There were seven riders at the Basic Skills Clinic this month, a surprisingly small number given how beautiful it was in Malibu Creek State Park today. The clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month. You can see the photos in our October photo gallery.
Archive for the ‘Regions’ Category
The Los Angeles Bike Park Collective
Earlier this year CORBA joined the Los Angeles Bike Park Collective, a small and dedicated group of bike park advocates whose mission is to bring Bike Skills Parks to the mainstream. CORBA and the Collective are currently working with the City of Los Angeles to identify bike park opportunities in the San Fernando Valley at Sepulveda Basin, as well as a larger regional facility in the Castaic area with Los Angeles County. We have gathered over 2300 signatures on paper and online in general support of bike parks in the Greater Los Angeles area, and have close to 2000 followers on Facebook.
The Collective has produced two videos. The first demonstrates the need and rationale for bike skills parks in the greater Los Angeles area, and encouranges public support of our efforts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4jxi_ndCN8
The second video is entitled “What is a Bike Park?” and explains the features found in such facilities for those who might not fully understand what a bike park is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kbj87v_ZQMw
Bike Skills Parks in City of Glendale Plans
CORBA volunteers provided significant input on missing bikeway connections and new opportunities during the development of the City of Glendale Bicycle Transportation Plan in 2010-2012. The City Planning Commission reviewed and recommended approval of the plan in April 2012. This plan includes a recommendation for Bike Skills Park/Pump Track (Page 6-76, Programs and Promotions, Education element).
We also worked with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition to include a Bike Skills Park in the Glendale Safe and Healthy Streets Plan. A Bike Skills Park and novice mountain bike trails are included as item 3.1b, under “Encouragement,” as well as under item 2.1e under “Education.” CORBA’s then V.P. Steve Messer testified before City Council in support of the plan on April 11, 2011. I testified before City Council in support of the plan on April 19, 2011. Archived video of that testimony is available at https://youtu.be/YsKdN-oHFlw?t=1h7m25s
In January 2008 the City Council adopted the Glendale Trails Master Plan, for which CORBA provided significant input. Within the Trails Master Plan a Bike Skills Park is included for the San Rafael Hills.
The Trails Master Plan and Safe and Healthy Streets Plan both call for more beginner-friendly trails, to help lower the barrier to entry to outdoor recreation for Glendale residents.
On April 18 2011, I introduced a Bike Skills Park proposal to the Parks and Recreation Commission during public comment period. We also presented a petition of over 1000 signatures gathered in person and online (separate from the Collective’s current petition), in support of a Glendale Bike Park. Archived video of that presentation is available on Youtube . The direction given to staff at the time was to initiate a feasibility study for such a project. However, not long thereafter, staffing cutbacks put our efforts on hold.
A Bike Skills Park and/or Pump Track is therefore consistent with these three important City planning documents.
Current and Ongoing Bike Park Projects
Bike Skills Parks can no longer be considered “new” or unusual. Since 2011, the Bike Park landscape has changed significantly. CORBA was instrumental in getting a bike park facility planned, constructed and open to the public earlier this year in the City of Fillmore (Ventura County), and another approved in the park plan for the Sapwi Trails Regional Park in Thousand Oaks.
BIke Parks have recently opened in Lompoc, Tehachapi, Kernville, South Lake Tahoe and several other locations around the state. Orange County, San Diego County and Riverside County each have regional bike park facilities in the planning or construction stages. There are now over 30 such parks in California in various stages of development or operation.
To meet increasing demand, IMBA, our parent organization, has published a reference book specifically about Bike Parks. https://www.imba.com/news/pre-order-book There are now more than a dozen companies specializing in the planning, design and construction of bike skills parks.
Recently a pump track opened in Brooklyn, New York. This pump track was constructed of asphalt instead of dirt. This increases initial cost, but greatly enhances the longevity of the project and substantially reduces the maintenance needs of a comparable dirt pump track. It also allows for a broader user-base; asphalt pump tracks can be enjoyed by bicyclists, skateboarders, rollerbladers, and even mom’s pushing strollers over the undulations of the pump track. More information about the Brooklyn Pump Track is at http://www.pinkbike.com/news/velosolutions-asphalt-pump-track-new-york-city-2015.html
Given the current opportunities afforded by the influx of Development Impact Fee funds, we’d like to propose a small pump track facility in an existing park, or on a new parcel, in South Glendale. It may even be a temporary park on a future development lot. This could serve as a pilot project to gauge interest and demand for our larger skills park proposal for site A, between Mayor’s Bicentennial Park and the Sports Complex.
