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CORBA eTerraTimes for March 2011

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In this issue...


It was a standing-room only crowd at the March 2 meeting at Malibu Creek State Park on the opening of the Yearling and Lookout Trails to mountain biking. See story.

 

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Proper Trail Etiquette

A Message from CORBA’s President

By Mark Langton

Many thanks to all the concerned mountain bikers who came out to the State Parks meeting at Malibu Creek State Park to hear about the Change in Trail Use proposal for Yearling and Lookout Trails in Malibu Creek State Park. It was great to see so many new faces, as well as some old ones, all in one place. Believe it or not, it was also great to see the solid turnout by hikers and equestrians. It shows that we have a vital, passionate trail user community.

During the meeting, we delivered the results of our online petition to State Parks officials. Thanks to the 550 people who signed it!

The question came up a couple of times on Wednesday night as to why there is such animosity by hikers and equestrians toward off-road cyclists. We’d be just plain ignorant if we didn’t point out there are still many rude and aggressive mountain bikers who see no reason to announce their presence well in advance and slow down for other users. But then again, there are some people who simply do not agree that bicycles have a place on trails, and no matter how conciliatory the cyclists, opponents to bicycles will have a negative attitude toward cyclists. So I can understand why some cyclists might feel frustrated and have the feeling that no matter what they do, things will never change. But they are changing, slowly but surely. Last night’s turnout is evidence. I’d guess that of the 125 or so in the audience, half were cyclists, and a number of them youngsters. State Park officials take notice of this, and just the mere presence of cyclists tells them that we are passionate about being able to ride the trails, and willing to work within the process. At the risk of sounding cliché, my heart swelled with pride at the number of cyclists in the room. It renewed my faith that what we’re doing is the right thing. And that in numbers we have strength. Thank you again for validating CORBA’s mission and goals!

Glendale Bike Skills Park – Show Your Support!

Glendale needs a Bike Skills Park. Southern California needs a Bike Skills Park. Sign our petition and let the City of Glendale know!

Bike Skills Parks are a dedicated area for bicycles and include features like a pump track, progressive tabletop jumps, balance training features, XC short tracks, and much more. They can include dirt features, man-made (cut) wooden features, natural wooden features, and rock features. They are becoming more and more popular as people realize the skill-building fun and health-promoting exercise they provide.

A great example is the Woodward West Bike Park in Fresno. The City of Fresno, local mountain bike advocacy groups and the community came together to make this park a reality. We would like to see that model emulated here in Glendale.

In 2007 and 2008, the CORBA trail crew assisted the City of Glendale in developing their Trails Master Plan. In that plan are several desired new trail corridors in the Verdugos, San Rafael Hills and the foothills of Mt. Lukens. The biggest and most significant addition to the Trails Master Plan is a Bike Skills Park. Read the full story on Glendale's Bike Skills Park on our blog...


Craig Sap, Acting District Supt.

“Change in Trail Use” Meeting Sees Big Turnout

On Wednesday night, the Angeles District of the California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR) hosted a public meeting regarding a recently submitted Change in Trail Use proposal for Lookout and Yearling Trails in Malibu Creek State Park. Approximately 125 people packed the Administration Center’s conference room, where Angeles District Acting Superintendent Craig Sap and  CDPR Roads and Trails Operations Manager Karl Knapp explained the process and answered questions about it.

After the discussion by Sap and Knapp, attendees were asked to gather at tables to ask questions and submit written comments to agency representatives. During this part of the meeting, CORBA hand-delivered the results of our online petition with 550 signatures to State Parks officials.

A more detailed account (with photos) of the meeting can be found here (the comments and opinions are solely those of the author, Michael McClure). Read the full story about Wednesday's public meeting on our blog...

New CORBA Jerseys Still Available

Don't forget to check out our CORBA store to see our latest additions. These attractive and comfortable jerseys come in two styles, club cut (men's and women's) and freeride (baggy, 3/4 sleeve). Free shipping on all orders has been extended! And don't overlook our new T-shirts, either!

Upcoming and Recent Trailwork

For many years, most trailwork has been done by volunteers because of budget cutbacks at our parks systems. So come out and help CORBA and other volunteers keep our trails in top riding shape! You can learn more about what to expect and what you'll need to bring with you on our Trailwork web page. Keep in mind that CORBA now provides prizes and lunch after the event for volunteers who register in advance! And by registering in advance, you'll help us prepare by knowing how many volunteers to expect. If you come out to two or more trailwork days in a year, we'll give you a cool long-sleeved CORBA trail crew shirt - be sure to ask for yours!

Ongoing: Los Robles Trail West

CORBA's adopted trail is severely rutted after years of winter storms with no maintenance. Unfortunately, we don't have the resources to restore the trail to it's original state, but we are working to repair the drainage to keep the ruts from getting worse. We've been working our way up the trail a few hundred yards at a time, one morning a week. If you would like to help us out, please get in touch with us at trailwork@corbamtb.com. Thanks!

February 19th: Sheep Corral Trail in Cheeseboro Canyon

Unfortunately we had to cancel this work day because of rainy weather in the days leading up to it. The trails would have been too muddy.

March 26: Conejo Open Space Annual Spring Trailwork Day

Come out and join CORBA, the Santa Monica Trails Council and other COSCA volunteers for the Annual COSCA Spring Trailwork Day. We will be working on the last uncompleted section of the Conejo Ridge Trail, in Newbury Park. Finishing this segment will enable us to ride a fun loop along trails in Newbury Park, Dos Vientos, Rancho Potrero, Rancho Sierra Vista and Deer Ridge (Los Robles Trail West). Bring your bike and riding gear and we'll ride a 9-mile loop after lunch!

