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CORBA eTerraTimes for January 2015

eTerraTimes Archive


 

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In this issue...

We hope you had many Happy Holidays
and lots of new goodies to help enjoy our trails!

Rules of the Trail - Click for details
Proper Trail Etiquette

News from the CORBA Website Blog since the previous eTerraTimes

As we prepare to ring in the new year, it’s a good time to reflect on what has happened over the past twelve months. Here’s a quick recap of CORBA’s most significant efforts of 2014. Volunteers, February 16, 2014 Trailwork: One of our biggest accomplishments in 2014 was the restoratio...
Bell boxes contain bells which are free to all users. Please use a bell! Over the last month five bell boxes have been installed and stocked along the Los Robles and Rosewood Trails in the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA) areas. This is a joint project between CORBA, the Conejo Open ...
With the enormous growth of women riding socially, GGR soared to 800 riders in 2014. This also made our annual Rocktober event the biggest yet with just under 200 women riders attending with a waiting list of over 100 to get in. Here is a video of the event by GGR volunteer: Art Lertpiriyapong: h...
Mud and rocks have buried the main Sycamore Canyon Trail. Photo by Dave Edwards. The rainstorm that swept through the area late last week resulted in several large mudslides in Point Mugu State Park (AKA Sycamore Canyon). As a result, the park has been closed at least until January 12th, 2015. Du...
During the past year, CORBA met with the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council and State Parks representatives with the goal of improving safety on the trails of the Santa Monica Mountains. CORBA and the Trails Council both recognize the need for better education and outreach to the trail communi...
Initially, we were taken aback by the announcement of a newly proposed National Monument in our local mountains. It was clear that it was going to happen with or without our involvement. We gave our conditional support to the proclamation, attended the proclamation signing celebration , and began...
On Saturday, December 6th, a dozen CORBA volunteers and about half as many from the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council returned to the 2.5-mile long singletrack section of the Backbone Trail between Mulholland Hwy and Etz Meloy Motorway to continue the work we had started on November 8th . As ...
As always, the free basic Skills Clinic was conducted on the first Saturday of the month in Malibu Creek State Park . This month, Graham again took the photos because Steve was busy with trailwork on the Backbone Trail . You can see the photos in our December photo gallery . Bookmark It Hide Sites
IMBA Trail Care Crew’s last Visit with CORBA Our friends and colleagues at the San Diego Mountain Bike Association will be hosting the IMBA Trail Care Crew on Saturday, December 6, from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. If you missed out on the class hosted by CORBA and Mount Wilson Bicycling Association and...
Google Earth view of our work area, looking north-west. The CORBA crew worked the bottom (green) and the Trails Council crew worked the top (yellow) of this 2.5-mile long segment of the Backbone Trail. Mulholland Hwy (23-S) is at the bottom of the image. The trail ends at Etz Meloy Motorway. On S...
After a brief downpour on Friday night, the weather on Saturday for the skills clinic was mostly sunny. Five riders took part, four of whom drove down from Palmdale! Graham took the photos again this month; you can view them in this photo gallery . Bookmark It Hide Sites
CORBA was alerted to the fact that a private property owner at the west end of Etz Meloy Motorway (a section of the Backbone Trail) at Yerba Buena Road has erected a second, new gate to deter the public from using the route. From the National Park Service: The 1-mile stretch of Etz Meloy Mtwy. he...
Ready to ride! This past weekend the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area hosted their first Recreation Festival. The National Park Service promoted the event widely in park-poor communities around Los Angeles. Paramount Ranch, with it’s historic movie set buildings and idyllic locatio...
The November edition of CORBA’s monthly newsletter, the eTerraTimes , was published today, October 24th. If you don’t get it by email, you can view it online . As always, the eTerraTimes has all the latest news for mountain bikers in the Santa Monica Mountains and surrounding areas. Bookmark It H...

 

President's Message by Steve Messer

A Look Back at 2014 As we prepare to ring in the new year, it’s a good time to reflect on what has happened over the past twelve months. Here’s a quick recap of CORBA’s most significant efforts of 2014.
 
