We are very excited to announce the appointment of our newest Director, long-time racer and advocate Jennifer Klausner. Jen has served as Executive Director of Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), www.la-bike.org, since 2007, but (little known fact) her cycling roots are in the dirt. She explains it this way: “Riding mountain bikes, especially on my local trails, has deep personal meaning for me. I am a participant or fan of every cycling discipline, but there is something I get from riding dirt that does not come from all those asphalt and social ride miles; it’s soul-riding, and truly, the reason I’ve carved out a career in advocating for cyclists. I am excited to apply my non-profit and administrative experience to CORBA’s effort to protect and develop public access to open spaces.” If you can’t find her out climbing Sullivan Ridge, Jen can always be reached at email@example.com.
Archive for the ‘CORBA News’ Category
Newly appointed Superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) David Szymanski, along with several National Park Service and State Park representatives, will be available for a question and answer session this January 26 from 2:00-4:00pm at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills.
Presented by CORBA, this will be an opportunity to ask questions directly and discuss such issues as the future of the SMMNRA, improving user safety and minimizing conflicts, and creating a backcountry community through stewardship. This is a unique opportunity to meet our top land management representatives one-on-one and get a better sense of what the SMMNRA is going to look like in the next 10-15 years, especially on the brink of the final phases of the new Trail Management Plan.
It is important to have a strong showing from the mountain bike community to show our interest and commitment to working with land managers in the SMMNRA.
By Mark Langton
No, that’s not a typo. What we did in 2012 is what we did in 2002, and 1992. Of course, it is usually at this time of year where we talk about “things we did” in the past year. I can point to the thousands of hours of volunteer work that has included trail building, maintenance, and repair on many miles of trails; free mountain bike skills classes for hundreds of local mountain bikers; Youth Adventures and Kids Club rides which exposed kids to the wonders of our mountains from the saddle of a mountain bike; and thousands of hours of advocacy efforts working with land managers, attending public meetings, and analyzing and commenting on environmental and administrative documents to help keep trails open and increase shared use opportunities. But numbers are only part of the story.
So much of what we did and continue to do is behind the scenes. For example, our quarterly meetings with National Park Service and California State Parks land managers maintain a vital and vibrant link between the agencies and the mountain bike community. So when I hear someone say something to the effect of “what has CORBA done lately?” or “CORBA really hasn’t done anything”, I simply smile and say, what we did “lately” was create CORBA 25 years ago. And what what we have accomplished is to have literally kept trails open to mountain biking and opened up many more that probably would not have been designated for bicycles.
Back in 1987 there were powerful opponents to bicycles being on trails, and the land managers were not prepared for this “new” activity on their open space trails. Land managers were hesitant to create wholesale change, and in fact at the meeting that served as the flashpoint for CORBA’s founding, land managers voted to adopt a closed-to-bikes policy while vowing to work with the mountain bike group to see if bicycles could be integrated into the trail system. Seeing how there really wasn’t an organized group, those in attendance passed around a note pad, gathered names and numbers, and CORBA was born. Had CORBA not been formed immediately after that meeting, it is very likely that most of the narrower trails in the Santa Monica Mountains and surrounding areas would be off-limits to bicycles, because there would not have been anyone to stand up to the opponents. Through the consistent efforts of so many through the years, we are now seen as partners in the backcountry community rather than outsiders. This did not happen overnight. And now 25 years later we are still having to argue the legitimacy of bicycles on trails. Not because they cause damage, but because there are still people who think that it’s okay to speed by other users without slowing down. It’s the biggest problem the mountain bike community faces, and it is totally fixable. Just slow down to the speed of others when passing, and before blind corners. Try it. You’ll like it!
Sorry if it sounds like I’m being preachy here. I just love the activity of riding bicycles on trails too much to not at least try to spread the word of responsible riding. I know that a lot of mountain bikers are not prone to joining groups or even thinking they should obey the rules. But sometimes we need to think about the consequences of our actions and remember that what we do often reflects on others. Whether it’s family, church, work, friends, or a combination, our actions often say more about us than anything else. When it comes to our open space trails, we’re all out there for the same reason; to enjoy nature. When cyclists go too fast or act disrespectfully of others, that’s what people remember. All I’m asking is that you try slowing down around others and tell me how it affected your overall experience. We are continually telling the land managers that if we work together, we can coexist. They are listening, now it’s up to us to come through on the promise.
