Archive for the ‘Rides and Events’ Category

January 22nd Update on the Pt Mugu State Park Trails

Monday, January 26th, 2015

On Thursday January 22nd, we got an update of the status and future of Pt Mugu State Park by Dale Skinner. Dale manages trail maintenance for the State Parks for the SMMtns.

By way of background… The Springs Fire of May 2013 burned all the chaparral and some of the large trees throughout the park and the plant roots that normally hold the soil together were destroyed. Without this support, the heavy rains in December resulted in large mudslides in the park, burying or washing away some of the trails and impacting almost all of them. The photo below shows what remains of the main Sycamore Canyon Fireroad.

SAM_0886.jpg

You can see more photos of the damage in this Pt Mugu State Park mudslide gallery.

Since the mudslides, the park has been closed while bulldozers and other heavy equipment are used to restore the trails.

State Parks superintendent for the SMMtns, Craig Sap, is considering opening the north half of the park before repairs are completed on the south (ocean) side. The boundary would be the Wood Canyon Vista Trail, both at the bottom on the main Sycamore Canyon Trail and at the top on Overlook. That is, the trails would be closed south of the Wood Canyon Vista Trail.

It’s not yet know if this would happen, and if it does, when it would take effect. We may not know until the end of the month, when the current closure order expires and a new one would be posted.

It seems certain that at least the south half of the park will be closed past Jan 31. That’s because the damage to Sycamore Fireroad was extensive. Dale mentioned some ruts that are 4′ deep. Basically the stream overflowed its banks and decided that the road would be the new streambed. State Parks is trucking in tons of dirt to replace what was washed away. The dirt is coming from the PCH and other areas where stuff was washed down from the hillsides. It sounds like they’re going to elevate the road a little, I guess so future floods won’t go down the road.

The parking area for Chumash Trail was filled with several feet of dirt and the bottom of the trail was washed away. The dirt has been removed and it sounds like the bottom of the trail has been rebuilt (I’m not certain about this, but I do know that the Chumash Trail is one of the most popular trails in the SMMs).

Other trails didn’t fare so well. The La Jolla Canyon Trail was completely eliminated at the waterfall, not too far from the bottom. It’s just moved itself to the bottom of the ocean. Dale figures that trail will be closed for a year while they rebuild it. If you’ve every hiked up that trail, you’ll understand why it will be a huge effort to rebuilt it. To get past the waterfalls, they essentially had to carve steps into the rock cliff.

The Upper Sycamore Canyon Trail is also washed away in at least one spot, but Dale hopes that can be re-opened in a month or two.

Regarding the PCH, Dale thinks CalTrans is optimistic in their assessment of when it will re-open. There are two washouts where the road, at least in part, has collapsed all the way down to beach level.

I hope this has been somewhat illuminating about what’s going on. For now, it looks like we’ll have to wait until the end of the month to see when the upper part of the park will be opened.

As we wait for the park to re-open, the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council, with support from CORBA and other groups, has organized a number of work days for volunteers to help restore the trails. Because of many years of budget cutbacks, State Parks is not able afford to fix the park by themselves and they rely on volunteers to help.

Our Meetup group is having a work day on Feb 21st to help with restoration work on the Wood Canyon Vista Trail segment of the Backbone Trail. Everyone would be grateful if you’re able to volunteer to help out! No experience is necessary, and we’ll provide the tools and instructions on how to use them safely and effectively.

You can sign up for the restoration event here: http://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/219897835/

We’re hoping to get 15 volunteers but currently we are far short of that goal (Thanks to those who have signed up already!).

The Trails Council trail crew has a number of other work days set up for February on various trails. Below is the schedule and contact information if you’d like to help out. The meeting time is 8:30 am and return to the cars by 2:30 pm.

Saturday, January 31: Wood Canyon Vista Trail (multiuse segment of the Backbone Trail), contact John Kross/Jerry Mitcham (805) 587-0721

Wednesday, February 4: Serrano Canyon Trail, contact Barry Dydyk 805-499-5627.

