January 2015 Meeting Minutes

January 5, 2105

In attendance: Jay Wilkes, Mark Taylor, Bob Pinkowski, Leigh Pruitt, Gary Moore, Kelly Pruitt, , Dave Saigh, John Hicks and Angela Chambers.

Jay opened the meeting and first on the agenda were the upcoming 2015 SORBA Woodstock Chapter meetings. Angela told said the dates for the year are March 9, July 13, October 12 and December 12. The Chapter meetings will be a combination of social event and Chapter business. SORBA Woodstock hopes this will help showcase more of what our Chapter does to a larger number of riders.

Kelly Pruitt has arranged for first aid training for patrollers needing to renew their CPR certificate and for new patrollers. The date is January 15 and it will be held at the Bridgemill fire station on Bells Ferry Road at 6pm. Kelly is also looking to reinvigorate Bike Patrol by adding a training schedule, groups rides and bike patrol incentives.

We are looking at updating and creating new signage at Blankets Creek and Rope Mill Park. The new Fierce trail at Rope Mill Park will give us an opportunity to review our current signage and see what improvements and additions can be done.

Gary Moore said the January work party at Blankets Creek will involve creating a half-loop cut on the Dwelling Trail. It is expected that this work can be finished that day. More discussion ensued about a Mosquito Flats reroute around a section of the trail that does not dry quickly and about a possible VMT Kevorkian Trail bypass cut. With the addition of a new trail at Rope Mill Park we expect an increase in ridership which will have us looking at fixes on the Explorer Trail and Avalanche Trail.

SORBA Woodstock currently has equipment we are no longer using and we are looking at selling them to increase funds available to the chapter. John Hicks remarked that we will have to see if we can sell the equipment since some of it was acquired through a grant from the county.

The bike wash at Blankets Creek continues to create problems with water runoff pooling at the trailhead and causing muddy conditions. Discussion ensued about whether or not to keep the bike wash open at the trail. This will be investigated in further discussions.

Jay closed the meeting.

November Chapter Meeting

The November chapter meeting was held at the clubhouse at Blankets Creek,

Creative solar has given a donation through Lisa for the amount of $1650. They have also donated a new solar light fixture to illuminate the clubhouse door entrance! If you have any need or want for solar lighting, give these guys a call! 

The board of directors have been working hard for the last 6 months updating and writing the clubs bi-laws and policy. At the November board meeting, a unanimous vote to approve the new bi-laws and policies was made. These updates will soon be published to the public. 

Each year, the board of directors makes nominations on who they think should serve on the board for the following year. This year the board has nominated the following people to serve on the Board of Directors for 2014:

President - Jay Wilkes

Vice President - Bill Blount

Secretary - Andrew Yun

Treasurer - Chris Griffin

Trail Director-Blankets Creek - Gary Moore

Trail Director-Rope Mill - Charlie Shultz

Bike Patrol Director - Mark Taylor

Trail Advocacy Director - John Hicks

Membership Director - Dave Saigh


These are only nominations and are not final. If anyone has any nominations for these positions, please submit their name (with their approval please!) by the end of November so allow for sufficient time to organize a vote. 

The club will be sending Jay and Dave down to Jacksonville Florida this weekend to attend and participate at the SORBA Main meting. 

The Fierce Trail has been temporarily put on hold to allow IMBA to come in and evaluate the terrain. They will lay out a trail for us and compare to what we currently have planned. We hope that bringing in IMBA can bring in a fresh set of eyes to help make sure the final piece of the Rope Mill Trail System is on e to remember. 

These trails are maintained by our great group of volunteers and what a job they do! We realize that many times we want to put our own touches to the trail and do so innocently, but please seek approval from the trail director before any trail building, modification, or maintenance is done. We ask this not to be the rulers of the trail, but because of the many strict guidelines and laws set for us by our land managers and insurance company. Any unauthorized trail building threatens our agreement with the land managers and must be taken seriously. It also brings up liability issues with trail building. All trail work must be done in the presence of at least one certified trail builder who has consent from the trail director.  Unauthorized trail building could (in the extreme) lead to a ticket or even being banned from the park. If you have any work you would like to do, If you have any questions, please contact us and we would be more than happy to answer them. 

