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CORBA eTerraTimes for April 2011

eTerraTimes Archive

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In this issue...

Riding down the stairs at Malibu Creek State Park during the  Kids Club ride in March. See story.


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Rules of the Trail - Click for details
Proper Trail Etiquette

A Message from CORBA’s President

By Mark Langton

Solving the Speed Dilema Opponents to bicycles on singletrack trails give plenty of reasons why they feel bikes shouldn’t be there. And there is one that is actually legitimate; bicyclists sometimes go too fast, and some trail users feel their safety is threatened. It’s a simple fix; slow down when you see other trail users, or if you suspect there may be trail users in close proximity. Ideally, slow to their speed and make the encounter a pleasant one–like you’re passing a friend. If you do this, opponents will have nothing to complain about and might even enjoy the encounter!

Consider that in recent weeks several comments have been made on blogs and in local news papers, particularly in reference to the Yearling and Lookout Trails in Malibu Creek State Park, and State Park’s considering opening them to bicycle use. From this recent Malibu Times article comes this quote from Agoura Hills resident and equestrian Ruth Gerson:

“The problem with multiuse trails [is others have to] default to mountain bikers because the bikes are so fast–the pedestrians and equestrians have been hit,” she said.

While safety should obviously be of the utmost concern, there is little evidence that supports allegations that pedestrians and equestrians are being hit by bicyclists frequently or consistently. In fact, in the more than 24 years of CORBA’s existence, there are few documented accounts of bicyclists colliding with other trail users.

As riders, we understand that there are some bicyclists who have the skills to ride at a higher rate of speed while under complete control. However, if the speed creates a hazardous situation for other trail users, then that speed is not justified. If the simple act of slowing down for blind corners and in the presence of other trail users could eliminate the argument for not allowing bicycles on trails, wouldn’t you do it?

I look at it as belonging to a community, enjoying the outdoors together, albeit via different modes of travel. We should extend the kind of courtesy to each other on the trail as we would to our family members.

Monthly “Meet the Board” Rides

Now’s your chance to ride with a CORBA Board of Directors member (maybe even more than one!) and talk one-on-one about the issues you care about most. Best of all, you get to go on a fun ride in Malibu Creek State Park (rides will be easy to moderate with minimal climbing and last no more than 1.5 hours). Tell us what you think!

The first ride will be this Saturday, April 2nd, at 1:30 pm after the monthly Skills Clinic is finished. View this Google Map for location and driving directions.

March CORBA Kids Ride: Single Track, Stairs, and Turkey Vultures

The CORBA Kids Club had another successful fun ride Sunday March 6 in Malibu Creek State Park. We started with a mini skills clinic, reviewing the importance of speed control, body positioning, and trail etiquette. The adults demonstrated descending the stairs, and those kids who were comfortable doing so also gave it a try. A few of them wanted to do it again and again.

See our blog article on the Kids Club Ride for the full story! (The next ride is Saturday, April 2nd. Register online to get full details.)

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!

Free shipping is extended to June 1, 2011!

Upcoming and Recent 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!

March 26: Conejo Open Space Annual Spring Trailwork Day

On Saturday March 26, about 40 Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA) volunteers, including a dozen from CORBA and a half dozen from the Santa Monica Mountains Trail Council (SMMTC) trail crew, gathered to complete the eastern end of the Potrero Ridge Trail. This completes the multiuse trail that connects Newbury Park to Dos Vientos by dirt. Now when makling a loop of the trails in Newbury Park, Dos Vientos and Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa, the section between Wendy Drive and Reino Road can be done on dirt. Before, we needed to use 1.35 miles of road/sidewalk.

Construction on this 1000 feet of trail began in the fall of 2009. Please read our blog article on the COSCA Spring Trailwork Day to learn more about this trail, and for a link to the photo gallery.

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

MRT Begins Mustard Eradication on the New Millennium Trail

This week, the Mountains Restoration Trust (MRT) will begin eradication of the invasive mustard plants along the New Millennium Trail. Each year by early summer the mustard can choke off the trail and render it near-impassable. This is especially true after above-average rainfall seasons like we’ve experienced this year.

This picture from April 2008 shows how the New Millennium Trail looked when our trail crew was there, and how it will likely look again if no eradication effort is undertaken.

CORBA has provided funds to the MRT to help support their efforts. This will save many days of brush-clearing trailwork in the early summer, allowing us to concentrate on other trailwork efforts.

We thank the MRT for helping keep this much-loved trail rideable for all.

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 April 2nd 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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