As always, the eTerraTimes has all the latest news for mountain bikers in the Santa Monica Mountains and surrounding areas.
This is GGR’s 4th Rocktober event at Malibu Creek State Park and the biggest year yet. With 216 registered, 190 riders showed up! If the waiting list was released, we would have close to 300 women! Let me take you through the day……moment by moment.
I pulled into MCSP at about 6:30am hoping that the park attendant would get in early. It was dead quiet and still dark out, very peaceful. The night before, I posted for everyone to get there as early as possible due to the long lines and one attendant working. And sure enough…just a few minutes later the line was out into the road waiting for the gates to open.
Sage, our sweet park attendant was right on time and opened the gate at 7am for us. One of the new ride volunteers Jose G, came by my house during the week and picked up all the GGR booth things in his truck to bring to the event and he was right on time too!
Many ladies got there early and the girls got the GGR Booth up right away to get riders checked in and Mark Langton got the CORBA booth up right away next to GGR of course! Doris Dunn took over managing the vendors for the morning and mapped everything out. I was so grateful she took this over and she did a great job! Joyce made signs, awesome GGR name tags and did a million other fantastic things for me. Well done ladies!
The morning is always crazy…and the day is filled with sooooo many things we have a time schedule to keep, so it’s critical things move quickly and smoothly in the morning……Sometimes they do………sometimes they don’t!
While we were getting set up, the demo trucks, Trek & Giant, the food truck and Pedal Power truck were to be arriving any minute to set up for demo bikes, give out samples prior to the rides of the Joy Ride System by Pedal Power: http://www.petal-power.com/ and of course have some coffee in the wee hours of the morning!
dRiders were arriving early and the parking lot was getting full. The lines at the GGR booth seem to be going well and so far running smoothly thanks to Registration Team Leader Desi who handles this for me every year and does an outstanding job! Then she goes and leads a ride too!
Gathering everyone up in the morning before the rides and clinics is always challenging..it’s a social event so ladies are socializing and enjoying the morning!
I always start the morning with a quick motivational speech. This year was about empowerment since the entire day was about empowering each other to become better riders, better friends and just better in general.
I talked about getting involved in GGR and CORBA suggesting everything from organizing and leading rides, to trail work to setting up a Wenches with Wrenches workshop at their favorite bike shop.
The Rambachers, Amy and Thomas, GGR ride leader volunteers, were recognized for their incredible Enduro Series wins…The Rambachers also donated 6 foot tables to GGR which we desperately needed!
Darcie Loth was presented the night before with the Courage and Commitment Award.
And the community aware this year to recognize their excellence in our community went to Michael’s Bicycles in Newbury Park. http://www.michaelsbicycles.com/
This year we were blessed with having 2 coaches for the beginner skills clinics! Christine Hirst who has been with GGR since the beginning donating her time every year for this event, and now Leigh Donovan who made the really long drive to donate her time for the day helping our incredible group of GGR riders to become safer, more confident riders! Leigh recently partnered up with LIV to start http://ichoosebikes.com/.
Our final speaker was Mark Langton from CORBA. http://corbamtb.com. GGR and CORBA partner for pretty much everything. Mark talked about CORBA and the trail etiquette for safe and courteous riding for all that use the trails.
Photo Time! We all then moved over to a big empty space in the park for our massive group photo. I was looking around and couldn’t tell really how many were there, but I knew it was much bigger than last year. I would just have to wait to count the waivers later in the day to find out….
RIDE TIME! So now all the riders went to their ride signs to wait for their ride leaders. The beginners were taking the skills clinics 1st while the advanced beginners went out for their guided rides. Then the advanced beginners would come back and get THEIR skills clinic and the beginners would go for THEIR guided ride.
I watched all the ladies take off for their guided rides like a proud, very worried mother. Virtually everyone was in the purple, the GGR club color. Some had their GGR jerseys on, some had purple tees, purple jerseys, boa’s, purple beads, painted purple toes and finger nails, decorated handle bars, the bling goes on and on! It was fabulous! Ladies really had fun with the bling this year!
Let me mention the men on these rides….there are very few men in GGR. Because…well, it’s a club for women! However, these handful of men are friends of mine that I ride with, trust, are respectful, kind and very willing to help out. Their strength, speed and compassion is much appreciated to help on our rides. They out did themselves this year too! Purple tu tu’s, wigs, ear rings, purple nail polish….they were COMPLETELY in the GGR spirit for the day and I love them for that!. I thank you all so very much!
While everyone was out on the rides and skills clinics, Louisa and I started going over the raffle and silent auction items. This also gave me a chance to just take a breather and take in everything that was happening and what I needed to do in the afternoon.