September Chapter Meeting

The September chapter meeting and food are sponsored by Paul Hendricks and the Shakker Corp.  

The 2013 Fall Festival will be held on Saturday October 5th in conjunction with Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day. Events will include a VMT race set up, adult group rides, kids group rides, a short kids race, food, a swap meet, and much more! Come join us from 9AM to 4PM!  

Jay and John had a meeting with Sherrif Garrison, Chief West, and Brian Renolds about safety issues at Blankets Creek. With the park becoming more popular, there are many new riders that are not aware of safe biking practices. SORBA Woodstock is coming up with a updated list of rules and will have them posted at the trail entrance. We would also like to remind everyone that because we are a Cherokee County Park, the Sheriffs office does have enforcement jurisdiction. Lets make sure everyone is safe and courteous to one another. 

The Fierce Trail will begin to move forward again. We are working to get new GPS maps prepared for submission.The Corps. of Engineers will not be looking at new submissions until after October, so we are pushing to have it prepared by then. We have raised approximately  $80,000 for the Fierce trail. Thanks to all the donors and our own fundraising team! We only have $40,000 left to raise for the trails. Stay tuned for more information on how you can help!

The November group ride is in planning. The tentative plan is for a group ride on November 2nd at Racoon Mountain. More details to come.  

The September work party will be held on September 28th. We will be participating the the Allatoona Lake Clean Up Project. Blankets Creek is a meeting point for the area and will be leading the efforts on our shores. We will be focusing on the Dwelling and South Loop coves as well as shores along our trails. Come on out and help us keep our scenery beautiful!

Gary and his trail crew have been working tirelessly on getting Blankets Creek up to par after our recent rain season. The Bite has been the focus of the work and work will continue there. The plan is to have it opened for the Fall Festival on October 5th. Quehl Holler was worked on and is now open! Thanks to Yuri and Gary for getting the trail open and rideable. We will soon be having another work party to resurface and reshape the Holler. 

Several lost and found items were brought to the meeting including GPS units and keys. Andrew Yun will be taking those items in an effort to find the owners. 

Paul Hendricks presented his line of exercise supplements that could help riders feel and ride better. Check out their products! 

August Chapter Meeting

Jay opened the August Chapter meeting at the club house.


The 6 Hour Race To sunset put on by Mountain Goat adventures was a great success. We thank all 25 of the  awesome volunteers from parking, registration, vendor organization, set up, break down, bike patrol, course marshals, and crowd control. The race had 313 racers in it this year in addition to the great spectator turnout. The race really had a new vibe with the new parking lot and increased spectators. We especially enjoyed the hecklers out on the trails dressed as Fred Flintstone. Huge thanks to Lisa and Chris Randall for putting on another great event! 


We will be holding our Fall Festival in conjunction with Take a Kid Biking Day on October 5th 2013 at Blankets Creek. Activities will include Kids rides, group rides, festival games, food, and a time trail on VMT. The Mud Butt Academy will also be hosting a swap meet. Cost to sell at the meet is $10 per person and all proceeds  will go to help Peter May on his road to recovery. We hope to see everyone out there to just relax and enjoy riding together.


The Fierce trail is beginning to move again! Charlie is completing the GPS data and map overlay to submit to the Corps of Engineers for review and approval.  So far we have collected about $80,000 for the Fierce trail and fundraising for it will continue. Stay tuned for volunteer opportunities on the Fierce Trail as we begin the building process. 


The Mud Butt Academy will be hosting this years group ride. We are planning the group ride to be hold on the 1st weekend on November. The even will be a multi day event if you would like at Racoon Mountain. More details will be announced via social media and chapter meetings as we get closer to November.  


The Board of Directors has been working on updating the clubs bi-laws and policy's to be current and functional. Those will be presented to the club once they have been completed.  


Last weekend we had a work party on the Holler. We were able to get a mini-ex donated for the weekend and did some well overdue drainage work. The 4ft pool of water has been removed and the trail is now draining well. We hope to get a large work crew up there in the coming weeks to resurface the Holler. Stay tuned for more information.  


The August work part will be held at Rope Mill on the 24th.. We will be working on cleaning up the trails and repairing the broken Avalanche bridge.  


