First Work Party at new South Rock Trail Project
SORBA Atlanta is pleased to announce that after over 5 years of advocacy work, we are beginning work on our new trail project in Rockdale County, the South Rock Trails at South Rockdale Community Park. This year Rockdale County Parks and Recreation was awarded a Recreational Trails Program Grant to build Phase One of the project, up to six miles of Beginner and Intermediate trails with two dedicated downhill trails. SORBA Atlanta and Rockdale County worked together to fund a development plan for Mountain Bike trails at the Park and wrote the RTP grant submission together. Rockdale County provided the seed money to fund the matching grant through SPLOST funds.
We will kick off our work at the Park by hosting a Volunteer Work Party on Saturday December 30th at 9 AM. We will be clearing the corridor for a new Beginner Trail, a portion of Phase One of the project. Meet at the main parking lot at 3909 East Fairview Road, Stockbridge, GA 30281 at 9. Wear weather appropriate clothes, long pants, closed toed shoes sturdy enough for hiking, bring gloves, water, and snacks. We will be cutting back brush and removing deadfall to get the corridor ready for construction. Info for the event here: http://sorbaatlanta.org/event/south-rockdale-work-party-first-ever/
SORBA Atlanta Vice President Keith Worsham has owned this project from it’s inception and has advocated for the park and the trail proposal tirelessly. The SORBA Atlanta Board thanks Keith for his efforts to bring this opportunity for quality Mountain Biking to the Rockdale and Henry County area and to our Metro Atlanta members and ridership. We will see you there!
Southside Park chosen for IMBA’s new Dig In Campaign!
SORBA Atlanta is pleased to announce that we have been chosen to be a recipient of the new national fundraising campaign that IMBA is calling “Dig In” for our new trail project at Southside Park! We are one of 68 projects from across the country selected to participate and receive funding from the new campaign.
The “Dig In” Campaign has a two components- the first is a fund raiser where IMBA is soliciting corporate partners at the national level to donate to all of the projects equally, and the second is an online crowdfunding campaign where people can donate directly to our project at Southside Park! The funds raised on a national level get distributed equally amongst the 68 projects, but any funds donated online directly to our trail project go straight to our trail fund!
This is where we need your help. We have a $7,500 goal for our Park Pride Legacy Grant to build the Poole Creek Bridge and 7 miles of trail ITP on City Park land. This project is the culmination of over 10 years of advocacy work for access and the first trail project purpose built for Mountain Biking and Outdoor Recreation on City of Atlanta Park land and inside the Perimeter just 5 miles from the center of Downtown.
Please share this link https://win.imba.com/digin?chapter=210548 through social media and email, and share the news of the Campaign on your rides and at your local bike shop. Please donate today and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Any funds received from this program will go to match our Park Pride Legacy Grant to build the Poole Creek Bridge and towards subsequent phases of construction at Southside Park! So let’s dig in and share the stoke for the first trail system on Atlanta Park land!
Fall Membership Drive ends Tuesday Oct 31st!
Our Fall Membership Drive is winding down and we need your support! Now is the time to join or renew with SORBA Atlanta!
When you renew by October 31, you’re entered to win a Banshee Spitfire or a Norco Fluid full-suspension mountain bike from our partners at Jenson USA and Cartecay Bikes, plus the final weekly prize pack featuring a Yakima tray, a Shimano XT Di2 Groupset and Camelbak packs.
Your membership with SORBA Atlanta supports our efforts to increase access for Mountain Biking and Recreational Trails in Metro Atlanta, to build up to 40 miles of new trail in places like Coweta and Rockdale Counties, and the cities of Atlanta and East Point. Your membership also funds maintenance of the places you love to ride, like Sope Creek, Cochran Mill Park and Southside Park. We have removed over 150 trees from the trails, put on two trail schools and trained over 30 crew leaders, engaged 375 plus volunteers at our work parties and logged over 4070 hours all since the beginning of this year!
Land managers and agencies nationwide simply do not have the budget to build and maintain recreational trails. Your contribution ensures that mountain biking trails will be on public land for years to come!
Thank you for your support and we will see you out on the trails!
