About GATR

Gwinnett Area Trail Riders (GATR; pronounced gator) is the Gwinnett County, Georgia Chapter of SORBA (Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association) and was founded in August 2005.

GATR was originally founded as a response to the county’s redevelopment proposal for Yellow River Park (see History of Yellow River Park). Since then we have been involved in promoting and supporting mountain biking in Gwinnett and Metro Atlanta.

The focus of GATR is to advocate single track trail development and access to trails by mountain bikers in the parks of Gwinnett County, GA. GATR also promotes mountain biking as a healthy recreational and social activity by holding regularly scheduled chapter meetings, skills clinics and regular group rides for all level of riders.

We welcome all age and skill level of riders from beginners to the hard core elite. In addition to the primary goals of trail advocacy and promoting mountain biking, GATR is focused on increasing our membership to increase our advocacy voice in Gwinnett Co., Georgia and the Southeast United States. As a result of the formation of GATR in 2005, our advocacy voice had an impact on the re-development of the Yellow River Trail System. Yellow River Trails are an outstanding trail system close to downtown for those advanced riders needing a good “training” trail, or for new riders joining the growing ranks of mountain bikers. Yellow River has been recognized by Atlanta Sport and Fitness Magazine as a “Best Of”. We hope that as you explore our website you find the information that you are looking for and that if you are not already a member of GATR or SORBA that you will JOIN.


Board of Directors


Chapter By-Laws

View the chapter by-laws in Google Drive.


About SORBA

The Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) is the largest nonprofit mountain biking organization in the Southeast. SORBA members work with land managers in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee to create trails and trail systems for mountain bikers and other users to enjoy. Through advocacy, education, and recreational opportunities, SORBA carries out its mission to promote land access, trail preservation, and new trail development in order to enhance mountain bike touring, racing, fun, and fellowship for all mountain bicyclists in the southeastern United States.

We have over 2,000 members who help steward miles and miles of great trails in our six-state area. The best riding in the Southeast is found on trails maintained by our volunteers. SORBA loves singletrack, rocks, roots, and logs, and we employ IMBA’s trailbuilding practices to ensure that our trails are sustainable and challenging. SORBA was one of the first clubs to be affiliated with IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association). SORBA relies on our wonderful members to carry out our mission. Our volunteers donate thousands of hours each year to advocate for trail access, build trails, and maintain trails. SORBA volunteers take pride in their work, and it shows in the trails that they build. Our news magazine, the Fat Tire Times, showcases member involvement, advocacy issues, trail information and much more.


Volunteer

Trails at Tribble Mill Park, Yellow River Park and Harbins Park are maintained by GCPR along with volunteer workers from GATR. Every now and then we announce work parties on our forums and appreciate all volunteers and donations!


Meetings

GATR meets at 7pm every second Monday of the month. Information can be found on the Chapter Meetings page of this site, specific times and locations are always shown on our Calendar, and are also announced the forum.


General Information

Southern Off-rode Bicycle Organization (SORBA)

  • 17 year old Member based 501 (c3) organization
  • 19 Affiliate Chapters in 5 southeastern States
  • 1700 members with 90% in Georgia
  • 5,000 volunteer hours of trail building and maintenance activities
  • Trips for Kids at area parks and trails
  • Bicycle safety and skills clinics at area parks and trails
  • Fat Tire Times Newsletter that highlights mountain biking and trail activities for the community
  • SORBA Focuses on
    • Promoting Land Access
    • Developing Multi-use trails for mountain bikers and other recreational users of trails.
    • Providing volunteers to maintain community trails that are open to mountain bikers
    • Promoting healthy life style, community involvement and fellowship for anyone interested in mountain biking

Gwinnett Area Trail Riders (GATR)

