MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. – SORBA Tri-Cities has been selected as a Top 12 finalist for a Bell Built Grant offered by Bell Helmets and the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). Bell Helmets will be giving away $100,000 for building three mountain bike facility projects across the country.
Grant funding will be awarded to three projects receiving the most votes from the general public during a specified voting period. Four project entries each from three IMBA Regions have been selected as Top 12 finalists. Voting for the SORBA Tri-Cities Chapter project will take place May 5-18, and the link to vote will be available at www.sorba-tricities.org beginning May 5.
SORBA Tri-Cities applied for the grant to help fund a new “flow” trail at Doe Mountain in Mountain City, Tenn. Doe Mountain is an 8,600-acre tract of land purchased by the state of Tennessee and managed by the Doe Mountain Recreation Authority (DMRA). The mountain is home to outdoor recreational opportunities that will soon include mountain biking.
“This project gives us the opportunity to build a type of trail system that currently doesn’t exist in our region,” states Anthony Duncan, SORBA Tri-Cities president. “Our region lacks true beginner mountain bike trails, and also lacks a lot of new-school-type riding that includes what we call ‘flow’ trails. Flow trails are trails that are designed to be smooth and flowing, allowing riders to keep and control their speed with rolling grade dips and berms.”
The mountain bike trails planned for Doe Mountain will begin directly behind the visitors’ center on Harbin Hill Road and will eventually offer visitors up to 40 miles of dual-use trails. The flow trail will be built by IMBA Trail Solutions, with help from volunteers from SORBA Tri-Cities and the Northwest North Carolina Mountain Bike Alliance, a neighboring SORBA chapter.
“With the support of the community, along with the economic and community impact these trails will have on Mountain City, I believe we have a great chance of winning,” says Johnson County Mayor Larry Potter, chairman of the DMRA. “We’ve enjoyed the enthusiasm SORBA Tri-Cities has brought to this project and we believe they can help us build a world-class mountain biking destination.”
About SORBA Tri-Cities
SORBA Tri-Cities is a chapter of the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization. Their mission is to promote land access, trail preservation and new trail development in order to enhance mountain bike touring, racing, fun and fellowship for all mountain bicyclists in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
Founded in 1998, SORBA Tri-Cities helps build and maintain trails at Bays Mountain Park, Steele Creek Park, Sugar Hollow Park and Warriors Path State Park, and currently has 75 members. For more information, visit www.sorba-tricities.org.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational association. Their mission is to create, enhance and preserve great mountain biking experiences. IMBA’s worldwide network includes 35,000 individual members and 750 chapters. For more information, visit www.imba.com.
PHOTO CAPTION: Riders on the PBJ trail at Rocky Knob Park in Boone, NC.
PHOTO CREDIT: Kristian Jackson