August Skills Clinic photos posted August 7

August 7th, 2016

We had an even baker’s dozen at the Skills Clinic in Malibu Creek State Park this month at the Basic Skills Clinic.  The weather was perfect! The clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month. You can see the photos in our August photo gallery.

GGR Preps for Upcoming Annual Events!

August 2nd, 2016

GGR New logo

GGR: Girlz Gone Riding is very excited about our 2 upcoming annual events.

August 20th-21st: Womens Weekend in Big Bear! This event is SOLD OUT except for a couple of spots! This is our annual women’s only weekend celebrating women on the mountain. The weekend starts with a very select few receiving a down hill clinic Friday the 19th from Cranks and Crafts pro down hill winner Sarah Viggers! The DH clinic sold out in seconds!

Saturday’s line up includes guided cross country rides, guided down hill runs and a super fun group dinner at Nottingham’s. GGR takes up the entire 2nd floor!

Sunday we offer 2 special events!
1) Intro to enduro at Rim Nordic Bike park: Rim Nordic Bike Park
2) Guided cross country rides at Fawnskin including the famous Gray’s Peak climb!

Rocktober Festival October 30th!

Sunday October 30th! Rocktober Festival Event Schedule

  • This is a one day festival celebrating women’s mountain biking!
  • Over 100 demo bikes
  • Guided cross country rides
  • Exhibitors
  • Skills clinics featuring Hall of Famer Leigh Donovan from I choose Bikes
  • Goodie Bags
  • Guest Speakers and much more!
  • This event is a CORBA/IMBA membership drive! If you renew or purchase a membership from August 31st-October 30th, your name will be entered in a special raffle at the Rocktober festival following the main raffle.
    Renew or purchase your membership here:
  • Registration goes LIVE AUGUST 31st on Eventbrite. This event sells out very quickly, so please mark your calendars! (The event will not be posted until a day or two before registration opens.)

Packet pick up is at REI Woodland Hills: REI Woodland Hills October 29, 2pm-7pm

8.5"x11" Vertical Flyer Template

July Skills Clinic photos posted July 16

July 16th, 2016

Graham took over the photographer duties again for Steve, who was out of town, in Malibu Creek State Park this month at the Basic Skills Clinic.  This month there was a large group with 26 participants. The clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month. You can see the photos in our July photo gallery.

June Skills Clinic photos posted June 10

June 10th, 2016

Graham took over the photographer duties again for Steve, who was out of town, in Malibu Creek State Park this month at the Basic Skills Clinic.  This month there were 11 participants. The clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month. You can see the photos in our June photo gallery.

May Skills Clinic photos posted May 7

May 7th, 2016

We had an uncommonly small class of only 7 on a partly sunny day 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 May photo gallery.

May 2016 eTerraTimes Newsletter Published May 5th

May 5th, 2016

The May 2016 edition of CORBA’s monthly newsletter, the eTerraTimes, was published today, May 5. 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.

Ken Burton Trail: A Success Story

May 4th, 2016

We recently posted a report on the completion of scheduled work on the Ken Burton Trail.  On May 1st the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association, who partnered with CORBA to restore the trail, held their annual Pancake Breakfast fundraiser at Gould Mesa Campground in the Angeles National Forest. It was perfect timing for all to celebrate the completion of the Ken Burton trail.

Jim Burton cuts the ceremonial ribbon, as Steve Messer, Matt Lay and Jenny Johnson of MWBA, and Ken's daughters Heather and Tania look on.

Jim Burton cuts the ceremonial ribbon, as Steve Messer, Matt Lay and Jenny Johnson of MWBA, and Ken’s daughters Heather and Tania look on. Photo by Mark Skovorodko.

While the Pancake Breakfast was an all MWBA event, many CORBA members were also present to enjoy the celebration. Through the wonders of social media, we were able to connect with Ken Burton’s family, many of whom came to the event to celebrate the reopening of their “dad’s trail.” The cermonial ribbon cutting was performed by Jim Burton, Ken’s brother, with Ken’s daughters Heather and Tania, Steve Messer from CORBA, and MWBA’s Jenny Johnson as MC. Heather gave an inspiring speech about her dad, his love of trails, bicycles, and the National Forest where he served as Battallian Chief before being killed by a drunk driver on Angeles Crest Highway in 1988.  A moment of silence was observed in honor of Ken Burton before the ribbon was cut.

