The February 2014 Skills Clinic Skills Clinic at Malibu Creek State Park on a sunny but very cool day. The group was made up of 13 riders. As has been the case for the past year, there was no water in the stream crossing. Hopefully we’ll have some rain before next month’s class so people will get to ride across a stream. You can see the February photos in the February 2014 photo gallery.
Archive for the ‘Santa Monica Mountains’ Category
On Friday, January 31, 2014, CORBA was notified that the long-awaited Santa Monica Mountains Draft Trail Management Plan (TMP) had been released in draft form for review. In developing the plan, NPS supposedly inventoried all existing trails, including “unofficial” or “volunteer” trails, and lays out a vision for how the entire trail system will be managed going forward. The plan has been in development for more than ten years, with several false starts and periods of uncertainty due to dwindling budgets, lack of staff and other limitations. The NPS last year received a grant to complete the plan.
Now that the draft has been released, we will be going over it in detail over the coming weeks to see whether our concerns have been given due consideration. We’d encourage everyone familiar with the trails of the Santa Monica Mountains to see if there are any trails they know of that will be affected by the proposed plan.
CORBA has a long-standing request for bicycle access to particular trails that are currently closed to bikes. Our list goes back more than two decades, but our formal requests were, at least in part, the impetus for State Parks to develop their formal Change In Use (CIU) process. So far, two trails for which we requested a change in use have been evaluated using the CIU methodology. One of those, the Canyon trail in Placerita Canyon (a State Park unit managed by L.A. County) was reviewed and opened to bikes after trail modifications were made. The other trails that were approved for a change in use have been on hold due to a lack of funds, a need for major re-routes, and pending the final release of the TMP.
We’re hoping to see the trails for which CORBA has formally requested a Change In Use, a list that goes back more than a decade, have been given due consideration in the TMP. We’re also hoping to see plans for new trails to provide better through-connectivity, including a multi-use bypass trail around the Boney Mountain State Wilderness, among other things. We’d also like to see the Backbone trail opened in its entirety, or viable multi-use singletrack alternate routes for sections that can’t or won’t be opened to bikes.
The TMP document is complex. Since the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area includes land owned by multiple agencies, it was quite an undertaking to coordinate the effort between the affected agencies: State Parks, National Park Service, Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, LA County, private landowners and others.
The plans can be downloaded for viewing at: http://www.nps.gov/samo/parkmgmt/tmp-index.htm. The public comment period ends on April 1st. We aim to have reviewed the documents in detail and offer our assessment and comment suggestions by the end of February.
Two Public hearings are scheduled, and we encourage anyone with an interest in the trails of the Santa Monica Mountains to attend:February 20, 2014, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. King Gillette Ranch Dining Hall 26800 Mulholland Highway Calabasas, CA 91302 February 22, 2014, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Temescal Gateway Park Woodland Hall 15601 Sunset Blvd. Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Sixteen CORBA volunteers and five from the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council returned to the Backbone Trail between Latigo Canyon Road and Newton Motorway to continue with the work we started in November. Then, we mostly installed and cleaned drainage nicks on the steepest, rockiest, most eroded part of the trail, but also cleared some brush. This past Saturday, we installed 15 to 18 new drainage nicks on parts of the trail that were less susceptible to erosion but still at risk, armored a switchback with large stones where people had been cutting the corner, and cleared encroaching brush from about 2/3 of its 1.4-mile length.
When we brush the trail, we try to clear growth about 3-feet from the edge of the trail. This brings it back to the standard for a multi-use trail. It also means we won’t have to return for a few years to again clear the brush which grows back in at a rate of about one foot per year.
We were finished installing the drainage nicks about an hour before finishing time, so we made use of the time to clear slough. (Slough is the dirt and other debris that falls on the inside edge of the trail from the slope above. The piles at the edge of the trail narrow it.) By removing the slough and brush at the trail edge, the trail has a more open feeling, and people can use the whole width of it, not just the outside edge.
Afterwards, CORBA volunteers were treated to a prize drawing and lunch at the Urbane Cafe or adjacent Habit Hamburger Grill to thank them for their help. Great job, everybody!
To see all the volunteers and the work they did, you can view the photo gallery of this trailwork.
The first Skills Clinic Skills Clinic of 2014 took place today at Malibu Creek State Park under a sunny but slightly cool sky. The group was made up of 19 riders and one patient young woman who waited as her son completed the class on her bike. You can see the photos in the January 2014 photo gallery.
From Julian Serles of the Mountain Bike Unit
Calling all mountain bikers age 18 and over! The Mountain Bike Unit (MBU) is currently recruiting for its 2014 New Recruit Training Class. If you enjoy mountain biking and are interested in giving back to the community by volunteering some time to assist our understaffed Park Rangers in patrolling the parks, then the MBU may be just what you are looking for. The MBU supports and are sponsored by the National Park Service (NPS), California State Parks (CSP), and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA).
