Woolsey and Hill Fire Closures (Updated 12/1)

November 27th, 2018

This past week has been devastating. Our hearts go out to all those who were impacted by the Woolsey Fire and the Hill Fire, which have ravaged our local mountains. We know that a good portion of CORBA’s membership are in areas affected by the fire. A few lost homes and property. CORBA’s storage shed near Malibu Creek State Park survived, though we weren’t able to confirm so until after Thanksgiving. We truly appreciate the firefighters and first responders who put themselves at incredible risk to battle these fires and save as much as they could.

With so much loss, it may sound a little selfish to be concerned about trails. Being able to go for a mountain bike ride can brighten your day and bring a sense of normalcy to these tumultuous times. But with most of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area closed, where can we ride? We’ve provided a listing below, with links to each park’s web site for the latest updates. We’ll do our best to keep this information current.

Please respect trail and park closures. Our land management agencies have their hands full with fire recovery and damage assessments. Trails in burned areas can be extremely hazardous, even after the fire is “out.”  Fine particulate ash is a lung irritant and can cause severe health problems. Burned, weakened trees can fall at any time, especially in the early days after the fire, or as the ground softens with rain and no vegetation. Once our first big rains hit, trails will be heavily damaged and may become impassable. Just don’t ride closed trails.

As soon as we are able, CORBA will be scheduling trailwork events to help restore trails that will be heavily damaged this coming winter. It might be some time before we can do trailwork or ride. Watch our meetup group or Facebook page for upcoming trailwork events in the new year.

OPEN Areas (Updated Dec 1, 2018):

CLOSED Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (Facebook PageTwitter

CLOSED California State Parks (FacebookTwitter):

  • Malibu Creek State Park – closed until further notice due to the Woolsey Fire. State Parks lost some structures, such as employee residences, the historic Sepulveda Adobe, Red House, Hope Ranch also known as the White Oak Barn (including historic Adamson rowboats) and Reagan Ranch.

CLOSED Conejo Open Space Areas:

CLOSED Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (FacebookTwitter):

CLOSED Roads:

Last updated: Nov 26, 2018.

REI and GGR Trailwork in Santa Clarita

December 5th, 2018
New Trail Construction at Golden Valley Ranch Open Space, Santa Clarita

This past Saturday, December 1st, CORBA’s Santa Clarita Valley Trail Users committee (SCVTU) organized another volunteer trail building day at Golden Valley Ranch Open Space in the City of Santa Clarita. 

The SCVTU has been working with the City of Santa Clarita to provide new trail opportunities on former ranch properties. Both East Walker Ranch and Golden Valley Ranch were acquired by the City to both limit future development of the area, and to provide a recreational open-space resource for the Santa Clarita Community. 

Earlier this year, the group completed approximately three miles of new trail at East Walker Ranch, which was used for last summer’s PedalFest mountain bike race series. 

The new trail being constructed will link East Walker Ranch to the southern neighborhoods of Santa Clarita around Fair Oaks. It will provide trail connectivity from the City’s neighborhoods to these open space areas, and eventually into the Angeles National Forest. The trail will be a much more enjoyable experience than some of the steep ridge line ranch roads that currently exist.

Earlier this year, REI awarded CORBA a $15,000 grant to help lead the new trail development. The grant is being utilized by SCVTU to purchase trailwork tools, materials, volunteer support, and professional contractor services where they are indicated. 

Not only did REI provide financial support, but last Saturday, REI Woodland Hills invited all their employees to join in on the effort. REI chose this project for their “employee community service day.”  Some REI folks brought out their entire family. Kids too young to be out on the trail helped pot native succulent plants which were given to volunteers as “thank-you” gift at the end of the day.

Girlz Gone Riding (GGR), a women’s mountain bike club supported by CORBA, sent about 18 women to put in work on the trail. The girls had a lot of fun. A common theme to the comments was how rewarding it is to help bring a brand new trail to life. 

Jose Gonzales, SCVTU’s trail guru, had spent several days over the last few weeks working with Jason Lindenberg to lay out and flag the new trail, along with some preliminary brush clearing. 

