Due to circumstances beyond our control, we must cancel our Town Hall meeting at Paramount Ranch this Saturday January 26. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements regarding meetings to discuss shared use issues with agency representatives of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Happy Trails!
Posts Tagged ‘Advocacy’
The trail user community, and mountain bikers in particular, have a unique opportunity to get involved with our open space trails on the ground floor this Saturday. Whether you’ve been using the trails for years or are new to our open space, you can meet the newly appointed Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) Superintendent David Szymanski and discuss with him how we can change the culture of shared use in our mountains.
An avid mountain biker who has logged hundreds of miles on SMMNRA and COSCA trails in just the few months he has been here, Szymanski has stated that mountain bikers in the SMMNRA are a integral part of the trail user community. This purpose of this meeting is to engage the mountain bike community to come together and examine the issues of our shared use trail system.
Your attendance and participation in this meeting will speak volumes in promoting a cohesive and caring trail user community now and for future generations.
We hope you will join CORBA in helping make this groundbreaking event a success. We need a good turnout of mountain bikers to show that we are willing to make shared use trails in the SMMNRA the most pleasant experience for everyone possible.
When: 1/26/13, 2pm
Where: Paramount Ranch Pavilion, 2903 Cornell Road, Agoura Hills, California 91301
There will be a short guided ride around the Paramount Ranch trail network following the meeting. Paramount Ranch’s trails are great for kids and new mountain bikers. Paramount Ranch is also the location of many film and television shoots over the years, and the historic Western town is interesting and educational.
Update: Due to circumstances beyond our control, we must cancel this event. See the follow-up post on this site for more info. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Newly appointed Superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) David Szymanski, along with several National Park Service and State Park representatives, will be available for a question and answer session this January 26 from 2:00-4:00pm at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills.
Presented by CORBA, this will be an opportunity to ask questions directly and discuss such issues as the future of the SMMNRA, improving user safety and minimizing conflicts, and creating a backcountry community through stewardship. This is a unique opportunity to meet our top land management representatives one-on-one and get a better sense of what the SMMNRA is going to look like in the next 10-15 years, especially on the brink of the final phases of the new Trail Management Plan.
It is important to have a strong showing from the mountain bike community to show our interest and commitment to working with land managers in the SMMNRA.
How many of you have New Year’s Resolutions that you are hoping to keep? There is one you can make and keep, guaranteed. It will help you, the mountain bike community, and the trail community at large. Ready? Slow down when passing others!
How many things in life can you do that actually solve a problem? On our trails, the one justifiable complaint about mountain bikers is that they sometimes go too fast when passing others, which can be scary and upsetting,even to other cyclists. So all you have to do is slow down when passing, and you SOLVE THE PROBLEM!
Slowing down while passing others on our shared-use trails is a pure win-win proposition. The people who you pass feel good about mountain bikers. WIN! You feel good because you didn’t scare anyone, and everyone has a pleasant exchange. WIN!
Here’s a suggestion: Treat others you are passing on the trail as if you are holding the door open for them. That brief pause is a show of consideration, courtesy, and humanity that will come back to you and the mountain bike community in many positive ways.
It’s up to you. Would you rather finish your ride knowing you did something positive for mountain bikers and trails users, or that you made it worse for yourself and the mountain bike community? You CAN make a difference. And all it takes is slowing down when passing other users!
A comment was made on our blog alleging that the area had been closed due to an incident involving a mountain biker being seriously injured. According to Public Affairs Manager Krista Phipps, the area was not closed as a direct result of the incident, but in response to several factors. “I was told by the Project Manager that [the incident which caused injury to the mountain biker] did not occur at the construction site. However, it was serious and required the person to be airlifted out of the canyon. Overall, there have been a series of close calls in and around the construction site and we just do not want to risk injury to the public or our employees,” said Phipps.
