Jay Wilkes opened the meeting commenting on the very good turnout of volunteers to help clean up Blankets Creek Mountain Bike Trails after the floods. The trails were finally opened over this past weekend, but were closed again today due to more rain. We learned from this flood that a lake level of 850 feet puts the bridge over Blankets Creek underwater. The boardwalk just past the bridge is still a mess. We will need to turnpike that area in the future to elevate the trail.
The trail counters survived the heavy rains, despite a few leaks. We now have them in more durable sealed containers. During the month of August we had 10,000 visitors to our trails based upon the reader at the trailhead.
Several Woodstock Chapter members attended the Helen Fat Tire Festival and said it was a great event. Attendance was affected because of the rainy weather, but those who did attend had fun. Jay indicated that Helen is interested in adding more mountain bike trails to help attract more year round visitors.
SORBA financial administration is now being managed by IMBA. Another positive development in our relationship with IMBA is the change in member dollar sharing. Each chapter used to get $3 for each member. That has been increased to $12, providing a significant incentive for all chapters to increase membership.
The project at Olde Rope Mill Park is waiting for approval by the USACOE. We are still hopeful that we can begin work during November. We learned at the Helen Fat Tire Festival that the IMBA Trail Care Crew will be spending time with us at Olde Rope Mill Park when we get started.
We are still on course for a chapter ride at the Jackrabbit Mountain Bike Trails in Hayesville, NC on Saturday, November 6, 2009. We are hoping to be joined by the RAMBO and Gainesville SORBA chapters.
We will not have a Dirty Duathlon race at Blankets Creek in 2010. Lisa Randall, who did an outstanding job of directing the first two races, is a new mother and will not be able to commit the time for this event. We hope to be able to return to this event in future years.
As we all know, the IMBA World Summit will be held in Augusta, GA on May 5-8, 2010. Jay shared that Augusta and the USACOE are working together to build more trails between now and the summit. Holding this bi-annual event in Augusta is a huge feather in SORBA’s cap and a great opportunity to showcase some excellent trails in the southeast U.S.
SOFA has offered to help us build the advanced South Loop extension and other free ride features. Michael Stans attended our meeting tonight and spoke about the effort to encourage each chapter to designate a Free Ride Director. This model is being applied very successfully with RAMBO. SOFA is no longer a stand alone chapter. They are working through existing chapters and providing expertise when requested.