Archive for the ‘IMBA News’ Category

Results of IMBA’s Fall 2015 Membership Survey

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Here are the results of the International Mountain Biking Association’s (IMBA) fall survey. Remember that CORBA is a founding organization of IMBA, and now there are dozens of local chapters that work with the international association.

You may need to click on the images to enlarge them to make the text easier to read.






















Vote for CORBA for Mtn Bike Hall of Fame by July 15th!

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

mbhof-logoThe time is now to vote for CORBA (a chapter of IMBA) for induction into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and Museum. We were nominated last year and therefor are eligible again moving forward. To learn more about CORBA’s nomination, click here.

CORBA has been on the forefront of mountain bike advocacy since there was such a thing. CORBA as an organization has developed groundbreaking advocacy policies, standardized trail building guidelines and design techniques, and outreach programs (Skills Classes, Mountain Bike Unit volunteer patrol). CORBA members were present at the initial summit which created the International Mountain Bicycling Association, and is listed as a Founding Member of that organization. CORBA may be eligible as an advocacy candidate for the Hall of Fame, but the organization could easily also be included as a Pioneer.

For you that are already members of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and Museum, check your mailboxes for your ballots. If you need to join the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame visit their website at There are options to join via PayPal or by printing out the membership form and sending a check.

Voting ends July 15th, so don’t delay!

The Grand Canyon by Bike, Not Burro

Friday, January 25th, 2013

The Suburu/IMBA Trail Care Crew helps bring new singletrack to the North Rim

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona has often been called the “eighth wonder of the world.” Lesser known is the area’s value as a mountain biking destination. Eighteen miles of moderate singletrack with stunning views into the canyon are open to bikes on the North Rim. The land is managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) North Kaibab Ranger District, which is looking to add additional miles to the existing, out-and-back trail.
IMBA Grand CanyonContrary to popular belief, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is not a desert. The Rainbow Rim trail sits at 8,000 feet, winding through forests of ponderosa pine and aspen trees. Users can expect to see abundant wildlife, including the rare Kaibab Squirrel, a white-tailed, tufted-eared critter that only lives in the 40-mile radius of the Kaibab Plateau. The forest is also home to wild turkeys, often spotted running in packs through the trees.
During the last weekend of September, the Subaru/ IMBA Trail Care Crew (TCC) helped the staff of the Kaibab forest prepare to add seven additional miles to the existing Rainbow Rim trail. Several of the rangers there are mountain bikers and wanted IMBA’s guidance to design the extension specifically for bikes.
To kick things off, IMBA hosted Land Manager Training, helping the Kaibab forest staff and rangers from the neighboring Dixie National Forest to better understand mountain bikers as a user group. The presentation was followed by a robust discussion about resource protection, risk management and trail design.
The Trail Care Crew—along with IMBA regional directors Ryan Schutz and Patrick Kell—then assisted the rangers in finding the most fun, beautiful and sustainable route for the new trail, which will utilize a steep side slope to add a loop and turn Rainbow Rim into a lollipop ride. Schutz, Kell and the TCC flagged the steep hillside carefully, using the contour to ensure good flow in the final trail while keeping riders off an unpleasantly steep, loose service road. The new section of planned trail must undergo an environmental assessment, but as soon as the Kaibob rangers get the go-ahead, construction will begin.
The Rainbow Rim project also involves a road-to-trail conversion, which is already underway. The TCC and volunteers from Arizona and New Mexico reclaimed 900 feet of road, converted 1,200 feet of road into trail and cut 900 feet of brand-new singletrack to bypass the old road. The USFS will finish where the volunteers left off, replacing the road with sinewy singletrack.
After a night spent camping on the North Rim with the volunteers and sharing a headlamp-lit cookout, the TCC had a chance to ride the Rainbow Rim trail.
“The remoteness of this trail gives you a feeling of isolation that is often not found at the South Rim,” said TCC member Jesse Livingston. “And the well-designed nature of the trail allows riders to enjoy mileage that is difficult to achieve in mountainous terrain.”
Only a few days after the TCC left the Grand Canyon, the Kaibab rangers contacted IMBA headquarters asking for more help with their next big trail idea. We hope this visit marks the beginning of a lasting partnership with one of America’s most treasured natural splendors.

Subaru’s VIP Program allows IMBA individual/family members and IMBA member clubs to purchase or lease any new Subaru saving $1,300-$3,000 off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, without haggling. Visit for details.