Please note that Sullivan Canyon is NOT public property. It is owned and operated by the Southern California Gas Company which maintains it as open to the public unless work to the gas line is necessary. The Gas Co. can rescind permission to access Sullivan Canyon at any time. In this case, many users will be effected, not just mountain bikers. This surely will come down to a blame game with mountain bikers bearing the brunt of criticism, and to a large degree rightly so. All we can ask is that you ride safely for the conditions, and remember that your actions represent the entire mountain bike community.
October 29, 2012
RE: Sullivan Canyon Closure – Southern California Gas Company Pipeline Protection Project
In follow up to the notice of September 17, 2012 regarding the Sullivan Canyon Maintenance Project, this correspondence is to inform you that in spite of our efforts to complete the project without impeding public access, we have determined that in order to maintain public safety, Sullivan Canyon will be closed to the public during the hours of 6am to 6pm Monday thru Saturday, effective immediately. This schedule will be maintained throughout the duration of the project to ensure safe operation of two high-pressure transmission pipelines located in the canyon. The project is expected to be completed by December 31, 2012. Please note that this completion date is an approximation and may change due to the needs of the project.
Additional closures and/or further restrictions will be posted on the gate at Queensferry Road and at the entrance to the property off of Mulholland Drive in advance, to the extent feasible. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this necessary work to ensure pipeline safety and maintenance of a reliable natural gas supply to the Los Angeles basin area. SoCal Gas appreciates your understanding of the need for this maintenance work and temporary disruption of canyon access. It is our goal to keep disruptions to a minimum and we regret temporary inconveniences.
Safety is our first priority. We appreciate customers and members of the community keeping us informed on conditions surrounding our facilities. Please feel free to share this notice with your networks which have an interest in the canyon.
Thank you for your understanding while we perform this necessary maintenance and repair work. Should you have any questions, please call me at (323) 371-0011 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CORBA has learned that NPS administrators were ready and willing to temporarily close trails in reaction to the issues of increased complaints and collisions listed in the press release. However, due to the trust and reputation that has been fostered and maintained through CORBA’s advocacy efforts with NPS, trail closures were not implemented at this time. Let’s show that we are a responsible user group by slowing down and showing courtesy to our fellow trail users. It’s simple: Slow down, solve the problem.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kate Kuykendall (NPS), 805-370-2343 or Mark Langton (CORBA), 805-558-1606
National Park Service Teams with Mountain Bikers to Promote Safe Riding
New technology may play role in increased complaints and collisions
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – In response to increased complaints and collisions on local trails, the National Park Service (NPS) has teamed with the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclist Association (CORBA) to promote safe and courteous riding in the Santa Monica Mountains.
“We’re thrilled that there is great demand for the public to enjoy the beauty and public health benefits of our extensive trail system,” said Melanie Turner, law enforcement ranger and mountain bike unit coordinator with Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA). “For the benefit and safety of all users, we ask people to follow proper trail etiquette and observe the 15 mph speed limit.”
Rangers report an uptick in visitor complaints regarding cyclists who are riding too fast or in restricted areas. Particularly on busy weekends, the effects can be dangerous. In the past year, accidents at Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyon resulted in several helicopter extractions, though the problem is not limited to that site.
Turner, who is an avid mountain biker herself, wonders if a new website that allows riders to publicly post their times on specific trails has led to an increase in violations. Strava (www.strava.com) shows speeds of up to 35 mph, with average speeds of 25 mph, on some trails within the recreation area. Made aware of the problem, Strava is working with Turner to prohibit users from posting times on certain trails, along with a message about trail regulations.
As part of its mission to promote safe riding, CORBA is working closely with SMMNRA, a unit of the National Park Service, to inform its members about these concerns and remind them about responsible riding tips.
“If you just slow down around other users (including other cyclists), you create a win-win for everyone,” said Mark Langton, president of CORBA. “Speed is subjective; what one person might think is slow might still be too fast. Even at 10 mph you can startle someone and disrupt their enjoyment of our open space. If you slow down, you literally solve the problem most people have with bicycles on the trail – that they go too fast and scare other users.”
