Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Why? Good Question!

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013


By Mark Langton

It was recently brought to our attention that newly elected president of Equestrian Trails, Inc. (ETI) Robert Foster, a retired law enforcement officer, donates his time as an emergency medical technician at So Cal High School Mountain Bike Racing League races. Mr. Foster is a staunch supporter of the league, and in his president’s message in ETI’s most recent newsletter he stated that it’s a new era in our public open space trail systems, and mountain bikers are part of the trail user community so we all should try to figure out ways to get along.

Now I’ve been doing this advocacy thing for over 25 years, and I’ve experienced a lot of encouraging progress in the areas of shared use, especially when it comes to opening more trails to bicycle use. To hear the president of an organization that has historically had some of its members rally against mountain bikes say that we need to get along is truly groundbreaking. But things like this come fewer and more far between than I’d like, and during these 25 years I have often asked myself “why am I doing this?” The answer is always “because it’s the right thing to do.” This might sound insane (insanity once being defined by Albert Einstein as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results), and in many ways this might be true. But then something like Robert Foster’s reasonable position comes along and I think to myself, maybe we have been doing the right thing after all.

Over the years we have heard many reasons people feel mountain bikes don’t mix on shared use trails, but only one is valid; people riding their bikes too fast at the wrong time and place (around other trail users) is just not a pleasant experience for the people being passed at an inappropriate speed. As I’ve said many times before, we all have within our power the ability to solve this issue: slow down. In other words, use caution when around others. Let me put it another way; your actions represent the entire mountain bike community. The smile you create through a pleasant trail encounter goes a long way.

Be The Solution

Monday, December 10th, 2012

By Mark Langton

I agree with hikers. I agree that when a mountain biker goes by me too close and too fast, it’s scary and unsettling. And they don’t have to be going fast, just too fast for the conditions. If a mountain biker goes by me at 15 mph on a fire road, no problem. If a mountain biker goes by me at 15 mph on a singletrack trail less than six inches from me, then I have a bit of a problem.

I agree with hikers right up to the point when they say all mountain bikers should be banned from trails because some of them go too fast around other users. You can’t tell me I’m banned from the trails because of someone else’s irresponsible behavior.

I believe there’s nothing wrong with going fast, as long as it’s being done safely (and within reason). If mountain bikers go so fast as to create a danger to themselves–such as crashing and having to utilize tax payer money to get medical treatment and evacuation from the backcountry–then people could point at the mountain bike community as creating an undue burden on the resource management agency. But as we’ve seen, crashes of this nature are relatively few. But the agency still takes notice when there’s an increase.

I know there are those out there, myself included, who are angry at the people who disregard common sense and speed past others with no regard for common courtesy. They’ve replied many times to our blog posts. They are angry because they know that the people who are acting irresponsibly know they are doing it, but continue to do it anyway in spite of the fact they are giving the mountain biking community a bad name; when all they have to do is very simple. Be The Solution. Just slow down around others.

As an experiment today I stopped in the middle of a singletrack trail as a rider approached me coming downhill. Although he had plenty of room to see me, he ran into me, and nearly flew over the handlebar. He was apologetic, and the conversation we had was enlightening; because he was used to others getting out of his way, he just assumed I would, too.  I recounted an instance when I was riding along a trail and I came upon a hiker with her head down, and as I slowed to a stop she looked up, startled, and nearly fell over backward. Had I assumed she heard me and was going to get out of my way, I probably would have run into her.

It’s never going to be completely safe on the trails. There are always going to be accidents, but by slowing down around others (and maybe even slowing down for blind corners), we might be able to avoid a lot of very avoidable ones.





Resolve to Solve in 2013

Monday, December 10th, 2012

How many of you have New Year’s Resolutions that you are hoping to keep? There is one you can make and keep, guaranteed. It will help you, the mountain bike community, and the trail community at large. Ready? Slow down when passing others!

How many things in life can you do that actually solve a problem? On our trails, the one justifiable complaint about mountain bikers is that they sometimes go too fast when passing others, which can be scary and upsetting,even to other cyclists. So all you have to do is slow down when passing, and you SOLVE THE PROBLEM!

Slowing down while passing others on our shared-use trails is a pure win-win proposition. The people who you pass feel good about mountain bikers. WIN! You feel good because you didn’t scare anyone, and everyone has a pleasant exchange. WIN!

Here’s a suggestion: Treat others you are passing on the trail as if you are holding the door open for them. That brief pause is a show of consideration, courtesy, and humanity that will come back to you and the mountain bike community in many positive ways.

It’s up to you. Would you rather finish your ride knowing you did something positive for mountain bikers and trails users, or that you made it worse for yourself and the mountain bike community? You CAN make a difference. And all it takes is slowing down when passing other users!