The Board has chosen to add several new positions called Board Appointed Leaders or BAL's. These leaders will be assigned a specific task to carry out for short or long term projects. These new leaders will be valuable to the clubs growth as we expand our trail systems, activities, and members. One of the first BAL' positions that was created is the Fire Rescue Liaison filled by Glenn Bates. Glenn is a former fire fighter and his responsibilities will be to bridge the communicatiuon gap between the local fire department and SORBA Woodstock. We welcome Glenn to his new positions and are excited about taking a step in the right directions to make sure our riders are safe.  


At this time Jay opened the meeting up for open discussion: 

1. Dog emergency plan - Unfortunately we see many dogs on the trails that are over run. We need to understand as dog owners that they can no cool off by sweating as easily as us. Keep you dog hydrated, cooled off , and stop frequently to avoid heat strokes. 

2. Social Group Rides - It has been brought to attention that SORBA Woodstock does not hold any official weekly group rides. Although there have been group rides put on by MBA and other organizations, they have not been well advertised. We have identified the need for more advertising of group rides to bring in new members and recreate a good social/fun community. 

3. Membership Drive - We need to jump back on holding membership drives at both events and on busy weekends. This discussion brought up the need to have BAL for recruitment and memberships. If anyone would like to take on this role, please contact the board.  


Jay closed the meeting thanking everyone for a very stimulating and beneficial discussion. We are excited to see where these new ideas and BAL positions will take us.  


July Chapter Meeting

The July Chapter meeting was moved to the first week of July due to scheduling.  

Jay opens the meeting.

On June 25th the Blankets Creek Ribbon Cutting was held with city officials present to officially open the new parking lot. Thank you to all who were able to make it out. 

We will be changing the locks to the club house again for security now that the contractors are out and we have control over our section of the clubhouse. 

Although we do not anticipate another theft as we had a few weeks ago, the board elected to purchase insurance for our equipment. This will help protect our assets and the future success of the club.

The Fierce trail is moving forward. We are currently waiting on the final GPS coordinates to submit to the Corps of Engineers. Once these are approved, let the trail making begin! 

The bridge on Loop 3 of Avalanche has fallen into the creek. We will be building a new 24' permanent bridge based on our approved bridge design. The new bridge will cost approximately $1000. A work schedule will be posted soon so keep an eye out for it on our website and Facebook group!

There are SORBA Woodstock jerseys still for sale for $45 each. Contact Gary Moore for more information.  

The Blankets Creek Race to Sunset will be held on August 3rd from 11AM to 9PM. We are looking for volunteers to help out with this event (registration, set up, breakdown, course marshals, bike patrols, and more!) Please contact Lisa Randell if you are available to volunteer for any amount of time. 

This years group ride will be planned by the Mud Butt Academy. Proposed locations include Mulberry Gap and Fats. More details will be announced as they come in. 

Scott Stewart has been an huge part of Blankets Creek from the beginning almost 13 years ago. He moved here to Woodstock  because of the trail movement in Woodstock. Scott has served as the Trail Director for many years and really made Blankets what it is today. Unfortunately Scott will be moving to Texas due to work and will be leaving us for now. In honor of Scott, his family, and what they have given to the trails, we honor Scott by re-naming the Dwelling Alt line "Stewart's Shock and Rock." Scott was presented with an identical sign he can take with him as a token of all our appreciation. Scott, we hope for nothing  but the best to you and your family in Texas!

Jay closed the meeting. 

May Chapter Meeting

Jay opened the meeting up by mentioning the break in at the club house. Thieves were able to make off with our trailer, 2 chainsaws, blower, trailer, Dakine bag, radios, and a few more items. Local authorities have been notified and an investigation has been started. In the mist of this loss of equipment brought great strength from our community. Within a day of announcing the break in on facebook, over 5,000 people were reached and people from all over contacted us wanting to help. We received Paypal donations, replacement equipment  Mountain Goat Adventures raffled off prizes at their races, and local businesses have approached us about fundraising to replace the stolen equipment. The support from our community has been truly remarkable and it gives everyone in SORBA faith in humanity. 

After 13 years of building and being a huge part of Blankets Creek, life has called Scott Stewart Texas! Scott was an integral part of making Blankets Creek what it is today and we will miss him! Scott will be moving to Texas as a promotion at work and we wish him and his family the best! Come back soon Scott! 

