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CORBA eTerraTimes for September 2011

eTerraTimes Archive


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In this issue...

Jim from the North Ranch Mountain Bikers helps dispense  beverages at the CORBA Fundraiser at the new Cycle World store in Chatsworth. 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

The recent Canyon Trail issue (and see story below) in Placerita Canyon in the Santa Clarita Valley points out that mountain bikers must continually be watchful for those who would try to restrict the public’s access to public parks. While the actual reasons and influences that closed this trail (and the trails at Vasquez Rocks, also managed by Los Angeles County Parks) may not be fully known, it is clear that mountain bikers must still behave with courtesy and respect for other trail users. I’m not saying that mountain bikers in the Santa Clarita Valley are willfully being disrespectful, but the vast majority of mountain bikers simply aren’t aware that even at slow speeds they are still intimidating to pedestrians and equestrians. While 10 miles per hour is barely crawling on a mountain bike, it’s still 2-3 times faster than a walking pace, and riding up from behind someone even at 10 miles per hour can be startling.

As I’ve said many times in this space, by simply slowing down you basically eliminate the reason most people don’t like mountain bikes on the trails—speed. Try it next time you’re riding by a hiker—slow down to the speed of the person you’re passing, and then tell me it ruined your ride. Bet it didn’t. And I also bet it left a positive impression on the hiker.

CORBA Fundraiser at the New Cycle World in Chatsworth on August 12th

CORBA’s August 12 2011 fundraiser at Cycle World was a new type of event for CORBA, and turned out to be a completely worthwhile one at that. The smaller event brought in almost 60 guests with about a dozen volunteers to keep things running smoothly. Several people walked away with some smokin’ deals on helmets, shoes, body armor and other cycling accessories in the silent auction. Others took advantage of Cycle World’s donation of 10% of all sales to CORBA, and picked up what they needed to continue enjoying the sport. See the whole round-up on our blog...

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!

  • Trailwork days are being planned for September in the Verdugo Mountains (Glendale), and for October/November in the Angeles National Forest, but the dates have not yet been confirmed. We'll be posting the dates on our calendar as soon as they are confirmed, which we expect by early September.

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

General News

Canyon Trail Closure in Placerita Canyon Nature Center

The Canyon trail winds its way for 1.85 miles along Placerita Creek between Walker Ranch and the Placerita Canyon Nature Center. It makes a great loop with the Santa Clara Truck Trail and Los Pinetos. For many years cyclists have been riding this great loop, and it is a local favorite. It is one of very few beginner- and kid-friendly trails in the Santa Clarita Valley.

In July 2011 the trail was posted closed to bikes with no public notice, warning or input. Law enforcement have been on hand to ticket cyclists who ignore the signs, or didn’t notice them.

The alternative return route after riding Los Pinetos  is to ride pavement from Walker Ranch out to the Nature Center and back to the usual parking area. This paved, narrow two-lane road has no shoulder and no bike lanes, and is much more dangerous.  There is no alternative easy out-and-back off-road ride for beginners or those looking for an easy ride.

In County Nature Preserves like Placerita Canyon, it is at the sole discretion of the director whether trails are opened or closed to bikes. Local riders have been in contact with the park’s management about the closure, and are working to find solutions to mitigate the concerns that have led to the closure of the trail to bikes.

While it is encouraging to know the County is open to hearing the concerns of local trail users who are directly affected by this closure, to have received no prior official or public notice of the closure has left the local cycling community frustrated and angered. The reasons for the closure were unclear, though environmental impacts to Placerita Creek were initially mentioned. However the trail remains open to equestrians who have much more impact than bicycles. Trail user conflicts seem to be the real reason, though to our knowledge no specific injuries or instances have been cited. 

CORBA has long argued that excluding a user group from a trail only leads to further division among user groups, whereas including all users helps bring the trail user community together to find solutions. As the local cycling community works with the County to find a reasonable compromise to re-open the trail, cyclists should avoid riding the Canyon Trail and obey all posted signs in the area.

Read more of the local perspective from the blog or coverage from The Signal.

Multi-Use SignMulti-Use Signs on El Prieto

Since the trail re-opened in May this year, El Prieto has seen heavy use by cyclists eager to get back to the trails they love. Recently there have been a few complaints from hikers being startled by bicycles on El Prieto. CORBA donated to the Forest Service a set of IMBA multi-use trail guideline signs to be installed on El Prieto. Signs are needed to help inform and remind cyclists to be aware of other trail users and slow down and yield to hikers and equestrians. See our blog article for the rest of this 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 September 3rd 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

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