2014 Mid-Year State of SORBA-Chattanooga Update

So it’s August, and yeah, we can’t believe it either, but that got me and Board of Directors pondering. We’ve been thinking about where we were as an organization at the beginning of the year and where we are now. We are happy to report on some great accomplishments this year. So please, allow us to toot our horn and put a few feathers in our hats… 

If you’re reading this then you’re benefiting from one of our three major goals - to better communicate with our members.  Surely you noticed sorbachattanooga.org looks a little different. The new website looks great and you can now easily find trail conditions, event announcements, and general cycling news on our blog.

Thanks to Veronica Borne for starting our member newsletter. We aren’t going to bombard you with emails so know that when we send you something, it’s worth opening and reading because it’s going to be full of useful information. 



Logo and swag
And because we love to look good and we know image is everything, we've developed a new brand for the club. Yes, we know you want some cool SORBA Chattanooga branded swag so stand by. We’ll have t-shirts, hats, maybe even some stickers soon. We want to see our new logo plastered all over town! Which leads us to our next goal - to better engage all our members.



Be Involved
It’s important that you feel connected. And believe us, there is no shortage of opportunities to get involved. For example, you could:

  1. Attend a group ride or club event, check the calendar for these opportunities
  2. Attend a trail workday and support the local trails you enjoy
  3. Participate or volunteer at one of our 4 race opportunities
  4. Join Team SORBA-Chattanooga

Some new opportunities are coming up, too, like: 

  1. National Mountain Bike Patrol Training
  2. Principles of Trail Design and Construction Seminar (Trail coordinator/dedicated volunteer training)
  3. Chainsaw Certification Course 

And guess where you can stay updated on all these things as information becomes available? That’s right. So don’t be ignoring our emails or you may miss out on something as awesome as becoming a certified chainsaw operator. 

Stop babbling and tell me about the trails.
While we think these first two goals are super important and very necessary, most of what we do and most of our focus is on maintaining and expanding trails in the Chattanooga area. We’ve been working tirelessly to support this mission and we don’t have any plans of stopping. Of course this is where our engaged membership could really help out, too. So do let us know if you’re interested in donating your blood, sweat, and tears to the actual building and maintaining of the trails. We can certainly put you to work!  The more people helping out with trail efforts, the more group rides and fun activities that can be planned, it is just as simple as that. 

Raccoon Mountain Trail Expansion - COMPLETE
It was a long time coming but the expansion of the Raccoon Mountain Trail System has just been completed! Nine additional miles of amazing and challenging trail are now open for use! It was no simple task. Get out there on Live Wire and High Voltage and ride hard to show us how much you appreciate the thousands of volunteer hours, six years, and $70,000 it took to complete! 

Stringer's Ridge Pump Track - IN THE WORKS
We’ve partnered with The Trust for Public Land to develop a pump track at the Spears Avenue Trailhead for Stringers Ridge. Workdays are on-going, please come out and help if at all possible.

ESNP Trail Expansion - IN THE WORKS
Expansion of the ESNP is currently being planned, with the goal of adding an additional 15 miles of trail, this will be an enormous effort so please stay tuned for details. 

Mapping Update Project - IN THE WORKS
One of our amazing volunteers, Jeff Bartlett, has been updating and standardizing all of the maps for our local trail systems. Booker T and Raccoon Mountain maps have been completed with maps of other trail systems in progress.
Have you seen these maps? They look fantastic! 

Finally, I just want to say thank you to the Board of Directors for the countless hours of time they put into SORBA Chattanooga. They do it out of the goodness of their hearts for the sport and community we all love. If you get a chance, take a second to thank them.

Lynskey/SORBA Chattanooga Race Series

The Lynskey/SORBA Chattanooga race series, which is in its first year, is successfully highlighting the trail construction accomplishments of our organization. Races have been completed at Booker T. Washington State Park, Enterprise South Nature Park, and most recently at Raccoon Mountain. The next race in the series, the Lula Lake Land Trust 5 Points Fifty, will be held in October at 5-points, please plan to help with, or participate in this event, it will be a ton of fun! Great job to Michael and Brian on this effort.

Do you have any additional ideas on how we can continue to improve our communication capabilities? We'd love to hear about them so please attend an upcoming membership meeting, post a thought on our Facebook group page, submit a comment on our website, or email any of the volunteers on our Board of Directors. We'd love to know how we can further improve in this area.

Erik Rippon

Posted on July 29, 2014 .