Plaque of recognition for Steve Messer

Plaque of recognition for Steve Messer

MWBA thoughtfully honored Steve Messer with a special plaque of appreciation, made in the style of the original Ken Burton trail sign. Volunteers who gave two or more days of volunteer work received a commemorative T-shirt and a certificate of appreciation from the Forest Service. While the project was initiated and led by Steve Messer of CORBA, it was truly a partnership with both CORBA and MWBA volunteers working together to complete the trail restoration project.

It was a great day to celebrate the completion of one trail project, as we prepare to move on to the next project: restoration of the Gabrielino trail from Ken Burton trail junction to Switzers. CORBA has applied for a grant from REI, and will partner with the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Bellfree Contractors, and again, the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association to complete the project.

National Trails Day

May 4th, 2016

National Trails day is fast-approaching: June 4, 2016.  It’s a day to recognize the important role trails play in many of our lives, and to spread the word about how trails benefit communities, and to encourage more people to venture out onto trails.

LA County 2016 Trails Day Flyer

LA County 2016 Trails Day Flyer

Each year there are a number of events planned by land managers around National Trails day. Los Angeles County is promoting an event to bring together all trail users in a Multi-Use Trails Day event. Equestrians, hikers, and mountain bikers will converge on Pathfinder Park in Rowland Heights to learn about trails, trail etiquette, and to enjoy the Schabarum/Skyline Trail. While the main route is about 4 miles, there are several options for longer rides or hikes. The free event will include vendors, lunch, and a raffle including a new mountain bike.

On the other end of CORBA’s territory, the National Park Service will be holding its Centennial celebration. The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is currently working on the last two segments of the Backbone trail, a continuous 65 mile route traversing the Santa Monica Mountains. Much of the Backbone is open to bikes. They are working hard to complete the last two segments before the June 4th event, and to submit the Backbone Trail for inclusion in the National Recreation Trail system.

CORBA will be at both events. Watch our Meetup group calendar for more details, and join us at either event to help celebrate the trails that bring us all together.

IMBA’s Member Survey is now Live

May 4th, 2016

IMBA is conducting a nationwide member survey. If your membership was current on April 30th, you should have received an email invitation to complete the IMBA Member Survey during the first week of April. Invitations are unique to each member, and the survey can only be taken once. You have the opportunity to save your survey and come back to it. Surveys must be completed by May 17.

Since IMBA reorganized to unite all of California into the same region, we have had the good fortune of working with Laurel Harkness as IMBA’s California/Hawaii Regional Director.  However, we face a unique challenge here in Los Angeles. We have the largest population base of any IMBA Chapter, yet one of the smallest Board of Directors, and an disproportionately small membership base. We have a City of Los Angeles blanket ban on bicycles on trails, new and existing Wilderness proposals, and other issues threatening or preventing our access to new trails. We have several opportunities for new trails and bike parks, but are stretched thin on maintaining what we have.

By participating in IMBA’s Survey, you can help inform IMBA of our local needs. Los Angeles is one of the largest and most complex mountain bike advocacy mosaics in the country, and we can use all the help we can get, from our members and supporters, from the local bike industry, and from IMBA.

Meanwhile IMBA’s Spring Membership Drive continues into May, with all those renewing their memberships being eligible for some great prizes. It’s a great time to renew your membership to CORBA/IMBA and help us grow mountain biking opportunities in the area.



Report on the 2016 Santa Monica Mountains Trail Days in Pt Mugu State Park, April 22-24

April 26th, 2016

The largest trailwork event in the Santa Monica Mountains is held every year at the end of April in Pt. Mugu State Park. This past weekend, volunteers from CORBA, the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council (who organize the event every year), the Sierra Club and others converged on the Danielson campground to help out. Besides trailwork on Saturday and Sunday, the festivities included a barbecue dinner, a huge prize give-away and optional overnight camping.

