Archive for the ‘CORBA Youth Adventures’ Category

Kali Protectives Donates Helmets & Gloves for Youth Adventures Program!

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

At our April public monthly CORBA board meeting at REI last month, we learned that one of our vital programs, CORBA Youth Adventures Program, was in need of helmets and gloves.

Youth Adventures was implemented as a way of reaching out to groups of children that have had limited exposure to public parklands. Mountain bike rides are scheduled with organizations that serve disadvantaged, inner-city or at-risk youth from ages 8-17 and are held in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Youth Adventures supplies the bikes, helmets, gloves, water and snacks.”

During the meeting, I pinged my long time Kali guy Jon Sacks who has been my Kali link for many years via GGR: Girlz Gone Riding, whom they have supported since day one. I personally have been wearing Kali Protective products for the last 10 years.

John contacted the local rep Jason to see what could be done to help the program for these kids and between the two of them they made it happen!

Viola, a few weeks later look what arrives! Thank you Kali Protectives!

— Wendy Engleberg, CORBA Board Member

Kali Protectives Donation to CORBA #morekidsonbikes

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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2016: A Busy, Productive Year

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

2016 is behind us, and what a year it was for CORBA and mountain bikers! We were extremely busy last year, cutting trails, cutting trees, and working on behalf of the mountain bike community to ensure continued and improved access to mountain biking in the greater Los Angeles and Eastern Ventura County areas.

Jim Burton cuts the ceremonial ribbon, as Steve Messer, Matt Lay and Jenny Johnson of MWBA, and Ken's daughters Heather and Tania look on.

Opening of Ken Burton Trail

In 2016, the Gabrielino Trail Restoration project, with REI, Bellfree Contractors, and Los Angeles Conservation Corps, was completed.  Ken Burton Trail restoration with MWBA was completed, opening the Ken Burton trail and a popular loop after seven years of closure, thousands of volunteer hours, and nearly three years of planning.

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President’s Message: 2015 – A Year in Review

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

2015 has been one of the most active in CORBA’s history. There has been so much happening in our local mountains, in our sport, in our public lands, in the political landscape, and in bicycle advocacy in general. As always, CORBA has done its best to stay on top of the issues, to be leaders in the trail community, and to have a positive impact on our trails, our public lands, our community and our sport. Here’s a quick recap of what’s been happening this year, showing how your membership dollars and donations are being used to benefit all mountain bikers in the Los Angeles and Eastern Ventura Counties.

Advocacy

Puente Hills Landfill Meeting

Puente Hills Landfill Meeting

Much has happened this year on the mountain bike advocacy front. One of the biggest issues has been the start of the process to develop a Management Plan for our year-old San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. The National Forest Foundation convened a Community Collaborative group to develop a broad base of support from a diverse range of stakeholders to help guide the Forest Service in its management of the Angeles National Forest and the SGMNM. CORBA has been involved from the start, in 2014 on the committee to establish the Collaborative, and this year as an active participant in the Collaborative. Forty-five diverse interests are represented, some of whom have traditionally found themselves at odds with our community. This has truly expanded our outreach and strengthened our place in the community.

We’re also continuing to work with Los Angeles County on several fronts: the Castaic Area Trail Master Plan, the Los Angeles County Trails Manual, the now-completed Santa Susana Mountains Trail Master plan, the LA County Park Needs assessment, the Altadena Crest Trail Restoration, the Puente Hills Landfill and bicycle access to trails in general.

This year we joined the Los Angeles Bike Park Collective. We have pending Bike Park proposals with Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, City of Glendale, and Thousand Oaks. Fillmore Bike Park opened this past Spring.

We’re closely monitoring the development of the Santa Monica Mountains Trail Master Plan, which is expected to come out in draft form in 2016. We saw the Rim of the Valley Study completed. Legislation was introduced to create a new National Recreation Area, and expand our new National Monument. We’ve worked with legislators on a pending Wilderness bill, to ensure that it has minimum impact on mountain biking. We’re continuing to work with the Sierra Club and Wilderness Society to ensure that their efforts to protect our public lands do not impact our ability to enjoy them.

This year new e-bike legislation was introduced. Early drafts could have been interpreted to allow electric mountain bikes on non-motorized trails. We worked to clarify that this does not makes e-bike legal on trails. We’ll be watching the e-bike debate closely as they become more popular.

