Archive for the ‘Rides and Events’ Category

Are you ready to #OptOutside on Black Friday?

Thursday, November 10th, 2016


Last year, CORBA supporter REI chose to break the Black Friday shopping frenzy trend, and remained closed the day after Thanksgiving. Instead, they encouraged people to #OptOutside for some quality recreation.

We applaud their efforts and want to encourage everyone to spend Friday, November 25th riding a bike, hiking a trail, playing in the snow, or just communing with nature.

Black Friday has become synonymous with crowds, checkout lines, and camping outside retail stores on the sidewalk. That’s not the kind of camping we like to do. It’s also become synonymous with deals and sales over the last two decades, but these days so-called “black Friday sales” often last a week or more.

While there are certainly some deals to be had, is it really worth the hassle? Studies have shown that many black friday “sale” items can be purchased at similar prices at other times of the year. Black Friday itself isn’t even the busiest shopping day of the year.

So won’t you join us, and #OptOutside for Black Friday?

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.

CORBA Welcomes Two New Board Members

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Scott Mabbutt

With Mark Langton leaving CORBA’s Board of Directors, we put out a call for Board nominees. We’re happy to announce that we have welcomed two new board members, Scott Mabbutt and Joyce Deprest.

Scott is a respected filmmaker, storyteller and self-declared cat whisperer.  When asked how he came into mountain biking, his is an unusual story: “My first bike was a portable folding bicycle that I bought because I heard that Talking Heads artist David Byrne rode one around New York City.”  That quickly led to a full-blown love of bicycles, and especially mountain bikes.

Scott is a member of the Mountain Bike Unit (MBU), a group of mountain bike volunteer patrollers that work closely with the National Park Service, California State Parks and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) patrolling the Santa Monica Mountains to assist and educate visitors on the trail.  Scott can be found somewhere in the Santa Monica mountains every weekend.

He has attended several CORBA board meetings over the past few years, just to keep abreast of what’s happening in the area. Now he’ll be attending as a CORBA board member, helping keep CORBA on mission. We’re delighted to have him aboard.

Also joining the CORBA board is Joyce Deprest. Joyce is an MBU member and patroller, with her favorite place to ride or patrol being Point Mugu State Park. Joyce has been instrumental in re-introducing MBU members to do trailwork.

Joyce Deprest is a native San Fernando “Valley Girl.” Her professional life began working in Non-Profit Organizations, including event planning, office management and as the Director of a Synagogue in the San Fernando Valley. During the past 6 years Joyce has rediscovered her love of the mountains, canyons and oceans.

Joyce Deprest

The re-experience started with an impromptu hike up a narrow trail in Serranio Park, meeting up at Dirt Mulholland and then up what appeared to be an impossibly steep hill to climb.  The adventure was so exciting the next day she did it again.  She was hooked.  Joyce soon discovered that not only did she enjoy the hiking and being in mountains, and embracing the awesome canyons and ocean views, she loved meeting people on the trails.  She found that without an effort, people talked with her and asked her for directions.  Joyce started talking to Mountain Bikers and learned that by mountain bike riding she could go further, see more and grow her experience with the Santa Monica Mountains.  After her first ride on her 10 year old hybrid bike, in Sycamore Canyon/Point Mugu, she realized that a mountain bike with suspension was necessary.  The knowledge grew and with that knowledge and a few crashes she realized she needed some MTB riding lessons.  One day online she discovered Mark Langton.  For the next 4  months she and Mark met in Los Robles for weekly training sessions.  In addition to hiking and riding, Joyce was also interested in learning about the trails and trails maintenance.  By the end of that year Joyce had completed a one week Trails Maintenance class with COSCA and had participated in many hours of trail maintenance with CORBA.

Joyce continued to hike, ride and work on trails.  She joined Girlz Gone Riding and in January 2015 Joyce joined the Mountain Bike Unit with the goal of supporting the parks, advising and assisting visitors. Shortly after graduating from the MBU Joyce took on the role of Fundraising Coordinator with the Mountain Bike Unit. Her commitment and sense of stewardship of our public lands is inspiring.

We’re excited to have two new board members who also serve with the MBU. The MBU was a CORBA program, arguably the first organized volunteer patrol in the country. The MBU program grew beyond what CORBA could manage, and is now an independant program of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, administered by the National Park Service. IMBA’s National Mountain Bike Patrol is largely based on CORBA’s early work in establishing the MBU.