Turner attended a recent CORBA meeting and is visiting local bike shops to let the community know that rangers will be stepping up patrols and issuing citations. Both organizations hope the efforts will result in a safe and enjoyable trail experience for all users.
About Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area:
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) is the largest urban national park in the country, encompassing more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. A unit of the National Park Service, it comprises a seamless network of local, state, and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities. As one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, SMMNRA preserves the rich biological diversity of more than 450 animal species and 26 distinct plant communities. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/samo.
About Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association:
Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association was founded in 1987 to serve the mountain bicycling community of Los Angeles and surrounding areas including southern Ventura County. CORBA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to gaining and maintaining public trail access for mountain cyclists and the public at-large. CORBA encourages and promotes the safe and environmentally responsible use of unpaved roads and trails for bicycling and to educate the public about all aspects of off-road cycling and trails. www.corbamtb.com.
In celebration of CORBA’s 25th Anniversary, on November 17 we will Ride up to The Hub in Topanga State Park and Mingle for a photo opportunity to show land managers and the trail user community that mountain bikers can and do coexist on the trails. We are hoping for 250 (or more) riders. Save the date and spread the word!
We’ll meet at 10am and around 10:30 we’ll take the group shot. We’ll then hand out cash prizes, with the top cash amount being $1,000. We’ll also be having a 50/50 drawing, so bring $20 in cash and put it into the pot, with the lucky winner getting half of whatever is collected and the other half going to CORBA.
How do you get to The Hub? There are several trail head locations you can start from. Reseda Blvd., Trippet Ranch, Sullivan Canyon, Mulholland Drive (dirt) from the east (Encino) or west (Woodland Hills), Will Rogers State Historic Park, Westridge Fireroad, and San Vicente Mountain Park (Nike Site), to name a few.
Check this map with all the trails and trailheads. The Hub is marked with a blue dot and the letter “z.”
Or, download this map. The Hub and the major trailheads are circled. Print it and bring it with you so you don’t get lost!
Though no RSVP is required, you can let us know you’re planning to Ride and Mingle on CORBA’s Meetup group.
By Mark Langton
It has come to our attention that it is possible that small group of mountain bikers is using the web site Strava to have “competitions” in various locations around the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation area.
Strava allows you to track and upload your outings onto their web site via a GPS tracking device. The data ncludes the time it took you to traverse a particular route. It seems that some mountain bikers are using this feature to create a “time trail” competition and posting their times to see who is fastest. Obviously, trying to go as fast as possible on our shared use trails is not acceptable as it can endanger other users, including but not limited to mountain bikers. In response to this situation, we have learned that National Park Service rangers will be intensifying their presence at locations known to be experiencing this time trial scenario, Cheeseboro Canyon Park in Agoura Hills being one of them.
Currently it is the policy of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area’s managing agencies that events that displace or affect the safety of other trail users on public open space trails are prohibited. If you want to race, go to a sanctioned race (usacycling.org). If you want to go fast, go to a location that is set up for high speed mountain biking, such as Mammoth Mountain (mammothmountain.com).
Donation boxes and info kiosks have been installed at the PCH entrances to Sycamore and and La Jolla Canyons, and at Chumash trail head. We have been informed that any and all donations collected at these stations will go directly to trail maintenance and resource projects in the state park where the money was collected. The kiosks will allow volunteer partners (such as CORBA) to post information about upcoming events and other general information.
As posted here recently, CORBA has been nominated for the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame by Hall of Fame member and long-time CORBA Supporter Dr. Al Farrell. The deadline for voting is July 15, and you must be a member of the Hall of Fame to vote.
CORBA is in a category with some very well-deserving nominees, all important to the sport of mountain biking. However, considering CORBA’s involvement not just locally in an area that sets the tone for advocacy, but also as a major contributor to the existence and growth of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), we feel that on our 25th Anniversary it would be a fitting tribute to all those who have made mountain biking a legitimate open space activity in the United States and around the world to receive this honor. Please go to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and Museum’s web site, join, then vote for CORBA for induction into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame!