Archive for the ‘Regions’ Category

February Skills Clinic photos posted February 5

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

There was a surprisingly large group at February’s Skills Clinic considering that it was raining in Newbury Park when I left to take photos of the event. However, it was clearing and dry when I arrived at the Basic Skills Clinic at Malibu Creek State Park. 17 people took part, including about a half dozen new MBU recruits. The sun came and went, but we didn’t have any more rain. Nevertheless, the trails were too muddy to ride so we skipped the ride across the creek, even though it would have been thrilling with water in the stream after so many years of just dry rocks.

The clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month. You can see the photos in our February photo gallery.

2016: A Busy, Productive Year

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

2016 is behind us, and what a year it was for CORBA and mountain bikers! We were extremely busy last year, cutting trails, cutting trees, and working on behalf of the mountain bike community to ensure continued and improved access to mountain biking in the greater Los Angeles and Eastern Ventura County areas.

Jim Burton cuts the ceremonial ribbon, as Steve Messer, Matt Lay and Jenny Johnson of MWBA, and Ken's daughters Heather and Tania look on.

Opening of Ken Burton Trail

In 2016, the Gabrielino Trail Restoration project, with REI, Bellfree Contractors, and Los Angeles Conservation Corps, was completed.  Ken Burton Trail restoration with MWBA was completed, opening the Ken Burton trail and a popular loop after seven years of closure, thousands of volunteer hours, and nearly three years of planning.

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Have you thought about joining the “Yellow Jerseys” in the parks…?

Friday, December 30th, 2016

The National Park Service, California Department of Parks & Recreation, and Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority

MOUNTAIN BIKE UNIT (MBU) 
www.mountainbikeunit.com

The Mountain Bike Unit, sponsored by the National (NPS) and State (CDPR) Park Services and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), is looking for mountain bikers who might be interested in joining the unit.

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 thousand acres of public parkland in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Orientation Day will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2017, 9:00AM at the King Gillette Ranch Auditorium. Orientation Day is an indoor meeting to learn more about patrolling with the MBU and is an opportunity for you to ask questions.  Bring your bike and helmet, and if the weather is good, we’ll go on an optional fun ride after the presentation. There is no commitment to join the MBU if you attend Orientation Day.

All degrees of riding experience are welcome!

Patrol areas include National Park Service locations (Cheeseboro/ Palo Comado and Zuma/Trancas Canyons, Rancho Sierra Vista, and Circle X Ranch) and State Park locations (Malibu Creek, Will Rogers, Point Mugu, and Topanga). In addition, we patrol MRCA areas near metropolitan Los Angeles.

You patrol with an MBU partner, self-scheduled on the MBU website. Eight hours per month average is what we ask. 

Other activities in which the MBU participates include the Youth Adventures Program which offers disadvantaged youth an opportunity to enjoy mountain bike experiences in the parks, plus assisting in such events as Wheels to the Sea, the Los Angeles Marathon, and the Ventura County Fair.

Still have questions?

For more information and to be added to our mailing list, contact our Contact Administrator on the MBU website.

CORBA RAM Ride & Pancake Breakfast CANCELLED Again; Will be Rescheduled

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Due to muddy conditions in Pt. Mugu State Park (Sycamore Canyon), the RAM Ride for Jan 15th has been cancelled. It will be rescheduled.

Ignore the following text, it’s just there for historical perspective…

Come join CORBA & Michael’s Bicycles for the rescheduled RAM (ride & mingle) Ride and pancake breakfast! Meet at the Wendy/Potrero trail head in Newbury Park RTR at 9am. We will ride over to the TEE PEE for a big group photo, then split up into groups. Guided, no drop rides will be offered for beginners, intermediate’s and advanced riders!

Directions to trail head: Take the 101 Freeway to the Wendy exit in Newbury Park. At the end of the off-ramp proceed south on Wendy until it dead-ends at Potrero Road. Park in the adjacent dirt parking area.

Rain cancels the ride and if we get 1/2 an inch or more the night before, we will need to cancel it as well. Sycamore does not hold up well in the rain. You can email Wendy Engelberg for info: wendy@girlzgoneriding.com.

Then we will see you at Michael’s Bicycles in Newbury Park at 12:30pm for a pancake breakfast! A $10 donation to CORBA is suggested. Check out Michael’s Bicycles at Michael’s Bicycles:

MICHAEL’S BICYCLES

(805) 498-6633

2257 Michael Dr.

Newbury Park, CA 91320

We look forward to riding, mingling and eating pancakes with everyone!

