Posts Tagged ‘Santa Monica Mountains’

Town Hall 1/26 Cancelled

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we must cancel our Town Hall meeting at Paramount Ranch this Saturday January 26. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements regarding meetings to discuss shared use issues with agency representatives of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Happy Trails!

Cancelled – Town Hall Meeting This Saturday Jan. 26

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

meeting of the knobsBy Mark Langton

The trail user community, and mountain bikers in particular, have a unique opportunity to get involved with our open space trails on the ground floor this Saturday. Whether you’ve been using the trails for years or are new to our open space, you can meet the newly appointed Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) Superintendent David Szymanski and discuss with him how we can change the culture of shared use in our mountains.

An avid mountain biker who has logged hundreds of miles on SMMNRA and COSCA trails in just the few months he has been here, Szymanski has stated that mountain bikers in the SMMNRA are a integral part of the trail user community. This purpose of this meeting is to engage the mountain bike community to come together and examine the issues of our  shared use trail system.

Your attendance and participation in this meeting will speak volumes in promoting a cohesive and caring trail user community now and  for future generations.

We hope you will join CORBA in helping make this groundbreaking event a success. We need a good turnout of mountain bikers to show that we are willing to make shared use trails in the SMMNRA the most pleasant experience for everyone possible.

When: 1/26/13, 2pm

Where: Paramount Ranch Pavilion, 2903 Cornell Road, Agoura Hills, California 91301

There will be a short guided ride around the Paramount Ranch trail network following the meeting. Paramount Ranch’s trails are great for kids and new mountain bikers. Paramount Ranch is also the location of many film and television shoots over the years, and the historic Western town is interesting and educational.

Update: Due to circumstances beyond our control, we must cancel this event. See the follow-up post on this site for more info. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Q & A With New Nat’l Recreation Area Superintendent Jan. 26

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

David SzymanskiNewly appointed Superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) David Szymanski, along with several National Park Service and State Park representatives, will be available for a question and answer session this January 26 from 2:00-4:00pm at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills.

Presented by CORBA, this will be an opportunity to ask questions directly and discuss such issues as the future of the SMMNRA, improving user safety and minimizing conflicts, and creating a backcountry community through stewardship. This is a unique opportunity to meet our top land management representatives one-on-one and get a better sense of what the SMMNRA is going to look like in the next 10-15 years, especially on the brink of the final phases of the new Trail Management Plan.

It is important to have a strong showing from the mountain bike community to show our interest and commitment to working with land managers in the SMMNRA.

Be The Solution

Monday, December 10th, 2012

By Mark Langton

I agree with hikers. I agree that when a mountain biker goes by me too close and too fast, it’s scary and unsettling. And they don’t have to be going fast, just too fast for the conditions. If a mountain biker goes by me at 15 mph on a fire road, no problem. If a mountain biker goes by me at 15 mph on a singletrack trail less than six inches from me, then I have a bit of a problem.

I agree with hikers right up to the point when they say all mountain bikers should be banned from trails because some of them go too fast around other users. You can’t tell me I’m banned from the trails because of someone else’s irresponsible behavior.

I believe there’s nothing wrong with going fast, as long as it’s being done safely (and within reason). If mountain bikers go so fast as to create a danger to themselves–such as crashing and having to utilize tax payer money to get medical treatment and evacuation from the backcountry–then people could point at the mountain bike community as creating an undue burden on the resource management agency. But as we’ve seen, crashes of this nature are relatively few. But the agency still takes notice when there’s an increase.

I know there are those out there, myself included, who are angry at the people who disregard common sense and speed past others with no regard for common courtesy. They’ve replied many times to our blog posts. They are angry because they know that the people who are acting irresponsibly know they are doing it, but continue to do it anyway in spite of the fact they are giving the mountain biking community a bad name; when all they have to do is very simple. Be The Solution. Just slow down around others.

As an experiment today I stopped in the middle of a singletrack trail as a rider approached me coming downhill. Although he had plenty of room to see me, he ran into me, and nearly flew over the handlebar. He was apologetic, and the conversation we had was enlightening; because he was used to others getting out of his way, he just assumed I would, too.  I recounted an instance when I was riding along a trail and I came upon a hiker with her head down, and as I slowed to a stop she looked up, startled, and nearly fell over backward. Had I assumed she heard me and was going to get out of my way, I probably would have run into her.

