Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Getaway

Mulberry Gap is a rustic haven located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Northwest Georgia with IMBA Epic mountain bike trails outside our front door! 

IMBA / SORBA Southern Mountain Bike Summit

Attendees started trickling in to Lands Creek Log Cabins in Bryson City, North Carolina on Thursday afternoon. To kick off the weekend, we rolled into downtown to register and enjoy a few beers at the Cork & Bean Bistro

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Friday: Land Manager's Day

We started the workshops bright and early on Friday, March 18 in Lands Creek's Harmony Hall. Garret Villanueva from the USFS Regional Trail Program Manager, Pacific Southwest Regional Office got the morning started with topics such as partnership, sustainable trail design, and trail operations. 

We wrapped up the afternoon presentations with Tim Johnson - Trail Specialist with North Carolina State Parks and Glen Lien - Director , Alabama State Parks with why Mountain Bikes are a Great Fit for State Parks. 

Our friend, Sue Haywood also offered Mountain Bike Skills Instruction on Saturday & Sunday, a tempting option,  we felt we needed to attend the workshops. 

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After sitting in lectures for the day, we were all itching to stretch out our legs and go for a spin. We headed over to Tsali Recreation Area and enjoyed a 16-mile loop combining Left Loop and Right Loop with a total of 1,600 ft in elevation gain. 

After grabbing a quick shower - we met everyone downtown at Anthony's Pizza for some pies and beers.

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Saturday: Advocates' Day

Robin Bylenga, Owner of Pedal Chic presented the group with The Significance of the Women's Market followed by a panel discussion of Women in Mountain Biking with ladies representing Sorella Cycling, SORBA Woodstock, Dirt Divas, and Dirt Trail Maids. 

Garret Villanueva presented again and spoke about USFS and Chapters as Partners followed by a panel discussion on The Collaborative Process with speakers representing SORBA WNC Policy Specialist, NWNC MTB Alliance, the Southern Appalachian Region, and Wilderness Society. 

The afternoon was stacked with concurrent sessions. We opted for Causes of Trail Erosion with JP Gannon, Assistant Professor of Geosciences, Western Carolina University. 

That afternoon, we drove over to Sylva, NC and enjoyed a short but challenged loop at Western Carolina University. Well worth the stop along the way to Asheville or Bryson City - this loop has about 1,400 ft of elevation gain in just shy of 9-miles. 

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After a quick beer at the local brewery, Nantahala Brewing Company, we headed back to Lands Creek Log Cabins for some BBQ, beer from Oskar Blues and a solid campfire. 

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We had a great time, learned a ton, saw many familiar faces and met a whole lot of new folks. We are looking forward to the World Summit in Bentonville, Arkansas in early November. 

Thanks to all the folks who worked so hard to put on this event and make it a success.