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CORBA eTerraTimes for August 2011

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In this issue...

Many-time US and World Champion Leigh Donovan will be visiting Cycle World on August 12 for CORBA's fundraiser.
See story...


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Rules of the Trail - Click for details
Proper Trail Etiquette

A Message from CORBA’s President

Bluff Trail, Andrew Molera State Park.
Photo by Mark Langton

By Mark Langton

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (a cliché becoming less and less relevant), CORBA is not a group of people sitting in a meeting room. CORBA is our membership, and whether you’re an actual member of CORBA or not, you are a member of the entire mountain bike community. Whether you ride on fire roads only, or enjoy the challenge of singletrack, each and every one of us has the individual responsibility of representing our sport. So when you’re out there, remember that your actions speak for the entire sport of mountain biking.

This concept really hit home last week while I was riding at Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur. The two main trails (Ridge Trail and Bluff Trail) are connected by a singletrack trail that is closed to bikes. I didn’t know this and thought I’d be able to ride from the Bluff Trail to the Ridge Trail. When I got to the intersection with the connector trail, I saw the “no bikes” sign and thought, “what the hell, no one will know.” Then I remembered that even though this isn’t my local riding area, my actions would reflect on the other locals who use the park on a regular basis. So despite passing up a great loop, I went back the way I came—and had a great time. Funny thing about trails; they’re totally different in the opposite direction!

Be safe out on the trails, wherever your adventures take you this summer!

CORBA Fundraiser at the New Cycle World in Chatsworth to be August 12th!

Look at what we have for you at the CORBA Fundraiser at Cycle World! Included with your $10 admission on August 12th, Friday night at 7:00 pm:


  • Leigh Donovan, Champion Racer and model
  • Silent Auction
  • Pizza
  • Stone India Pale Ale
  • Skills and Bike Fit Demos

Here are some of the items you will be able to bid on in the silent auction (all proceeds go to CORBA):

  • Thule T2 Bike Rack
  • Lezyne Bike Pump
  • Women’s MTB shoes
  • Men’s MTB shoes
  • RockGardN Gear
  • Lights!


In addition, Cycle World will donate 10% of the price of purchases from 7 – 8 pm to CORBA! And, Mountain Bike Action magazine will be there to cover the festivities!


Date: Friday, August 12. Doors open at 7pm.
Cost: $10 donation at the door: 100% of proceeds go directly to CORBA.
Location: The new Cycle World Chatsworth

21112 Devonshire Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311

View the location and get directions with this Google Map.

Save the Date! Take a Kid Mountain Biking will be Oct 1, 2011

The annual IMBA Take a Kid Mountain Biking day, always the first Saturday in October, will be October 1st this year. For details and photos of previous years' events, please view our Take a Kid Mountain Biking web page.

Fall Fat Tire Fun(d)raiser to be Nov 13th!

Save the date! November 13, 2011 will be the date for CORBA’s annual fun(d) and awareness raising event. This year we will be returning to Malibu Creek State Park with a slightly different format than in years past. We’re still working out the details, but you can be sure that there will be great rides and some great prizes given away. We will be toning down the festival atmosphere and concentrating on what we love to do most—ride! We’re also hoping to have a full complement of some of the hottest bikes available for testing by some of the industry’s best manufacturers. All proceeds will go to our programs that help keep the trails open to shared use, and hopefully open up more of the many miles of trails that are currently closed to bicycles.


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!

At publication time, we don't have any trailwork scheduled. But keep an eye on our trailwork calendar to see when new events are coming up!

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

General News

Beware the Poodle Dog Bush!

Poodle Dog Bush, this example about six feet tallThis pretty but toxic native bush is wreaking havoc on many trail users in the recently opened Station Fire area. Poodle Dog Bush, also known as Common Turricula, or Purple Flower Poodle Bush, is a beautiful purple flowered native bush. Its seeds will lie dormant in chaparral areas for many years waiting for fire or other major disturbance of the soil.

People often stop on the Angeles Crest Highway or along trails to pick the pretty purple flowers. It is unfamiliar to most people, and quite attractive. The stems grow from the base of the plant and it can grow to eight feet tall.

What people don’t realize is that the bush is covered with tiny hairs similar to stinging nettle except, there is no immediate pain or sensation like nettle gives. Poodle Dog hairs will latch on to bare skin or clothing and release a toxin to which most people will have a severe reaction. The swelling, rash and itching appear twelve hours to two days after contacting the bush, and the rash can last for two weeks or more and require medical attention. Severe cases can result in large blisters.

Read more on our blog article about the poodle dog bush...

Mandeville Fire Road Maintenance begins July 25

CORBA has received notification that on July 26, 2011 the LAFD Wildland Fuel Management Unit is projecting to begin maintenance on West Mandeville, Upper East and Lower East Mandeville Fire Breaks and Fire Roads in the Santa Monica Mountains, in that order. They will start bringing equipment in on Monday July 25, 2011.

A call to the LAFD confirmed that the fire roads and trails in the area will not be closed during the maintenance, but riders and hikers are urged to use caution in the area and follow the instructions of the workers in the area. There will be signs posted alerting trail users of the work ahead.

The maintenance work is expected to continue for about two weeks, and should be complete by mid-August.

Charleton Flats/Chilao: Trail Conditions two years after the Station fire – ride report

By Louisa Bonnie – With some trepidation we headed up to the San Gabriels to ride our favorite trail Charleton Flats to Mt. Hilliard. This was our first time seeing the trail after two years of waiting for the area to recover from the devastating Station Fire. We wondered if we would find any remnants of the trails that had given us so many of our favorite challenges, weekend warrior tales and weary pleasure savored for days afterwards. Our questions were soon answered with both good news and bad.

First the bad news. From the Charleton Flats picnic area parking lot, the single track heading up towards Vetter Mtn. was mostly rideable but there is some eroded soft spots, a few trees down across the trail and tall purple flowers blooming in profusion everywhere whacked us in the face as we navigated along the faint trace of the trail. We lost the trail somewhere near the road crossing and pedaled up the main road the rest of the way to the summit. Just before reaching the summit, I saw that the Vetter single track is signed “Closed” and to please respect the closure. It is closed from top to bottom. As if it wasn’t badly eroded enough before, I could well imagine it might be completely demolished now. The Lookout burned completely to the ground. The Lookout volunteer who was there explained money is being raised to rebuild it with the help of volunteers.

Read the rest of this story on our blog...

New on the CORBA Website

Recreational Rides

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

  • Both the CORBA Kids Club Ride and Beginners Ride are cancelled for August. Even ride leaders go on vacation occasionally!

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 August 6th 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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