Staff from Giant Bikes and Amgen repair CORBA’s adopted trail

Monday, December 12th, 2016
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Volunteers hike up the Dragonback hills to get to the work area.

Workers from two companies with headquarters in Newbury Park took Friday morning December 9th off from work to help repair the Los Robles Trail West as part of their company’s community outreach programs. We expected 30 volunteers from Giant Bicycles and Amgen but at least 37 showed up, supervised by three COSCA rangers and one of CORBA’s trail crew leaders. Because of the large turnout, we got the work done in record time.

The work area started at the top of the most eastward Dragonback hill, almost a mile from the Felton St. trailhead, and continued for 0.4 miles towards the picnic table at Angel Vista. Work consisted of treadwork: digging out stumps, filling ruts, adding or repairing drainages, resloping and raking loose rocks off the trail.

A few days earlier, the CREW had cleared out overgrowing brush so we didn’t have to worry about that.

One huge rut on the most eastward Dragonback hill was filled and the trail leveled, however it was still loose because the dirt was so dry. To address that, the rangers came back a few days later with 30 gallons of water, hauled on a power wheelbarrow, and soaked the loose dirt to pack it down.

Overall, everyone did a fantastic job and this section of the trail that has been neglected for years is in much better shape and should be able to withstand the winter rainstorms without damage!

You can see before and after trail conditions, and the folks doing the work, in this Giant/Amgen volunteers photo gallery.

December Skills Clinic photos posted December 5

Monday, December 5th, 2016

There were only a few participants for the last chance for the year to take part in the Basic Skills Clinic at Malibu Creek State Park. This month neither Steve nor the primary backup photographer Graham were available, so Ezra did double duty as both Mark’s assistant and photographer. The clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month. You can see the photos in our December photo gallery.

November Skills Clinic photos posted November 5

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

It was a perfect day in Malibu Creek State Park for the Basic Skills Clinic. This month there were 10 participants. The clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month. You can see the photos in our November photo gallery.

San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Comments

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016
San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Community Collaborative

The Community Collaborative hands comments to the Forest Service

Last Thursday, October 27, 2016, the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Community Collaborative group (Collaborative) finalized their consensus comments on the SGMNM Management Plan. The process was helped immensely by the extension of the public comment period through to today, November 1st.

The Collaborative took a long, hard look at the draft Management Plan, and felt that it fell short of accomplishing everything desired by the community, and mandated by the Presidential Proclamation.  I served on the Monument and Transportation Plan Coordinating Committee, tasked with developing comments for the entire Collaborative to review and approve. We broke down the management plan, and assigned sections to those with expertise and interest in the section topics.  I helped write the Sustainable Recreation section with the Sierra Club representative, while the Heritage Resources section was initially drafted by an archaeologist. Over the course of two months, numerous conference calls, and four Collaborative meetings, the comments were developed and modified into a document that all members could support.

The Collaborative’s strength comes from the diversity of its membership. When the Collaborative was convened, effort was made to bring in diverse and sometimes opposing viewpoints, including some who did not initially support the Monument. Over the course of nearly two years, Collaborative members have become much more aware of and sensitive to the issues and viewpoints of other members. It’s been a slow process of building trust, and coming up with compromises that support the greater vision for the Monument.  The member list is available on the National Forest Foundation’s SGM Community Collaborative page, along with all our meeting records and documents.

The Collaborative code of conduct prohibits any Collaborative member from submitting individual or organization comments that are contradictory to those of the Collaborative.  CORBA’s comments supplement the Collaborative comments, addressing a few issues not addressed by the Collaborative. Both are posted here for review.

Nothing in the Management plan directly affects mountain bike access to existing trails. Much of the draft plan and the Collaborative comments concern social and environmental justice, transportation, and heavily impacted areas of the Monument.

The Forest Service expects to release a Final Management Plan next spring, as they read through and respond to all the public comments received. That will be followed by an objection period, then a final Record of Decision.  The Presidential Proclamation mandates the completion of the plan by October 10, 2017, the third anniversary of the establishment of the Monument.

The Collaborative’s Comments

CORBA and MWBA Comments

 

Vote for the Backbone Trail

Monday, October 31st, 2016

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Our friends at the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council are in the running for a considerable donation towards maintenance of the Backbone Trail. Anheuser-Busch is giving away up to $200,000 for trail maintenance around the country through the Michelob Ultra Go The Extra Mile Fund.