It’s never going to be completely safe on the trails. There are always going to be accidents, but by slowing down around others (and maybe even slowing down for blind corners), we might be able to avoid a lot of very avoidable ones.





Resolve to Solve in 2013

Monday, December 10th, 2012

How many of you have New Year’s Resolutions that you are hoping to keep? There is one you can make and keep, guaranteed. It will help you, the mountain bike community, and the trail community at large. Ready? Slow down when passing others!

How many things in life can you do that actually solve a problem? On our trails, the one justifiable complaint about mountain bikers is that they sometimes go too fast when passing others, which can be scary and upsetting,even to other cyclists. So all you have to do is slow down when passing, and you SOLVE THE PROBLEM!

Slowing down while passing others on our shared-use trails is a pure win-win proposition. The people who you pass feel good about mountain bikers. WIN! You feel good because you didn’t scare anyone, and everyone has a pleasant exchange. WIN!

Here’s a suggestion: Treat others you are passing on the trail as if you are holding the door open for them. That brief pause is a show of consideration, courtesy, and humanity that will come back to you and the mountain bike community in many positive ways.

It’s up to you. Would you rather finish your ride knowing you did something positive for mountain bikers and trails users, or that you made it worse for yourself and the mountain bike community? You CAN make a difference. And all it takes is slowing down when passing other users!


Ride Safely: Your Access to Trails Depends On It

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

The below press release was issued today by the National Park Service (NPS) in conjunction with CORBA.

CORBA has learned that NPS administrators were ready and willing to temporarily close trails in reaction to the issues of increased complaints and collisions listed in the press release. However, due to the trust and reputation that has been fostered and maintained through CORBA’s advocacy efforts with NPS, trail closures were not implemented at this time. Let’s show that we are a responsible user group by slowing down and showing courtesy to our fellow trail users. It’s simple: Slow down, solve the problem.


CONTACT: Kate Kuykendall (NPS), 805-370-2343 or Mark Langton (CORBA), 805-558-1606

National Park Service Teams with Mountain Bikers to Promote Safe Riding
New technology may play role in increased complaints and collisions

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – In response to increased complaints and collisions on local trails, the National Park Service (NPS) has teamed with the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclist Association (CORBA) to promote safe and courteous riding in the Santa Monica Mountains.

“We’re thrilled that there is great demand for the public to enjoy the beauty and public health benefits of our extensive trail system,” said Melanie Turner, law enforcement ranger and mountain bike unit coordinator with Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA). “For the benefit and safety of all users, we ask people to follow proper trail etiquette and observe the 15 mph speed limit.”

Rangers report an uptick in visitor complaints regarding cyclists who are riding too fast or in restricted areas. Particularly on busy weekends, the effects can be dangerous. In the past year, accidents at Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyon resulted in several helicopter extractions, though the problem is not limited to that site.

Turner, who is an avid mountain biker herself, wonders if a new website that allows riders to publicly post their times on specific trails has led to an increase in violations. Strava ( shows speeds of up to 35 mph, with average speeds of 25 mph, on some trails within the recreation area. Made aware of the problem, Strava is working with Turner to prohibit users from posting times on certain trails, along with a message about trail regulations.

As part of its mission to promote safe riding, CORBA is working closely with SMMNRA, a unit of the National Park Service, to inform its members about these concerns and remind them about responsible riding tips.

“If you just slow down around other users (including other cyclists), you create a win-win for everyone,” said Mark Langton, president of CORBA. “Speed is subjective; what one person might think is slow might still be too fast. Even at 10 mph you can startle someone and disrupt their enjoyment of our open space. If you slow down, you literally solve the problem most people have with bicycles on the trail – that they go too fast and scare other users.”

Turner attended a recent CORBA meeting and is visiting local bike shops to let the community know that rangers will be stepping up patrols and issuing citations. Both organizations hope the efforts will result in a safe and enjoyable trail experience for all users.

About Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area:
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) is the largest urban national park in the country, encompassing more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. A unit of the National Park Service, it comprises a seamless network of local, state, and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities. As one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, SMMNRA preserves the rich biological diversity of more than 450 animal species and 26 distinct plant communities. For more information, visit

About Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association:
Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association was founded in 1987 to serve the mountain bicycling community of Los Angeles and surrounding areas including southern Ventura County. CORBA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to gaining and maintaining public trail access for mountain cyclists and the public at-large. CORBA encourages and promotes the safe and environmentally responsible use of unpaved roads and trails for bicycling and to educate the public about all aspects of off-road cycling and trails.


