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CORBA eTerraTimes for November 2013

eTerraTimes Archive


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In this issue...

The Danusia Bell is Now On Sale to help celebrate the legacy of Danusia Bennet-Taber and alert other trail users to your approach. It is available at our online store. All proceeds go to the Sarcoma Alliance. Order your bells today!

Rules of the Trail - Click for details
Proper Trail Etiquette

News from the CORBA Website Blog


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A Message from CORBA’s President by Mark Langton

What CORBA Does Recently a bicycle club-team representative contacted CORBA wanting to see what more they could do to get more of the trails that are currently closed to bicycles opened up to shared use. A couple of comments from the correspondence were that they thought that showing up in larger numbers to public meetings would help, and that they thought the main reason that trails were closed were because of an influential public anti-bicycle lobby.

I wrote back to the person who contacted me, and in doing so came up with what I think is a good overview of what CORBA has been doing for the past 26 years, and continues to do on behalf of all public backcountry trail users (see below). Yes, CORBA is a mountain bike organization, but we are more than that, and here’s why: We believe that shared use works better because it disperses use, rather than concentrating it. When you disperse use, you reduce congestion, and when you reduce congestion, you reduce confrontation. Moreover, it has been shown that where shared use trails exist, it works. Maybe not perfectly, but certainly better than where there are restrictions to bicycles, because shared use also fosters cooperation. Bicycles do mix when operated considerately and with the safety and serenity of other trail users in mind. And that’s the crux of the issue: If bicyclists would simply slow down around others, including other bicyclists, they would be solving the problem of both dangerous speed, and the “startle factor,” or the disruption of another’s peaceful enjoyment of the backcountry. See our blog for the contents of Mark's letter to the bike club member...

Private Property Should Be Respected Due to vandalism, trespassing, and disrespectful behavior by some inconsiderate mountain bikers, the private horse trail that connects Sullivan Canyon at Queensferry Rd. and the residences below at Old Ranch Road (Brentwood) will have gates and cameras installed.

We have known about this situation for quite a while. And even though this trail was created more than 70 years ago for horses only, hikers and bikers have also been using it. But because of continued vandalism to signs and disrespectful, even aggressive behavior by some mountain bikers toward local residents, the decision was to install large gates and surveillance cameras.

In our literature it is stated that you should always respect private property (it’s #1 of our Rules of The Trail). I am disheartened to learn that some people would be so blatantly rude and uncaring. CORBA can’t be everywhere all the time, nor should we have to remind people of common courtesy. So please don’t go saying “CORBA should do this or that” in response to this situation; we are just the messenger. Some idiot mountain bikers created this problem, and it’s all because of selfish attitudes. And please do not defend or justify these people’s behavior: The fact is, the trail is on private property, and they shouldn’t have been there in the first place. See our blog for the rest of this message...

September CORBA Kids RideReport on September’s Kids Club Ride in Sycamore Canyon and Photo Gallery

The CORBA Kids Club had the opportunity to view and ride among budding native plants post fires this past September. It was unseasonably hot, so Sycamore was the coolest place to ride that day, and the temperatures continued to increase as we headed North from Pt. Magu State Park along the Two Foxes trail. We have a photo gallery of the ride for September!

The IMBA Annual Take Your Kid Mountain Biking was cancelled last month due to expected high winds and fire danger. The next ride is Saturday, November 2 at Malibu Creek State Park. Hope to see you there!

Show Us Your Smile

smileSometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. We have created this message tag with the help of BikeTags ( so that we can spread the message of goodwill, peace, and harmony throughout the world. Or maybe just the message “don’t worry, be happy.” The idea is to show other trail users that we belong, we care, and we can coexist. Similar to the SoCal High School Cycling League’s “spirit of howdy”, it’s a way to remember to slow down and smell the sage brush.

We’ll be making the CORBA Smile Tags available to anyone who wants one, just send an email request to We’ll be giving away prizes for the best photos of the tags on your bikes while on the trail. Photos will be judged on originality, creativity, and overall quality. (Details to follow in the coming weeks). The grand prize will be a Niner full suspension frameset, donated by Niner.

OK, so maybe putting the Smile Tag on your bike won’t save the world. But a lot of times a little smile can go a long way.

Recreational Rides

    A recent Beginners' Ride had 16 participants. Would you or a new rider you know like to join us too?

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

  • The next CORBA Kids Club ride will be held on November 2nd at Malibu Creek State Park. We request that you register online in advance so we have an idea of how many people to expect, and so we can alert you to changes or cancellations. For more information, email the CORBA Kids Club at

Upcoming Beginner - Intermediate Rides (follow the link for details and to sign up!)

