Thank you for making the 2024 SORBA Summit a huge success! The four days of events gave volunteers from across the region an opportunity to learn, socialize, network and have fun! And big events like this don’t just happen. A huge thanks goes out to our partners in the event MTB Atlanta, Bike Coweta, and Explore Newnan-Coweta.

Our week began on Wednesday where we hosted a Trail Crew Leader Training and Wilderness First Aid. Our Trail Crew Leader class was taught by Jeremy Poore from the McDowell Tech Trail School. Local legend Josh Camp assisted in the class that saw volunteers, land managers and non-SORBA members all take advantage of the opportunity. 

The Wilderness First Aid class was hosted by MEDIC SOLO Disaster and Wilderness Medical School. Instructors Mateo and Natalie took the class through two days of extensive training to receive their SOLO Wilderness First Aid certification. Look for more opportunities to receive this training as we continue to partner with MEDIC SOLO.

Thursday evening we welcomed the rest of our participants to a social at Line Creek Brewing. Volunteers from across SORBA-land trickled in as they arrived and were welcomed by a few beers provided by the brewery and a relaxed social atmosphere to unwind after their travels. 

We kicked off the conference properly on Friday morning at the Coweta County Fairgrounds. An excellent and welcoming facility that was perfect for our needs. Participants were greeted with a warm breakfast provided by Chickfila. Vendors from across the country set up to provide our group with the opportunity to learn about their business and to pick up some sweet new gear and tools. Another great big thank you goes to the vendors that took their time to celebrate with us. 

As the day progressed, we entered into breakout sessions that covered everything from creating an Office of Outdoor Recreation to Building Your Membership through events. A highlight of our breakouts was our two hour Fundraising session that included a Todd Talk from Florida State Rep and SORBA Jax President Todd Addicott, followed by Finding Your Fundraising Superpower by our very own Jen Flavin. 

Group rides were held at Brown’s Mill Park just 5 minutes away from the fairgrounds. Participants were taken out on the trails by local riders. The highlight of our Friday’s group rides was having Brian Peachey from the Adaptive Mountain Bike Trail Project lead riders on loops to show his perspective on the trail. Brian, an adaptive athlete, stopped along the trail to show riders how he sees the trail, challenges it presents, and that just because he’s an adaptive athlete it doesn’t mean he wants the trails dumbed down or slow. Brian is a ripper and it was great to see him show the rest of us that just because his bike is different doesn’t mean he wants a different experience in the woods! We cannot thank Brian and Matt Kirby from Catalyst Sports enough for being at our event and sharing about the aMTB Trail Project.  

Friday night we wound down the evening at CJ Smith Park for the MTB Atlanta Urban Jam and cookout. Our social event saw burgers and dogs flying off the grill while racers circled around for a fast paced urban challenge. Later in the evening folks headed out on the Trail Pilot bar crawl that featured their app and gave everyone the opportunity to see what it’s like to “ride like a local”.

Saturday morning welcomed a venue change to Foundation Newnan, right in the heart of the Rock and Road Festival. After coffee donated by Martha’s Outpost, we began by splitting the summit participants between the SORBA Board of Directors meeting and a field trip to CJ Smith Park led by Newnan City Manager Cletus Phillips. Later the groups came back together for our state conversations for each state in SORBA, followed by lunch and more breakout sessions.

After the sessions everyone set out to either enjoy a group ride at Moore’s Bridge Park or to go and explore the Rock and Road Festival. Regardless of your choice, everyone was treated to great weather and enjoyed their time outside.

To top off our Summit, we ended Saturday with our Volunteer of the Year banquet and closed out the SORBA Summit Silent Auction. We were proud to award 7 volunteers of the year, one from each state of SORBA, and be able to donate $500 to their chapter. If you want to read more about the award winners, head over to this page on our site where we talk about the recipients in detail. The other star of the show was the now famous Beer Barrow, where 6 individuals rallied funds to purchase the beer so it could be enjoyed at our banquet. After the awards, a number of our crew headed a few blocks away to enjoy the finale of the criterium race held in Downtown Newnan. 

This years Summit was a great event that could not have been successful without the individuals and partners that dedicated their time and effort. Thank you all! We look forward to seeing you in Birmingham for our Fall Board of Directors Meeting and in Asheville/Brevard for the 2025 Spring Summit.