Archive for the ‘Santa Monica Mountains’ Category

Getting in The Holiday Spirit: Giving back to trails

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Building a berm on a trailside bike feature

This past weekend the holidays seemed to come into full swing, and there was a lot of giving. On Saturday morning, members of our Sapwi Bike park committee gave their time building the first trailside feature at Sapwi Bike Park. Contractors have cleared and graded the bike park area, and the final bike park plan from FlowRide Concepts is close to completion. Lots of people have given to our IMBA Dig In campaign now standing at $1900, in addition to the generous grant of $15,000 from REI. We need to raise close to $100,000 so there’s a long way to go. Keep the donations coming!

Also on Saturday, former CORBA Chair and current volunteer Mark Langton was conducting our monthly Free Basic Mountain Bike Skills Clinic. Mark has been teaching new mountain bikers the basics of bike handling, safety and etiquette for more than 20 years. Eight riders attended the last skills clinic of the year.

 

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December Skills Clinic photos posted December 3rd

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

Like last month, we had 8 riders on a sunny day in the park. A couple of the riders had to leave half way through for another appointment, but said they’d be back for the January class. Again we rode through the creek, which is completely dry, and most riders went down the steps on the way to the hill-climbing exercise.

The Basic Skills Clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month at Malibu Creek State Park.

You can see the photos in our December photo gallery.

Report on the ‘Creek of Doom’ trail restoration in MCSP on November 11th

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

Over 20 volunteers, including 9 from CORBA, 8 from Girlz Gone Riding and 6 from the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council, worked for four hours this past Saturday morning to fix up a seriously degraded part of Crags Road in Malibu Creek State Park. This section, just before the M*A*S*H site, is fondly known at the ‘Creek of Doom’ or the ‘Rock Garden’ because of the rocky and narrow nature of the trail, going along the edge, and then the middle, of the dry creek bed. This trail has not seen any work on it for years and had become very overgrown and eroded. As a result of the rains last winter, several trees had fallen on the trail and now were lying at the side, their branches still poking into the trail itself.

Under the guidance of experience trail crew leaders, mostly from the Trails Council but also from CORBA, the volunteers split into several groups, most of which focused on clearing back the fallen trees and other brush, with the rest focusing on fixing the trail tread.

Before, during and after photos of one section of the trail that was restored.

Overall, almost a half mile of trail was restored. This included about 100′ of narrow, rocky and off-camber trail where very large rocks were dug out and the tread made more smooth and level. The large rocks were used to build up a section about 20′ long that had almost completely disappeared into the creek. (See photos above.)

Lunch at the Urbane Cafe afterwards to thank all the volunteers who did such a great job!

After the work ended, CORBA treated the volunteers to a lunch at the Urbane Cafe and the Habit Hamburger Grill.

You can see more pictures of the trailwork in CORBA’s photo gallery.

November Skills Clinic photos posted November 7th

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

This month we had only 8 riders on a sunny day in the park. A couple of the riders didn’t participate in many of the skills. Again we rode through the creek, which is completely dry, but we did not go down the steps. And again, Graham was covering for Steve who’s bike was temporarily out of commission.

The Basic Skills Clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month at Malibu Creek State Park.

You can see the photos in our November photo gallery.

Public Lands Update

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

This year we have seen legislation introduced to further protect and enhance our local open spaces and public lands.

HR3039, the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Act. Judy Chu introduced this bill in June. The bill would establish two new units of Wilderness within the Angeles National Forest. CORBA worked for two years with wilderness advocates to ensure these newly-proposed designations would not impact trails used by mountain bikers. The bill establishes the Condor Peak Wilderness and Yerba Buena Wilderness units, separated by the Condor Peak Trail. Condor Peak trail and Trail Canyon trail to the waterfall and campground would remain open to bicycles under this new designation.

Rim of the Valley

Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, S1993/HR4086.

This bill by Adam Schiff/Diane Feinstein would expand the boundary of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to include open spaces around the Conejo, Simi, San Fernando, La Crescenta and Verdugo valleys. It does not change any land ownership or management but allows the National Park Service to partner with current land managers to improve habitat, wildlife corridors, and recreational opportunities. It puts into action the findings of the Rim of the Valley Corridor Study. It does not impact bicycle access to trails and could improve recreational opportunities.

H.R. 2323: San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act. This act introduced by Judy Chu would establish the San Gabriel National Recreation Area as a unit of the National Park System. The NRA would cover river corridors and open spaces from the Angeles National Forest border through the San Gabriel Valley. It does not create any new federally-managed public land. It would allow the National Park Service to partner with existing land managers to improve habitat, biodiversity, and recreational access. It would also expand the boundary of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument to include areas of the Angeles Front Country that are currently outside the Monument.

While these bills have been introduced, it remains to be seen whether they will make it out of their respective committees.

CORBA’s mission includes the protection of the places we play. Nationally, as the current administration proposes major changes to environmental regulations, national monument boundaries (our San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is not expected to be a target of boundary reductions), forest management practices, permitted uses, we stand ready to speak up for our local public lands and the recreational opportunities they provide and we all cherish.

