June 2012 Meeting Minutes

Jay Wilkes opened the meeting with a discussion of the upcoming Time Trial series at Blanket’s Creek. This is a fun club event offering timed laps over a two hour period on a Thursday evening. No entrance fee is required but a donation to the club is requested. We will be setting up the SORBA Woodstock tent to promote club membership at these three events being held in June (Dwelling), July (South Loop) and August (VMT). Free Flite is the title sponsor and will be providing some prizes. 

Jay continued on to discuss the bridge building project to connect the newly cut third loop on the Explorer Trail at Rope Mill. We will be building a single, double-wide bridge approximately 42’ long. The footer is already being prepared and the build will be on June 16th at 9am. Volunteers are to meet at the Brookshire clubhouse. The lumber for this build cost $3,700. 

Efforts are beginning to develop some fundraising plans to be enacted in the remainder of this year. Upcoming projects such as the new advanced skills yard, pump track and expert trail at Blanket’s Creek will require an estimated $50,000 to design and build. We are also looking into some available grant opportunities to assist with the funding of these projects. 

Jay closed the meeting.

May 2012 Meeting Minutes

Jay Wilkes opened the meeting with a thank you to all the coordinators and volunteers for a great Pedalpalooza 2012. He continued with some notes from the SORBA Main meeting in Knoxville and the great ground-swell of support for mountain biking in that area. 

Jay also provided an update on the Blanket’s Creek parking lot project which has been fully laid out and is scheduled for ground breaking in September 2012. 

The safety netting for the Wall Ride on Quehl Holler has been purchased and the steel supports are being fabricated. 

VMT 2.0 redesign has been completed and the total cost of the project was $7,500. We also were forced to replace the gas engine in that dingo at a cost of $1,500. 

Bill provided details on the new IMBA sponsored jersey program. Men’s and Women’s designs are available for $60 with $10 of the purchase price coming back to the chapter and $1 going to IMBA. Sign-up is available on the SORBA Woodstock website.

The decsision has been made to start a Time Trial series for the three Blanket’s Creek trails for summer 2012. Details are being worked on and will be announced shortly. 

Mark provided details of this year’s Bike Patrol training classes to be held in May. Both the BP traing and CPR Cert. classes will be offered. 

Jay closed the meeting.

April 2012 Meeting Minutes

Gary Moore opened the meeting by thanking the volunteers and Bike Patrollers for their work in making this year’s Dirty Duathlon a smooth and successful event. Thanks also went out to Lisa and Scott with Mountain Goat Adventures for their hard work and continued support of SORBA Woodstock. 

Charlie and Ken provided an update on the Explorer Trail. Approximately two-thirds of the final loop is cut. Two bridges will be built for the trail in May and will mark the final step to opening the loop. The goal is to have this loop open by the end of May. 

Gary and Ethan Quehl gave an update on the progress being made on the VMT rework. About half of the machine work is completed and there will be two work parties on April 14th and 21st to provide the finishing work. 

Gary informed that Jay will be meeting with the County this Friday to discuss the detailed timeline plans for the parking lot expansion project. Updates and notices about the project will be made available on SORBA Woodstock’s website and Facebook page. 

Gary kicked off a disucssion of the upcoming Pedalpalooza on May 5th. Tim L. provided an update of the vendors scheduled to attend. Chris Wyatt detailed the Skills Yard activities planned which will include skills clinics for kids/beginners, games and group rides. Andrew Yun outlined plans for the Quehl Holler area’s Jump Fest exhibitions and Super D competition. 

Mark Taylor gave a brief update on the Bike Patrol training to be held this Spring and announced that the Woodstock Fire Department will have 8 firemen joining the SORBA Woodstock Bike Patrol. 

Gary closed the meeting.

March 2012 Meeting Minutes

Jay Wilkes opened the meeting with Rope Mill trail news:

  • The North Side trails are being laid out. The expectation is for 4-6 miles of singletrack laid out in a contour style with long straights and flowing turns.
  • Explorer trail construction is underway with completion expected by the end of Spring. Two bridges will need to be constructed.
  • In response to some recent complaints, Woodstock Police are stepping up patrols in the park. Users observing suspicious activity are requested to call 911. 

Streetfest 2012 is March 25th and SORBA Woodstock will be sharing a tent with Greenprints. Volunteers are requested to man our side. 

Jay continued with more news for Blankets Creek:

  • Parking lot construction planned for July. Going to bid this week.
  • The Van Michael trail will be receiving some grooming at the hands of Ethan Quehl. SORBA Woodstock is renting a mini-excavator for Ethan to widen the radius on many of the switchback corners and adjust the entrances into these corners.
  • Plans are being developed for the new skills yard.
  • Fairbanks Engineering will be performing the annual inspections of all wooden structures at Blankets Creek for $350.
  • We will be submitting a new MOU in April, discussions began about needed changes to the agreement.
  • Boy Scouts will be working on building benches for the expanded Dwelling trailhead as well as a tool locker for the Holler Wall.
  • Still working on the netting for the Wall Ride. Brett will be making the steel supports. 

Jay will be attending the SORBA Main meeting in Knoxville March 31st

Lisa Randall provided a Dirty Duathlon update. A volunteer sign-up sheet was passed around and Lisa updated the MGA contributions tally to $9,600. 

Jay introduced the idea of a club group ride to Oak Mountain in May. 

Jay closed the meeting after a brief Q&A.