  • Affiliate chapter of SORBA – Recognized August 2005
  • 10% of the SORBA membership resides in Gwinnett County
  • Regular meeting of club members in Gwinnett County
  • GATR focuses on
    • Promoting use of Gwinnett County Parks multi-use and mountain bike trails
    • Providing volunteer support for developing and maintaining multi-use trails and mountain bike trails in Gwinnett County Parks
    • Building positive relationships between mountain bikers and all members of the communityPromoting healthy life style for Gwinnett County Resident through involvement in mountain biking

Mountain Biking

  • Mountain bicycling is a very popular sport – on most trail systems mountain bikers are the #1 or #2 user group (behind hiking).
  • According to the Outdoor Industry Association 2004 Participation Study Last year,
    • 51.1 million people participated in the mountain biking and 11.9 million consider themselves avid enthusiasts
    • 35% of Cycling enthusiast live in the South Central US
    • Mountain Bikers participated in 632 million outings
    • 64% of the participants participated in 3+ outings
  • Mountain Biking Demographic
    • 63% of the participants 16 – 34 yro with the significant growth in the 40+ age group (37.5% of Gwinnett County’s population is 25-44 yro)
    • 66% are male
    • 56% report children younger the 18yro
    • 39% have household incomes of $40 to $79K (Gwinnett County’s median household income is $60, 537)
    • 25% have household incomes of $80K+

Information compiled from:
International Mountain Bike Association www.imba.com
Outdoor Industry Association www.outdoorindustry.org


History of GATR

In 2004

Because of the large geographical area and high number of trails to maintain, the Atlanta Chapter of SORBA proposes the formation of an East – West division so that a more concentrated effort can be focused on Gwinnett County.

April – August 2005:

The 10 year old Yellow River Park River Side trails are destroyed by a contractor as part of the Master Plan. The same fate is slated for the Creek Side. This galvanizes the Gwinnett County and Atlanta metro biking community and a vigorous grassroots e-mail campaign to the Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation Department and the County Commissioners begins.

August 2005:

This leads to a meeting of 25 bikers who vote to form a Gwinnett County chapter of SORBA as a means to negotiate the future of Gwinnett County parks mountain biking trails.

GATR is selected as the name of this new chapter.

August 2005:

At the Nimblewill Mountain Bike Festival SORBA at-large officials vote to make GATR an official chapter.

October 2005:

Negotiations take place between GCP&R and GATR. As a result the Master Plan for Yellow River Creek side is modified to accommodate the demands of the mountain bike community. Furthermore extra funds are allocated to hire Mike Riter to implement these plans.

October – February 2005/06:

GATR volunteer work crews do finish work on Mulberry Park horse trails. Money is donated for this effort to GATR to establish the organizations initial bank account.

February 2006:

Construction and refurbishing of the Yellow River Creek side trails begins by Mike Riter and GATR work crews.

April, 2006:

Yellow River Creek Side trail project completed to the satisfaction of both the mountain biking community and Gwinnett County.

July 2006:

The Grand Re-Opening event at Yellow River Park to celebrate the accomplishments made there by GATR.

May 2007:

After negotiations with the Parks Department GATR is granted permission to have officially sanctioned night rides at Yellow River on a monthly basis. The Parks Department will provide police surveillance of the parking lot during the ride.

October 2007:

The second annual Yellow River Mountain Bike Festival is hosted by GATR to celebrate our park.

October 2007:

After a presentation to the GCPR department officials by the GATR BOD, the parks department agreed to allow GATR to reopen and maintain the remaining traditional River Side trails and shut down some of the worse of the bulldozed trails created in 2005. BOD’s proposition for a whole new trail system that roughly follows the original system is accepted. In addition the Parks department offers some of the their work crews and heavy equipment to help.

After a second meeting 2 weeks later GCPR gave permission to allow GATR to do extensive trail work at Tribble Mill Park further solidifying our presence there.

October 2008:

GATR partners with GCPR to begin construction of approximately 15 miles of trail in Harbins Park, the newest and largest park in Gwinnett County. Part of the funding for this trail system is a $100,000 Recreational Trails Project grant awarded by the state because of the partnership between the two groups.