Saturday, February 7: Chumash Trail, contact Dave Edwards 805-985-3728 h 805-279-3029 c

Wednesday, February 11: Chumash Trail, contact George Sherman/Dave Edwards (805) 490-0381

Saturday, February 14: Blue Canyon Trail (segment of the Backbone Trail), contact Jerry Mitcham 818-406-1269

Wednesday, February 18: Hidden Pond Trail, contact Norm Simmonds (805) 523- 7250

Saturday, February 21: Wood Canyon Vista Trail (multiuse segment of the Backbone Trail), contact the CORBA Meetup Event.

Wednesday, February 25: Wood Canyon Vista Trail (multiuse segment of the Backbone Trail), contact Norm Simmonds (805) 523-7250.

Saturday, February 28: Fossil Trail, contact John Kross/Jerry Mitcham (805) 587-0721.

Giant Bikes Builds Bypass Trail for COSCA

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

The staff of Giant Bicycles in Newbury Park volunteered for a session of trail maintenance for their hometown of Thousand Oaks. CORBA worked with the COSCA (Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency) rangers who oversee the open space in Thousand Oaks to organize a work project.

Staff from Giant Bikes at the trailhead, ready to get to work on the new trail

Staff from Giant Bikes at the trailhead, ready to get to work on the new trail

The project was to build a new trail, about 150 yards long, to bypass a steep, loose and marbley fall-line segment on the Los Robles Trail West in Newbury Park, just above the Felton Street connector trail. That part of the trail has always been extremely challenging to climb for even expert riders, and no doubt many who tried the descent came away with a case of road rash.

The rerouted trail is just to the west of the marbley section and is longer and therefore not quite as steep. In December, COSCA rangers laid out the new route and cut down the chaparral to reveal the trail corridor. Fifteen Giant volunteers gathered at the Felton Street trailhead on the morning of January 16th and, after a brief orientation and safety talk by the CORBA trail crew leader, grabbed tools and made the short hike to the work area. The crew was shown how to dig out the new trail from the slope, working one after the other so that each widened the new trail as they passed, ending with a 4′ wide multiuse surface. They were careful to ensure that the trail had a 4-5% outslope so that rain water would run off the outside, rather than down the middle, creating a new rut. CORBA’s crew leader and a COSCA ranger were there to oversee the work, offer guidance, answer questions and generally pitch in.

IMG_0475

With just 17 workers, it was uncertain if the trail could be completed in one morning. But the folks from Giant were really motivated, quickly learning how to build the trail, and got the job done so quickly that there was time to clean out three clogged drainages on the trail above the work area and build a new one.

COSCA and CORBA wish to give a hearty Thanks! to Giant and their staff for pitching in to help with the local trails!

You can view all the photos of this event in our Giant Bikes trailwork photo gallery.

January 2015 Skills Clinic Photos Published January 3rd

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

As always, the free Basic Skills Clinic was conducted on the first Saturday of the month in Malibu Creek State Park. This month we had nine riders on a beautiful sunny, but cool, day. You can see the photos in our January photo gallery, the first one for 2015!

President’s Message: A Look Back at 2014

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

As we prepare to ring in the new year, it’s a good time to reflect on what has happened over the past twelve months. Here’s a quick recap of CORBA’s most significant efforts of 2014.

strawberry peak trail crew Volunteers, February 16, 2014

Volunteers, February 16, 2014

Trailwork:  One of our biggest accomplishments in 2014 was the restoration of the Strawberry Peak Loop in spring, and the subsequent opening of the trail by the Forest Service on May 28. This much-loved trail was the focus of CORBA, The Sierra Club, and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps as we coordinated efforts to get the trail ready for opening. We were aided by a grant from REI which allowed us to bring in a professional trailbuilder for much of the heavier work. The restoration included a short re-route of one section of the trail that had always been troublesome.  Another planned re-route of the northern end of the Strawberry Peak trail through to Colby ranch is currently in the NEPA process, but the main Strawberry Peak loop used by cyclists is open and has been enjoyed all summer and fall. We also helped restore trails damaged in the Springs fire in Point Mugu State Park, worked on the Backbone trail, and our adopted Los Robles trail. For 2015 we are enlisting some new trail crew leaders, as we look to expand our trailwork activities.