February 2012 Meeting Minutes

Jay Wilkes opened the meeting with an update on the Blankets Creek parking lot expansion project. The project is going out to bid next month and construction is expected to start in July 2012 with a 6 month completion time. 

Lisa Randall provided an update on the Dirty Duathlon race scheduled for April. Registration is strong and plans are being finalized. Lisa also confirmed a total of $9,100 in contributions to SORBA Woodstock are set for 2012. Her goal is to reach $10,000. 

Jay set the February work party details for the Dwelling Loop reroute. 

Jay continued with more news for Blankets Creek:

  • New bridge on Mosquito Bite completed.
  • The boulders for the skills area will be picked up this week.
  • Tweaks continue on the Dwelling alt-line.
  • Mosquito Flat extension will be receiving crush-and-run turnpiking.
  • We’ve identified a drainage issue on Kevorkian and will be attempting a fix during the upcoming work party.
  • Boy Scouts will be working on building benches for the expanded Dwelling trailhead as well as a tool locker for the Holler Wall. 

Charlie and Ken have started work on the third loop for the Explorer trail at Rope Mill. 

Mark Taylor provided some news for the Bike Patrol:

  • Mark installed hooks on the patrol boards at each trail head.
  • Each Patroller now has a name badge to hang on these hooks while riding the trails.
  • Volunteers are needed for the SE Expo.
  • Request has been made for Patollers at the Sling Shot race on March 4th.
  • Ken Franklin will taking the BP Instructor training. 

Jay closed the meeting after a brief Q&A.

January 2012 Meeting Minutes

Jay Wilkes opened the meeting with a recap of the trail counter data for 2011. Overall traffic on our trails is up 25% over 2010 with all trails seeing some increase in ridership. 

Jay announced the $10,000 donation from Dan Thornton of Free Flite Bicycles will be used to fund the construction of the 1 mile third loop on the Explorer Trail. We will be posting a sign on the trail to that effect. 

Jay continued with discussion points on SORBA Woodstock’s plans for 2012:

  • Parking Lot expansion set for April 2012.
  • Plans in development for the existing skills yard as well as a new skills yard to be built after the parking lot project. We are working on picking up a large number of boulders that have been made available from a local school construction project.
  • Dwelling alt-line will receive at least one new feature and one will be moved to a better location.
  • VMT will be the focus of our efforts in 2012 as we look to improve the flow and sustainability of the trail.
  • Explorer Trail third loop construction to start immediately.
  • Increasing chapter membership will be a focus for 2012.
  • Mountain Goat Adventures will be holding 4 events on our trails this year and has made a pledge to donate a total of $10,000 from these events in 2012. 

Jay explained that the inaugural Southeast Bike Expo in Conyers is looking for volunteers for it’s Feb 25th & 26th event. Volunteers will be given free admission to the event. 

The final discussion was regarding the need for chapter members to get involved with our newly forming Events Committee. We are looking for members to assist in the planning and running of various events throughout the year. 

Jay closed the meeting after a brief Q&A.

December 2011 Meeting Minutes

Jay Wilkes opened the meeting with a presentation highlighting SORBA Woodstock’s events and accomplishments for 2011. 

He followed that by announcing that the Board of Directors will remain the same as 2011. All officers are returning to their current posts. There were no other nominations. 

Mark Heiman provided a brief recount of the IMBA-SORBA Main Meeting that was held in Gainesville in November. 

Jay informed that the December work party will be at Blankets Creek on Dec. 17th from 9am -1pm. Clearing drains and deberming on the Dwelling Loop will be the focus. 

Jay provided some updates for the Blankets Creek Trails:

  • Thanks to Chris and Richard for the reroute on Mosquito Flats in the area that has eroded too close to the creek.
  • The Dwelling Alt-line is once again under development and will be receiving some additional features in December.
  • All BC trails have been leaf-blown except South, which will remain unblown.
  • The parking lot expansion is now set for an April 2012 construction start. Trail head improvements will include permanent restrooms, storage room, meeting space, bike washes and wi-fi hot spot.
  • The major focus for trail improvements in 2012 will be the Van Michael Trail. Efforts will center on widening switchbacks, improving flow and adding some technical trail features. 

Jay continued with discussion points for the Rope Mill Trails:

  • Charlie informed that the Explorer trail is now complete and open. Flagging has begun on a proposed additional 1 mile loop on this trail.
  • Bill is working on the signage for Explorer.
  • The Implementation Plan for trails on the north side of  Little River has been submitted. 

Jay closed the meeting.

November 2011 Meeting Minutes

Jay Wilkes opened the meeting with discussion points for the Rope Mill Trails.

  • It’s been determined that the mini-ex is not suitable for finishing the backcuts on the Explorer Trail. The Board voted 7-0 to pay Ken Nicks $2,500 to complete the backcut by hand and do the final cut with the dingo.
  • Jay presented a brief outline of some monies that may be available to the chapter in 2012 for funding the remaining trails at Rope Mill.
  • Construction of permanent restroom facilities is planned for the hillside behind the pavillion. Construction date TBD.
  • Jay informed the chapter that the proposed trail leading from Rope Mill to the Aquatic Center will need to be rerouted to avoid the existing road leading to the dredging yard. 

Malanda Murchison informed all that the chapter Christmas Party is to be held at the Crestmont Clubhouse and will be catered by Beetles BBQ. All members are welcome and encouraged to RSVP by 11/14/12. 