There’s a pending application to build a hotel on the DeAnza Trailhead. CORBA took the lead on asking the City of Calabasas to do a full EIR.

Outside the area, we’re keeping an eye on wilderness proposals in the Sierra Nevada mountains and BLM land swap proposals in the San Jacinto Mountains, both with the potential to close trails to bikes.

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Santa Monica Mountains Rec Fest 2015

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

2015-10-24 09.33.01The 2015 Rec Fest was held at Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains on October 24, 2015. The 2014 event was such a success we were delighted to hear that the event would be repeated again this year, thanks to grants and donations from the SAMOfund, Coke and others.

20151024030-Santa Monica Mountains Rec Fest Corba Youth AdventuresThe Rec Fest is all about opening the doors to the many forms of recreation available in our local mountains to people who may not know what’s possible. Visitors to the event were able to try their hand at casting a fishing line, riding a covered wagon, pitching a tent, riding a horse, rock climbing, or doing a nature hike. The local audobon society chapter was there to tell kids – and show them – some of the abundant birdlife found in our mountains. An astronomy club was there to show them what there is to be discovered in our skies (they pointed at the moon, visible during the day). At noon was a one-mile fun run on the trails, where each participant received a medal for finishing. There were plenty of interpretive stations along a nature hike, and craft and hobby activies.
And of course, thanks to the tireless efforts of Mountain Bike Unit volunteers

Lance, Larry, Dan, Joyce, Dave and Regina, and Walk & Rollers’ Jim Shanman, more than 160 kids, and some of their anxious parents, were able to try mountain biking through CORBA’s Youth Adventures program.

CORBA’s Youth Adventures program takes out at-risk youth from areas all over Los Angeles County for a half-day mountain bike ride in Malibu Creek State Park, Paramount Ranch, and other locations. About twice a month, ten to fifteen students, some of whom have never visited a State Park or any form of mountains, are taken out for an interpretive mountain bike ride. The program is run on behalf of CORBA by the Mountain Bike Unit. They’re the great volunteers we see patrolling the Santa Monica Mountains in their signature yellow jerseys. CORBA is truly grateful to have the Youth Adventures programs administered by MBU volunteers, and today’s event was no exception.

Walk & Rollers also brought tot’s balance bikes and smaller bikes with training wheels for the younger set. Throughout the day we had parents putting their kids on tot bikes. It’s always a blessing to see the kids’ eyes light up when they roll down the wooden ramp we had set up, and remind us of why we all ride bikes.

One of the truly great aspects of the event are the attendees. Families are bused in to the event from park-poor communities such as East Los Angeles, South Central Los Angeles and other underprivileged areas. It’s sad to see how many of these kids had never been to a park, never ridden a bicycle, or have never really discovered the outdoors. But at the same time that sadness is reversed as this new world of opportunity is opened up to them. They come back from the mountain bike ride breathing hard, but with an ear-to-ear grin.

With a fleet of about 35 bikes in operation, plus ten or so smaller bikes from Walk & Rollers, we still ran out of bikes (and guides) three or four times during the day’s festivities. That puts our estimate over 160 people who rode a mountain bike, most for the first time.

CORBA’s Youth Adventures is a great place to retire your old bikes. We’re gratefully accept tax-deductible donations of complete bikes or bike parts. Youth Adventures depends on volunteers and donations to continue giving underprivileged kids a chance to experience the joys of riding a bike in the great outdoors. If you’d like to make a donation please contact us.

Thanks to the National Park Service for having the foresight to organize this special event, and to the many docents, volunteers and staff who help make it happen. By all measures, the event was a great success and we look forward to it becoming an annual event.

 

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CORBA at the Santa Monica Mountains Rec Fest This Weekend

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Rec-Fest-Poster-04This Saturday, October 24, CORBA will be at the Santa Monica Mountains Rec Fest, in partnership with the National Park Service. The CORBA Youth Adventures program with the MBU will be there giving kids an opportunity to ride the trails of Paramount Ranch. If you’re headed that way, stop by and say Hi!  There’s lots of ways to learn about recreational opportunities in the National Recreation Area and in the outdoors in general, and it’s geared to kids and families who don’t usually get these opportunities. It’s a great program and CORBA is happy to help get more kids into the outdoors!

