Archive for the ‘Special Announcement’ Category

Support CORBA with your Amazon Purchases

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Amazon Smile CORBA ScreenAmazon Smile is a program that allows Amazon customers to support CORBA through their Amazon purchases. Once you designate CORBA as your non-profit charity of choice, .5% of all eligible purchases made through http://smile.amazon.com will go to CORBA. There’s no additional cost to you. You can still use your Amazon Prime to get free shipping and other benefits.

It’s easy to set up. Go to http://smile.amazon.com/ch/95-4124454 to select CORBA as your beneficiary.  Then bookmark http://smile.amazon.com and remember to start your shopping there.

The funds raised will go to CORBA’s general fund, supporting our Youth, Advocacy and Outreach programs as well as our Volunteer Trail Crew. CORBA is volunteer-run, and all of the funds raised will go towards these programs.

More Ways to Support CORBA

REI: Shop at REI using this link.

Ralphs: Register your Ralphs Card with Ralphs Community Giving and designate CORBA using our “NPO” number 90320. 

For even more ways to support us visit http://www.corbamtb.com/membership/HelpCORBA.shtml

We appreciate your support!

Santa Monica Mtns Trail Days at Sycamore Canyon Apr 25-27

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

SMM Trail DaysOnce a year we have an opportunity to work on the trails and then BBQ and camp at Danielson Ranch in Pt Mugu State Park. It is opened annually for the Santa Monica Trail Days! This is a unique opportunity to work on the trails that we enjoy so much in Sycamore Canyon, and the Saturday workday is followed by a BBQ and prizes, with free camping available on Friday and/or Saturday night. This is hands down the best day to get in some trail maintenance work! Camping is optional; you may leave with the escort after the BBQ. There will be trailwork projects on both Saturday and Sunday. Sign up for one or both! Pre-registration is requested by April 21st so we’ll know how many people to prepare for.

Schedule at a glance

Friday night April 25 – arrive for overnight camping (optional). Bagels and hot beverages supplied Saturday morning for campers.

Saturday April 26Trailwork, barbecue dinner, prize give-away. Bring your own lunch. Optional overnight camping. Bagels and hot beverages supplied Sunday morning for campers.

Sunday April 27Trailwork, prize give-away. Bring your own lunch.

You can volunteer to help out on Saturday, Sunday, or both.

BRING: LUNCHES, BEVERAGES, SNACKS AND WATER. Tools and instruction on using them are provided.

WEAR: Gloves, hat, long pants, protective clothing, and work boots or sturdy shoes.

REGISTRATION: Advance registration is required for the activities shown below, and appreciated by April 21st!

Saturday Registration: http://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/173599122/
Sunday Registration: http://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/154204972/

TRAILWORK: Saturday and/or Sunday. Help out with one or both! There are also opportunities to help out in the camp instead of trailwork.

CAMPING: Free camping Friday and/or Saturday nights for volunteers at the Danielson Multi-use Area located under the sycamores and oaks in the heart of Point Mugu State Park. Bring your own gear.

DINNER: Sat. Night Barbecue Free FOR VOLUNTEERS. Bring appetizers and beverages.

PRIZES: Thank-you prize give-aways will be held Saturday after dinner and Sunday after trailwork.

VEHICLE ACCESS: You will be able to caravan into and out of the park by vehicle only at these few designated times:

ARRIVE: Friday – 5 pm and 7 pm Saturday – 8 am and 4:30 pm Sunday – 8:30 am

DEPART: Saturday – 4 pm and after campfire Sunday – 8 am and 2:30 pm

Full details and camping/dining details are also provided on the registration pages.

Backbone Trail blocked at the west end of Etz Meloy Mtwy

Monday, October 28th, 2013

A locked gate has been blocking the Backbone Trail (BBT) at the west end of Etz Meloy Motorway since mid-October. This interupts a very popular ride from the parking area on Encinal Canyon Road to the Mishe Mokwa Trailhead, covering the two newest singletrack sections of the Backbone Trail.

There has been a standard fireroad gate there for years, but apparently some months ago a side gate appeared that completely blocks passage along the road. This side gate was usually open or unlocked, but was permanently locked at about the time of the federal governement shutdown in October. This led to speculation that it was the National Park Service (NPS), owner of most of the land around this section of the BBT, who closed off the trail to keep people off of federal property during the government shutdown.

