Crags Rd trailwork summary from April 20.

April 22nd, 2019

This past Saturday, about 40 volunteers gathered at the M*A*S*H site in Malibu Creek State Park to fix up the Crags Rd trail section fondly known as the “Rock Garden” or “Creek of Doom” just before you arrive at the M*A*S*H site from the main entrance to the park on Malibu Canyon Rd.

Smoothing out the tread to fill in between the rocks sticking up.

Volunteers hailed from CORBA, the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council, Girlz Gone Riding and the Mountain Bike Unit.

Overall the trail was in pretty good shape after the Woolsey Fire burned all the hillside brush in November and then winter rains flooded everything, but there were a few very serious problems that we needed to address. The worst was a 3-foot culvert that was uprooted and deposited in the middle of the trail, blocking it, and leaving a deep rut where it had been. Also, a large oak tree was uprooted and fell across the trail.

The serious issues were dealt with as best we could with hand tools, and the whole trail was generally brushed to widen it, the tread was smoothed and debris was removed. Overall we restored about a half-mile of trail in 4.25 hours, including lunch (subway sandwiches provided by CORBA) and shuttling to and from the work site.

Thanks to all the volunteers who worked hard and did such a great job of restoring this trail in record time! You can view the rest of the photos in the Crags Rd trailwork photo gallery.

April Skills Clinic photos posted April 12th

April 12th, 2019

There were about 15 participants in this month’s Skills Clinic on a beautiful day in the park. We haven’t had a clinic since January because of poor weather. Graham again took over as photographer because Steve was out of town.

The Basic Skills Clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month at Malibu Creek State Park.

You can see the photos in our April photo gallery.

Crags Road Trail Restoration and lunch in MCSP on April 20, 2019

April 12th, 2019

Crags Road, also known as “The Rock Garden” or “The Creek of Doom,” suffered major blows this winter, first by the Woolsey Fire that decimated the hillsides, then rainstorms that tore the trail up pretty badly and covered parts with rock slides. We worked on this section not far from the M*A*S*H site in November 2017 (see photo above) and now we’re going back to fix it again.

This is a combined project between California State Parks, the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council, CORBA and Girlz Gone Riding.

All tools will be provided, as well as instructions on how to use them safely and effectively, by experienced trail crew leaders. No experience needed – everyone works at a rate they’re comfortable with and takes lots of breaks. Bring a snack to eat on the trail; CORBA will provide lunch after the event for those who sign up here.

Wear sturdy hiking boots with good lugs, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sunglasses, sunblock and a hat, and bring water, snacks. Bring work gloves if you have them. We have a few pairs we can loan to people without.

You can learn more about trail restoration work here http://corbamtb.com/programs/trail-crew.shtml and here http://smmtc.org/trailwork/voltips.php

Parents/guardians are responsible for minors at all times, and they must constantly and directly supervise children under 14. Children must be over 7-years old to attend. Please leave your four-legged friends at home!

Online signup is requested to help us plan the number of tools and the amount of lunch food we’ll need. Sign up at our Meetup page for this event https://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/259311989/

Map: http://tinyurl.com/3q6z8bm

Trail Days 2019: We Need Your Help to Restore Sycamore Canyon Trails April 26, 27, 28!

April 12th, 2019

The organizers request you register online for this event at their website: https://www.smmtc.org/machform/view.php?id=11102&element_4_4=California by April 22, especially if you plan to join us for the Saturday BBQ dinner and/or camp overnight.

Complete info from the organizers: https://www.smmtc.org/maint/traildays.php

For the 38th 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 (see photo), 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.

This event is for Saturday only! There is another event for Sunday trailwork. Feel free to sign up for both!

Schedule at a glance

Friday night April 26 – arrive for overnight camping (optional). Bagels and hot beverages supplied Saturday morning for campers.

Saturday April 27 – Trailwork, barbecue dinner, prize give-away. Bring your own lunch. Optional overnight camping. Bagels and hot beverages supplied Sunday morning for campers.

Sunday April 28 – Trailwork, prize give-away. Bring your own lunch.

You can volunteer to help out on Saturday, Sunday, or both.

BRING: LUNCHES, BEVERAGES, SNACKS AND WATER. Tools and instruction on using them are provided.
WEAR: Gloves, hat, long pants, protective clothing, and work boots or sturdy shoes.
REGISTRATION: Advance registration is required for the activities shown below, and appreciated by April 22th!
TRAILWORK: Saturday and/or Sunday. Help with trail restoration on one or both days!
CAMPING: Free camping Friday and/or Saturday nights for volunteers at the Danielson Multi-use Area located under the sycamores and oaks in the heart of Point Mugu State Park. Bring your own gear.
DINNER: Sat. Night Barbecue Free FOR VOLUNTEERS. Bring appetizers and beverages.
PRIZES: Thank-you prize give-aways will be held Saturday after dinner and Sunday after trailwork.
VEHICLE ACCESS: You will be able to caravan into and out of the park by vehicle only at these few designated times:

ARRIVE

Friday – 5 pm and 7 pm
Saturday – 7:30 am and 4:30 pm
Sunday – 7:30 am

DEPART

Saturday – 4 pm and 9 pm
Sunday – 8 am and 2:30 pm

DIRECTIONS: Take the 101 Freeway to Wendy in Newbury Park; drive south to Potrero Road, turn right; at Reino bear left to NPS service road (first driveway). Cars will be escorted into and out of the park only at designated times shown above. DON’T BE LATE or you won’t be able to drive in.

