Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Station Fire Recovery Efforts Covered in Mountain Bike Magazine

Friday, June 25th, 2010

The Station fire has been a devastating blow to outdoor recreation throughout Southern California. CORBA’s Steve Messer was recently interviewed by Mountain Bike Magazine about the extensive damage and impact to the trails, and pondered on how the recovery efforts might proceed.

Messer was probably the last person to ride Sam Merrill, Sunset Ridge and El Prieto trails before the fire swept through the area. Ironically, he was on his way with CORBA’s trail crew to do some trail repair work on Sunset Ridge trail as the fire broke out.

It’s clear that the recovery will take many years. At present it is too early in the process to speculate on when the forest and severely damaged trails may re-open. The Mountain Bike magazine story does a nice job of laying out the challenges and opportunities, and showing how CORBA, the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association and others might be called to action going forward.

The full article is available as PDF document.


Free Mountain Bike Skills Clinic in Acorn News

Friday, June 10th, 2011

The Acorn, a local newspaper covering Agoura, Calabasas and surrounding areas, gave CORBA’s free skills clinic a nice piece in their June 9 2011 edition.  You can view the original on the Acorn’s web site at  A full PDF of the page is also available.

The Free Mountain Bike Skills Clinic takes place on the first Saturday of each month at Malibu Creek State Park. Photos of the June 2011 clinic can be found in our Photo Gallery.

Come out and join us for the July clinic. All levels of rider are welcome, and it’s completely free.



Mountain Bike Component of LA Bike Plan In Jeopardy!

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Anyone interested in riding their bicycle off-pavement in any Los Angeles City Park needs to be at the Los Angeles City Council Meeting this Tuesday March 1.

According to sources close to the City Council, the mountain bike feasibility study is about to get stripped out of the bike plan. City Council member Tom LaBonge wants to introduce last minute motion to send the Bicycle Plan back to the Transportation Committee for “revision” (read removal?) before passing the plan by full council.

If you can’t attend the meeting then we encourage you to call La Bonge’s office at (213) 485-3337 or email at to share your opinion on LA Bike Plan.

Also make sure to let your city Councilperson know too. This is your city! This is your community! Get involved or lose opportunities to ride dirt in LA. Click here to find your City Councilperson.

Here are few talking points:

1.  Mountain bicyclists have participated in good faith in the entire planning process.
2   The draft plan requires the city to “analyze and explore  opportunities for additional off-road bicycle facilities.”
3.  It requires the city to look at the experience and practices of other cities and of neighboring open space land managers.
4.  It requires an inventory of city dirt roads and trails.
5.  It calls on the city to “evaluate and address multiple user groups’ needs in the City’s limited public park land.”
6.  Mountain biking is a safe, sustainable, health promoting activity.
7.  Among the three purposes of the bike plan are:  Increase the number and type of bicyclists in the city and Make the City of Los Angeles a Bike Friendly community.  The studies of mountain biking on trails are totally appropriate with those goals.
8.  To pull this language now is unwarranted.
9.  The plan has been vetted.  The time to pass it as drafted is NOW.



Local Spin on Great Outdoors Program

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Click here for an article by KCET.

MRCA Announces key Santa Monica Mountains Trail Acquisition

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

From Dash Stolarz, Director of Public Affairs Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

Topanga and Calabasas, California, December 17, 2010 — The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) announced today its acquisition of more than 100 acres of prime Santa Monica Mountains open space that straddles Topanga Canyon and San Fernando Valley  watershed divide.  The purchase was made with Los Angeles County funding sources offered by 3rd District Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky to expand the Los County Trail system in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The new 101-acre parkland, which is accessible from Old Topanga Road, bolsters public ownership of existing trail networks in Topanga Canyon near the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy-owned Summit Valley Ed Edelman Park.  The principal trail is the Summit-to-Summit Motorway, a historic fire road  that connects the Calabasas Peak Motorway on the west side of Old Topanga Canyon Road  eastward to the Henry Ridge Trail and ultimately to Topanga Canyon Boulevard.  These trails have been recognized since the County adopted its Trail Master Plan in 1980.  They are all wide with easy grades, making them accessible to almost all potential users.

“Zev’s commitment to the preserving open space and creating accessible public parkland is rock solid,” said Joseph T. Edmiston, Executive Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

The long-coveted open space and trail network are part of a large habitat area that abuts the southern boundary of the City of Calabasas and descends into Topanga State Park.  The oak and walnut forested property offers stunning views of the San Fernando Valley and the many rugged peaks and valleys of the more interior Santa Monica Mountains.   This new parkland provides optimal habitat for people and the full complement of mammals, reptiles and birds that occupy the Santa Monica Mountains, National Recreation Area.

