Archive for the ‘Default’ Category

CORBA Participates in Subaru Ready for Adventure Event

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

By Mark Langton    

Mark Langton demonstrates a "manual" wheelie at the Subaru Ready For Adventure event at Malibu Creek State Park

Subaru presented its  “Ready for Adventure” event at Malibu Creek State Park on June 19-20. For every test drive taken during the weekend, Subaru donated $10 to State Parks. CORBA was asked to provide skills workshops and lead rides. Several people were taken on fun rides along the trails of Malibu Creek State Park. Cynergy Cycles of Santa Monica provided Specialized bikes on Saturday for demo and fun rides, and on Sunday CORBA’s Youth Adventures fleet of bikes was put into service for guided rides. Many riders had never been mountain biking before and were very excited about CORBA’s programs and services.  Also at the event were rock climbing, pet adoptions, flyfishing demonstrations, horticultural information, and more . There will be another Ready for Adventure July 31-August 1 at Huntington State Beach in Huntington Beach. CORBA will be there with information and skills demonstrations.    

View our photo gallery to see pictures of this event.

Art’s Trail Closure Update

Friday, June 25th, 2010

By Mark Langton

Recently I, on behalf of CORBA, sent an email to State Parks District Superintendent Al Pepito regarding an email he sent us. It included a forwarded email from Maintenance Supervisor Dennis Dolinar explaning why they were now closing trails that have for many years been used with knowledge of both the rangers and the maintenance department. (Note: Ranger and maintenance staffs often work independently, and maintenance can and does make decisions without ranger and/or public input.)

Below are the questions I posed and the answers we received from Al Pepito.

CORBA: What is the timetable of the review period Dennis [Dolinar] references in the end of the second paragraph? (From Dennis Dolinar’s email: “It is our intention to keep this area closed to all users until such time as a complete evaluation of the park’s resources can be completed. There will be no attempt to actually remove the trails themselves unless that internal review warrants it.”]

AP: The review process can take anywhere from a year to 18 months.

CORBA: We find it odd that at this point in time CDPR is expending resources for efforts to close prescriptive trails that clearly are not damaging the resources significantly, if at all. Unless there are native resources that are being impacted, there is no clear reasoning behind closing the trails. I understand that it may be a liability concern, but even then, why weren’t these trails closed years ago?

AP: This is a non-system trail not recognized by in our facility inventory.  Thus it has never been through the CEQA review process or permitting process.  Just because it exists and there is use, does not give the trail status as a recognized facility.  It is a resource maintenance issue that needs to be addressed through restoration practices.

CORBA: We are also concerned that your volunteer partners (MBU, CORBA Trail Work Crew) are not being given ample notice in order that they might be able to inform both their own members and the public which they represent.

AP: Without a Trails Supervisor everyone involved are not being communicated with properly.  I have asked that the core staff of the district sit down at our next meeting to discuss this issue.  The position has been advertised and hope to have one in place by the end of July or sooner.

Obviously Ranger Pepito’s answers raise other questions, such as whether or not they intend to perform a CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) assessment. And of course, if the review process takes from a year to 18 months, wouldn’t that mean the trails will be reclaimed by whatever plant life exists–assuming no one uses the trails? CORBA will continue its involvement with this situation.

“Ride of Silence” to be May 19th

Friday, May 14th, 2010

From the Thousand Oaks Acorn

The Conejo Valley Cyclists and the city of Thousand Oaks invite all concerned cyclists to participate in the third annual memorial “Ride of Silence” on Wed., May 19.

Preparation begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Bank of America parking lot, west of Sears and Janss Marketplace at the northwest corner of Hillcrest Drive and Wilbur Road.

The ride begins at 7 p.m. The local ride is in memory of bicyclists Glenn Garvin, who was killed two years ago, and Mike Mikel, who was killed last year, both in Thousand Oaks.

The Ride of Silence acknowledges the deaths or injuries of cyclists involving bikes and motor vehicles. It involves a short 10- mile ride at a slow 12-mph pace to honor more than 600 cyclists who die each year on public streets.

The Ride of Silence is also occurring throughout North America and internationally. Helmets are mandatory and lights are recommended.

For details, see the official Ride of Silence webpage,, or the CVC page at

Report from CORBA Trail Crew – Santa Monica Mountains Trail Day 4/24/2010

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

By Danusia Bennett-Taber

Over twenty mountain bikers joined the CORBA Trail Crew for Santa Monica Trails Days on April 24th in Point Mugu State Park. They came to give something back to the trails they love to ride.

Drain placement is very important. This looks like the right spot?

CORBA crew leader Hans Keifer shuttled a few people and carried all the tools, while most of the group rode their bikes to the work location. The CORBA crew worked mostly on the upper section of  Wood Vista (aka “Backbone”) trail to add drains to eliminate channeling of water down the middle of the trail, forming a rut.

This section of the trail was really overgrown!

Volunteers also cut back brush. Not an easy task considering that a few sections of the trail were overgrown with a poison oak!

No work day could be complete without a quick ride on a newly maintained trail.