Mark Taylor gave a brief update on the Bike Patrol including the need to make the payment for the Fire Dept Bike Patrol jerseys.

 Jay Wilkes continued with discussion points for the Blankets Creek trails.

  • The proposed expert trail will require a wetlands delineation study at a cost of  $1-2K. We are aslo working on the Implementation Plan for this trail.
  • Jay and John Hicks will be attending a meeting on Nov 18th to discuss the details of the BC parking lot and trail head improvements.
  • We are pursuing a standard boardwalk engineered drawing that we can use for all future boardwalk installments.
  • We’ve secured the county rate for the port-a-johns and are planning to reduce to two port-a-johns during the winter months.
  • Some discussion around the current and future skills yards. There are some boulders available from a local construction project. It was decided that we are interested and need a method to transport them.

Jay announced that all current Board members are planning to remain in their seats for the upcoming year and informed the general membership of the process for nominating and electing officers according to the chapter by-laws. 

Jay closed the meeting.

October 2011 Chapter News

One of our tenets here at SORBA-Woodstock is to reach out to new riders and make our sport accessible and enjoyable for those interested in giving trail riding a go. IMBA’s annual Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day is an excellent vehicle for that effort and this year’s event was our most attended TAKMD to date. The weather was great and we had tons of young riders out to enjoy the rides and contests. 

Later that afternoon the Jump Jam at Quehl Holler provided fun and excitement for kids of all ages and gave everyone a chance to see just exactly how this trail should be ridden. There was a huge crowd that lined the full length of the course. We’re very much enjoying the new community of riders that have come to Blankets Creek to ride and develop the Holler; it’s great to have these guys join in our efforts and bring a youthful dynamic to the park. We’re also currently working on setting up some Holler riding classes led by the trail’s builder and namesake Ethan Quehl. Stay tuned for more info on that soon. 

The very much less interesting, yet ever so important side of managing our trail system at Blankets Creek continues as well. The Wall Ride safety netting is pending approval from the COE. We’re submitting an engineered drawing to the Corps for use as a template for all future boardwalk constructions. A Wetlands Delineation study will soon be ordered paving the way for the new Expert Trail’s Implementation Plan. The parking lot expansion project is finishing its 30 day public comment period and we are anticipating construction will begin in November

One of the major components of the parking lot expansion at Blankets Creek will be the new restroom facilities. We spent some time discussing the SORBA-W annual budget at this month’s meeting and, believe it or not, the Port-A-Johns at BC account for almost a quarter of our expenditures. We have recently secured the county rate for the Porta-A-Johns, but it will still be a great relief to get those off our books. 

On the income side of the ledger, the donation box at Blankets brings in on average about $12,000 annually and is our primary source of revenue. We want to say “Thanks!” to all those that contribute in this manner. Purchasing the raw materials and maintaining the tools that we use to build trails is a regular expense and we couldn’t do all this without your support. 

2011 brought us a new, much needed, flow of funds from the race events organized by Mountain Goat Adventures. The three very successful and popular events conducted so far this year have meant an additional $6,000 for our chapter. We are truly grateful to have such a competent and generous partner in Lisa Randall and MGA. The first ever Dirty Duathlon at Rope Mill in late October will be the final event of the year and we expect it to be a great one. Check their website for details. 

This Dirty Duathlon will send the runners down the new trail at the Taylor Randahl Memorial Trails which is inching nearer to completion. The trail consists of two loops with the first loop of .4 miles being a very smooth and flowy section of beginner trail goodness. The second loop, which has been rough cut and is rideable with caution, is 1.6 miles long and brings a bit more challenge. The entire trail is designed to provide a stepping stone for those that aren’t quite ready for the Avalanche loops. 

The leaves are piling up and the days are quickly growing shorter; soon our thoughts and efforts will be targeting winter projects. Keep us in mind and check the website often for opportunities to help us get some more trails built and more features added in preparation for next year! And night rides, who’s ready for some night rides?

September 2011 Chapter News

September was one of those months when we were again reminded of just how important our volunteer army is to the SORBA-W trails. We had an outstanding turnout for the bridge building party on the new trail at Rope Mill. Two bridges were constructed in very difficult positions in one long Saturday. Teamwork and manpower were the keys here and the day’s effort helped make a huge leap forward in the building of this promising new trail. Charlie and Ken continue to be the driving force as we strive to get the trail open. 

Mother Nature tried to complicate our lives by delivering a tornado through the heart of the Woodstock/Sixes area. Due to the fear of major damage and with an eye for the safety of our trail users we were forced to close all the trails. While major damage missed the trails themselves, several of the area's subdivisions suffered damage to many of their homes. Jeff Plyler and Richard Pilczuk were out there the next morning and with two outstanding individual efforts had all the trails cleared by mid-afternoon

Blankets Creek was again the beneficiary of volunteer contributions from several work parties formed informally by the Quehl Holler riders. One new feature, several tweaks and some drainage work was completed during the weekday evening sorties. A larger party was formed in the last weekend that added several benches and picnic tables to the Holler

The Wall Ride’s safety netting has been designed and ordered. The engineered drawings have been completed and submitted to the COE as well. The system will be installed this fall and when completed will provide some assurance of safe use by all riders. We are working hard for all parties involved to make this a feature that can be enjoyed for years to come.

