Outdoor & Adventure Editor JR Ferjak Invites Mountain Bikers of All Stripes to Visit the Beautiful Blue Ridge
Hey all of you ACL Emmer’s once again summer is winding down, temperatures are falling and soon fall will be in the air. We all hear the call Back To Nature.
In the old days, let’s say the turn of the century prior to the dawn of the motor car, a lot of people rode bicycles as transportation, and yes not a lot of concrete to be found. In the early days bicycles were ridden on foot paths, trails, and unpaved roads. Hence the birth of old school Mountain Biking as a way of life.
Off road bicycling evolved heavily through the late 1960s and 1970s in Marin County, California. A group known as the Larkespur Canyon Gang were riding bikes on and around Mount Tamalpais that were self-modified for off road and mountain riding. Of course, all cool things came from California back in the day. The evolution of mountain biking blossomed in the 1980s, when manufacturers jumped on board making production mountain bikes. One of the first to produce this new type of bike was Gary Fisher from the same area. Fisher’s bikes are no longer manufactured, but his genius and influence still shine in today’s technology.
I have been part of the grassroots mountain biking movement starting in the 1970s, as my first modified bike was the Huffy BMX. Back then all the kids had to have one of those cool new bikes. Jump forward to today and you see bike and gear technology that is evolving and advancing continually in our own backyard a playground for mountain biking…
Mountain biking is a great family activity if you’re athletically inclined, it’s good for your heart, your mind, your body, and your soul. Cycling has been proven to effectively improve all areas of your health. Many athletes from other disciplines use mountain bike riding as a training tool. So, it must be good for us right? That is unless you haven’t chewed, bit it, offed, endoed, or just simply tanked. AKA crashed, which does happen. LOL.
When riding a mountain bike always try to respect the rules of the trail. Don’t ride any maintained trails for at least 24 + hours after a rain. Let mother nature dry up the ground so you don’t tear up the trails by leaving ruts. Always monitor foot traffic as well as equine traffic, wear proper safety gear, and let loved ones know where you intend to ride in case of a mishap. Stay hydrated and of course, watch the weather as needed.
We are fortunate have some of the best mountain biking, from easy gravel to gnarly single track, right here in our back yard. So, take advantage our beautiful mountains, go on, get out there and Shred! Be safe ‘til next time. ACLM
–Peace out, JR
JR Ferjak is a self-described renaissance man, with residences here in Mineral Bluff and Dahlonega. A professional high performance on and off road driving instructor, JR offers private driving lessons with a future off-road driving clinic in the works. His passion for the outdoors draws him to many adventures far from the norm. For more information you can try to catch up with JR by email: Jferjak1@gmail.com.
North Georgia Mountain Bike Association
NGMBA (North Georgia Mountain Bike Association) is a local chapter of the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) and the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). There are SORBA chapters like ours in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee, in addition to the numerous IMBA worldwide chapters.
The NGMBA is a 501c3 non-profit composed of volunteers from Pickens, Gilmer and Fannin counties. Your 100% tax deductible donations allow us to build and maintain the 65 miles of trails. We work with the National Forest Service and other agencies to increase that number and are building the Fruitkoff area, located in the Aska area of Blue Ridge, which will provide a family friendly (beginners) as well as more advanced trails.
Another great example of where dollars are spent is repairing the Rich Mountain WMA – Cartecay Tract, one of the oldest trails systems in Georgia. The Georgia DNR, Wildlife Division has has given approval for NGMBA to reroute significant areas of the trail on the Red & White Loop. These reroutes will create a fun experience for beginner to intermediate riders, offer training trails for the local youth NICA teams and fulfill the mission and objectives of DNR for wildlife management.
The NGMBA has raised $12,700 and approximately $20,000 is needed to finish the reroutes. To make a donation, join NGMA or to see our progress, please visit www.northgeorgiamountainbikeassociation.org
For further information on the NGMBA or its affiliates please feel free to contact Andy Milton 706-273-8647 or Jeannie Wentworth 561-436-7499.