News from the CORBA Website
Blog since the previous eTerraTimes
Changes are coming. We just need to figure out what is in
the best interest of you as mountain bikers, for our members, for CORBA,
and finally for IMBA. Since the abrupt loss of Suburu as a sponsor of
several of its core programs last year, IMBA, our parent (and child!)
organization, has had to u...
At our February 2017 board meeting, we were excited to have a
new nominee for our Board of Directors. His approval was unanimous. We
welcome Peter Sullivan to CORBA’s Board. Peter has been active in
cycling since his Schwinn Stingray days in the 1970s. He’s been riding
and racing since the earlie...
To help celebrate Earth Day (April 22, 2017), there will be a
major trail building and restoration event in Malibu Creek State Park .
CORBA and a number of other groups are combining their efforts to,
among other things, build a new trail to replace the segment of the
Grasslands Trail that was cl...
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 ...
Join CORBA, SMMTC , COSCA and other volunteer groups to work
on the Conejo Open Space trails in Thousand Oaks. This year we’ll
continue our work that we started in October to reroute the ridgeline
Peninsula Trail in the Western Plateau / Conejo Canyons to a line that
is more fun to ride and sceni...
There was a surprisingly large group at February’s Skills
Clinic considering that it was raining in Newbury Park when I left to
take photos of the event. However, it was clearing and dry when I
arrived at the Basic Skills Clinic at Malibu Creek State Park . 17
people took part, including about a ...
The January 2017 edition of CORBA’s monthly newsletter, the
eTerraTimes , was published today, January 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 I...
Changes are Coming. We just need to figure out what is in the best interest of you as
mountain bikers, for our members, for CORBA, and finally for IMBA. Since the abrupt loss of Suburu as a sponsor of several of its core
programs last year, IMBA, our parent (and child!) organization, has had
to undergo some major cutbacks. The Trail Care Crew and other programs
are on indefinite hold. Staff layoffs and the resignation of Executive
Director Mike Van Abel set IMBA on a much-needed transformation.
The IMBA Chapter program, which CORBA joined in 2011, was a key
factor in IMBA’s recent growth. Much of the funding for the Chapter
program came from Suburu, including travel expenses incurred by the
Regional Director. One of the main functions of the RD was to liaise
with and help coordinate all the chapters in a territory. In our case,
the region is California and Hawaii.
In return, IMBA receives 60% of your membership dues and CORBA
receives 40%. The basic membership is $35, with options at $50, $100 and
higher that include swag. IMBA handles everything regarding membership
management. The time and energy we would otherwise spend on membership
management we can devote to advocacy and trailwork. IMBA has supported
us in Washington DC while we worked locally with members of Congress to
prevent trail closures due to wilderness legislation. We’ve had access
to IMBA expertise including the Trail Care Crew and Trail Solutions
crew. We also increased our membership numbers by about 40% when we
became a chapter.
Recent IMBA messaging, however, has not been taken well by a portion
of our members. Some have quit their membership and chosen to donate
money directly to CORBA (which we welcome, regardless of membership).
IMBA recently chose Chairman of the Board Dave Weins as its new Executive Director.
He’s widely respected and well-known. He ran a chapter himself. The ED
is at the service of the IMBA Board of Directors, so we don’t expect any
immediate changes in IMBA policy or messaging.
Overall, we’ve had a productive, fruitful and mutually beneficial
relationship with IMBA. However, it’s been quite expensive at 60% of
membership dues and is unsustainable without Suburu’s sponsorship.
Proposed changes to the program to make it sustainable are to
increase the base membership price to about $50. About 40% of our
members are now at the $35 level. Understanding people’s financial
constraints, we expect to lose some members if the membership price is
In the 1990s IMBA’s mantra was to give 20-20-20. $20 for IMBA, $20
for your local organization, and twenty hours of volunteer trailwork.
Considering inflation, that’s not much different to the proposed
changes: local and national advocacy group memberships for $50.
Hopefully most of you see the immense value in our programs: keeping
trails open, restoring trails after disasters, advocating for mountain
bikers to land managers and organizations around Southern California. We
have bike parks completed and operating, and are working to bring more
to the area. Without CORBA’s 30 years of advocacy, your local riding
options might be much more limited.
Other proposed changes include the development of a Regional
Leadership Council in which all SoCal chapters could meet among
ourselves and coordinate efforts. We’d also get a new nationwide
insurance plan which is hopefully less expensive than our current
policies. We’d have access to experts in various fields by email or
voice. It’s a streamlined and more efficient program. The question is
whether it’s worth the 60% share of membership dues IMBA takes.
San Diego Mountain Bike Association and others in California are considering whether to stay in IMBA’s chapter program or go it alone.
CORBA must make also this decision in the near future. There is much
value to CORBA’s relationship with IMBA, but there’s also great value in
a California-focused organization as proposed by San Diego Mountain
Bike Association. At more than double CORBA’s membership, SDMBA could
easily thrive as an IMBA Associate Club, rather than a chapter.
The departure of any chapter would reduce the number of IMBA members
nationwide. A departing chapter might lose some members too. Some
members may subsequently choose to join both the local organization and
IMBA at the national level, as things were before the chapter program.
It’s doubtful all current members would join both under those
significantly weakening IMBA will ultimately hurt us all. IMBA remains
dedicated to improving mountain biking for everyone. STC, which most of
our members also support, has a much more narrowly focused mission that
affects California more than most other states. IMBA’s efforts are
having a positive impact nationally and local, but the local impacts are
more difficult to quantify. The soon-to-be-released “Guidelines for a
Quality Trail Experience” developed in partnership with the BLM, is a
great example. Aimed squarely at Land Managers, this extensive new
reference will be key to helping land managers understand our needs and
desires. It will help guide the development of more bike-specific trails
to meet a growing need. We can’t wait to supply a copy to our local
Land Managers as we advocate for quality trail experiences locally.