 

CORBA's Youth Adventures

CORBA’s Youth Adventures

Youth Programs:  In 2014 our Youth Adventures program continued in full swing, with Mountain Bike Unit (MBU) volunteers taking at-risk youth out on the trails throughout the year.  We added another special event to our calendar, the Santa Monica Mountains Rec Fest, during which we put more than 200 kids on bikes at Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains. The Rec Fest was a great addition to the calendar, and we are hoping that funding can be found to repeat the event. In 2014 our Kids Club program was picked up by Carl Kolvenbach who is leading these monthly social rides for kids and their parents.

 

Skills Clinics: For the first Saturday of every month this year, and the past twenty years, we conducted our free Introduction to Mountain Biking Skills Clinics at Malibu Creek State Park. Hundreds of people learned basic skills at our free clinics this year. This free service will continue through 2015 and beyond.

 

Fillmore Bike Park Jump Line

Fillmore Bike Park Jump Line

Bike Parks:  Fillmore Bike Park construction is well underway. We worked with local advocates from Ride Heritage Valley and the City of Fillmore to bring a new bike park to the town. Construction began in the fall and is ongoing. The park will be opened to the public in 2015, a great asset to the local community.  In Thousand Oaks the plans for Sapwi Trails Community Park are in their final steps to approval. The plans include a pump track and dirt jumps for bikes, along with multi-use trails. We’re excited to see this facility approved and look forward to its construction. We still have pending proposals before L.A. County, and we hope to see continued progress on those proposals in the new year.

 

National Forest Management Plans:  2014 also saw the completion of the four SoCal National Forests Land Management Plan Amendments. During this five-year process we engaged with the Forest Service on the re-examination of their land management plans. The Forest Service was sued for not providing adequate protections for threatened and endangered species, and the settlement agreement had the Forest Service reassess areas of the four Forests for increased protections. The outcome of that process was the proposed Fish Canyon Recommended Wilderness. We filed a formal objection to the RW, as it would close three long-distance backcountry trails to bikes. Though these were not popular trails and hardly saw any use over the past several years, they are still a loss of opportunity to the mountain biking community. The final record of decision was a happy compromise: We now have a recommended wilderness area, but the trails will remain open to bikes until such time as a forest order is issued to specifically close the trails to bicycles.

President Obama signs the proclamation of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

President Obama signs the proclamation

National Monument: One of the biggest surprises of the year was the announcement and soon thereafter, the proclamation of the new San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. While we were all taken by surprise with this announcement, the outcome, our new National Monument, will help the Forest Service attract more resources to the area and bring more attention to our beloved mountains. CORBA will be actively participating in the development of the Management Plan for the National Monument, both as a part of the NEPA process, and as a part of a collaborative group brought together by the National Forest Foundation to ensure as much public engagement as possible in that process.

 

 

Bell boxes contain bells   which are free to all users. Please use a bell!

Bell boxes contain bells which are free to all users. Please use a bell!

Trail Safety: Over this past year CORBA engaged with the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council to strategize on trail safety. We developed an educational trail etiquette brochure, which is now being distributed throughout the area. The brochure has been very well-received. In 2015 we will expand upon those efforts by developing a companion trail etiquette web site. We have received a grant from the Trails and Greenways Foundation to achieve this goal. CORBA has also implemented a bell program in the Conejo Valley, and we now have several different style bells available for purchase.

 

CORBA Board: In 2014 we welcomed Wendy Engelberg to our board of directors, and the bundle of energy and enthusiasm she brings. Steve Messer took over from Mark Langton as board President, while Jennifer Klausner completed her final year as Executive Director of the LA County Bicycle Coalition. We have open seats on our board and welcome any inquiries or nominations.

