A Message from CORBA’s President
By Mark Langton
Tales from the Trail: I regularly make a plea to mountain bikers to
slow down, as it is the one true way to solve the only valid complaint
hikers and equestrians have about mountain bikers on the trails:
that bicyclists scare people because they go too fast. Well, I’d
like to recount a very personal experience of just how true that
couple of weeks ago I was riding on one of my regular routes.
Just as I began rounding a slight downhill bend on a smooth
wide doubletrack trail, I saw a family of hikers about 40 yards
ahead. I was not traveling excessively fast, but my quick appearance
surprised the group. I braked smoothly to a stop at least 10
yards before the first hiker, but the damage had been done:
Mother, protectively reaching for her young 3-year old son who
was walking beside her, loses her footing and falls to the ground,
catching herself with her hands as she lands on her hip; Father,
carrying an infant in a baby carrier backpack, jumping to the
side of the trail; 3-year old son cowering behind his father’s
legs, and in his frightened 3-year old voice saying “that bicycle
All I could do was apologize profusely and make sure the woman
was okay. She was, but she could have very easily twisted her ankle,
sprained a wrist, or worse. If the man carrying the baby had fallen,
he would have had no way to protect the infant in the baby carrier.
Both the man and woman were accepting of my apology, the man even
saying “hey, it’s a trail.” But I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps
the rest of their hike was now ruined. I know the rest of my ride
was not all that pleasant.
I didn’t think I was going that fast, and in fact I was able
to stop in plenty of time and was never a threat to their safety.
However, as illustrated above, I actually was a threat, because
I startled them into a reaction that could have caused problems.
I often hear people trying to justify banning bicyclists from
the trails by saying things like “what if a family with little kids
were hiking and a bike came around a corner too fast, and they ran
over the kids?” My response is usually something like “Of course
we don’t want that to happen, but statistically it is not happening,
so you can’t use a hypothetical situation to justify a restrictive
policy.” And I still feel this way. But you can bet I’m going to
go even slower around corners, especially on trails that I know
are used more frequently by families. And I’m going to continue
to promote the message of slowing down for corners, and always slowing
to other users’ speed.
Please take a moment to think about why you ride on trails. Hopefully
it’s to enjoy and commune with nature. There’s nothing wrong with
pushing your aerobic and bike handling levels, but remember that
there are others out there for the same reasons you are. Treat others
as you would want to be treated. Ride as if there’s always someone
around the next corner. Possibly a family with kids.
Urgent Rancho Palos Verdes City Council Mtg May 15
On May 15th at 7:00 pm, the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council will
review and approve the final trails plan for the Palos Verdes Nature
Preserve. This is mountain bikers’ last chance to ask for changes.
CORBA Palos Verdes has proposed allowing bike access on more trails.
For information go to: www.mtbpv.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We need your support. Attend the meeting even if you don’t want to speak. Write the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council, CC@rpv.com. Please make the letters positive.
Help Us Celebrate CORBA's Silver Anniversary!
In 2012, CORBA will celebrate its 25th anniversary…quite an accomplishment.
Current and past CORBA leaders are planning a
celebration befitting of this milestone and would like to invite
input from our members, supporters, land managers and others as
to what that event should be.
One idea is to produce a documentary chronicling the history
of CORBA from the inception back in August of 1987 until present
day telling the story of CORBA’s programs, education, advocacy and
volunteerism. If there are any film makers or documentarians that
would like to help with this project, please contact us as soon
as possible. Anyone else who has ideas or would like to help in
any way please contact CORBA at email@example.com.
2012 Trails and Greenways Conference
CORBA was very much involved in last week’s California Trails
and Greenways Conference. This annual event brings together land
managers at the Federal, State, County and City levels, along with
resource planners, volunteers, non-profit organizations and professional
landscape architects and trail builders.
The theme for this year’s conference was “Navigating Radical
Change.” The most radical of all changes that land managers
are facing is the shrinking of budgets for trail and open space
projects. Another is the changing demographic of trail users.
radical change - mutli-use friendly pinch points on
Tapia Spur Trail in Malibu Creek State Park
Many sessions at the conference talked about the importance of
engaging volunteers, of reaching out to foster public-private partnerships
between land managers and non profit advocacy groups. CORBA has
already been putting into practice many of these principles, partnering
with the Forest Service and State Parks to help maintain trails;
partnering with the So Cal High School League to empower the next
generation of off-road cyclists as advocates and stewards.
CORBA President Mark Langton participated in a rousing panel
presentation on the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency, a multi-use
trail system that has worked successfully with minimal conflict
for more than two decades.
On Saturday, after the conference, Orange County’s Trails4All
brought 6 equestrians, 4 hikers, and about a dozen mountain
bikers from CORBA, SHARE, SDMBA, CCCMB together for a ride/hike/run/hoof
event. We travelled together on the trails of Malibu Creek State
Park, showing again that where there is respect and cooperation
it is very possible for all user groups to co-exist peacefully on
These meetings underscore the importance of working together,
and create at an atmosphere conducive to constructive and informative
exchanges of information and viewpoints.
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!
Report on Brown Mountain trailwork, April 7
Upper Brown Mountain before the 2009 Station Fire was a wide fire road
in generally in good shape. The rains of two winters and eighteen
months without public use because of the forest closure have allowed
nature to re-claim much of the old fire road. Many large drainages were
completely washed out, the hillsides had slid into the road bed, trees
were down, and brush was growing back with a vengeance. The trailwork was led by the Friends of El
Prieto, and all the SoCal High School League teams and their coaches
were invited to participate. 52 people
came to the event, a few ready to hike in, but the vast majority ready
to ride up to the work site. A few stronger students and a couple of
coaches towed BOB trailers full of tools. Downed trees were removed, killer snags taken down, and some drainages were rock-armored and reinforced. See
blog for the whole story...
Report on Guadalasca Trail on April 14
This work day was cancelled because rain the previous day left
us with wet and muddy conditions.
Report on Santa Monica Mountains Trail Days
in Point Mugu State Park on April 28-29
a turn on the Sin Nombre Trail
Over the weekend of April 28-29, about 200 volunteers had a great
time chatting, chowing on a fabulous barbecue meal, taking in the
scenery, winning wonderful prizes, and if they liked, camping overnight
in the Danielson Multiuse Area in Pt Mugu State Park.
The reason for the revelry was the 31st annual Santa Monica Mountains
Trail Days where outdoor enthusiasts of all varieties got together to
repair trails for everyone to enjoy.
On Saturday, 34 volunteers joined the CORBA crew and we cleared out overgrowning
brush on Guadalasca. On Sunday, a much
smaller crew went out to Sin Nombre to fix up some problems near the bottom
of that trail.
There were some great prizes at the giveaway after dinner on
Saturday and after lunch on Sunday. Two North Ranch riders came away with $350
RST 29" front forks. Grand prizes were a down sleeping bag, two 2-person
tents (from North Face) and a $100 gift certificate for Westlake Cyclery. Everyone
won something, and there were lots of prizes to choose from.
If you missed it this year, you should plan to get out next
year, help the trails, have a great dinner and win some great prizes! See our
entry for the whole story...
To see all trailwork dates, including those of other groups,
visit the CORBA
Join our mailing list to get updates on trailwork
Send an email to Trailwork-Volunteersfirstname.lastname@example.org
Fixing a hazardous turn in Pt Mugu State Park
On Sunday April 15, as part of National Volunteer Week, about 40 Amgen volunteers gathered in Pt Mugu State Park to work on the Sin Nombre Trail.
Most of them worked on fixing ruts and cutting back overgrowing brush,
but 8 of us, all but one mountain bikers, split off to fix up the
dangerous corner near the top of the trail at Ranch Center Road.
widened the trail and fortified the outside edge with large rocks. Gaps
were filled with smaller rocks, then everything was covered with dirt.
The problem is at a dip to cross a very small stream, combined
with a tight left turn. After slowing to negotiate the turn
at the stream crossing, the rider encounters a short but unexpectedly
steep climb out of the stream. Because the trail has been downhill
until this point, often people are in too high a gear and stall
trying to climb the hill. When they put their foot down, they discover
that the trail is also narrower than expected and there is little
room for their foot, and they can fall about 6' down the steep bank
to the rocks of the stream. Many riders have fallen at
this turn; some were taken out by helicopter with serious injuries.
The solution was to build up the outside edge of the trail with
large rocks to make it a little wider. After a lot of digging and
relocating really big rocks, the trail is almost a foot wider. The rocks also armour the outside edge of the trail so
it’s less susceptible to errosion.
As we were working, a large number of mountain bikers rode through;
some told us of stories of having fallen at the corner and injuring
themselves. One fellow fell in and hit his neck. He couldn’t move,
being paralyzed in all his limbs and with no feeling in them. That
lasted for what must have been for him the longest 10 minutes in
his life, before feeling started to come back and he could move
again. It turns out he’d sprained his neck. Talk about a close call!
Another rider said he tore his shoulder and broke his collarbone
when he fell there.
We believe the trail is safer after our work, but it is still
risky to people who are taken by surprise by the steepness of the
climb. The trail is wider so it’s easier to put your foot down on
the trail, but if you’re riding too close to the edge, you can still
go down the bank. Always be careful on this corner, and advise less
experienced riders to get off their bikes and walk!
(This is a slightly abbreviated version of an
article that appears on our blog.)
New on the CORBA Website
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
5th 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.
Get Our Blog Articles Delivered to Your
Have you ever wished you could get our blog articles without having
the CORBA website every day to see if there’s anything new? Well, you
can! Even though our blog software won’t send articles by email, you can
still get them delivered to the inbox of most email readers like
Outlook. You use the “RSS feed” functionality for this. In fact, you can
our articles in any software that receives RSS feeds, such as Internet
and other web browsers. This
article on RSS feeds shows you how.
Join or Renew your membership today on our membership
Join Our Team! Do you have any ideas about mountain biking recreation in the
L.A. region? Would you like to apply your skills and manage projects
that contribute to the sport and lifestyle that you love? Is there
an advocate in you? We are recruiting motivated individuals who
work well with others. Send an email to email@example.com
to a monthly Members Meeting to find out more about what we do and how you
can help. Check the calendar
for the next meeting.
Other simple ways to
Use the link at left and REI will donate 5%
of the purchase price to CORBA
- Ralphs grocery stores: Use your Ralphs card and help CORBA
- Holmes Body Shop: Get that dent fixed and help CORBA
(Click on the links above to get more details!)
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