However, the locked gate was a surprise to the NPS as much as to the rest of us. Apparently one of the private landowners in the area has locked the gate. One rumor is that it is to keep noisy and littering partiers out.

Etz Meloy Access

Some of the land crossed by Etz Meloy Mtwy at the west end is still in private hands. The NPS is actively trying to acquire this propery or make some other arrangements with the landowners to allow public access. Until that happens, the west end of Etz Meloy has been and continutes to be closed to public access (see map above). The NPS asks that members of the public stay off of this section to help engender his cooperation in discussions to allow everyone to use this trail.

CORBA will provide more information as it becomes available.

A Tribute to Danusia Bennett-Taber

Monday, June 10th, 2013
Danusia Bennett-Taber Memorial Service

Danusia Bennett-Taber Memorial Service

Sunday, June 9, 2013, a memorial service was held for former CORBA Treasurer and Board Member Danusia Bennett-Taber. Around 80 friends, family, fellow volunteers, agency representatives, and one friendly horse, hiked or rode in to a secluded corner of Malibu Creek State Park. Under the majestic oaks with the sounds of rustling leaves and bird songs–one of Danusia’s favorite places in the park–people recalled some of their fond memories of her.

It was especially clear that there was much more to this wonderful woman than any of us really knew, except perhaps her husband Don, whose recollections brought both smiles and tears to the gathered crowd. We, as CORBA Board members knew her as a diligent and passionate volunteer who loved the mountains and the trails, with a penchant for making sure everything was done correctly.

Her family knew she volunteered, but according to them, she had never made any big deal of it. It was just something she did. CORBA’s Steve Messer talked about her legacy and dedication to mountain biking (copied below), the depth of which was unknown to her family. In fact, this was a common theme among those who spoke. Everyone seemed to know a different side of this remarkable woman. But the common thread was that she touched many people, in many meaningful ways.

Many thanks to the numerous past and present CORBA board members and volunteers who came out to celebrate her life, and our sincerest condolences to her non-mountain biking family and friends.

Special thanks go to Wendy Engelberg, who organized the service. Wendy collaborated with Danusia on a final project, a bell program that will serve multiple purposes: It will remind everyone of Danusia’s great work for the trail community, help ease tensions on the trails from user conflict, and raise money for the Sarcoma Alliance that helped Danusia through the most difficult times of her life. Look for the official announcement in the coming weeks.

 

Danusia Bennett-Taber and her husband Don, CORBA Fundraiser 2011.

Danusia Bennett-Taber and her husband Don, CORBA Fundraiser 2011.

Danusia’s Legacy with CORBA

Danusia joined CORBA’s board in 2007. I’d met her and worked as a volunteer with CORBA in the years prior to that, before I was asked to join the Board. But it wasn’t really until I learned the inner workings of CORBA that I came to appreciate how integral she was to the organization.

Danusia helped set-up CORBA up for a solid future in so many ways. Everything we’ve done since and all we’ve yet to accomplish are in many ways possible because of her efforts. She was the backbone of CORBA. Much like the Backbone trail that connects the various Parks that make the Santa Monica Mountains, Danusia’s work within CORBA connected all our various programs and made sure they had a solid core foundation from which to grow. For a few years there were just three of us running CORBA, and she was always there to make sure that Mark and I didn’t overlook some detail that could have caused problems, or miss a paperwork filing deadline. She had our backs.

It’s thanks to her expertise with computers and accounting that our books are in order, our finances are handled and up to date.  She left us in a much better state than when she joined CORBA’s Board and became Treasurer. Though she retired from the Board just over a year ago, she never really stopped volunteering.

Just a two weeks ago, she was making sure that CORBA’s 2012 tax filings were all in order. Despite her personal challenges, CORBA’s work was all-important to her. She set us up with the tools to move forward and continue our work uninterrupted.

But for her it wasn’t just about the management and the paperwork. It was about her passion for trails and the open spaces and public lands we all get to enjoy. She made sure that she gave back to the trails and, even after being presented with the biggest challenge of her life, learning of her rare cancer, she continued to come out to build new trails in the Conejo Open Space, attended public meetings about trails, and participated in trail maintenance in the Santa Monica Mountains, where she absolutely loved to ride and hike and felt truly at home.

