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CORBA eTerraTimes for February 2011


eTerraTimes Archive

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In this issue...

Trails to open to bicycles through new
Change In Use process
(see story below).


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Rules of the Trail - Click for details
Proper Trail Etiquette

A Message from CORBA’s President

By Mark Langton

For many years CORBA has had a standing list of trails we have been asking State Parks to consider for opening to bicycle use. Because of a variety of reasons including strong anti-bicycle sentiment from hikers and equestrians and mind-numbing bureaucracy, the majority of trails on that list have not been opened. All that is about to change.

A statewide Change In Use evaluation process has been taking place for about the last year, and in what could be considered a monumental event, our State Parks District (Angeles) has accepted the recommendation to open two trails that had previously been closed to bicycles (see story below).

The process, in conjunction with the National Park Service’s ongoing Trails Management Plan, seeks to comprehensively and objectively assess trails for their compatibility with shared use. Criteria includes existing conditions, trail circulation patterns, safety, sustainability, impact on natural and cultural resources, and impacts to facility maintenance and operational costs. This is truly the first time in the more than 20-year history of CORBA that a plan for objectively analyzing trails has been implemented. Through the perseverance of CORBA and IMBA, as well as other mountain bike organizations around the state, we are entering into a new era of trail use management policy that the California Department of Parks and Recreation has recognized as necessary for overall resource and recreational management of its public open space. We are truly excited about working with State Parks in this new climate of cooperation.

CORBA expects more trails to be assessed in the coming months. We also anticipate a loud outcry from people who oppose bicycles on open space trails. Now more than ever we will need a strong, concerted, rational voice when dealing with these opponents. We will also need cooperation from mountain bikers to ride responsibly—we are a community, and although we have opponents, we also have friends (including hikers and equestrians) who we need to respect. All trail users appreciate a friendly greeting, a slowing of speed, and a yielding of the trail when necessary.

Trail Conversion to Multiuse to Begin in Malibu Creek State Park (MCSP)

On January 26, 2011, CORBA Board of Directors members Mark Langton and Danusia Bennett-Taber met with representatives of California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR) regarding CORBA’s request for considering the change in use of trails to include mountain bikes. This meeting was part of the State’s new trail conversion process, and several more meetings are expected as more trails are assessed.

The Musch (in Topanga State Park), Yearling and Lookout trails were recommended for conversion to accept mountain bike access, with conditions and various priorities. See our blog article on MCSP trail conversions for details...

Things CORBA did for mountain biking in 2010

  • Contributed a total of 1,533 person-hours to repair and maintain local trails in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Angeles National Forest, and Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency, as well as several other local city open spaces.
  • Intervened on behalf of mountain bikers to stop bulldozing of Rogers Road Trail in Topanga State Park.
  • Repaired and recovered the Doc Larsen trail, El Prieto trail, Sam Merrill Trail in the Station Fire Closure area.
  • Met with local and statewide California State Parks representatives regarding trail conversion process and provided list of trails we felt appropriate for shared use.
  • Represented mountain bikers at Burbank trail council meetings, Glendale Riverwalk planning, LA county master bike plan, CTUC board meetings, Angeles National Forest volunteer meetings, Great Outdoor Listening session and BAC meetings.Surveyed Station Fire related damage to 50+ miles of trails in the Angeles National Forest.
  • Adopted COSCA Los Robles West trail.
  • Coordinated the mailing of 929 letters to the City of LA Planning dept. regarding new LA Bicycle Plan. (The LA Planning Dept. voted to adopt the plan on 12/16, including the off-pavement bicycle study component.)
  • Sent a representative to the National Bike Summit in Washington DC.

Visit our blog article on 2010 accomplishments to see the full list and our financial statement...

CORBA announces new beginner mountain bike ride series

Join us every 2nd Saturday of the month for a friendly, introductory mountain bike ride.This will be a social fun ride. Nobody will be left behind.

We will ride some fire roads and easier single track in places like Malibu Creek, Topanga and Point Mugu (aka Big Sycamore) State Parks as well portions of Santa Monica Mountains National Area Backbone trail, Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyon and Conejo Open Space (COSCA).

