In This Issue
By Steve Clark
Charmlee is a beautiful park on a bluff that overlooks the Malibu coastline. If the location alone isn’t enough reason to visit, its trails wind through several different kinds of environments. Grasslands give way to chaparral which transcends to oak groves.It’s a perfect area for novice trail riders and families. Most of the trails are wide, well-used and easy to ride, though there are a few that can provide a little challenge to the new rider. Most are not steep or technical, and the hills can be easily avoided if you don’t want to raise your heart rate too much.
There are plenty of trees for shade and rest, and rocky outcroppings near the trails to sit and have lunch while taking in the view. Since it is less than a mile inland, the breezes are cool, even on hot days when sites further inland are cooking.
The park is located on Encinal Canyon Road, about four miles from Pacific Coast Highway. There is plenty of available parking which costs $4 per car. Be sure to bring the correct change for the “iron ranger”. There are maps, shaded picnic tables, and a Nature Center that is open on the weekends.
by Jim Hasenauer
The Interbike industry show is always a sensory overload of all things bicycle, and this year was no exception. There was so much to see and do, plus some celebrity spotting, all while trying to ignore the glitter and allure of Las Vegas.
Before the actual conference and exhibit opens its doors, there are two days of Dirt Demo at the Bootleg Canyon Park. All of the manufacturers are there to show off their new bikes and provide the unique opportunity to try them out. The mountain bikes can be ridden on a stacked loop cross-country course and a downhill specific shuttle run. A very cool element was that the information and aid stations scattered across the course were staffed by the Southern Utah Mountain Bike Patrol, an IMBA National Mountain Bike Patrol club that’s very similar to the Santa Monica Mountains MBU. Interbike pays their expenses to attend and provides some special benefits for this patrol, which has been serving the Dirt Demo for a long time.
The show itself provides the bike lover with eye candy of all types. It was clear this year that the industry is betting on a boom in city and commuter bikes. They were everywhere, and the styles ranged from retro to the space-age Jetsons. The recent high price of gasoline has stimulated the city bike market, and the industry is pulling out all the stops to promote the economy, efficiency and lifestyle benefits of short trip city riding. Bikes Belong was there touting their recent project to provide thousands of free rides during the Republican and Democrat National Convention. The new SoCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League shared a booth with their Nor Cal Founders.
On the mountain bike advocacy front, Philip Keyes, the Executive Director of the New England Mountain Bike association was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. NEMBA was founded just after CORBA and they have grown from a local Boston Save the Trails club to a multi-state confederation that even purchases and manages land for mountain biking. It was a well deserved honor for a great leader.
It’s an exciting time for those of us who love bicycling. There were advocates from all over the country and a variety of formal and informal meetings provided the opportunity to strengthen bicycle advocacy efforts. CORBA will keep you posted.
by Mark Langton
One of the areas that can spell trouble while mountain biking is going around turns. It should be simple enough, but there are lots of things going on at once. Here are some basic rules to follow to get you safely through, whether it’s a fast fire road or a tight singletrack turn.
Mark Langton is CORBA’s Introduction to Mountain Biking Skills Clinic coordinator and instructor. His new book, Mountain Bike Master (Menasha Ridge Press) is available at most major Website booksellers including www.amazon.com
We would like to thank all of our volunteers, sponsors, exhibitors and product donors for their participation in October's Fat Tire Fest.
by Benjamin Griffes, M.A., D.C.
Muscles are meant to move. The advancements of modern society have made our lives both more efficient and stressful. While modern man can communicate and travel great distances, today’s methods require very little movement on the part of each traveler. Repetitive immobility, replicated on a daily basis, leads to chronic, postural overload and adaptive shortening of the muscles and fascia (connective tissue). This shortening of the myofascia exhibits itself as stiff joints, decreased flexibility, loss of fluidity, and poor posture.
When you continually stress and tighten a muscle group, the fascia and muscles will adhere together, restricting their range of motion and creating postural imbalances. You might think of yourself as balanced, but often times it is because you are so contracted, all you have created is chronic rigidity and nothing in your body moves without tightness or stiffness. The goal of any athlete, then, is to look for ways to correct musculoskeletal restrictions and to embrace those strategies which will help the body regain balance and reduce this chronic rigidity.
Anyone who is intent upon the restoration of their own health should observe their standing and walking posture. You must look for instability and restricted movement. In the book, Posture and Pain, by Kendall, the author notes that “normal joint range for adults should provide an effective balance between motion and stability. A joint which is either too limited in range or not sufficiently limited is vulnerable to strain.”
One major strategy that can truly help is a daily stretching program. Research has found that people who stretch daily have a lower risk of injury when engaged in athletic activity than those who only stretch prior to the activity. Stretching should become a habit, done regularly, just like brushing your teeth. Without stretching, you continue to promote a pattern of restricted movement and muscle fatigue. One physiology textbook points out that muscle fatigue comes from a prolonged and strong contraction of a muscle. It is the interruption of blood flow, due to contracting muscle tissue, which leads to muscle fatigue, resulting in the loss of the nutrient supply and the lack of oxygen.
Fortunately, a stretching program does not require a lot of time, so can fit into almost anyone’s daily routine. Your program can be successful if it is done consistently and with purpose. Most muscles only need 20 to 30 seconds to begin releasing tension, but up to one minute is recommended. You should have a set of basic stretches for your spine which include movement of all directions; flexion and extension, rotation, and lateral flexion. These back stretches should be done daily. Some people use the stretches to help wake up in the morning while others prefer to stretch at night. Anytime is acceptable as long you do the stretches slowly and gently. Just bear in mind that warmed up muscles are going to stretch more easily.
Cyclists should also stretch these muscle groups on a regular basis:
Quadriceps: Stand on your left leg, bend your right knee and grasp your ankle, gently pulling your leg back until you feel a stretch along the front of your thigh. Hold for 20 – 30 seconds, then repeat with your left leg.
Hamstrings: Standing next to a chair, desk, or table, place the heel of your right foot on the surface and stand up straight. Slowly lean forward, reaching for your toes. You should feel the stretch along the back of your thigh. Breathe. Hold the stretch for 20 – 30 seconds, then repeat with the left leg.
Hip/piriformis stretch: Sit up straight in your chair, crossing the right ankle on to the left knee. Slowly lean forward, keeping your back as straight as possible. You should feel a stretch in the right hip/buttock/thigh. Hold for 20 – 30 seconds, then repeat with the left leg.
Desk shoulder stretch: Standing with your feet wider than your hips, bend forward at the waist and place your hands on a desk or table. Straighten your arms and let your back gently relax. You will feel a stretch in your upper arms, shoulders, and along your back – wherever there is tightness. Breathe. Hold for 20 – 30 seconds.
Traffic Cop stretch: This is a very effective stretch from the neck down to the wrist. First raise your arm out in front of you with your wrist bent upward (like telling someone to “stop”). Keeping your arm raised, move it out to the side, then turn your head in the opposite direction. You will feel stretching anywhere from your neck to your shoulder, arm, and wrist. Hold for 20 – 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side
Dr. Griffes is a Chiropractor practicing in both Tarzana and Thousand Oaks. He is the author and developer of Stretching for Life Products. Visit his website at www.stretching4life.com to view his book, DVD on back exercises, and his CD for stretching while at your computer. You may also reach him at (818)708.0740 or (805)358.8572.
by Jeff Clinger
In November, Mark Langton and I attended the SoCal Interscholastic Cycling League's benefit dinner with Master of Ceremonies, Gary Fisher. CORBA is a sponsor of the League, recently making a donation of $500. The SoCal League will provide a complete mountain bike riding and racing program for all interested public and private hish school teams and individuals. Matt Fritzinger, Executive Director, and his team who formed the highly successful NorCal Cycling League, are forming the league with the addition of Quintin Easton as the President of the SoCal League.
Teams are forming all over Southern California with the first race of the series set for March 8, 2009 at Vail Lake, Temecula. The next set of SoCal Rider Camps is scheduled for February 2009. The one-day camps are designed for beginner and intermediate riders who are of high school age and are thinking about trying cross-country nmountain bike racing. Advanced riders also benefit from the camps. If you are interested in forming a team, coaching or getting invoved in any way, please visit www.socaldirt.org.