|Since its inception in 1999, SORBA-Woodstock has received support from a wide variety of people, businesses and government entities, but some of the most consistent and valuable support has come from our local bike shops.
Over the past year, Dan Thornton of Free-Flite Bicycles and Kevin Poske of Out Spokin' Bicycles have stepped up in significant ways that have made our new trails at Blankets Creek a reality.
In September of 2007 Free-Flite gave our fundraising efforts for the new trails an important boost with a $5,000 cash contribution. But Dan continued to look for ways to help us raise money for this important project. In May this year, Free-Flite sponsored a silent auction featuring one of the icons of our sport, Gary Fisher. The event was a huge success with Free-Flite putting up thousands of dollars of equipment for auction with the proceeds going to our new trail fund. The event generated an additional $7,000 gift from Free-Flite, bringing their total contribution to $12,000.
SORBA-Woodstock member and racer Lisa Randall organized the Dirty Duathlon which was held in March of this year at Blankets Creek. The race was a huge success drawing rave reviews from participants and a groundswell of support for making this an annual event. Out Spokin' Bicycles played a key role in the success of this event when they agreed to be the primary sponsor. They contributed equipment and gear valued at $9,000 which was used to reward winners and participants. When their sponsorship and contribution of prizes were announced registration for the event filled up rapidly. In addition to being a lot of fun for racers and spectators, the event produced $8,000 in cash for our new trail fund.
While their contributions to our new trail fund were vital, their ongoing support of our efforts to build and maintain high quality sustainable mountain bike trails at Blankets Creek has been critical. Both shops take turns cooking dinner for our chapter meetings that are held at the trailhead during the warmer months. And both shops donate tubes and power links for our IMBA Bike Patrol members to use to come to the aid of riders who need assistance on the trails. They sponsor bike demos at the trail throughout the year and are big supporters of our annual Pedalpalooza event.
Dan and Kevin also wrote important letters of support for our grant application with Bikes Belong. As President of the North Georgia Bicycle Dealers Association and a member of Bikes Belong, Dan mustered the support of four other bike shops and Bikes Belong members in Metro Atlanta who wrote letters of support (Habersham Bicycles, Intown Bicycles, Cycleworks and Bicycle South). This strong support from Metro Atlanta bike shops played a key role in the decision by Bikes Belong to award SORBA-Woodstock a $10,000 grant to help us build the Van Michael Trail and Mosquito Bite.
There are few SORBA chapters and IMBA clubs around the country who enjoy as much support as SORBA-Woodstock does from Free-Flite and Out Spokin'. We are fortunate to have two bike shop owners who are willing to give back so much to the sport we all love. If you ride Blankets Creek regularly be sure to stop by these two bike shops and tell them how much you appreciate them. The best way you can thank them is to give them your business.
Visit our chapter web site to see other generous donors to our new trails fundraising campaign www.sorbawoodstock.org.