Southern Appalachian Bicycle Association

Southern Appalachian Bicycle Association News:

Bicyclists Academy at the Tri-County Community College's Cherokee County Center of Applied Technology Campus in Marble!

We hope you will join us Monday, October 3rd from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. for a Bicyclists Academy at the Tri-County Community College's Cherokee County Center of Applied Technology Campus in Marble!

You will have the opportunity to learn and provide input about opportunities and challenges for more and safer bicycling in our region! We will also discuss the needs of different bicyclists of all ages and abilities, and the best ways to design for these groups. It will be a highly interactive and engaging session.

Perfect Trail conditions set the stage for this year's Big Ring Challenge Mountain Bike Race

Chainbuster Racing

Perfect trail conditions along with great weather brought mountain biking enthusiasts from across the southeast to the Jackrabbit Trails on Saturday, September 24. This date marked the seventh annual Chin Buster 6/3 Hour Endurance Race at our local trails. Just under 300 racers participated in this endurance event in either a solo or team category.

JackRabbit Chainbusters-1

The Southeastern Endurance Cup features 3-hour and 6-hour mountain bike races at trail venues across Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina. Participants also travel as far as from Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee to be a part of this race series. Courses are designed to accommodate a range of athletes from beginner to expert. The course layout for the Jackrabbit venue consisted of an eleven mile race lap. Racers attempt to complete as many laps in the least amount of time.

Local racer Justin Bradley topped the podium in his first mountain bike race to win first place in the Junior 1 (14 and under) age category. Nathan Lindsey fought hard for a fourth place finish.

Justin Bradley

Many participants stated they will always attend the Jackrabbit venue, as it is one of their favorite trail systems in this series. Praise was also voiced in regards to the professional and efficient manner in which race director Eddie Freyer conducts his race series. The Southern Appalachian Bicycling Association prepared the course layout and assisted Chain Buster Productions with registration, course marshals, first aid stations and cleanup. SABA helped build and continues to maintain the Jackrabbit Trails. Members from the Lions Club volunteered their time by assisting with parking. Appreciation is also extended to the local EMS, along with Fire and Rescue for their assistance during the event.

For additional information, visit

JackRabbit Chainbusters-2

Mulberry Gap Getaway Set for November 11th & 12th

Mulberry Gap Getaway

Mark your calendars for November 11th and 12th as SABA will be hosting a weekend of riding at Mulberry Gap near Ellijay, GA!!! Bring your tent or rent a cabin, but don't delay reserving your spot as they are busy this time of year.

You can make reservations by calling 706-698-2865 or visiting Mulberry Gap is dog friendly so load up Fido and your bike and come on!!!

Forest Service to Hold Open Houses at District Offices

Asheville, NC, September 1, 2016 - The U.S. Forest Service will hold open houses at district offices on the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests in September and October to provide the public with opportunities to talk with forest staff about local issues, district projects, and forest plan revision.

The open houses will have a flexible format allowing the public to come at any time during the specified hours and talk directly with Forest staff one-on-one. District rangers and members of the forest plan revision team will be present from 3 to 6 pm on each of the following days and locations:

  • September 15, Nantahala Ranger District Office, 90 Sloan Rd, Franklin
  • September 22, Cheoah Ranger District Office, 1070 Massey Branch Rd, Robbinsville
  • September 27, Tusquitee Ranger District Office, 123 Woodland Dr, Murphy
  • October 6, Grandfather Ranger District, 109 Lawing Dr, Nebo
  • October 12, Pisgah Ranger District Office, 1600 Pisgah Hwy, Brevard
  • October 13, Appalachian Ranger District Office, 632 Manor Rd, Mars Hill

The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests have been revising their forest plan, a required document that provides a general framework to guide management of the forest. As part of the process, 24 public meetings have been held in communities throughout western North Carolina.

"A successful forest plan depends on the engagement of local residents, organizations, and local governments," explains James Melonas, Deputy Forest Supervisor for National Forests in North Carolina. "We will continue to engage the public in a transparent and thoughtful manner."

Throughout the spring and summer, the Forest Service has been releasing draft plan materials on the National Forests in North Carolina website. Additional materials will be available this fall and posted to the Plan Revision Under Construction page as they become available.

"Like all parts of our forest plan, we are accepting public feedback on these initial building blocks and we expect to make changes before we complete the draft plan," said Michelle Aldridge, planning team lead. "Feedback will also help us shape our analysis. Specific feedback about desired changes, as well as information gaps is very useful at this stage."

By fall 2016, the public will have had an opportunity for early review and input on nearly all aspects of the developing plan, and will again have an opportunity to review the plan during the formal comment period once a complete draft plan and alternative analysis are released.

While there is no formal NEPA or legal comment period at this time, the Forest Service is accepting input on the building blocks at with the subject line "Summer building blocks" or by mail at this address: Attn: Plan Revision Team Leader; National Forests in North Carolina; 160 Zillicoa St. Suite A; Asheville, NC 28801.


On October 1st it will be legal for motorists to cross the solid center line to pass slower-moving bicyclists.   This is a big advocacy win for BWNC and the NC bicycling community as we have been advocating for this change for many years; read the BWNC discussion here.