 

A few losses: We lost our battle with State Parks over the revision of the California Code of Regulations pertaining to trail use in State Parks. While a win would have changed nothing with regards to existing trails, we felt the language we proposed was more welcoming to all trail users and a better regulation for new trails. State Parks leadership were chided for a mismanaged public process in developing the new regulations, which have since been sent back into the public process. However, it has become obvious that no amount of public engagement is going to change what State Parks wanted in the first place, a regulation that makes it more difficult to open trails to bikes.

California State Parks have been under much scrutiny with the Parks Forward Commission releasing findings of numerous areas that need improvement in the administration of our State Parks. Their plan will be released sometime in 2015. We are hoping to see some of the recommendations of the commission implemented, but the reforms will likely be difficult in this chronically mismanaged agency.

Looking forward to 2015, we’ll be as busy as ever. We’ll continue to work with State Parks, the National Park Service, the Forest Service, Los Angeles County, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency and local cities and conservancies. We’ll continue to monitor trail access issues. We’ll continue to advocate for more trail opportunities. We’ll continue to work with IMBA at the national level, and our neighboring IMBA Chapters and other trail organizations locally and state-wide.

At the moment we know of at least three major issues that will get our full attention in 2015. The first is the previously mentioned San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan.

Next is the Santa Monica Mountain Trails Master Plan. This plan has been in development for more than 12 years, and is the primary reason that State Parks have not yet followed through on their obligation to assess existing trails for bicycle use. We expect public hearings on the trail master plan to begin mid-winter. This will be one of the most important processes for you to stay involved with, and will determine the future of bicycle access to trails in the Santa Monica Mountains for decades to come.

Rim of the Valley Study Area

Rim of the Valley Study Area

The Rim of the Valley Corridor Study will also be released in Winter 2015. This study is examining the mountains surrounding the San Fernando, Simi, Conejo, and Crescenta and San Rafael valleys for an integrated management approach. This study has implications for trail connectivity, resource protection, wildlife corridors and more.

We need your support. CORBA, with it’s small but dedicated crew of volunteers, has a lot on our plate for 2015. But if we are to accomplish everything on our agenda for 2015, we’ll need some help from you. We depend on your support and your membership dollars. You have renewed your membership, right?  In addition to your membership, attending public meetings and submitting your comments on issues that affect our trails is the most important thing you can do.  Of course, volunteering to do trailwork is the most tangible ways you can make a difference. Join our Meetup group to stay up to date on our activities. We also welcome help in areas of graphic design, public relations/marketing, fundraising and grantwriting. If you’d like to just stay on top of what’s happening and get some of the inside scoop, consider attending our monthly board meetings.

Get out and ride. Stay informed and involved. Remember to be courteous to other trail users. Thanks for your support through a great 2014, and have a wonderful, happy and prosperous 2015!

Girlz Gone Riding News: 2014 Reflections and 2015

Friday, December 26th, 2014

With the enormous growth of women riding socially, GGR soared to 800 riders in 2014. This also made our annual Rocktober event the biggest yet with just under 200 women riders attending with a waiting list of over 100 to get in.  Here is a video of the event by GGR volunteer: Art Lertpiriyapong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snl9NGnaKmU

10710471_10152446583462358_1178046654575321870_o (1)Rocktober was especially exciting this year since we had more demo bikes thanks to Liv and Trek not to mention all the vendor booths we had this year! The women’s clothing was a huge hit thanks to the participating sponsors! Booths from  Shredly and ZOIC and sponsoring women’s riding clothes from Primal & Shebeest were raffled off. The G2 booth sold out of their YOU GOT CHICKED jersey’s.

We were super excited that CLIF sponsored the GGR fuel station this year. Clif provided hydration and recovery drinks as well as a table full of their goodies. Clif also provided items for every goody bag!

CORBA, a partner of GGR also had a huge presence at Rocktober as well as MBU: The Mountain Bike Patrol Unit.

