Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Lyme Disease Detected in Ticks at Paramount Ranch

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Officials from Los Angeles county and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) are advising visitors that ticks from Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills recently tested positive for Lyme disease. Three separate pools of western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus) found along the Coyote Trail were found to be positive.

“This is a good reminder for visitors to stick to the trail and avoid the vegetated areas where ticks like to hang out,” said Evan Jones, SMMNRA chief ranger. “Though Lyme disease can be very serious, simply following a few basic steps can greatly minimize exposure.”

Jones also advises the public to check clothing and exposed skin before heading home, making sure to brush off any small creatures. Wearing light-colored clothing with long sleeves and long pants is also recommended.

Lyme disease is an infectious disease that can start as a mild flu-like illness and develop into severe chronic health problems over time. If identified in the early stages, it can be successfully treated with antibiotics, but the potential for long-term complications increases if the disease progresses untreated.

Paramount Ranch was one of three Santa Monica Mountains park sites that came back positive for Lyme disease in tests conducted by Los Angeles County West Vector and Vector-Borne Disease Control District. The other two locations were Tapia Park and Malibu Creek State Park, both located within a short distance of one another.

Robert Saviskas, executive director of the L.A. county agency responsible for conducting the tests, said this was the first year his agency tested for Lyme disease at Paramount Ranch, among approximately 12 sites tested within the Santa Monica Mountains. The first tick known to carry Lyme disease was found in the mountains in 1998.

“We’re finding that about 1 or 2 percent of western black-legged ticks in the area carry the Lyme disease bacteria, so it’s important for us to identify where the problem is occurring,” said Saviskas. “This particular tick is most active from late November through May.”

More information is available at or by calling 310-915-7370.

Help Walk ‘N Rollers Help Kids

Monday, November 5th, 2012


CORBA members and fans, one of our own needs our help.

Jim Shanman, longtime CORBA member and supporter formed Walk ‘n Rollers last year to encourage kids to bike and walk to school more frequently. His organization has had great success helping schools on the Westside develop basic bike/walk to school programs, host Kids Bike Safety Festivals and works with cities to develop effective encouragement programs. Encouraging kids to bike and walk to school has many benefits, including increasing kids’ daily activity levels, reducing congestion and pollution around schools and, most importantly, teaches kids important life skills such as responsibility and good decision making.

Walk ‘n Rollers is a finalist for a $5,000 grant to help expand their programs, and with a simple click or 2, you can help them bring it home. For the kids in LA County and for Jim, please cast your vote for Walk ‘n Rollers at . After voting, please share this message with anyone you can. Simply put, the organization with the most votes wins. So while we’re all in a voting mood this week, cast your vote for someone who will make a difference we can all appreciate and then encourage others to do the same. Let’s do what we can to get kids walking and rolling!

To learn more about Walk ‘nRollers, visit


Bicyclist Holiday Gift Ideas

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

For the mountain biker who has everything.

Resource Revival is the company that has done our recycled bike parts awards for our annual CORBA Award. They have been recycling bike parts for over 18 years, turning them into bowls, clocks, picture frames, magnets and more. Shop at their online store to get the best gifts for the bike lovers in your life.

Youth-Oriented Publication Available Soon, Take A Kid Celebration Slated for Oct. 6

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

With major support from Shimano, IMBA will publish two special editions of IMBA Trail News in 2012. Copies of ITN Youth Edition will be available on IMBA’s online store, free of cost except for shipping fees. These full-color, print magazines will focus on providing resources for adult leaders of youth-oriented mountain bike programs, plus stories, photos and tips that young riders aged 12 to 18 will enjoy reading.
This October, in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, IMBA has pledged to get 30,000 children participating in 300 cycling events for the annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day celebration. We could use your help in reaching this goal on Oct. 6. Broadcast Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day to your chapter/club networks, host a ride or sponsor the IMBA outreach program.
Since we believe that kids should be on bikes everyday, we’re encouraging all participants to sign up for the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA), whereby you pledge to be active at least 5 days a week for 6 weeks. Youth (6-17 years) should get moving for at least 60 minutes per day, and adults (18 years or older) should be active for 30 minutes per day. What better way to get active than to be out riding a bike?

From the International Mountain Bicycling Association‘s quarterly publication Trail News, Spring 2012

Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery Pays Cyclists to Lose Weight

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

It’s the time of year again when many people make resolutions to improve their health and fitness. This year, the Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery (SMMC) aims to make it just a bit easier. When a resolute customer buys a bike from SMMC before January 22nd, he or she will have the opportunity to earn $0.10 per mile for every mile ridden on that bike in 2012.

