The Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) is the largest nonprofit mountain biking organization in the Southeast. Our members work with land managers in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee to create trails and trail systems for mountain bikers and other users to enjoy. Through advocacy, education, and recreational opportunities, SORBA carries out its mission to promote land access, trail preservation, and new trail development in order to enhance mountain bike touring, racing, fun, and fellowship for all mountain bicyclists in the southeastern United States.

We have partnered with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and now represent over 4,000 members who help steward miles and miles of great trails in a seven-state area. The best riding in the Southeast is found on trails maintained by our volunteers. Our members love singletrack, rocks, roots, and logs, and we employ IMBA's trailbuilding practices to ensure that our trails are sustainable and challenging.

IMBA-SORBA relies on our wonderful members to carry out our mission. Our volunteers donate thousands of hours each year to advocate for trail access, build trails, and maintain trails. Join IMBA-SORBA today!

Paulding SORBA set to build second Gateway trail

SORBA Board of Directors Conducts Fall Meeting

ImageSORBA's Board of Directors met on November 22nd, at the Elachee Nature Center in Gainesville, Georgia. We had a full house, too, with a record-breaking 23 chapters represented! The meeting began at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast and coffee and didn't break up til after 8 p.m. and pizza. In between was a full day of speakers, discussions, and votes.

Tom Sauret, SORBA Executive Director, started with a meeting overview and agenda review. After Secretary Renee Martinez took roll, Tom discussed the realingnment of existing chapters, which was brought on by insurance costs. The Macon and Rabun Counties chapter has been dissolved, and Macon County members have been moved to At Large memberships, pending the creation of a new chapter in their area. Rabun County members are now part of the Upper Chattahoochee Cycling Club chapter. SoFA has been disbanded, and their members have been reassigned to their geographically-closest chapter. The Board then voted to accept Tuscaloosa SORBA as a full chapter. With a new president at the table, the Board then set the date and location for the next meeting as February 28th at FATS, with the Central Savannah River Area chapter hosting. The November 2009 meeting will possibly be hosted by Uwharrie, with the details to be set at the February meeting.

Bob Grieco, acting SORBA President upon the relocation of Eric Hunter to Portland, Oregon, then spoke, turning his focus on the presidents, asking the chapter representatives what their most pressing concerns were. Some of the responses included access to community resources, and that land managers were demanding better organization. Grieco said the focus of the Executive Board is to support the chapters, and he hopes to get to know them better, and address their individual concerns directly, in the coming year

SORBA Atlanta Assists the NPS in Building New Trail, Reworking Existing Trail at Sope Creek

National Parks Service Seeks Public Input on Chattahoochee National Recreation Area

ImageThe National Parks Service is soliciting public input on their Supplemental Draft General Plan/Environmental Impact Statement for the Chattahoochee NRA. SORBA has been very involved in this process, and will remain involved as the plan is adopted and implemented in the years to come. A public input meeting held on October 30th drew 40 participants; half of those present were SORBA members.

The current preferred plan is Alternative F. Alternative F has delineated zones in the park, and assigns appropriate recreational activities for the zones. Off-road cycling is allowed in all but two zones in this plan. Although SORBA generally supports Alternative F as the preferred alternative, we continue to stand behind our long-term objection to the exclusion of bicycling from certain management categories. In particular, this exclusion precludes any possible development of bicycle trails (paved or un-paved) within the Bowmans Island unit of the CRNRA. Bowmans Island is located in a rapidly growing area of Gwinnett and Forsyth Counties where the need for mixed-use, trail-based and dispersed recreation opportunities are great.

Keeping Bowmans Island closed to bicycling inhibits any potential development of long-distance cycling trails along the Chattahoochee River corridor connecting Lake Lanier (and Army Corps of Engineers property) to the downstream units of the CRNRA. Such a connection would be a very important and sought-after recreation opportunity that would greatly enhance the quality of life in the neighboring communities. This prohibition also seems to conflict with the NPS’s own initiatives through the Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) and the management mission of a National Recreation Area.

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