Youth Mountain Bike Teams Give Back to SoCal Trails

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

When the Southern California High School Mountain Bike League was founded in 2008, its mission statement included the following: “Foster a responsible attitude toward the use of trails and wilderness.” How to implement and encourage that part of the SoCal league’s mission is still evolving, but its founder and executive director, Matt Gunnell, is launching a new initiative that could have a big impact on the future of trail advocacy.
In the spring of 2012, Gunnell organized a trail workday for the SoCal league, run by the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA), an IMBA Chapter based in Los Angeles. Sixty-five student bike racers from five area high school mountain bike teams volunteered their efforts in the Angeles National Forest. The event led to a discussion between Gunnell and CORBA about how trail stewardship and etiquette could be introduced into the SoCal league’s programming.
“I realized that most of the kids and coaches coming into high school mountain bike racing have limited cycling backgrounds,” said Gunnell. We want to teach them that trail work is an important way to give back to the entire community.”
Gunnell envisions NICA leagues and individual high school teams creating partnerships with nearby IMBA Chapters and other established trail advocacy groups. He believes there is no need to reinvent the wheel when successful organizations already possess tools, trail building expertise and stewardship agreements with land managers.
Gunnell plans to make trail projects a regular part of the SoCal league’s training cycle. Coaches only need to stay in touch with the local IMBA Chapter, or other trail organization, to know when volunteer work days are scheduled. Then the teams can simply show up for the arranged events, ready to go to work.
Gunnell expects the SoCal league to expand to at least 400 student athletes, on 30 teams and with 80 coaches, by the spring of 2013. If each of the racers and coaches (and the occasional parent) contributed a four-hour workday it could generate more than 2,500 volunteer hours in a single year. As high school mountain biking grows across California and around the country, those numbers could become a significant source of trail stewardship.

Copied from IMBA Trail News, Fall 2012

IMBA Trail Care Crew comes to the Angeles National Forest

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

The weekend of October 20, together with the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association, CORBA hosted the IMBA Trail Care Crew for a visit to the Angeles National Forest. By all measurements, the visit was a great success, even as over 180 volunteers, 30 of them from CORBA, helped build trails in the Conejo Open Space on a conflicting event.

IMBA Trail Care Crew Visit with CORBA

IMBA Trail Care Crew Visit with CORBA


Jesse and Lori, Night Ride

Jesse and Lori, natives of Missouri, are six months into their two-year tour as the IMBA Trail Care crew.  Their visit to the San Gabriels started with a Thursday Night ride on the most recently re-opened singletrack trail in the San Gabriels, the Rim of the Valley Trail on Mount Lukens. This trail has undergone extensive restoration by a dedicated crew of City of Glendale volunteers, with earlier work done by CORBA’s former Trail Crew leader, Hans Kiefer a professional trailbuilding contractor and owner of Bellfree Contractors. The trail was in the best condition it has ever been in, aside from a burnt and mangled bridge near the bottom. The volunteer crew were able to cut a narrow trail around the bridge, though for most it will be a hike-a-bike. It’s a steep trail, with lots of very tight switchbacks and cliff-side exposure, definitely not for everyone.

Friday, October 19, day two of the visit, Steve Messer, and the TCC’s Jesse and Lori were joined by Gabriel Wanderley who is touring the country to learn about trail issues to take back to his native Brazil. He is hoping to get IMBA Brazil up and running over the coming year, expanding IMBA’s international presence. The four went up to Strawberry Peak Trail, for which CORBA has received a generous grant from REI to help rebuild, to map out a re-route. Messer had previously hiked the general corridor of the re-route with the Forest Service archaeologist, after the previous planned re-route was found to pass through a sensitive area.  As the crew familiarized themselves with the terrain, the general route was marked and rough-flagged in prep for the following day’s class.




Learn how to build and maintain trails with the IMBA Trail Care Crew, Saturday, Oct 20, 2012

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Join CORBA, the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association, and the IMBA Trail Care Crew, for a day of learning how to build and maintain trails. This free one-day class includes a morning classroom session, followed by an afternoon of hands-on instruction building and repairing a trail.

The IMBA Trail Care Crew was last here in 2007, during which time they worked on western end of the Idlehour trail.  For this visit we will be working on the Strawberry Peak trail, which was devastated during the Station Fire and remains closed to the public.  A proposal for re-routing an always troublesome section of the old trail is being processed right now. We hope to have final approval for the re-route in time to begin work on the new section for the class. If not, there is plenty of work to be done on the existing trail.

