Open Letter Concerning the Blue Clay Bike Park

Dear members and friends of Cape Fear SORBA,

Recently at the Blue Clay Bike Park there have been several unapproved obstacles popping up on and around the trail. These have been the cause of much concern and debate amongst certain club members and we, the Cape Fear SORBA board, felt that it was time to clarify our stance on not only this situation but the rules that this park must run by.

As many of you may know this park began as something of an unapproved park that graduated to the status of county Park over time. During that time several wooden obstacles of differing shapes and sizes had been built there. Sadly, in the not to distant past, there was an accident involving one of those obstacles that has been the center of a lawsuit that the county has had to deal with. Since that time the county has declared that there will be no unapproved obstacles of any kind built at Blue Clay. This was done both out of a concern for safety as well as for liability reasons. Cape Fear SORBA has since developed a solid working relationship with New Hanover County on the maintenance of the park.

Currently no obstacles can be built out there without first being approved by New Hanover County. Because of this the county has asked us to remove any unapproved trail features as soon as they are discovered. We do this not only to maintain safety but also to retain our access to this park and honor the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) that we agreed to with the county. The MOU is a legal responsibility that the club must uphold. If people continue to build so called “rogue” obstacles on the trail it is very possible for everyone to lose access to this park ENTIRELY. None of us want this to happen.

That is not to say it is impossible to add technical trail features at Blue Clay. The club has recently proposed, had approved, and built a BMX style jump as a part of the Pump Track. The key here is that obstacles must be proposed and built to IMBA/SORBA guidelines and approved by the County. However, it CAN be done if we follow the proper guidelines.

So please, if you see anyone doing any building of any structure or obstacle that seems suspicious please email as soon as possible to notify us of the issue. We do not want the actions of a few causing the loss of a park to everyone else.

However, for those of you that wish to see obstacles on the trail, there is hope. Part of the plans for the advanced loops at the Brunswick Nature Park calls for wooden structures, log piles, and other trail features that we could not build at Blue Clay. We are going to begin building the next section of trail starting on Saturday, December 3rd. If you wish to see that section built fast then come out and help us make it a reality. The more hands we have, the quicker the trail will be built. We also encourage you to come out to the Trail Building School with the IMBA Trail Care Crew being held on Nov 12th to learn how to build long lasting sustainable trail.

Thank you Cape Fear SORBA and remember: Speak, Build, Respect, Ride.

Greg Brinson, President Cape Fear SORBA

Austin Fenwick, Vice-President Cape Fear SORBA

Jay Pearce, Secretary Cape Fear SORBA

Bryan Weinkle, Treasurer Cape Fear SORBA