This provision is contained as Section 5.5a of House Bill 959: DOT Proposed Legislative Changes and reads as follows:

(e) The driver of a vehicle shall not overtake and pass another on any portion of the highway which is marked by signs, markers or markings placed by the Department of Transportation stating or clearly indicating that passing should not be attempted. The prohibition in this section shall not apply when the overtaking and passing is done in accordance with all of the following:

            1) The slower moving vehicle to be passed is a bicycle or a moped.

            2) The slower moving vehicle is proceeding in the same direction as the faster moving vehicle.

            3) The driver of the faster moving vehicle either (i) provides a minimum of four feet between the faster moving vehicle and the slower moving vehicle or (ii) completely enters the left lane of the highway.

            4) The operator of the slower moving vehicle is not (i) making a left turn or (ii) signaling in accordance with G.S. 20-154 that he or she intends to make a left turn.

            5) The driver of the faster moving vehicle complies with all other applicable requirements set forth in this section.

This new law is great for motorists especially as many pass in this manner already and now can do so legally. As bicyclists, we want motorists to pass us - and of course the motorist still needs to have assured clear distance ahead and only pass when safe.

The newly stipulated four-feet distance between the faster moving vehicle passing the slower moving (bicycle) vehicle in this scenario is an improvement over the current requirement for all vehicles to pass with a minimum two-feet distance clearance, which for bicycles is unacceptably too narrow to be safe. We believe that these new passing stipulations open the door to considering changing lanes to pass as the preferred default passing mode on all public roadways, including those with solid centerlines.

Viewers can read the Full Version of the Bill Here .

BikeWalk NC is a membership-based, statewide advocacy organization promoting non-motorized transportation choices for residents of and visitors to NC. Our existing and potential support base includes shop owners, cycling clubs, transportation professionals, local advocacy organizations, elected officials, allied non-profits, business groups, government, environmental and health-oriented organizations and various individual advocates across the state interested in promoting people-powered transportation.

Weekly Group Rides!

SABA hosts several weekly group rides each week. The schedule is as follows:

Road Rides 2016:

ENDED FOR 2016 SEASON - Tuesday Nights: 6:00 PM

Wednesday Nights: 6 :00 PM - Wednesday night group road ride leaves at 6:00 PM from the big rocking chair at Owltown Market on Hwy. 129 in Blairsville, GA. The route varies through the Trackrock Valley. Mileage approx. 12 to 25 with A & B groups. For more info contact Blairsville Bikes & Hikes (706) 745-8141.

ENDED FOR 2016 SEASON - Thursday Nights: 6:00 PM

Other Rides:

Please check our Facebook page to see if there are any unscheduled rides.

Mountain Bike Rides 2016:

Thursday Nights: 6:15 PM - Thursday evening at Jack Rabbit Trails. Leaves the parking lot at 6:15 PM. Usually involves getting a bite to eat afterwards. Blairsville Bikes & Hikes 706 745 8141


SABA Membership Dues

You can now pay your membership dues online at for additional details view our membership page here

Now You Can Find Us on facebook!

Find Us on Facebook!

SABA has a new facebook profile and we encourage you to "Like US!"

For those of you not familiar with facebook, it is a social networking site which allows us to share news, events, photos, and more amongst the masses.

Facebook friends, sometimes known as "Fans" are eligible for special offers from SABA. We encourage you to "Like Us Now" and help spread the word!

Jackrabbit Mountain Bike Trail

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Calendar of Events:

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Map of Jackrabbit Trail System... click here

Local Bike Routes Now Online... click here

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Jackrabbit Trail News:

Close to 15 miles of machine constructed singletrack trails have been completed and are based on a stacked-loop design. The 3.1 mile Central Loop is the "core" trail that all other optional trails are connected. Many of the trails border Lake Chatuge, while others meander through the woods or ridge-top. These trails were specifically designed to appeal to all skill levels, beginner to advanced. It remains a work-in-progress, with signage, maps, parking lot facilities (pavillion/restrooms/information board) being planned, along with optional technical trail features (TTF's) our interviews here with Mike Riter of Trail Design Specialists.

Piney Knob Trail News:

The town of Murphy, North Carolina plans to construct 22.3 miles of recreational hiking and mountain biking trails on the 700+ acre Murphy Watershed property off of Piney Knob Hill Road and opening in Spring more here.

Trail Traffic Counter by

The Southern Appalachian Bicycle Association (SABA) is using two TRAFx Counters to assess both mountain biking and hiking trail usage. To learn more about TRAFx mountain bike and hiking trail counters please visit . To get a closer look on how the TRAFx system works on mountain biking trails click here.

Join or Renew Your SABA Membership Here:

Upcoming Trail Work Days:

  • CANCELLED - Saturday - October 29, 2016 - Trail work day scheduled for Jackrabbit Trail System will be postponed until further notice.

Next SABA Meeting:

TThe meetings will be held the last Friday of the month unless otherwise notified

  • Friday - October 28, 2016 - Next Meeting October 28, 2016 at Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, Murphy NC at 6:30pm. This is a pot luck meeting, bring your favorite dish.

SABA is a Member of:


Trail Building


Blairsville Bikes and Hikes

SABA Members get 10% off at Blairsville Bikes & Hikes in Blairsville, GA!

Appalachian Outfitters

SABA Members get 10% off at Appalachian Outfitters in Murphy, NC!


Clay County Chamber of Commerce

Towns County Chamber of Commerce

SABA is a member of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce



Golden Leaf Foundation

HandMade in America

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