Fighting to Save Mankind: CORBA’s Jeff Klinger sees the big picture

From Mountain Bike Action magazine, December 2008, page 70

“It’s ¬†one thing that I’m alive today because of mountain bikes,” reflects Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association’s (CORBA) Jeff Klinger. “I want everyone in Los Angeles to have the same chance as me. One of the greatest things about mountain biking is that it is so much fun and so healthy. America needs it bad. We are overtaken by obesity, diabetes and other poor health issues related to nonactivity. Mountain biking is one of the solutions. It’s stimulating, never gets boring. and is a very addictive cardiovascular exercise. You can’t stop doing it! CORBA’s goal is to further mountain bike recreation in and around the Los Angeles area.

“What happens here is recognized worldwide, and CORBA isn’t one person.” continues Jeff. “It’s a team effort by a large group of extremely dedicated mountain bikers. Advocacy is 24/7. It takes a lot of time and patience. To reclassify a hiking trail as a multi-use trail is a lengthy process. First, the land managers have to do an environmental study. We have to check if endangered plants and animals inhabit the trail area. It requires working with local, state and national land agencies. To make it happen, CORBA and loyal members have to speak publicly, attend numerous meetings, and do a lot of letter writing.

“I have a Masters in Environmental Studies,” adds Jeff. “It helps bring CORBA more success. When mountain biking hit in the late 1980’s. the Santa Monica Conservancy shut the trails down. Since then, we’ve proved what a legitimate, respectful and conscientious group of people mountain bikers are. One of our greatest successes is opening up the Will Rogers part of the Backbone Trail. That is primarily what CORBA does; we rally for mountain bikers to keep the trails open. From the Santa Monica Mountains we have branched out to the San Gabriels, Palos Verdes, Verdugos, Santa Susannas and Ventura County. We also hold organized rides, a youth adventure program, monthly trail workdays, and monthly skill classes.

EPILOG: Mountain biking taught Jeff Klinger about himself. Half a year ago he noticed that his body was no longer reacting well to intense effort. Jeff went to the doctor and insisted that there was a major problem. They found hereditary blockage in the coronary artery and immediately performed emergency surgery. That is how mountain biking saved Jeff’s life. CORBA can be reached¬†by calling (818) 773-3555 or at www.corbamtb.com

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