Archive for the ‘Trail Crew’ Category

COSCA Spring Trailwork Day March 23th

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Come out and join the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA), CORBA, the Santa Monica Trails Council and other volunteers for the Annual COSCA Spring Trailwork Day. We will be building a new trail in the Western Plateau/Conejo Canyons area.

At noon, following the morning of trail-building, workers will be treated to hamburgers/vegi-burgers, chips, fruit and drinks while enjoying the camaraderie of fellow trail enthusiasts!

Wear protective clothing (long-legged pants, long-sleeved shirts, sunglasses), sturdy shoes, gloves, hat and sunscreen.

No experience necessary. Tools and instructions on how to use them safely and effectively will be provided. Must be 18+ years of age. Beware of poison oak, ticks & rattlesnakes.

Follow directions of park rangers and trail crew leaders at all times.

Pre-registration is required so that COSCA will have enough tools, crew leaders and food!

Directions to the meeting place and other details are included on the online registration page.

Lots of brush removed from Backbone Trail west of Kanan during Feb 23 trailwork day – and photo gallery

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

During a joint trailwork day, CORBA and the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council trail crews cleared brush (lots and lots of it!) and fixed drainages on the 2.5 mile segment of the Backbone Trail west from Kanan Rd to Zuma Ridge Motorway.

CORBA volunteers are knee-deep in cuttings that have fallen into the trail
CORBA volunteers are knee-deep in cuttings that have fallen into the trail

We split into two teams to tackle this trail. 15 CORBA volunteers grabbed loppers and saws to take on the overgrowing brush. The tread along this segment is in pretty good shape, so a small group of four SMMTC and CORBA volunteers took earth-moving tools to clear out the drainages so rain water wouldn’t cause ruts in the future.

It’s important to clear brush from the trail not only to keep it from becoming so overgrown that it’s impassible, but also to increase the sight distances so approaching travellers can see each other from further away and have time to react/respond to the other’s presence. In the case of mountain bikers approaching hikers or equestrians, this should mean slowing down and preparing to stop, if necessary, to yield the right-of-way.

This trail had been worked by the SMMTC crew twice in the past few months so much of the brush had already been cut back, but there were two very bad sections. One was about 2/3 miles east of Zuma Ridge Mtwy where the brush has not been cut back for several years and both sides had grown almost to the middle. The other was on the switchbacks near Kanan Rd where the heavy branches overhead were drooping down so low that riders need to duck a lot of them.

We started from Zuma Ridge Mtwy and worked our way east, cutting back a few bushes to improve sight distances until we came to the major section that was overgrown. We spent most of our time there and now it’s very easily passible. And we created a huge pile of cut branches off the side of the trail!

Volunteers enjoy lunch at the Urbane Cafe after the workday is finished

Volunteers enjoy lunch at the Urbane Cafe after the workday is finished

Once that was done, we hiked east, pausing at the bridge for a snack and to enjoy the pretty area. We had hoped to clear the overhanging branches near Kanan Rd, but we only had time to clear some other problem spots we passed on the way there. Overall, we worked on 2 miles of the 2.5-mile long trail segment.

After putting the tools away, CST tires, 26″ and 29″, were distributed to everyone who wanted one, as a “Thank-you!” from CORBA, IMBA and CST Tires for helping out. Then we retired to Ubane Cafe for lunch.

We’ll have to have another trailwork day to clear those other low hangning branches, but they’re close to the trailhead so it will be easy to get to them. Stay tuned for news of future trailwork days to clear out this section!

Check out our trailwork photo gallery to see photos of this trailwork.

 

Backbone Trailwork Scheduled for February 23

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Join CORBA and the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council as we fix up the section of the Backbone Trail between Zuma Ridge Motorway and Kanan Road. We’ll mostly be cutting back overgrowing brush, especially branches that are hanging down and make riders duck as they go by. After the trailwork is finished, CORBA will have prizes for some (or all) lucky volunteers, and treat you to lunch afterwards.

