Opinion: 4 Reasons Why You Should Vote For Yellow River in the Bell Built Grant Competition (Even if You Don’t Live in Georgia)

photo: joshreep
photo: joshreep

Singletracks has been covering the Bell Built grant competition over the past several weeks, sharing videos from each nominee in all 3 regions. With the East Coast regional projects open to voting this week, I can’t help but give a little extra push for a nominee that’s just 12 miles as the crow flies from Singletracks HQ in Georgia: Yellow River. Honestly, all four East Coast nominees are deserving, and I’d be stoked to ride any one of them, but here are 4 reasons you should vote for Yellow River right now.

1. Atlanta is a big city.

With 5.5 million residents in the metro Atlanta area, the Yellow River project has the potential to impact an incredible number of mountain bikers–both existing and future riders. The project within the next largest metro area has just 1.2 million residents.

2. The Yellow River skills area will benefit the next generation.

I don’t spend a lot of time on pump tracks or in skills areas–personally, I’d rather hammer mile after mile of remote singletrack. But pump tracks and skills areas are just what younger riders need to develop a lifelong interest in mountain biking. The Yellow River project puts younger riders front and center in its proposal.

3. Yellow River is underutilized.

In the late 1990s, Yellow River was considered one of the premier trail systems in the metro Atlanta area, but today it’s rare to see more than a handful of riders parked in the enormous parking lot. The good news is the facilities are already top notch: a huge parking lot, restrooms, changing areas, and excellent signage. Now all riders need is a reason to visit. A skills park and improved trails are just the ticket.

4. Backing an underdog is satisfying.

At last check, Yellow river was #4 out of 4 in the vote count and had half the votes of the #3 project. If you’re like me, you can’t help but root for the underdog, especially when you have no skin in the game. So if none of the proposed trail projects are in your state, consider being a part of this under-appreciated, come-from-behind story!

Atlanta is a great place to live and ride, and Singletracks is stoked to be a part of such a strong MTB community. Your vote for the Yellow River project has the potential to impact countless young riders while further establishing mountain biking culture in one of the largest cities in the USA. Vote now!

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