About 40 volunteers who traveled to Western North Carolina from as far away as Florida and Virginia recently helped improve drainage structures on trails at Tsali Recreation Area as part of a MegaWork Party co-sponsored by the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association and the Nantahala Area SORBA chapter.
“Volunteers used sustainable techniques, mostly creating nicks, which drain water more effectively, are more fun to ride through and can last several years without need for maintenance,” said Sae Smyrl, president of the Nantahala Area SORBA chapter.
Trail work was focused on Right, Thompson and Mouse loops at Tsali.
“We did an incredible amount of work on Mouse,” said Andy Zivinsky, co-owner of Bryson City Bicycles. “You won’t recognize the sections we worked on. They look so much better, and are less treacherous.”
Volunteers were treated to a lunch of barbecue from the Filling Station in Bryson City, and were automatically entered in a drawing sponsored by IMBA-SORBA in which they won items such as tires, lube, grips and coozies before going on a ride to enjoy the trails. After the day of work and play, volunteers reconvened for dinner at Slow Joe's Cafe at the Nantahala Outdoor Center and “destroyed 19 pizzas in no time,” said Smyrl.
The event was made possible with support from Jeremy Waite and Lauren Stull with the United States Forest Service; the Filling Station, which assisted with providing lunch for volunteers; Mountaindazed Muffins, which provided muffins for breakfast; the Nantahala Outdoor Center for assistance with dinner; the Pisgah Area SORBA chapter; and Walt Bready, who works with the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association and helped coordinate the event. Smyrl said additional thanks go to Nantahala Area SORBA members, and riders and trail crew leaders from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Virginia.
“I'm grateful for all the volunteers who came from throughout the Southeast to make this a special event,” said Smyrl. “Riders have enjoyed Tsali for many years. It is our special place and it needs this kind of attention if it is going to continue to host so many people in years to come.”
To find out about upcoming opportunities to show local trails some love and create more excellent riding opportunities in Western North Carolina, contact Smyrl at firstname.lastname@example.org or join the Nantahala Area SORBA Facebook group.