The class is free, and lunch will be provided to all participants, with a limit of 40 participants.  So Cal High School League/NICA coaches can get development credit for attending the class.

The morning session begins at 9 a.m. and will be held at the La Casita de Arroyo in Pasadena, located at 177 S. Arroyo Boulevard, Pasadena. After lunch, we’ll carpool to Redbox in the Angeles National Forest to work on the Strawberry Peak trail.

Please RSVP by sending an email to, or on IMBA’s site by clicking here, so we can make sure everyone is covered for tools, safety equipment, and food.  For the hands-on portion of the class, you’ll be required to wear sturdy shoes, long pants, long sleeves and gardening or work gloves. We’ll supply hard hats (and some gloves for those who don’t have their own).


CORBA Presentation for Land Managers, October 19, 2012

Monday, October 1st, 2012

CORBA and our neighboring IMBA chapter, the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association, will be co-hosting the IMBA Trail Care Crew for a visit to our local mountains. As a part of their visit, we are together hosting a session for Land Managers. The session will introduce you to IMBA as an organization. Attendees will learn how we, as local IMBA Chapters, can help land managers with their trails and open space programs, as well as up-to-date techniques and principles of trail design and construction. Additionally the Trail Care Crew will teach a one-day trailbuilding and maintenance class for volunteers.

The IMBA Trail Care Crew is world-renowned for their expertise in trail design, maintenance, and other issues. This is a unique opportunity to learn from those who live, breathe, and eat multi-use trails year-round, and to exchange ideas about trail construction, conflict resolution and other issues shared by most land managers.

The session is being held at the Angeles National Forest headquarters.

From the IMBA web site: “The Land Manager training educates land managers on IMBA and the practice of designing, building and maintaining sustainable trails; as well as the importance of partnerships with local mountain biking organizations to achieve great trails. The curriculum is geared toward land managers who oversee land that is either provides, or has the potential to provide mountain biking opportunities. This presentation is essential to inform land managers and community leaders on how to partner with clubs to build responsible, thoughtful trails. This presentation helps grow local group’s trust in IMBA, trail building and mountain biking.”

Besides the United States Forest Service, California State Parks, and Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation, we cordially invite all local government agencies and trail advocacy organizations in our area. The session size is limited to 30 people.

Please RSVP or email any questions to steve at, or call 323-743-3682. 

IMBA Trail Care Crew with CORBA and MWBA
Land Managers’ Workshop
Friday, October 19, 2012, 1pm – 4pm.
Angeles National Forest Headquarters
701 N. Santa Anita Ave,
Arcadia, CA 91006

Directions: Google Map. If you are on the 210 freeway heading east, exit Santa Anita Avenue, and turn right at the off-ramp. Then turn immediately right into the ANF Headquarters, just a few yards south of the off-ramp. From the 210 west, turn left, proceed under the freeeway, and look for the first driveway after passing the eastbound freeway off ramp.

Mapping the Rattling Creek Epic

Thursday, September 20th, 2012


IMBA Mapping Specialist Leslie Kehmeier has been busier than a one-armed paper-hanger laying the groundwork for IMBA’s mapping program. Launching this type of venture is no small task, but one that will provide valuable resources for IMBA’s grassroots network in the years to come.

In addition to a vast amount of planning and research, Kehmeier has spent time in the field mapping selected trail systems in different regions. During those efforts, she’s had the opportunity to work with local chapters and advocates collecting information, refining techniques and developing the process for acquiring data on the ground.

“Our volunteer network will be a key aspect in building a comprehensive trails database. The knowledge they
can provide about their local trail systems is invaluable and we look forward to working with them as the mapping program continues to grow,” says Kehmeier.

In March, Kehmeier traveled to Lykens, Pennsylvania, home of the Rattling Creek Trails that were designated as an IMBA Epic in 2011. Until recently, this exceptionally well-designed and built trail system has remained largely unknown. Alongside local rider Mike Kuhn and Mid-Atlantic Region Director Frank Maguire, Kehmeier collected GPS data for the entire trail system and facilities, resulting in the map on these pages.

In upcoming weeks and months, IMBA will release a small sampling of additional Epics maps. But there’s much more to come with IMBA’s mapping program.

For advocacy work, maps provide an effective way to communicate with local land managers and decision makers. Maps can showcase the need to develop trail maintenance plans, inform public comment for protecting trails and help plan routes for future riding opportunities. In the near future, IMBA’s network of chapters, members and supporters will have access to a robust set of GIS and mapping tools to help them create great maps in their own areas and trail systems. Kehmeier will conduct trainings and help our grassroots network create customized maps that suit their local needs.

