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If you’re in southern Virginia, NC Triad or NC Triangle area, this concerns you! Potential for a huge trail system just up the road, read on to find out more.

The Philpott Lake area has always been considered a “future” mountain bike destination with tremendous potential to be as big or bigger than Douthat State Park, with very similar topography. It could very easily become a 40 to 80 mile trail system located just 30 minutes up the road ! ! ! That’s a very exciting thought.

In the past, The Army Corps of Engineers has approached SVMBA to gauge our interest in partnering with them to develop a trail system up at Philpott. In the past we’ve been too focused on Angler’s Park and we’ve been unable to dedicate any resources in that direction.

In the past few months, however, SVMBA member Jim Frith has had dialogue with several interested stakeholders in what we call “The Philpott Project”. The response has been very positive. Many different groups are coming together, namely Army Corps of Engineers, SVMBA, Friends of Philpott, Franklin Freewheelers, Henry County Bike Club, Franklin County Parks & Rec and Henry County Parks and Rec. SVMBA’s designation as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization gives us the ability to funnel grant monies from around the Philpott area right back into the Philpott Project.

Thanks to the generous support of The Harvest Foundation, Henry County, and Franklin County, SVMBA will be hosting IMBA’s Trail Solutions group for a two-day trailbuilding school up at Philpott Lake (November 10th and 11th). Trail Solutions will be returning the following week to spend two additional days for a specialized “Ditch Witch” mechanized trailbuilding workshop with a few select members of each of the groups that will be working in and around the area. SVMBA will be sending “Trail Boss” Berndie Lunsford back up to Philpott the following weekend.

Rich Edwards of IMBA Trail Solutions will be on hand each week to pass along invaluable guidance to help us get this project off the ground and running on all cylinders ! ! ! We are very excited to be working with Rich again.

Mark your calendar for November 10th and 11th (Saturday and Sunday). This two-day trailbuilding school will be very similar to the one hosted here in Danville back in 2004. We will be building Philpott’s first “IMBA-inspired” trails and you can be there to see it begin ! ! !

SVMBA has been granted 7 positions in the trailbuilding school. Berndie Lunsford, Scott Buckner and I will be attending. That makes room for 4 more SVMBA members and we would like to have a firm commitment by the end of this week.

The class is limited to 40 participants and the waiting list is beginning to grow.

SVMBA will be communicating more information regarding this project in up coming e-mails.

More than ever, SVMBA is moving in a direction that will allow us to represent “Southern Virginia” without forgetting where we started. Danville will continue to be a top priority in terms of maintenance and technical obstacle construction (i.e. bridges, skinnys, teeter-totters, etc.)

During this time, we hope to expand our membership to include many of those in the Martinsville, Henry County and Franklin County areas. Current SVMBA members can help us tremendously in the beginning by commiting some time to this project and encouraging prospective new members to join SVMBA. Once it gets off the ground, I know that it will gain a momentum that we will all be proud of.

It was always my vision, that SVMBA might grow to represent more than just Danville. With your help we can grow to represent Southern Virginia by making new friends, creating new alliances with other groups, and expanding our access to additional trail systems that our friends and families can enjoy for years to come.

On behalf of the Board Members and Officers of SVMBA, we certainly welcome your thoughts and concerns regarding this new opportunity for SVMBA. Would you please share with us your thoughts by replying to this e-mail? We’re eager to know what each and every SVMBA member and supporter thinks, and of course, we always hope to represent each member in a way that THEY feel is best.

Thank you,

Chris Tompkins

Founder – SVMBA

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