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. 

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First Annual Southeastern Race Director Summit a Success!

Sometimes you find yourself sitting in the room at the start of something that you know is gonna be big!   

On August 1, 2019, Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get-A-Way was psyched to host the first annual Southeastern Race Directors’ Summit.  This brainchild of Jason & Dawn Chandler of Chain Buster Racing was a way to invite everyone in the southeastern USA race world together to share, learn, and strategize around the table with great food, cold beer, and a wealth of wisdom. 

This first gathering (sponsored by Perimeter Roofing) was small, but mighty with around 20 mountain bike and race industry pros from across the area.  Chain Buster and Mulberry Gap also heard from several others who just couldn’t make it this first time around, but hope to be at the table next year. With a primary goal of sharing resources that benefit race organizers, this year we kicked off the event with three great industry guest presenters.

WHO WAS AT THE TABLE?

Presenters at this inaugural event included:

  • David Ross, Gilmer County Emergency Coordinator, Georgia Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) shared information on the benefits of working with local Amateur (Ham) Radio users to enhance safety and emergency communication in wilderness or backcountry events, outside the reach of normal cell coverage. 

  • Kent McMullen with AMB Weather gave a great presentation on the great consulting work that AMB provides for race and event organizers, from pre-event planning and monitoring, through active race or event day weather tracking. 

  • Justin Shealey with MTB Atlanta, (SORBA’s Metro Atlanta Chapter) spoke about the current trail building, advocacy, and community work that MTB Atlanta is doing currently, and welcomed race and event organizers to reach out for support and partnership for all things mountain bike related in the Atlanta area.

And other race directors and industry pros included Lisa Randall (Mountain Goat Adventures,) David and Terri Berger (GoneRiding.com,) David Moore (Go Nuts Biking,) Brent Noisette (Third Coast Productions,) and Chris & Ashley Grey (Corvus Racing LLC.) 

WHAT’S THE IN THE FUTURE FOR THE SOUTHEASTERN RACE DIRECTOR’S SUMMIT?

Much more comfortable with planning events months or years in advance, Dawn shared that this first Summit was a very quick process from the dreaming stage to actually doing.   They’re excited about making some updates to enable more folks to attend next year.   We fully support their initial hope to have Mulberry Gap as the home base of the summit again in 2020! 

Jason and Dawn see this as only the first step on the trail to making the Southeastern Race Directors Summit something even bigger, with the potential to expand into having presenters and vendors with valuable topics and resources for a wide variety of race and event types.  They envision specialized tracks and breakout sessions geared towards organizers with different priorities, and a great way for young and emerging pros to get connected with great info and epic people. The overarching goal Dawn and Jason shared, is to work together to continue building a strong cycling community in the southeast!  

 

SOUNDS COOL! HOW DO I GET TO GO TO THE NEXT ONE?

Chain Buster Racing is hoping to have information soon for the 2020 Summit, so you can keep an eye on their website and social media for chainbusterracing.com, or on MulberryGap.com and our socials.  If you have ideas or suggestions, or want to go straight to the source you can reach out to the Chain Buster crew at info@chainbusterracing.com or on 706-338-0632

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. 

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Click/tap for directions here |  706-698-2865 | We're open for business Thursday - Monday. We are closed on Tuesday & Wednesday.