February Skills Clinic photos posted February 3

February 3rd, 2018

This month we had nine riders, over half of whom were in, or training for, the Mountain Bike Unit (MBU). Way to go! The weather was clear and warm but the stream had some slimy water in it, so we skipped the creek crossing and rode down to the Rock Pool instead. The park was really crowded because of a running event and visitors who arrived later were circling the parking lots looking for some place to park. That made it hard to find a safe place with enough room to practice the skills.

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 February photo gallery.

Bright Night Riding Lights Blind Other Trail Users

January 20th, 2018

By Tony Hoffman, Resident of Thousand Oaks and frequent trail user

Fellow Trail Users, mountain bicyclists who are out for exercise and to enjoy nature are riding at night in greater numbers than ever before, likely due to improved lighting technology. The newer LED lighting systems are brighter and run longer than the previous generations of  bicycle lights.  But do you ever think of their impact on other trail users or wildlife?

I frequently hike at night and become momentarily blinded by the LED lights from oncoming mountain bicyclists. Often times it is group of night riders who also leave me seeing spots for 15-30 minutes after they passed me. I’ve noticed that most of the time it is two lights per bicycle, one on the helmet and one on the handlebars, so 5 bikes equals 10 extremely bright lights blinding me.

I’ve politely requested the approaching bicyclists “dim” their lights but have been ignored or told the lights will not dim. We all know that cars should dim their brights when approaching other cars to keep the driver from being blinded. Shouldn’t bicycle lights also be dimmed when approaching other trail users for the same reason? If the lights cannot be dimmed, what is wrong with turning off the lights and riding or walking past other trail users and turning your lights back on after you are past us?

Technology always outpaces the law but courtesy never goes out of style. Please consider the impact of your lighting systems on us hikers who enjoy a walk in the park in the dark.

Summary of Backbone Trail Restoration Done January 13, 2018

January 17th, 2018

Nineteen volunteers from CORBA and the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council met where the Backbone Trail crosses Kanan Road, just north of Tunnel #1, to spend the next few hours restoring the trail towards Latigo Canyon Road. The trail was last worked in April 2016 and since then most of the drains had become clogged with silt and the brush was narrowing the usable part of the trail.

The trail had been flagged the previous day to mark 60 drains that needed to be unclogged or newly built. The flagging went 1.4 miles from the trailhead.

Locations of the 60 new/cleared drains are shown as red X’s along the trail. The parking lot on Kanan is the green star on the left.

We had an inch or so of rain a few days before so the dirt was quite soft. This made the progress go much more quickly than it usually does. It’s so much easier to dig out damp soil than the usual packed dry clay that has the consistency of hardened concrete.

Building a new drain

Most of the volunteers worked on the drains but a small group cut back the overgrowing brush. A crew leader used a hedge trimmer while the others gathered the clippings and hid them off the trail.

Because of the enthusiasm of the volunteers and the soft soil, we worked all 60 drains and got back to the car over a half hour earlier than expected. Of the 60 over 0.9 miles starting above the Kanan tunnel, 16 were new. With only one hedge trimmer, that work went more slowly so there is more work to be done there.

Enjoying lunch on CORBA at the Urbane Cafe and Hamburger Habit.

After the event, CORBA treated the volunteers to lunch at the Urbane Cafe and adjacent Hamburger Habit to thank them for their contribution to everyone’s enjoyment of the trails. Thanks, job well done!

You can see other photos from this event at the photo gallery.

January 2018 Skills Clinic photos posted January 8

January 8th, 2018

This month we had a larger turnout of 14 riders, including three youngsters. Way to go! The weather was clear and cool. Again we rode through the creek, which is completely dry, and most riders went down the steps on the way to the hill-climbing exercise.

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 January photo gallery.

The January 2018 eTerraTimes newsletter was posted Jan 3

January 3rd, 2018

CORBA’s first eTerraTimes newsletter of the year was posted today, January 3. If you don’t get it by email, you can the online version on our website.

Help with Backbone Trail Restoration on January 13!

January 3rd, 2018

Clearing brush on the BBT east of Kanan Rd in April 2016

On Saturday Jan 13, CORBA and the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council will be working together to restore the Backbone Trail from Kanan Road east towards Newton Motorway. We worked here in the spring of 2016, less than two years ago, installing drains and cutting back brush. Now many of the drains are clogged with silt and of course the brush needs cutting back to clear the trail.

We will be meeting at the paved parking lot immediately north of Tunnel #1 (closest to the ocean) on Kanan Rd at 8:30 am on Saturday January 13th. As a thank-you, CORBA will be taking volunteers to lunch afterwards. Trailwork days normally run to about 2:00 pm, so bring a snack to tide you over!

Registering online at our Meetup event will help us plan for this event so we’ll know how many tools to bring and have a better idea of how much we’ll be able to accomplish. Thanks for registering in advance!

This is a popular trail so we hope to see a lot of our mountain biking friends there to help out!

No experience is necessary to help out with trailwork. Tools and instructions on how to use them safely and effectively will be provided. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and be must over 7-years old to attend, and children under 14 must be constantly and directly supervised by their parent or guardian who brought them.

Please leave your 4-legged children at home!

And you don’t need to be a mountain biker to help out – Everybody is welcome! For more information on trailwork in general, visit our trail crew web page (http://corbamtb.com/programs/trail-crew.shtml).

Be sure to wear protective clothing (sturdy shoes, long pants and sleeves, hat, gloves) and bring snacks, sunscreen and water. CORBA will provide the tools and training. Everybody works at their own pace.

Getting in The Holiday Spirit: Giving back to trails

December 4th, 2017

Building a berm on a trailside bike feature

This past weekend the holidays seemed to come into full swing, and there was a lot of giving. On Saturday morning, members of our Sapwi Bike park committee gave their time building the first trailside feature at Sapwi Bike Park. Contractors have cleared and graded the bike park area, and the final bike park plan from FlowRide Concepts is close to completion. Lots of people have given to our IMBA Dig In campaign now standing at $1900, in addition to the generous grant of $15,000 from REI. We need to raise close to $100,000 so there’s a long way to go. Keep the donations coming!

Also on Saturday, former CORBA Chair and current volunteer Mark Langton was conducting our monthly Free Basic Mountain Bike Skills Clinic. Mark has been teaching new mountain bikers the basics of bike handling, safety and etiquette for more than 20 years. Eight riders attended the last skills clinic of the year.

 

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December Skills Clinic photos posted December 3rd

December 3rd, 2017

Like last month, we had 8 riders on a sunny day in the park. A couple of the riders had to leave half way through for another appointment, but said they’d be back for the January class. Again we rode through the creek, which is completely dry, and most riders went down the steps on the way to the hill-climbing exercise.

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 December photo gallery.

Public Meetings Dec 5: Rosemead Blvd and East Fork San Gabriel Canyon

November 30th, 2017

On Tuesday, December 5th there are two conflicting public meetings of interest to those who ride bicycles in the San Gabriel Mountains or the San Gabriel Valley.

San Gabriel River Confluence with Cattle Canyon Improvements Project

The other public meeting is to seek public input on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the San Gabriel River Confluence with Cattle Canyon Improvements Project. CORBA, through our involvement with the San Gabriel Mountains Community Collaborative, have expressed our full support for the project as proposed.

Click to Enlarge

This project will add much-needed trailhead improvements, interpretive and scenic trails, parking, bike racks, shuttle stops, multilingual signage, river access points and habitat restoration to this heavily-impacted area of the Forest. While not heavily used by mountain bikers, all of us who care about our Forest are supportive of these improvements.

The project is within the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, and is being developed in partnership with the Watershed Conservation Authority. The meeting will be held at the Angeles National Forest headquarters:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Angeles National Forest Headquarters
701 N Santa Anita Ave,
Arcadia, California 91006

Comments must be submitted by December 26, 2017, to:

EFSGR/Cattle Canyon Improvements Project
110 N. Wabash Ave.
Glendora, California 91741

or via email to: EFSGR@wca.ca.gov

 

LA County Rosemead Blvd Complete Streets Project

LA County’s Rosemead Blvd Complete Streets project proposes to add bike lanes, pedestrian walkways and other improvements to Rosemead Blvd through the Whittier Narrows area. This is the initial scoping meeting, where the County will be seeking public input on how to best improve this six-lane stretch of road to better accommodate cyclists and pedestrians. The meeting will be held at the More information can be found at:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Pico Rivera Municipal Golf Course,
3260 Fairway Dr.,
Pico Rivera, CA 90660.

http://dpw.lacounty.gov/pdd/proj/rosemeadcs/

This project will have great value to our community, as it will improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists accessing the Whittier BMX track, Whittier Narrows recreation area, and existing bike paths along the San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo. It is also close to the proposed Puente Hills Landfill, with its two planned and approved Bike Skills Parks.

We can’t be at both meetings, but want to encourage those with an interest in either to attend these meetings and be engaged in the process.

Report on the ‘Creek of Doom’ trail restoration in MCSP on November 11th

November 14th, 2017

Over 20 volunteers, including 9 from CORBA, 8 from Girlz Gone Riding and 6 from the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council, worked for four hours this past Saturday morning to fix up a seriously degraded part of Crags Road in Malibu Creek State Park. This section, just before the M*A*S*H site, is fondly known at the ‘Creek of Doom’ or the ‘Rock Garden’ because of the rocky and narrow nature of the trail, going along the edge, and then the middle, of the dry creek bed. This trail has not seen any work on it for years and had become very overgrown and eroded. As a result of the rains last winter, several trees had fallen on the trail and now were lying at the side, their branches still poking into the trail itself.

Under the guidance of experience trail crew leaders, mostly from the Trails Council but also from CORBA, the volunteers split into several groups, most of which focused on clearing back the fallen trees and other brush, with the rest focusing on fixing the trail tread.

Before, during and after photos of one section of the trail that was restored.

Overall, almost a half mile of trail was restored. This included about 100′ of narrow, rocky and off-camber trail where very large rocks were dug out and the tread made more smooth and level. The large rocks were used to build up a section about 20′ long that had almost completely disappeared into the creek. (See photos above.)

Lunch at the Urbane Cafe afterwards to thank all the volunteers who did such a great job!

After the work ended, CORBA treated the volunteers to a lunch at the Urbane Cafe and the Habit Hamburger Grill.

You can see more pictures of the trailwork in CORBA’s photo gallery.