Southern Off Road Bicycle Association MTB Gwinnett Chapter to dissolve and join MTB Atlanta

(CHATTAHOOCHEE HILLS, Georgia, May 20, 2021) —

Over the course of several meetings between the Boards of MTB Gwinnett, formerly the Gwinnett Area Trail Riders or ‘GATR’ and MTB Atlanta, both Boards voted and approved a merger to better serve mountain bikers and passive outdoor recreation trail users in Metro Atlanta, specifically the NE Metro Area of Gwinnett County, Barrow County and Walton County.

The Southern Off Road Bicycle Association’s (SORBA) Executive Board and Committee also voted on and approved the merger.

Here is the letter that the Board of MTB Gwinnett provided their membership on the merger:

“Dear MTB Gwinnett members-

After much deliberation and consultation, we have decided that for the future growth and health of our SORBA biking club, we will fold into the larger regional organization of MTB Atlanta. The Atlanta group is headed by Brett Davidson, the newly promoted Executive Director and Chris Doane, the newly elected President.

Our once 100+ club membership has been in steady decline over the last few years. SORBA requires independent chapters to maintain a minimum of 50 members. The three mountain bike parks in our area that we ride and maintain, Yellow River, Tribble Mill and Harbins, are under the management of Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (GCPR). All trail work that we do as a club must be pre-approved by the GCPR and has been met with resistance.

It is the opinion of the MTB Gwinnett Board of Directors (BOD), that for the last several years, our biking club has not progressed in an effective manner toward our main goals that include creating and maintaining more miles of trail in Gwinnett County. There are several reasons for this, but the most prominent one has been our ineffectiveness at establishing a working relationship with the land managers – the Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation Department.

 

We feel that joining the larger group offers multiple advantages such as:

 

  • The expertise and clout that MTB Atlanta offers to establish an all-important relationship with the GCPR.
  • Power in numbers – being part of a club that has approximately 500+ members compared to our 33 members.
  • More volunteer opportunities – the Atlanta group has dozens of parks with MTB trails in the metro and surrounding areas.
  • More opportunities and expertise for trail building grants.
  • More Trail Crew Leader Training classes available.

 

For these reasons we voted 5 to 1 in favor of this action. The MTB Atlanta leadership is also in favor of having us join them.

We look forward to a brighter future for mountain biking in Gwinnett County.

Comments are welcome.

Sincerely,

The MTB Gwinnett Board of Directors”

 

This letter was met with no negative comments from the Gwinnett membership at large and all of the comments were favorable.

MTB Gwinnett will dissolve it’s 501c3 designation with the IRS and the Georgia Secretary of State and existing members of the MTB Gwinnett Board will join the Board of MTB Atlanta to continue to serve Gwinnett County.

From MTB Atlanta Executive Director Brett Davidson- “The Board and staff of MTB Atlanta is thankful for the opportunity to build on the over 16 years of advocacy and trail work that MTB Gwinnett or GATR has accomplished in Gwinnett County and with Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation. With over 50 miles of trail in three County Parks, the trails at Yellow River, Tribble Mill and Harbins Park are of regional significance for the mountain bike ridership of Metro Atlanta and are the result of the tireless work of countless SORBA volunteer advocates and trail builders from Gwinnett County. We want to thank all the volunteers who helped build and maintain trails in Gwinnett County over the years. We look forward to resetting SORBA’s relationship with Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation and feel that there are other promising opportunities for new trail development in the towns and cities of Gwinnett such as Sugar Hill and in neighboring counties such as Walton and Barrow. Gwinnett County will soon be the largest county by population in Metro Atlanta with over a 1,000,000 residents and the County’s extensive trail plan and the Parks Department is top notch. We think the skies the limit for mountain biking and recreational trail development in the Northeast Metro and are excited to get to work.”

What to do if you are an existing MTB Gwinnett member-

If you have a current membership with MTB Gwinnett and want to join MTB Atlanta, you will need to wait for your membership to expire and then join MTB Atlanta. Unfortunately, there is no way to transfer your membership at this time.

About MTB Atlanta: MTB Atlanta is a member based nonprofit and the Metro Atlanta Chapter of the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA.) SORBA is the largest nonprofit mountain biking organization in the Southeast. SORBA itself has partnered with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) which now represents over 4,000 members dedicated to trail stewardship in a seven-state area. The MTB Atlanta chapter members work with land managers in the Metro area to create trails and trail systems for mountain bikers and others to enjoy. Through advocacy, education, and recreational opportunities, MTB Atlanta carries out its mission to promote land access, trail preservation, and new trail development in order to enhance mountain bike riding, racing, fun, and fellowship for all mountain bikers in the Southeastern United States.