55nine Performance, Ergon, and Vassago Cycles Join Forces to Support IMBA-SORBA and Historic Trail System



Dahlonega, Georgia – The 2008 Fool’s Gold Mountain Bike Races & Festival put on by 55nine Performance is teaming with the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) to create a one-of-akind festival in the Southeastern US. Both 55nine Performance and IMBA-SORBA are working together to support improvements of the existing trail system in the Bull Mountain area of Dahlonega, Georgia, as well as to support development of new trail to an already epic area of the Chattahoochee National Forest. 55nine Performance will be making a cash donation to IMBA-SORBA’s Land Access Fund to support the Bull & Jake Mountain trails which was the site of IMBA’s first Epic ride. Ergon is helping in the efforts to grow IMBA-SORBA membership by giving away a limited number of grips to all those that sign up as a IMBA-SORBA member through the Fool’s Gold events. Vassago Cycles will be present at the Fool’s Gold event to demo their line of bicycles and to raffle one 2008 Optimus Titanium 29er mountain bike frame valued at over $1600. Tickets will be sold at www.vassagocycles.com and at the event for $20.00 each. Proceeds from the Vassago frame raffle will also go towards the Bull & Jake Mountain area trail fund.

“The Fool’s Gold Mtb Races and Festival rides travel this historic trail system and showcase some of Georgia’s most epic riding. 55nine Performance, along with the USFS and IMBA-SORBA, recognizes the opportunity for improvements to the current trails and the need for opening additional trails in this area. We are creating an event that brings together a national caliber race, recreational riding and trail advocacy in a way that will generate revenue to build and maintain trails. It’s a perfect circle.” says, Race Director Eddie O’Dea. The Fool’s Gold 100 mile race is the 6th of the 8 race National Ultra Endurance Series in 2008. The Festival will have organized rides, games, bands, on-site food & lodging, and more for the entire weekend of August 15-17, 2008.

Jeff Kerkove, Marketing and Athlete Relations for Ergon USA (and Team Topeak-Ergon MTB Endurance Racer) says, “Supporting IMBA and its chapters is a high priority for Ergon USA. We hope that by adding a little incentive to becoming an IMBA-SORBA member will continue to grow the dominating trail advocacy that currently exists in the Southern States. There is no secret as to why so many Southern venues are becoming hotbeds for racing and riding in the USA…the trails speak for themselves.”

Kris Fowler, Owner of Vassago Cycles says, “Vassago is excited to be a part of the Fool’s Gold races and festival, it is a great venue and an opportunity to support one of Georgia’s best trail systems. The Southeast in general has some of the most fantastic mountain biking in the nation, and organizations such as IMBA-SORBA are the ones that make it possible. Our titanium frame raffle is our way of putting our money where our mouth is, as proceeds will be donated to IMBA-SORBA in support of the great job they do for all of us.”

Tom Sauret, SORBA Executive Director, says “These partnerships brining together the bicycle industry,
event directors and advocacy organizations are at the core of the bike culture movement. Working
together in this manner will grow our sport and increase mountain biking opportunities in the

About 55nine Performance:
55nine Performance is race promotion venture which aims to produce national caliber events while supporting local advocacy groups. They currently direct the BURN 24 Hour Challenge which benefits the Brushy Mountain Cycling Club and the Fool’s Gold Mtb Races and Festival which benefits IMBA-SORBA. 55nine Performance also operates a performance center in metro Atlanta that provides bike fitting, pedal stroke analysis, coaching, and nutrition services.

The Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA), IMBA’s regional presence, 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 carrie 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. For more information visit: www.sorba.org

About Ergon Components:
Ergon Components is the global leader in ergonomic bicycle component development. Garnered with design accolades the world over, Ergon specializes in providing comfortable performance enhancements for every type of cyclist. http://www.ergonbike.com

About Vassago Cycles:
Vassago Cycles is a frame manufacturer based on the East Coast (USA), providing ludicrously superior handling frames to discerning riders. We believe that great bikes, craft brew, and the humming crackle of knobbies on singletrack are the answer to all the world’s problems. http://vassagocycles.com

For more information about SORBA membership, visit www.sorba.org.

Source: Eddie O’Dea

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