The MRCA is a Joint Powers Agency of the State of California which includes the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, and the Conejo Recreation and Park District.  The MRCA provides natural resources and scientific expertise, critical regional planning services, park construction services, park operations, fire prevention, ranger services, educational and leadership programs for thousands of youth each year, and is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

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KLOS – Spotlight on the Community

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Cynthia Fox, Steve Messer & Mark Langton at KLOSCORBA’s Mark Langton and Steve Messer recently spent some quality time with radio DJ Cynthia Fox.  They will be appearing this coming Sunday on the KLOS program Spotlight on the Community.

In the half-hour segment Langton and Messer will be talking about the Fat Tire Fest as well as CORBA’s advocacy and outreach programs. Cynthia’s enthusiastic support for any activity that gets kids into the open air getting exercise made it easy for them to talk about the importance of having bike-friendly parks and public land. They’ll touch on High School Mountain Bike racing, CORBA’s trail care crew, Youth Adventures, the L.A. Bike Plan, and much more. Fox, like many Angelenos, was surprised to learn that bicycles are not welcome on L.A. City Park trails and unimproved access roads.

Aside from her regular 10-3 Monday through Friday KLOS slot, The “Fox” as Cynthia is known to her fans, hosts this outstanding show every Sunday morning. Spotlight on the Community gives non-profit organizations an opportunity to reach out to the public through mainstream media. CORBA is grateful to have been invited to talk about our programs and the mountain biking issues we all care about so much.

The show will air on Sunday, October 17, 2010 at 6:00 a.m.  You can listen by tuning in to KLOS (95.5 on the FM dial) as you prepare for the Fat Tire Fest!  After it airs, the program can be downloaded as a podcast from KLOS on-demand.

CORBA on BikeSport Radio

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Bike Sport Radio, Steve Messer, Brad HouseJuly 26, 2010, CORBA volunteer Steve Messer appeared on BikeSport Radio with host Brad House as the show’s in-studio featured guest.  During the half-hour interview Messer talked about current issues of interest to mountain bikers, including the Station Fire, City of L.A. Bike Plan, and progress in Glendale.  He talked about the important role advocacy plays in ensuring mountain bike access to trails, and a little about the history of CORBA.

BikeSport Radio covers topics of special interest to those who race bicycles, including road racing, mountain bike racing and cyclocross. Brad usually presents race results and interviews from recent events, as well as upcoming events on this bi-weekly podcast.

Messer made some special announcements regarding CORBA’s annual Fat Tire Fest, which will take place on October 17, 2010.  REI, Specialized, Fox, Mountain Bike Magazine, Mountain Bike Action and Hilton Hotels have already signed on as sponsors of this year’s event. The biggest change  for 2010 is that the Fat Tire Fest will feature a Cyclocross race presented by Back On Track Productions, in addition the full slate of regular Fat Tire Fest activities and festivities.

Fat Tire Fest registration will open in August along with the new web site at

BikeSport Radio streams live at
every other Monday at noon, and can be downloaded as a podcast from

Cyclists take on one of L.A.’s steepest hills

Monday, March 15th, 2010
Climbing Fargo Street in Echo Park is no easy task. One woman tipped over and tumbled into a bush. Other riders used a zig-zag approach.

At a whopping 33% incline, Fargo Street is one of the sharpest grades in L.A. Many never made it to the top. One man climbed the peak 51 times in a day.  

From the Los Angeles Times  

There are people who sprint with the bulls in Spain, and people who plunge into icy oceans on New Year’s Day.  

Then there are the several dozen men and women who gathered in Echo Park on Sunday morning at the bottom of a beastly hill and looked up. Before them stretched Fargo Street, one of the city’s steepest roads.  

The challenge: to climb it. On a bicycle. Without stopping.  

Some tried and failed. Falls were so common that no one blinked when a woman tipped over halfway up the hill and tumbled violently into a bush on the side of the street.  

But many triumphed. More than half of the 105 people who signed up made it to the top, where they were greeted with cheers and dazzling views of Griffith Park and the Hollywood sign.  

Dan Wyman was one of them.  

His chest was still heaving from the ascent when someone asked him, “Why do you do it?”  

Wyman, 58, raised a hand in the air and said he needed a minute to cool down. “Sorry,” he said. “Nausea is overtaking me.”  

A couple of deep breaths later, he explained: “It’s not something you want to subject your body to. But the feeling when you conquer the hill is so special. You know you can do something no one else can do.”  

Wyman has participated in the Fargo Street Hill Climb almost every year since the inaugural event in 1974, when someone bet bicycle enthusiast Darryl LeVesque $100 that he couldn’t make it up Fargo Street.  

In front of a crowd of about 50 members of the Los Angeles Wheelmen bicycle club, LeVesque and his wife, Carol, got onto a tandem bicycle. As they were preparing for their climb, a man on a track bike made a sudden, unplanned run at the hill and cycled to the top.  

LeVesque, 64, who came to watch Sunday’s ride, said he still harbors resentment. “He was some young punk,” he said. “He stole our thunder.”  