A small pump track facility does not need to be expensive. The Fillmore Bike Park was constructed by Bellfree Contractors, overseeing an army of volunteers. Prefabricated pump tracks are available in the $25k to $50k price range from companies such as Progressive Bike Ramps.
To summarize, we respectfully ask the City of Glendale to consider the following, all of which exist in previously City-approved plans:
- A small community pump track in Central or South Glendale.
- Improved trailhead facilities at Sunshine Drive/Las Flores Motorway
- A beginner-friendly trail (little or no net elevation gain) from Sunshine Drive/Las Flores to South Beaudry and/or Brand Library.
- Our larger regional bike park proposal for Site A.
Last night, September 17, 2015, LA County held the second in the series of planning meetings announced last month. Last night’s meeting was well-attended by mountain bikers, but also by local residents who are concerned about trails and fire roads through their properties at Tapia Canyon and other locations within the study area.
It was made clear at the meeting’s outset that the County trails policy is multi-use, and that nothing in this process takes away any property owners’ rights. Just because a trail is drawn somewhere on this plan doesn’t mean it will be constructed exactly where it is drawn, or that it will be constructed at all. It will guide the County’s planning efforts for future growth.
Disrespectful and illegal behavior by a small non-representative group of riders has tarnished the image of mountain bikers in the area, while at the other end of the spectrum the NICA SoCal League teams in the area have done an outstanding job of representing our sport responsibly.
About 50 people gathered around four tables packed with maps to point out where there are important existing trails, brainstorm on where they’d like to see new connections and access points, and what types of features they’d like to see at a bike skills park. Property owners pointed out where their properties are on the map, and expressed valid concerns about trails that pass through their properties.
Some important issues came up, such as the preservation of iconic and unique trails in the Tapia Canyon area, access to Forest Service and Tapia Canyon blocked by the Tesoro development, and potential impacts of the Hidden Ranch at Tapia Canyon Development. It is these and other development proposals that have prompted the County to take on this important planning task. There are more people coming to the Castaic area, more homes, more business, more kids on bikes and more demand for recreational trails.
For example, there’s strong demand for a regional-quality bike park facility at Grasshopper Canyon in the Castaic Lake State Recreation Area, as proposed by CORBA some time ago. We’d like to go big, including tot, beginner, intermediate and advanced pump tracks, progressive dirt jumps, a downhill flow trail, a permanent cyclocross/XC training and racing track, dual slalom tracks, four-cross course, progressive dirt jumps and skills areas. We’d also like to see smaller community pump tracks at easily-accessible locations through the area.
Among the other items being discussed were:
- A long-distance, multi-use trail around Castaic Lake including access to secluded bays and beaches.
- Trail connections from the Sports Complex to Castaic Lake SRA and to Charlie and Wayside canyons.
- Easier access to Tapia Canyon trails through the Tesoro development
- Continued access to Tapia via Wayside/Junkyard through the Hidden Ranch at Tapia development.
- Connections to Forest Service trails and fire roads
- Connections to Ventura County and Los Padres NF trails
- Preservation of iconic and unique Tapia trails such as Dog Tag, G-Out and others.
What else would you like to add? You can still let them know.
Make Your Comments Online at http://castaicmultiusetrails.org
The County understands that many people are unable to attend public meetings, or need more than just a meeting to consider their needs. An online Interactive Map allows members of the public to draw in where they’d like to see trails, bike park facilities or trailhead facilities such as parking, bathrooms and water fountains. This new planning tool also allows the public to upload gps tracks of existing trails. However, the interactivity goes both ways, once something is added to the map it becomes part of the public record that others can see an comment on. There are two more meetings scheduled, aimed at the hiking and equestrian communities respectively, though all meetings are open to all members of the public.
If trails and bike parks around Castaic and Santa Clarita Valley are important to you, visit http://castaicmultiusetrails.org to see what others are asking for and share your own thoughts with the County and planning consultants.
We have some ideas, and you might too. The City wants to hear from us on Saturday, September 26, 10 a.m. – noon at the Maple Park Community Center, 820 E. Maple Street, Glendale, 91205. A third meeting will take place at the Pacific Park Community Center on Saturday, October 3, 10 a.m. – noon.
