Archive for the ‘Rides and Events’ Category

Santa Susana Mountains Trail Master Plan, Phase 2, Released

Monday, December 10th, 2018

Los Angeles County recently released the final Santa Susana Mountains Trail Master Plan, Phase 2.  CORBA and our friends a the Santa Clarita Valley Trail Users, as well as many local mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians, all gave input on the plan at a series of public meetings in 2016. The plan covers areas east of the I5 in Santa Clarita, including Towsley Canyon and other open spaces, some yet to be developed.

This is the third such trail master plan completed by the County in recent years. Previously, CORBA and SCVTU gave significant input on both the Castaic Area Trail Master Plan and the Santa Susana Mountains Trail Master Plan, Phase 1 and were happy to support both. We’re equally excited about the new plan. 

The plan reflects the comments the County heard from the public, what is feasible (or may be) under current zoning and land ownership, and what makes sense for current growth projections. The final plan has now been released. https://trails.lacounty.gov/Documents  It includes many elements about which we are particularly excited, including two potential bike skills park locations.  

CORBA’s SCVTU committee has submitted a letter of support for the plan, as has the CORBA Board of Directors. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors will vote to adopt this trail master plan as a component of the County General Plan on December 11, 2018. 

While we’re really encouraged by the plans, we realize that this is an aspirational document. It will be many years before being fully realized, if ever. The plan, if completed, would provide great connectivity, much improved recreational access to public lands. But realistically, it will take public support, partnerships and funding opportunities to see any of the plan complete.

CORBA, and our SCVTU Committee are ready and willing to help move elements of the trail master plan forward, such as the Bike Skills Park. 

The County will be moving forward with future trail master plans, which we’ll be sure to announce and advocate for more mountain biking opportunities and more trails for everyone. 

The Plan can be found among the County’s Trail Documents at https://trails.lacounty.gov/Files/Documents/137/SSMTMP-PII%20Final%20Trails%20Master%20Plan_December2018_web.pdf

Santa Clarita Valley Trail Users Letter of Support

CORBA Letter of support

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Update 12/11/2019, 11 a.m. The County Board of Supervisors today adopted the plan. 

REI and GGR Trailwork in Santa Clarita

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018
New Trail Construction at Golden Valley Ranch Open Space, Santa Clarita

This past Saturday, December 1st, CORBA’s Santa Clarita Valley Trail Users committee (SCVTU) organized another volunteer trail building day at Golden Valley Ranch Open Space in the City of Santa Clarita. 

The SCVTU has been working with the City of Santa Clarita to provide new trail opportunities on former ranch properties. Both East Walker Ranch and Golden Valley Ranch were acquired by the City to both limit future development of the area, and to provide a recreational open-space resource for the Santa Clarita Community. 

Earlier this year, the group completed approximately three miles of new trail at East Walker Ranch, which was used for last summer’s PedalFest mountain bike race series. 

The new trail being constructed will link East Walker Ranch to the southern neighborhoods of Santa Clarita around Fair Oaks. It will provide trail connectivity from the City’s neighborhoods to these open space areas, and eventually into the Angeles National Forest. The trail will be a much more enjoyable experience than some of the steep ridge line ranch roads that currently exist.

Earlier this year, REI awarded CORBA a $15,000 grant to help lead the new trail development. The grant is being utilized by SCVTU to purchase trailwork tools, materials, volunteer support, and professional contractor services where they are indicated. 

Not only did REI provide financial support, but last Saturday, REI Woodland Hills invited all their employees to join in on the effort. REI chose this project for their “employee community service day.”  Some REI folks brought out their entire family. Kids too young to be out on the trail helped pot native succulent plants which were given to volunteers as “thank-you” gift at the end of the day.

Girlz Gone Riding (GGR), a women’s mountain bike club supported by CORBA, sent about 18 women to put in work on the trail. The girls had a lot of fun. A common theme to the comments was how rewarding it is to help bring a brand new trail to life. 

Jose Gonzales, SCVTU’s trail guru, had spent several days over the last few weeks working with Jason Lindenberg to lay out and flag the new trail, along with some preliminary brush clearing. 

