Kali Protectives Donates Helmets & Gloves for Youth Adventures Program!

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!

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

— Wendy Engleberg, CORBA Board Member

Kali Protectives Donation to CORBA #morekidsonbikes

 

 

 

 

 

 

May Skills Clinic photos posted May 5

May 5th, 2018

We had a relatively large group of 14 riders this month. It was a hot day in the park (a little over 90-degrees) and the park was very crowded. There seemed to be several events going on in addition to the Skills Clinic.

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 May photo gallery.

The May 2018 eTerraTimes newsletter was posted May 3

May 3rd, 2018

CORBA’s eTerraTimes newsletter for May was posted today, May3. If you don’t get it by email, you can the online version on our website.

San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan Released

May 3rd, 2018

On April 20, 2018, some five months after the mandated 3 year time frame, the Forest Service released the final San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan and associated Environmental Analysis to the public for review. The release kicks off a 45-day objection period.

Under the Forest Service’s revised 2012 Planning Rule, during an objection period any person or entity that submitted substantive public comments on the draft plan can object only to items or topics that were in their formally-submitted comments that were not addressed in the final plan.  This means that CORBA, having submitted substantive comments with the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association, can only object to elements of the final plan that are directly related to those comments.

We were also signatories to the San Gabriel Mountains Community Collaborative’s comments. As chair of the Trails and Recreation Ad-Hoc Committee, CORBA’s Steve Messer helped develop the collaborative’s comments, along with many experts in their respective fields (biology, utilities, cultural history, social justice, etc). The Collaborative is diving deep into the released plan to see if there is anything to which we have the basis for an objection. Thus far, we have uncovered some inconsistencies between different sections of the plan, but the majority of the Collaborative’s comments appear to have been addressed in the final plan.

Some of CORBA’s comments were aspirational and beyond the scope of a Management Plan, others were more practical and project-specific, also not suitable for a Management Plan. As was the case with the draft plan, we have found nothing in the plan that negatively impacts mountain biking. There are aspects, such as the PCT viewshed protections, which we noted in our original comments, could have an impact on future trail development, overall we are confident that the plan allows for continued bicycle access to existing trails in the SGMNM.

As we delve further into the intricacies of the newly released planning documents, we’ll be sure to report on any further issues we find. The plan documents are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=46964 and look for the Decision documents.

The documents are available here as well:

LA Times Reports on Gabrielino Trail Restoration

May 2nd, 2018

At the last volunteer work day on the Gabrielino Trail, we were delighted to have Louis Sahagun, reporter for the LA Times and a photographer join us. They were there to cover the restoration efforts undertaken by CORBA and MWBA on the Angeles National Forest.

Quoted in the story are Erik Hillard and Matt Baffert of the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association, and Steve Messer of CORBA. The article covers efforts by mountain bikers to open the Gabrielino Trail from Redbox to JPL, but doesn’t mention the continuing efforts by the Boy Scouts, the Sierra Club, and the Angeles Crest 100 volunteers who have worked on the trail east of Redbox.

We appreciate the news coverage! Read it on the LA Times web site, or in the March 2nd 2018 print edition.  http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-gabrielino-trail-20180502-story.html.

We also have a PDF version.

 

Sapwi Bike Park Status as of May 1, 2018

May 1st, 2018

Building a berm.

The Conejo Recreation and Park district is progressing on the park. After a delay in the fence materials, the fencing should be installed soon. The roof for the shade structure next week. Trees and boulders have been installed. Please like the “Sapwi Bike Park” Facebook page for future announcements of our fundraising events. You can help out by making a charitable contribution that will go towards construction!

For more information, visit sapwibikepark.com.

Report on Santa Monica Mountains Trail Days, April 27-29, 2018

May 1st, 2018

Two trails in Point Mugu State Park (Sycamore Canyon) had significant improvements made to them despite the light turnout this year for the annual SMM Trail Days. For Saturday, the major work day, only about 130 people had preregistered online, so we expected about 100 to show up.

Cutting back the grass to make room for a drainage dip on the Sin Nombre Trail.

Most of the volunteers headed to the Hidden Pond Trail to deal with seriously overgrowing brush and some bad ruts. Meanwhile, five mountain bikers who had signed up via CORBA headed to the Sin Nombre Trail to address the serious rutting. We have worked on this trail in the past, most recently in 2016. Most of the tread is holding up pretty well, but several sections have developed severe ruts where the trail goes straight down the hill (a ‘fall-line’ trail). The ruts develop because there is no place for rainwater to drain off other than following the trail straight down the hill. Short of rerouting the trail so it is doesn’t follow the fall-line, there is no way to repair these serious ruts. As a result, the trail has become very broad as users avoid the rut and create a new path next to the rut. This has happened more than once. All we can hope to do is to avoid the rut enlarging with the next rain, and to prevent another rut from forming in the middle of the new path. We do this by cutting a drainage dip in the trail at the top of the fall-line section to divert the water off the trail before it can erode (or enlarge) a rut.