Following the morning of trail building, workers will be treated to barbecued hot dogs, hamburgers, vegi-burgers, snacks and drinks while enjoying the views from the top of the trail just completed.

See full details and register on the Conejo Spring Trailwork registration page.

April 23: Backbone Trail near Latigo Canyon Road

We'll be working to fix up some ruts and doing other treadwork while the SMMTC will be removing invasive thistles that are overgrowing the area. See full details and register on the Latigo Backbone Trailwork registration page.

April 29 - May 1: Annual Santa Monica Mountains Trails Days

This is a weekend event with CORBA, SMMTC and other trail user groups with camping at Danielson Ranch in Point Mugu State Park. You can come in Friday night and stay until Sunday or leave Saturday after trail maintenance. Some people just come in for Saturday. There will be a barbecue and raffle on Saturday evening. For more details and to register, visit our Santa Monica Mountains Trailwork registration page.

To see all trailwork dates, including those of other groups, visit the CORBA trailwork calendar.


General News

Los Angeles Bike Plan Passes City Council Unanimously

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed the Los Angeles Bike Plan.

Everyone’s goal at the March 1, 2011 Council session was to do whatever necessary to get the plan passed. Councilman LaBonge needed to give his equestrian constituents, 30 or so who were in attendance, something they could live with so that the plan could move forward. The result was an amendment that simply puts in writing what will have to happen anyway before any changes to bike access to City Parks could be made. It was enough to placate the equestrian community, and did not really change anything. It was enough of a deal to get the Plan passed.

Being short on time, public comments were limited to 20 minutes. Mark Langton, Steve Messer and Jim Shanman all addressed the Council supporting the plan. Members of the Bicycle Advisory Committee and LACBC also spoke in favor of the plan. In fact, everyone in the room except the equestrians loved the plan. Some of the equestrians even spoke in support of the Plan, as long as it included LaBonge’s amendment, though several of them still called for the removal of all off-road elements.

One of the unfortunate consequences of the equestrian lobby’s usurping of the whole Bike Plan process is that they had begun to create a division between road/urban cyclists and mountain bikers. The road cyclists have been angered by the fact that every public hearing about the Bike Plan has been overrun by equestrians complaining and lobbying as hard as they can against anything off-road in the plan. Read the full article on the LA Bike Plan on our blog...

LA County Draft Trails Manual Public Hearing

Last July, CORBA board members met with LA County Planning and Sapphos Environmental (the contractor developing the Trails Manual for the County), in a Mountain Biker only public forum. At that meeting only three CORBA board members attended, the County representatives, and nobody else. Sapphos considered it more productive to hold separate meetings with each user group. The Equestrian-only meeting had many more participants, as did the Hiker-only meeting. Each group gave their input on what they’d like to see covered in the trails manual, and their special concerns.

On February 28, 2011, about 50 people gathered in the beautiful Birch Room at Descanso Gardens in La Canada. We were there to review and comment upon the most recent draft of the Los Angeles County Trails Manual. Read the full article on the LA County Trails Manual on our blog...

New on the CORBA Website


Recreational Rides

For a list of upcoming recreational rides, please visit the CORBA Calendar.

CORBA’s Recreational Rides calendar provides a full monthly schedule of mountain bike rides for all skill levels. Mountain bike rides are organized by CORBA member clubs and led by experienced and knowledgeable guides. Recreational rides are a fun and social way to experience a variety of trails in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and beyond.


Free Mountain Biking Skills Clinic

Saturday March 5th is the next skills clinic.

The CORBA free skills clinic is held on the first Saturday of every month at Malibu Creek State Park.

Mountain biking is a lot like tennis or skiing. Just a few minor adjustments in technique can make a huge difference in your control and proficiency. If you want to get better faster, you need to know the fundamentals of mountain biking technique. Whether you're just  getting into mountain biking or have been riding for years, you'll learn some valuable tips from our Introduction to Mountain Biking  skills class that is offered each month. Check out our Skills Clinic web page for all the information. After the clinic, see photos of your new skills on the CORBA web site that you can share with your family and friends!


Follow CORBA on Twitter and Facebook

We have set up accounts with Twitter and Facebook to help keep people informed of the latest developments in our trail advocacy, recreational rides and trailwork days. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CORBAmtb and Facebook at facebook.com/CORBAMTB.

Get Our Blog Articles Delivered to Your Desktop

Have you ever wished you could get our blog articles without having to check the CORBA website every day to see if there’s anything new? Well, you can! Even though our blog software won’t send articles by email, you can still get them delivered to the inbox of most email readers like Microsoft Outlook. You use the “RSS feed” functionality for this. In fact, you can read our articles in any software that receives RSS feeds, such as Internet Explorer and other web browsers. This blog article on RSS feeds shows you how.


Support CORBA

Join or Renew your membership today on our membership web page.

Join Our Team! Do you have any ideas about mountain biking recreation in the L.A. region? Would you like to apply your skills and manage projects that contribute to the sport and lifestyle that you love? Is there an advocate in you? We are recruiting motivated individuals who work well with others. Send an email to info@corbamtb.com or come to a monthly Members Meeting to find out more about what we do and how you can help. Check the calendar for the next meeting.

Other simple ways to support CORBA

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