Jay Wilkes opened the meeting with the election of officers for 2010 commenting that we now have a trail director for each of our primary trail systems (Blankets Creek and Olde Rope Mill). The nominations, as presented at the November meeting, are:
President - Jay Wilkes
Vice President - Scott Stewart
Secretary - Ellis Alexander
Treasurer - Chris Griffin
Trail Advocacy Director - John Hicks
Trail Director-Rope Mill - Charlie Shultz
Trail Director-Blankets Creek - Dave Hamilton
Marketing/Communications Director - Bill Blount
Bike Patrol Director - Jeff Murchison
The vote was unanimous for this slate of officers who will serve beginning 1/1/10.
Someone recently attempted to break into our $1 donation box at the trailhead. It has been repaired and reinforced.
Some of the key issues discussed at the SORBA board meeting in November are:
- The new IMBA/SORBA insurance policy that covers our chapter has two key changes—(1) teeter totters are no longer allowed and (2) land managers can be listed as additional insured on the policy.
- A new revenue sharing percentage is now in place that will greatly benefit local chapters/clubs and encourage membership growth. We previously received $3 for every $30 membership. That has been increased to $12 for each $30 membership.
- The IMBA World Summit will be held in Augusta, GA, May 5-7. This will be a major showcase of SORBA and the FATS trail system. Woodstock Chapter members were encouraged to consider attending all or some of the summit. More details will be available soon.
Trail counter data is available for September-November. Blankets Creek was closed for half of September and October. The counters tell us how much poaching we have when the trails are closed. Fortunately, the number of poachers was relatively small during September and October. In November we had approximately 8,000 riders (counted at the trailhead). The highest number of riders continue to be on the Dwelling Loop, then the Van Michael Trail and then South Loop.
Our trail marking system is close to be installed. We are working with the county to finalize the purchase order for the markers.
The master plan submitted for the Olde Rope Mill Park trails did not include trails on the north side of the Little River (those trails were not originally planned). The USACOE has asked that we resubmit the master plan with the north side trails. The City of Woodstock is asking the USACOE to allow us to proceed with construction of the south side trails and allow us to submit again for the north side. We had hoped to begin construction in November but it now looks like the first quarter of 2010.
At Blankets Creek, we have made the singletrack on Mosquito Flats smoother and more attractive to beginner riders, especially kids. We have also marked a re-route around the heavily eroded turns near the top of Dragon’s Tail. A work party will be held on 12/19/09 to begin cutting this re-route and installing the wooden boardwalk on the connector between the bridge over Blankets Creek and the Dwelling trailhead.
The Reinhart College Board of Trustees is very interested in making their trails a venue for high school races. They see their trail system as a potential draw for students and want to showcase their school and trails to high school racers. They realize that a lot of their trails need to be re-routed to create more flow and have asked us to help them accomplish this. Jay commented that Stefanie Bunkley has done a great job developing the Cherokee Mountain Bike Club and has groomed some very successful high school racers. High school mountain bike racing is on the rise across the country and Reinhart College wants to be a part of that growth.
Acquisition by Cherokee County of the approximately five acres of land adjacent to the parking lot at Blankets Creek will hopefully be completed by the end of 2009. This property will be a huge addition to Blankets Creek, allowing expansion of the parking lot and eventually permanent bathrooms, pavilion and other amenities.
The meeting was adjourned by Jay Wilkes.