Rounding out Blankets Creek news, the parking lot expansion is in the 30 day public comment period and a Wetlands Delineation Study is being planned for submittal to the COE with an Implementation Plan for the new expert level trail that we are planning for the eastern side of the park. Watch our website for more news about this new trail in the coming months.

Fall weather is here and it’s time to get out there and take full advantage before the short, cold days descend upon us. Ride baby ride!

August 2011 Chapter News

The Race To Sunset 6 Hour endurance race saw hot but dry weather and a terrific crowd. Participants and spectators alike enjoyed the event that was expertly staged by Mountain Goat Adventures. The only planned adjustment for this race next year will be a move to a Fall date for more comfortable temperatures. Up next for MGA and SORBA Woodstock is the Rope Mill Dirty Duathlon which will feature a Ride-Run-Ride format in October. Get the details on their website and make your plans to come on out. 

We’ve finally broken ground on the new beginner trail in the Taylor Randahl MTB Trails system. It will be a rolling contour trail, much like the hilly side of Mosquito Bite, and will be approximately 2.5 miles in length. Located on the west side of I-575, access to the trail is via the crushed rock doubletrack trail that leads from the west parking lot and travels under the I-575 bridge. We will be holding a work party on September 10th at 9am to build the two necessary bridges and to do some finishing work on the completed sections of trail. 

The installation of the numbered trail markers is nearly complete on the Avalanche Trail. This system is the same as the markers recently installed at Blankets Creek and is designed to assist emergency personnel in reaching distressed trail users. To that same end, the Woodstock Fire Department has recently completed training and outfitting of a new unit of Firemen Bike Patrollers. This is really a special program and we’re very pleased to have this kind of support for our local trails. 

For our part in the safety of the trails, our IMBA Bike Patrol Director Mark Taylor has completed his Training Instructor certification which will allow SORBA Woodstock to conduct our own Bike Patrol training courses. This is also the final IMBA Bike Patrol criteria for us to meet as a chapter. Look forward to bike safety, maintenance and skills classes that will be held and facilitated by Mark and his band of Patrollers in the coming months. 

As the hot and dusty conditions continue at Blankets Creek, we continue to keep an eye on the future for the next steps in the development of this park. The parking lot expansion project is still forecast for an October 2011 start and we are drafting plans to take full advantage of it. Discussions are centered on making adjustments to the Mosquito Flats loops, creating direct access to Van Michael and relocating the Skills Area. 

Quehl Holler is also the subject of enhancement plans. We’ve been pleased to see a new community of riders form around the Holler and these guys have been great about doing maintenance and suggesting tweaks to some of the features. The As-Built engineered drawings for the Wall Ride have been completed and accepted by the COE, a very crucial step. Additionally, plans are being drafted to install a safety net along the top of the Wall Ride to meet the final requirements of our land managers and secure the future of this very popular feature at Blankets Creek. 

Rounding out BC news, the rescheduled Jump Jam is set to take place in tandem with the IMBA Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day on October 1st. This will be a great day of family fun and outdoor entertainment. Watch our website and Facebook pages for more info in the next few weeks.

July 2011 Chapter News

Super big turnout for this month’s chapter meeting, thanks to all who took the time to come out and get the news over some free pizza provided by Free Flite. If you couldn’t join us, here’s what you missed.

Woodstock area trails, Greenprints Alliance and SORBA-W enjoyed some great press recently with write-ups about the Taylor Randahl Trails appearing in the Cherokee Tribune and Dirt Rag magazine. There’s a good deal of buzz around all that is developing in our little neck of the woods and we really appreciate all that the local community and leaders are doing to promote mountain biking here. You can do your part by coming out to enjoy the trails and telling your friends about our sport and our facilities. Well, and coming to a work party now and again, of course.

Blankets Creek received the majority of our attention this month. The “Turnpike” portion of Hamilton’s Hop has been built-out further to be wider. This allows better bi-directional traffic in that area as well as fixing some drainage issues. Quehl Holler got some new permanent signs and the Wall Ride got some finishing touches designed to meet the necessary structural codes. We are having an “as-built” drawing drafted to provide the COE with all they need to sign-off on this project. This is key to ensuring that we keep this great feature for many future rides. 

Up at the main trailhead for Blankets, our best estimate is still October for the parking lot expansion project to get rolling. We’re also working on getting a lower rate on the three port-a-johns there to try and stretch our donated dollars as far as we can. This is a substantial expense for us and it is funded entirely by the donations placed in the box near the kiosk. So if you’re a regular donor, thanks! 

The Rope Mill park pedestrian bridge is open! Unfortunately the land on the north side of Little River is not yet ready for primetime and it looks like a lot of effort will be required to get this area restored and developed. Much of the damage has been from ATV use and the City of Woodstock Police are encouraging anyone that sees any motorized activity out there to please call 911 so that WPD can respond.

We are fully expecting to start work on the next trail in the Taylor Randahl system in August. The City of Woodstock has provided us with the funds and we expect the final approval of the EA and Implementation Plan by the end of July. While this trail will be machine-cut, there will be lots of opportunities to come out and give it that loving touch that only a well-swung Pulaski can provide.

Some great events are coming up this summer. The Georgia State Games will be at Rope Mill for the trail running and mountain biking events the weekend of July 23-24. They are still in need of volunteers for both days – contact Malanda at events@sorbawoodstock.com if you can help out. 

Mountain Goat Adventures will be holding the Race To Sunset 6 Hour at Blankets Creek on August 13th. This looks to be a huge day with a festival atmosphere leading up to the start of the race at 3pm and post race shindig after. Get all the details on MGA’s website.  