Riding the Backbone Trail between Kanan and Zuma Ridge

No experience is necessary to help out with trailwork. Tools and instructions on how to use them safely and effectively will be provided. Must be 18+ years of age.Be sure to wear protective clothing (sturdy shoes, long pants and sleeves, hat, golves) and bring snacks, sunscreen and water. CORBA will provide the tools and training.

We request that you pre-register (by RSVPing “Yes” on our Meetup event) so that we’ll know how many tools to provide. Remember, by pre-registering, CORBA will treat you to lunch afterwards, and enter you in the drawing for mountain biking prizes! We have some great 2.25″ CST tires, for both 26ers and 29ers.

You can find the rest of the details, including times and directions, on our Meetup event.

The Grand Canyon by Bike, Not Burro

Friday, January 25th, 2013

The Suburu/IMBA Trail Care Crew helps bring new singletrack to the North Rim

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona has often been called the “eighth wonder of the world.” Lesser known is the area’s value as a mountain biking destination. Eighteen miles of moderate singletrack with stunning views into the canyon are open to bikes on the North Rim. The land is managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) North Kaibab Ranger District, which is looking to add additional miles to the existing, out-and-back trail.
IMBA Grand CanyonContrary to popular belief, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is not a desert. The Rainbow Rim trail sits at 8,000 feet, winding through forests of ponderosa pine and aspen trees. Users can expect to see abundant wildlife, including the rare Kaibab Squirrel, a white-tailed, tufted-eared critter that only lives in the 40-mile radius of the Kaibab Plateau. The forest is also home to wild turkeys, often spotted running in packs through the trees.
During the last weekend of September, the Subaru/ IMBA Trail Care Crew (TCC) helped the staff of the Kaibab forest prepare to add seven additional miles to the existing Rainbow Rim trail. Several of the rangers there are mountain bikers and wanted IMBA’s guidance to design the extension specifically for bikes.
To kick things off, IMBA hosted Land Manager Training, helping the Kaibab forest staff and rangers from the neighboring Dixie National Forest to better understand mountain bikers as a user group. The presentation was followed by a robust discussion about resource protection, risk management and trail design.
The Trail Care Crew—along with IMBA regional directors Ryan Schutz and Patrick Kell—then assisted the rangers in finding the most fun, beautiful and sustainable route for the new trail, which will utilize a steep side slope to add a loop and turn Rainbow Rim into a lollipop ride. Schutz, Kell and the TCC flagged the steep hillside carefully, using the contour to ensure good flow in the final trail while keeping riders off an unpleasantly steep, loose service road. The new section of planned trail must undergo an environmental assessment, but as soon as the Kaibob rangers get the go-ahead, construction will begin.
The Rainbow Rim project also involves a road-to-trail conversion, which is already underway. The TCC and volunteers from Arizona and New Mexico reclaimed 900 feet of road, converted 1,200 feet of road into trail and cut 900 feet of brand-new singletrack to bypass the old road. The USFS will finish where the volunteers left off, replacing the road with sinewy singletrack.
After a night spent camping on the North Rim with the volunteers and sharing a headlamp-lit cookout, the TCC had a chance to ride the Rainbow Rim trail.
“The remoteness of this trail gives you a feeling of isolation that is often not found at the South Rim,” said TCC member Jesse Livingston. “And the well-designed nature of the trail allows riders to enjoy mileage that is difficult to achieve in mountainous terrain.”
Only a few days after the TCC left the Grand Canyon, the Kaibab rangers contacted IMBA headquarters asking for more help with their next big trail idea. We hope this visit marks the beginning of a lasting partnership with one of America’s most treasured natural splendors.