Charles from Clif : http://www.clifbar.com/, came up to me while I was heading over to get some coffee. Clif provided the entire fuel station this year. This included hydration, recovery, shots, gels and mini Clif bars. They also provided Clif product for the goody bags. This was Clif’s 1st year supporting the GGR Rocktober event and they were thrilled with their fuel station as well as the attendance! Always great when your sponsors are happy!!! Thank you Shilo and her girls from The Squeaky Wheel Bike Shop in Palmdale for setting up the Clif fuel station for GGR!
The riders started coming back around noonish for the afternoon festivities. Apparently there were a ton of hikers and of course a Boy Scout group that was on the trails at the same time, so there was some congestion on some parts of the trails. We will be re routing the routes next year to prevent a lot of this.
The afternoon was to chill, visit all the wonderful booths, have lunch, socialize and win some great stuff!
We had some speakers in the afternoon too!
Amy “Enduro” Rambacher talked about coaching a high school team
Nancy “Den Mother” Harris and Jill Hamilton of Petal Power spoke about racing.
Lisa Baker from the Unlikely Cyclist came up and told her story and talked about women’s cycling clothes and the importance of proper fit.http://theunlikelycyclist.com/
Then before we started the afternoon raffles, Leigh Donovan awarded Karleen Volz the most improved rider of the day. Liv donated a Liv Cycling kit, hat and gloves for miss Karleen to take home knowing she was the most improved rider! http://www.liv-cycling.com/
We ended the day with the huge raffles, silent auctions and Mark Langton from CORBA awarded an REI tent for the CORBA membership drive winner. Every year at Rocktober, we also hold a CORBA/IMBA membership drive and everyone’s name that renewed or purchased a new CORBA membership goes into the raffle.
We broke everything down, swept the park so not a trace was left behind, I watched everyone pull out and just a few of us were left talking about the day. I was exhausted. I start planning this event in February and it’s always very stressful the month before. For the most part, it went better than expected. The turn out was huge……..women mountain bikers are growing in numbers that our club just can’t even support at the events any longer. Bike companies……bike shops, this is a movement that is happening. Take notice, step up and get involved in your women’s cycling community! WE ARE FABULOUS!
I want to thank every volunteer, rider and sponsor who were a part of this event. All the volunteers work hard to make this a better event every year and I thank you for it. Our booths and sponsors sere just awesome this year! Huge Kudo’s to Shredly who has been with GGR since day one! http://www.shredly.com/. Also, Zoic did something very special. They picked a girl out of the crowd and gave her a ZOIC MAKE OVER! HOW COOL! Thank you Zoic for making the day extra special! http://www.zoic.com/
For a list of our amazing sponsors, please go to the GGR website and check them out who support women’s cycling! http://www.girlzgoneriding.com/event-sponsors-2014.html
See many many more photos in our 2014 GGR Roctober photo gallery!
Until next Rocktober, I bid you happy trails, keep the rubber side down and just be fabulous daw-lings!
From Wendy Engelberg
CORBA Kids Club fun rides are held at various locations around the Santa Monica Mountains. These kid-friendly organized rides led by volunteer parents are intended to build confidence, promote health and wellness, share knowledge of trails and riding techniques, teach respect for each other and the environment, and inspire the next generation of mountain bikers and CORBA volunteers! Children of all ages and abilities may attend (parent or guardian must be present and sign a waiver), and trailers/trail-a-bikes are welcome. Rides will take place the last Saturday of every month starting this November 29, so check our calendar to find upcoming rides!
This past Saturday, October 18, almost 150 volunteers turned out to help rebuild the Conejo Crest Trail and a connector between this trail and the White Horse Canyon Trail in Thousand Oaks. This included 20 CORBA volunteers and several riders from nearby high school mountain biking teams. The work was divided into 5 distinct projects.
The most important was to build a reroute around the Descent of Death (watch the video of mountain bikers on the Descent of Death). This new trail is just over 1000′ long, compared to 680′ for the Descent itself, so it is about 1/3 less steep. Three crews were assigned to this challenging section with lots of big rocks, some very steep cross slopes, and many sturdy stumps to remove. The amount of work needed was more than could be accomplished by the available volunteers in just 3 working hours, so COSCA will complete this section later. However, the most difficult parts were completed so the bypass trail is open for use.
At the bottom of the bypass trail is a connector trail to the White Horse Canyon Trail. This 835′ long connector goes straight down the hill with no diversions to get the water off it. As a result, rainwater has run straight down it for years and it has become very rutted, and rocky where the soil, sand and smallest rocks have been washed away. In addition, it was somewhat overgrown. Three crews were assigned to this section to clear the brush, remove the worst of the loose rocks and build drainages to get the water off and minimize future runoff erosion. These crews finished early and went on to help build the bypass trail. Another crew was working to remove loose rocks from the Conejo Crest Trail for about 1100′ from the top of the Descent of Death. The bypass trail crossed an illegally built trail that ran from the top of the Descent of Death almost straight down the hill to the Los Robles East Trail (Edison Road). A ranger-led crew worked to rehabilitate the ground around this trail, to restore as much as possible the natural contour of the land. Berms and jumps were knocked down and raked over. The trail was blocked to prevent future use and further erosion and degradation of the public open space. Finally, a group of youngsters worked to beautify the trailhead to the Triunfo Trail at Triunfo Community Park by raking out the trail, building a pretty border out of rocks, and planting native plants in the bare area next to the trail.
After the work period, the volunteers gathered at Triunfo Park to enjoy a barbecue lunch prepared by the COSCA Rangers. About a dozen people won prizes in the give-away to thank the workers, including one lucky volunteer who won a Giant mountain bike. You can see more photos of the work in our gallery of trailwork photos. The trail crew leaders were COSCA rangers and volunteers from CORBA and the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council. These folks and the organizations they represent would like to give a hearty thanks and shout-out to all the volunteers who help keep the trails in great shape for all trail users!
In 1992, LA County voters approved the Safe Neighborhood Parks measure which has since provided approximately $54 million a year for more than 1500 projects including 33,000 acres of protected open space and 244 trail projects. The program funded a variety of significant park projects and over the years employed 25,000 youth in park programming.
This 1992 measure is about to expire and this November voters will have the chance to vote for Prop P, its replacement. If passed, Prop P will allocate funds across Los Angeles County for parks in disadvantaged communities, neighborhood parks, clean beaches and water, regional open space including trails, non-profit and public agency projects and park maintenance.
Los Angeles County has been a good partner for the mountain biking community. Their trails policy clearly states that County trails, wherever feasible, should be multiple use including bicycles. We applaud them for this policy, and are actively working with the County on several projects, including a bike park proposal.
CORBA urges our members and readers to become informed on Prop P, and consider the effects it will have on the trails and open spaces you ride, as well as future opportunities for parks and trails. Further information is available at: osd.lacounty.gov
In what seems to be lightning speed, last Friday, October 10, 2014, President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation – Establishment of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. The ceremony was held at Bonelli Regional Park, with the San Gabriel Mountains themselves providing a dramatic backdrop for the event. We understand proclamation delivers much of what we expected, with no unexpected surprises. We expect to be pleased by it’s language and intent, and still amazed at how quickly it all happened. Once the final proclamation is posted, we’ll update accordingly.
Though the last two months have seemed quick from our perspective, the effort to bring additional resources and protection to the San Gabriel Mountains has been underway for more than a decade. Since Hilda Solis introduced the legislation to study the San Gabriel Mountains and Watershed in 2002, the area has been the subject of highly organized and focused advocacy efforts from a diverse range of environmental and social groups. Today was a great milestone and achievement not just for those groups, but for all of us who value the forest, its resources, and the opportunities it provides.
We’re especially pleased to see the prominence of recreation in all the later announcements, and the implicit acknowledgement that bicycles and other recreational uses are welcomed and appropriate. We’d like to think it was no accident that the Whitehouse blog post about the signing features a mountain biker as the first picture. We understand the proclamation further protects the mountains, but also protects our access and ability to recreate in them. Its potential to bolster the quality and continuity of our water supply can’t be understated. These mountains are the lungs of the city, the place to go for cleaner air and a clearer mind and a healthier body. And they’ll continue to be so.
There are still many opposed to the National Monument proclamation. The public relations outreach effort was botched from the start, and felt like an afterthought to something that was already well underway. The movement’s momentum was evident even at that poorly executed initial public announcement on August 26, 2014. There had been no public involvement in the process, and that initial announcement was just that, an announcement, not a true public participation event. It was for that reason we thought it best to approach and work with the proponents of the NM, and help make sure that recreational users and conservationists were heard and considered.
By being involved and reaching out early on, engaging with San Gabriel Mountains Forever and their partners, we’re in a better position going forward. The ability to present a unified position from multiple organizations advocating for both recreation and conservation will help these treasured lands meet the needs of everyone. It will help protect where we play.
The previously posted National Monument FAQ’s were developed as a joint project with MWBA, SGMF and much appreciated guidance and expertise from IMBA and The Wilderness Society at the national level. Those FAQ’s all still apply, and we’ll work with those same groups when the management planning process begins. We’ll continue to represent bicyclists’ interests in an advisory role that will help guide the Monument’s management plan development. Read the rest of this entry »
As previously reported, CORBA has been working with several other groups to get assurances that our needs will be met when and if the San Gabriels are declared a National Monument. As we’ve received answers to many of those questions, the answers have been compiled into a set of frequently asked questions, or “FAQ’s” about the National Monument.
We’ve also seen correspondence from members of congress that support our position for continued bicycle access, along with all other forms of recreation currently allowed in the Angeles National Forest. We’re confident that under a National Monument, we’ll be able to continue riding the trails and volunteering to maintain them as we do now. This is a vision for the San Gabriel Mountains that we can support.
That said, we must say that our support is tentative, and conditional on the final language of the proclamation and its accompanying preamble reflecting these recreational goals and ideals. We have not yet seen that final language, nor received any direct confirmation of the contents of the proclamation. While verbal assurances are helpful, until it is finalized and in writing, we feel it’s too early to proclaim our outright support. We have co-authored a letter that outlines a vision of a National Monument that we can and will support. We’re hopeful that letter has been given due consideration.
Today the Los Angeles Times published an opinion piece that closely reflects our position. They support the designation, but do so with skepticism of the proponents’ claims that this will make all the trash, graffiti, and lack of maintenance go away. The only thing that will make these things go away is funding for the additional staff, rangers, education, law enforcement, and maintenance crews needed to manage the forest. While a National Monument greatly increases the opportunities for more funding and staff, it comes with no outright guarantee.
News has just been released that President Obama may declare the National Monument as soon as this Friday, two days from now. For us and many others, this is a far too hasty response. If the proclamation is as we have been led to expect–acknowledging the value and importance of continued recreational access including bicycles–then we should have no problem. But we fail to see the need to push this through less than two months after the public learned of this proposal, and six weeks after the one and only “public meeting” (in which the public were not able to speak). At that meeting, even members of the invited panel of speakers raised questions that as yet, remain unanswered.
Both San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties have come out against the Monument proposal, in part because of a lack of public outreach and answers as to how this will really impact their constituents.
We’d have prefered a slower approach with more public participation. There are many individuals and organizations adamantly opposed to the Monument. If allowed to voice their concerns and have them addressed and answered, some of that opposition would be reduced. As it is, this rushed process is just fueling their anger and outrage at a lack of public outreach. However, we remain hopeful and confident that any impending announcement will be favorable to mountain bikes.
The following FAQ’s are a summary of the questions and answers we’ve compiled in collaboration with IMBA, Mount Wilson Bicycling Association, San Gabriel Mountains Forever, The Wilderness Society, and the Conservation Land Trust.
With these questions answered, and the assurances from multiple sources (in lieu of the final proclamation language) of our continued access, we are giving our conditional support to the proposal.
Eight riders took part in the October 2014 Skills Clinic at Malibu Creek State Park on a sunny day that was forecast to get to 105 degrees. The temperature started off surprisingly cool, then climbed to a roasty warmth by the time we finished, but not close to 105. You can see the September photos in the October 2014 photo gallery.
The three major National Forests of the Southern Sierras are currently in the process of updating their Forest Management Plans. They are developing their plans under the guidelines of the new 2012 planning process. As they are among the first forests to do so, they are being referred to as “early-adopters” of the new planning process.
Part of the 2012 planning process requires the forests to evaluate areas of the forest they may be suitable for addition into the Wilderness Protection System. Currently, a large proportion of all three of these forests are designated Wilderness and are off-limits to bicycles. Many people heeding the environmentalists calls for wilderness at any cost, don’t realize that this greatly impacts recreational access. We are objecting to any new wilderness areas in these plans.
Another aspect of the plan calls for the designation of a Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail Corridor. The provisions prohibit any trail that allows bicycles or motorcycles to even CROSS the PCT, and gives the Pacific Crest Trail Association veto power over any trails that lie within that corridor, even if they are not the PCT. This is extremely troublesome, and may even be illegal.
As you may be aware, a group of people have been actively urging the forest service to review the order that closed the PCT to bicycles in 1988. The decision to close the PCT was never publicly reviewed, as required by the forest service own management guidelines and public law. Portions of this plan would circumvent that legally required public process, and making the ban on bicycles permanent. In the opinion of many, the current ban on bicycles was enacted in the same way a temporary order would be enacted, and is required to be reviewed regularly.
CORBA submitted the following comments on the plans, as this affects not only the PCT where it passes through the Sierras, but also has ramifications for our local portions of the PCT in the Angeles, San Bernardino and Cleveland National Forests. The comment period originally expired Monday, after only 30 days with a very poor public outreach effort. Comments are now being accepted an additional three days, ending tomorrow, October 3rd, 2014. Until then you still have a chance to submit comments here.
IMBA’s suggested talking points include:
- The plan should include a trail planning Objective that will allow for a purposefully designed trail system, including bicycles.
- Object to management that furthers the bicycle closure order on the Pacific Crest Trail.
- Object to the delegation of any inherently governmental decision making authority to the Pacific Crest Trail Association.
- Mountain bikers can be a huge asset to the PCT—we contribute 700,000 volunteer hours annually to trail stewardship.
For more information and suggestions on what to write in your comments, visit the following:
- CORBA’s Comments
- IMBA’s Suggested Talking Points
- PCT Reassessment Initiative Comments
- Forest Service Project Page