If you’re a fan of the Jake & Bull Mountain trails, you’ll be pleased to hear that there has been a great deal of new work done out there in the past year. Already considered an IMBA Epic Ride, this area is getting even better and there is a planned Mega Work Party being coordinated by all the nearby IMBA-SORBA chapters and the Chattahoochee Trail Horse Association on August 6th. We will be attending with two dingos and as many hands as we can muster. If you can swing it, we’d love to have you come out and help us lend a hand. Further details here.

May 2011 Updates

The return of Pedalpalooza and the Grand Opening of Quehl Holler are the top news stories this month. We had unbelievable weather this year for Pedalpalooza and a terrific crowd. Special thanks to Malanda and Jeff Murchison for getting this year’s spring festival organized and executed. We had a huge crowd jamming to some tunes and enjoying some great riding back on the Holler. The new freeride/flow trail is proving to be a great addition to the Blankets Creek system. Too many names to thank here, but we were glad to see Ethan Quehl make it out (on crutches) to personally see how much everyone is digging his design. 

Next time you're out on the Dwelling Loop, keep your eye out for the new Alt Line. Unofficially dubbed the "Dragon's Wing" this new advanced section provides an alternate trail that includes a table-top and then three fast, small jumps. This is a one-way trail everyday leading in the clockwise direction. So if you are riding Dwelling counter-clockwise, you'll pass the exit of the Wing first and then come around to the entrance. We will be continuing to tweak and refine this trail but it is ready to start getting ridden in so if you are up to it, give it a go.

Also at Blankets, Mosquito Flats has grown almost a half mile with it’s newly cut section on the northwest side of the loop. While not completely finished, it is ready to ride. We have a few more changes in mind for the Flats and are discussing options for all the traffic flow on the Mosquito trails and for getting out to Van Michael. Stay tuned! 

The pedestrian bridge at Olde Rope Mill Park is in place! The construction company is finishing the access to both sides of the bridge and it should be open for public use in the coming weeks. This, of course, will open up the north side of Little River for us to begin on the layouts for two new trails there. These trails are included in the master plan and the EA that we are currently waiting to be approved. 

The inside word is the EA is very close to being approved by the Corps of Engineers. The immediate impact of this will be the opportunity for us to get started on the beginner loop which has already been laid out for the west side of I-575. We’re very anxious to get this started and are excited to have this option ready to use in the Taylor Randahl system. 

Come join us for a group ride at Tanasi on June 4th. Details are on the homepage.

April 2011 Chapter News

An excellent group came out for this month’s meeting; we love to see new faces. If you haven’t made one of our monthly meetings, come on out in May and join us for the latest news and some good times. 

We got off to a ceremonial start this month – our own Charlie Schultz was presented with a CRPA Volunteer of the Year plaque. Charlie was recognized for the tremendous amount of time and superb contribution that he makes in his work for our chapter and the community. In a not-so-surprisingly brief acceptance speech, he agreed to accept the award on behalf of all of our volunteers and thanked everyone for the recognition. Way to go Charlie! 

Lisa Randall of Mountain Goat Adventures was also on hand to voice her appreciation for everyone’s efforts in making this year’s Dirty Duathlon a rousing success. Lisa and her husband Scott did an amazing job organizing and staging the run & ride formatted race and we are looking forward to more race events on the Woodstock trails with them at the helm. You can find the results of the race on their website. 

Big news at the big park, Blankets Creek will be getting some additional trail! Our Board voted unanimously to fund the construction of additional trail on our beginner loop, Mosquito Flats. The 1 mile trail will be getting an inner loop section that we hope will yield an additional .5 mile. We have quite a few folks that regularly make multiple laps of the Mosquitoes trails and this should go a long way to making those circuits more fun and interesting. We’ll have more details on this as we start to lay it out and begin cutting it in. We expect that this will go fairly quickly. 

Quehl Holler’s yet to be officially christened Wall Ride is shaping up nicely. There’s still much to do but take a look when your next out there and you’ll see that this is going to be an incredible addition. Thanks for everyone’s patience, we are trying our best to get this and the downhill run completed soon so that we can get t’ Hollerin’! 

Perhaps less exciting but every bit as needed, we’ve added a third Port-a-John to the Blanket’s parking area. These will all be replaced with permanent facilities as part of our trailhead and parking area makeover that looks to be set for this fall. 

Rope Mill’s Avalanche Trail has received a new “to the right” switchback entrance trail. This allowed us to make the earlier entrance section directional as the “to the left” entrance. Go out and give it a ride so we can get the new section seasoned and bedded-in. The pedestrian bridge over Little River is seeing more delays, unfortunately. Testing is being conducted on the concrete footers to ensure the bridge meets all the requirements. 

In better news, the EA has been submitted to the Corps of Engineers for approval. This is now a 90 day process of review. If approved, we will have the green light to begin construction on the already flagged beginner loop that will be staged on the west side of I-575. The new loop will be between 3 and 4 miles and is situated in a very picturesque area of the woods with views of Little River. This will be a great addition to the Taylor Randahl Memorial trails and Olde Rope Mill Park. 

Next up on the docket is Pedalpalooza!! Come on out to Blankets Creek on Saturday May 7th for a fun-filled day of group rides, bike giveaways, bike demos, food, music and more! If you’d like to help with the event, please contact Malanda Murchison at events@sorbawoodstock.org to see how and when you can help out. 