While our Board of Directors now stands at five members, we are still interested in expanding the Board, and will continue to accept nominations.

We invite everyone to meet the CORBA board of directors at one of our Board meetings, or the upcoming Ride and Mingle event on November 27.

Thank You Mark Langton!

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
Mark Langton

Thanks Mark!

Mark Langton was one of CORBA’s founders in 1987 and one of IMBA’s founders in 1988. He served 13 years on CORBA’s steering committee, and subsequently joined the CORBA Board of Directors.  He has served as CORBA’s president, as one of the first volunteer patrollers for the Mountain Bike Unit and he’s taught the CORBA Introduction to Mountain Bike Skills Class every month since 1992. Now after 29 years, he’s stepping down from the CORBA Board as of December 2016.

Thanks Mark, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Mark was a BMX and mountain bike racer when trails started to be closed to us in the mid 1980’s. In August 1987, when the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy held a meeting to discuss a prohibitive mountain bike policy, Mark was one of about 30 riders who showed up to argue for shared use trails. We lost that night, but Mark and several others met weekly to form CORBA, organize local mountain bicyclists and interact with the agencies and other trail users.

It became clear that trail closures to bicyclists were emerging as a national problem. Preliminary talks between California clubs began about forming an umbrella organization of local clubs. CORBA sent Mark and Kurt Loheit to the meeting which marked the formation of IMBA.

CORBA’s approach has always been to show up, to participate, to take the high road and to be persistent. Mark has done all that and more. He’s been deeply connected to the sport as a racer and for several years as the editor of Mountain Biking magazine. He was the co-author of Riding Santa Monica Mountains Best Trails with Jim Hasenauer and of Where to Bike Los Angeles Mountain Biking with Jim Hasenauer and Steve Messer. He also wrote the Outdoor Action Guide Mountain Biking, and a skills manual, Mountain Bike Master: Essential Skills and Advanced Techniques Made Easy. He worked as Director of Communication for Giant Bicycles and for the National Off-Road Bicycle Association, before it was absorbed by USA Cycling. His knowledge, his ability to communicate and his industry connections brought national attention and resources to CORBA.

When the Conejo Opens Space Conservation Authority began dealing with the same trail access issues as the nearby Santa Monica Mountains agencies, they took a more open, community-minded approach. They told the complainers “These trails will be shared by the community. Work it out.” Mark was one of the founding members of the new Conejo Open Space Trails Advisory Committee and his efforts built strong alliances with equestrians and hikers. For years, COSTAC has been a model of user cooperation and the power of education in not only reducing user conflict but building a strong, united, and inclusive trail community.

Mark teaches the basics at CORBA's free skills clinic

Mark demonstrates the basics at CORBA’s free skills clinic

Mark’s longest service commitment has been the CORBA Mountain Bike Skills classes that he has taught every first Saturday of the month since 1992. No matter how much you know or think you know about mountain bikes, Mark’s class will improve your riding. He has the uncanny ability to see the deficiencies in riders’ positions or techniques and clearly, incrementally help those riders improve. Literally thousands of riders have taken Mark’s course. He also does fee-based coaching.

While Mark will be stepping down from the CORBA Board, he won’t be going away. Mark will continue to lead our free monthly Mountain Bike Skills Clinics. Remaining board members, Jennifer Jacobson, Wendy Engelberg and Steve Messer, will carry the CORBA torch forward, with the addition of two new board members. 

CORBA and mountain bikers locally and across the country owe Mark a huge debt of gratitude for his years of dedication to the growth and advancement of mountain biking.

All we can say is Thank You Mark.



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.


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.


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.

Save The Date! November 27th is CORBA’s Annual RAM Ride & Pancake Brunch!

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

2d3461e4-d102-4085-a64a-74db40c622c9Come join CORBA for our annual RAM (Ride & Mingle) event and pancake breakfast at Michael’s Bicycles in Newbury Park!

November 27th! Ride time 9am sharp: Meet at Wendy/Potrero Drive in Newbury Park.


Come ride with us in Point Mugu State Park (Sycamore Canyon). Meet at Wendy/Potrero in Newbury Park. We will all ride over to the ranger station for a big group photo then split up into our groups. Meet back at Michael’s Bicycles for a pancake brunch!