Special thanks to the Santa Monica Mountains Trail Days organizers for preparing the BBQ and for the prizes that were raffled off at the conclusion of trail work. Also thanks to IMBA/Clif for donating trail crew snacks.

Last but not least, thanks to all the CORBA crew volunteers that came to support trails. Trail work provides many benefits like creating and maintaining riding opportunities, preserving habitat, burning extra calories, interacting with fellow mountain bikers and making friends with other trail users. Now let’s go and ride! We earned it.

Rut is gone!

I pledge to come to every CORBA trail work day!

Happy Earth Day: Now Ride Your Bike to the Trails

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

As mountain bikers we understand and appreciate both the health aspects of riding our bikes, and the environmental benefits of a form of recreation that doesn’t directly produce carbon emissions. Biking is good for the environment, with much less impact than motor sports. It’s good for us. It’s just good!

Ride to the Trails

Ride your Bike • Ride Public Transit • Ride the Trails

For Earth Day, CORBA is happy to announce a new initiative that will take place during Bike Month, just around the corner (May 2010). In conjunction with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and as a “recreational” adjunct to Bike to Work Week, we’d like to see people ride their bike TO THE TRAILS.

Instead of loading up your car, driving to a local trailhead, unloading, suiting up. At least once during Bike to Work Week (and the weekends before and after, since this is recreational), try riding–your bike, public transit, even car-pooling–from home directly to the trailhead. Pedal out of your driveway.

The web site is under construction. You’ll be able to post your rides to the trail and be eligible to win prizes kindly donated by The North Face/Planet Explore, REI, KHS, and others. Let us know your zip code and the trail to which you ride, how you got there (all pedalling, transit, or other).

At the beginning of May we’ll be sending out reminders to people to join in and Ride to the Trails. Now go ride a bike and enjoy Earth Day.

Santa Monica Mountains Trails Days 4/23-25 – Join us!

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Join CORBA and several other trail user groups for a weekend of camping, riding and trail maintenance or just come out for the day!

The CORBA crew will be riding in to work on the Guadalasca and Wood Canyon Vista section of the Backbone Trail. Driving to the trailhead and hiking in is an option too. We will work on adding drainage to the trail as well as brush work!

There is a lot to do after this winter’s heavy rains so come on out and lend a hand!

See this PDF flier and registration form.

For more information contact Hans at

Red-Flag Protocols Are Changed to Reflect Local Conditions

Monday, April 19th, 2010

The National Weather Service will significantly change to the way forecasters issue red-flag fire warnings, which could mean fewer such alerts for fire-prone areas from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

The changes were made after officials determined that the current red-flag protocols were not always the most accurate precursors to major fires.

For example, the National Weather Service office in San Diego issued warnings during period of low humidity — prompting fire departments to marshal resources — even though officials believe a large wildfire is unlikely there without strong winds.

By contrast, large fires in Los Angeles County can start without high winds, pointing up another vulnerability. That was the case with last year’s Station fire, which was sparked during a period of high temperatures but light winds.

The new red-flag warning system is meant to be more selective and to take into account local geography and terrain as well as wind conditions and humidity levels. San Diego County, which is highly vulnerable during strong winds, will have different criteria than Los Angeles County’s foothills and mountains.

Weather experts found that there are a lot more ways for explosive wildfires to happen in the L.A. area than in Orange to San Diego counties.

“We hope to reduce warnings for conditions we learned don’t produce large, damaging fires,” said Mark Jackson, head meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

The changes have major implications not just for fire departments, which often rely on the warnings to mobilize resources, but also for residents in some hillside areas, who are restricted from street parking during red-flag alerts.

The Weather Service in San Diego has enacted the new red-flag warning criteria; Oxnard is expecting to apply them as soon as the fire season begins in earnest, possibly as early as June.

The warnings are not predictions of fires but rather of the kind of conditions that are ripe for large-scale blazes.

Weather experts regularly consult with fire officials about these conditions and about the need to tweak the criteria for determining whether red-flag warnings need to be issued.

More than a year ago, fire officials urged the Weather Service to reexamine protocols for issuing the alerts.

Both in San Diego and Oxnard, weather experts conducted historical studies of the conditions that provoked and fanned large, out-of-control fires. The differences were stark from county to county.

“California has so many microclimates. It’s not a one-size-fits-all,” said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which determines firefighter staffing in part based on the red-flag warnings.

Although typically drier, San Diego County has less steep terrain and sparser vegetation than L.A. County. In part because of this, the counties farther south tend to experience conditions primed for behemoth wildfires only when there are strong winds. That was the case with the deadly Santa Ana-whipped Cedar fire of 2003, which began in central San Diego County. But weather experts there said that for years, they issued warnings based on extremely low relative humidity alone.

The new criteria call for the San Diego’s Weather Service to issue red-flag warnings generally only when extremely low humidity is accompanied by winds of at least 25 mph.

“We found very few cases of large fires” when the only weather factor was low relative humidity, said Jim Purpura, head meteorologist of the National Weather Service in San Diego.

Counties farther north, including L.A. and Santa Barbara, tend to have more mountainous terrain, thicker forests and denser vegetation. When the humidity drops low enough, these conditions can lead to large fires even without vigorous winds.

