Summer Rides and Board Changes
We hope your Summer is going well and that you ‘ve been getting some riding in between the rain drops when the trails are dry!
If you are looking for a great in town group ride this Summer, we have partnered with Tourdelanta for an in town mixed surface ride every Thursday night. Tourdelanta starts at 6:45 at Peachtree Bikes Westside and explores different routes throughout the City. You will ride PATH trails, the Beltline and mixed bits of urban single-track that will always leave you surprised. Each ride is an adventure and is no drop and appropriate for all levels of ride experience. Afterwards, we go out for a beer and some food at a Westside eatery.
We also have added some Beginner Group Rides this Summer hosted by our friend Kent McMullen (the Average Mountain Biker) on select Monday nights at Cochran Mill Park. This is an inclusive, no drop beginner ride and a great way to get yourself out on the trail. The Beginner Rides will be at 6 PM Monday, August 6th and 20th and September 24th.
Check out these new rides and all our events over at the Events Tab of this website!
In Chapter news, MTB Atlanta has undergone some Board changes this Summer with the retirement of our good friend and Atlanta Vice President Tom Tomaka. Tom has made the move to Western North Carolina and we couldn’t be happier for him. Tom served as SORBA Atlanta President in mid 2000’s and was instrumental in advocating for MTB and trail access at the Bellwood Quarry site and in the City of Atlanta. Most recently, Tom played a vital role in facilitating the Southside Park Trail and Poole Creek Bridge builds and the grant writing for those projects. Tom’s knowledge and contacts with City of Atlanta Government and local non-profits will be sorely missed, but we look forward to visiting him for a ride in the Pisgah National Forest adjacent to his new home! MTB Atlanta’s Board thanks Tom for his service and all his contributions to cycling advocacy in Metro Atlanta.
With Tom’s departure, we are glad to announce our newest Board member Chris Alasa. Chris is the founder of the Tourdelanta Group Ride, which he founded in 2012. Chis is an avid supporter of local parks and and a mountain bike and trail advocate who is passionate about developing MTB trails and bike park facilities in ITP Atlanta, particularly at the Bellwood Quarry and along the Proctor Creek Greenway in NW Atlanta. Chris grew up in Roswell, GA, was involved in Scouting as a kid and earned his Eagle. He is the owner of Security One Services, a home security company with almost 20 years in the business. Chris is currently working with Howell Station Residents (where he resides) and Park Pride to rebuild Knight Park in West Midtown. We welcome Chris Alasa to our Board as the new Vice President for Atlanta.
Spring Membership Drive is Live! Join or Renew by 5/31 and Win Big!
JOIN TODAY! https://www.imba.com/join/chapter/210548 WIN BIG!
The Spring Membership Drive is underway and we need your support now more than ever! We have built and maintain around 30 miles of trail at places you love like Cochran Mill, Sope Creek, Sykes Park and Southside Park, but we have well over 80 miles of new trail, along with 3 potential Bike Parks, in development in Metro Atlanta! We are pursuing these opportunities in the cities of Atlanta, East Point, College Park, Chattahoochee Hills, Smyrna and Newnan, and in Rockdale, Fulton, Carroll, Coweta and Dekalb Counties, as well as Chattahoochee Bend State Park. We have a huge future for trail development in Metro Atlanta but we need you!
Join or renew in April or May 2018 and you’re entered to win a huge, two-person adventure prize package from IMBA and its partners: a Western Spirit MTB trip for two of your choice; two Pivot mountain bikes (one Mach 4 carbon and one Firebird carbon); round-trip bike shipping for two from BikeFlights, and a $2,000 shopping spree from Jenson USA.
PLUS: MTB ATLANTA IS ADDING A TRIP TO MULBERRY GAP TO THE GRAND PRIZE!
AND MORE LOCAL SWAG WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON!
Thanks to our great Sponsors!
Complete rules: https://www.imba.com/member-drive-rules
And remember, you can now pay monthly if you like and be sure to auto-renew.
All your contributions go to new trail development and maintenance of the trails you love to ride. Join today!
Maxxis Gamble Film Premiere at Monday Night Garage
Hey Atlanta area and Southeastern cycling friends, our friends at Maxxis Tires are throwing a party on Friday, May 11th, to celebrate the release of the Gamble film! Maxxis is hosting it at the Monday Night Garage in southwest Atlanta.
The best part, it’s FRICKIN’ FREE! That’s right, the tickets are free ninety-nine. Not only that, the Monday Night Brewing beer will be flowing on the house and we’ll have some food on hand from Taqueria Del Sol. Again, it’s all courtesy of Maxxis! Capacity is limited to 300, so get on it here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gamble-film-premiere-hosted-by-maxxis-tires-tickets-45062231347
Action Alert !! Public Input Meeting CRNRA Trail Assessment
Action Alert! Metro Atlanta Mountain Bikers and trail users of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, join us on Thursday, April 12, or Saturday, April 14, to learn about the Trail Master Plan that is being developed for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Our trails have been loved to death over the decades and this plan will help serve as a blueprint for maintenance, restoration and connectivity. This is an introduction of the Trails Assessment for public input. This assessment was produced by Applied Trails Research for every trail in every unit of the Park. The project was funded by the Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy, the Friends Group of the Park. We wish to thank the Friends, one non profit to another, for funding this vital project. If you love the CRNRA, you should join the Friends group here: https://www.chattahoocheeparks.org/join-us.
As always to support access, advocacy, new trail construction and trail maintenance, join MTB Atlanta at our join tab above.
Join the public presentations at these locations:
April 12 (7-9pm): CREEC, 8515 Barnwell Rd. Johns Creek, GA
April 14 (10-12:30): REI Atlanta. Email email@example.com to RSVP.
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!
Fall 2016 Membership Drive
It’s our Fall Membership drive and we are looking for 75 new or renewing members!
Join today and you can win a $100 gift card from REI, a weekend trip to Mulberry Gap, or a YETI SB5c. And you’ll be supporting mountain bike trail development and maintenance in the ATL.
Freeze Thaw Closure
It’s that time of year again, night time temperatures drop below freezing and afternoon temperatures get warm and melt the frozen trails. This year Freeze Thaw has been amplified by all the precipitation last month. Indeed, December was the wettest in a century, coming within a quarter of an inch of breaking the 1911 record. Much of that moisture is still in the ground and will lead us to close the trails longer than usual.
Nothing tears up a trail tread more than riding in Freeze Thaw. In the afternoon, all the trapped moisture in the tread thaws out and turns into mud. Riding on this surface leads to rutting which then traps rain and exacerbates the problem. You must have a tread that will easily shed water if it is to remain sustainable.
The Atlanta Chapter spends hours and hours of volunteer time each year cleaning up Freeze Thaw tread damage caused by people riding in Freeze Thaw conditions at Sope Creek. Since the Trail System cannot physically “close” with a chain over a parking lot, people feel that it is always open. This is not the case. Always check the Trail Status on this website before you get in the car to go ride at Sope or at Cochran Mill Park in the City of Chattahoochee Hills. Cochran Mill will not “close” physically either, and the new trails there are particularly susceptible to Freeze Thaw damage because the construction is fresh.
We watch the trail conditions for you. We post the Status on our website, Twitter and Facebook. If you know about the Status and where to find it, spread the word to other riders. People who are new to the sport simply don’t know about trail conditions and trail status.
As always, come volunteer with us at Cochran Mill Park and Sope Creek. Workdays at Cochran Mill Park are the second Saturday of each month and Sope’s work day is the third Saturday of the month. If you can’t volunteer, then join the Chapter and donate, all our money goes back to the trails we steward. Remember, riding is not free, you have to keep paying for it after you buy all that expensive gear, either with volunteer hours or the dirty green stuff.