SUBARU REWARDS IMBA MEMBERS WITH HASSLE-FREE VIP PURCHASES
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Youth Mountain Bike Teams Give Back to SoCal Trails

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

When the Southern California High School Mountain Bike League was founded in 2008, its mission statement included the following: “Foster a responsible attitude toward the use of trails and wilderness.” How to implement and encourage that part of the SoCal league’s mission is still evolving, but its founder and executive director, Matt Gunnell, is launching a new initiative that could have a big impact on the future of trail advocacy.
In the spring of 2012, Gunnell organized a trail workday for the SoCal league, run by the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA), an IMBA Chapter based in Los Angeles. Sixty-five student bike racers from five area high school mountain bike teams volunteered their efforts in the Angeles National Forest. The event led to a discussion between Gunnell and CORBA about how trail stewardship and etiquette could be introduced into the SoCal league’s programming.
“I realized that most of the kids and coaches coming into high school mountain bike racing have limited cycling backgrounds,” said Gunnell. We want to teach them that trail work is an important way to give back to the entire community.”
Gunnell envisions NICA leagues and individual high school teams creating partnerships with nearby IMBA Chapters and other established trail advocacy groups. He believes there is no need to reinvent the wheel when successful organizations already possess tools, trail building expertise and stewardship agreements with land managers.
Gunnell plans to make trail projects a regular part of the SoCal league’s training cycle. Coaches only need to stay in touch with the local IMBA Chapter, or other trail organization, to know when volunteer work days are scheduled. Then the teams can simply show up for the arranged events, ready to go to work.
Gunnell expects the SoCal league to expand to at least 400 student athletes, on 30 teams and with 80 coaches, by the spring of 2013. If each of the racers and coaches (and the occasional parent) contributed a four-hour workday it could generate more than 2,500 volunteer hours in a single year. As high school mountain biking grows across California and around the country, those numbers could become a significant source of trail stewardship.

Copied from IMBA Trail News, Fall 2012

IMBA Trail Care Crew comes to the Angeles National Forest

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

The weekend of October 20, together with the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association, CORBA hosted the IMBA Trail Care Crew for a visit to the Angeles National Forest. By all measurements, the visit was a great success, even as over 180 volunteers, 30 of them from CORBA, helped build trails in the Conejo Open Space on a conflicting event.

IMBA Trail Care Crew Visit with CORBA

IMBA Trail Care Crew Visit with CORBA

 

Jesse and Lori, Night Ride

Jesse and Lori, natives of Missouri, are six months into their two-year tour as the IMBA Trail Care crew.  Their visit to the San Gabriels started with a Thursday Night ride on the most recently re-opened singletrack trail in the San Gabriels, the Rim of the Valley Trail on Mount Lukens. This trail has undergone extensive restoration by a dedicated crew of City of Glendale volunteers, with earlier work done by CORBA’s former Trail Crew leader, Hans Kiefer a professional trailbuilding contractor and owner of Bellfree Contractors. The trail was in the best condition it has ever been in, aside from a burnt and mangled bridge near the bottom. The volunteer crew were able to cut a narrow trail around the bridge, though for most it will be a hike-a-bike. It’s a steep trail, with lots of very tight switchbacks and cliff-side exposure, definitely not for everyone.

Friday, October 19, day two of the visit, Steve Messer, and the TCC’s Jesse and Lori were joined by Gabriel Wanderley who is touring the country to learn about trail issues to take back to his native Brazil. He is hoping to get IMBA Brazil up and running over the coming year, expanding IMBA’s international presence. The four went up to Strawberry Peak Trail, for which CORBA has received a generous grant from REI to help rebuild, to map out a re-route. Messer had previously hiked the general corridor of the re-route with the Forest Service archaeologist, after the previous planned re-route was found to pass through a sensitive area.  As the crew familiarized themselves with the terrain, the general route was marked and rough-flagged in prep for the following day’s class.

 

 

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CORBA Awarded Grant from REI

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

CORBA’s trail crew was recently awarded a grant from REI for the restoration of the Strawberry Peak trail. Strawberry Peak Trail was severely damaged in the Station Fire of 2009, and remains closed to all users.

