IMBA-SORBA Woodstock Trains Mountain Bike Patrollers

When you ride the Blankets Creek Mountain Bike Trails there is a good chance that you will encounter one of the National Mountain Bike Patrol (NMBP) members who ride those trails regularly.  The Woodstock Chapter of IMBA-SORBA recently conducted training to certify 28 bike patrollers.  This is twice the number of patrollers trained in recent years and represents one of the largest NMBP groups in the world. 

IMBA's National Mountain Bike Patrol program organizes and supports more than 60 volunteer bike patrol groups throughout the United States and the world.  The NMBP consists of dedicated volunteers partnering with land mangers, land owners and emergency personnel, to assist, educate and inform all trail users in order to enhance their recreational experience. 

  1. Assist in medical and mechanical emergencies
  2. Educate trail users of proper etiquette
  3. Inform land managers, owners and trail users of trail conditions through monitoring efforts  

There are three mandatory requirements for membership as a patroller: 

  1. Current certification in Basic First Aid and CPR
  2. Successful completion of a mountain bike patrol training course
  3. A passing grade on the NMBP Patroller online certification exam

The Woodstock Chapter of IMBA-SORBA works closely with the Cherokee County Office of Fire Emergency Services to ensure rapid response to injured riders at Blankets Creek.  The Bridge Mill Fire Station has a Gator ATV that they use to extract injured riders from the trails who are unable to walk out on their own.  When the location of a down rider is closer to Lake Allatoona than the trailhead, they use watercraft to transport riders across the lake to emergency care.  With very good cell phone service at Blankets Creek, dialing 911 will spring these emergency professionals into action.  If you find yourself in a situation where you are calling 911 at Blankets Creek, it is important to specifically request a response from the Bridge Mill Fire Station.  Other stations responding do not have access to the Gator making the extraction process more difficult. The Chapter is currently working with Cherokee County to implement a trail marking system that will provide emergency responders the ability to pinpoint the location of a down rider and determine the shortest route possible to reach them. 

The Woodstock Chapter will soon be adding additional volunteers to increase the presence of trained volunteers on the Blankets Creek trails.   The NMBP Trail Ambassador program offers a low barrier to entry and gives mountain bikers the chance to volunteer while riding.  Trail Ambassadors are knowledgeable volunteers who assist trail users to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable experience while riding. Mountain bikers who are looking for a way to volunteer while they are out on the trail doing what they love - riding - are invited to join this innovative program. 

Ambassadors will work directly in cooperation with the NMBP at Blankets Creek. Unlike members of the National Mountain Bike Patrol, IMBA Trail Ambassadors are not required to hold formal medical training, such as CPR or First Aid. 

If you are interested in becoming a NMBP or Trail Ambassador member at Blankets Creek, contact bikepatrol@sorbawoodstock.org.  It is a great way to volunteer and make the riding experience safer and more enjoyable for everyone who rides this outstanding trail system.