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CORBA eTerraTimes for March 2016

eTerraTimes Archive


 

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In this issue...


What invisible wall is stopping our rider? See the story about
the controversy of riding in wilderness below...
and view the short video!

Rules of the Trail - Click for details
Proper Trail Etiquette

News from the CORBA Website Blog since the previous eTerraTimes

Currently mountain bike advocacy is facing one of the the most important long-term issues in our history. The issue is whether mountain bikes should be allowed on trails in Wilderness areas. How mountain bikers and advocacy leaders respond to this can either be polarizing or make us an even stron...
On Saturday, February 27, 2016, fifteen dedicated CORBA volunteers came out to support the City of Rancho Palos Verdes efforts to restore the Toyon Trail. Organized by long-time CORBA PV coordinator Troy Braswell, the group took part in trail repairs, invasive weed removal, and planting native sh...
GGR is so very excited to announce a NEW location for this year’s annual Rocktober Festival & CORBA membership drive! This year the Rocktober Festival will be held at beautiful Castaic Lake October 30th, 2016. Castaic Lake The festival consists of guided cross country rides, skills clinics, guest...
Come and join us to learn about current issues and let us know what concerns you! Always open to the public, the CORBA Board of Directors’ meeting is held the 4th Monday of the month in Woodland Hills. REI is kind enough to let us use their meeting room, for which we thank them profusely! Every m...
Ten CORBA and 17 other volunteers helped to restore 3/4 miles of the Backbone Trail ( Yerba Buena segment ) this past Saturday February 27. The outside berm of the trail is pulled back to fill in the rut, and to give it a slight slope so water will run off it, rather than down it. This is called ...
Come out and join the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA), CORBA, the Santa Monica Trails Council and other volunteers for the Annual COSCA Spring Trailwork Day . We will be working to restore part of Space Mountain (Los Robles West) and other nearby multiuse trails. At noon, following ...

On January 30, 2016, Steve Messer was the honored recipient of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association’s Community Impact Award, sponsored by QBP. The award came as a complete surprise to ...

Last week, the Encino Neighborhood Council Parks Committee heard a presentation from Steve Messer of CORBA and DJ Cosgrove of the LA Bike Park Collective about our proposal for a bicycle skills park in the Sepulveda Basin. The Parks committee raised some concerns in how our proposal might impact ...
CORBA and MWBA volunteer Sawyer crews have been out on trails helping removed downed trees all over the Angeles National Forest. There’s only a handful of us, but we’ve been steadily clearing downed trees off trails in the Angeles and Station Fire burn areas for the past two years. Mountain Bike ...
On Sunday, February 7, MWBA hosted a trailwork day on Ken Burton trail. With 16 volunteers, we cleared an additional .18 miles of trail. Heavy winds and dry Santa Ana conditions prevented us from using all our power tools, so progress was slower...
Final Study Recommendations The National Park Service today released the Final Study Recommendations for the Rim of the Valley Corridor Special Resources Study. CORBA has been involved in the Rim of the Valley process since congress authorized the study in 2008, and even before that when the conc...
As we reported last year, Over this past year, CORBA has stepped up our Volunteer Sawyer program within the CORBA Trail Crew. CORBA’s two B-Level Sawyers, Mike McGuire and Steve Messer have worked almost year-round cutting trees off trails around the Station Fire burn area of the Angeles National...
We had an unusually large class of 25 on a warm day in the dead of winter in Malibu Creek State Park this month at the Basic Skills Clinic. The clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month. You can see the photos in our February photo gallery . Bookmark It Hide Sites
Once a year we have an opportunity to work on the trails and then BBQ and camp at Danielson Ranch in Pt Mugu State Park . It is opened annually for the Santa Monica Mountains Trail Days! This is a unique opportunity to work on the trails that we enjoy so much in Sycamore Canyon, and the Saturday ...
Twenty-five high school mountain bike team members and fourteen USC students, along with a few parents, coaches and CORBA and SMMTC trail crew leaders, came out this past Saturday to address the ruts on the Trancas Canyon section of the Backbone Trail. We installed or fixed about 50 drainage nick...
Completed trail at the top of the switchbacks Sunday, January 24, 2016 we had another successful day of trail restoration. Anyone driving up the Angeles Crest Highway today, who happened to glance across the Arroyo Seco canyon towards Brown Mountain would have seen ten volunteers spread out along...
For the second year in a row, staff from Giant Bikes’ US Headquarters in Newbury Park volunteered to spend a morning fixing up a local trail yesterday. COSCA ( Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency ) Head Ranger Bruce Pace suggested that the switchback section of the Potrero Ridge Trail from the ...
The Crew January 10, 2016 was another extremely productive day for the Ken Burton Trail Restoration project. With recent storms, it was reassuring to see our of work holding up perfectly well. In fact, the restored sections of Ken Burton fared better than the Upper Brown Mountain fire road, which...
Malibu Creek State Park was busy with visitors on the second day of 2016. The morning started off overcast and chilly for 15 riders at the Basic Skills Clinic. The clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month. You can see the photos in our January photo gallery . This month, the clinic w...