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 60,000 acres of public parkland in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Beginning in late January 2014, training will include visitor contact skills, State and National park radio use, park rules and regulations, first aid and CPR training, and field training exercises.
Patrol areas and opportunities include the following:
-National Park Service parks: Cheeseboro/Palo Comado, Zuma/Trancas Canyons, Rancho Sierra Vista, and Circle X Ranch
-California State Park locations: Malibu Creek, Will Rogers, Point Mugu, and Topanga
-We also patrol MRCA areas near metropolitan Los Angeles, such as Franklin Canyon and Upper Las Virgines Open Space Preserve
-In addition, we volunteer to patrol and support other events such as the LA and Malibu Marathons, Wheels to the Sea, the Ventura County Fair, and CORBA’s Fat Tire Festival
-The MBU also helps support CORBA’s Youth Adventure Program, which offers disadvantaged youth the opportunity to enjoy the mountain biking experience in our beautiful parks
All MBU patrols require at least two patrollers. All rides are self scheduled on our website. We ask each of our volunteers for 100 patrol hours annually (roughly two four-hour patrols per month).
Would you like to learn more? We invite you to come to King Gillette Ranch Auditorium at 9:00 am on Saturday, January 25, 2014 for an indoor orientation meeting where we will share with you more details about this wonderful program and what patrolling with the MBU is all about. We encourage you to bring your bike and helmet because we plan to take potential recruits on a ride-along (sorted by ability) after the presentation, weather permitting. Visit the MBU training web page for more details, or to contact the MBU via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). To see the MBU in action, view our gallery of MBU photos.
In addition to a chance to win two cash prizes of $250 each, attendees at this Saturday’s Ride and Mingle 2 will have a chance to win a new Niner frameset, courtesy of Niner bikes.
Attendees will also pose for this year’s portrait with the 2013 Mountain Bike Hall of Fame award, given to CORBA earlier in the year at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Las Vegas.
Meet at The Hub in Topanga State Park on Saturday December 28 at 10am. Please come out and make the event one to remember! Click here for more info.
From the Public Affairs Office of Southern California Gas:
Since 1960, Southern California Gas Company (“SoCaIGas”) has owned much of the land that comprises Sullivan Canyon (more than 4 miles in length). This property is used as a corridor for two transmission pipelines that provide Los Angeles residents with a safe and reliable supply of natural gas. Periodically, SoCalGas must perform maintenance on these pipelines. The purpose of this letter is to provide information on pipeline maintenance and repair work that will occur in 2014.
Purpose of this Work
We recently internally inspected our pipeline. By code, we have areas we are required to perform a visual inspection of the pipeline as part of a validation process. This work is required to maintain the pipeline’s safety and integrity.
Location and Logistics
There are two work areas along the access road within the canyon that will require excavation.
Location 1: 0.7 (seven tenths) of a mile south from fire road #26 at the Mulholland entrance
Location 2: 2.8 miles in from fire road #26, or 1.4 miles from the Queensferry entrance
Partial Canyon Closures
The Canyon path will be closed from the Mulholland entrance at fire road #26 to location 1.
There is no change to the Queensferry entrance. Signs will be posted along the path indicating construction status.
The following impacts are to be expected in the canyon and surrounding neighborhood. I will keep you apprised of any changes.
-Work will commence on or about January 6, 2014.
-Work is estimated to be completed in 8 weeks.
-Information signs will be posted in advance at the beginning of each entrance.
-Work hours are sun up to sun down, Monday through Friday. No work will be performed on Saturday and Sunday.
-Intermittent loud noise in the immediate work areas.
-Increased dust in the immediate work areas.
-Increased traffic at the Mulholland entrance from work crews and equipment.
SoCalGas appreciates your understanding and apologizes for any inconveniences caused by this necessary work. It is our goal to minimize disruptions. We value our relationship with the community and will communicate with you when our work has the potential of impacting our neighbors. Again, there are two high-pressure transmission pipelines located in the canyon and we will continue to periodically perform maintenance work to them as-needed to ensure safety.
Safety is our first priority. Should you have any questions, please call me 213 244-4633 or email me at email@example.com.
Public Affairs Manager
Join CORBA and the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council as we return to the the Backbone Trail near Latigo Canyon Road. This time we’ll mostly be clearing brush along the 1.5 miles from the trailhead to Newton Motorway (AKA, The Saddle). We’ll also be touching up some of the drainage nicks we put in during our last visit here, and possibly adding a few more.
After the trailwork is finished, CORBA will have prizes for some (or all) lucky volunteers, and treat you to lunch afterwards.
No experience is necessary to help out with trailwork. Tools and instructions on how to use them safely and effectively will be provided.
Children must be over 7-years old to attend, and children under 14 must be constantly and directly supervised by their parent or guardian who brought them.
And you don’t need to be a mountain biker to help out – Everybody is welcome! For more information on trailwork in general, visit our trail crew web page.
