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February 5, 2007

I Sometimes Get a Little Busy...

...unfortunately, with a "real job" and all, so my blogging sometimes suffers...But our club is blessed with many hard working individuals that I tend to lean on for guidance and advice.  One of them is Jim Grover, our club attorney.  Jim has spent countless hours reading and re-reading documents that are necessary for the club to do business, to get the best possible agreements.  Hell, I can't even read my bank statements without interpretation.  Jim selflessly gives of his time to contribute.  The following is a quote posted recently in our forums concerning membership, and more eloquently states many things that I have been trying to say over the past two years.  Jim, many thanks for your input and the forum post, below:

"Let's keep 'em comming everybody. I finally renewed last week and even signed up all the family members.
Yea, the money's important, but the numbers are just as important. Lots of our bretheren feel connected to the trails, but unless they join, they ain't connected to the club.
Three steps to Membership Success:
1. All old members - Renew!
2. Exhort your friends to renew or join. Call 'em out!! (Extort them if you need to! Wink)
3. Talk up the club at the trailhead. Make the effort to meet those you don't know and ask if they are members. Even carry membership forms in your car.
Why push for new members?
   - 10 new members = $200 (likely more with family memberships and extra contributions) - a substantial contribution that will have impact on our trails;
   - 10 new members = 40 hours of trail work/year (a guess, but could be much higher);
   - 10 to 20 new members = 1 new person to get involved in helping manage the club and our projects;
   - 50 to 100 new members = 1 new member that may be responsible for building a new trail.
   - New members = new friends.
As a club, we have gained substantial recognition and influence with the local landowners and land managers. We are now expanding that influence regionally. Adding and sustaining membership numbers to the club means a lot in growing and enhancing these relationships, which means we can better expand and protect our trails.
'Nuff said. Hope it stops raining soon".

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

Tarheel Trailblazers | 182 Saddle Road | Mooresville, NC 28115
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