Join here today or over at our join tab. Choose Atlanta as your Chapter: https://win.imba.com/join?chapter=SORBA%20Atlanta
First Annual Dirty Sheets Gravel Grinder 20/40/80
Join us for the First Annual Dirty Sheets 20/40/80 Gravel Grinder! A ride to raise money and awareness for SORBA Atlanta membership, the Southside Park Trail Fund and the Georgia Interscholastic Cycling League. Choose any one of the three distances you want to ride on South Fulton’s classic gravel route, the Dirty Sheets! We will have a sag stop for you on the route stocked with hydration and ride nutrition, so all you have to do is ride! The ride is free to all comers, but we would love a $35 donation to support the Poole Creek Bridge Fund and for you to join SORBA Atlanta if you are not already a member. Bring cash, check or donate here before the ride at the Southside Park Trail Fund on our Home Page. Registration will be on site, so be at Serenbe at 8 AM and we will get ready to roll out on the Sheets at 9 AM. We will meet at 458 Selborne Lane Palmetto, Georgia 30268 at the Peachtree Bikes Bike Shack to park and register. A helmet, cross bike or moutnain bike are required for the ride. Join us on Saturday May 6th for this inaugural ride. We will see you there!
Friends of Chattahoochee Bend and SORBA Atlanta partner to develop 20 miles of destination Mountain Biking at Chattahoochee Bend State Park
The Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park and SORBA Atlanta have partnered with IMBA Trail Solutions to develop 20 miles of destination mountain bike trails at Chatttahoochee Bend State Park. IMBA Trail Solutions will develop a plan for a progressive trail system and a Southeastern Mountain Bike Destination. Chattahoochee Bend State Park offers an incredible opportunity for multi day camping and riding, and has many other amenities in place at the Park with incredible hiking trails, paddling and soon to be added equestrian trails. The Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park have used funds to hire IMBA Trail Solutions to develop the plan and SORBA Atlanta will partner with the Friends and work with Georgia State Parks to fund the design and construction of the trail system.
SORBA Atlanta’s Board believes that trail development at Chatt Bend fills a void in mountain biking opportunities in Coweta County which currently has no recreational trails available for mountain biking. We believe every county in the Metro Area should have mountain bike trails for our members and others to enjoy. We also believe that Chattahoochee Bend has the potential to be a Regional and Family Destination and a great escape for all of Metro Atlanta and the Southeast as an excellent option to camp and have a weekend getaway at Chattahoochee Bend State Park.
The physical geography is excellent for trail development and has many rock features and great scenery. We are excited by the incredible potential and the great new partnerships we have developed at Chattahoochee Bend State Park. Read the press release and the thoughts of our South Metro Vice President Chris Doane on the project here: http://times-herald.com/news/2017/01/mountain-bike-trail-master-plan-to-be-done-at-chattahoochee-bend
You can also donate here to put trail on the ground at Chattahoochee Bend: https://www.gofundme.com/support-the-bend/
Cox Volunteer Workday at Southside Park, Saturday April 1st
All are welcome to join the fun/volunteer work at Southside Park with Cox Enterprises, Park Pride and SORBA Atlanta! 75-100 Cox employees will graciously dedicate their Saturday morning to work on the next phase of construction at the Park, the Intermediate Connector Trail and Poole Creek Bridge site. We will be building new trail, removing invasive plants, removing trash and restoring the flood plain around Poole Creek with native plants. We will also be installing erosion controls and trash buffers near the storm drain on the Evergreen Trail. Cox Enterprises will be hosting the Work Day and providing food and a Porta Potty as well as generously donating materials for the work including the native plants. Before you attend please register with us at https://tinyurl.com/zxk25u4 so we can plan for enough tools and refreshments. Thanks and see you there!
SORBA Atlanta receives $70k Park Pride Legacy Grant
Great news! We’ve received a $70,000 Legacy Grant from Park Pride to fund the expansion of a network of natural surface multi-use trails, including a bridge spanning Poole Creek and its surrounding wetlands.
Park Pride and members of the local mountain bike community recognize that professionally-designed natural surface trails promote public health and well-being through activities such as bicycling, hiking and running. At 211 acres, Southside is the third-largest park in the City of Atlanta and also one of the least-familiar parks to its residents.
Brett Davidson, President, SORBA Atlanta: “This project builds upon the 1.25-mile Evergreen Trail we completed in 2016 and is another step forward in our plans for a trail network at Southside Park totalling almost 7 miles.”
“We’re so excited to be able to support the expansion of this project with a Park Pride Legacy Grant, supported by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation,” said Allison Barnett, Park Pride’s Associate Director. “Our hope is that these new trails will help transform Southside Park into a destination park for the City’s broader constituents, particularly those on Atlanta’s south side.”
Joyce Sheperd, Atlanta City Council Member for the District says, “The South River Garden communities surrounding Southside Park lacked adequate access to public places for healthy recreational activities. The community was very excited on the opening of the mountain bike trail last fall in Southside Park. We welcome and appreciate the expansion of the trail through the $70,000 Grant received from Park Pride.”
The announcement of the grant coincided with the kick-off of SORBA Atlanta’s first capital campaign, designed to raise an additional $21,000 for this project. Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) has pledged $8,000, and Atlanta Cycling has offered to match all individual donations up to the first $3,000 raised through SORBA Atlanta’s web site, http://sorbaatlanta.org//southside-park-donations/
About Park Pride:
Founded in 1989, Park Pride is the Atlanta-based nonprofit that engages communities to activate the power of parks. Working with over 100 local Friends of the Park groups, Park Pride provides leadership and services to help communities realize their dreams for neighborhood parks that support healthy people, strong neighborhoods, vibrant business districts, a robust economy and a healthy environment. Park Pride is active in greenspace advocacy and educating both civic leaders and the general public about the benefits of parks, and annually hosts the Parks and Greenspace Conference. Learn more about Park Pride at http://parkpride.org.
About SORBA Atlanta:
The Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) is the largest nonprofit mountain biking organization in the Southeast. Volunteers with the Atlanta Chapter work with land managers throughout the Metro area to create and maintain sustainable trail systems for mountain bikers and others to enjoy.
Photo Credit: Aaron Chamberlain, https://www.singletracks.com
All Out 2017 Work Party at Southside Park
We’re going All Out with REI and Red Brick Brewing on Saturday, January 28th 9 A.M. to 12 P.M. Park Pride’s Friends of Southside Park and SORBA Atlanta are hosting a Volunteer Work Party to clean up trash around the new Evergreen Trail to help beautify the Park and celebrate a commitment to get outside every day in 2017. After the Work Party, we will head on over to Red Brick Brewing on the Westside to celebrate with fellowship and some cold beer from Red Brick. Register here for the event at Red Brick: https://www.rei.com/events/all-out-2017-at-red-brick-brewing/atlanta/164040. Check out the info on the Work Party on our Calendar or on our Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/279084129176099/.
SORBA Atlanta Board Elections
Per our By laws, IMBA SORBA Atlanta conducts elections every two years.
Here are the nominees for Board Positions serving January 2017 to December 31st, 2018:
President: Brett Davidson
Brett Davidson has served as President since the Chapter’s reorganization in 2012. At that time the Chapter was completely without a Board and needed a new vision. From the first year, with a skeleton Board of four members, Brett has led IMBA SORBA Atlanta to consistently log between 2000-4000 volunteer hours per year building and maintaining trails in Metro Atlanta by implementing partnerships with land managers of the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area, Georgia State Parks, Rockdale County Parks and Recreation, the City of Atlanta and the City of Chattahoochee Hills.
Brett cut the ribbon on the ambitious Sope Creek/Cochran Shoals trail redevelopment at the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area in 2013 and has worked to build a strong relationship with the National Park Service to design and build the Sope Creek Reroute, implement professional trail maintenance assessments and to pilot the first machine maintenance project at Sope Creek in 2015/16. Under his leadership, IMBA SORBA Atlanta has worked with City of Atlanta Parks and Recreation and Park Pride to build the first mountain bike trail inside the Perimeter on City of Atlanta Park land, a giant feat in the context of the City’s recently adopted tree ordinance and the culmination of over 10 years of advocacy work by the Chapter. During his terms, the Chapter has developed two Master trail plans for Southside Park in the City of Atlanta and for South Rockdale Community Park in Rockdale County with IMBA Trail Solutions. Brett has written and received grants to successfully fund major trail projects such as the Sope Creek Reroute and the Evergreen Beginner Trail at Southside Park. During his tenure as President, the Chapter also aided with trail construction at Cochran Mill Park, one of Metro Atlanta’s most exciting new trail projects, by providing design assistance, labor, and facilitating a Chapter sponsored Machine Construction Class that was free for Park volunteers. In 2016 the Chapter signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Chattahoochee Hills to support the trail work at Cochran Mill Park.
Brett is passionate about Trails Education and under his leadership the Chapter began a partnership with the National Park Service and Trails Education instructor Walt Bready to teach two Trail Schools a year that are free to Chapter Members but open to any member of IMBA SORBA and the Southeastern trail community. Many attendees have become leaders in the local trail community.
In his next term, Brett plans to start a new campaign, the Atlanta Bike Park Initiative, a mission to build a Nationally recognized Public Bike Park and Cyclocross Venue in the City of Atlanta accessible by the Beltline. The Atlanta Bike Park Initiative will identify a location for the Park and engage with partners and sponsors to fund the plans and construction of the facility. Also, the Atlanta Bike Park Initiative will seek to develop flow trails, pump tracks and skills areas in smaller pocket parks throughout the City that are accessible by bike.