The LeVesques hold the record for first tandem duo to make it to the top, and Carol holds the record for the first woman to make the solo ascent. The record for number of climbs made in one day is 101.  

Kent Karnes was this year’s top finisher, with 51 climbs.  

With a grade of 33%, the street is so steep that the Fire Department and car manufacturers are said to test equipment on it.  

Many people make adjustments to their bicycles, putting cogs as big as pie plates on their back wheel, and tiny chain rings on the pedal cranks, LeVesque said. Riding techniques vary. Some go straight up, while others crisscross their way to the top.  

“You’ve got to watch out for the zig-zaggers and for all the looky-loos on the side,” cyclist Hazziz Ali told Andres Morales, a younger cyclist who was considering making a run at the hill. “The biggest obstacles are the other people.  

“You can’t pace yourself,” Ali, 64, told Morales. “This is a sprint.”  

Morales, 32, couldn’t decide whether he should try the climb. He plans to run in the Los Angeles Marathon next week, and he didn’t want to injure himself before that. Besides, he said, looking up at the sharp incline, “it’s intimidating.”  

“Man, people give too much respect to this hill,” Ali told him. “The truth is, it’s about 1% physical and 99% spiritual.”  

“Yeah,” Morales said. “My old coach said it’s not the size of the body but the size of the heart.”  

When Ali pedaled away to warm up for his second ride, Morales said he had decided to bow out. “I think I’m going to skip it,” he said. “I’m going to ride to the beach.”  

At the bottom of the hill, Bruce Bates and his girlfriend sat on a guardrail, smoking cigarettes in the late-morning sun. Bates, whose bare chest was pink from sunburn, took swigs from a bottle of whiskey and loudly heckled the bicyclists.  

He said he had tried to ride the year before. “Halfway up I said, ‘Nope,’ and fell over backward.’ ”  

His girlfriend said she wasn’t crazy enough to attempt the ride.  

“It would take me about three hours to get up the hill,” she said, “and there would be a lot of stopping.”

Google Maps adds bike routes

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

The mapping tool, added after bicyclists petitioned the company, provides turn-by-turn directions and even figures out routes that help cyclists avoid ‘unreasonable exertion.’

From the Los Angeles Times

After a long wait and more than 50,000 signatures on an online petition, cyclists will be happy to know that Google Inc. has finally added bicycle routes to Google Maps.

In Google Maps, users can now find “Bicycling” in the tool’s “Get Directions” drop-down box. After choosing the option, bikers can input two addresses and find the bike route that will get them to their destination. The mapping tool provides turn-by-turn directions and an estimated travel time.

The new Google Maps bicycling feature is available in 150 U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. The tool features more than 12,000 bike trails. When users look for directions, the company’s mapping algorithm weights trails more heavily than roads for safety reasons. If cities have bicycle lanes, those are also weighted more heavily than roads without them.

One of the more useful features built into the Google Maps bicycling tool is its power-exertion calculation. According to the company, biking directions “compute the effort [bicyclists] will require and the speed [they will] achieve while going uphill.” Based on those calculations, the tool provides bicyclists with a route that eliminates areas that would require “an unreasonable degree of exertion.”

Google said its tool even keeps bicyclists away from busy intersections and areas where bicyclists would need to brake too often.

The Google Maps bicycling tool is in beta testing, which means it might have some bugs. Google plans to add more routes and trails in coming months.

Support Rails to Trails: Act would improve trail, walking and biking networks around the country

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

“Active Community Transportation Act of 2010” Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives

From Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Please Speak Up for Critical Legislation for Trails, Walking and Bicycling

After years of organizing supporters around the country, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is excited to announce that on Tuesday, March 2, 2010, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) introduced H.R. 4722, the “Active Community Transportation Act of 2010” (ACT Act), on the floor of the House of Representatives!

The ACT Act is the direct result of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) Campaign for Active Transportation. The Act would create a $2 billion program to fund dozens of communities around the country to improve their trail, walking and biking networks. If this bill is enacted, communities around the country will receive the resources to better allow Americans to walk and bike to the places you live, work, play, shop and learn.

Please encourage your representative to co-sponsor this very important legislation by filling in this petition.

NOTE: The following forward-thinking representatives have already signed on in support of the ACT Act:

  • Earl Blumenauer (Ore.)
  • Michael Capuano (Mass.)
  • Russ Carnahan (Mo.)
  • Steve Cohen (Tenn.)
  • Bob Filner (Cal.)
  • Daniel Lipinski (Ill.)
  • James Moran (Va.)

If your representative is one of the above seven individuals, instead of taking action below, please send a note thanking your representative for already supporting this legislation, and encourage him to continue pushing his colleagues for more support.

Don’t know who your representative is? Use the zip-code tool in the upper-left corner of—it’s easy!

Thank you.