New VMT rollers are in! Gary and TJ worked hard this week to finish the new rollers on VMT. A few more days of work on it, but it will be ready to ride soon.  

This months trail work will be at Blankets Creek. Please meet at the club house at 8AM this Saturday. Lunch will be provided to all volunteers.  

This week we have Bike Patroller Training and CPR/First Aid Certification. CPR and First Aid training will be Tuesday May 14th at 6:30PM with Bike Patrol training on the following day Wednesday May 15th at 6:30PM. CPR certification is paid for by the club, we ask that if you are a member of the Bike Patrol Team,  you commit to patrolling the trails and volunteering at races. This training is for new members and any patrollers who need to re-certify. 


February Chapter Meeting

The February Chapter meeting was held at Freight Kitchen in downtown Woodstock.

Jay opened the meeting with a discussion and description about the SORBA Summit. Denise passed around a volunteer sign up sheet for the Summit. 

Jay gave a update on the Fierce Trail fundraising efforts. He introduced the Mud Butt Academy mountain biking group who recently wrote and applied for the Bell Grant. We will know more about the Bell Grant in a few weeks. 

Gary spoke about the new "Race Cut" that was put into VMT recently. This cut was originally put in for a Mountain Goat Adventure race and we received good reviews on it. Gary recently changed the entrance to the cut through to make it more sustainable. The work party this month will address the race cut. 

Jay brought to everyones attention who is looking for a new home. Houses are being built behind VMT and some will have trail access. Would be great real-estate for any mountain biker!

Gary gave an update on the construction of the parking lot. The construction has been delayed due to the amount of rain we have received in the last few weeks. The decel lane will be paved instead of the original gravel idea and the construction crews are waiting on the weather so they can pave the decel lane and the entrence at once. Once this is completed, the parking lot can be flipped and final grading can begin. 

Jay gave an update on the Fierce Trail construction. He let everyone know we have received a stop work order by the USACE due to a boundary issue. Construction is stopped until an archeologist study can be completed. The City of Woodstock has graciously agreed to pay for the archeologist study. Once the study ahas been completed, the trail will be relayed out and construction will move forward. 

Gary provided an update on the wood structure inventory for the USACE. Gary and volunteers were able to document all of the wooden structures around Blankets Creek,. We are not in search of a structural engineer with a PE license to inspect and approve the structures. 

The February work party will be held this Friday, February 16th. Work will be on the VMT cut through, Mosquito Bite, and the debris under the Hop Bridge.

Jay closed the meeting.

January 2013 Meeting Minutes

The January meeting was held at Freight Kitchen and Tap in downtown Woodstock. Jay began the meeting by introducing Neil. Neil welcomed SORBA Woodstock to Freight. 

Jay provided a update on the Fierce Trail fundraising. Through our fundraising efforts, local government, local businesses, and private donations, the club has raised around $80,000. The project will need an additional $40,000 to complete the Fierce trail. Jay thanked all our supporters to making this project a reality. 

Jay brought up that the club will soon be making less monthly payments as the Dingo has 3 payments to go and once the parking lot is complete, there will be no more payments towards the Porta-Johns. This will be saving the club around $900 a month. 

Jay and Gary provided an update on the parking lot construction. The gas line that the construction crews have been chasing around has finally been located. Work is scheduled to move forward and now all that is delaying the project is the rain delays. The construction crews have internet, power, and water re connected to the clubhouse. We are hoping for the parking lot switch to happen by the end of the month. 

The SORBA Southern Summit to be held in Woodstock is only 3 months away! The major planning is underway and we are now looking for volunteers. Denise listed the possible areas people can volunteer in such as group ride leaders and sweepers. A list of volunteer positions that needs to be filled will be sent out as we get closer to the Summit. 

Bill gave an update on the SORBA Woodstock Jerseys and delivered several jerseys at the meeting. Jay gave Bill recognition for his work on the jerseys  newsletters, SORBA's Subaru wraps, and our trail maps. Thank you Bill for all your hard work! 

To end the meeting Jay gave a chapter membership update. SORBA Woodstock has almost reached the 300 member mark! 

Jay closed the meeting.