We were also so very proud to have at Rocktober this year Petal Power! This was Petal Power’s 1st event. For the full line of sponsors and their websites, please go here: http://www.girlzgoneriding.com/event-sponsors-2014.html. The date for Rocktober 2015 will be announced in January.

One of GGR’s proudest moments of 2014 is adding our 1st chapter! The GGR IE chapter! For those of you that live in the Inland Empire, this is for you! Headed up by GGR’s own Jackie Reseigne! For the full article, please go to the blog here: http://www.girlzgoneriding.com/blog/ggr-opens-its-1st-chapter-in-the-inland-empire

GGR is proud to welcome our guest blogger Joh Rathbun who will be writing for GGR’s blog! http://www.girlzgoneriding.com/blog/review-of-sweet-spot-skirts

At this  year’s holiday ride and lunch, GGR girlz Wendy Engelberg and Amy Rambacher were interviewed by Roam Rydes for an upcoming podcast. Keep your eyes open for this one! http://www.roamrydes.com/

What can you expect for 2015 from GGR??

GGR will be adding a BIO page for up and coming riders who race , coach and who are involved in their communities. This new page will provide much needed exposure for women athletes all over the US.

GGR TentA women’s lounge at the races! For some of the Southridge USA and Rim Nordic races, GGR will have our big purple booth welcoming female athletes. The booth is there for a place to meet other women, network, leave your stuff, hang, find vet riders to session with, etc.

Clinics and trips! GGR continues to encourage learning skills to be safer riders that have a ton more fun on the trails! In  the 1st quarter of 2015, The Ride Like a Ninja skills clinics are returning to GGR. There are still spots open! Register here: http://sandiegomountainbikeskills.com/upcoming-clinics/

Also, March 21st and 22nd, GGR, Girls Ride 2 and G2 Bikes have proudly teamed up to bring Kat Sweet’s Sweetlines Shred Sessions to our women’s community! Sorry ladies, this 2 day clinic sold out the 1st day. http://sweetlines.com/

TRIPS! One of our favorite places to run away to with our bikes is BIG BEAR!  GGR will host a women’s weekend in Big Bear the 1st weekend of August. Dates to be confirmed soon. This is open to all women everywhere for strong beginners and up, both XC and DH! GGR goes to Big Bear all summer and also has co ed trips.

Day Trip: The R50! Ride for Ruwanda! This is an incredible charity event that we participate in. Register as a GGR club member here: https://50mileride.webconnex.com/registration2015

Other trips in the works: Kernville, Sea Otter, more Big Bear weekends!

For information on becoming a GGR member, club sponsor, opening a new chapter or volunteer, please contact us at wendy@girlzgoneriding.com.

From Wendy Engelberg

Report on December 6th Backbone Trailwork and Photos

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

IMG_0461[1]On Saturday, December 6th, a dozen CORBA volunteers and about half as many from the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council returned to the 2.5-mile long singletrack section of the Backbone Trail between Mulholland Hwy and Etz Meloy Motorway to continue the work we had started on November 8th. As before, the Trails Council crew hiked up to where they had previously worked down to, and continued down. CORBA volunteers worked up the trail from where we had left off last month.

We focused on clearing brush from the edge of the trail, but four volunteers took tread working tools to clear out old drains, and install new ones if needed. It had rained a few days earlier so we could clearly see where the water was running down the trail.

We’ll have to return in 2015 to finish off this section of the backbone trail.

Check out our photo gallery to see more dedicated volunteers at work!

December Skills Clinic photos published Tuesday, December 9

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

As always, the free basic Skills Clinic was conducted on the first Saturday of the month in Malibu Creek State Park. This month, Graham again took the photos because Steve was busy with trailwork on the Backbone Trail. You can see the photos in our December photo gallery.