Pancake breakfast at Michael’s Bicycles after the ride at 12:30pm. $10 suggested donation.

You can renew or purchase a CORBA/IMBA Membership as well!

Michael’s Bicycles: 2257 Michael Drive, Newbury Park, CA 91320

Report on the 2016 Annual COSCA Trailwork Day held Oct 15

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

Of the 120 volunteers expected for the annual event held in Thousand Oaks, about 60 were put into seven crews that worked on building a bypass to the very steep bottom of the Peninsula Trail in the Western Plateau/Conejo Canyons area. The other half were assigned to six crews to work on two other trails leading down to the canyon, but some distance from the Peninsula Trail.img_4979

The CORBA crew and other mountain bikers worked on the Peninsula Trail, so only our experience will be described here.

The event began at 7:30 when volunteers started to arrive for registration and to get their goodies bag. The chaotic process of gathering into crews of about 10 each worked itself out, as it always does, and the crews with their leaders hiked down about a mile to the trailhead where we grabbed tools from the COSCA Ranger truck that was parked there. After the safety talk, the crews hiked to their work areas along the new trail that had already been cleared of chaparral.

The project was to build a new, much less steep trail that would replace the bottom section of the Peninsula Trail. It was to be about 0.35 miles long. Most of the new trail crossed a fairly steep slope, and some sections of the cross slope were very steep. That meant that we had to dig a lot of dirt out to make a trail! Overall, we must have moved several tons of dirt, but fortunately we didn’t have to move most of it more than a few feet.

img_5054We returned our tools to the Ranger truck and headed back to the meeting area in time to get to the barbecue by about noon. The COSCA Rangers cook up a great meal of ‘burgers, ‘dogs, chili and vegi-burgers, with all the accoutrements, for the Annual event held every October and the Spring event in March.

The prize give-away started as folks were finishing off their lunch; most of the prizes were books on local trails, but there was a grand prize of a mountain bike donated by Giant Bikes and a local bike shop.

You can see more photos of the work and lunch in our photo gallery of the trailwork.

Thanks to all the mountain bikers and others who came out to build this new trail! The slight rain overnight afterwards no doubt helped to firm up the new trail. I can’t wait to get out and ride it!

This is how our section of the trail looked when we were done. Quite a change!

This is how our section of the trail looked when we were done. Quite a change!

Here’s a time lapse of the Newbury Park High School Mountain bike team working on a section of the trail:


October Skills Clinic photos posted October 1

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

It was a gorgeous day in Malibu Creek State Park this month for the Basic Skills Clinic.  There was a small group with eight participants this first weekend in the autumn, with three riders on one bike! The clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month. You can see the photos in our October photo gallery.

October 2016 eTerraTimes Newsletter Published September 29

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

The October 2016 edition of CORBA’s monthly newsletter, the eTerraTimes, was published today, September 29th. If you don’t get it by email, you can view it online.

As always, the eTerraTimes has all the latest news for mountain bikers in the Santa Monica Mountains and surrounding areas.

Help build another new trail during the COSCA Annual Trailwork Day, October 15

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Join CORBA, SMMTC, COSCA and other volunteer groups to work on the Conejo Open Space trails in Thousand Oaks.

This year we’ll be building a new trail, about 0.7 miles long, that leads from the top of the steep ‘Baxter Road’ in Newbury Park around and down to near the south end of the Hawk Canyon Trail in the Western Plateau / Conejo Canyons.

There will be a thank you lunch and prize drawings at noon after the work. This is a great event with lots of like-minded folks to help out. If you use the trails in Thousand Oaks, come out and help build and maintain them! No prior experience is necessary and all volunteers work at their own pace, taking plenty of time to rest and chat with other trail enthusiasts!

This annual Conejo Valley event always helps to put some very sweet trails into good shape. Be sure to stay afterwards for the free lunch and raffle.

Details are available on our 2016 COSCA Annual Trailwork Day event on While there, register online to show your support!

Things to bring:

• work gloves
• long pants and long sleeved shirt
• water, snack
• sunglasses and sunblock

Tools and instructions on how to use them safely will be provided. There will be a free thank-you lunch and prize give-away afterwards from noon until 2:00 pm.