 

Learn more at http://www.nps.gov/samo/recfest2015.htm

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!

Over 200 Kids on Bikes at the Santa Monica Mountains Rec Fest

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
20140510103-Santa Monica Mountains Rec Fest, Youth Adventures

Ready to ride!

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This past weekend the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area hosted their first Recreation Festival. The National Park Service promoted the event widely in park-poor communities around Los Angeles. Paramount Ranch, with it’s historic movie set buildings and idyllic location in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains was a perfect place to introduce so many to the wonders of the great outdoors.

Visitors from underserved communities were bused in from Compton, South Los Angeles, Wilmington and other areas.  While there was a definite contingent of locals and experienced park visitors, it was wonderful to see so many people visiting the mountains for the first time. For many visitors, Spanish was the preferred language, often with the kids translating for their parents. Over 1700 people visited the Rec Fest and had the opportunity to experience a number of outdoor activities.

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Climbing, Fishing, Horseback Riding, Hiking and Mountain Biking at the Rec Fest

Kids were able to try climbing on one of two climbing walls, ride a horse on a trail ride, try fly-casting and learn about fishing. The local Audubon Society chapter talked about birding, and many of the birds that could be seen right from their booth. Everyone who completed the 1-mile trail running foot race were awarded a medal. A self-guided hiking route was marked for families to follow. CORBA’s Youth Adventures program offered kids a chance to ride a mountain bike on a guided trail ride. There was no shortage of things to do.

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CORBA’s Youth Adventures

CORBA was there in a big way to promote mountain biking. Girlz Gone Riding were also there encouraging lots of young women to try mountain biking. We had our CORBA booth, giving out information on trail etiquette and promoting our youth programs: CORBA Kids Club and CORBA Youth Adventures. But mostly we were answering “where can we ride bikes?” Fortunately, the answer was “right over there.”

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The early birds didn’t have to wait!

Mountain Bike Unit volunteers were on hand with CORBA’s Youth Adventures fleet of over 40 bikes, along with smaller kid’s bikes on loan from Walk N’ Rollers, a nonprofit in Culver City that promotes healthy transportation alternatives, such as walking and biking, for children. The MBU runs the Youth Adventures program on behalf of CORBA.

20140510079-Santa Monica Mountains Rec Fest, Youth Adventures

One group starts their ride, while others wait in line.

Well over 200 kids went out for either a short trail ride, or to ride a short course with some small wooden bike park features. For much of the day there was a 30-minute wait to get on a bike, and at times it was hard to get the kids off the bikes as they just wanted to keep doing laps. The kids’ ear-to-ear grins were their own reward. (more…)

National Park Service “RecFest” This Saturday 10/25/14

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Rec-Fest-Poster (1)Find out about recreational opportunities in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. CORBA and Girlz Gone Riding will be there with skills demonstrations, and CORBA’s Youth Adventures will have a kid’s safety rodeo and short trail rides, with bikes provided.

Niner Bikes’ Generous Donation To CORBA

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

CORBA recently received a generous donation of framekits from Niner Bikes.NIN_weblogo

Some of these sweet Niner frames will be put into CORBA’s Youth Adventures fleet, where at-risk youth are given the opportunity to experience the joy of  cycling on trails in our State Parks. Others will be raffled off to reward volunteers who come out for CORBA’s trailwork days, or to raise funds to support our programs. The generous donation will also benefit our neighboring IMBA Chapters, including the Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers, Mount Wilson Bicycling AssociationSHARE Mountain Bike Club and the San Diego Mountain Bike Association.

Niner Bikes Generous Donation to CORBA and IMBANiner has a strong history of supporting mountain biking advocacy. They truly understand that more trail opportunities helps grow the sport, and everyone benefits. As an Above and Beyond IMBA Corporate Member their custom IMBA-themed bikes have generated many thousands of dollars for IMBA at the national level. For many years they have also been there to support CORBA’s efforts at the local level.

They also understand mountain bikes themselves, making some of the sweetest mountain bikes available. Niner were among the original proponents of 29 inch wheels, and have helped advance the state-of-the-art in off-road bicycle design.

We thank Niner for their generous and ongoing support, which will ultimately benefit trails and mountain bikers throughout Southern California.