Published Somedays

Time to Join SORBA?

(updated: Apr 20, 2008)

The increase in the number of people mountain biking in Wilmington over the past year or so has been phenomenal thanks to having a legal place to ride. And now we are working on getting more trails established in our area leveraging our success at Blue Clay. Two years ago I spoke with a Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) board member about establishing a chapter in our area to help us get access to places to ride. At the time, there just weren't enough mountain bikers here. Today I think it is time to revisit the question of whether we should start a chapter.

Raleigh, NC mountain biking clubs reorganized into TORC (Triangle Off-Road Cyclists) and became a SORBA affiliate in 2005. Granted they have significantly more members than we do, but I've been watching their progress since then and they've been able to establish new trails such as Garner and Briar Chapel, and more diverse riding opportunities such as new pumptrack at Lake Crabtree.

A more recent development making a SORBA chapter more compelling is a partnership with IMBA. Now when you join SORBA you also become a member of IMBA. I renew my membership yearly (almost) with IMBA so I would effectively would have a single membership for both organizations.

Another recent development is that the fine folks in Greenville, SC started a new chapter called Upstate Sorba and since then have been going gangbusters building trails. See Paris Mountain DH Race for info on a new race they are putting on.

SORBA has more than 3,600 members now so if we joined we would have the backing of a huge member base and present a large unified voice to land managers.

Of course with that backing comes more commitment and higher annual dues. In addition we would need a minimum of 30 members.

Would we still remain part of the Cape Fear Cyclists, or would we have to be a separate organization? How would that work? And what would we call ourselves?


Filed Under: General Entries > North Carolina > Wilmington


1. tim said...

i thinks it has been time to be part of something like SORBA since i got started less than a year ago!!! in fact, i think it is past time!!

Apr 20, 2008 @ 9:43 PM

2. Tommy said...

Sounds like it could be a great thing for this area. Sign me up!!

Apr 20, 2008 @ 10:13 PM

3. Ben said...

Can we just take the SBA division of Cape Fear Cyclists and join them? That way Cape Fear Cyclists is still the Wilmington club. We (Wilmington) are not a big city, so there can't be any divisions among the cycling groups or we'll never get anything done. There are over 200 forum members of SBA, so we know there is interest. But what could happen, is when people go to renew there CFC memberships, there could be a seperate section for thoes who want to join SBA (SORBA division). They would pay the extra dues, but they could have some sort of higher privilage, like being the ones who perform trail maintence, or something like that. This is a bandwagon we need to jump on.

Apr 21, 2008 @ 5:29 AM

4. Jay said...

I'm all for it. Sign me up.

Apr 21, 2008 @ 5:38 AM

5. Reno said...

I'll support whatever group is out there but what exactly are the benefits of a new organization? Seems like the area is getting trails built and advocating off-road cycling just fine without paying dues to a national organization.

And no offense to the triangle but a casual perusal of their forums demonstrates a frustration with the management of their existing trails as well as their availability. How is (or does?) SORBA assist them?

I'm a "less is more" guy but if there is a need I'll jump all over it.

Apr 21, 2008 @ 6:24 AM

6. sir disappears said...

Reno, the first thing that comes to my mind (and I could be wrong) is having a larger voice (membership numbers), when we try to get other lands for trails.

I don't mind paying dues for something that I believe in, however you do bring up a good point concerning frustration with management over trails.

oh well, just my 2cents worth...I'll crawl back under my rock now.....

Apr 21, 2008 @ 6:32 AM

7. Randy said...

I have always been a member of IMBA and Sorba. I also know that there are many members in the Wilmington area already. SORBA members here want nothing to do with the CFC, so either just SIRBIKESALOT and SORBA, or just a SORBA club. Please do not try and get the CFC involved. I would like to work with you guys on this, but my opinions on the CFC are well known. The problems in Raleigh were much worse before SORBA. They are a great organization. SORBA allows us better Race insurance and planning than the cfc. They will support major trail work advancement, and the political advantages of a 13000 member regional network are much better than the 5 members of CFC that help us now. There is a need for SORBA here, and we should start a chapter.

Apr 21, 2008 @ 9:17 AM

8. Randy said...

In response to Ben : We are a large city, with more citizens than most places with Sorba chapters. We just have fewer trails. You shouldn't need perks to join clubs that support you on a regional and national front.

Apr 21, 2008 @ 9:19 AM

9. Dave said...

With the availability of large tracts of land being diminished in the area, I am in favor of better backing for more trails. I will be happy to participate.

Apr 21, 2008 @ 11:37 AM

10. Sir Disappears-a-lot said...

I agree with Randy that there is definitely a need for a SORBA chapter here in terms of giving us 13,000 members versus 300+ with CFC.

What do we need to do to get the ball rolling? Do you need 30 people to hand you their money? if so, how much and give us a dead line. Also, information concerning families versus single members....

Apr 21, 2008 @ 5:15 PM

11. Aaron said...

I'm in, just let me know what to do.

Apr 21, 2008 @ 6:07 PM

12. Sir Peanuts said...

I'm all for it

Apr 21, 2008 @ 6:24 PM

13. JMoney said...

I'm moving back to Wilmo in August, and I'd definitely be up for joining SORBA if it means MORE trails in the Wilmington area. I'm gonna miss the trails here(Piedmont NC) and I think Wilmington would be a great place for some more trails!

Apr 22, 2008 @ 4:47 PM

14. goldleader said...

sounds wonderful, more leverage for new trails, I'm in.

Apr 23, 2008 @ 5:15 AM

15. brado1 said...

my best advise is get members now (don't wait) and now that IMBA and SORBA are now merged 1 membership for two for one fee, i had always been a supporter of both - there is no stronger way to say "we want a chapter and we want a chapter now" is to have the member #'s up front!

you can do it two ways join the ranks of TORC which by the way is the largest of all of the SORBA chapters or have you folks sign up as "At Large members" and when you do get voted in as a chapter transfer those names to you chapter

The Upstate chapter was mostly Pisgah SORBA Folks or CSRA SORBA members and i think it was a no brainer for the organization to vote us into chapter status.

I think two things played to our favor in becoming a chapter that were similar to your group. We had an established group already doing Trail Work & Group Rides (with other SORBA & IMBA groups ) prior to becoming or own local SORBA Chapter.

Enthusiasm - i know when Tom Sauret came out to meet our group for the first time, he was stoked - the level of enthusiasm of our folks was amazing!! we had the ball rolling and were planning & doing things before even getting chapter status.

best of luck in you venture! gimme a shout if you need any help

Apr 23, 2008 @ 6:27 AM

16. brado1 said...

guess i should have proof read that! before posting! my bad - English not so good :)

Apr 23, 2008 @ 6:31 AM

17. Randy said...

I think we are on a good path now with sirbikesalot. We have a strong commitment to the trails, all volunteer labor, racers and riders who show up for events and do their part. We also have potential for new trails all around us, and we need to organize now to keep these places. If we had a SORBA chapter, we wouldn't be losing UNCW. Please join SORBA now as an at large member, and ensure that we have the numbers to move forward.

Apr 23, 2008 @ 10:44 AM

18. irvintat said...


Apr 23, 2008 @ 7:44 PM


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