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CORBA eTerraTimes for November 2010

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In this issue...


CORBA's Fat Tire Fest and annual fundraiser, held October 17th at Castaic Lake. See story. 

 

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Proper Trail Etiquette

A Message from CORBA’s President

By Mark Langton

We have received some emails regarding the Rogers Road Trail maintenance that has been taking place over the last couple of weeks (see “Rogers Road Trail Work” below). Yeah, it sucks. But it’s the nature of the beast and it happens every few years. I myself prefer trails to be more rugged and challenging, which is what they most always return to after a couple of years. (Those of you who have been around for more than six years remember what they did in Cheeseboro Canyon; not only did the sections they smoothed over return to a more rugged state after only a couple of years, they are now more technical than ever.)

And contrary to a comment that was made by one emailer, I am not an “ardent supporter” of the trail work that is taking place, nor is CORBA. CORBA in fact has no decision-making authority when it comes to trail work.

The thing that really bothers me is the tone of some of the emails, basically saying “You [meaning CORBA] need to do something about this.” I can understand some people not very familiar with CORBA thinking that we have a huge influence with the management agencies. News flash! We’re a struggling non-profit that needs help every day. The more members we have, the bigger voice we have. Any mountain biker who took the time to write us (or even thought to themselves “CORBA needs to do something” should put their money where their knobbies are and join CORBA, then come to our trail work days and regular board meetings to find out what they can do to help open up the many miles of trails that are still closed to mountain bikes (believe it or not, there are more miles that are closed than are open).

The State is currently in the process of inventorying its trails and making suggested use changes. It is likely that several trails currently closed to mountain bikes will be changed to multi-use. However, multi-use standards require a wider and smoother tread surface, so it’s probable that these trails will become less like a rugged singletrack, at least for the first couple of years. This does not mean I am favor of making trails wider and less technical. What I’m in favor of is more riding opportunities for mountain bikers. Period.

Repairing CORBA's Adopted Trail. Los Robles Trail West in Thousand Oaks

CORBA’s adopted trail, the Los Robles Trail West in Thousand Oaks, wasn’t in very good shape this spring after the winter rains. Long segments were wildly overgrown by mustard and thistle, and some steeper sections had deep ruts. COSCA hired professional trail workers to fix up the trail in the spring. They cut back the overgrowing weeds and filled in the deep ruts. The rain that we had in the last two weeks of October was enough to start carving new ruts. At the beginning of November, a rut a few inches deep had formed on one of the steeper sections of the trail. See our blog article for the full story and visit our short photo gallery.

 

New CORBA Gear Available


Our new fashion apparel that debuted at the Fat Tire Fest is now available for purchase online at the CORBA Store. Until December 31, 2010, shipping is free, so order now and save yourself a few bucks! To help keep your riding green, the short-sleeve jerseys are made with fabric that includes recycled material and the T-shirts are printed on unbleached heavy cotton.

Go to the online CORBA Store to place your order.

Fat Tire Fest News

Amid perfect conditions (cool, cloudy), CORBA’s 2010 Fat Tire Fest and fundraiser was once again a great success this past Sunday October 17 at Lake Castaic Recreation Area. Despite some inclement weather in other areas, a great crowd of several hundred enthusiastic mountain bikers and their families enjoyed great riding and fun activities, wrapping up with the ever popular raffle with dozens of great prizes donated by sponsors, vendors, and local bike shops. Of special note was the large number of children riding along with their parents on their mini mountain bikes, a testament to how mountain biking can be a generational activity that both parents and their children can enjoy together throughout their entire lives. 

See our photo galleries

New this year was a cyclocross race with non-stop action, and a pre-event event, a night ride on Saturday evening presented by Light & Motion, with light systems available for testing. 

We would like to thank our sponsors: REI, Specialized Bicycles, Cynergy Cycles, Bike Magazine, Mountain Bike Action Magazine, and Six Six One. Special thanks to our guest professional racer Allison Mann (www.allisonmann.net) for helping lead our advanced XC ride and assisting with our skills clinic.     

Another special thanks go out to all our volunteers, without whom we could not pull off this event. You know who you are, and your efforts are appreciated beyond words! 


