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CORBA eTerraTimes for January 2016

eTerraTimes Archive


 

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In this issue...


Severe El Nino rainstorms could result in serious damage to trails and made worse by irresponsible riders. See story...

Rules of the Trail - Click for details
Proper Trail Etiquette

News from the CORBA Website Blog since the previous eTerraTimes

2015 has been one of the most active in CORBA’s history. There has been so much happening in our local mountains, in our sport, in our public lands, in the political landscape, and in bicycle advocacy in general. As always, CORBA has done its best to stay on top of the issues, to be leaders in th...
Last January the Forest Service allowed some experienced trail maintenance volunteers, who had been previously certified to use chainsaws at the “A” level, to step up their training to a “B” level. Under current regulations, A level sawyers are restricted to 8 inch trees or smaller, and must be s...
We are having a severe El Nino event this winter; as a result the weather forecast is for many heavy rainstorms in the early months of 2016. That will help our drought situation, but will have seriously bad impacts on our trails. As well as muddy conditions that interfere with their use, describe...
The year in GGR has really been a spectacular one! Lots of new women riding, improving, trying their hand at racing and the biggest Rocktober showing yet of both participants and exhibitors! We closed the year out with our annual CO-ED Holiday Ride & Luncheon. 40 Riders showed up to enjoy 3 level...
Ride in 8 miles and 2000′ to the work site On Sunday, December 13, more than 25 CORBA and Mount Wilson Bicycling Association volunteers came out to help restore the Ken Burton Trail. It was another highly successful day, with another quarter mile of trail brushed, re-cut and restored back to bett...
It was practically deserted in Malibu Creek State Park this month on a sunny but cool morning for the five riders at the Basic Skills Clinic. The clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month. You can see the photos in our December photo gallery . Bookmark It Hide Sites
Here are the results of the International Mountain Biking Association’s ( IMBA ) fall survey. Remember that CORBA is a founding organization of IMBA, and now there are dozens of local chapters that work with the international association. You may need to click on the images to enlarge them to mak...
We have learned that in a couple of weeks, California Conservation Corps Crews under the direction of California State Parks will start brushing the East Topanga Fire Road in Topanga State Park as the first phase of road maintenance this fiscal year. The second phase of project will be re-grading...
The Ken Burton trail goes right up the middle of this picture. It’s hard to find. Earlier this year, CORBA used a generous grant from REI to help fund the restoration of the Gabrielino trail to Oakwilde Campground and the Ken Burton trail junction. Pooling resources with the Los Angeles Conservat...
There were a dozen riders at the Basic Skills Clinic this month so show off for guest photographer Graham Martin in Malibu Creek State Park this month. The clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month. You can see the photos in our November photo gallery . Bookmark It Hide Sites
The November edition of CORBA’s monthly newsletter, the eTerraTimes , was published today, November 5th. 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: 2015 – A Year in Review

Trail etiquette

Trail etiquette

2015 has been one of the most active in CORBA’s history. There has been so much happening in our local mountains, in our sport, in our public lands, in the political landscape, and in bicycle advocacy in general. As always, CORBA has done its best to stay on top of the issues, to be leaders in the trail community, and to have a positive impact on our trails, our public lands, our community and our sport. Here’s a quick recap of what’s been happening this year, showing how your membership dollars and donations are being used to benefit all mountain bikers in the Los Angeles and Eastern Ventura Counties. (Editor's note: the President's Message has been greatly condensed by removing most of the details. You can read the full message on CORBA's blog...) Here are the areas in which we've been busy:

  • Advocacy
  • Trailwork
  • Youth
  • Education, including trail etiquette
  • Outreach and Recognition

Next year will bring a number of issues to the forefront. The advocacy items mentioned previously will all continue into the coming year. We’ll continue working to bring Bike Skills Parks to Los Angeles. We’ll continue our educational efforts, and to be at the table when decisions are made that affect us or the trails we ride.

But there are many things we could be doing better. CORBA remains an all-volunteer organization, though it has become almost full-time for me as President. We could be doing a better job of marketing ourselves and reaching out. Given the number of mountain bikers in Los Angeles, we should be doing a better job of growing our membership. We could be doing a better job of fundraising, of communicating with our members and the mountain biking community at large. We should have a better web presence. Though we could be doing more, I’m proud of what we’ve done, proud of our volunteers and our members, and hope you are too.

To do all these things we need to grow. We need your help, your continued support. You didn’t see a flurry of requests for end-of-year donations from us. You didn’t see a barrage of emails on specific causes. What you saw was a small but passionate crew of dedicated volunteers making a difference. We’d welcome more support, whether it’s in the form of donations: cash, gear, or, most importantly, your time and skills. The easiest way to support us is with your membership. Together we’ll continue to ensure that the greater Los Angeles area is a wonderful place to ride a mountain bike!

Happy new year! (Read the full message on CORBA's blog...)

El Nino Watch: Trail Damage and Riding after it Rains


Don't contribute to trail damage!

We are having a severe El Nino event this winter; the weather forecast is for many heavy rainstorms that will have seriously bad impacts on our trails. As well as muddy conditions that interfere with their use, the rains could be severe enough to erode some trails into huge ruts, and even wash them away in some cases. There may be more mudslides in Pt Mugu State Park (Sycamore Canyon) like we had last year. Furthermore, the rain will spur the chaparral to overgrow the trails, a condition we haven’t had to deal with much over the past couple of years because of the drought. The combination of waterlogged soil and high winds could blow trees over. We’re expecting to need special trailwork days to repair these damaged trails and hope many mountain bikers will want to help us get them back into shape! For recreation, most trails should be avoided when they're wet. Bikes make grooves along the trail; the next time it rains, the water runs down these grooves and turns them into little ruts, which become large ruts that destroy the trail. Hikers and horses make holes and ridges in the trail that become as hard as concrete when the trail dries. These holes and ridges are good for twisting ankles.