See our Rides Calendar for details and for other beginner-level rides. Many thanks to North Ranch Mountain Bikers Michelle and Kevin for leading these rides!

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.

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!

Children must be over 7-years old to attend, and children under 14 must be constantly and directly supervised by their parent or guardian who brought them.

October 19: Twenty-third Annual COSCA Trail Work Day Report. Volunteers Built a New 1.2-Mile Trail with Spectacular Views About 120 volunteers built a new trail in the Western Plateau area of Thousand Oaks for this Trailwork Day. Eleven of these volunteers had registered through CORBA. Volunteers were led by by crew leaders from CORBA, the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council, and COSCA rangers. The new trail, yet to be named, climbs the east end of the southern ridge above the Western Plateau. In many places it is quite close to the edge and so provides amazing views of both Hill Canyon and the rest of the Western Plateau. Workers headed back for supurb barbecue lunch prepared by the COSCA rangers and a prize giveaway to thank the volunteers for their commitment to improving the open space for everyone. About a dozen people won prizes, including the grand prize of a new Giant mountain bike. The photo gallery shows many of the volunteers on the new trail, and gives you an idea of how some of the views will look. Why not go through them to see if you recognize anybody!? See the full article in our blog...

November 9: Backbone Trail from Latigo Canyon Road. Join CORBA and the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council as we fix up the Backbone Trail near Latigo Canyon Road. We'll be doing treadwork, clearing silt out of the drainages and possibly building some new ones. Our work on Saturday will help keep the water off the trail and prevent the ruts from getting bigger and swallowing the trail! For full details and to register, see our registration page.

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

Backbone Trail blocked at the west end of Etz Meloy Mtwy

A locked gate has been blocking the Backbone Trail (BBT) at the west end of Etz Meloy Motorway since mid-October. This interupts a very popular ride from the parking area on Encinal Canyon Road to the Mishe Mokwa Trailhead, covering the two newest singletrack sections of the Backbone Trail.

There has been a standard fireroad gate there for years, but apparently some months ago a side gate appeared that completely blocks passage along the road. This side gate was usually open or unlocked, but was permanently locked at about the time of the federal governement shutdown in October. This led to speculation that it was the National Park Service (NPS), owner of most of the land around this section of the BBT, who closed off the trail to keep people off of federal property during the government shutdown.

However, the locked gate was a surprise to the NPS as much as to the rest of us. Apparently one of the private landowners in the area has locked the gate. One rumor is that it is to keep noisy and littering partiers out.

Some of the land crossed by Etz Meloy Mtwy at the west end is still in private hands. The NPS is actively trying to acquire this propery or make some other arrangements with the landowners to allow public access. Until that happens, the west end of Etz Meloy has been and continutes to be closed to public access (see map above). The NPS asks that members of the public stay off of this section to help engender the landowner's cooperation in discussions to allow everyone to use this trail.

CORBA will provide more information as it becomes available.

Girlz Gone Riding News for November by Wendy Engelberg

Girlz Gone Riding Rocktober 20th XC Gala 2013 Wrap Up and Photos! Another GGR annual event in da books held at Malibu Creek State Park for the 3rd time. Dubbed the GGR Rocktober 20th XC Gala. This year’s event was dedicated to Danusia Taber, who lost her battle to cancer this past May. The morning opened up as usual with the girlz signing in and picking up their goodie bags and bike plates. Then many of them headed over to the Hammer and CORBA fuel station for some java and morning goodies.

The morning address was focused on how far we have come in the last 3 years. The enormous amount of women mountain bikers in Los Angeles and sticking with it speaks for itself! GGR has grown to almost 450 members, most of these ladies in the LA, OC, Ventura and San Diego area. Many of them made the drive to attend this event. Between GGR, Trail Angels and SOCAL Endurance ladies, we have over 1000 women riders! SOCAL is beaming with women who love their dirt!

Women now have a voice in our local cycling community. Women are supporting each other more than ever to continue to ride , socialize, network and most of all have fun! See the entire summary in Wendy's GGR Wrap Up Blog...

(Editor’s note: You can view the photo gallery, and watch a short half-minute teaser video!)

Free Mountain Biking Skills Clinic

Saturday November 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 Meetup, 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. Join our events on Meetup and 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

  • REI: Use the link at left and REI will donate 5% of the purchase price to CORBA
  • Holmes Body Shop: Get that dent fixed and help CORBA

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

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