 

March 2011 Chapter News

Ahhh, warmer weather and we’re back to our new digs at the clubhouse (warehouse/barn/storage facility, we’re going to have settle on something soon) at Blankets. We had a great turnout this month with many of us enjoying some great group rides beforehand and some tasty grilled burgers and dogs after! 

Jay kicked us off with a preview of the upcoming premiere of the Southern Mountain Bike Summit in Brevard, N.C. We’ll be sending a delegation for three days of learning, sharing and, of course riding (Pisgah, baby, yeah!). If you can make it, it promises to be a great event. Get more info here: http://www.sorba.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=206. If you can’t make it, be sure to hit our next chapter meeting in April for the report. 

National Mountain Bike Patrol will be one of the main topics at the summit this year and our NMBP Director Mark Taylor will be there to gather the info and continue his efforts to organize our Spring calendar. Mark is planning training and certification events for the next couple of months, so it’s a great time to get involved. IMBA-SORBA has also created a new Family Membership add-on for Bike Patrol members that will save you $20/year over the old plan.  Please contact Mark at bikepatrol@sorbawoodstock.org for more details. 

Most of the news this month centered on all the great work our volunteers are getting done. Blankets Creek has some new signage at the main trailhead and we are working on replacing all the trail signs with the new metal signs to assist all users in getting around in the woods. Shultze’s Chute has a new bridge feature that takes you up and over a large pine tree that fell there last month. We will also be skinning the top of the tree to create a great new log ride. The Wall Ride on Quehl Holler has been started and looks to be an awesome finish to this downhill trail. We expect both the Wall Ride and the downhill trail to open prior to the Dirty Duathlon on April 9th

We have also installed new signs over at Sixes Presbyterian Church. Unfortunately, some folks have taken some liberties in using the SPC as a new trailhead. This cannot continue. The good folks at SPC have always been very gracious in allowing us to use the front of their eastside parking lot as overflow parking for Blankets Creek. Please, if you park there, come back out to Sixes road and ride over to the Blankets parking lot to access the main Blankets Creek trailhead. 

We’re looking to make a big effort at this month’s Work Party (March 19th) at Blankets Creek to get the alt-line finished on the Dwelling Loop. This cool new feature will have several 3’ drops in succession and will provide an exciting new way down Dwelling from the top bench area when riding clockwise (“to the left”). We need everyone we can get this week to make sure we get this done and open! 

Over at Rope Mill, the pedestrian bridge was delayed by the heavy rains last week and we are awaiting news of the rescheduled installation date. The park will be closed that day while the bridge is craned (sorry, no helicopter) into place so keep an eye on our homepage for the announcement of the new date. The rerouting of Rope Mill road and the beginning of the new diamond interchange at 575 and Ridgewalk Parkway has also begun. 

If you’ve seen any of the motorized vehicle activity out on the Avalanche Trail lately, you’ll be happy to know that the City of Woodstock and the Mayor are on this and are developing new Motorized Vehicle ordinances to match those currently in place with Cherokee County. We appreciate the City’s and the Mayor’s support on this issue. 

We have a ton of events and races coming up this year on SORBA Woodstock’s trails. We need volunteers to help make each of these events a success. Please contact Malanda Murchison at events@sorbawoodstock.org to see how and when you can help out. Check our calendar frequently and also Mountain Goat Adventures’ website for more details. And get out there and RIDE!!!

February 2011 Meeting Notes

Thanks to everyone that joined us at Summit’s Wayside this month. It was great to see some new faces and we encourage everyone to come out when you can. If you weren’t able to be there this month, here’s the latest news. 

Jay Wilkes opened the meeting with updates from both Cherokee County and the City of Woodstock. Cherokee has purchased 29 acres of land in Canton for the construction of a connector trail that will allow users to walk/ride/run from Heritage Park to Boling Park. Woodstock has given SORBA the approval and funding to complete some additional trail enhancements at Rope Mill Park. First up here will be new access to the Avalanche Trail by way of a switchback trail on the west side of the Avalanche Kiosk. This will be the counter-clockwise or “to the right” entrance for Avalanche. 

We’re very excited to announce that the Georgia Games will be holding their MTB event this summer at Rope Mill!  This looks to be our first race event on Avalanche and it is scheduled for July 24th, 2011. More info can be found on their website: http://www.georgiagames.org/mountain_biking.htm 

Also at Rope Mill, we are still expecting the pedestrian bridge to be installed around the end of February and look forward to starting construction on the new beginner loop there in late-March. This loop is currently flagged at about 3.5 miles. 

Over at Blankets Creek, finishing touches are being applied to our new downhill trail dubbed “Quehl Holler.” We’re working diligently to get it ready to open and we’ll have a full write-up on this trail on the homepage soon. The installation of the new trail markers is progressing nicely. You can see the full details of this project here. Unfortunately, the improvements to the Blankets parking lot look to be delayed until next year. There are no definitive dates to start construction but everything is being done to get this project through the red-tape and into reality. 

Plans for this year’s Pedalpalooza are taking shape. Scheduled for May 7th, 2011, Pedalpalooza will be held at Blankets Creek and will feature group rides, contests, and bike giveaways. JD’s BBQ will be there providing delicious food and adding a great “air” to the event. Bring the whole family and enjoy what is sure to be a great time. 