  • Trailwork: One of our biggest accomplishments in 2014 was the restoration of the Strawberry Peak Loop. We were aided by a grant from REI which allowed us to bring in a professional trailbuilder for much of the heavier work. We also helped restore trails damaged in the Springs fire in Point Mugu State Park, worked on the Backbone trail, and our adopted Los Robles trail.
  • Youth Programs:  In 2014 our Youth Adventures program continued in full swing, with Mountain Bike Unit (MBU) volunteers taking at-risk youth out on the trails throughout the year.  We added another special event to our calendar, the Santa Monica Mountains Rec Fest, during which we put more than 200 kids on bikes at Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains.
  • Skills Clinics: For the first Saturday of every month this year, and the past twenty years, we conducted our free Introduction to Mountain Biking Skills Clinics at Malibu Creek State Park. Hundreds of people learned basic skills at our free clinics this year.
  • Bike Parks:  Fillmore Bike Park construction began in the fall and the park will be opened to the public in 2015, a great asset to the local community.  In Thousand Oaks, the plans for Sapwi Trails Community Park are in their final steps to approval. The plans include a pump track and dirt jumps for bikes, along with multi-use trails.
  • Trail Safety: Over this past year CORBA engaged with the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council to strategize on trail safety. We developed an educational trail etiquette brochure, which is now being distributed throughout the area and has been very well-received. CORBA has also implemented a bell program in the Conejo Valley, and we now have several different style bells available for purchase.
  • CORBA Board: In 2014 we welcomed Wendy Engelberg to our board of directors, and the bundle of energy and enthusiasm she brings. Steve Messer took over from Mark Langton as board President, while Jennifer Klausner completed her final year as Executive Director of the LA County Bicycle Coalition. We have open seats on our board and welcome any inquiries or nominations.
  • We need your support. CORBA, with it’s small but dedicated crew of volunteers, has a lot on our plate for 2015. But if we are to accomplish everything on our agenda for 2015, we’ll need some help from you. We depend on your support and your membership dollars. You have renewed your membership, right?  In addition to your membership, attending public meetings and submitting your comments on issues that affect our trails is the most important thing you can do.  Of course, volunteering to do trailwork is the most tangible ways you can make a difference. Join our Meetup group to stay up to date on our activities. We also welcome help in areas of graphic design, public relations/marketing, fundraising and grantwriting. If you’d like to just stay on top of what’s happening and get some of the inside scoop, consider attending our monthly board meetings.

Get out and ride. Stay informed and involved. Remember to be courteous to other trail users. Thanks for your support through a great 2014, and have a wonderful, happy and prosperous 2015!

(This is an abreviated version of Steve Messer's report. You can read the full report, including "losses," on our blog.

CORBA’s Trail Safety and Etiquette Education Campaign

During the past year, CORBA met with the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council and State Parks representatives with the goal of Trail Etiquette Tri-fold Brochure_01improving safety on the trails of the Santa Monica Mountains. CORBA and the Trails Council both recognize the need for better education and outreach to the trail community. There has been a large increase in the numbers of visitors to the Santa Monica Mountains over the past decade. This increase in use has led to an increase in the potential for conflict and incidents on the trails.

One of the biggest factors in safety on trails is the speed differential between mountain bikes–especially going downhill–and other trail users. It’s the reason there’s a 15mph speed limit on all trails and fire roads in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. There has been a commitment to increase enforcement of these rules by State Parks and the NPS, but we believe that education is vital to reducing incidents or accidents on trails.

The outcome of those meetings was the development of a new Trail Etiquette brochure (pictured to the left). The brochure is being widely distributed in the area. We hope to educate all trail users on trail etiquette best practices. As a CORBA supporter you already know to slow down, yield to other trail users and be courteous. But many hikers don’t know that bikes are supposed to yield, many cyclists don’t know what to do when they come across equestrian trail users. The brochure attempts to explain what it means, in the most practical sense, to yield the trail. It also explains the responsibilities of all trail users in clear and simple terms.