As a rule of thumb, if your foot, tire or hoof makes an impression more than about 1/8 inch deep in the dirt, the trail is still too soft to use. Give it another day or two to dry out before using it! But there are a few trails that shed water quickly because of their rocky/sandy surface. For a list of these trails, and to read the rest of this article, visit our blog on El Nino and trail damage...

Vetter Mountain Trail Restoration Progress

ast January the Forest Service allowed some experienced trail maintenance volunteers, who had been previously certified to use chainsaws at the “A” level, to step up their training to a “B” level. Under current regulations, A level sawyers are restricted to 8 inch trees or smaller, and must be supervised. B-level Sawyers are allowed to work unsupervised, on trees up to 24" in diameter, and can supervise and work with A-level sawyers. CORBA President Steve Messer, and volunteer Mike McGuire both received their B level certification, and have been putting them to use all year. Volunteers from the Mount Wilson Bicycle Association (MWBA) and other groups received their A Level certification.

Together the CORBA and MWBA sawyer team have cut over 150 trees from Brown Mountain, El Prieto, Sunset Ridge, Gabrielino, Strawberry Peak, Colby Canyon, Mount Lowe East, Sam Merrill and Silver Moccasin trails.

The trail remains closed to the public. There are still too many dead trees that have been rotting away for six years, waiting to fall every time the wind blows. More than once, when we finished our day’s chainsaw work as the afternoon winds started blowing, we heard more trees falling. Because of these dangers, we are not willing to take in volunteer crews to begin restoring the trail. Since winds have been blowing steadily this past month (over 70mph the week before Christmas), there are probably many more trees down again.

We hope to begin restoration work on the Vetter Mountain trail next year, after we finish the Ken Burton trail. Stay tuned for details.


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 Trail Restoration and Reports on Past Workdays

For many years, most trail upkeep 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.

A number of companies and volunteer organizations have asked us if they could do trailwork as a team building exercise, or just to give back to the community. We are happy to work with such groups - shoot us an enquiry at trailwork@corbamtb.com for more information!

For CORBA workdays, we provide lunch for participants after we're finished. Please register in advance to 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. Children under 18 must have their waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian.

Sunday January 10: Ken Burton Trail. We'll continue working on the Ken Burton trail. Meet at the Windsor/Ventura parking lot, and be prepared to ride to the top of Brown Mountain. Bring long pants, long sleeve shirt and gloves (we'll have some gloves available). Lunch afterwards. So far we've cleared about 1 mile trail, and our goal is to cut the trail through and ready to open by next spring. Please see full details and RSVP for the trailwork on our Meetup group at http://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/227733450/.


'Riding' the Ken Burton Trail
before restoration

Summary of Previoius Ken Burton Trailwork: On November 6, 7 & 22 and December 13, volunteers for CORBA and the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association (MWBA) worked to restore the Ken Burton Trail that has been closed since the Station Fire in 2009. In the ensuing years, it has become severly overgrown and the condition of the tread was uncertain. Work began in October with the trail being inspected, and in many cases searched for using older GPS tracks. On Saturday Nov 7th, six volunteers came out to begin work on the trail. Just getting to the work site requires a 2000' climb over 7 miles, with several steep, loose sections that are difficult even without pulling BOB trailers loaded with tools. In one day’s work, we were able to clear brush from about a quarter mile of trail, and restore tread on just over half of that. The next day, with the help of MWBA, a crew of 18 continued where we had left off.

So far we’ve cleared approximately 1 mile of the trail, about 1/3 of the work. Our tentative dates starting next year are January 10 and January 24.

Ken Burton trail remains closed to the public. Although we’ve started on it, it’s still dead-end with miles of hike-a-bike through heavy brush and poison oak once you get beyond our restored section. People have gotten lost trying to find the trail. We’ll continue working through the winter and coming Spring, with the goal of having it cleared back to Paul Little and JPL, ready to open by the end of Spring 2016. The more involved you stay, the more likely the Forest Service will open the Brown/Burton/Gab loop, an old favorite of many long-time mountain bikers. For the full story and before/after pictures, check out the KB trailwork blog...

Trailwork due to El Nino: With the upcoming El Nino storms, some trails could be severely damaged. We expect to schedule workdays on short notice to fix such damage and/or to prevent further problems.

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

Girlz Gone Riding 2015 Wrap UP!

The year in GGR has really been a spectacular one! Lots of new women riding, improving, trying their hand at racing and the biggest Rocktober showing yet of both participants and exhibitors! We closed the year out with our annual CO-ED Holiday Ride & Luncheon. 40 Riders showed up to enjoy 3 levels of guided rides in the Santa Monica Mountains and have fun at our lunch buffet & gift exchange. This year Susan Hall won the Most Improved Rider for 2015 and was presented with a large purple plaque!

For the full story, and to see many more pictures, visit Wendy's GGR blog...


Free Mountain Biking Skills Clinic

Saturday January 2nd 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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Please do not reply to this email as the corbanews mailbox is not monitored by people. To contact CORBA, email to info@corbamtb.com or visit our 'Contact Us' page for other addresses.


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