at 216 Recreation Drive, Dallas, GA. is now home to a one-mile beginner loop and a quarter-mile connector trail. 73 volunteers turned out to build this trail on Saturday and 56 turned out on Sunday. Together these groups put in over 870 hours. The work included clearing the trail and cutting the tread with hand tools, as well as building 3 bridges.

Scott Martin, Secretary and Trail Liaison officer for Paulding County SORBA was justifiably proud of this effort, which brought the whole community together. A pleasant surprise is that 90 % of the volunteers who worked on this project are not regular cyclists. Says, Martin, "Your efforts this weekend were phenomenal, and I want to thank everyone who participated in the work party held at Sara Babb Park. Without you, this project wouldn't have ever happened in the time frame it did.. I feel honored to have been involved with this project and look forward to the next one."

Paulding County SORBA plans to host a grand opening for the park on Saturday, September 13th. Everyone, especially the volunteers who work on the trail, is invited. Check http://www.pauldingsorba.org/ for details on the upcoming festivities.

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