So on Saturday, the five of us from CORBA, including president Steve Messer, built eight drainages along the entire 1.1 miles length of the Sin Nombre Trail. Digging these were hard work for three reasons. First, the drains had to be quite long to move the water away from the fall-line trail. Second, we had to remove a lot of very thick and robustly rooted grass to build the drain. Finally, the dirt of the trail was almost concrete-hard so was hard to dig through. But we put in a huge effort and even got back to camp a little early so we could beat the crowd to the showers!

On the Hidden Pond Trail on Sunday.

As always, the crowd on Sunday was only about a quarter of Saturday. We all headed off to Hidden Pond Trail (closed to bikes) to complete the work that had been started on Saturday. That involved cutting back grass and brush with a powered hedge trimmer, raking up the cuttings and disposing them of the out of view of the trail, cutting larger brush with loppers, removing a few yucca plants, digging a few drains and filling in some ruts. Most of the trail had been worked on Saturday, so the 20-25 volunteers were able to finish off the trail on Sunday by noon.

Back at the camp, we had lunch made from leftovers from Saturday’s barbecue dinner, followed by another prize give-away. Finally, we packed up, cleaned up the camp and headed back home, happy to have made so much improvement to the trails in just two days!

You can see more photos of the work in our photo gallery of the 2018 event.

 

Summary of Backbone Trail Restoration Done April 14, 2018

April 18th, 2018

Using a weed whacker to cut back the grass

Twelve CORBA and Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council volunteers turned out to help restore the Backbone Trail on the west side of Latigo Canyon Trail this past Saturday. With this relatively small turnout, we weren’t able to do much to repair the substantial ruts, so we focused on cutting back the brush. Power hedge trimmers and a weed whacker allowed us to accomplish much more than if we had been using only hand tools. Overall we cut back brush over 0.44 miles, and trimmed grass over an even greater distance! The work went so quickly that we were able to repair two drains that were completely filled in. We hope to schedule another event there in the fall when we can focus on fixing the ruts and building drains to prevent them from forming again.

Cleaning up the trimmings.

2018 Angeles National Forest Trail Stewardship Summit Report

April 10th, 2018

This past weekend we had an amazing four days at the 2018 Angeles National Forest Trail Stewardship Summit. In the days prior to the summit, we showed some of our trails, our previous trailwork, and our current Gabrielino trail restoration project to Regional forest service staff, and trail construction experts.

The Angeles National Forest was selected as one of fifteen priority sites for trail maintenance under the National Forest Trail Stewardship Act of 2016. As a priority site, the goal is to double the number of trail miles maintained on the Angeles.

We held a series of discussions with Forest Service Region 5 about our trail system and Station Fire recovery efforts. CORBA has received $35,000 in grants from REI and Southern California Edison, for the Gabrielino Trail restoration. CORBA and MWBA’s awesome volunteers have contributed over 2500 hours of volunteer labor at a value of over $56,000.

Some great news has come out of the summit. Using the above contributions as a match, the regional office of the Forest Service has allocated $100,000 to restore and improve the Gabrielino National Recreation Trail. We’re in the process of writing up a formal cost-share partnership agreement with the Forest Service to manage that investment into our local trails.

At the summit, partners, volunteers and Forest Service staff brainstormed on how to remove bottlenecks to getting things done. We discussed how to make it easier for volunteers to do the necessary paperwork by moving to an online system, minimizing shuffling paper and lengthy email chains. We talked about how to get better information on trails and their conditions for the public, as well as how to better coordinate efforts between volunteer groups. Good things are in the works and potential solutions to both of these shortfalls are being explored right now.

CORBA President Steve Messer spoke about the San Gabriel Mountains Community Collaborative (video here), and on how volunteers and NGO’s like  CORBA and MWBA, and the partnerships we have with the Forest Service are a vital component of sustainability of our trails (video here).  Other presentations from LA County, Equestrian trail patroller, Jim Lesh, IMBA Trail Solutions, MWBA, and regional Forest Service Trails Coordinator Garrett Villanueva helped guide the breakout sessions exploring how to achieve some of these goals.

We then spent two days learning about and refining our trail maintenance skills on Sunset Ridge Trail, where volunteers and trail crew leaders learned updated techniques to managing water on trails, minimizing erosion, and decreasing future maintenance needs. We learned from some of the most knowledgeable trailbuilders from IMBA Trail Solutions and the Forest Service. Sunset Ridge trail received some treatments to help improve water control.

It was an extremely positive summit with lots of productive exchange and a path to move forward. We thank the Forest Service and their Regional staff, IMBA Trail Solutions, MWBA, the National Forest Foundation, and all the other volunteers and partners from around the region who participated.

 

April Skills Clinic photos posted April 9

April 9th, 2018

This month we had six riders. The weather was clear and cool (a slight possibility of rain was forecast but none fell) but the stream had some slimy water in it, so we skipped the creek crossing and rode down to the Rock Pool instead. The park was getting really crowded as we were riding back to the cars with many large groups of people using the trails.

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 April photo gallery.