Most of the trail was devastated by winter rains in the two winters after the great fire had decimated the vegetation. Above average rainfall and heavy storms sent debris flows across the trails. Wooden retaining walls that supported the trail were burned away and need to be replaced. The trail is in need of much work.

We hope to re-route around this troublesome section near Redbox

We hope to re-route around this troublesome section near Redbox

The REI grant will be matched with funds from the National Forest Foundation, as much of the trail lies in the Big Tujunga drainage, a designated NFF Treasured Landscape. The funds will be used for the purchase of additional tools, materials needed for the repairs and supplies for volunteers. Additionally, the funds allow for a private contractor to be utilized to do some of the heavy work, allowing volunteers to repair the retaining walls and do the finish tread work. We will also work alongside other groups, including the Sierra Club to restore this iconic and much-loved trail.

When reviewing the trail post-fire, the particularly troublesome section of trail where the trail leaves the old Barley Flats fire road, was a deep and long ravine. We proposed re-routing this section of trail to avoid the fall line rocky section. That re-route is pending review by the Forest Service. We hope to have approval for the re-route in time for the IMBA Trail Care Crew’s visit on October 20/21.

Over the coming year we will have regular work days on the Strawberry Peak trail. If you care about this trail, watch our calendar for upcoming trailwork dates, and email trailcrew@corbamtb.com to let us know your interest. We plan to kick off the trailwork with an upcoming visit from the IMBA Trail Care Crew.

A previous REI grant allowed CORBA to restore several trails in the Station Fire burn area which are now open and in use. We are truly grateful to REI for their ongoing support of this, and many other CORBA programs.

Learn how to build and maintain trails with the IMBA Trail Care Crew, Saturday, Oct 20, 2012

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Join CORBA, the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association, and the IMBA Trail Care Crew, for a day of learning how to build and maintain trails. This free one-day class includes a morning classroom session, followed by an afternoon of hands-on instruction building and repairing a trail.

The IMBA Trail Care Crew was last here in 2007, during which time they worked on western end of the Idlehour trail.  For this visit we will be working on the Strawberry Peak trail, which was devastated during the Station Fire and remains closed to the public.  A proposal for re-routing an always troublesome section of the old trail is being processed right now. We hope to have final approval for the re-route in time to begin work on the new section for the class. If not, there is plenty of work to be done on the existing trail.

The class is free, and lunch will be provided to all participants, with a limit of 40 participants.  So Cal High School League/NICA coaches can get development credit for attending the class.

The morning session begins at 9 a.m. and will be held at the La Casita de Arroyo in Pasadena, located at 177 S. Arroyo Boulevard, Pasadena. After lunch, we’ll carpool to Redbox in the Angeles National Forest to work on the Strawberry Peak trail.

Please RSVP by sending an email to trailcrew@corbamtb.com, or on IMBA’s site by clicking here, so we can make sure everyone is covered for tools, safety equipment, and food.  For the hands-on portion of the class, you’ll be required to wear sturdy shoes, long pants, long sleeves and gardening or work gloves. We’ll supply hard hats (and some gloves for those who don’t have their own).

 

CORBA Presentation for Land Managers, October 19, 2012

Monday, October 1st, 2012

CORBA and our neighboring IMBA chapter, the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association, will be co-hosting the IMBA Trail Care Crew for a visit to our local mountains. As a part of their visit, we are together hosting a session for Land Managers. The session will introduce you to IMBA as an organization. Attendees will learn how we, as local IMBA Chapters, can help land managers with their trails and open space programs, as well as up-to-date techniques and principles of trail design and construction. Additionally the Trail Care Crew will teach a one-day trailbuilding and maintenance class for volunteers.

The IMBA Trail Care Crew is world-renowned for their expertise in trail design, maintenance, and other issues. This is a unique opportunity to learn from those who live, breathe, and eat multi-use trails year-round, and to exchange ideas about trail construction, conflict resolution and other issues shared by most land managers.

The session is being held at the Angeles National Forest headquarters.