In Lykens, as with many communities, trail systems have proven to be a powerful economic driver. The new Rattling Creek Trails map will be used for more than just a navigational guide. The local city council is leading the charge to develop more trail opportunities in the area, including a rail trail. The map will become a useful tool in future fundraising campaigns and grant cycles and will illustrate the potential for trail opportunities and connections in the area. A picture is worth a thousand words, but a map could be worth thousands of dollars.


Mapping a trail system on a mountain bike is a challenge, but if you do it right the results will be worthwhile. Keep in mind the more comprehensive the acquisition effort, the more potential it has to generate different maps. This data I collected for this Rattling Creek map can be spun into other versions that highlight needs like trail maintenance or funding requests.
Once in the field, try to be patient — you won’t set any ride-time records while gathering trail data. Be ready for the process to require multiple days, frequent stops and constant backtracking. Be sure to focus on the components of the trail system and its supporting facilities, like trailheads and parking lots. Remember to capture points for notable bike-specific features like rock gardens, switchbacks and ladder bridges. I like to jot down lots of notes in the field that I can refer back to when I’m drafting a map on my computer screen.

It’s usually possible to acquire existing map data that covers vegetation, waterways and road systems, so those things shouldn’t be the focus of your field mapping efforts. Consider rounding out your documentation by capturing photos, videos and other materials that you might use to create a memorable, multi-media map for online presentations. When you assemble all the elements you’ll have a map that truly tells a story.

— Leslie Kehmeier, IMBA mapping specialist

The Rattling Creek Epic offers flowy trails punctuated with rock gardens, creating classic East Coast riding that rewards bike handling as much as fitness. Trails don’t get more sustainable than the Rocks Ridge section — a 3/4-mile boulder field that’s featured on the IMBA website under the heading “Toughen Your Trail With Rocks.” Unforgiving, yes. But it’s rideable if you’ve got the chops. More info at

Copied from IMBA Trail News, Summer 2012

Big Bear Group and USFS Partner for project

Monday, September 17th, 2012

The trails around Big Bear Lake, CA, enjoy a rich mountain biking heritage. Big Bear has played host to several World Championships and has the potential to become an outstanding riding destination for cyclists of all styles and abilities. Over the past few years, the Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation (BBVTF) has grown into a well-known and well-respected group of multi-use, non-motorized trail advocates, with the goal of developing a vibrant trail network in partnership with the San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF).

The current focus of the BBVTF’s work is the Skyline Trail, a planned, 15- to 20-mile network of singletrack to be located on a ridge just to the south of the ski resort. The trail will be designed inside a firebreak and will have options to ride short loops or the entire trail. “The Skyline project stands to become a premiere mountain bike trail network in southern California and within the Western states,” says Patrick Kell, IMBA Southwest Region Director.

Recently, the BBVTF held a showing of the documentary Pedal Driven to a packed audience. The group presented its work and committed $40,000 in cash and in-kind volunteer time to the project. The USFS committed $80,000 to the project. “Our partnership with the trails foundation is the example of how land stewardship is going to happen in the future,” says District Ranger Scott Tangenberg. “It’s the peoples’ forest; they are here to take care of it. I want to facilitate that and encourage their help.”

The work on the Skyline Trail has fostered a positive relationship between the BBVTF and the SBNF that has led to the consideration of the South Shore trail network, including a desire to maximize connectivity of the existing system so it best meets the needs of a variety of trail users. IMBA Trail Solutions will likely be contracted this summer to begin the planning process of the Skyline Trail. Kell hopes to see construction begin as early as late summer.

Copied from IMBA Trail News, Summer 2012

Youth Mountain Biking Publication Available Now

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

With the help of a generous grant from Shimano, IMBA has released the first edition of a youth-oriented print publication. Written for middle-school through high-school aged readers — as well as their mountain bike coaches and adult ride leaders — IMBA Trail News Youth Edition is available for free online. You can also order 15 printed copies at IMBA’s online store,, for just $5.

The full-color, glossy magazine provides 12 pages loaded with great photos, news stories and features about mountain biking for young riders. Readers will find tips on organizing successful rides, trail building success stories and how to connect with IMBA’s chapters and clubs.

The second issue of the youth publication will be published this winter.

Copied from IMBA Trail News, Summer 2012