About 60 people came out to the event, staged at East Walker Ranch.  Our target for the day was to complete bench-cutting and clearing about a half mile of trail. With the enthusiasm and energy of the group, we were able to complete close to .7 miles! 

Rains earlier in the week had softened the ground, making it relatively easy to contour the trail and pack it down. Conditions were just about ideal for building new trail in this terrain. However, the sticky clay will not be friendly to hiking boots or tires, and the new trail should be avoided when wet. 

The Santa Clarita Valley Signal came out to cover the event. The City is also very excited about the project. We appreciate the enthusiasm of all the volunteers. REI Woodland Hills Store Manager Nikki said they had so much fun, they’re ready to come back in January and help finish building the trail.  

A delicious Mexican cuisine buffet was served after the trailwork

We expect there to be at least two more workdays to finish this trail segment, after which it will be opened to the public. Watch for announcements of upcoming trailwork opportunities.

December Free Skills Clinic Cancelled

Monday, November 26th, 2018

Due to the horrendous damage to Malibu Creek State Park, CORBA is unable to hold our monthly free mountain biking skills clinic. The free skills clinic has been held on the first Saturday of every month for more than 20 years. 

This is the first time that we have had to cancel the class, a testament to the dedication of Mark Langton, our skills clinic instructor. 

At this time there is no estimate for when Malibu Creek State Park will reopen. Our January clinic is still on the calendar but is very likely to be canceled or moved to a new location. 

November Skills Clinic photos posted November 6

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

Ezra, Mark’s long-time assistant and MBU member, took the photos this month because the regular photographer, Steve, was driving back from a week of mountain biking in Utah.

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.

October Skills Clinic photos posted October 6

Saturday, October 6th, 2018


It was a beautiful day for the skills clinic today – the temperature was in the mid-70’s with an occasional slight overcast. We had 7 riders, about typical for recent clinics.

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 October photo gallery.

See the Sisterhood of Shred Movie Screening on Sept 15th!

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

Girlz Gone Riding & REI are excited to bring the Sisterhood of Shred to the local screen! This will be a limited and intimate showing at REI Woodland Hills September 15th at 7pm.

In the male-dominated world of jumping bikes, a community of women riders emerge. From all walks of life and different points around the globe, they empower each other to push their personal limits on and off their bikes. They have banded together they are The Sisterhood of Shred.

  • The director of The Sisterhood of Shred, Meg Valliant, a 38-year-old mother of two, who paid her way through college working as a bicycle mechanic creating habits that flowed directly into her career as a full time camera technician with over 14 years of experience in the film industry. She continues to be active in the bicycle industry as a certified coach, brand ambassador, competitor, event organizer, and filmmaker.

Soundtrack

  • All Washington Based artists and a all female soundtrack
  • Keegan O’Neil composed 7 songs specifically for the film including the title track ‘Biker Girl’
  • Varnish supplied 2 songs for the film including their hit song ‘Bruise me’. http://www.varnishcentral.com/
  • Thunderpussy carries a progressive rock beat that really spices up the film. They supplied 3 songs for the soundtrack. http://www.thunderpussyusa.com/

Organized by Girlz Gone Riding http://www.girlzgoneriding.com/ in support of The Sapwi Bike Park http://sapwibikepark.com/ the suggested donation per person to see the movie is $15.00. You’re welcome to add more.

Winner of Seattle Transmedia & Independent film Festival. Winner Best Feature Documentary.

Port Orchard film festival: Winner Best Documentary

Registration is required: https://www.rei.com/event/the-sisterhood-of-shred-movie-night/woodland-hills/216318

Donate to the Sapwi Bike Park: http://sapwibikepark.com/sisterhood/

Discover the Gabrielino National Recreation Trail – First in the Nation

Monday, August 27th, 2018
Gabrielino Trail was the First National Recreation Trail in the nation
1970-05-20 – LA Times – Gabrielino Trail first National Recreation Trail

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Act of 1968, we truly appreciate the vision of the legislators who understood the need to expand and coordinate a national system of outdoor recreational trail opportunities. The act was signed into law on October 2, 1968

Last week we finished the restoration of the Gabrielino National Recreation Trail in the Angeles National Forest, with help from MWBA, REI and Edison.  But did you know the Gabrielino Trail we just restored was the very first National Recreation Trail in the Nation to be designated under the act?