Brett will also continue his work on the further expansion of trail systems at Cochran Mill Park and Southside Park, break ground on trail construction at South Rockdale Community Park, develop a master trail plan for Chattahoochee Bend State Park, pursue opportunities for trail development in the cities of East Point, College Park and Hapeville, and continue to maintain Sope Creek, one of the busiest trail systems in the Southeast.
When he is not working on local trails, Brett’s passion is bikepacking and developing new bikepacking routes. His largest goal and work is routing and scouting the Eastern Divide Project, which will be the Nation’s longest Bikepacking Route, a 4,400 mile mixed surface route from Newfoundland to Key West.
Vice President, Atlanta: Tom Tomaka
Tom is passionate about opening up new places to ride inside the Perimeter such as Southside Park. He’s skilled at trail crew leading, relationships with public land managers, and fundraising. Residing in the City of Atlanta since 1990, Tom is a former President of SORBA Atlanta and a former board member of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. After working in the corporate world for over 25 years Tom has lately been wrenching at REI Atlanta.
Vice President, South Metro: Pete Edmondson
Trail builder, bike racer and general bike advocate. Pete has volunteered 400 plus hours at Cochran Mill Park and 40+ hours at Chattahoochee Bend State Park. Many weekends you can find him cutting new trail at Cochran Mill or riding his bike at the park or on the Dirty Sheets Gravel loop. Pete also leads the winter Tuesday night gravel rides and most volunteer workdays at Cochran Mill. Pete is a key member of the volunteer group that won the 2016 “Coalition for Recreational Trails Annual Achievement Award for outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program funds in the Maintenance and Rehabilitation category” for his work at Cochran Mill Park.
Vice President, East Metro: Keith Worsham
Keith is an avid mountain biker and bike advocate serving Rockdale and Henry counties. Keith has been the champion of trail development at South Rockdale Community Park on the Arabia Mountain cycling Path in the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area. Through his leadership the Chapter has developed a Master Trail plan for the Park with IMBA Trail Solutions and has applied with Rockdale County Parks and Recreation for a Recreational Trails Program Grant to fund the construction of Phase one of the project, a beginner and intermediate trail at the Park. When he is not riding his bike or working on trails, Keith is practicing yoga with his wife Lara at her studio in McDonough.
Treasurer: Jeff Hunt
Jeff is the Coach of the Sope Creek Composite Team, a Georgia Interscholastic Cycling League for High School Mountain Biking. Here is his Bio from their website:
“I’ve been mountain biking since I was in high school (which was too long ago now). I love getting out in the woods and experiencing the flow of the trail.
Once I had kids of my own I worked hard to develop a love of mountain biking in them as well. I am very excited about this new mountain bike league for high school and middle school students.
I have also volunteered in several capacities with the Boy Scouts of America over the last 8 years and love working with the kids and helping them grow.
In addition I am a passionate about our trails and working to keep them fit for all users. I have volunteered with IMBA/Sorba and am currently the Treasurer for the Atlanta chapter.
I recently completed the training for coaching in the Georgia High School Cycling League and I’m very excited about bringing this team together!”
Jeff has been on the SORBA Atlanta Board since the reorganization in 2012 and is a powerful advocate for our sport in Metro Atlanta.
Events Director: Sandy Saffold
Sandy is a long time bike rider and trail advocate. She enjoys meeting members and getting everyone involved. When she is not in the trails, you can find her volunteering at a local animal shelter. Sandy is also a member of the Sorella Cycling Club. Sandy is up to serve for a second term as Events Director.
Membership Director: Robby Bennett
Robert (Robby) Bennett, an Atlanta native, has enjoyed the natural wonders of our state since a young age. His outdoor passions have included camping, road cycling, triathlon, and mountain biking. As a high school physics and biology teacher, he has a unique perspective on both our enjoyment of, and impact on, the natural world. He also has the wonderful opportunity to influence our next generation towards stewardship, not just consumption, of our planet.
As a SORBA board member, Robby will work to protect and expand access to high quality mountain biking opportunities within the city and region. As a resident of the airport district, Robby looks forward to expanding mountain biking options on the south side, including his favorite trails at Cochran Mill Park in Chattahoochee Hills and the new trails at Southside Park.