About 60 people came out to the event, staged at East Walker Ranch.  Our target for the day was to complete bench-cutting and clearing about a half mile of trail. With the enthusiasm and energy of the group, we were able to complete close to .7 miles! 

Rains earlier in the week had softened the ground, making it relatively easy to contour the trail and pack it down. Conditions were just about ideal for building new trail in this terrain. However, the sticky clay will not be friendly to hiking boots or tires, and the new trail should be avoided when wet. 

The Santa Clarita Valley Signal came out to cover the event. The City is also very excited about the project. We appreciate the enthusiasm of all the volunteers. REI Woodland Hills Store Manager Nikki said they had so much fun, they’re ready to come back in January and help finish building the trail.  

A delicious Mexican cuisine buffet was served after the trailwork

We expect there to be at least two more workdays to finish this trail segment, after which it will be opened to the public. Watch for announcements of upcoming trailwork opportunities.

December Free Skills Clinic Cancelled

November 26th, 2018

Due to the horrendous damage to Malibu Creek State Park, CORBA is unable to hold our monthly free mountain biking skills clinic. The free skills clinic has been held on the first Saturday of every month for more than 20 years. 

This is the first time that we have had to cancel the class, a testament to the dedication of Mark Langton, our skills clinic instructor. 

At this time there is no estimate for when Malibu Creek State Park will reopen. Our January clinic is still on the calendar but is very likely to be canceled or moved to a new location. 

November Skills Clinic photos posted November 6

November 6th, 2018

Ezra, Mark’s long-time assistant and MBU member, took the photos this month because the regular photographer, Steve, was driving back from a week of mountain biking in Utah.

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 November photo gallery.

October Skills Clinic photos posted October 6

October 6th, 2018


It was a beautiful day for the skills clinic today – the temperature was in the mid-70’s with an occasional slight overcast. We had 7 riders, about typical for recent clinics.

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 October photo gallery.

The September 2018 eTerraTimes newsletter was posted September 6

September 6th, 2018

CORBA’s eTerraTimes newsletter for September was posted today, September 6th. If you don’t get it by email, you can view the online version on our website.

Sapwi Trails and Bike Park opens on Sept 22!

September 6th, 2018

The ribbon cutting ceremony for Sapwi Trails Community Park in Thousand Oaks will take place on Saturday, Sept 22, 2018 at 9:00 am. The celebration will continue until noon. For updates on this event, visit the Thousand Oaks Sapwi Trails web page.

The volunteers, in coordination with Bellfree Contractors (a trail building company), have been hard at work getting the bike park ready for use. The pump track is shaping up really nicely!

For updates on the bike park, visit the Sapwi Bike Park website.

See the Sisterhood of Shred Movie Screening on Sept 15th!

August 28th, 2018

Girlz Gone Riding & REI are excited to bring the Sisterhood of Shred to the local screen! This will be a limited and intimate showing at REI Woodland Hills September 15th at 7pm.

In the male-dominated world of jumping bikes, a community of women riders emerge. From all walks of life and different points around the globe, they empower each other to push their personal limits on and off their bikes. They have banded together they are The Sisterhood of Shred.

  • The director of The Sisterhood of Shred, Meg Valliant, a 38-year-old mother of two, who paid her way through college working as a bicycle mechanic creating habits that flowed directly into her career as a full time camera technician with over 14 years of experience in the film industry. She continues to be active in the bicycle industry as a certified coach, brand ambassador, competitor, event organizer, and filmmaker.

Soundtrack

  • All Washington Based artists and a all female soundtrack
  • Keegan O’Neil composed 7 songs specifically for the film including the title track ‘Biker Girl’
  • Varnish supplied 2 songs for the film including their hit song ‘Bruise me’. http://www.varnishcentral.com/
  • Thunderpussy carries a progressive rock beat that really spices up the film. They supplied 3 songs for the soundtrack. http://www.thunderpussyusa.com/

Organized by Girlz Gone Riding http://www.girlzgoneriding.com/ in support of The Sapwi Bike Park http://sapwibikepark.com/ the suggested donation per person to see the movie is $15.00. You’re welcome to add more.

Winner of Seattle Transmedia & Independent film Festival. Winner Best Feature Documentary.

Port Orchard film festival: Winner Best Documentary

Registration is required: https://www.rei.com/event/the-sisterhood-of-shred-movie-night/woodland-hills/216318

Donate to the Sapwi Bike Park: http://sapwibikepark.com/sisterhood/

Discover the Gabrielino National Recreation Trail – First in the Nation

August 27th, 2018
Gabrielino Trail was the First National Recreation Trail in the nation
1970-05-20 – LA Times – Gabrielino Trail first National Recreation Trail

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Act of 1968, we truly appreciate the vision of the legislators who understood the need to expand and coordinate a national system of outdoor recreational trail opportunities. The act was signed into law on October 2, 1968

Last week we finished the restoration of the Gabrielino National Recreation Trail in the Angeles National Forest, with help from MWBA, REI and Edison.  But did you know the Gabrielino Trail we just restored was the very first National Recreation Trail in the Nation to be designated under the act?

These two Los Angeles Times stories are from May 20, 1970, announcing the designation, and from June 28, 1970, celebrating the designation “to attract hikers and horsemen.”

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Trail Users Celebrate: The Gabrielino National Recreation Trail is Back!

August 24th, 2018

Station Fire trail restoration has been a major focus of CORBA’s for the past nine years. On August 26, 2009, CORBA volunteers were headed out for routine volunteer trail maintenance in the Angeles National Forest.  “As I approached our trail work site, I could see a plume of smoke coming from the Arroyo Seco canyon,” said Steve Messer, then a trail work volunteer and now President of CORBA. “We canceled the trail work and watched helplessly as the forest burned for six more weeks.”

Nine years later, almost to the day, mountain biking volunteers have completed restoration of the Gabrielino National Recreation Trail through the Arroyo Seco canyon. This popular section was one of the most heavily damaged by the El Niño rains that flash-flooded the ashen canyon after the Station Fire, taking with it huge sections of the trail and forest. With the extreme damage, this was to be our most ambitious project and the final trail restoration effort from the 2009 Station Fire.

With the area completely closed to the public for more than seven years following the fire, the trail was choked off. Hundreds of burned trees had fallen across the trail and several retaining walls had failed. When people began venturing into the area, in many places there was no trail, so people began using the stream bed.

February 2016 hike-through and assessment

In February 2016, Messer hiked the Arroyo Seco section of the Gabrielino Trail with Forest Service officials and others to do an assessment and begin plans to restore the trail. It was an arduous journey, climbing over and under downed trees and thick brush, scrambling across debris fields where there was once a trail, and precariously shimmying along what used to be the trail tread.

After lengthy environmental reviews, the restoration project began in earnest in late 2017. Six volunteer chainsaw operators worked for two days to get the trail corridor opened enough to begin tread work. Downed trees were a constant challenge, and several sections required extensive additional chainsawing through log-jams. It took dozens of bob trailer-runs to get tools in place. Volunteers faced round-trip rides or hikes of ten to twelve miles to get to and from the work site. Some sections of the trail were restored that had failed long before the Station Fire.

The Mount Wilson Bicycling Association (MWBA) led monthly volunteer work days on the trail from November to July. Several volunteer work days were sponsored by local bike shops including Incycle, Pasadena Cyclery, Golden Saddle Cyclery and Montrose Cyclery. There was so much enthusiasm for the project that a few days there were more volunteers than tools.

Generous grants from REI and Southern California Edison enabled CORBA to hire professional trail builders, Bellfree Contractors, to complete some of the more technical work. By far, the majority of the work was done by 102 dedicated volunteers on 283 volunteer days. The 1,900 volunteer hours equates to over $60,000 in value to the Forest Service.

The final work was completed this week with the trail restored to its original alignment. Trail Closed signs had been in place at either end of the canyon since 2009. The signs were taken down this week.

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