CORBA’s first beginner ride of 2011 will be held from 9:00 am to 11:30 am in Malibu Creek State Park. Reservations are not required. Click here for additional information. See our blog article for the full story on our new beginners rides...

CORBA Announces Kids Club Rides

Thanks to the enthusiastic efforts of CORBA members Larry and Kat Ross and their sons Josiah and Elliot, CORBA is pleased to announce monthly Kids Club fun rides. Held at various locations around the Santa Monica Mountains, these kid-friendly organized rides are intended to build confidence, promote health and wellness, share knowledge of trails and riding techniques, teach respect for each other and the environment, and inspire the next generation of mountain bikers and CORBA volunteers! Children of all ages and abilities may attend (parent or guardian must be present and sign a waiver), and trailers/trail-a-bikes are welcome.

Visit CORBA’s calendar for upcoming dates, which include February 5 at San Vicente Mountain Park (Nike Tower) in Encino, March 5 at Malibu Creek State Park in Calabasas, and April 2 at Cheeseboro Canyon Park in Agoura Hills. For info contact

Visit our new Kids Club page!

New CORBA Jerseys Still Available

Don't forget to check out our CORBA store to see our latest additions. These attractive and comfortable jerseys come in two styles, club cut (men's and women's) and freeride (baggy, 3/4 sleeve). Free shipping on all orders has been extended! And don't overlook our new T-shirts, either!

Upcoming Trailwork

For many years, most trailwork has been done by volunteers because of budget cutbacks at our parks systems. So come out and help CORBA and other volunteers keep our trails in top riding shape! You can learn more about what to expect and what you'll need to bring with you on our Trailwork web page. Keep in mind that CORBA now provides prizes and lunch after the event for volunteers who register in advance! And by registering in advance, you'll help us prepare by knowing how many volunteers to expect. If you come out to two or more trailwork days in a year, we'll give you a cool long-sleeved CORBA trail crew shirt - be sure to ask for yours!

Ongoing: Los Robles Trail West

CORBA's adopted trail is severely rutted after years of winter storms with no maintenance. Unfortunately, we don't have the resources to restore the trail to it's original state, but we are working to repair the drainage to keep the ruts from getting worse. We've been working our way up the trail a few hundred yards at a time, one morning a week. If you would like to help us out, please get in touch with us at Thanks!

February 19th: Sheep Corral Trail in Cheeseboro Canyon

It's been years since any work has been done on this trail. We'll be joining with the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council (SMMTC) trail crew to repair some of the deep ruts and cut back the overgrowth. We'll meet at the lower Cheeseboro parking area and shuttle to the work zone. See full details and register on the Sheep Corral Trailwork registration page.

March 26: Conejo Open Space Annual Spring Trailwork Day

The spring trailwork day is a chance to fix up some local trails that have been damaged by the winter rains. The location will be announced later. See full details and register on the Conejo Spring Trailwork registration page.

April 23: Backbone Trail near Latigo Canyon Road

We'll be working to fix up some ruts and doing other treadwork while the SMMTC will be removing invasive thistles that are overgrowing the area. See full details and register on the Latigo Backbone Trailwork registration page.

April 29 - May 1: Annual Santa Monica Mountains Trails Days

This is a weekend event with CORBA, SMMTC and other trail user groups with camping at Danielson Ranch in Point Mugu State Park. You can come in Friday night and stay until Sunday or leave Saturday after trail maintenance. Some people just come in for Saturday. There will be a barbecue and raffle on Saturday evening. For more details and to register, visit our Santa Monica Mountains Trailwork registration page.

To see all trailwork dates, including those of other groups, visit the CORBA trailwork calendar.