These two Los Angeles Times stories are from May 20, 1970, announcing the designation, and from June 28, 1970, celebrating the designation “to attract hikers and horsemen.”

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Trail Users Celebrate: The Gabrielino National Recreation Trail is Back!

Friday, August 24th, 2018

Station Fire trail restoration has been a major focus of CORBA’s for the past nine years. On August 26, 2009, CORBA volunteers were headed out for routine volunteer trail maintenance in the Angeles National Forest.  “As I approached our trail work site, I could see a plume of smoke coming from the Arroyo Seco canyon,” said Steve Messer, then a trail work volunteer and now President of CORBA. “We canceled the trail work and watched helplessly as the forest burned for six more weeks.”

Nine years later, almost to the day, mountain biking volunteers have completed restoration of the Gabrielino National Recreation Trail through the Arroyo Seco canyon. This popular section was one of the most heavily damaged by the El Niño rains that flash-flooded the ashen canyon after the Station Fire, taking with it huge sections of the trail and forest. With the extreme damage, this was to be our most ambitious project and the final trail restoration effort from the 2009 Station Fire.

With the area completely closed to the public for more than seven years following the fire, the trail was choked off. Hundreds of burned trees had fallen across the trail and several retaining walls had failed. When people began venturing into the area, in many places there was no trail, so people began using the stream bed.

February 2016 hike-through and assessment

In February 2016, Messer hiked the Arroyo Seco section of the Gabrielino Trail with Forest Service officials and others to do an assessment and begin plans to restore the trail. It was an arduous journey, climbing over and under downed trees and thick brush, scrambling across debris fields where there was once a trail, and precariously shimmying along what used to be the trail tread.

After lengthy environmental reviews, the restoration project began in earnest in late 2017. Six volunteer chainsaw operators worked for two days to get the trail corridor opened enough to begin tread work. Downed trees were a constant challenge, and several sections required extensive additional chainsawing through log-jams. It took dozens of bob trailer-runs to get tools in place. Volunteers faced round-trip rides or hikes of ten to twelve miles to get to and from the work site. Some sections of the trail were restored that had failed long before the Station Fire.

The Mount Wilson Bicycling Association (MWBA) led monthly volunteer work days on the trail from November to July. Several volunteer work days were sponsored by local bike shops including Incycle, Pasadena Cyclery, Golden Saddle Cyclery and Montrose Cyclery. There was so much enthusiasm for the project that a few days there were more volunteers than tools.

Generous grants from REI and Southern California Edison enabled CORBA to hire professional trail builders, Bellfree Contractors, to complete some of the more technical work. By far, the majority of the work was done by 102 dedicated volunteers on 283 volunteer days. The 1,900 volunteer hours equates to over $60,000 in value to the Forest Service.

The final work was completed this week with the trail restored to its original alignment. Trail Closed signs had been in place at either end of the canyon since 2009. The signs were taken down this week.

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August Skills Clinic photos posted August 8

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Graham took over the photography for Steve, who was out of town, again this month – Thanks! Despite some issues with his cameras, Graham got some great shots, as always.

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.

Brown Mountain Bench Seating Project

Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Today, Saturday July 21, 2018, Eagle Scout candidate Nick Sercel from Troop 502 in La Canada installed three bench seats at the highly-popular Brown Mountain Saddle. Brown Mountain Saddle (it’s local name) is the high point of the Brown/Prieto loop, or a stopover on the Brown/Ken Burton loop, and is extremely popular stop.

There’s a definite need for something permant and safer to sit on! (April 2018)

In 2015, CORBA volunteers removed a downed tree from the Upper Brown Mountain fire road, not far above the saddle. The 20+ inch diameter tree was cut into 18 inch tall rounds, which we rolled down to the saddle. For the last three years those log rounds have been put to good use as a comfortable place to stop, take the weight off and enjoy the view. Now those log rounds are rotting, yet as recently as last month, people will find a piece that rotten wood to prop up and sit on.

To us, this demonstrated the demand for seating at the saddle, and how popular it would be. Informal polls confirmed the public support. CORBA submitted a proposal to the Forest Service for simple bench seating, which was approved a few weeks ago after a review by Forest Service staff. With the green light from the Forest Service, Nick Sercel contacted CORBA President Steve Messer to offer his services to construct and install the bench seats on CORBA’s behalf.

Nick was no stranger to CORBA. In 2010, CORBA helped coordinate the restoration of the Doc Larsen trail in Lakeview Terrace as a two-weekend eagle scout project with Nick’s older brother Chris Sercel, then a member of the St. Francis Knights high school mountain biking team. In fact, Chris’ project in 2010 was one of the early inspirations for NICA’s Teen Trail Corps program. Nick was there in 201o wielding a McLeod on the Doc Larsen

Hiking in the materials

Hiking in the materials

trail. Chris reciprocated today helping haul wood, and dig holes. CORBA was happy and honored to help facilitate both their Eagle Scout projects (though a little saddened that Doc Larsen trail burned again last year in the Creek Fire and is closed once again).

 

Nick spent a few weeks of prep work, planning, scouting the site and comparing similar bench seating in other Forest Service locations. Last weekend, he held a volunteer work day at his family home, cutting, drilling, and assembling the bench seats. With Forest Sevice-supplied paint, the benches were pre-painted before being installed today.

Sixteen volunteers, Nick’s friends, family and fellow scouts, and CORBA/MWBA volunteers Erik Hillard (MWBA), and Mike and Robin McGuire got the job done today, Saturday, July 21, 2018. We met at Millard, had a safety briefing, then consolidated into a few vehicles and drove up the fire road from Millard as far we could. From there, the scouts hiked in carrying the pre-painted, drilled and cut, pressure-treated lumber for the bench seats, while Steve Messer and Erik hauled all the tools on Bob Trailers (made possible by the Robert Axle Project’s custom bob-trailer compatible through axles). Special recognition is deserved by Nick’s parents, who hauled up a cooler with lunch for everyone!

After an hour trek/ride to the site, we began digging. Three benches required six holes about 3′ deep through hardened, packed dirt.  Minutes after we finished the first bench seat, a crew of locals who have ridden here for more than three decades immediately put the first seat to the test as they rested before their return descent. They were surprised and very appreciative! We expect these benches to see a lot of use. Two are placed to enjoy the view, while the third is placed by the trail sign where it sees afternoon shade.

 

 

Ready to install

 

Checking for height and level

 

Nick Sercel (seated) and crew admire the first bench seat installed brown mountain saddle

Eagle Scout Candidate Nick Sercel (seated) and his crew admire the first bench seat completed

 

All three benches were installed by 1 pm, well ahead of our scheduled finish. A hearty lunch was served, in time for everyone to enjoy lunch while seated on the new benches!

The crew enjoys lunch on the benches they installed!

It was a highly successful day! Despite the 90 degree weather, we completed the project. We thank Nick’s friends and family, Troop 502 from La Canada for their efforts to make these much-needed seating a reality. And of course a special thanks and kudos go to Nick Sercel for orchestrating the project. Dozens of mountain bikers came through the saddle as we were working, and everyone was excited and appreciative of this simple improvement to a popular stopping point for hikers, bikers and equestrians.

Next time you do the Brown/Prieto loop (one of the most popular and accessible MTB rides in the Angeles National Forest), take a break, enjoy the view and the breeze, and give thanks to Nick Sercel, the Boy Scouts, CORBA and MWBA for continuing to support trails and mountain biking!

 

Erik (MWBA Trail Boss), Steve (Corba President) and Eagle Scout Candidate Nick Sercel

 

Two of the three bench seats installed

 

The third bench, shaded in the afternoons, or out of the wind.

More photos can be found at https://photos.corbamtb.com