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55nine Performance, Ergon, and Vassago Cycles Join Forces to Support IMBA-SORBA and Historic Trail

Dahlonega, Georgia – The 2008 Fool's Gold Mountain Bike Races & Festival put on by 55nine
Performance is teaming with the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) to create a one-of-a-
kind festival in the Southeastern US.  Both 55nine Performance and IMBA-SORBA are working together
to support improvements of the existing trail system in the Bull Mountain area of Dahlonega, Georgia,
as well as to support development of new trail to an already epic area of the Chattahoochee National
Forest.  55nine Performance will be making a cash donation to IMBA-SORBA's Land Access Fund to
support the Bull & Jake Mountain trails which was the site of IMBA's first Epic ride.  Ergon is helping in
the efforts to grow IMBA-SORBA membership by giving away a limited number of grips to all those that
sign up as a IMBA-SORBA member through the Fool's Gold events.  Vassago Cycles will be present at the
Fool's Gold event to demo their line of bicycles and to raffle one 2008 Optimus Titanium 29er mountain
bike frame valued at over $1600.  Tickets will be sold at www.vassagocycles.com and at the event for
$20.00 each.  Proceeds from the Vassago frame raffle will also go towards the Bull & Jake Mountain area
trail fund. 

Celebrate National Trails Day 2008 with IMBA-SORBA

ImageSaturday, June 7th is National Trails Day, an event sponsored by the American Hiking Society, inspires the public and trail enthusiasts nationwide to seek out their favorite trails to discover, learn about, and celebrate trails while participating in educational exhibits, trail dedications, gear demonstrations, instructional workshops and trail work projects.

NTD also provides an opportunity to thank volunteers, land managing agencies, and outdoor-minded businesses for their support in developing and maintaining trails.

IMBA-SORBA is all about trails, and chapters all over the region are hosting events. Work parties, rides, and festivals are some of the ways that our members will spend NTD.

Join in the fun, and participate in one of the following NTD IMBA-SORBA events.

SORBA Celebrates the 24-Hours of Conyers with Gary Fisher!

ImageMountain biking legend Gary Fisher will be joining the SORBA crew for the 24 Hours of Conyers, at the historic Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, GA, May 16th-18th.

Gary kicks off his weekend at the Conyers Hawthorn Suites, 1659 Centennial Olympic Parkway for the SORBA Soiree and Volunteer Reward Reception. Come hang with Gary, your friends and fantastic volunteers from SORBA, Granny Gear Productions, and the guys and gals who will be putting themselves to the test in the 2008 24 Hours of Conyers endurance race. The fun starts at 7PM.

Maverick Bikes Steps up to support IMBA-SORBA at SSUSA and Dirt, Sweat and Gears!

Image Maverick Bikes is showing their ongoing support for trail advocacy by offering up a complete Maverick Matic for silent auction at SSUSA and Dirt, Sweat and Gears 12-hour Race on the weekend of May 2nd - 3rd 2008. One lucky bidder stands to walk away with an amazing new ride valued at over $4,000 with all proceeds going to support the trail advocacy efforts of the International Mountain Bicycling Association and the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (IMBA-SORBA).

ImageThe 2008 Maverick Matic is a super fast, lightweight cross country race bike that gives a rider five and a half inches of travel that provides fantastic traction and control and "climbs like a goat," as one of our customers said. The bike will be matched with an SC32 fork also made by Maverick and all of that packaged with an XT level kit to make life fast.

Welcome SORBA Uwharrie

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Click here for larger image.

SORBA Uwharrie is SORBA’s newest chapter, and it’s growing fast. Located in the heart of North Carolina’s Piedmont region, between Charlotte and Raleigh, Uwharrie is bursting with opportunity for mountain bikers, with the Uwharrie National Forest and 60 miles of trails currently open to mountain biking at its doorstep. Designated as one of IMBA’s first ride centers, the Uwharrie area is poised to become a great destination within reach of six million outdoor enthusiasts. Developing the ride center raises the economic outlook of the area, and adds to the choices outdoor enthusiasts have in the Southeast.

The History of MTB Trails at Bull Mountain

Steve Houghton is the man most responsible for opening up Bull Mountain to mountain biking. It’s been almost twenty years since Steve first started searching for trails to ride at Bull Mountain. Here’s his summary about how it all started.

by Steve Houghton

Mountain Bike Capital of Georgia

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Marco Falgiano, David Ralston, Mike Palmari

Just prior to lunch break, this past Wednesday, the Georgia House passed a resolution submitted by Ellijay Mountain Bike Association requesting designation for Gilmer County as the "Mountain Biking Capital of Georgia".

Ellijay is home to 100 pristine miles, 400 miles when including surrounding counties which are also maintained by Ellijay Mountain Bike Association. Marco Falgiano, President of EMBA, expressed his appreciation for accepting the resolution and encouraged all in attendance to come ride Ellijay.

IMBA-SORBA Board Holds Spring Meeting

ImageOn Saturday, March 15, the SORBA Board of Directors held their spring meeting at Mulberry Gap Bunkhouses outside of Ellijay, GA. SORBA's Executive Board, representatives from 22 chapters, SORBA staff, and several special guests made the trek to this scenic mountain get-away to conduct business, teach and learn, and get to know all the SORBA leaders better. Ryan Schutz of IMBA came to visit all the way from Boulder, CO.

The general meeting began at 11:00 AM in the Pole Barn, a roofed structure that is open on three sides. The floor was covered in mulch, and we sat a picnic table or in folding chairs. It's a nice, open, airy space, but the weather was not cooperative with the setting. Thunderstorms rolled through, and we had to suspend the meeting more than once, because voices couldn't be heard above the noise of the rain beating on the metal roof. The Mulberry Gap staff provided hot coffee, which helped take the chill out of the wet morning. Spirits were not dampened, and the meeting continued in spite of the rain.

Atlanta Chapter Receives Grant to Enhance Olympic Mountain Biking Course in Conyers, Georgia

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Conyers, GA

SORBA Atlanta received a $500 grant from the USA Cycling (NORBA)/International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Trail Tune-Up Grants Program. Seven Trail Tune-Up Grants were awarded to mountain biking groups seeking to jump-start trail improvement projects. SORBA Atlanta will use this grant to make improvements to the Olympic Mountain Bike trail system located at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, GA. The creators of the Olympic course only intended for the trails to be used for two weeks, and since then SORBA Atlanta has maintained these trails and steadily upgraded portions of them to sustainable IMBA standards. The grant will be used to reroute and reconstruct approximately one mile of the original Olympic course, install directional signage along the trail system and at the trail head, and construct a new bridge.

Only a 45-minute drive from Downtown Atlanta, this historic Olympic 9-mile trail network receives heavy use from cyclists seeking expert-level challenges. It is home to the Granny Gear 24 Hours of Conyers endurance race, held each May.

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