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January 2, 2007

2006 in Review and the Year Ahead

It's hard to believe that yet another year has passed.  2006 was a banner year for the Trailblazers and mountain biking in general in the Metro Charlotte region.  Some of the highlights include:

A new contract with Charlotte Meck Park & Recreation was signed.

We worked to re-establish and construct new connector trails at the re-opened USNWC (Catawba).

We continued to strengthen our relationship with our sister club, The Dirt Divas.  YOU Gals Rock!

We worked to establish a relationship with our Freeride friends at PASA, to assist them in procuring opportunities to excite the Big Hit segment of mountain biking.

We acquired a Bobcat, a $15K donation from our friends at Ingersol Rand.

We negotiated a new club insurance contract.

We recently agreed to absorb the Crossroads Cycle Club (CCC) that has been instrumental in the construction of the Itusi and ongoing construction of the Monbo Trail system at Lake Norman State Park.

With the incorporation of the CCC we have taken on the responsibility of insurance for their growing wealth of mechanized equipment.

We held the 1st Annual Bike! Summit – during Bike! Charlotte.  A HUGE success!

We oversaw the construction of three new bridges in our trails, built by Eagle Scout candidates.

We were awarded a $60K RTP Grant with $10K in matching funds for construction of a trail system at Mt. Holly.

We realized a significant increase in our bank account due to an increase in membership and donations from caring individuals throughout the riding community.

We constructed a new trail system at Sherman Branch that is proving to be a single speeders paradise.

We are currently working on the construction of mountain bike/mountain trike trails for the physically challenged at Jetton Park in Cornelius.

We increased our tool cache with purchases of McCloud’s (fire rake/hoe combination) and Pulaski’s (pick type of tool).

We continued to market the club by selling over 300 jerseys and other related Trailblazer apparel.

But with the good, comes some bad.  In 2007, we are facing the potential loss of over a mile of trail at Renaissance as the Tyvola Road Coliseum is razed and the grounds prepared for a new community.  We are currently in a bit of a dog fight over the proposed trails at Mt. Holly, as we lock horns with the US Forest Service.  We are in constant need of legal advice as we plod through the legalese of contracts.  We are always looking for individuals to search out and write grant applications.  We are in need of individuals to step forward as trail coordinators, to claim a trail and maintain it as your own.  We need individuals to come forward in a myriad of positions, to grow the club.  How do you fit in?

As we push forward into a new year we would like to offer everyone that uses any of the local trails the opportunity to support the club by renewing their current membership or joining the club for the first time. Chances are if you reading this, you have already seen what the Trailblazers can and have accomplished.  Our mission statement plainly states we are here to provide the area with some the best mountain bike trails around.  Assist us in continuing our momentum by joining or renewing your membership, today.  When you’re riding a $2500 bike, what’s an additional $20 to make certain that your riding opportunities continue to expand or that the current trails that your know and love are properly maintained over the months/years to come. 

Your support is vital and is greatly appreciated!


Tom Mathews, President


All was accomplished by having leadership with vision and drive. And a lot of hard work by members who understand that we can only ride what we built and are will to give up some ride time for the betterment of the cycling community. Job well done!
Doug S.

Tarheel Trailblazers | 182 Saddle Road | Mooresville, NC 28115
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