The April meeting was postponed one week due to rain on the original meeting date of 4/13/09.
Jay Wilkes opened the meeting with an update about the Olde Rope Mill Park/Randahl Taylor Memorial Trail. The City of Woodstock did not receive the RTP grant they had applied for. We and the City are working on other funding sources, including the Greensprint Project. Charlie Shultz is finishing the flagging of the trail. On May 9th the City of Woodstock is holding an all day event titled Woodstock Recycles & Rocks! The City’s web site (www.woodstockga.gov) describes the event at Olde Rope Mill Park:
Olde Rope Mill Park 9 am – 12 pm
Park/Stream Clean-Up The City of Woodstock’s spring cleaning continues with a park and stream clean-up at Olde Rope Mill Park from 9:00-11:00 am. Gloves, garbage bags, and refreshments will be available.
Walking/Mountain Bike Trail Tours Come see the first completed ½ mile section of our planned trail system then take a tour of the mountain bike trails coming soon. The tour begins at 11:00 am and lasts approximately one hour. The bike trail is undeveloped, so wear appropriate walking gear. The Greenprints Project and the Southeastern Off-Road Bicycle Association will be on hand to answer questions. The Greenprints Alliance of Woodstock will be there to take donations and provide information on its plans for land conservation and the building of the trail system.
Shawn Mullins will finish off the day with a concert in the Woodstock downtown City Park at 7:30 pm.
SORBA Woodstock’s annual Pedalpalooza event will be held at Blankets Creek on Saturday, May 3rd. There will be music, bike demos and plenty of food and drink.
Bill Blount continues to improve our chapter’s image with his professional creative designs. He has created an excellent tri-fold booth exhibit that explains who we are and what we do. He also designed and ordered the black granite plaques honoring our major donors to the Blankets Creek New Trail Construction Campaign and the volunteers who built the Van Michael Trail and Mosquito Bite Trail in Area 51.
Cherokee County will soon be repairing the conduit under the entrance to the parking lot at Blankets Creek. The day of the repair the parking lot will be closed, but the trails will be open. Riders can park in the church parking lot next door.
We have purchased trail counters to provide us more accurate data about the number of mountain bike riders at Blankets Creek—total riders, riders by trail and what time of day they are riding. We are frequently asked by Cherokee County and most recently the Greensprint Project to provide ridership data. This information is also valuable when applying for grants. These counters will be installed in the next few weeks.
Jeff Murchison is working on setting up a class for Bike Patrol training, including CPR and First Aid.
Lt. Shannon Gibbs with the Cherokee County Fire Emergency Service is working on the trail numbering system. Mark Taylor, SORBA Woodstock member and an EMT, is working with Shannon to finalize the system. The County Commissioners have approved the expense for erecting the signs.
Bill Blount has designed a t-shirt that will be given to each volunteer who spends 16 or more hours this year maintaining our trails. Make certain your hours are getting logged, including any hours you spend on other SORBA trails.
Neal Nichols and Tucker Judd volunteered as Trail Crew Leaders at the recent work party at Sope Creek. This National Park Service trail is open to mountain bikers.
We continue to plan the building of the downhill section of the old Dwelling fire road. We also are presenting plans to the Corps of Engineers for rebuilding and expanding our skills yard.
The South Loop Extension is still in the planning stages. When we are able to devote the time to this new advanced section of trail will depend upon the Olde Rope Mill Park/Taylor Randahl Memorial Trail funding. If we receive the necessary funding for Rope Mill we will focus on that trail first.
As we have mentioned in previous meetings, on April 24th Bob Farmer will be leading the National Guard Wilderness Training exercises at Blankets Creek. They will be set up in the parking lot and the skills area but will not be using the trails. The trails will be open for riding.