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CORBA eTerraTimes for November 2011

eTerraTimes Archive


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In this issue...

Riding the Solstice Canyon section of the Backbone Trail, part of the longest ride of the Fat Tire Fun(d)raiser on November 13th. Details and online registration.


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Rules of the Trail - Click for details
Proper Trail Etiquette

A Message from CORBA’s President

By Mark Langton

I was going to write an article about perception vs. reality relating to how different trail users perceive others on the trail: For example, I may be riding my bike at 15 mph, a relatively modest speed, but someone walking might think it’s way too fast. But a recent email sent to us more than illustrates this concept:


I sometimes walk my big dog on fire roads also used by mountain bikers. I try to pay attention as to the whereabouts of the bikers so that I can pull my dog aside, but I’m often distracted. I’ve had a number of near-misses and one bad accident. A biker came around a bend very fast, could clearly see my back and the face of my big dog. I didn’t hear him coming. My dog lunged at him, which slammed me into the ground, and she dragged me as she tried to chase him. I screamed. Did the biker stop, turn around, show concern? No. He kept going.

It seems that many bikers have no idea how to “share the road” with animals. Does COBRA provide education to bikers? Is there a way to communicate to the mountain biking community that you shouldn’t ride toward or near a big dog, especially when the owner doesn’t see you. A dog will think its owner is being attacked and will go into defense mode. That translates into lunging at or jumping on the biker. A safe practice for the biker would be to shout “Bike!” when approaching a big dog walker who doesn’t appear to see him, and give the person a chance to pull in the dog. That keeps everyone safe.

Tracy Sulkin

Here was my response:

Hi Tracy,

Sorry to hear about your incident. It is troubling to hear that the rider did not come to your assistance, and as a human being I am disappointed he did not show more concern.

Yes, CORBA does try to educate riders about situations like the one you describe. Unfortunately, there is no way for us to control or educate everyone, nor can we install common sense and courtesy.

Your experience points out that we all need to be aware of things that could potentially be dangerous out on the trails.


Mark Langton

You may have responded differently, but the bottom line is, different people react differently to different situations, and we all should treat each other with as much respect as we would expect from others.

Forty-Seven Riders turn out for Take a Kid Mountain Biking

On Saturday October 1, 47 riders came out for the IMBA’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day at Malibu Creek State Park.  Riders on unicycles, trailer bikes, tandem bikes, and various sized mountain bikes dotted the trail on a pleasantly warm October morning. View the rest of this article, and the photo gallery, on our blog...


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 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.

October 15: 20th Annual COSCA Trailwork Day. On a perfect day for trail work, nearly 170 enthusiastic volunteers turned out for the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency’s 21st annual Trail Work Day on October 15. This year’s location was in the northern portion of COSCA’s property at the Sunset Hills Trail. A new section of trail was created and completed, making a wonderful 1.5 mile loop with a great view of Bard Reservoir, Simi Valley, and Santa Rosa Valley. See the rest of this story on our blog...

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

Join our mailing list to get updates on trailwork opportunities!
Send an email to

General News

Jesse Ettinger
photo by Al Ungar

My First Trail Building Experience During the COSCA Trail Work Day

Contributed by Jesse Ettinger, North Ranch Mountain Bikers

I ride mountain bike trails for free. By “free” I mean “not withstanding any of my tax dollars that may be used for park & trail maintenance.” (In the Conejo Open Spaces, most of the trail construction and maintenance is done by volunteers, the exception being large-scale removal of chaparral and weed overgrowth.) So, with all the riding I do, it really was a no-brainer to me that giving back is something I can and should do.

I feel such joy when I ride my mountain bike on a great trail, and wanted to experience the joy of building or repairing one so other bikers, hikers and equestrians can do the same. I had my first opportunity to do this on October 15th, and it was as rewarding as I could have hoped.

Roughly seven or eight of us from North Ranch Mountain Bikers showed up for the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency’s (COSCA) Trail Work Day. We were a small fraction of nearly 170 people  who felt compelled to turn out for the same reasons I described. Some of us had done this type of stuff before, many, like me, had not. See the rest of Jesse's story on our blog...

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 November 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.

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