CORBA Annual Update

We’ve been overdue for an update, and as President of CORBA, I have to apologize for the lapse in communication as to our many ongoing efforts over these past few months. For me personally, it has been a challenging year, but the one thing that has not lapsed is CORBA’s dedication to improving trails and mountain biking opportunities in and around Los Angeles.

Over the past year, CORBA has seen many successes, and just as many challenges. CORBA members and all SoCal mountain bikers have a lot to celebrate about 2018. Here are some notable moments:

  • Restoration and re-opening of the Gabrielino National Recreation Trail trail after nine years of closure
  • Partnering with the US Forest Service to conduct a high-level, four-day Trail Stewardship Summit
  • Opening of Sapwi Bike Park in Thousand Oaks with the first public pump track in the area (phase one).
  • Volunteer construction and opening of 3+ miles of new multi-use singletrack trail at East Walker Ranch, City of Santa Clarita.
  • Acquisition of funding for tools to equip the SCV Trail crew
  • Completion of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan, with significant review and input from mountain bikers through our participation on the SGM Community Collaborative.
  • A new cost-share partnership agreement with the Forest Service for future trail maintenance and volunteer training
  • Adoption of a bike-friendly Santa Susana Mountains Trail Master Plan, Phase 2 by Los Angeles County with input from CORBA and our SCV Trail Users committee
  • Ongoing maintenance of dozens of miles of multi-use trails in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Conejo Open Space and Angeles National Forest
  • Installation of bench seats at Brown Mountain Saddle, Angeles National Forest
  • 11 free Skills Clinics held at Malibu Creek State Park. (For the first time in more than 20 years, we had to cancel a clinic due to the Woolsey Fire).
  • Continued support of the Mountain Bike Unit in patrolling the Santa Monica Mountains, a CORBA-initiated program
  • Repairs, updates and maintenance on our fleet of 40 Youth Adventures bicycles
  • Approximately 18 Youth Adventures trips, taking at-risk youth on interpretive mountain bike rides
  • Represented mountain biking interests at numerous public meetings, scoping meetings, and planning sessions
  • Monitored and responded to legislation affecting bicycling on our public lands.

Challenges

However, even with all these successes, CORBA’s biggest challenge is that our membership numbers have declined by 40% since December 2017.

While we have been highly successful in our grant applications, receiving almost $85,000 in grants that have supported Sapwi Bike Park, new trail construction in Santa Clarita, restoration of Station Fire damaged trails, tool purchases, and our Youth Adventures program, all of those funds are allocated to their respective projects, not to CORBA’s operating expenses or advocacy efforts.

Our board of directors has continued to work tirelessly on behalf of mountain bikers throughout the greater Los Angeles area. There are only five of us, and we’re all at capacity. As unpaid volunteers, we can only give so much of our time. It’s your memberships and donations that keep us going.

However, with several ongoing projects, including trail maintenance, Woolsey fire recovery, efforts to complete Sapwi Bike Park, create a new bike park in the City of Los Angeles, plans to develop much-needed mountain-bike optimized trails, preventing trail closures due to Wilderness, and helping form a state-wide California Mountain Biking advocacy group, our plates are already full.

In 2019 we’re looking to expand our Board of directors. We need additional support in communications and branding (including social media), accounting and fundraising. With an estimated

Regardless, our past successes and your enjoyment of them is what drives us to continue to work and advocate for mountain bikers in and around Los Angeles.

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