E-MTBs Prohibited from Malibu Creek, Point Mugu and Will Rogers State Parks

Friday, September 15th, 2017

On September 13, 2017, California State Parks Angeles District Superintendent Craig Sap issued order 915-17-02, closing all trails in the Angeles District to electric bicycles. This includes multi-use trails in Malibu Creek State Park, Topanga State Park, Will Rogers State Park, and Point Mugu State Park.

E-MTB’s such as this Specialized Turbo Levo are prohibited from Santa Monica Mountains trails

Electric mountain bikes are already prohibited from Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority and National Park Service trails.

Some trails and many popular bike routes in the Santa Monicas cross more than one of these jurisdictions. This had led to confusion as to where e-MTBs were allowed. Sap’s order states that consistency with neighboring jurisdictions is part of the justification used.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation current policy regarding e-MTBs leaves the decision at the District level, until such time as a formal state-wide policy is adopted. The order goes into effect on October 1st, 2017.

Enforcement is expected to begin then too, but we do not yet have information on how it will be enforced. As one can see in photo above, it can be extremely difficult to distinguish some e-MTbs from their non-electric brethren.

Sap’s order does appear to allow for exemptions. Law enforcement and emergency personnel may still use e-MTBs in the performance of their official duties without a prior written exemption.

Currently, Conejo Open Space trails are generally open to e-MTBs, as well as roads and trails appearing on the Angeles National Forest MVUM (Motor Vehicle Use Map).  Check the People for Bikes e-MTB Map for more information on where to legally ride electric mountain bikes.

2017-09-15 – Angeles District State Parks E-Bike Order

 

September Skills Clinic photos posted September 5th

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

This month we had 8 riders including two little tikes on a very hot day in the park. Because of the heat, around 100 F, we skipped some skills and quit about an hour earlier than normal.

The Basic Skills Clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month at Malibu Creek State Park.

You can see the photos in our September photo gallery.

‘Creek of Doom’ trail restoration in MCSP on November 11

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Last winter’s rains damaged the surface of Crags Rd Trail in Malibu Creek State Park and have encouraged brush to grow up along its steep upslope bank. The CORBA and Santa Monica Mountain Trails Council trail crews will be fixing these problems on the section of the trail that goes along the creek as it approaches the M*A*S*H site. It’s fondly known as “The Rock Garden” or “The Creek of Doom.”

After the trailwork is finished, CORBA will 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.

Parents/guardians are responsible for minors at all times, and they must constantly and directly supervise children under 14. Children must be over 7-years old to attend. Please leave your four-legged friends at home!

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 https://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/242673091/ so that we’ll know how many tools to provide. Remember, by registering here, CORBA will treat you to lunch afterwards!

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.

August Skills Clinic photos posted August 5

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

This month we had 8 riders and one little girl who mostly watched on a nearly perfect day to be in the park. The stream is dry again so we practiced riding through the rocks, which were considerably more uneven than before the winter storms strew them all over.

The Basic Skills Clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month at Malibu Creek State Park.

You can see the photos in our August photo gallery.

Grasslands Trail Reroute in Malibu Creek State Park Now Open

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

In 2010, a steep and unsustainable spur of the Grasslands Trail in Malibu Creek State Park was closed for plant rehabilitation. The spur was a shortcut from Grasslands to High Road. Fences were erected at both ends and “Closed” signs were posted. These signs were torn down by trail users and the fences cut. Parallel trails that skirted the end of the fence appeared beside the original spur. Eventually the bedraggled fences were removed completely.

The new trail has a great view!

The plan from the beginning was to rebuild the trail along a much less steep and much more sustainable route. Under-funding of State Parks, bureaucracy and distracting emergencies such as wildfires and mudslides in Pt Mugu State Park being what they are, rebuilding of the trail has experienced years of delays.

But it is finally open! (Even if it’s not quite complete.)

The new trail starts near the top of the old spur and connects to High Road a little further west (closer to the MASH site) than the spur.

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Volunteers are finishing the first part on the new trail on Earth Day.

The reroute was built in two parts. The first was constructed by volunteers on Earth Day, April 22. The route had been previously cleared of grass and low chaparral by State Park workers and the volunteers finished it by digging it out to have an appropriate width and slope. This segment ended at a small seasonal drainage that was dry at the time.

State Park workers finished the second half and the trail is now open for use. The seasonal drainage will have a bridge built across it so that the trail can be used year-round, and that bridge is expected to be compete by the end of the summer.

The CORBA Hill Climb contest on the Grasslands spur during the Fat Tire Fest in 2007

The new trail is longer than the original spur and therefore much less steep. The old spur was so steep that it was a real challenge to climb. In fact, CORBA used that section for the hill-climbing contest when the Fat Tire Fest was held in Malibu Creek State Park. The best part is that that new trail has a fantastic view of the trees, meadow and mountains in the background. The gentler slope now allows you the time to look around and enjoy the surroundings, both on the way down and up.

Kudos to State Parks for building a great new trail! The old spur and parallel trails are closed so please use the new trail when riding Grasslands Trail in Malibu Creek State Park to allow the native vegetation to recover on the steep hillside!