A Message from CORBA’s President
By Mark Langton
The recent Canyon
Trail issue (and see story below) in
Placerita Canyon in the Santa Clarita Valley points out that mountain
bikers must continually be watchful for those who would try to restrict
the public’s access to public parks. While the actual reasons and
influences that closed this trail (and the trails at Vasquez Rocks,
also managed by Los Angeles County Parks) may not be fully known,
it is clear that mountain bikers must still behave with courtesy
and respect for other trail users. I’m not saying that mountain
bikers in the Santa Clarita Valley are willfully being disrespectful,
but the vast majority of mountain bikers simply aren’t aware that
even at slow speeds they are still intimidating to pedestrians and
equestrians. While 10 miles per hour is barely crawling on a mountain
bike, it’s still 2-3 times faster than a walking pace, and riding
up from behind someone even at 10 miles per hour can be startling.
As I’ve said many times in this space, by simply slowing down
you basically eliminate the reason most people don’t like mountain
bikes on the trails—speed. Try it next time you’re riding by a hiker—slow
down to the speed of the person you’re passing, and then tell me
it ruined your ride. Bet it didn’t. And I also bet it left a positive
impression on the hiker.
CORBA Fundraiser at the New Cycle World
in Chatsworth on August 12th
CORBA’s August 12 2011 fundraiser at Cycle World was a new type of event for CORBA, and turned out
to be a completely worthwhile one at that. The smaller event brought in almost 60 guests with about a dozen
volunteers to keep things running smoothly. Several people walked away with some
smokin’ deals on helmets, shoes, body armor and other cycling accessories in the
silent auction. Others took advantage of Cycle World’s donation of 10% of all
sales to CORBA, and picked up what they needed to continue enjoying the
sport. See the whole
round-up on our blog...
Save the Date! Take a Kid Mountain Biking
will be Oct 1, 2011
The annual IMBA Take a Kid Mountain Biking day, always the first
Saturday in October, will be October 1st this year. For details
and photos of previous years' events, please view our Take
a Kid Mountain Biking web page.
Fall Fat Tire Fun(d)raiser to be Nov 13th!
Save the date! November 13, 2011 will be the
date for CORBA’s annual fun(d) and awareness raising event. This year we
will be returning to Malibu Creek State Park with a slightly different
format than in years past. We’re still working out the details, but you can be
sure that there will be great rides and some great prizes given away. We will be
toning down the festival atmosphere and concentrating on what we love to do
most—ride! We’re also hoping to have a full complement of some of the hottest
bikes available for testing by some of the industry’s best manufacturers. All
proceeds will go to our programs that help keep the trails open to shared use,
and hopefully open up more of the many miles of trails that are currently closed
and Recent Trailwork
For many years, most trailwork has been done by volunteers because of budget
cutbacks at our parks systems. So come out and help CORBA and
other volunteers keep our trails in top riding shape! You can learn
more about what to expect and what you'll need to bring with you
on our Trailwork
web page. Keep in mind that CORBA now provides prizes and lunch
after the event for volunteers who register
in advance! And by registering in advance, you'll help us prepare
by knowing how many volunteers to expect. If you come out to two
or more trailwork days in a year, we'll give you a cool long-sleeved
CORBA trail crew shirt - be sure to ask for yours!
- Trailwork days are being planned for September
in the Verdugo Mountains (Glendale), and for October/November in the Angeles
National Forest, but the dates have not yet been confirmed. We'll be posting
the dates on our calendar as soon as they are confirmed, which we
expect by early September.
To see all trailwork dates, including those of other groups,
visit the CORBA
Canyon Trail Closure in Placerita Canyon Nature Center
The Canyon trail winds its way for 1.85 miles along Placerita Creek between
Walker Ranch and the Placerita Canyon Nature Center. It makes a great loop with
the Santa Clara Truck Trail and Los Pinetos. For many years cyclists have been
riding this great loop, and it is a local favorite. It is one of very few
beginner- and kid-friendly trails in the Santa Clarita Valley.
In July 2011 the trail was posted closed to bikes with no public notice,
warning or input. Law enforcement have been on hand to ticket cyclists who
ignore the signs, or didn’t notice them.
The alternative return route after riding Los Pinetos is to ride pavement
from Walker Ranch out to the Nature Center and back to the usual parking area. This paved, narrow
two-lane road has no shoulder and no bike lanes, and is much more dangerous.
There is no alternative easy out-and-back off-road ride for beginners or those
looking for an easy ride.
In County Nature Preserves like Placerita Canyon, it is at the sole
discretion of the director whether trails are opened or closed to bikes. Local
riders have been in contact with the park’s management about the closure, and
are working to find solutions to mitigate the concerns that have led to the
closure of the trail to bikes.
While it is encouraging to know the County is open to hearing the concerns of
local trail users who are directly affected by this closure, to have received no
prior official or public notice of the closure has left the local cycling
community frustrated and angered. The reasons for the closure were unclear,
though environmental impacts to Placerita Creek were initially mentioned.
However the trail remains open to equestrians who have much more impact than
bicycles. Trail user conflicts seem to be the real reason, though to our
knowledge no specific injuries or instances have been cited.
CORBA has long argued that excluding a user group from a trail only leads to
further division among user groups, whereas including all users helps bring the
trail user community together to find solutions. As the local cycling community
works with the County to find a reasonable compromise to re-open the trail,
cyclists should avoid riding the Canyon Trail and obey all posted signs in the
Read more of the local perspective from the RightOnSCV.com
blog or coverage from The Signal.
Multi-Use Signs on El Prieto
Since the trail re-opened in May this year, El Prieto has seen heavy use by
cyclists eager to get back to the trails they love. Recently there have been a few complaints
from hikers being startled by bicycles on El Prieto. CORBA donated to the Forest Service a set of IMBA
multi-use trail guideline signs to be installed on El Prieto. Signs are needed
to help inform and remind cyclists to be aware of other trail users and slow
down and yield to hikers and equestrians. See our blog
article for the rest of this story...
New on the CORBA Website
- Santa Clarita Valley Trail Users Update
For a list of upcoming recreational rides, please visit the CORBA
CORBA’s Recreational Rides calendar provides a full
monthly schedule of mountain bike rides for all skill levels. Mountain bike
rides are organized by CORBA member clubs and led by experienced and
knowledgeable guides. Recreational rides are a fun and social way to experience
a variety of trails in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and beyond.
Free Mountain Biking
3rd is the next skills clinic.
The CORBA free skills clinic is held on the first Saturday of
every month at Malibu Creek State Park.
Mountain biking is a lot like tennis or skiing. Just a few minor
adjustments in technique can make a huge difference in your
control and proficiency. If you want to get better faster,
you need to know the fundamentals of mountain biking technique.
Whether you're just getting into mountain biking or have been
riding for years, you'll learn some valuable tips from our Introduction
to Mountain Biking skills class that is offered each month.
Check out our Skills Clinic
web page for all the information. After the clinic, see photos
of your new skills on the CORBA web site that you can share
with your family and friends!
CORBA on Twitter and Facebook
We have set up accounts with Twitter and Facebook to help keep people informed
of the latest developments in our trail advocacy, recreational rides and trailwork days. Follow
us on Twitter at twitter.com/CORBAmtb
and Facebook at facebook.com/CORBAMTB.
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that contribute to the sport and lifestyle that you love? Is there
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