Resources like this help us all.
IMBA has taken feedback from its chapters on the proposed chapter
program changes through a series of conference calls and surveys.
They’re tweaking it based on the feedback and we’re waiting for the
final version. When that comes, we’ll have a decision to make. But we’re
interested in hearing from our members, and from those who aren’t
members. (Why not?)
Most of you already join at the $50 level and higher (and we
appreciate your support!). How many who now pay $35 can’t or won’t want
to join us for $50?
How many of you feel strongly either way about our association with
IMBA? Would you join both organizations separately if we parted ways,
or just one or the other?
We may send out a survey in the near future asking these and other
questions, but feel free to email or comment to share your views.
In the meantime, it’s business as usual for CORBA. We’re busy with
trailwork, advocacy, bike parks, fundraising, education and mountain
bike advocacy. We’re improving relationships with Land Managers and
looking for new opportunities. We’re in it for the long run and need
your continued support.
CORBA welcomes Peter Sullivan
to the Board of Directors
At our February 2017 board meeting, we were excited to have a new
nominee for our Board of Directors. His approval was unanimous. We
welcome Peter Sullivan to CORBA’s Board.
Peter has been active in cycling since his Schwinn Stingray days in
the 1970s. He’s been riding and racing since the earliest days of
mountain biking, and still competes. He also enjoys getting out and
exploring on his gravel grinder. Most recently, he’s been tightly
involved in the SoCal High School Cycling League as a coach for the
Newbury Park High School Mountain Bike Team. Newbury Park took third
place in the high school State Championships last year, a reflection of
Peter and his fellow coaches’ dedication and effectiveness.As a high
school coach, he’s already given back so much to the sport, and
especially to the student-athletes he has trained. Mentoring
student-athletes, and helping them build confidence, fitness and bike
handling skills are just a part of it. Sharing his love of the sport
completes the package.
He’s seen the sport grow from its roots in the 70s, though its
infancy in the early 80s, to an Olympic, College, and High School sport
today. He’s seen mountain biking become more and more popular and
understands all too well the importance of actively working to keep
access to our existing trails and to seek out and open up new
opportunities. As mountain biking grows, so must our access to quality
trails and places to ride.
“Mountain biking and cycling have given so much to me over the years
that I thought it was time I give back,” said Sullivan. “I’m excited
about having a bike park project in my neighborhood too,” he added.
One of the newest opportunities we have is the Sapwi Trails Bike Park in
Thousand Oaks. Peter has been an advocate for this project since its
inception. He’ll be serving on a new committee to oversee development of
the bike park, and is excited to work on this project. We’ll be holding
a meeting about it in a few weeks, so stay tuned.
CORBA is fortunate and excited to have Peter’s local knowledge,
enthusiasm and dedication working with us to support all mountain bikers
Again, welcome and thank you Peter.
Monthly CORBA Meeting at 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
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!
Beginners' Ride had 16 participants. Would you like to join us too?
For a list of upcoming recreational rides, please visit the CORBA
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.
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
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 email@example.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!
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
March 18, 2017: COSCA Spring Trailwork Day. We'll be back where
we were in October, working on a reroute of the Peninsula Trail
in the Western Plateau to make it more fun to ride with better
views. On-site registration starts at 7:30 am.
Trailwork is followed at noon by a free barbecue for workers and
a prize give-away. Our online
details and registration page has all the details.
April 22, 2017: Grasslands Trail reroute in Malibu
Creek State Park for Earth Day: There will be a major trail building and restoration event in Malibu
Creek State Park for Earth Day. CORBA and a number of other groups are combining their
efforts to, among other things, build a new trail to replace the
segment of the Grasslands Trail that was closed several years ago. The new trail will replace the closed, ecologically damaging
fall-line trail with a longer one that descends more gently to the
bottom of the hill. The work will mostly involve finishing the roughed-in trail that will have been plowed out by a SWECO trail bulldozer. Our online
details and registration page has all the details.
April 28-30: Santa Monica Mountains Trails Day in Pt
Mugu State Park: For the 36th year running, we have an opportunity to work at
rebuilding the trails and then BBQ and camp at Danielson Ranch in
Sycamore Canyon. 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 event is followed by a BBQ
dinner and prizes, with free camping on Friday and/or
Saturday night. This is hands down the best day to get in some trail
maintenance work! Camping is optional; you may leave with the escort
after the BBQ. After all the rain we've had this winter, there will be lots of trails that need to be repaired. Entry
to the park is by escort vehicle only! View the details for
escort times. Please register online to see full details and
so we'll know how many people to accomodate, for
Saturday, and separately, for
Sunday. You can help out for either or both days!
To see all trailwork dates, including those of other groups,
visit the CORBA
Join our mailing list to get updates on trailwork
Send an email to Trailwork-Volunteersfirstname.lastname@example.org
Free Mountain Biking
4th 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!
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
us on Twitter at twitter.com/CORBAmtb
and Facebook at facebook.com/CORBAMTB.
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Have you ever wished you could get our blog articles without having
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
Outlook. You use the “RSS feed” functionality for this. In fact, you can
our articles in any software that receives RSS feeds, such as Internet
and other web browsers. This
article on RSS feeds shows you how.
Join or Renew your membership today on our membership
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 email@example.com
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.
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