CORBA’s State Parks Change in Use PEIR Comments

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

CORBA has submitted comments on California State Parks Change In Use Programmatic Environmental Impact Report. Our comments are included below.

Currently, the Yearling trail has been approved for a change in use, pending the implementation of “Project Specific Requirements” which include a re-route and other trail modifications, for which the State does not presently have the resources to complete. Recently Bill’s Trail in Marin was also approved for multi-use, after more than a five-year process. Our comments reflect our desire to see the process streamlined and sped up.

While this is a step forward for gaining access to trails for bicycles in California State Parks, we see the process as overly burdensome and resource intensive. Given the State’s track record of meeting its stated goals and completing tasks, we have to question whether this additional process will slow down or speed up the process of opening trails to bicycles. However, the PEIR does in fact include some important documentation and acknowledgements of the legitimacy and appropriateness of allowing bicycles on trails, though it risks homogenizing State Parks trails to a “standard” that we feel will reduce the diversity of trail experiences for bicyclists. We’ll be reporting on the Change in Use process as the final version is released.


Big Bear Group and USFS Partner for project

Monday, September 17th, 2012

The trails around Big Bear Lake, CA, enjoy a rich mountain biking heritage. Big Bear has played host to several World Championships and has the potential to become an outstanding riding destination for cyclists of all styles and abilities. Over the past few years, the Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation (BBVTF) has grown into a well-known and well-respected group of multi-use, non-motorized trail advocates, with the goal of developing a vibrant trail network in partnership with the San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF).

The current focus of the BBVTF’s work is the Skyline Trail, a planned, 15- to 20-mile network of singletrack to be located on a ridge just to the south of the ski resort. The trail will be designed inside a firebreak and will have options to ride short loops or the entire trail. “The Skyline project stands to become a premiere mountain bike trail network in southern California and within the Western states,” says Patrick Kell, IMBA Southwest Region Director.

Recently, the BBVTF held a showing of the documentary Pedal Driven to a packed audience. The group presented its work and committed $40,000 in cash and in-kind volunteer time to the project. The USFS committed $80,000 to the project. “Our partnership with the trails foundation is the example of how land stewardship is going to happen in the future,” says District Ranger Scott Tangenberg. “It’s the peoples’ forest; they are here to take care of it. I want to facilitate that and encourage their help.”

The work on the Skyline Trail has fostered a positive relationship between the BBVTF and the SBNF that has led to the consideration of the South Shore trail network, including a desire to maximize connectivity of the existing system so it best meets the needs of a variety of trail users. IMBA Trail Solutions will likely be contracted this summer to begin the planning process of the Skyline Trail. Kell hopes to see construction begin as early as late summer.

Copied from IMBA Trail News, Summer 2012

IMBA Trail Care Crew Report from California

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Most applications requesting Trail Care Crew visits originate from mountain bike advocacy organizations. In the 23 visits we have made, this stop in central California was only the second time that a land management agency — the Georgetown District of the U.S. Forest Service — made the request. It’s something we think the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crews will start seeing more of as federal, state and local land management agencies learn how much there is to gain from working with outside partners.

Limited budgets and ongoing funding cuts are a grim reality for many Forest Service districts. Partnerships between land managers and local mountain biking advocacy organizations offer much-needed relief — bike clubs can supply knowledge, experience, volunteer labor and more to help fill the gaps between the vision for new trails and the reality of getting them built.

The Georgetown District staff we met with are excited about what they can accomplish by working with local mountain bike advocacy organizations, including the Folsom-Auburn Trail Riders Action Coalition and the Forest Trails Alliance. The Eldorado has great potential, with good existing trails and the potential to develop some great ones. The nearby trails in Auburn are popular and sometimes a bit overcrowded, so developing the Eldorado’s trail network holds the potential to benefit riders and lessen their impacts by spreading them out over a greater area.
The name “Eldorado” conjures an imaginary place of great treasure and opportunity. Will California’s Eldorado National Forest live up to such a grand definition? We think they are on their way.

— Jake and Jenny

From the International Mountain Bicycling Association‘s quarterly publication Trail News, Spring 2012

Save the date!  CORBA will be hosting the IMBA Trail Care Crew October 18 – 21 later this year.

SoCal High School Cycling League Announces Dates for 2012 Summer Outreach Tour

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Learn how to form a high school club

For the third year the SoCal High School Cycling League is taking its show on the road and providing a series of informational events to people interested in seeing a high school mountain bike club form at their local high school.

“Many people have heard of the League and want to start or be involved with a high school club but they just don’t know where to begin,” said SoCal League Director Matt Gunnell. “These events are designed to give people a brief overview of the League to allow them to confidently head down the path toward participation as a team founder, coach, or student-athlete. Learning how to get the ball rolling before school is out for summer will allow folks to get a head start on forming clubs for the spring 2013 season.”