She also wanted to make sure that other people had the same opportunities to enjoy the outdoors as she did. Her involvement with CORBA’s Youth Adventures program helped introduce many kids to the wonders of our great outdoors, and the joy and freedom of experiencing them by bicycle. Her ever-present smile and laughs with the kids were infectious. She also volunteered for the Mountain Bike Unit, patrolling the mountains to help make sure others were safe on the trails while at the same time protecting public lands and trails for everyone, regardless of how they enjoyed the trails. Her efforts to ensure the success of our various fundraisers made sure we had the resources to continue our work.

Mark Langton reminded me of how feisty and upset she became when a very few but vocal mountain bikers disagreed with CORBA’s philosophy of taking the high road and doing our best to work with Land Managers instead of against them. They’d complain or say bad things about CORBA’s cooperation with agencies, or our work to preserve and maintain trails. She took it personally, and felt we were misunderstood. Mark would have to reassure her that it isn’t personal. Those naysayers were concerned only about themselves, while we and Danusia were concerned about and protective of the trails and our greater community.

In our dealings with State and National Parks, and in our own internal development, she’d always make sure that the women’s point of view was always considered. She’d never let us forget that in this oftentimes male-dominated sport, that if more women were mountain biking we’d probably have a better overall image in the trail user community. Her work with Wendy Engleburg and Girlz Gone Riding helped introduce many women to mountain biking, and support and encourage them along the way.

One of the biggest transitions CORBA has undergone in its 26 year history was when we became an IMBA chapter a few years ago. It was a long and tedious process, with a lot of paperwork, filing of documents, and reconciling CORBA’s mission and operations with IMBA’s. Danusia took the lead on that process, and now, as an IMBA chapter, we’ve been able to grow and speak with a louder voice to land managers, with much more two-way coordination and collaboration between CORBA and IMBA. It’s been a wonderful change for us and for our growing membership. It’s just one of many aspects of Danusia’s legacy within CORBA that is helping guide us into a better future for mountain biking in Southern California.

Mark and my last communication with Danusia was a short, but very telling email about a week before she passed on. It was just a few sentences that essentially said, “Guys, it’s hospice time, and I’m really OK with it.” In those few sentences she was both comforting us by letting us know she’d come to terms with her situation and was ready to move on, and that she felt her work with CORBA was complete. She never wanted to have people fuss over her accomplishments and contributions, nor her final challenges.

CORBA is continuing to make progress on many fronts, albeit slow. The saddest thing about this great loss to our community is that she was not able to ride the Backbone trail end-to-end by bicycle, or see new trails opened to bikes in the Santa Monicas, or see a bike park completed, or witness the continued exponential growth in women’s and kids mountain biking. But we look forward to a day when many of us will see those sea-changes, and in many ways it will be thanks to her legacy.

Danusia, we miss you, we love you, and most of all we thank you for giving so much of yourself to our trails, our mountains, and our community. You’ll be truly missed, but your smile and spirit will live on and continue to touch as all, every time we’re on the trails.

Steve Messer

June 9, 2013

 

Membership Renewals: Choose CORBA as your Chapter!

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Many of our members have or will be receiving renewal notices for their combined CORBA/IMBA membership. Since CORBA became a chapter of IMBA in April 2011, you no longer need to join two separate organizations (local and national). Your individual and family membership dollars support advocacy, outreach and other efforts at both the National and local levels (Corporate and Retailer memberships are presently available only for IMBA).

However, to ensure you remain a member of CORBA, there’s one extra step. Be sure to choose CORBA as your local chapter so that your dollars will more directly impact local projects and advocacy. Of course, you’re free to choose a different chapter if there is another that is more appropriate, such as our neighbors and partners at the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association, IMBA’s newest California chapter.

Renewal reminders from IMBA will link you to a page where you will need to select your local chapter, pictured below, so Remember to Choose your Chapter:

 

 

 

You can also avoid the extra step by going to CORBA’s membership page directly. Donations to CORBA, over and above your membership, stay local and are also tax-deductible. You can make a donation at http://corbamtb.com/join/donate.shtml.

CORBA is proud to be an IMBA chapter, working together to strengthen the collective voice of the mountain biking community. We thank you for your ongoing support.