General News

MBU Training for 2011 Starts February 5

From Julian Serles of the Mountain Bike Unit

Calling all mountain bikers age 18 and over! The Mountain Bike Unit (MBU) is currently recruiting for its 2011 Training Class. If you enjoy mountain biking and are interested in giving back to the community by volunteering some time to assist our understaffed Park Rangers in patrolling the parks, then the MBU may be just what you are looking for. The MBU assists in providing park visitors with a quality outdoor experience and preserving natural resources while patrolling over 60,000 acres of public parkland in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Beginning in February 2011, training will include visitor contact skills, State and National park radio use, park rules and regulations, first aid and CPR training, and field training exercises. Read our blog article on MBU training...

And view our gallery of MBU photos.

Pump Track Brings out High School Volunteers

CORBA’s trail crew took on an unusual assignment on Saturday, January 22nd. Trail Crew leaders  Hans Kiefer and Steve Messer took CORBA’s trail crew trailer out to Riverside to support the So Cal High School Mountain Bike League’s construction of their first pump track.

A pump track (see video) is a man-made track comprised of rollers, bermed turns, table tops and other possible features. It is designed to be ridden not by pedaling, but by using the terrain, full body movement and simple physics to propel the rider forward around the track. It teaches one how to flow with the terrain and be more in tune with the bike and trail. It’s an incredibly taxing whole-body workout, but the most important aspect is that it is just pure fun! See our pump track blog article for the rest of the story...

Grassland Trail In Malibu Creek in Question

A couple of days ago CORBA received reports from some of our members that while riding in Malibu Creek State Park they were told by Mounted Volunteer Patrol (MVP, equestrian) members that “only fireroads, no singletrack” were open to bikes and that the section of Grassland Trail from Mulholland Hwy. and from the Edison Station to Las Virgenes Fireroad/Liberty Canyon Fireroad sections were not open to mountain bikes. It was also reported that this went for the stream bed section of Crags Road Trail (aka the Creek of Doom).

Subsequent conversations with local rangers indicated that the information about the stream bed was incorrect, and that it was open to mountain bikes. The Grassland Trail was not as clear. See our blog article on the Grasslands Trail for the rest of the story...

New on the CORBA Website

Recreational Rides

For a list of upcoming recreational rides, please visit the CORBA Calendar.

CORBA’s Recreational Rides calendar provides a full monthly schedule of mountain bike rides for all skill levels. Mountain bike rides are organized by CORBA member clubs and led by experienced and knowledgeable guides. Recreational rides are a fun and social way to experience a variety of trails in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and beyond.

Free Mountain Biking Skills Clinic

Saturday February 5th is the next skills clinic.

The CORBA free skills clinic is held on the first Saturday of every month at Malibu Creek State Park.

Mountain biking is a lot like tennis or skiing. Just a few minor adjustments in technique can make a huge difference in your control and proficiency. If you want to get better faster, you need to know the fundamentals of mountain biking technique. Whether you're just  getting into mountain biking or have been riding for years, you'll learn some valuable tips from our Introduction to Mountain Biking  skills class that is offered each month. Check out our Skills Clinic web page for all the information. After the clinic, see photos of your new skills on the CORBA web site that you can share with your family and friends!

Follow CORBA on Twitter and Facebook

We have set up accounts with Twitter and Facebook to help keep people informed of the latest developments in our trail advocacy, recreational rides and trailwork days. Follow us on Twitter at and Facebook at

Get Our Blog Articles Delivered to Your Desktop

Have you ever wished you could get our blog articles without having to check the CORBA website every day to see if there’s anything new? Well, you can! Even though our blog software won’t send articles by email, you can still get them delivered to the inbox of most email readers like Microsoft Outlook. You use the “RSS feed” functionality for this. In fact, you can read our articles in any software that receives RSS feeds, such as Internet Explorer and other web browsers. This blog article on RSS feeds shows you how.

Support CORBA

Join or Renew your membership today on our membership web page.

Join Our Team! Do you have any ideas about mountain biking recreation in the L.A. region? Would you like to apply your skills and manage projects that contribute to the sport and lifestyle that you love? Is there an advocate in you? We are recruiting motivated individuals who work well with others. Send an email to or come to a monthly Members Meeting to find out more about what we do and how you can help. Check the calendar for the next meeting.

Other simple ways to support CORBA

(Click on the links above to get more details!)

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