Getting in The Holiday Spirit: Giving back to trails

Building a berm on a trailside bike feature

This past weekend the holidays seemed to come into full swing, and there was a lot of giving. On Saturday morning, members of our Sapwi Bike park committee gave their time building the first trailside feature at Sapwi Bike Park. Contractors have cleared and graded the bike park area, and the final bike park plan from FlowRide Concepts is close to completion. Lots of people have given to our IMBA Dig In campaign now standing at $1900, in addition to the generous grant of $15,000 from REI. We need to raise close to $100,000 so there’s a long way to go. Keep the donations coming!

Also on Saturday, former CORBA Chair and current volunteer Mark Langton was conducting our monthly Free Basic Mountain Bike Skills Clinic. Mark has been teaching new mountain bikers the basics of bike handling, safety and etiquette for more than 20 years. Eight riders attended the last skills clinic of the year.

 

 

Ready to represent in Montrose

On Saturday evening, CORBA President Steve Messer and volunteers Mike and Robin McGuire participated in the Montrose Christmas Parade, representing the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, as well as mountain bikers and volunteers on the forest. Riding along with Smokey Bear and forest firefighting crews is always a hit. Everybody loves Smokey! It was also fantastic to see local High School mountain bike team riders from Clark in the parade!  Here’s some video from the 39th Annual parade. (This year’s will be posted soon.)

The holiday spirit continued into Sunday. Over the past few months, CORBA has received a number of gifts in the form of bicycle donations for our Youth Adventures (YA) program. This wonderful program has been in operation since early in CORBA’s 30 year history. YA has given thousands of kids from underserved, at-risk, and urban populations a chance to experience their public lands on a bicycle. Connecting these kids to their public lands through a fun-filled interpretive mountain bike ride is an important component of CORBA’s mission. The program is administered by the Mountain Bike Unit on behalf of CORBA. Trips for Kids have a similar model and have built it into a nationwide movement. We’re thankful to the MBU for all they do for the program.

Some of the CORBA’s YA mountain bike fleet are in need of upgrading or replacement.  During and before this holiday season we’ve received several gifts/donations of mountain bikes and bike parts. Those older but functional bikes gathering dust in your garage could help us get #MoreKidsOnBikes, and we gladly accept donations of bicycles or related parts.

Some of the recently donated bikes

On Sunday CORBA’s storage unit received some TLC and reorganization to make room for these additional donated bikes.

 

Mike works on downed trees along the Gabrielino Sunday

Also on Sunday, a CORBA/MWBA chainsaw crew continued giving back to our trails. They are doing preparation work for the upcoming Gabrielino Trail restoration project. Our partnership with the Mount Wilson Biycling Association and the Forest Service is another we hold dearly and celebrate.

COSF Holiday Party

Sunday evening, December 3, the entire CORBA Board were busy at holiday events. Steve Messer, Peter Sullivan and several of our Sapwi Bike Park Committee members attended the Conejo Open Space Foundation (COSF) holiday party. Many of our friends from COSTAC, the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council and other groups were also there. There was much to celebrate, with new trail construction projects announced, recent groundbreaking on Sapwi Trails Community Park. and CORBA’s Sapwi Bike Park moving forward. Our partnership with COSF and the Conejo Recreation and Park District is mutually beneficiel, and helps all trail users in the area. We value these partnerships and are happy to celebrate with them.

Steve and Joyce present MBU’s Stacey with a donation

Later that evening Steve Messer rushed over to the Mountain Bike Unit holiday party, where board members Joyce Higgins and Wendy Engelberg were already present. With the wonderful MBU patrollers enjoying some off-trail holiday celebration and a great raffle, Steve Messer presented the MBU with a CORBA donation of $500 towards equipment and uniforms to outfit new MBU recruits in the coming year.

We greatly value the work of the MBU, who not only help all trail users in the Santa Monica Mountains but serve as great ambassadors for the mountain biking community. The MBU started as a CORBA program almost 3 decades ago and continues to be a model for mountain bike patrols around the country.

To all of CORBA’s members, supporters, friends and constituents, we wish you a fantastic, happy and fun-filled holiday season and a Merry Christmas. We hope that all of you are able to get in a good ride on your favorite trails over the holidays!

 

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