IMBA Trail Building School in San Diego, Dec 6

Monday, November 17th, 2014
IMBA Trail Care Crew Visit with CORBA

IMBA Trail Care Crew’s last Visit with CORBA

Our friends and colleagues at the San Diego Mountain Bike Association will be hosting the IMBA Trail Care Crew on Saturday, December 6, from 9 a.m to 4 p.m.  If you missed out on the class hosted by CORBA and Mount Wilson Bicycling Association and would like to attend, you’re in luck. The IMBA Trail Care Crew trailbuilding class is free and open to anyone. Below are the details from SDMBA.


 

Trail Building School featuring the IMBA Trail Care Crew

Saturday, December 6th, from 9am ­ – 4pm

Locations:

IMBA Trail Building School: Crest Elementary School, 9am ­ – Noon, 2000 Suncrest Blvd., Crest, CA 92021

Field Demonstration/Trail Work: Crestridge Ecological Reserve, 1pm ­ – 4pm, 1171 Horsemill Road, Crest, CA 92021

The San Diego Mountain Biking Association regularly invites the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s (IMBA) Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew to visit our area. They will be in San Diego the weekend of December 4th­ – 7th to talk trails, teach people proper trail building technique and spend quality time digging in the dirt. The visit is one of 38 stops on the 2014 schedule. Each crew visit is anchored around IMBA’s highly­respected Trail Building School, during which the crew teaches sustainable trail construction and maintenance via a classroom session, followed by hands­on trail work.

If you’d like to learn more about sustainable trail design, building, and maintenance then you’ll get a lot out of this day. We’ll provide a light breakfast before the Trail School and lunch after the classroom session and before the field demonstration/trail work.

Cost: Through the generous support of Subaru, Trek, Yakima and REI we provide this training day at no cost.

Registration: For more information and to register for the IMBA Trail building School, contact:  Gardner Grady, SDMBA Crestridge Liaison: gardner(at)sdmba(dot)com

Register online here. Scroll down and click “Register Now” and then click the “yes” button under “TCC ­ Attending the IMBA Trail Building School?”

 

Report on the November 8th Backbone Trailwork and Photos

Sunday, November 9th, 2014
Google Earth view of our work area, looking north-west. The CORBA crew worked the bottom (green) and the Trails Council crew worked the top (yellow) of this 2.5-mile long segment of the Backbone Trail. Mulholland Hwy (23-S) is at the bottom of the image. The trail ends at Etz Meloy Motorway.

Google Earth view of our work area, looking north-west. The CORBA crew worked the bottom (green) and the Trails Council crew worked the top (yellow) of this 2.5-mile long segment of the Backbone Trail. Mulholland Hwy (23-S) is at the bottom of the image. The trail ends at Etz Meloy Motorway.

On Saturday, November 8th, 13 CORBA volunteers and 6-8 from the Santa Monica Trails Council combined forces to fix up the 2.5-mile long singletrack section of the Backbone Trail between Mulholland Hwy and Etz Meloy Motorway. The gentle grade of this trail, combined with sweeping turns, easy switchbacks, great views and connections to the rest of the Backbone Trail make this a favorite for mountain bikers.

Being more used to working a distance from the trailhead, the Trails Council crew hiked to the top and worked their way down while the CORBA crew started near the bottom and worked up the trail. We skipped the first few hundred feet because of the presence of invasive weeds; we didn’t want to spread the seeds around by disturbing these aggressive plants. Both groups completed about a half-mile of trail.

We focused on removing brush at the side of the trail, but a few workers concentrated on removing silt and other debris from the drains. Our priority is generally to make sure the trails are well drained so rainwater doesn’t erode ruts down the middle. The drains on this trail were plentiful and well designed when the trail was built about seven years ago, so we didn’t need to build any new ones as we do on most trails.

Check out our photo gallery to see more dedicated volunteers at work!

IMG_0388

November Skills Clinic photos published Monday, November 3

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

After a brief downpour on Friday night, the weather on Saturday for the skills clinic was mostly sunny. Five riders took part, four of whom drove down from Palmdale! Graham took the photos again this month; you can view them in this photo gallery.