“We know that many people out there want to improve their fitness and maybe lose a few pounds, and we just want to give them a little nudge in the right direction,” says David Kooi, owner of SMMC. “Cycling is one of the easiest ways to exercise. It’s a low-impact sport that eats up calories and builds strength, stamina, and cardiovascular fitness.”

Under the program, participants will log their miles at, a social training website, using GPS devices. Twice during the year, SMMC will reward participants with gift cards for the miles they have ridden. “A simple training plan that consists of 3 rides per week averaging 20 miles per ride will reward the customer with more than $300 for the year. When you can buy a quality fitness bike for $750 these days, that’s significant savings for the consumer,” says Kooi. Participants can earn up to 50% of the original bicycle purchase price.

About Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery: The Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery is located at 21526 Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills, California, and serves residents of the San Fernando Valley, including Woodland Hills, Calabasas, Tarzana, Encino, Sherman Oaks, West Hills, Agoura Hills, Topanga, Malibu and others. SMMC presents a selection of the finest road and mountain bikes available, as well as quality bikes for getting around town and to and from work. SMMC has an extensive selection of clothing, parts, and accessories – everything you will need to get riding safely, quickly, and stylishly down the road or trail. SMMC also performs bike repair, tune-ups, and maintenance and has a full bicycle fitting studio. More information at or call 818-453-3204.


Study Finds Multi-Use Trails Improve Property Values

Monday, November 21st, 2011

From a story which appeared on the University of Cincinnati Web Site, October 11, 2011

New Research Finds that Homeowners and City Planners Should ‘Hit the Trail’ When Considering Property Values

Two University of Cincinnati researchers will present interdisciplinary research at a national conference on planning and development of communities.

Date: 10/11/2011 12:00:00 AM

By: Dawn Fuller

Location, location, location – it is often touted as affecting the value of residential property. Now, new University of Cincinnati research suggests that location near nature trails could hold a financial benefit for homeowners and ultimately neighboring communities.

University of Cincinnati researchers Rainer vom Hofe, an associate professor of planning, and Olivier Parent, an assistant professor of economics, will present their findings on Sunday, Oct. 16, at the 52nd Annual Association of College Schools of Planning (ACSP) ENVISION Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The two researchers examined how the Little Miami Scenic Trail – a 12-mile southern stretch of the trail that runs through the Cincinnati metropolitan region – impacted residential property values in Hamilton County, Ohio. The scenic, multipurpose trail beckons walkers, hikers, skaters and bicycle enthusiasts and also has horseback riding paths.

“For the ‘New Urbanist,’ multipurpose trails provide the potential for bicycle commuting; help alleviate noise, pollution and congestion, and expand the means for green transportation and a community’s walkability,” write the authors.

Using a research model they developed, Parent and vom Hofe found that from a real estate perspective, trails can have significant, positive spillover effects on property values when these properties are located within reasonable distances to the trails.

To be more specific, housing prices went up by nine dollars for every foot closer to the trail entrance. Ultimately, the study concluded that for the average home, homeowners were willing to pay a $9,000 premium to be located one thousand feet closer to the trail.

The researchers say their study is among the first to quantify the impact of multipurpose trail proximity on residential property values while isolating the results from the biasing effect of nearby property values.



Beware the Poodle Dog Bush

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Poodle Dog Bush, this example about six feet tallThis pretty but toxic native bush is wreaking havoc on many trail users in the recently opened Station Fire area.

Many people have been returning to the Angeles National Forest since the opening of the trails in May. As summer weather entices riders to the high country, many are getting their first glimpses of a changed forest. One of those changes is the abundant Poodle Dog Bush.

Poodle Dog Bush, also known as Common Turricula, or Purple Flower Poodle Bush, is a beautiful purple flowered native bush. It’s an opportunist. Its seeds will lie dormant in chaparral areas for many years waiting for a major disturbance of the soil. Fire is one such disturbance, and the Station Fire has brought the bush back to life with a vengeance.

People often stop on the Angeles Crest Highway or along trails to pick the pretty purple flowers. It is unfamiliar to most people, and quite attractive. It has long slender serrated leaves and flower stems similar in appearance to Phacelia, though it has an upleasant, slightly pungeant odor. The stems grow from the base of the plant and it can grow to eight feet tall.

