Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get-A-Way

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! We provide cabin and campsite lodging, delicious home cooked meals and an amazing craft beer selection, shuttles to trailheads, guided mountain bike tours, and we host a variety of clinics, events, and private groups. 

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. 

Santos Fat Tire Festival 2016 & the Sweet Story of Nugget

Andrew & Kate headed south earlier this month for OMBA's 10th Santos Fat Tire Festival in Ocala, FL. Mulberry Gap has represented at the event over the last 3 years, once as attendees and the previous two years as vendors. 

They had a bit of hiccup on the way down which caused only a slight delay. Thankful for the driver who let them know they had blown a tire on the interstate, they were able to safely pull over and fix the flat. 

Nugget was the perfect traveling companion. Kate found him about a week prior during a snowstorm in the middle of the road near Mulberry Gap. After posting on multiple local Facebook pages and contacting the shelters and veterinary offices with no luck - Kate & Andrew decided to take him down to Florida and see if anyone was looking for a new addition to their family. 

With a few adorable videos and images of Nugget's personality - he quickly got a lot of attention on social media. At the event on Friday, he received lots of love from the mountain bike community. Someone even offered to take him on a long walk for us as we were tied down with customers in the booth. 

We set up our booth with local information about The Ellijay's (Ellijay main and East Ellijay), Cartecay Bike Shop, Mulberry Gap and a bikepacking area with details about our multi-day tours, our rigs loaded down and some of the gear we carry. 

We talked to folks about our latest adventure, the Huracan 300, which we completed in early November and the diversity of the guided trips options we offer.

This well attended event pulls folks from all over the Eastern United States. We spoke to bikers from as far as Canada, Michigan & New York to as close as Florida, Georgia, the Carolina's, Tennessee and Alabama. 

The first evening - there's always an awesome live band and a group night ride. With beers flowing and energy high, riders talk about the following day's 50-mile epic and the latest gear and bikes they're dying to get their hands on. 

We skipped the night ride and stuck around for Jamie, who called us on the drive down to Florida, as he was interested in coming to meet Nugget. Around 9:00pm he arrived from Lakeland, Florida with Charlie, his other rescue dog. Nugget & Charlie played for over 45 minutes and it was best friends as first sight. 

We're proud to announce that Jamie and Lorraine are the new parent's of Nugget or Nuggie as they've named him. They took him home that night and have been sending weekly updates on his quick acceptance into their home. They took him to the vet immediately. He tested negative for rabies and heartworm. He has been neutered, chipped, received his shots and had his umbilical hernia fixed. They are loving and taking good care of him.

Nugget will spend his years between North Carolina where the family is building a second home near Black Mountain and Lakeland, Florida where they currently live and work. 

He'll enjoy hikes, kayaking, cuddling in bed, and roadtrip adventures will his new family as they travel around the southeast. 

 Our booth and little Nugget on the side swooning the people. We may or may not have had a sign on his crate that said "I need a home... Adopt Me." 

Our booth and little Nugget on the side swooning the people. We may or may not have had a sign on his crate that said "I need a home... Adopt Me." 

Movement around camp and the vendor village is always a bit slow on Saturday morning. You have the overachievers who are already 20 miles into their 50-mile ride and then you have the partiers who are having a hard time crawling out of their tents.

OMBA provided coffee and breakfast and this is what motivated some of the crowd to zombie walk to the coffee bar to drink to juice of life. 

Folks were digging the Mulberry Gap swag we had on display this year. Our new booth gets a lot of attention and we try to have a mixture of bike specific goodies for both men and women. 

Mr. Sk-ji Pedals (aka Jimmy Dismuke) rolled through to say hi on his way home from the super challenging Florida Divide route put on by Singletrack Samurai

We can't say enough good things about the volunteers and OMBA who organize and put on this successful event. It's one of our favorites and we can't wait to get back there next year.