Be sure to wear protective clothing (sturdy shoes, long pants and sleeves, hat, golves) and bring snacks, sunscreen and water. CORBA will provide the tools and training.
We request that you pre-register online at http://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/154081722/ so that we’ll know how many tools to provide. Remember, by registering here, CORBA will treat you to lunch afterwards, and enter you in the drawing for mountain biking prizes!
CORBA’s thank-you lunch will be after trailwork ends at 2:30 pm, so bring some snacks to tide you over.
The online registration page also contains details about where and when to meet.
Last year CORBA staged the Ride and Mingle event at The Hub in Topanga State Park to celebrate our 25th anniversary. It was such a success that we’re going to do it again on December 28th!
The Ride And Mingle (RAM) is to support and promote the ongoing efforts of CORBA’s programs. But most of all, it’s a chance to mingle with our members and do what we love most: RIDE! In celebration of its 26th anniversary, CORBA hopes to turn out at least 260 mountain bikers in a show of solidarity for mountain biking and responsible cycling. Ride in then meet at The Hub in Topanga State Park at 10am. There will be some cash prizes (yes, you can win CASH), but mostly it will be a chance for a photo opportunity and to mingle among our riding brethren. Riders are encouraged to ride from their local trail heads.
Comments overheard at a public meeting got us to thinking that we need to show the land managers and open space trails community at large that responsible riders comprise the vast majority of mountain bikers. Unfortunately, a small percentage of people riding too fast at the wrong time is giving the off-road bicycling community at large a bad rap. The RAM will give mountain bikers a chance to show that we can and do coexist on trails.
We are also asking that you ride what you were riding in 1987 (if you have it) or any vintage mountain bike (pre-1992). If not, no worries, just come and enjoy a ride in one of the most beautiful places in the country.
For directions to The Hub from multiple trailheads, visit our online registration page.
Our GGR year comes to another end for 2013. I can’t believe how fast it’s gone and all the changes and challenges 2013 brought on…a few highlights of 2013:
GGR has grown to over 450 members all starting from an idea at happy hour to get da girlz together!
Wenches with Wrenches workshops started with full houses of eager women to learn bike repair and maintenance.
This past GGR’s annual ROCKTOBER event and CORBA Membership drive was GGR’s 3rd annual main event with over 100 women in attendance again! The date is already secured for next year’s annual event! October 19th, 2014 at Malibu Creek State Park.
Liv/Giant introduced their entire new line of 27.5” bikes at the GGR Rocktober event. Every single one was reserved to demo with a waiting list to boot. Can’t wait to see what demo’s they will bring to next year’s event!
We had our best showing of women on trail work days this year! Keep it up ladies! GGR asks all members to commit to 2 trail work days a year.
We showed an enthusiastic group of ladies what shuttling was at Mt Pino’s and GMR this year and had a blast! This was many of the girlz 1st time ever shuttling!
We have seen our spin off group of amazing GGR girlz join the largest women’s race team! 67 women strong! SOCAL ENDURANCE LADIES TEAM! https://www.facebook.com/groups/313370695434213/
GGR introduced our DH jersey’s and they are a big hit! http://www.girlzgoneriding.com/ggr_products/
Having lost one of our most influential women in our community this year to cancer, Danusia Taber, out of her passing, with her blessing came the Danusia Bell program. Getting bells on your bikes and or packs alerts all others on the trails to your presence. All profits go to the sarcoma alliance to help others with cancer with Danusia’s blessing. http://www.girlzgoneriding.com/ggr_products/. Please look for the 1st annual Danusua Taber Memorial ride and fund raiser May 31st, 2014.
To close off the year, we invite you to join us in our last group ride December 8th. We will enjoy lunch and a gift exchange at Peddlers Fork restaurant after. This is an extra special group ride because the LA Times will be there for a GGR photo shoot for some publicity in an upcoming book written by Roy Wallack, author of Bike for Life. http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-columnist-wallack,0,4376362.columnist#axzz2mG8IDkGX. Sign up for this open ride is required. All ride info listed on the event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/676862972338954/.
On a personal note, as many of you know, I had a bad riding accident in Mammoth over Labor Day and just recently had surgery to rebuild my knee which pretzeled under me when I landed. Unfortunately, I am not able to walk unassisted yet, so I have no clue when I will be riding again, hoping for sometime in the 1st quarter of 2014. It will be a long road ahead. I wanted to thank every one of you that have helped me during this time. I could not have done it without you. I have met each and every one of you through this magnificent sport of mountain biking and I am so very grateful for these relationships. I WILL be back on the dirt soon! I WILL be racing again and I WILL be participating in centuries again. I miss riding with all of you so very much and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support and encouragement through this difficult time for me.
Until 2014 ladies, be safe, have fun and always try and surround yourself with positive people who also live a healthy lifestyle. Happy New Year!
GGR Girl Wendy E.