By Brice Minnigh
This weekend's CORBA Fat Tire Fest will feature group rides and skills clinics coached by the likes of mountain biking luminaries Ned Overend and Brian Lopes, and will also give riders the opportunity to demo new bikes from eight major bike manufacturers, organizers say.
The CORBA Fat Tire Fest '09, which will be held this Sunday, October 25, at Castaic Lake—about 45 miles north of downtown Los Angeles—is designed to give riders of all levels a chance to learn new skills from the pros. In addition to Overend and Lopes, Specialized's Team Sho-Air pro XC racer Sid Taberlay will be on hand, as will riders from the Subaru-Gary Fisher regional team and three high school rippers from the SoCal Interscholastic Cycling League.
"The event is really for riders of all skill levels, whether they're just casual recreational riders, intermediates or advanced riders," says event coordinator Louisa Bonnie, a member of CORBA's board of directors.
Among the highlights of the festival, which will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be separate group rides for beginners, intermediates and advanced riders. Overend and Lopes will lead the advanced group ride, which will begin at 8.30 a.m. and is expected to wind up around 11.30 a.m.
"I imagine that there will be a big turnout for the advanced ride, since people will be excited to ride with Ned Overend and Brian Lopes, but we're not just aiming for those super hammerheads who want to come ride with the pros," says Bonnie. "We'll have activities for riders of all levels."
Immediately following the advanced ride, there will be a skills clinic conducted by CORBA's Skills Instructor Mark Langton, who has been holding skills clinics for more than 15 years. Overend, Lopes and Taberlay will all participate in the clinic, giving riders the chance to learn new techniques directly from the pros.
Another major draw card of the one-day festival is the opportunity to ride demo bikes from eight major bike makers. Bionicon, Cannondale, Giant, Ibis, Scott, Specialized, Trek and Turner will have a wide variety of mountain bikes available for attendees to ride.
There will also be several other events, including a hill-climbing contest, a wheelie contest and demo, and a poker ride.
Registration starts at 8 a.m. on October 25. The cost for CORBA members is $30 per person, while the price for non-CORBA members is $35 each. The price includes raffle tickets, lunch and the poker ride.
CORBA is an all-volunteer non-profit organization serving the mountain biking community of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. It is dedicated to preserving open space, maintaining public access to public lands, and creating more trail opportunities for all to enjoy. All CORBA programs rely on private donations of funds and equipment.
For more information, go to corbamtb.com.