As we developed the brochure it became clear that this information needs to be more widely distributed. It’s applicable to all non-motorized trails and trail users anywhere. CORBA applied for a grant from the California Trails and Greenways Foundation to put trail etiquette information on the web. We’re excited to announce that the grant was approved earlier in December, and we’ve begun working on a new web site entirely devoted to trail etiquette. Look for an announcement in the coming months when we launch the new web site.

5 Bell Boxes Installed Along Thousand Oaks Trails

Over the last month five bell boxes have been installed and stocked along the Los Robles and Rosewood Trails in the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA) areas. This is a joint project between CORBA, the Conejo Open Space Foundation (COSF), COSCA, and local Eagle Scout Michael Young, who constructed and placed the boxes. Two thousand bells were purchased by CORBA and COSF, and local volunteers will be stocking them. In just under one month nearly 300 bells have been placed in the boxes, with several re-stockings already having taken place, which means the bells are being used. Bells are free and are not expected to be returned. Using a bell is a win/win situation on the trails as it alerts others that you are approaching and helps to eliminate the "startle factor" that so many users complain about when citing negative experiences with bikes on the trails.

Kids Club Fun Rides Return!

CORBA Kids Club fun rides are held at various locations around the Santa Monica Mountains. These kid-friendly organized rides led by volunteer parents are intended to build confidence, promote health and wellness, share knowledge of trails and riding techniques, teach respect for each other and the environment, and inspire the next generation of mountain bikers and CORBA volunteers! Children of all ages and abilities may attend (parent or guardian must be present and sign a waiver), and trailers/trail-a-bikes are welcome. Rides will take place the last Saturday of every month, so check our calendar to find upcoming rides!


Recreational Rides


    A recent Beginners' Ride had 16 participants. Would you like to join us too?

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

CORBA’s Club 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.


Upcoming Trailwork and Reports on Past Workdays

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.

CORBA will provide lunch for participants after the workday is finished. As a special thank-you, we will have a drawing at the end of the year for prizes for those who have signed up in advance with our Meetup group. The grand prize is a Niner frame and there will be other great give-aways, so make sure you register in advance! By registering in advance, you'll help us prepare by knowing how many volunteers to expect. And... 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!

Children must be over 7-years old to attend, and children under 14 must be constantly and directly supervised by their parent or guardian who brought them.

Summary of the November 8th and December 6th Backbone Trail work days: On two occasions a month apart, about a dozen CORBA volunteers and a half dozen from the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council cleared brush and cleaned drains on the segment of the Backbone Trail between Mulholland Hwy and Etz Meloy Mtwy. This 2.5 mile segment still needs more work, so we'll be returning there in 2015 for one or possibly two more sessions. See the blog entries and photo galleries for November 8th and December 6th for more details.

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

Join our mailing list to get updates on trailwork opportunities!
Send an email to Trailwork-Volunteers+subscribe@corbamtb.com


General News

Mud has buried the main Sycamore Canyon Trail. Photo by Dave Edwards.
Mud and rocks have buried the main Sycamore Canyon Trail.
Photo by Dave Edwards.

Mud Slides Close Pt Mugu State Park

The rainstorm that swept through the area late last week resulted in several large mudslides in Point Mugu State Park (AKA Sycamore Canyon). As a result, the park has been closed at least until January 12th, 2015. During this time, State Parks staff will be assessing the damage, cleaning up the mess and coordinating volunteers to help with the cleanup.

The mudslides are the direct result of the hillsides being denuded by the Springs Fire in 2013 and over 3" of rain that fell in one night.

More photos of the damage can be seen in this photo gallery.

You can find the status of the park at the Pt Mugu State Park website home page.

Please stay out of the park until it reopens, for your safety, to prevent further damage to the trails, and to enable a more speedy cleanup.

 


Free Mountain Biking Skills Clinic

Saturday January 3rd 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 Meetup, 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. Join our events on Meetup meetup.com/CORBAmtb and 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

  • REI: Use the link at left and REI will donate 5% of the purchase price to CORBA
  • Amazon.com: Buy online and Amazon will donate to CORBA through their Smile program
  • Holmes Body Shop: Get that dent fixed and help CORBA

(Click on the links above to get more details!)


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