Out Spokin’ Bicycles is providing a Cannondale Trail SL 29er 2 to be raffled off at the 2011 Dirty Duathlon, to be held April 9th at Blankets Creek. You can find more info about the raffle and the event at Mountain Goat Adventures’ website at http://mountaingoatadventures.com/blanketsduathlon/ 

MGA is also beginning plans for two other events on SORBA Woodstock trails this year. A six-hour “twilight” race at Blankets will be held August 13th, 2011 from 4pm-10pm and another Dirty Duathlon race at Rope Mill is scheduled for October 29th. More details on these events will be forthcoming.

Our new National Mountain Bike Patrol Director, Mark Taylor, brought us up-to-date on his plans to re-energize our NMBP program in the coming months. Dates are still being set, but if anyone is interested in this program please contact Mark via email bikepatrol@sorbawoodstock.org. You can get more info on the Bike Patrol program at IMBA’s website http://www.imba.com/nmbp 

Spring is just around the corner folks and there’s a lot going on at SORBA Woodstock as we plan to have great 2011 on the trails. We encourage everyone to get involved and help us provide the MTB experience you and yours are looking for. Please feel free to contact any of our Board members with comments and suggestions. You can find a list of us and our email addresses here http://www.sorbawoodstock.org/board-of-directors/

 

 

January 2011 Chapter News

The big news for SORBA Woodstock this month is the intense snow, ice and cold that set in on our area. Unfortunately, this meant cancelling the January Chapter meeting which we had hoped to hold at Summits Wayside Tavern. The Board did meet however so here’s the notable news for the month. 

The 2011 Dirty Duathlon, to be held April 9th at Blankets Creek, has named its title sponsor - Mike The Mechanic.  Mountain Goat Adventures is doing a great job in putting this year’s event together and we’d love to see a huge turnout. For more info check out the race’s website at http://mountaingoatadventures.com/blanketsduathlon/ 

Over at the Olde Rope Mill Park we are continuing to design and flag the new beginner’s loop which is to be created on the west side of I-575. The current estimate is for a 3-4 mile loop which will be primarily level. Unfortunately, we are waiting on approval to start construction on this loop and we are expecting that approval to be at least 6 months away. In the meantime, we are looking at making some improvements to the Avalanche trail in the bi-directional portion of the trail that connects the 3rd (“Lollipop”) loop. Charlie is considering installing some concrete pavers that will give riders the option of getting up out of the muck that has been plaguing this area. No updates at the moment for the pedestrian bridge that will connect us to the north side of the river. Installation is still expected in February. 

Some new features are on the horizon for Blankets Creek. Keep your eye on the SORBA Woodstock homepage for an exciting announcement of a brand new feature at Blankets. We can’t disclose more now, but the news will be out very soon. We can tell you that we are planning on building some “Alt Lines” for the Dwelling Loop. The first will be off the Dragon’s Tail portion of the trail and will give riders the option of taking a more challenging route through this area. Other Alt Lines are being discussed. The proposed trail head improvements for Blankets have hit a delay. A new Environmental Impact Assessment (EA) has been required and will be setting this project back quite a bit. We are looking to draft and submit a new Master Plan for the park during this process which will give us the chance to include some new improvement ideas. 

If you haven’t heard, the Board voted to create a new Board position for an Events Coordinator starting this year. Malanda Murchison was elected unanimously to the position; no doubt a reflection of the great job she did organizing our events during the 2010 season. She has hit the ground running for 2011 with the following events taking shape for the upcoming season: 

  • Women’s Conditioning – 2nd & 4th Wednesdays in January & February
  • Pedalpalooza – May 7, 2011
  • Time Trial Events for SORBA Members - TBD
  • More Group Rides

Chapter Meeting Minutes - 7/12/10

Jay Wilkes opened meeting.

-Bridge building party set for Friday 7/16 to be postponed until a later date. Temporary bridges at Rope Mill do not need to be immediately replaced and will hold until a more suitable date can be set.

-Saturday, 7/17, 8-12 pm trail building party at Rope Mill.

-Oct 23rd Fall Festival to be held at Rope Mill, Pedalpalooza in the spring at Blankets.

-Board may decide to pay off the Dingo purchase next month.

-Discussed having Ken Nix and Stephen Mullins fix Mosquito Flats and Bite plus the boardwalk area on Hamilton’s Hop. Also renting Ken’s Bobcat if needed.

-Parking lot at Blankets on track to have construction start in the fall.

-Group ride at Raccoon Mountain 7/24.

The meeting was adjourned.

Chapter Meeting Minutes - 6/14/10

Jay Wilkes opened the meeting with a comment on the very successful work part at Olde Rope Mill Park on National Trails Day, June 5th. With strong support from REI, including Volunteer T-shirts for all participants, and lunches provided by Canyon Burgers, 170 volunteers participated in the largest work party SORBA Woodstock has ever held. The next work party will be June 26th. John Hicks will be training interested volunteers on bridge building techniques. The first six miles of the Taylor Randahl Memorial Mountain Bike Trails are scheduled to be completed later this year.

Tyler McDaniel was in attendance at the meeting and was recognized for his excellent work in constructing the kiosk at Olde Rope Mill Park. This was his project for his Eagle Scout award.

Jay reported that the bridge over the Little River has been delayed because of the Georgia DOT. The environmental impact studies have expired and will have to be redone. We estimate it may take about one year before this bridge is completed.