That was the case with the Station fire, which last year burned more than 160,000 acres in the San Gabriel Mountains.

“The winds were mostly calm. For the most part, that was not a wind event,” said Frank Vidales, an assistant chief for the L.A. County Fire Department’s forestry division. “But it was very hot and very dry.”

In the past, criteria for calling a red-flag warning for Los Angeles County and some other areas included relative humidity of 15% or less and winds of at least 25 mph. Under new standards, those criteria can also be met with winds as low as 15 mph, as long as the humidity dips below 10%, Jackson said.

He pointed out that based strictly on those guidelines, the Station fire may not have been preceded by a red-flag warning because the winds were so weak. But Jackson said that is why forecaster discretion will remain a key part of making the ultimate call.

Jackson said that if the relative humidity is above 15% but the winds are very strong, an alert could still be issued.

“Conversely, if the forecaster feels there’s an extremely dry fuel situation, and that we’re very volatile, they can still issue that red-flag warning without winds,” he said.

Amgen Tour of California Concludes May 23, 2010 in the Conejo Valley

Friday, April 16th, 2010
Route for the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California

Route for the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California

The Amgen Tour of California, a breathtaking 8-day cycling event covering California from north to south, is staging the final leg of its race in the Conejo Valley. Similar to the Tour de France, the Amgen Tour of California is known as the “greatest professional cycling event in North America.” The Cities of Agoura Hills, Thousand Oaks, and Westlake Village have partnered to host Stage Eight of the thrilling race plus related events on Sunday, May 23 2010.

The Course: Beginning at The Oaks Shopping Center in Thousand Oaks, the race moves along Thousand Oaks Boulevard to Hampshire Road and enters into Westlake Village on Lakeview Canyon Road from Townsgate Road. The course continues down Agoura Road passing Westlake Village City Hall and into Agoura Hills. The riders then begin a 20-mile stretch, ascending more than 1,800 feet through the Santa Monica Mountains, including the famous “Rockstore Climb.” The fan-friendly course follows this circuit four times, for a total of 80 miles, giving residents several chances to see the action “up close and personal.”

The Finish Line and a Lifestyle Festival are located on Village Glen Road, near the Hyatt Westlake. Street closures to accommodate the many activities are planned; residents can bike, walk, or shuttle to the festivities with their families.

Organizers forecast large crowds for the entire weekend. Local hotels, shops and restaurants can expect heightened business, and streets will see an increase in foot and cyclist traffic. City officials are working closely with organizers to reduce traffic impacts. Traffic plans and closures will be announced prior to the event, however, delays when traveling in and around the race route area may occur.

This is a fantastic opportunity for people to experience the largest professional cycling event in North America. For more information on the event, including related local activities and a video of the race route, or to volunteer to help with the race, visit

Arroyo Seco Assessment of Health

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

For many mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians, the Arroyo Seco is the jumping off point for trail systems behind JPL, which have been closed to the public since the Station Fire. Well-known trails such as the Gabrieleno National Recreation Trail pass through the Arroyo Seco canyon. There are plans being considered for the Hahamongna Watershed Park, at the mouth of the canyon, for development, soccer fields, and a bike path.

The Los Angeles & San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council invites you to attend a workshop on April 6th 1pm-5pm at La Casita del Arroyo. The Watershed Council is developing an indicator-driven tool for assessing the social, ecological and economic health of Southern California Watersheds. We are partnering with researchers from USC, UCLA, UC Davis, the US Forest Service and the California Office of Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment.

The Arroyo Seco Watershed was chosen by our project team and technical advisory committee as the location for a pilot application of the assessment tool. We are inviting stakeholders in the Arroyo Seco to comment on the indicators of health that have been selected. The workshop will include a presentation of the research to date, and break-out sessions where attendees can provide feedback. Please RSVP at this link:

Questions can be directed to Mike Antos (,  213-229-9954). This project is funded by the CA Department of Water Resources. We’d like to thank the City of Pasadena, Department of Public Works, Parks & Natural Resources Division, for providing the meeting location and for their support and assistance.

Awesome Land: Women of Dirt

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Women of Dirt
This incredible movie featuring outstanding athletes pushing the boundaries of Women’s mountain biking, will be screened tomorrow at Cinespace Hollywood, 6356 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California.

The screening will honor the five most influential women in Southern California mountain biking. There will be raffles, a long list of Cycling Celebrities, a fashion show, a VIP reception, 2 bars, and a whole lot of fun.

Proceeds from the screening, raffles and art auction benefit The Mark Reynolds Fund, SoCal Interscholastic Cycling League, Los Angeles Country Bicycle Coalition, and others. This is also a lycra drive: bring your old lycra to support the SoCal League.

Stay for the after-party, the Five Most Influential Women in SoCal Cycling Presentation, and a special presentation from Cannondale. Meet the Women of Dirt Producer Mark Brent and Stars Leana Gerard and Kathy Pruitt (past CORBA Fat Tire Fest Guest Celebrity) in Hollywood for the Southern California Premiere of the film.

For more info, visit: