Keifer Leaves Lasting Legacy

CORBA Board of Directors member and Trail Crew Coordinator Hans Keifer has stepped down from his leadership positions, but his involvement with CORBA will not likely fade from memory any time soon, or ever for that matter. Whether it was his tireless work coordinating and leading trail work days on hundreds of miles of trails in the Angeles National Forest and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, or his calm and steady presence at board and public meetings, Hans has always remained focused on helping mountain bikers enjoy the open space trails by keeping them open and getting more miles dedicated to shared use.

In addition to his advocacy work during his seven years on the CORBA board, Hans’ leadership helped to expand CORBA’s Fat Tire Fest (FTF) into more than just a celebration of CORBA’s founding. Under his leadership from 2003-2005, FTF went from a “Birthday Bash” to a full-on regional event for the mountain bike community.

Hans’ involvement with trail work even led to a career change. In 2009 he became a professional trail building contractor when he purchased Bellfree Contractors, Inc., a respected company incorporated in 1987 and in business for more than 35 years. A well know trail constructed by Bellfree Contractors is the New Millennium Trail in Calabassas. Hans’ work can be seen literally all over the mountains; one of his crowning achievements as a volunteer was helping to build the Ken Burton Trail in the Angeles National Forest (ANF), as well as the many hundreds of hours spent repairing the trails in the ANF after the Station Fire. (Go here for a story on Hans’ work on the Ken Burton Trail.) “I get a great feeling of pride to ride or hike a trail that I had a part in building, repairing, or maintaining. I think everyone should experience that feeling,” says Hans.

Hans will be missed, but he will not be far from the action. Whether it’s riding with his local mountain bike club OTB, or serving as an advisor to CORBA’s Trail Crew activities, we’re sure the best place to look for him is on the trail.

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