There is no charge to attend and no RSVP is needed. Events are targeted at prospective club founders, prospective coaches, teachers, school administrators, parents, riders, and supporters. All stops are held at local bike shops that support the SoCal League and the clubs in the League!

A downloadable and printable PDF tour flyer is available HERE and the dates/locations are as follows:

May 26 (Saturday) at Trek Superstore 10AM-6PM
Grand opening event benefits the SoCal League. Special guests, rides, and a great auction!
1617 Capalina Road
San Marcos, CA 92069
(760) 599-9735

May 29 (Tuesday) at Casino Bicycles 7PM
43906 East Florida Ave (Hwy 74)
Hemet, CA 92544
(951) 927-7796

May 30 (Wednesday) at Rock n’ Road Cyclery 7PM
6282 Irvine Boulevard
Irvine, CA 92620
(949) 733-2453

May 31 (Thursday) at Cynergy Cycles 7PM
2300 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 857-1500

June 5 (Tuesday) at Main Street Cycles 7PM
311 East Main Street
Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 922-5577

June 6 (Wednesday) at Pasadena Cyclery 7PM
1670 East Walnut Street
Pasadena, CA 91106
(626) 584-6391

About the SoCal High School Cycling League
The SoCal High School Cycling League was organized to provide a well-defined race season for youth racers and to promote the formation of teams at public and private high schools. With the cooperation of local race promoters and our sponsors, the League organizes a first class series of races designed for high school aged riders and is easiest way for youth to get involved in the challenging and exciting world of competitive cycling. The SoCal League was kick-started with a generous grant from the founding SoCal sponsor, Easton Foundations, and is also generously supported by founding national sponsor, Specialized Bicycle Components, as well as Jeep, SRAM, Trek Bicycles, Clif Bar and Co., Primal Wear, QBP, Cynergy Cycles, El Monte RV, Dr. John Gunnell Oncology, Kaiser Federal Bank, Kayo Clothing, Rock N’ Road Cyclery, Turner Bikes, CamelBak, GU Sports, Kinetic, Maxxis, adidas Eyewear,, Dirt Rag, Feedback Sports, Fort Lewis College, Fox Racing Shox, Mountain Bike Action, Ritchey Designs, Sidi, and WTB. For more information on the League, visit or contact Matt Gunnell at, Tel. (818) 415-1133.

2012 Trails and Greenways Conference

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
Multi-use trail event.

Multi-use trails. We can and must get along.

CORBA was very much involved in last week’s California Trails and Greenways Conference. This annual event brings together land managers at the Federal, State, County and City levels, along with resource planners, volunteers, non-profit organizations and professional landscape architects and trail builders.

The theme for this year’s conference was “Navigating Radical Change.”  The most radical of all changes that land managers are facing is the shrinking of budgets for trail and open space projects. Another is the changing demographic of trail users.

Navigating radical change - mutli-use friendly pinch points

Navigating radical change - mutli-use friendly pinch points on Tapia Spur

Many sessions at the conference talked about the importance of engaging volunteers, of reaching out to foster public-private partnerships between land managers and non profit advocacy groups.
CORBA has already been putting into practice many of these principles, partnering with the Forest Service and State Parks to help maintain trails; partnering with the So Cal High School League to empower the next generation of off-road cyclists as advocates and stewards.

CORBA President Mark Langton participated in a rousing panel presentation on the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency, a multi-use trail system that has worked successfully with minimal conflict for more than two decades.  An entertaining keynote address was given by conservation celebrity Ed Begley Junior. He treated the attendees to stories of how and why he came to be so ingrained within the conservation movement.

Among the volunteer groups in attendance, there were at least five bicycling advocacy groups represented. IMBA’s new regional director Patrick Kell was there, along with representatives from the San Diego Mountain Bike Association, Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers, Santa Barbara Trail Volunteers, CORBA, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and other groups.

Cycling trail advocates from across California

Cycling trail advocates from across California

On Friday morning of the conference, 8 bicycle adovocates joined Steve Messer and past CORBA board member Hans Kiefer in a tour of Rocky Peak. They had a great ride, showing once again that there is some great mountain biking around Los Angeles.

A conference such as this is vital for bringing disparate user groups, land managers and trail stewards together, where we always learn we have much more in common than we think. The fact that working together is often the only way anything can be accomplished was one of the most important take-home messages from the conference.

Everyone can get along

Everyone can get along

On Saturday, after the conference, Orange County’s Trails4All brought 6 equestrians, 4  hikers, and about a dozen mountain bikers from CORBA, SHARE, SDMBA, CCCMB together for a ride/hike/run/hoof event. We travelled together on the trails of Malibu Creek State Park, showing again that where there is respect and cooperation it is very possible for all user groups to co-exist peacefully on the trails.

