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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.

Trips for Kids Ride at Yellow River Park

ImageSORBA Atlanta and the Atlanta Boys and Girls Club hosted a Trips for Kids outing at Gwinnett County's Yellow River Park in February. The kids learned skills, then took a spin on the trail. You can tell by the smiles that they all had a great time!

Bike Raffle to Benefit Pisgah Area SORBA

ImageThanks to very generous donations by Turner Bikes (www.turnerbikes.com) and Ventana USA (www.ventanausa.com), we are raffling two brand new mountain bike frames with all proceeds going to the advocacy and trail building efforts of Pisgah Area SORBA (www.pisgahareasorba.org). Ticket sales are being handled though a donation of webspace on the (www.T2bikes.com) website.

Niner Bikes Announces IMBA-Themed Frame Contest

Niner bikes will create 25 frames and matching forks, painted with a special IMBA theme to benefit IMBA and enhance mountain bike advocacy. The theme will be chosen from riders' submissions. "For us, IMBA was the obvious first choice for this project," said Niner co-founder Chris Sugai. "They are the voice of our sport and do an amazing job getting out there to save and build sustainable trails. Their core values represent what Niner is all about."

SORBA Woodstock Snares $10K Grant to Expand Blankets Creek Trails

The Woodstock SORBA chapter was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from Bikes Belong to expand the Blankets Creek trail system. Plans include extending the beginner loop and creating a new advanced loop with technical terrain.

Subaru Continues Support for 2008

SORBA is happy to announce that the South Central Region of Subaru of America will continue their support of mountain bike advocacy with the VIP Partners Program and Tour de SORBA for 2008.

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