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CORBA eTerraTimes for August 2010


eTerraTimes Archive

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In this issue...

A student learns how to navigate multiple obstacles on the steps at Malibu Creek State Park during the July free Basic Skills Clinic. The next skills clinic is Saturday August 7th.


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Rules of the Trail - Click for details
Proper Trail Etiquette

A Message from CORBA's President

By Mark Langton

A topic almost always comes up at our Introduction to Mountain Bike Skills Class every month: When two bikes meet in opposite directions on a singletrack trail, who has the right-of-way, the uphill or downhill rider? While there is no official rule (unlike with fire roads, where it is stipulated that you are not allowed to be on the trail side-by-side—which also goes for hikers and equestrians), there are two ways to look at it:

Dowhnill rider yields to uphill rider: The thinking is that it is harder for the uphill rider to get going again from a stopped position, therefore the downhill rider should stop for the uphill rider.

Uphill rider yields to downhill rider: Often the uphill rider sees/hears the downhill rider before the downhill rider sees the one going up, so it might be prudent for the uphill rider to stop and get out of the way early in case the downhill rider doesn’t have enough time to avoid the uphill rider if they are both riding when they meet.

In either case, it really comes down to paying attention and deciding what the best course of action is for both riders.

Speaking of passing on a singletrack, there are a couple of other things to consider. Sometimes it is possible for both riders meeting in opposite directions to pass each other while riding. However, I’ve had the experience several times when one or both of the riders look at each other, rather than at the trail, and we wind up almost colliding. Here’s a tip: Look at your line, not the rider. Just like with trail riding in general, look where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go.

If you are traveling downhill and you hear someone coming up from behind, you can either stop and let the rider pass, or slow down until such a time as they let you know they are coming by. But in either case, do not turn your head to look behind you. This can pull your hands in the direction you turn your head and cause you to ride off the trail.

Mark Langton is the coordinator and lead instructor for CORBA’s free monthly Introduction to Mountain Bike Skills class.

REI Supports CORBA Trailwork and Fat Tire Fest

Recently CORBA received news of two significant financial contributions to CORBA’s trail work and advocacy efforts by Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI). First, we were notified by REI that our application for REI’s Trail Upkeep grant was accepted. The $5,000 grant will help CORBA purchase and maintain tools and equipment for upcoming trail work projects, including projects in the Angeles National Forest’s Station Fire area.

REI also confirmed that they will be supporting CORBA’s Fat Tire Fest with a Platinum Level sponsorship ($3,500). REI is the Fat Tire Fest’s first ever Platinum Level sponsor. The Fat Tire Fest takes place October 17 at Castaic Lake.

CORBA thanks REI for their support and confidence in us!

Upcoming and Recent Trailwork

Click for larger image and photo galleryJuly 17: Report on Rogers Road in Topanga State park

Thanks to all who came out on Saturday 7/17/10 to help out with some brush clearing on Rogers Road in Will Rogers State Historic Park/Topanga State Park. It was a hot day and that made it tough. We had 13 volunteers show up.  We hiked in just over 2 miles to the lone Oak and worked back from there. We managed to clear 1/2 mile of the trail. There are a few more miles that are getting very overgrown so we will be scheduling a few more work session in the next few months.

View the photo gallery of Saturday’s trailwork.

General News

Station Fire 1: Angeles Crest Highway closures cause confusion and frustration

Hundreds of hikers and bicyclists have been spotted in areas closed for construction. Some are genuinely unaware of the roadblocks along the popular trails, while others trespass out of defiance. About 20 miles of the 66-mile Angeles Crest Highway, from La Cañada Flintridge to Mt. Wilson Road and 25% of the Angeles National Forest remain off-limits to the public as construction crews rebuild pieces of the route that winter storms caused to wash out. The $16.5 million in repairs, contracted out to Thousand Oaks-based Burns Pacific Construction, is expected to be completed in November.  

Meanwhile, the closures continue to frustrate and confuse those seeking to access some of the most popular portions of the San Gabriel Mountains. See our blog for the rest of this story.

Station Fire 2: $700,000 sought to fix destroyed trails and roads

Roughly $700,000 has been earmarked for improving the forest roads and trails that were destroyed last year during the Station fire, officials said. “The roads and trails have been eroded and degraded,” said Richard Toyon, former forest ranger and president of the local nonprofit Volunteers Organizing in Conserving the Environment. Trekking on some trails in the forest is challenging because they eventually disappear, he said, and some roads and trails are no longer recognizable. If the bill is approved, the funding would be allocated to the U.S. Forest Service to handle the restoration work. See our blog for the rest of this story.

New on the CORBA Website

Recreational Rides

For a list of upcoming recreational rides, please visit the CORBA Calendar.

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 Skills Clinic

Saturday August 7th 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!

Follow 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 and Facebook at

Support CORBA

Join or Renew your membership today on our membership web page.

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 or come 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 support CORBA

(Click on the links above to get more details!)

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