Our since thanks to the organizers, the presenters, the sponsors, and to all our fellow attendees at the conference. These meetings underscore the importance of working together, and create at an atmosphere conducive to constructive and informative exchanges of information and viewpoints. We look forward to next year’s Trails and Greenways conference in Lake Tahoe.

Bikes, horses, hikers and runners

Bikes, horses, hikers and runners. We all love trails.


Save the Date: California Trails & Greenways Conference, April 18-20, 2012

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

The California Trails & Greenways Conference is

Coming to Los Angeles!!!

Excitement is building as California State Parks and its trail allies prepare for the 27th California Trails & GreenwaysConference taking place April 18 to 20 at the Woodland Hills Marriott.

Conference registration is scheduled to open February 22nd. For the registration link and further details about the 2012 California Trails & Greenways Conference, including sponsor, exhibit and raffle donation information log onto our website at or call 877.776.3619.

The California Trails & Greenways Conference is a forum for networking and building support for accessible, inter-connected, quality trail systems; and a venue for trail professionals and advocates to learn practical, up-to-date, trail skills.  This endeavor by California State Parks and the California Trails Conference Foundation helps ensure effective trail stewardship and leadership for generations to come.

The California Trails & Greenways Conference provides opportunities to:

  • Network with, and talk directly to, California’s leading trail experts
  • Find collaborative partners to build support for trail endeavors
  • Learn a full range of trail topics in high quality, innovative sessions
  • Experience hands-on learning through day-long field workshops
  • Address your specific concerns through our table topic sessions
  • Explore exhibits featuring innovative trail-related products and services

All activities are designed to increase the knowledge of trail, recreation and wild land management professionals and advocates, both novice and expert, in order to improve non-motorized, recreational and heritage trail systems and programs throughout California.

Day-long workshops, 27 concurrent sessions, keynote presentations and exhibits all serve to draw California’s leading trail designers, builders and managers to this 3-day event.  The theme for the 2012 Conference is “Navigating Radical Change — The New Normal.” With attendance expected to reach 500, we anticipate the theme will elicit stimulating and creative discussions that will generate new ideas and partnerships.

We live in a tumultuous time, unprecedented in many respects. Believing that “knowledge is power,” the 2012 California Trails & Greenways Conference will explore the multiple challenges facing trails and public lands, what’s known about the trends affecting those challenges, and how to pursue creative solutions while preserving the integrity of the resources we hold dear. We’ll also explore innovative approaches and new collaborations that may inspire your own new solutions for navigating the path ahead.


The preliminary schedule for this 3-day event is as follows:

  • ·        April 18th, Wednesday

o       Optional day-long workshops

o       Exhibits open at 4:00 p.m.

o       Opening reception, dinner, keynote presentation

  • ·        April 19th, Thursday

o       Concurrent sessions throughout the day (5 sets)

o       Awards & Remembrance Luncheon

o       Celebration reception, dinner, keynote presentation

  • ·        April 20th, Friday

o       Breakfast with Table Topic Discussions

o       Concurrent sessions (2 sets)

o       Closing plenary

o       Conference ends at 1:00 p.m.

Planning is also underway for the 3rd Annual Hike, Bike, Ride, Run Event taking place Saturday, April 21st. This post-conference outing and BBQ is a wonderful way for all trail users to come together to show that we can share our trails and all get along. Conference attendees and friends are invited. Reservation and other details will be posted on the conference website March 1.

For further details about the 2012 California Trails & Greenways Conference, including sponsor, exhibit and raffle donation information log onto our website at or call Lauralee at 877.776.3619 or541.547.3640.

Proposed State Park Closures Threaten Bicycle Access

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Via the California Bicycle Coalition

This summer the state could begin closing 70 state parks, many of them popular for bike touring, bike camping and mountain biking. That’s why there’s a campaign to help keep them open.

Locally, the Santa Susanna State Historic Park is slated for closure.  This park is South of the 118 freeway, between Chatsworth and Rocky Peak. It includes some multi-use trails, including the old Santa Susanna Stagecoach road and El Camino Nuevo.

Statewide, there’s a lot at stake for bicyclists. Eighteen parks could be closed along the Pacific Coast Bike Route, an international bike touring destination and California’s only state-designated bike route, including two in Mendocino County that are crucial stops for bike tourists. Five parks popular for mountain biking, including Annadel, Brannan Island, China Camp, Henry Coe and Sugarloaf, are also on the closure list. Nineteen of the 58 state parks that offer low-cost “hike or bike” campsites for those arriving by bike or on foot are set to be closed.

Tell your legislators and Gov. Jerry Brown there are better solutions to the state’s budget crisis than closing state parks. Make the case in person at the 10th annual Park Advocacy Day on March 20 in Sacramento. If you own a business that would suffer due to the proposed state park closures, join the California State Parks Foundation’s “Closing Parks is Bad for Business” campaign.