Archive for the ‘Etiquette’ Category

Join our Board Meeting every 4th Monday

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

Come and join us to learn about current issues and let us know what concerns you! Always open to the public, the CORBA Board of Directors’ meeting is held the 4th Monday of the month in Woodland Hills. REI is kind enough to let us use their meeting room, for which we thank them profusely!

Every month (except December, when we have no meeting), we discuss these topics:

  • Issues of trail access for mountain bikers
  • Mountain bike advocacy and ambassadorship
  • Public involvement
  • The latest news from the land managers, including State Parks and National Park Service
  • Trail building and restoration
  • Furthering woman’s mountain biking
  • Bike parks and other dedicated mountain bike facilities or trails
  • Education and etiquette
  • Anything brought forward by members of the public

The meetings are 6:30 – 8 pm at the REI in Woodland Hills:

6220 Topanga Canyon Blvd
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
P: (818) 703-5300

Google Map and Directions

We look forward to seeing you there!

Horse/Bike Desensitization Pilot Program

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015


With all the equestrians and mountain bikers now sharing many of the multi use trails, we thought it was well over due to get a program going so all are able to share the trails safely and even ride together. In order to accomplish this, there must be protocal and trail etiquette set for both equestrians and mountain bikers.

On Sunday, October 11th, we decided to give the program a try with the help of a few of the local equestrians at The Davis Ranch in Chatsworth. I brought 2 other GGR girlz and myself with our mountain bikes to give this a go. We wanted to keep the 1st time very small and more of a pilot program since this was the 1st time I had put this plan into action. We started out in the riding ring which was enclosed, then took it outside of the ring.


Our equestrians for the day were Dana on Auggie and Jan on Ozzie. We started by lining our bikes up against the fence and Dana and Jan walked their horses dismounted back and forth around the bikes and let Auggie and Ozzie smell the bikes and really get a good look at them. Then all of us cyclists got ON the bikes and they did the same thing. Now it was time for the horses to be mounted.

We started riding very slow along side the horses. Then behind the horses, towards the horses, constantly passing them on both sides. Then we picked up speed on the bikes and the horses went from a walk to a trot to a fast trot. The key here was constantly communicating with the equestrians. We asked if it was OK to pass. We said “bikers coming”, we said “passing on the left”, all these things were very loud. We also made sure we told them to have a great ride and a good day!




This was going very well and the horses had no problems with the bikes. Now came the real test. Blind corners! We all left the riding ring for this exercise. Both Auggie and Ozzie were to trot up on a trailer in their parking lot while the cyclists hid behind the trailer and came out across the horses path without being initially seen.

Jan and Ozzie went 1st with Lynn being the cyclist. Sure enough, Ozzie did not like this and shied away quickly and suddenly. We asked Jan what she wants the cyclist to do in this instance. She wants us to just stop and stand still while she gets her horse under control. The slowly approach her horse and talk to them both. Again, the communication.

We did the same scenario again. This time Ozzie wasn’t as scared. By the 3rd time, we didn’t even think twice about it. When we had Auggie do it, no problems at all. Auggie raised his ears and was alert, and that was about it.

The cool thing about The Davis Ranch is that they have hallways/corridors that simulate a single track and double track on their farm. So off we went for some more situations to create!

We started off riding behind the horses with them trotting. We constantly talked to them. Then we practiced the blind corners. Part of the barn did not allow us to see the horses, so this was perfect practice for blind corners. When we as cyclists approached the blind corner and could not see around it, we yelled “BIKERS COMING”. The equestrians immediately stopped before they were even close to the corner because they heard us announcing ourselves. Therefor preventing a run in.

We did this both ways a few times around the corners. Every time constantly communicating when the corner came up. The equestrians were able to react in plenty of time because they heard our voices. Also, they wanted to make it VERY clear to us that it is NOT always safe to pass. If the trail is too narrow, please do NOT pass. Be patient and wait until there is a safe place to pass for both cyclists and equestrians, but let the equestrian decide. They know their animals and what is safe for them.

We initially wanted to call this the Carrot Ride program. But Dana brought up some very good points and had an awesome idea as well! Cyclists who don’t have any experience with horses, will most likely not know to keep their hands flat when feeding a horse a carrot so they don’t loose their fingers. So she thought cyclists feeding carrots to horses on the trails for this reason could open up a whole nother can of worms. We all agreed. Also, its not easy for horses to eat carrots when they have bits in their mouths. Horse cookies are much easier. So, what Dana suggest was that we carry a few horse cookies in a ziplock bag with our business card and just hand it to the rider. Oh and Jan thought it would be a nice touch if we included a mint for the horseback rider as well! I love it! Outstanding input from our horseback riders!

I will have some of these cute little horsey bags available at the CORBA booth at this Sunday’s Rocktober event.

The biggest outtake we took from this pilot program was how critical communication is. Just talk to the equestrians, smile and speak up and slow down when you hit a corner and/or you see horses coming by. Horses have the right of way…not us.

We will have a larger program at the Davis Ranch November 22nd at 8am. We will take 6 mountain bikers and 6 equestrians and their horses and run the same program. The Davis Ranch is in Chatsworth, CA. If you want to participate in this, please email me at: or

I’m so thrilled that after posting our fun pictures of the morning program, we have a program in the works for January for the Altadena area as well.

If you want information on this new CORBA program for a future hosting in your area, please contact me to discuss: email me.

Please remember to smile, slow down, and use your voice and bike bells to alert others you are coming.

Wendy Engelberg
Director, GGR: Girlz Gone Riding
Proud CORBA board member

TO Acorn Publishes Article on Trail Conflict, Etiquette

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

An evenhanded account of the issues surrounding conflict and etiquette on the trails was published on the front page of the July 25th issue of the Thousand Oaks Acorn.

The article starts with an account by an equestrian in Ahmanson Ranch who felt threatened by mountain bikers who sped by and shouted expletives when asked to slow down. The equestrian also has been charged by unleashed dogs on other outings.

Mark Langton, CORBA board member and past president, is quoted extensively on the need for mountain bikers to show speed restraint when passing other people on the trail.

Another cyclists is critical of people who take poorly trained horses on trails where they can expect to encounter mountain bikers.

An equestrian from Agoura Hills says the vast majority of mountain bikers show appropriate courtesy. “This is pretty much a nonissue with all but a tiny handful of jerks on bicycles and nervous equestrians who are afraid of their horses and probably should not be on the trails in the first place.”

Finally, there are some quotes from representatives of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, including Superintendent David Szymanski.

You can read the full article here.