Saturday’s Ride and Mingle was a great success, with plenty of good-natured conversation, some brief but important PSA’s about trail etiquette, great riding to incredible vista points, and a bunch of happy prize winners. Plus the perfect weather and remarkably clear views made the day extra special. Thanks everyone who came out to allow us to thank you for your support of CORBA.
Photos of the event and riders can be viewed at our RAM photo gallery.
This month the big story is the Ride and Mingle coming up this weekend in Topanga State Park. It was originally scheduled for last month but we had to reschedule because of poor weather. Check out our December eTT edition!
Let’s try this again! We got rained out on November 17, so the Ride And Mingle will take place on December 15, same time (10am), same place (Topanga State Park, The Hub Junction). Come join us and your knobby-wearin’ brothers and sisters to celebrate CORBA’s 25 years of mountain bike and open space trails advocacy. We need as many people there as possible for a group shot to show the trail user community that mountain bikers can and do coexist on the trails. There will be cash prize opportunity drawings. Click here for details!
We have an unusually large number of articles this month, about the upcoming RAM ride, our new Meetup group, trail closures, the fabulous! Girlz Gone Riding event from last weekend, trailwork reports, and more! Check out our November eTT edition!
CORBA has started using the facilities of Meetup.com to manage and publicize our events. You can get to our Meetup group at http://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/. We plan to use this Meetup group for events like recreational rides, trailwork days and fundraisers. Currently we are not planning to use it for the monthly free basic skills clinic.
The first Meetup has already been added for the Ride and Mingle event on November 17th at Topanga State Park.
Group members (people who have joined CORBA’s Meetup group) will enjoy these capabilities:
- Recieve email notices of upcoming events
- See all your friends who have already RSVP’d (registered) for an event
- Once you have RSVP’d for an event, you’ll recieve an email reminder of the event a day or two beforehand
- You can change your RSVP at any time before the event starts
- You can make comments and ask questions about the event
- You can receive email copies of questions and comments on events you’ve shown an interest in (RSVP’d for or made a comment on)
- When an event is finished, you can make comments on how much you enjoyed the event (hopefully a lot!) and you can upload your photos to share with other participants
- You can make comments on your photos and those of others, and reply to others’ comments
Of course this is all free!
In order to join our Meetup group, go to http://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/ and click on the “Join Us” button. Fill out the requested information (it’s very short) and click on the “Submit” button at the bottom. If you are already a Meetup member for another group, make sure you’re logged in first so Meetup knows who you are.
Once you’ve joined us on Meetup, you won’t miss hearing about any of our fantastic activities!
At CORBA’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, City of Calabasas Mayor Mary Sue Maurer presented CORBA with a resolution of “Appreciation and congratulations” for 25 years of outstanding service to the mountain biking community, and to trails within the City of Calabasas.
We thank the City Council and especially Mayor Maurer for her longstanding support of CORBA’s efforts.
The proclamation reads:
“Whereas, the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA) is an all-volunteer non-profit organization serving the mountain bicycling community of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas, including Southern Ventura County; and
Whereas, CORBA has a passion for mountain biking and is dedicated to preserving open space, maintaining public access to public lands, and creating more trail opportunities for all to enjoy now and for many generations to come; and
Whereas, CORBA’s notable achievements include repair and maintenance of the New Millenium trail, located in Calabasas, over the last few years; and
Whereas, CORBA’s biggest accomplishments, within these past 25 years, are their all-volunteer programs, to include Mountain Bike Unit, Trail Building and Maintenance, Youth Adventures, Mountain Bike Skills Classes and Advocacy.
Now, therefore, be it resolved that the City Council of the City of Calabasas hereby extends appreciation and congratulations to CORBA on their 25th Anniversary with wishes for many more successes on future endeavors.
CORBA’s 25th anniversary jerseys are now available at the CORBA store! Celebrating 25 years of CORBA’s mountain biking and trails advocacy, these attractive forest green and gold jerseys are availble in BMX and club cut. Also, the 25-year anniversary socks have arrived. To round out your wardrobe of support for CORBA, we still have some 25-year T-shirts available. So go to the online CORBA store, order some new duds and show your friends you care about the future of mountain biking!