MAP: http://bit.ly/1jvTBZP

Report on the March 16th COSCA Spring Trailwork Day in Hawk Canyon

March 17th, 2019

Forty-five to 50 volunteers turned out to help restore several hundred yards of the Hawk Canyon Trail in the Conejo Canyons/Western Plateau open space areas on Saturday March 16th for the annual COSCA Spring Trail Work Day. The area had been burned by the Hill Fire in November, then inundated by heavy winter rains. We worked on the north-eastern half, the newest section that was built in 2017 during the Spring Trail Work Day.

The primary focus of the work was to move the trail slightly uphill, further from the flood plane where it had been buried by mudflows. Because of all the rain, the soil was quite soft and quite easy to dig out and pack down. This made the work easier than normal, but still there was a lot of dirt to move where the cross-slope was quite steep, and there was one section of about 20 feet that was covered by large rocks that had to be moved.

About a quarter of the volunteers worked a little further up the trail, clearing the heavy grass, mustard, thistle and other weeds that were choking off the trail.

Everyone did such a great job that we got finished and back to the staging area for lunch before the expected time of noon.

The event was a cooperative effort of the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA), the Conejo Open Space Action Committee (COSTAC), the Conejo Open Space Foundation (COSF – provided the thank-you lunch and snacks), the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council trail crew, the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA) trail crew, and dozens of other volunteers. Thanks everyone for helping make the trails safer and more enjoyable for everyone!

View more photos of the work day in our Spring Trail Work Day photo gallery.

Vote with your REI Purchases to support the Backbone Trail

March 12th, 2019

This month, our friends at the SAMO Fund, a non-profit partner of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, are in a competition for funding through REI called “Loving Our Local Outdoors”. Between March 7th and April 8th, 2019, customers who make a purchase at one of eight local REI stores will receive a voting token and can vote for their favorite organization/project. The Santa Monica Mountains Fund is up against Friends of the LA River and Friends of Joshua Tree. While we are competing for the funding, supporters can rest assured that this is not a winner-loser situation; all organizations will receive funding in proportion to the number of votes received by each.

November 2018’s Woolsey Fire decimated 88% of National Park land in the Santa Monica Mountains, proving to be the most devastating park fire in the area since the Green Meadows Fire in 1993. The popular Backbone Trail that travels through the mountains has suffered extreme damage that creates safety issues for visitors. A few sections favored by mountain bikers remain closed due to fire-destroyed bridges, excessive erosion and large slides from torrential rains on the burned hillsides.

However, the biggest challenge to reopening the closed sections of the Backbone trail is the replacement of burned bridges. Without those bridges, the section of the Backbone Trail will remain closed to the public. With funding from this REI grant initiative, the SAMO Fund will be able to support and supply the needed materials for this project and help get this trail fully reopened to the public.

CORBA is committed to restoring the closed sections of trail, and will be applying for additional grant funding in support of the effort to re-establish and reopen the Backbone trail. This is an opportunity to help raise additional funds needed. Bridge replacement costs could run into the six-figure arena.

To vote for the Backbone Trail restoration project, visit one of the participating REI stores listed below*. With every purchase you make, you’ll receive a voting token that you can place into the SAMO Fund bucket. The more tokens they accumulate by April 8th, the more funding they will receive, and the sooner we can get those trail sections back in service.

 

* REI online customers will not have the opportunity to vote, unless you use free delivery to a participating REI store for pickup.

March 2nd 2019 Trail Fire Closures Update for the Santa Monica Mountains

March 2nd, 2019

This article has been updated since it was originally posted on January 4th:

– January 12: The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) opened most of their open space areas

– March 2: The Backbone Trail between Kanan Road west to Yerba Buena Road has been opened.

– March 25: All COSCA trails in Thousand Oaks except the Hill Canyon Bridge are now open.

South of the 101 Freeway, the Woolsey Fire completely decimated most of the open space between Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Road on the east and Point Mugu State Park (Sycamore Canyon) on the west. North of the 101, most of the open space south of Simi Valley and between Valley Circle on the east and Erbes Road to the west was destroyed.

With the recent rains, the regeneration process has begun and new growth can be seen on the burned hillsides.

Nevertheless, many of the trails are still closed until they are assessed for damage, and repaired as necessary. In addition, heavy rains my result in mudslides that may damage sections of the trail that survived the fire.

The good news is that many of the trails are now open to use. The bad news is that during the Federal Government partial shutdown, the National Park Service is not able to work on their trails, prolonging the time that they will be closed.

The following list is not exhaustive – there are many smaller trails not listed that may be open or closed. If you see that a trail is marked as closed or cordoned off, please stay off it.