What people don’t realize is that the bush is covered with tiny hairs similar to stinging nettle, seen clearly in the close-up image below. However, there is no immediate pain or sensation like nettle gives. Poodle Dog hairs will latch on to bare skin or clothing and release a toxin to which most people will have a severe contact dermatitis type reaction. The swelling, rash and itching appear twelve hours to two days after contacting the bush, and the rash can last for two weeks or more and require medical attention. Severe cases can result in large blisters.

Poodle Dog Bush Stalks, clearly showing the fine hairs

The bush is more prevalent at higher elevations, but can appear throughout the recently burned areas. Forest Service officials have stated that the current post-Station Fire bloom is the largest in recent history. Trail users and trail maintenance volunteers need to be especially cautious, as it has appeared along many trails including narrow single track trails where it is difficult to avoid.

If exposed to the bush, avoid scratching the affected area. Clothes, tools or other equipment that has come into contact should be handled with caution and washed separately from other clothes. Calamine or over-the-counter Hydrocortizone cream may provide some relief, but if blisters begin to form medical attention may be required. Poison Oak remedies such as Zanfel or Tecnu have little effect, but washing the area as soon as possible after exposure is advised.

We need to be aware of Poodle Dog Bush. It’s life-cycle can last up to ten years after a significant fire or other disturbance. Eventually it will die off and lay dormant once again, waiting for the next big fire to come back to life.

Mugu State Lifeguards to hold blood drive July 6

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

The Mugu State Lifeguards are holding the annual blood drive on Wednesday, July 6 from 1400 to 2000 hours.  I’d like to invite each of you to come out and participate.  This is a great opportunity to work together for a very good cause.  All employees, volunteers, families, and friends are welcome.   Feel free to call Lifeguard Dispatch at 310 457 4665 to schedule an appointment or show up at the Covehouse.  

 Tony Hoffman
Filming Coordinator
California State Parks-Angeles District
National Park Service-Santa Monica Mountains
818 880 0358 Desk
818 880 0383 Fax

Mountain Biking to Grow 30% in Scotland

Monday, June 27th, 2011

The BBC reports there will be a 30% growth in mountain biking in Scotland over the next five years.

“The idea of a healthy adventure activity, where you can just pick up your bike and go, has grabbed the imagination of the mass market,” Katrina Morrison, Scottish Enterprise, told the BBC.

As a result of the demand, Tourism Intelligence Scotland produced a guide on mountain biking tourism offering advice on how to cater to cyclists’ needs–suggesting companies stock up on basic bicycle repair items, offer secure bike racks and cleaning facilities, and print off daily weather forecasts for guests.

More than 1.3 million visits are made to Scotland each year for mountain biking, according to the Scottish Enterprise.

Thinking of planning a trip to the UK (like I suddenly am)? You won’t need much convincing after reading these articles about mountain biking in Scotland.

From Beth Puliti, Guide  June 27, 2011

All Fun at June 18th CORBA Beginner Ride

Monday, June 20th, 2011


Nine beginners at Sycamore Canyon (Point Mugu State Park)

Nine mountain bikers turned up for CORBA’s Beginner Ride in Sycamore Canyon (Rancho Sierra Vista/Point Mugu State Park). We started our ride on nice double track leading through the meadows of the National Park Service property of Rancho Sierra Vista. Once at the top of famous Blacktop Hill we took a moment to talk about safety of descending the hill: Watch ahead for gravel on the corners, control speed (max 15 mph), slow down for other trail users, perhaps say “Hello” and last but not least… have fun!

Once down the hill we turned west onto Ranch Center Road, unfortunately passing by the fun side route known as Art’s Trail, which was closed a year ago due to archeological concerns (read here about Art’s trail). After some climbing on the paved road … our reward. Wood Canyon fire road and two great single tracks, Two Foxes and Sin Nombre. I think I speak for all of us when I say we had a great time! No one even complained that we had to finish our ride with a final climb back up Blacktop to  Rancho Sierra Vista. Not only that, they smiled! Just check out the picture.

14 miles, 1300 feet of climbing, all smiles!


The 14-mile ride took us about three hours and had 1,300 feet of climbing, and by all accounts was pure fun!

I would like to thank everyone for joining the CORBA/North Ranch Mountain Bikers Beginner Ride. Check out the pictures.

Hope to see you on my next ride! Visit CORBA calendar and see you on the trails!

– Danusia Bennett-Taber