President’s Message: The Wilderness Debate

Excerpted from the complete article, which appears on CORBA’s news. Click here to read the full article.

Currently mountain bike advocacy is facing one of the the most important long-term issues in our history. The issue is whether mountain bikes should be allowed on trails in Wilderness areas. How mountain bikers and advocacy leaders respond to this can either polarize us or make us an even stronger voice in the trail user and land stewardship community.

The Sustainable Trails Coalition (STC), is a 501c4 organization formed with a single mission: to pass federal legislation that would allow local land managers to open trails in Wilderness areas to bikes, on a case-by-case basis. The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) has stood firm on their approach to dealing with land access issues, but have remained neutral towards STC.

Writers like the Angry Singlespeeder have been calling for increased pressure on IMBA to fully support the STC, and have construed IMBA’s neutral position as weak and unsatisfactory. The issue has begun to polarize the mountain biking community, with the rhetoric rising to an “us vs. them” situation, with some calling to stop supporting IMBA and instead support STC.

We believe we need both organizations. STC's single, focussed mission is to enact legislation that will allow management of wilderness trail access (and mechanized maintenance) at the most local level feasible. STC is not a membership organization so is not structured for or able to do anything to open closed trails to bikes or develop and maintain positive relationships with land managers that are key to our future successes. It will be a difficult struggle and take some time before STC’s efforts may prove fruitful.

IMBA chapters are currently doing the vast majority of advocacy and access work at the local levels. If STC is successful in passing their legislation it will likely be IMBA chapters doing the outreach and hands-on work to give the STC's legislation teeth, by working directly with local land managers to open trails under the authority of STC's Human Powered Wildlands Travel Management Act of 2016. But even with that legislation in place, it won’t be an easy task. Each trail request will require a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, and may take years to see successes. Still, if the act passes, CORBA will be there ready to ask for access to trails long since closed to us.

The issue has brought about change in IMBA’s strategies. Their 2016 Advocacy Position clearly states that they will continue to fight more aggressively to keep trails open in the face of Wilderness proposals, wherever there are local chapters available to do the on-the-ground work needed. They have been emboldened to take a firmer stance to prevent trail closures, within the constraints they operate under as a nonprofit organization. Wilderness and environmental advocates are finding it increasingly difficult to pass Wilderness legislation when advocacy groups like IMBA and its chapters are directly and strongly opposed. IMBA is also investigating the merits of a legal challenge to recent trail access losses in the Bitterroot National Forest in Idaho. They have expressed a desire to legislatively adjust existing Wilderness boundaries to open trails that have been closed to bikes. But their stance falls short of lobbying for sweeping change at the legislative level, which is precisely what STC is positioned to do.

Let's not have this issue divide us, weaken us, and allow us to be conquered by organizations that want to keep bikes out of Wilderness. Our members can support both STC and CORBA/IMBA, and both organizations will be stronger for it. While we applaud the STC for their approach, CORBA will continue to work on efforts that have immediate, near-term benefits to all mountain bikers and our public lands: trail maintenance, management plan advocacy, currently pending bills, land manager relations, education, and stewardship.

We also hope that one day, CORBA will be in a position to ask our local land managers to open trails in current Wilderness areas to bikes, under the authority of STC's legislation. But until then, we have to stay strong, stay united, and keep striving towards making immediate, short-term differences, happy in the knowledge that STC is working on a long-term strategy that most of our members agree would be a step in the right direction for all of us.

(This is a condensed version of Steve Messer's message. Read the president's full and comprehensive article about the wilderness issue on CORBA's blog.)

CORBA Palos Verdes Trailwork Report

On Saturday, February 27, 2016, fifteen dedicated CORBA volunteers came out to support the City of Rancho Palos Verdes efforts to restore the Toyon Trail. Organized by long-time CORBA PV coordinator Troy Braswell, the group took part in trail repairs, invasive weed removal, and planting native shrubs. They worked alongside City employees and other volunteers. The City of RPV has been conducting ongoing restoration work every Saturday in February, with the final work day scheduled for this coming weekend, March 5th. To learn more about volunteer opportunities in Rancho Palos Verdes, visit http://www.rpvca.gov, and stay on top of RPV happenings at CORBA Palos Verdes. See the full article on our blog...

CORBA’s Steve Messer Receives NICA Award

On January 30, 2016, sixteen outstanding participants in high school cycling leagues across the U.S. were honored at the 2015 National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) Awards, held at Clif Bar & Company Headquarters, in Emeryville, California. CORBA president Steve Messer was the recipient of NICA’s Community Impact Award. The award was a complete surprise to both Steve and SoCal League director Matt Gunnell, with whom Steve and CORBA have work since the league’s infancy to support High School Mountain Biking and getting more kids on bikes.

Southern California was well represented at the Awards, with Scott Armstrong, the SoCal League’s Chief Course Marshall receiving the Clif Bar Volunteer Service Award, Coach Jeremy Call from Simi Composite team receiving the Camelbak Distinguished Alumni Award (and then bringing his team out for CORBA trailwork a week later!), and coaches Robert and Kathy Parks of the Temescal Canyon High School receiving the SRAM Coach of the Year award.

NICA leagues are now up and running in 19 states, with more coming online each year. There are now over 10,000 student-athletes participating in middle school and high school mountain biking races around the country. To learn more, visit http://SoCaldirt.org, or http://Nationalmtb.org.

Monthly CORBA Meeting Moves to REI in Woodland Hills

Come and join us to learn about current issues and let us know what concerns you! Always open to the public, the CORBA Board of Directors’ meeting is held the 4th Monday of the month in Woodland Hills. REI is kind enough to let us use their meeting room, for which we thank them profusely!

Every month (except December, when we have no meeting), we discuss these topics:

  • Issues of trail access for mountain bikers
  • Mountain bike advocacy and ambassadorship
  • Public involvement
  • The latest news from the land managers, including State Parks and National Park Service
  • Trail building and restoration
  • Furthering woman’s mountain biking
  • Bike parks and other dedicated mountain bike facilities or trails
  • Education and etiquette
  • Anything brought forward by members of the public

The meetings are 6 – 8 pm at the REI in Woodland Hills (Google Map and Directions):

6220 Topanga Canyon Blvd
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
P: (818) 703-5300

We look forward to seeing you there!


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.

We have a very busy trailwork schedule for the next months. There's lots going on!

Sunday March 13, 2016: Ken Burton Trail Day 12. Join CORBA and the Mount Wilson Bicycle Association for the 12th trip to restore the Ken Burton Trail that was closed as a result of the Station Fire a few years ago. So far, 1.8 miles of the 2.25-mile long trail have been restored - less than a half mile to go! Please see full details and RSVP for the trailwork on our meetup group at http://meetup.com/corbamtb

Saturday March 19, 2016: Conejo Open Space Spring Trailwork Day. We'll be working with the COSCA rangers, the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council and others to restore Space Mountain and some nearby trails. Please see full details and RSPV for the trailwork on our Meetup group at http://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/227946919/

Saturday April 2, 2016: Grasslands Trail Reroute in Malibu Creek State Park. Several years ago, a singletrack connetor between the Grasslands Trail and High Road was closed due to its unsustainability. State Parks had planned to build a new trail to replace it, and now they are going to start. Come out and help us with this project! Please see full details and RSPV for the trailwork on our Meetup group at http://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/227946399/

Saturday April 9, 2015: Backbone Trail Etz Meloy Gate Bypass. This is an event that we have been awaiting a very long time - the National Park Service has started to build a new trail that will bypass the closed/locked gates at the west end of Etz Meloy Motorway. Come help us with this historic event to close one of the last two gaps in the Backbone Trail! Please see full details and RSPV for the trailwork on our Meetup group at http://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/229240398/

Friday to Sunday April 22 -24: 35th Annual Santa Monica Mountains Trails Days in Pt. Mugu State Park. This annual event attracts well over a hundred volunteers who work on various trails in Pt. Mugu State Park (aka Sycamore Canyon). You can help on the trails on both Saturday and Sunday. If you like, you can camp over Friday and/or Saturday night for no cost, the only time during the year you'll be able to do this! There are thank-you prizes both days, and a BBQ dinner is provided on Saturday night. It's quite an event! You can sign up to help for Saturday and/or Sunday separately. Info and registration for Saturday. And info and registration for Sunday.

Summary of Recent Trailwork

Ken Burton Trail, Days 9 & 10. After two more work days in February where CORBA and the MWBA joined forces, over 1000 volunteer hours have been used to clear 1.8 miles of the 2.25-mile long trail. See the full story on our blog.

Yerba Buena segment of the Backbone Trail, February 27. Twenty-seven volunteers, including 10 from CORBA, showed up to help repair water damage to the west end of the Yerba Buena segment of the Backbone Trail. We started at the Mishe Mokwa trailhead parking lot and worked our way east, covering 3/4 miles of trail. See the full story on our blog.

Trancas Canyon segment of the Backbone Trail, February 6. Twenty-five high school mountain bike team members and fourteen USC students, along with a few parents, coaches and CORBA and SMMTC trail crew leaders, came out this past Saturday to address the ruts on the Trancas Canyon section of the Backbone Trail. We installed or fixed about 50 drainage nicks and otherwise repaired water damage over about a mile of the trail. See the full story on our blog, which includes why the event was almost cancelled at the last moment!

Giant Bikes Works the Potrero Ridge Trail, January 15th. The North American Headquarters for Giant Bicycles is located in Newbury Park. As good corporate citizens, they want to help with local trails, which many staff ride on a regular basis. Giant coordinated with CORBA and COSCA to find a suitable tail, which turned out to be the Potrero Ridge Trail, heading up the steep hill from the Reino Road parking area. This is a fitting trail because the first part was built during a visit from the IMBA Trail Care Crew in 2005! For the full story, see our Giant Bikes 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

GGR: Girlz Gone Riding News

GGR is so very excited to announce a NEW location for this year’s annual Rocktober Festival & CORBA membership drive! This year the Rocktober Festival will be held at beautiful Castaic Lake October 30th, 2016. The festival consists of guided cross country rides, skills clinics, guest speakers, raffles, exhibitors, tons of demo bikes and best of all, this is a FREE event for all GGR club members. The festival closes at 300 pre registered riders. For more event details, check out the GGR site here: Rocktober Festival October 30th 2016. More GGR News...

  • Director of GGR Wendy Engelberg was more than thrilled to accept a Specialized ambassadorship for 2016...
  • Wendy wrote a feature for the April issue Mountain Bike Action called: “How to get your wife or girlfriend to love mountain biking” (Hint: Stay out of it!)...
  • GGR co-ed night rides are back in March...
  • Monthly club rides... GGR’s monthly ladies only club ride is the last Saturday of every month...

To see all the details, check out the March GGR article on CORBA's blog!

Rim of the Valley Final Study Recommendations Released

The National Park Service today released the Final Study Recommendations for the Rim of the Valley Corridor Special Resources Study. CORBA has been involved in the Rim of the Valley process since congress authorized the study in 2008, and even before that when the concept was only for a Rim of the Valley trail. We are pleased to see the final recommendation includes most of what we–and many other groups and individuals–suggested in our comments. The recommendation is a hybrid of Alternatives C and D of the draft released last June. You can read all about the final Rim of the Valley recommendations in our 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...


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 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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