Areas that are open

Areas that are still closed

For your own safety and to protect the plants and creatures that live in the open space, please stay off closed trails completely, and where the trails are open to use, please stay on the trails! Also, watch for new hazards on the trails such as large ruts, debris slides, washouts and fallen trees.

The March 2019 eTerraTimes newsletter was posted February 28

March 1st, 2019

CORBA’s eTerraTimes newsletter for March was posted today, February 28th. If you don’t get it by email, you can view the online version on our website.

CORBA Annual Update

February 27th, 2019

We’ve been overdue for an update, and as President of CORBA, I have to apologize for the lapse in communication as to our many ongoing efforts over these past few months. For me personally, it has been a challenging year, but the one thing that has not lapsed is CORBA’s dedication to improving trails and mountain biking opportunities in and around Los Angeles.

Over the past year, CORBA has seen many successes, and just as many challenges. CORBA members and all SoCal mountain bikers have a lot to celebrate about 2018. Here are some notable moments:

  • Restoration and re-opening of the Gabrielino National Recreation Trail trail after nine years of closure
  • Partnering with the US Forest Service to conduct a high-level, four-day Trail Stewardship Summit
  • Opening of Sapwi Bike Park in Thousand Oaks with the first public pump track in the area (phase one).
  • Volunteer construction and opening of 3+ miles of new multi-use singletrack trail at East Walker Ranch, City of Santa Clarita.
  • Acquisition of funding for tools to equip the SCV Trail crew
  • Completion of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan, with significant review and input from mountain bikers through our participation on the SGM Community Collaborative.
  • A new cost-share partnership agreement with the Forest Service for future trail maintenance and volunteer training
  • Adoption of a bike-friendly Santa Susana Mountains Trail Master Plan, Phase 2 by Los Angeles County with input from CORBA and our SCV Trail Users committee
  • Ongoing maintenance of dozens of miles of multi-use trails in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Conejo Open Space and Angeles National Forest
  • Installation of bench seats at Brown Mountain Saddle, Angeles National Forest
  • 11 free Skills Clinics held at Malibu Creek State Park. (For the first time in more than 20 years, we had to cancel a clinic due to the Woolsey Fire).
  • Continued support of the Mountain Bike Unit in patrolling the Santa Monica Mountains, a CORBA-initiated program
  • Repairs, updates and maintenance on our fleet of 40 Youth Adventures bicycles
  • Approximately 18 Youth Adventures trips, taking at-risk youth on interpretive mountain bike rides
  • Represented mountain biking interests at numerous public meetings, scoping meetings, and planning sessions
  • Monitored and responded to legislation affecting bicycling on our public lands.

Challenges

However, even with all these successes, CORBA’s biggest challenge is that our membership numbers have declined by 40% since December 2017.

While we have been highly successful in our grant applications, receiving almost $85,000 in grants that have supported Sapwi Bike Park, new trail construction in Santa Clarita, restoration of Station Fire damaged trails, tool purchases, and our Youth Adventures program, all of those funds are allocated to their respective projects, not to CORBA’s operating expenses or advocacy efforts.

Our board of directors has continued to work tirelessly on behalf of mountain bikers throughout the greater Los Angeles area. There are only five of us, and we’re all at capacity. As unpaid volunteers, we can only give so much of our time. It’s your memberships and donations that keep us going.

However, with several ongoing projects, including trail maintenance, Woolsey fire recovery, efforts to complete Sapwi Bike Park, create a new bike park in the City of Los Angeles, plans to develop much-needed mountain-bike optimized trails, preventing trail closures due to Wilderness, and helping form a state-wide California Mountain Biking advocacy group, our plates are already full.

In 2019 we’re looking to expand our Board of directors. We need additional support in communications and branding (including social media), accounting and fundraising. With an estimated

Regardless, our past successes and your enjoyment of them is what drives us to continue to work and advocate for mountain bikers in and around Los Angeles.

CORBA Membership Update – We Need Your Support

February 27th, 2019

CORBA is only as strong as its members. Join us!

CORBA has recently changed our relationship with IMBA. As an IMBA Chapter, all memberships were joint CORBA/IMBA memberships with the membership dues being split equally between CORBA and IMBA.

Entering 2019, CORBA is no longer a Chapter of IMBA. We are now a co-branded Affiliate under the new IMBA Local program. IMBA, in the wake of their financial troubles, has restructured and are no longer a “membership-based” organization. Your membership is now with CORBA, not IMBA, unlike the previous arrangement under which you were joining both organizations.  IMBA now provides membership management and other services to organizations like CORBA for a much lower fixed cost per member. This greatly benefits CORBA, as the vast majority of your membership dollars now stay local, instead of just 50%.

If your membership has lapsed or expired, or if you’ve never been a member, we urge you to join or renew. For less than the cost of a good tire, you can keep us going and growing, representing and supporting mountain biking in and around Greater Los Angeles. If you prefer not to join, your tax-deductible donations are just as much appreciated and all of your donations support local trails.

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