Mountain biking event to coincide with Streetfest
by Cherokee Tribune Staff
October 10, 2012 02:14 AM | 3011 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODSTOCK — Off-road bicycle enthusiasts will flock to Woodstock next year as the city will host the second biannual Southern Mountain Bike Summit.

From March 22 to 24, the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association of Woodstock, or SORBA Woodstock, and the city of Woodstock will host the summit available to anyone interested in outdoor, trail-focused recreation.

The event will coincide with Streetfest, an annual festival featuring live music, food and family-friendly activities in downtown Woodstock, organized by Greenprints Alliance to help raise money to expand Woodstock’s trail network to over 60 miles.

“We are excited that SORBA has chosen to have their summit in Woodstock and look forward to showing off the eco-tourism vision that has been spearheaded by Mayor Donnie Henriques and embraced by our community,” said Brian Stockton, city planner for Woodstock. “There has been a lot of time and money invested in establishing this green infrastructure network and we hope to share the strategy with others who can replicate it in their communities.”

Tom Sauret, International Mountain Biking Assocation-SORBA’s executive and regional director, said he is proud of SORBA Woodstock’s accomplishments at Blankets Creek and Rope Mill Park.

“Our members in the Woodstock area are passionate about this sport and engaged in their community, two ingredients that have made their trail projects so successful, and have made our efforts successful throughout the region,” Sauret said. “This summit highlights and rewards those successes, educates our participants, and strengthens the bond among off-road cyclists throughout the Southeast. We’re very excited to host this event, and we look forward to bringing this great group of people together.”

Beginning Friday, the summit will focus on how to effectively create, expand and manage mountain bicycling opportunities in parks and forests. Later that afternoon, a guided ride of the Taylor Randahl Memorial Trails at Rope Mill Park will be followed by dinner in downtown Woodstock.

On Saturday, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in workshops and panels geared towards effective advocacy, volunteerism, and trail building. Following Saturday’s sessions, bicyclists may take a guided ride at Blankets Creek Trail.

Bicyclists will travel to the North Georgia Mountains on Sunday to ride in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. The ride will begin at Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get-A-Way.

Jay Wilkes, President of SORBA Woodstock, said community support from city officials, Cherokee County Parks and Recreation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and passionate volunteers have helped the local trail system thrive.

“We have almost 30 miles of trails to ride and those trails offer experiences for riders of all ages, abilities, and riding styles,” Wilkes said. “The city of Woodstock’s vision and commitment of providing more outdoor recreation and cultural experiences enhances its citizens’ quality of life and makes it a sought-after place to live.”

Wilkes said he hopes those in attendance take away great experiences that they can bring back to their own communities.

“We’re really excited to be a model for the region,” Wilkes said.
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