Ride And Mingle (RAM) Nov 17 Building Momentum

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

In celebration of CORBA’s 25th Anniversary, on November 17 we will Ride up to The Hub in Topanga State Park and Mingle for a photo opportunity to show land managers and the trail user community that mountain bikers can and do coexist on the trails. We are hoping for 250 (or more) riders. Save the date and spread the word!

We’ll meet at 10am and around 10:30 we’ll take the group shot. We’ll then hand out cash prizes, with the top cash amount being $1,000. We’ll also be having a 50/50 drawing, so bring $20 in cash and put it into the pot, with the lucky winner getting half of whatever is collected and the other half going to CORBA.

How do you get to The Hub? There are several trail head locations you can start from. Reseda Blvd., Trippet Ranch, Sullivan Canyon, Mulholland Drive (dirt) from the east (Encino) or west (Woodland Hills), Will Rogers State Historic Park, Westridge Fireroad, and San Vicente Mountain Park (Nike Site), to name a few.

Check this map with all the trails and trailheads. The Hub is marked with a blue dot and the letter “z.”

Or, download this map. The Hub and the major trailheads are circled. Print it and bring it with you so you don’t get lost!

Though no RSVP is required, you can let us know you’re planning to Ride and Mingle on CORBA’s Meetup group.

It’s not Strava’s Fault Mountain Bikers are Ignorant

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

By Mark Langton

It has come to our attention that it is possible that small group of mountain bikers is using the web site Strava to have “competitions” in various locations around the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation area.

Strava allows you to track and upload your outings onto their web site via a GPS tracking device. The data ncludes the time it took you to traverse a particular route. It seems that some mountain bikers are using this feature to create a “time trail” competition and posting their times to see who is fastest. Obviously, trying to go as fast as possible on our shared use trails is not acceptable as it can endanger other users, including but not limited to mountain bikers. In response to this situation, we have learned that National Park Service rangers will be intensifying their presence at locations known to be experiencing this time trial scenario, Cheeseboro Canyon Park in Agoura Hills being one of them.

Currently it is the policy of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area’s managing agencies that events that displace or affect the safety of other trail users on public open space trails are prohibited. If you want to race, go to a sanctioned race ( If you want to go fast, go to a location that is set up for high speed mountain biking, such as Mammoth Mountain (

Donation Stations Installed at Trailheads September 2012

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Donation boxes and info kiosks have been installed at the PCH entrances to Sycamore and  and La Jolla Canyons, and at Chumash trail head. We have been informed that any and all donations collected at these stations will go directly to trail maintenance and resource projects in the state park where the money was collected. The kiosks will allow volunteer partners (such as CORBA) to post information about upcoming events and other general information.

Newly installed donation station and info kiosk at Sycamore Canyon entrance to Point Mugu State Park.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

It has come to our attention through dialogue with representatives from National Park Service that over the last few months there have been several incidents involving cyclists traversing the trails unsafely. It has gotten to the point that rangers will now be stepping up their patrols and being more proactive in citing cyclists who they deem to be endangering the safety of themselves and other trail users. The following information was provided to us from the National Park Service (NPS) and would be enforced in such areas as Cheeseboro Canyon and the Backbone Trail. State Parks will likely begin increasing patrols in Pt. Mugu State Park as it is also an area of increased unsafe incidents.

In NPS property, citations would be issued under 36 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations); 36 CFR 4.2(b) dictates that NPS adopt California State law for vehicles and traffic safety. California code 4.30(c) states that bicycles are under vehicles and traffic safety regulations:

 36 CFR 4.22 (b) (1) Operating a motor vehicle without due care or at a speed greater than that which is reasonable and prudent considering wildlife, traffic, weather, road and light conditions and road character. ($350 plus $25 processing fee or mandatory appearance)

 36 CFR 4.22 (b) (2) Operating a motor vehicle in a manner which unnecessarily causes its tires to squeal, skid or break free of the road surface. ($150 plus a $25 processing fee)

36 CFR 4.22 (b) (3) Failing to maintain that degree of control of a motor vehicle necessary to avoid danger to persons, property or wildlife (Mandatory appearance).