Chapter Meeting Minutes 4/20/09

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 ( 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.

Chapter Meeting Minutes 3/9/09

SORBA Woodstock Chapter Meeting Minutes

Jay Wilkes opened the meeting with an update about the SORBA/IMBA Board of Directors meeting held in Augusta, GA on February 28, 2009. The major topics discussed at the meeting were the revised budget for 2009 and the focus this year on increasing local chapter membership. Member dues are critical to funding SORBA/IMBA operations and membership numbers are extremely important when IMBA is lobbying for funding and support of issues important to mountain biking. We need to look for ways to increase our visibility.

Jay reported that the member database issues have been resolved. SORBA Woodstock has 185 members with 106 currently paid. Many memberships lapsed early this year and we will be working to get renewals as well as new members. We will use our e-mail address list we developed during the VMT trail building project (approximately 110 addresses). Everyone was encouraged to send their e-mail address to him ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if they are not on the list because it is a great way for us to communicate about issues, events and information important to our chapter.

To increase our visibility we have created a Facebook page. We are also exploring purchasing water bottles with our logo that can be given to new bike purchasers at our local bike shops (Free-Flite, OutSpokin’ and REI) that will also have an information piece inside telling people how to become a SORBA/IMBA member.

Bill Blount has designed a great Trail Builder t-shirt that will be given to all volunteers who log 16 or more hours of volunteer time on our trails in a calendar year. Bill showed the prototype which was met with unanimous approval.

Jay commented that our chapter minutes are up to date on our web site (

Jay also reported that the Board is considering building and selling trail building and maintenance tools that will be available for sale to other SORBA/IMBA chapters. This could be an ongoing source of funds to help us build and maintain our trails.

The Dirty Duathlon is on, rain or shine, this Saturday, March 14. Lisa Randall has done another great job of organizing this event this year. The trails will be closed at 9:00 pm on Thursday and will remain closed until 2:00 pm Saturday after the race. Set up for the race will begin Friday at 1:00 pm. Lisa has volunteers lined up for Friday and the day of the race. Any additional volunteers will be welcome to join in.

Lt. Shannon Gibbs from the Bridge Mill station of the Cherokee County Fire Emergency Services attended the meeting along with two of his firemen. They will be in attendance for the race on Saturday to provide support in the event of an emergency. Lt. Gibbs also proposed a trail marking system that will provide his team of responders a detailed map of our trails so that when emergencies occur they can be directed to specific points. With this map they will also be provided shortcuts to reach different sections of trails as well as evacuation routes other entry points from surrounding neighborhoods. We also discussed with him alternative lock systems that will make it easier for the responders to drop the cable where the gator accesses the trails from the parking lot.

Jay reported for Jeff Murhison, our Bike Patrol Director, that we are recruiting new Bike Patrol members. In addition to recertifying the 10-15 current members we hope to grow the patrol to 25 members. SORBA/IMBA membership for Bike Patrol is $50 versus the $30 regular membership. As an incentive reward for volunteering we will buy members a Bike Patrol jersey. We also pay for the First Aid and CPR training that is necessary to become a Bike Patrol member. We will also train new Trail Ambassadors, a new IMBA program that increases the number of people on the trail who can educate and inform riders without the responsibility for First Aid and CPR. Trail Ambassador members will also receive a jersey for volunteering.

We are in the process of upgrading our web site bandwidth so we can put videos of our trails that people can enjoy.

Jay reported that the City of Woodstock was unsuccessful with their RTP grant to fund the Taylor Randahl Memorial Trail at the Olde Rope Mill Park. We are working with the City and the County to find other ways to fund this new trail. The $10,000 grant from REI that was provided in support of the RTP grant will still be used to support whatever funding we are able to obtain. The flagging of the trail continues to move forward.

We are moving forward with our plans to upgrade the skills yard. The upgrade will involve expanding the area and adding a number of new features. This will be an excellent addition to our trail system and provide riders of all skill levels an area to hone their bike handling skills.

We continue to seek a volunteer to be our chapter Ride Coordinator. Our plans are to alternate months between work parties and group rides.

Pedalpalooza is scheduled for May 2, 2009. Bill Blount has designed a great poster that will be posted at local bike shops, in our kiosk and on our web site as we get closer to the event. It was suggested that we include a parts swap area at this year’s event that will allow anyone to bring excess parts to be sold or traded.

Jay expressed thanks to Scott Stewart, VP of SORBA Woodstock, for leading the effort to build the new extension on the Dwelling Loop which adds about .4 mile to that trail. We have temporarily closed the fire road and will soon begin work on creating a downhill section with table top jumps on that section.

Neal Nichols announced that he will be posting a ride at Reinhardt College. Look for it on the SORBA forum.

Ellis Alexander expressed thanks to Lisa Randall for everything she is doing for our chapter with the Dirty Duathlon. This event raised over $8,000 for us last year and will likely exceed that amount this year.