From the IMBA web site: “The Land Manager training educates land managers on IMBA and the practice of designing, building and maintaining sustainable trails; as well as the importance of partnerships with local mountain biking organizations to achieve great trails. The curriculum is geared toward land managers who oversee land that is either provides, or has the potential to provide mountain biking opportunities. This presentation is essential to inform land managers and community leaders on how to partner with clubs to build responsible, thoughtful trails. This presentation helps grow local group’s trust in IMBA, trail building and mountain biking.”

Besides the United States Forest Service, California State Parks, and Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation, we cordially invite all local government agencies and trail advocacy organizations in our area. The session size is limited to 30 people.

Please RSVP or email any questions to steve at corbamtb.com, or call 323-743-3682. 

IMBA Trail Care Crew with CORBA and MWBA
Land Managers’ Workshop
Friday, October 19, 2012, 1pm – 4pm.
Angeles National Forest Headquarters
701 N. Santa Anita Ave,
Arcadia, CA 91006

Directions: Google Map. If you are on the 210 freeway heading east, exit Santa Anita Avenue, and turn right at the off-ramp. Then turn immediately right into the ANF Headquarters, just a few yards south of the off-ramp. From the 210 west, turn left, proceed under the freeeway, and look for the first driveway after passing the eastbound freeway off ramp.

Mesa Peak Singletrack Trailwork Report and Photos

Monday, September 17th, 2012

On Saturday morning, September 15, fifteen volunteers from the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council trail crew, Calabasas Day Hikers Meetup group and CORBA gathered in the parking area at the bottom of the Mesa Peak Motorway singletrack, a segment of the Backbone Trail in Malibu Creek State Park. We had learned the evening before that possibly hundreds of road cyclists and onlookers would be gathering at the corner of Piuma and Malibu Canyon Roads for the annual LaGrange Piuma Hill Climb. This was less than 1/4 mile away, and we could envision all the parking being taken up by this group, but as it turned out, there was just enough parking for the trailwork volunteers.

Looking at the huge rut and planning how to fix it.

Our job for the day was to fix an extremely serious rut near the trailhead, clean out existing drainages and install new ones to prevent further water damage and rutting, and cut back several years of overgrowing brush.

The challenge of the work would be compounded by temperatures expect to reach just over 100 degrees. Fortunately 90% of the work was in the shade. Also, CORBA provided lots of water for those who ran short, and two of us had mist bottles to spray down coworkers from time to time.

The rut is filled in and the surface is smooth, but very loose

The Trails Council crew did most of the the treadwork, filling in the huge rut much more quickly than I had expected, then going on to clean out old or build new drainages. These drainages are critical to preserving the trail by shunting the water off the side, so it doesn’t run down the middle of the trail and cause further errosion and huge ruts.

Meanwhile, the CORBA and Calabasas Day Hiker volunteers mostly grabbed loppers and saws and went to work on the overgrowth. The brush to be removed had previously been marked with bright orange surveyor’s tape. After cutting down the brush, the tape was removed and pocketed, then the clippings were tossed over the edge, hidden from view of the trail as much as possible. We took off the orange plastic tape because it would become trash on the hillsides as the clippings slowly decomposed.

Remove the cuttings of overgrown brush

We finished up the workday about an hour earlier than planned because of the temperature. Besides, we had already accomplished almost everything that could be done.

CORBA volunteers selected a mtn bike tire, courtesy of IMBA and CST, as a reward for all their diligent work. Then CORBA treated the CORBA and Calabasas Day Hiker volunteers to lunch at the Urbane Cafe to further show our appreciation. (The Trails Council crew packs their own lunch and eat it on the trail in the middle of the workday.)

CORBA volunteers show off their new CST tires, courtesy of CST and IMBA

A word of warning: The trail is fairly smooth where we filled in the huge rut, but it is very loose due to the dry conditions. Be careful when riding through this section! The loose dirt extends down at least a foot, and is up to two feet deep where this rut was filled in.

View all the photos in our trailwork photo gallery!

Lunch at the Urbane Cafe