In 2008, CORBA successfully lobbied the City of Glendale to include a Bicycle Skills Park and Bike-Only downhill trail in their Trail Master Plan. In 2012, CORBA and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition advocated for a bicycle skills park in their Safe and Healthy Streets Plan (within Chapter 3, Encouragement, and Chapter 2, Education components of that plan).
We started a Glendale Bike Park petition in 2011 that gathered over 500 signatures online and several hundred more on paper. That online petition is still live and available to be signed at: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/glendale_bike_skills_park/. This pre-dates our current Los Angeles Bike Park Collective Petition which has over 1800 signatures calling for bike parks in the greater Los Angeles area.
in 2011 CORBA’s then Vice President Steve Messer and former high school mountain biking Coach Mauricio Barba testified before the Glendale Parks Commission to propose a new bike park. Not long after, the great recession forced the City to cut back and put many programs on hold, including our Bike Park proposal.
Earlier, in 2007 CORBA gave significant input to the City of Glendale Trail Master Plan. We proposed, and the City adopted plans for a number of new trails. Since the opening of the highly successful Catalina Verdugo trail, we believe the City is ready for a beginner-friendly multi-use singletrack trail connection from Brand Library to Las Flores Motorway and South Beaudry Motorway. Such a trail would connect these popular fire road routes and make much more interesting loop ride or hikes possible, at more beginner-friendly grades than existing fire roads.
The funds available to the City of Glendale are primarily allocated for the downtown and south Glendale areas, but there is an opportunity for some of those funds be allocated to projects that have a city-wide benefit. Come on out and ask Glendale for the Bike Skills Park, and new trails that will benefit the entire community, and/or a smaller Community Pump Track for South Glendale, or perhaps even the proposed Space 134 project, where you can currently vote for a “Bike Station.”
On a beautiful day for riding in Malibu Creek State Park, there were 8 at the free Basic Skills Clinic, which is always held the first Saturday of the month. When we started, there was almost nobody else in the park, this being the first day of the long Labor Day weekend. You can see the photos in our September photo gallery.
With proposed developments at Tapia Canyon and our pending proposal for a bike park at Castaic Lake State Recreation Area, there are some changes coming to trails and bike access in the Castaic Area. We’ve long known that the trails of Tapia Canyon, in particular, would be at risk once the developers move forward with their construction plans. We’ve had several meetings with the developers who seem willing to work with us to preserve some trails in the area.
In response to the public’s need for future planning, 5th District Supervisor Michael Antonovich has authorized the development of the Castaic Area Multi-Use Trail Plan. The County will survey existing trails, proposed developments, desired trail connections, and gauge future trail needs to support a growing population. This will be a similar process to the Santa Susana Mountains Trail Master Plan, a process in which we participated from April 2012 until it’s completion last year.
The first general public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 20th at 6:30 p.m., at the Los Angeles County Castaic Public Library, 27971 Sloan Canyon Road, Val Verde, CA 91384. This meeting will be followed by three user-group specific meetings for mountain bikers, equestrians, and hikers. Currently the mountain bikers’ meeting conflicts with Interbike, so we have asked if that can be rescheduled.
Last year CORBA submitted a comprehensive Bike Park proposal for the Grasshopper Canyon area of Castaic Lake State Recreation Area which we would like to see included in this planning process.
If you’re able to, come to this meeting and express your support for our bike park proposal, for preserving existing multi-use trails, and for creating new trail opportunities, such as the conceptual “Castaic Loop Trail.”
Read the County’s Fact Sheet for more details: Castaic Area Multi-Use Trails Plan Factsheet
Castaic Area Trail Master Plan General Meeting
When: Thursday, August 20th at 6:30 p.m.,
Castaic Area Trail Master Plan Mountain Bikers Meeting
When: Thursday, September 17th at 6:30 p.m.,
Today, August 11, 2015, CORBA and the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association (MWBA), submitted joint comments to the U.S. Forest Service on the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Plan and Land Management Plan Amendment’s “Need to Change” Analysis. Our comments are linked below.
As members of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Community Collaborative, we have also signed the consensus comments submitted by the Collaborative group, which we helped develop.
These are an important milestone in the development of a management plan for our new National Monument. The Presidential Proclamation directed the Forest Service to develop a management plan within three years. Most management plans take longer than that to develop, but the Forest Service’s approach to amend the current plan should allow them to complete the plan within the alotted time frame. We were pleased that the Forest Service extended the current comment period to allow for more thoughtful comments.
We were in general agreement with most of the findings of the “Need to Change” analysis, which stated specifically that the existing Forest Plan guidance on Recreation Management did not need to change. However, the Proclamation calls for the development of a Transportation Plan, which could impact recreational trail management. Accordingly, we commented on the need to develop a transportation plan for the entire Forest, both to improve recreational opportunities and to protect the resources of the Forest.
It is now up to the Forest Service to take into consideration all of the comments submitted, and their own analysis to develop a draft Environmental Assessment and Monument Management Plan. We expect that draft to be available for public review in spring, 2016.
Until that time, we’ll continue to work with the Forest Service on project-level issues including trail maintenance and restoration, in accordance with our existing partnership and volunteer agreements.
The decommissioned Puente Hills Landfill is preparing to become the newest addition to the Los Angeles County regional park system. The area has outlived it’s usefulness as a landfill, and is presently a blank canvas waiting for a public park to be developed. The proposed park is close to Chino Hillls, Turnbull Canyon and the Emerald Necklace, all areas popular for outdoor recreation, including cycling and mountain biking.
There are a there meetings scheduled:
Community Visioning Workshop, Monday, August 24, 2015, 6:30 – 8:30 and the Don Julian Elementary School, 13855 Don Julian Road, La Puente, 91746
Presentation of Alternative Park Concepts, Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 6:30 – 8:30, Hacienda Heights Community Center, 1234 Valencia Ave, Hacienda Heights, 91745
Final Draft Park Concept, Tuesday, November 3, 2015, 6:30 – 8:30, Wallen L. Andrews Elementary School, 1010 S Caraway Drive, Whittier, 90601.
We invite mountain bikers and CORBA members to attend one or more of these meetings. The more the County hears demands for Bike Park facilities in the Los Angeles, the more likely we will be to get one. Whatever park ideas people have can to be presented and discussed at the initial meetings or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information can be found at www.PuenteHillsLandfillPark.org.
Yesterday, July 10, 2015, President Obama used his powers under the Antiquities act to declare three new National Monuments. There were another three declared in February 2015, and a further monument in December. That’s seven new National Monuments since we were given the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument on October 10, 2014.
Clearly, this President has been on a roll when it comes to land protections. All of these new National Monuments will face the similar challenges of developing management plans that protect the resources of the monuments, but also allows for recreation and enjoyment of those resources. Each has their unique characteristics and each proclamation is written specifically for each monument.
Of the most recently-declared monuments, one has no real biking opportunities. The Waco Mammoth National Monument was owned and operated as an archaeological dig site by the City of Waco, Texas. Under the new monument, the city of Waco will transfer the 108 acre site to the Federal Government, via the National Park Service, who will now coordinate with the City and with Baylor University to continue archaeological research and protect the site.
The other two, Berryessa Snow National Monument in northern California, and the Basin Range National Monument in Nevada, both include trails and mountain biking opportunities on a mix of Forest Service and BLM lands. In both proclamations, recreation opportunities are considered. The Berryessa Snow proclamation reads “…motorized and mechanized vehicle use in the monument shall be allowed only on roads and trails designated for such use, consistent with the care and management of the objects identified above.”
In the Basin Range, more than 700,000 acres of Nevada desert and mountain terrain, there are many trails. The proclamation similarly states that “…motorized vehicle use shall be permitted only on roads existing as of the date of the proclamation. Non-motorized mechanized vehicle use shall be permitted only on roads and trails designated for their use, consistent with the care and management of the objects identified above. The Secretary shall prepare a transportation plan that designates the roads and trails where motorized or non-motorized mechanized vehicle use will be permitted.”
In both of the above examples, just as in our own San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, mountain bikes will be permitted only on roads and trails authorized for their use. One difference between the two, however, is that the Basin Range proclamation also explicitly prohibits the development of new motorized vehicle routes. No such restriction is placed on non-motorized trails used for mountain bikes or “mechanized” travel, but the development of a transportation plan is where the details will be hammered out.
Similarly, our San Gabriel Mountains National Monument allows existing uses on existing trails, but also calls for the development of a transportation plan that will include trails, roads, and their respective use designations. Mountain bikers in all these areas should be thankful for the elevated protections these special places have now been given, but should also remain engaged as active trail advocates, trail stewards, and partners in the development of the management plans and transportation plans that will govern our future access to and enjoyment of these special landscapes and the trails by which we experience them.