Upcoming and Recent Trailwork

November 13: Wood Canyon Vista (Backbone) Trail in Sycamore Canyon

After last winter’s rains, the Wood Canyon Vista (Backbone) Trail in Sycamore Canyon (Pt Mugu State Park) was in pretty bad shape with deep ruts and loose rocks. The outside of the trail had collapsed in places. It was much more than could be fixed during the annual Santa Monica Mountains Trail Day last April. To repair the trail, the State Parks maintenance staff ran a Sweco (miniature bulldozer) down the trail to broaden and level it. Now we need to add proper drainage to the trail to make sure the ruts don’t reform this winter!

CORBA will be giving away some great prizes to mountain bikers who participate, including a pair of Ergon grips! Go to our events portal page to register so we’ll know how many tools to bring. Continue reading...

November 7: El Prieto

Join CORBA, the Friends of El Prieto, the St. Francis High School MTB Team and others to help restore this favorite trail in the Angeles front country. We will meet at 7:45 so we can head out by about 8:00 a.m. Join us to do brush removal and trail repair on one of So Cal Mountain Bikers’ favorite trails. Continue reading...

October 16: Annual COSCA Trail Work Day and Lunch in Thousand Oaks

The Ventura County Star reported on the annual COSCA trailwork day: "About 175 people volunteered on Saturday to help create a new trail in Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks as part of the 20th annual Conejo Open Space Trail Work Day. The new section, which runs eight-tenths of a mile, connects the Santa Rosa Trail in Wildwood Park with the Baseline Trail in Santa Rosa Valley, also known as the Lower Santa Rosa Trail..." See our blog article for the rest of the story and check out our photo gallery of the event and trail.


General News

Rogers Road Trailwork

Several mountain bikers wrote in to CORBA recently expressing dismay regarding the trail maintenance that has taken place on the singletrack section of Rogers Road Trail at the east end where it meets Temescal Ridge Fire Road, as well as about 1.5 miles of trail east of the singletrack section.  While this work certainly decreases the trail’s natural characteristics, we have seen time and again over the years that trails return to more rugged and natural conditions after a season or two. CORBA in no way was in favor of this level of impact to the trails, and in fact gave input to officials several weeks ago asking them to reconsider using such extensive machine work, suggesting instead that hand crews could effectively do the required maintenance.

Read our blog article for the remainder of this story, including an explanation of the work from Dale Skinner, State Park Maintenance Supervisor, and an evaluation of the outcome by master trail builder Kurt Loheit, CORBA founding member, IMBA founding member, IMBA trail consultant and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee.

Rogers Road Trailwork Part 2

It has come to our attention that there was a misunderstanding about CORBA’s position on the trail work taking place on Rogers Road as described in an earlier blog article.

CORBA was and is not in favor of this level of impact to the trails, and in fact gave input to officials several weeks ago asking them to reconsider using such extensive machine work. CORBA’s intent for stating that the trails would return to a more rugged state was to assuage the concerns of those not familiar with the trail maintenance process. It was not in any way meant to suggest we agreed with the way it was carried out.

As stated in the earlier blog article, CORBA in no way is responsible for making decisions about how trail work is initiated, implemented, or carried out. Members of the community should not confuse CORBA’s willingness to help clean up work initiated and carried out by a management agency as an endorsement for or support of that work. CORBA’s primary goal is to preserve and increase mountain biking opportunities on current and future open space trails. A primary component of this goal is to help maintain the trails as a good faith partner of the trail user community. As we have seen, a huge amount of volunteer work goes into maintaining the trails. It is obviously frustrating when a management agency disregards the public’s input and desires. This is a long and ongoing process, and the only real way to have an impact is to get involved in that process, as CORBA continues to do.

Sullivan Canyon Now Closed until December 10th

There have been some delays in the work in Sullivan Canyon. Continue reading...

New on the CORBA Website


Recreational Rides

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

CORBA’s Recreational 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.


Free Mountain Biking Skills Clinic

Saturday November 6th 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 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. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CORBAmtb and Facebook at facebook.com/CORBAMTB.


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

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


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