Here’s the catch: the public decides how much of that pie each nominated trail will receive. Twelve trails have been nominated, including the recently completed Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains. The funds will be divided between the twelve nominated trails, based on the percentage of votes each trail receives.

Votes must be cast by November 30th, and you must be at least 21 years of age to visit the site and vote.  Every vote makes a difference!

Vote now for the Backbone Trail!

 

 

Castaic Trails and Puente Hills Park Plans Approved

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016
Park and Rec Staff give their report

Park and Rec Staff give their report

October 25, 2016 was a great day for trails, open space and bike parks in Los Angeles County.  Some time ago, we learned that the Puente Hills Landfill Park Master Plan would be on today’s County Board of Supervisors agenda.  Last week, we were notified that the Castaic Multiuse Trail Master Plan would be on the same agenda.

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Kevin from SCV Trail Users speaks to support the Castaic plan.

Both these plans include Bike Skills Parks, as proposed by CORBA to the County in 2011.  It’s been a long process with much input from local residents, trail users, mountain bikers and environmental and social justice organizations. With these bike skills parks appearing on their respective master plans, which will be incorporated into the County General Plan, we have confirmed a future Los Angeles that will include bike skills parks.

The Puente Hills plan includes two bike skills area, one in Phase One, and a second in Phase two. The Castaic plan identifies three potential bike skills park sites. The plans do not include specific bike park designs. These designs will take some time, and much community involvement. The onus will be on us, the mountain biking community, to follow through and remain engaged in the design process, and ultimately, to help raise funds and build these facilities.

These planning documents are intended to guide long-term development over multiple decades, as funding and other opportunities become available. Fully realized, they will provide many miles of multi-use trails, trailhead staging areas, and other amenities. The Puente Hills plan includes multiple recreational amenities, including public performance spaces, a zip line, bike skills park, dog park, and balances that with habitat restoration and native landscaping. There is something for everyone.

Four of us spoke in favor of the Castaic plan, including CORBA, the SoCal High School Cycling League and SCV Trail Users, while one local resident expressed concerns that a proposed trail in the plan traverses her property. Supvervisor Antonovich asked the park planning staff how the plan addresses and protects private property rights and received assurances that easements or property acquisitions will only take place from willing sellers.

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Over 30 people came to speak on the Puente Hills plan, rallied by our friends at Bike SGV, the San Gabriel Mountains Forever coalition, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and CORBA.  It was obvious to the County that there is tremendous community support for the plan, so it wasn’t necessary for all 30 to speak. Wes Reutman from Bike SGV, spoke on behalf of the group.  Support also came from the Wilderness Society and the Trust for Public Land.

We want to express our sincere thanks to both the County Department of Parks and Recreation, and the County Supervisors for supporting the development of these plans.  We also extend our appreciation to Alta Planning for their great work on engaging the Santa Clarita Valley community in the development of the Castaic Plan, and Withers & Sandgren Landscape Architecture firm who were enlisted as the prime consultant on the Puente Hills plan. Both the Castaic and Puente Hills planning processes typified the type of extensive community outreach and engagement that are necessary to develop viable community-driven plans that reflect the desires and address the concerns of the community and trail and park users.

Of special note is the long-standing support for trails and open spaces exhibited by Supervisor Antonovich, who will term out at the end of this year. His legacy includes the Santa Susana Trails Master Plan, and the Castaic Multiuse Trail Master Plan. As an equestrian and a champion of multi-use trails, Supervisor Antonovich has arguable had a greater impact on trails in Los Angeles County than any other single elected official in the area. In fact, 30 years ago, I served as assistant race director of the Olive View Challenge, a running, cycling, mountain biking and BMX event raising funds for Olive View hospital. Supervisor Antonovich was an ardent supporter of our nacent mountain biking race then (the first ever sanctioned mountain bike race on County and National Forest lands). He’s been a champion of trails since, and throughout his career in County government.

While a great step forward, there is still a lot of work to be done before we’ll be shaping dirt into pump tracks, jumps, and skills features at either Castaic or Puente Hills. We hope to begin the design phase for Castaic as early as next year. Puente Hills needs a few more years for the landfill to settle, and phase one will likely begin in late 2017 through 2019.