MBU Training for 2011 Starts February 5

From Julian Serles of the Mountain Bike Unit

Calling all mountain bikers age 18 and over! The Mountain Bike Unit (MBU) is currently recruiting for its 2011 New Recruit Training Class. If you enjoy mountain biking and are interested in giving back to the community by volunteering some time to assist our understaffed Park Rangers in patrolling the parks, then the MBU may be just what you are looking for.  The MBU supports and are sponsored by the National Park Service (NPS), California State Parks (CSP), and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA).

Here’s what it’s all about. The MBU assists in providing park visitors with a quality outdoor experience and preserving natural resources while patrolling over 60,000 acres of public parkland in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Beginning in February 2011, training will include visitor contact skills, State and National park radio use, park rules and regulations, first aid and CPR training, and field training exercises.

Patrol areas and opportunities include the following:

-National Park Service parks:  Cheeseboro/Palo Comado, Zuma/Trancas Canyons, Rancho Sierra Vista, and Circle X Ranch
-California State Park locations: Malibu Creek, Will Rogers, Point Mugu, and Topanga
-We also patrol MRCA areas near metropolitan Los Angeles, such as Franklin Canyon and Upper Las Virgines Open Space Preserve
-In addition, we volunteer to patrol and support other events such as the LA and Malibu Marathons, Wheels to the Sea, the Ventura County Fair, and CORBA’s Fat Tire Festival
-The MBU also helps support CORBA’s Youth Adventure Program, which offers disadvantaged youth the opportunity to enjoy the mountain biking experience in our beautiful parks

All MBU patrols require at least two patrollers.  All rides are self scheduled on our website. We ask each of our volunteers for 100 patrol hours annually (roughly two four-hour patrols per month).

Would you like to learn more? We invite you to come to King Gillette Ranch Auditorium at 9:00 am on Saturday, February 05, 2011 for an indoor orientation meeting where we will share with you more details about this wonderful program and what patrolling with the MBU is all about. We encourage you to bring your bike and helmet because we plan to take potential recruits on a ride-along (sorted by ability) after the presentation, weather permitting. Visit the MBU training web page for more details, or to contact the MBU via e-mail (admin@mountainbikeunit.com). To see the MBU in action, view our gallery of MBU photos.

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