Vice President South Metro, Coweta/Fayette: Chris Doane
The Boring Stuff
Lives In: Newnan, Georgia Occupation: Business Owner; Marketing Consultant
The Good Stuff
- Riding Mountain Bikes since 1987
- First Mountain Bike: 1987 Ross Mt Washington
- Miles Ridden in 2016: 1900+
- USA Cycling(NORBA) Member: 1990
- Atlanta SORBA Fat Tire Friend Member
- Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park Board of Directors Newnan, Georgia
- Southside Cycling Club Board of Directors Peachtree City, Georgia
Local Project Involvement
- Cochran Mill Park MTB Trail Development Palmetto, Georgia
Chattahoochee Bend State Park MTB Trail Development Newnan, Georgia
Newnan Greenway Project – Coweta Area Trail Newnan, Georgia
- ￼My primary interest in serving the cycling community of South Atlanta is to promote cycling advocacy efforts for both mountain bikers and road cyclists.
My advocacy includes…
- Volunteering for trail work days at mountain biking venues in Fulton, Fayette and Coweta Counties
- Corporate sponsorship and fundraising on behalf of Mountain Bike Trail Fund at Chattahocchee Bend State Park
- In kind service donor and consultant on branding efforts of the City of Newnan Greenway Project
Vice President, Tri Cities: Wayne Whitesides
I have always been a cycling nut. I got my first road bike in 1982 at age 12 and the following summer I road my first back to back century ride by myself to Dubuque, Iowa; regardless that my mother wasn’t too keen on the idea of a 200-mile overnight ride. Why? Because why not? In 1989, along with the help of a few friends, we built the first series of mountain bike trails in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville… because? – Why not? It needed to be done. In 1996, after moving to Atlanta and hearing that there was a velodrome not really being used, I along with some friends took over the Dick Lane Velodrome; why, because someone needed to do it. Why not me? Soon after I became the President of the club that ran the velodrome. Later on, I taught beginner classes, became a USCF cycling official, a certified coach, became the track manager and eventually the track promoter. Why? – because someone needed to do it. During that time, I won six state track championship titles, three elite national championship medals, and four masters national championship medals on the track. I started my own advertising agency, called Ethic and ever since my company, Ethic, has sponsored the velodrome. In 2007, I became the president of the East Point Track Club, which Ethic has also sponsored ever since. Why? Because cycling is that ingrained in my daily life and because someone had to do it. Just this year I helped develop the East Point PATH Master Plan and am working with them to help start a not for profit organization to help raise funds to build the paved trails. I am also currently working with the City of East Point and SORBA to develop a series of trails in the Tri-Cities Area.
My cycling bio is diverse, and while I have dedicated over 20 years of my life to track cycling and the velodrome, I have always loved riding the dirt trails since my first Trek 800 back in ’88. Mountain Biking took a back seat for many years and I have told you my road/track back story to show that when I turn my attention to something, I jump in with both feet. In the last year, I have already started helping build and maintain trails at Cochran Mill and just attended a two-day, Trail Lead seminar. I am looking forward to the next 20 years of cycling adventures, both on the road and the now the dirt. I enjoy being in the thick of things and like to be a busy body. I’ll rest when I’m dead.
Over the years:
Founder and Partner Ethic Inc: 2003 –
President of the Fulton Flyers Cycling Club: 1999-2002
Track Manager for the East Point Velodrome Association: 2002 – 2005
Track Promoter for the East Point Velodrome Association: 2005 – 2008
President of the East Point Track Club: 2007 – 2015
Chairman of the LocalMotion Arts Festival: 2016 –
President of the Tri-Cities Arts Alliance, Inc: 2016 –
If you are an active member you may vote here until 12/31/16:
We would like to thank Colin McChesney for his service over the last two years as Membership Director on our Board and we will see him out on the trails.
Thanks for your participation and support!
Evergreen Trail Open at Southside Park
Need an #itptrail to ride, run, or hike during the week? The Evergreen Trail at Southside Park is open for business. Less than 3 miles away from Constitution Lake Park and located at 3460 Jonesboro Road Atlanta 30357, just inside I-285, the Evergreen Trail at Southside Park is a perfect place to get in multiple laps on dirt for your evening ride/run or to take a relaxing hike in an incredible urban forest canopy and Park. This Winter there is more to come, as we bridge Poole Creek and get to work on building the Intermediate and Expert loops for up to 7 miles of #itptrails. Parking is available at the Park or add the loop into your mixed surface urban ride. Check out our Trails Tab for more information on the project and donate to build more trails at the Park above at the Southside Trail Fund. Photo-Aaron Chamberlain.