Scott Stewart will begin Dirty Thursday work parties at Blankets Creek this coming Thursday, June 17th. The focus will be hand finishing the re-route on Dragon’s Tail. The wet areas on Mosquito Bite are a high priority as well.

The downhill trail on the old fire road section of the Dwelling Loop has been delayed a few weeks due to a change that was required in the plan we submitted to the USACOE. The original plan called for using telephone poles and the COE will not allow them. We must use natural wood from trees that have fallen. We revised the plan and expect approval soon as they have expressed support for the plan.

The trailhead park renovation continues to move forward. Ross Engineering has been contracted by the County and is finalizing their plans for submission to the County. Once submitted to the COE we expect a response in about 90 days. We anticipate work to begin this fall.

We have had discussions with the County about the concept plan for connecting Blankets Creek and Olde Rope Mill Park. The discussions have been productive and positive. This project will take time to develop and execute. We do not have an anticipated timetable at this point in time.

The trail counters at Blankets Creek recorded approximately 7,500 users in May, despite some rain during the month. There were 6,800 loops on Dwelling, the highest number recorded to date.

We have added additional ropes at the Kevorkian Pass on the VMT to help prevent riders from falling off the trail at that point.

Our events coordinator, Melanda Murchison, has announced two upcoming group rides. The first will be a women’s ride at Blankets Creek on June 26th at 8:30 am. The second ride will be a camp and ride event at Raccoon Mountain in Chattanooga on July 24th.

Free-Flite will have a demo day at Blankets creek on July 27th and Trek and Gary Fisher will demo at Blankets on July 11th.

Stephanie Bunkley reported that three of her high school club members have qualified to race at the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships at Granby Ranch, CO on July 15-18.

The meeting was adjourned.

Chapter Meeting Minutes - 5/18/10

Jay Wilkes opened the meeting pointing out that this is the first chapter meeting held at Olde Rope Mill Park, site of the Taylor Randahl Memorial Mountain Bike Trails. He also thanked Dan Thornton and Free-Flite Bicycles for cooking burgers and dogs for the meeting.

Jay talked about how successful the 2010 IMBA World Summit in Augusta, GA had been. He commented on how well regarded SORBA is in the IMBA family and how well managed and informative the summit was. SORBA, IMBA and the City of Augusta did a fine job hosting the event. The FATS trail system was a huge hit among attendees and earned high praise from Hans Rey who spoke to the summit about his new trail flow design and rating system.

Jay recognized the hard work Charlie Shultz has put into building the Taylor Randahl trails working alongside Stephen Mullins of Pro Trails. He also thanked Ken Nix for the work he has done recently, especially on the second stacked loop currently under construction.

On National Trails Day, 6/5/10, REI is sponsoring a work party at Olde Rope Mill Park with the goal of bringing 200 volunteers to help build the new trails. The Kennesaw and Perimeter stores have online signups for volunteers, the first 200 getting REI volunteer t-shirts. The work party will begin at 8:00 am. Crew leaders will meet at 7:30 am. Canyon Burgers will be generously providing lunch. The City of Woodstock will also have a presence at the park that day to draw attention to this wonderful addition to their park system.

Jay commented on the advocacy for preserving mountain bike access to the Mountaintown trail outside Ellijay. Mike Palmieri of Cartecay Bikes, is an outspoken advocate for this effort and shared his thoughts with Jay and others at the World Summit.

Scott Stewart announced that we will begin Dirty Thursday work parties after work, a couple of times per month. They will be about two hour time slots focused on small projects at Blankets Creek. The Dragon’s Tail re-route is first on the list of projects.

There continues to be discussion about dogs at Blankets Creek and the requirement that they be on a minimum 6 foot leash. We will continue to educate users about this requirement and work with the County about compliance.

Melanda Murchison has stepped up and volunteered to be our Events Coordinator. She talked about the VMT ride for newbies on Saturday at 10:30 am. There was discussion about having a chapter sponsored camping trip to FATS this year, likely in the fall when it is cooler. The Petersburg campground was a big hit with everyone who attended the World Summit. Riding the Bartram trails right out of camp is excellent and the FATS trails are just down the road.

Jay reported that the trail counters showed a significant increase in Dwelling riders, larger in relationship to the other trails than we have ever recorded. This likely indicates a surge in first time/beginner riders. Approximately 7,500 riders visited Blankets Creek in April.

Walt Bready and Robin Allen attended tonight’s meeting and also spoke highly of the World Summit experience. Walt was on hand to promote a contest for a Gary Fisher Hi-Fi. Winners must be a current IMBA-SORBA member as of December 2010.

The downhill/freeride projects at Blankets Creek are proceeding. A plan for the beginner DH on the old fire road has been submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE). Work on the expert loop/South Loop extension is underway and promises to be a tremendous addition to the Blankets Creek riding experience.

The County has signed a contract with Ross Engineering to finalize the plans for the new trailhead at Blankets Creek. The concept plan created by Scott Gordon, former SORBA Woodstock President, is the basis for this great improvement to Blankets Creek. A revision to the master plan will be submitted to the USACOE. John Hicks met with the USACOE and the County Commissioners have blessed this project. The County is eager to move forward on this project as soon as possible. We are also in discussions with the County Commissioners about the plans for a connector trail between Blankets Creek and Olde Rope Mill Park.

Stephanie Bunkley attended the World Summit, too, focusing on learning more about high school racing and her efforts to partner with Reinhart College to use their trails as a race venue.

Jay adjourned the meeting.