Clearing mustard on the Sin Nombre Trail

Clearing mustard on the Sin Nombre Trail

On Saturday morning, 140 volunteers split up into crews of about 10 and dispersed to various trails. The crew that included most of CORBA’s volunteers shuttled to the top of the Sin Nombre Trail and started the day by cutting back mustard that was crowding the trail. When that was finished, we worked our way south, spending our time fixing deep ruts. That involved cutting down the berm that forms on the outside of the trail and dragging the dirt back into the rut, and also building up the inside of the trail to restore a gentle outslope. The outslope allows water to run off the outside of the trail, rather than running down it and eroding a new rut.

Fixing a rut on the Sin Nombre Trail

Fixing a rut on the Sin Nombre Trail

The north end of the Sin Nombre trail is very rocky in sections, so it took a considerable amount of work to restore the trail to it’s original condition.

While the CORBA crew was working southward, two other crews were working north from the bottom of the trail. They also were fixing ruts.

After lunch on the trail, a few from the other crews came up to help the CORBA crew. The extra hands allowed us to finish our work an hour early – the help was very much appreciated! With three crews working, we were able to repair all of the ruts along the length of Sin Nombre that were repairable.

Fixing the tight, rocky switchback at the bottom of the Wood Canyon Vista Trail, part of the Backbone Trail.

Fixing the tight, rocky switchback at the bottom of the Wood Canyon Vista Trail, part of the Backbone Trail.

A crew consisting of mostly MBU members and led by Steve Messer, CORBA’s president, worked their way up the Wood Canyon Vista Trail. They started by rebuilding the first very tight switchback which had become rocky and difficult to navigate in recent years. When that was done, they headed up the hill to generally clean out old drains and build new ones where needed.

A journalist from the Ventura County Star accompanied the MBU crew. You can view his photos and video on their website.

Other crews worked on Sage Trail, rebuilding walls and drainages, Old Boney Trail near Sorreno Valley in the Boney Mountain Wilderness Area, and a group of youngsters and their parents cleared brush from the side of the Blue Canyon Trail. Building Bridges to the Outdoors Sierra Club worked on Coyote Trail.

Decorating the dessert cakes for Saturday's dinner

Decorating the dessert cakes for Saturday’s dinner

There hasn’t been any rain recently so the dirt was bone-dry and turns to dust when we dig into it. Because of this, it’s not possible to pack it down firmly despite our best efforts. Be careful when riding these newly worked trails – parts of them are pretty loose still!

Saturday afternoon was spent relaxing around camp, chatting with friends and rehydrating, often with light- to dark-brown beverages. Some people went hiking or riding and youngsters helped decorate the desert cakes with colored icing and sprinkles.

The barbecue dinner, cooked and served by Park staff, was fabulous as always – barbecued tri-tip, chicken and veggie burgers along with salad, garlic toast and baked beans. During dinner, Tony Hoffman from State Parks, along with a pair of young volunteers, called ticket numbers for the prize give-away. The very best prizes (tents, sleeping bags and such) were gone by the time this correspondent’s number was called; even so I got a gift certificate to a nice restaurant in Thousand Oaks that I like.

David Szymanski, superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and Craig Sap, superintendent of State Parks Angeles District dropped in during the afternoon and dinner to chat and thank the volunteers for all their help.

After it got dark, slide shows were given by State Park scientists on the archeology of the area, especially with respect to mudslides over hundreds of years and their effect on native inhabitants, and the ecology of recovery after the Springs Fire two years ago.

Saturday night barbecue dinner and prize give-away

Saturday night barbecue dinner and prize give-away

The number of volunteers for Sunday’s trailwork was much smaller, as happens every year. Two dozen people broke into three crews; one worked on “Toe-stubber” a second continued clearing overgrowth from the Blue Canyon Trail, and the kids did some easy trail smoothing nearby with their parents.

CORBA would like to thank all the volunteers and Park staff who made this year’s event a rousing success!

You can view many more photos of the event in CORBA’s 2016 Trail Days photo gallery.