Written by Ellis Alexander
Sunday, 17 February 2008 18:01
John Hicks opened the meeting with good news about our fundraising efforts.
Ellis Alexander displayed the $10,000 “big check” from Bikes Belong signifying the grant we received for the Blankets Creek New Trail Construction Campaign. That gift and the early receipts for the Dirty Duathlon have pushed our funds raised to $40,000. Ellis emphasized the role SORBA played in winning the Bikes Belong grant. Our grant application was submitted under the SORBA umbrella and required significant financial data from SORBA that Tom Sauret and his staff pulled together for us. Ellis also highlighted the support from local bike shops for our application. Free-Flite Bicycles, Cycleworks, Habersham Bicycles, Intown Bicycles, and Bicycle South are all Bikes Belong members who wrote supporting letters for our application. Dan Thornton of Free-Flite is President of the North Georgia Bicycle Dealers Association and was instrumental in encouraging the other Bikes Belong members to support our application. Bikes Belong member support carries additional weight with the Bikes Belong Grants Committee. Out Spokin’ Bicycles also wrote a supporting letter and is playing a key role as presenting sponsor of the upcoming Dirty Duathlon race and fundraising event.
Walt Bready updated everyone about the Nimblewill Festival which will be held April 26-27, 2008 and encouraged everyone to attend. Added features to this year’s event are a gear swap and a retro/vintage bike ride. It will be a short ride but entertaining for everyone to see. He also talked about the new Southeastern Single Track E-news that many of have received in our e-mail. The Fat Tire Times has traditionally printed and distributed six times a year. It will drop back to five issues in 2008 and possibly four in 2009. You will soon learn aboutexploring electronic versions for distribution. 20th anniversary issue in the works. Walt talked about the upcoming events on the SORBA calendar, including the Dirty Duathlon fundraising event at Blankets. IMBA World Summit in Park City, UT to be held mid June 2008. See the IMBA web site for more information.
IMBA and SORBA merger is almost finalized. The database merging is still in process.
The Ride to the Capitol will happen in March. Georgia Bikes, a statewide bicycle advocacy group, sponsors this annual event to raise awareness about bike riding.
Tim Feltner reported that this Saturday, February 16, we will have Bike Patrol training. CPR starts at 9:00 am and First Aid and Bike Patrol training will follow.
Pedalpalooza will happen May 3. We are focused on finishing the new trails by that event.
The new trails continue to progress, but a lot of finishing work is left to be done. The frequency of work parties will increase, including week day work as the daylight hours extend into the evening.
Volunteer hours have been very impressive. It is important that those people who are working on their own during the week must communicate with Charlie Shultz about the work they are doing and Tim Feltner to document their hours worked. We have a number of people over 50 hours and will have some over 100. Since September 2007 we have over 1,100 hours volunteered from over 100 different people. Rewards for different levels of hours worked start at 25 hours.
John Hicks highlighted the importance of tracking volunteer hours for grants we may seek from various organizations. Also, our insurance coverage requires tracking who is on the trail.
Lisa Randall, organizer and promoter of the Dirty Duathlon event, reported that Out Spokin’ Bicycles has stepped up and will donate $9,000 of equipment and gear for the event, including one man’s and one woman’s full suspension mountain bikes. How they will be won is still a secret, but you have to be a race participant. Several sponsors have made cash contributions as well as several individuals. Kevin Poske and Out Spokin’ have done a lot to make this event feel like a big time event. Lisa showed the t-shirt design. 135 people have signed up for 200 positions. The registration has picked dramatically in recent days. Lisa expects the registration to close very soon. Thus far, $7,645 has been raised. If the event sells out we will raise $10,000 which will yield, after event expenses, approximately $7,000 for the new trail fund. Lisa requested that about one mile of the Van Michael Loop be used for the race. John Hicks said we would seek Charlie Shultz’s input on that decision. Lisa solicited volunteers for event day. She needs seven volunteers for course marshals, especially Bike Patrol members, and two people to help with parking at the church. Also need a generator. Walt volunteered the one in the SORBA event trailer. The trailer will also have a podium and start/finish banner and wooden stakes. Lisa also indicated the need for a race waiver. Walt will forward a template that SORBA has used for other events. The race starts at 9:00 am and should be finished by 12:30 pm. Volunteer arrival times will depend upon your job. We will need to close the trail sometime during the day on Friday to allow for set up in the parking lot Friday night.
February 24 is the Duathlon training day for those who need to learn about the trails. That will also be a bike demo day for Out Spokin’ Bicycles and Specialized.