Frequently Asked Questions

Besides trail work, how else can I help?

  • MWBA does weekday trail work too! Please email [email protected] and let us know you would like to help move dirt on a weekday!
  • Tell us how you can help! If you have a particular skill set or local business connections, feel free to connect us at [email protected] and we will be happy to chat!
  • We are always looking for businesses to donate items to our trail work days and lunches! We also can use help with administrative items like posting flyers and spreading the work to your local bike shop via our Bike Shop Collective, and much more!
  • Financial donations keep us going! Feel free to send in a donation to:

Mt. Wilson Bicycling Association
3124 Ridgeview Drive
Altadena, CA 91001

Don’t forget to include your name, postal address and email so that we can send you a thank you letter along with a tax write-off letter!

When is the next Pancake Breakfast?

You may have missed our last Pancake Breakfast in May 2019.   We host the event on an 18 month cycle because flipping pancakes is hard work and we are still recovering from last spring.

What are the benefits of being a paid member of MWBA?

The number one benefit is you are giving back to your community in a big way. Membership dues fund our tool purchases, trail work lunches, insurance costs, and countless other expenses that keep MWBA moving forward! You have the option of signing up for a joint membership of MWBA/IMBA, which means you support your local trail work organization as well as the national organization that works on advocacy and education on behalf of their chapters. What that means is $15 of your membership goes to IMBA, the rest to MWBA. If you want all of your membership dollars to go to MWBA, you can opt out of the MWBA/IMBA membership and donate directly to us. Choices are a beautiful thing!

What is the “Trail Work to Ride” program and do I really get a free shuttle ride if I do trail work?

Yes, to reward you for your hard work, SCOA is giving away shuttle rides. Send email to [email protected] and indicate which trail work day you will attend. Once we confirm your attendance, SCOA will count that towards a shuttle ride. Your first free shuttle ride requires 2 days. After that for every day you do trail work, you get 1 free shuttle ride.

Please make sure you read the fine print because there are some restrictions and we don’t want you to be surprised.

Does MWBA sanitize trails?

No, MWBA’s focus is on sustainable trails. What does that mean? Sustainable trails are built to last and resist damage from heavy use, extreme weather and time. Sometimes this means moving rocks around to create better trail drainage to lessen the impact of flash flooding. Our local trails remain dry for most of the year but experience torrential rains that can rut and washout trails quickly. MWBA focuses on long-term maintenance. If you do feel like a trail has been sanitized, fear not, we ride in the San Gabriel Mountains. They grow on average an inch a year. Mother Nature has a way of keeping our trails rough and tumble even after a few rains.

Can I just take a shovel on my own time and work on the trails?

We know your intentions are good; however, it’s not a smart idea. The US Forest Service requires a Volunteer Service Agreement signed and approved before you do any trail work in the mountains. MWBA has a VSA, and understands the USFS requirements and restrictions for working as a trail volunteer. You will fall under the aegis of the MWBA VSA when you volunteer with us.

Additionally, we love to train and work with anyone who is interested in learning and building sustainable trails! We work under USFS and IMBA Trail work guidelines and principles. As much as the USFS appreciates the enthusiasm and eagerness of new volunteers, they do not want inexperienced/unskilled people working out there potentially inflicting damage to the trails, the forest, other users, or themselves.

What is this “Trail Etiquette” I hear? Are there laws governing the trails?

Trail etiquette is essential to being a responsible trail user. The rule of thumb is based on the Yield principle.  Mountain bikers yield to hikers. Respecting hikers’ safety is essential to reducing negative perceptions of mountain bikers. Both mountain bikers and hikers yield to equestrians.

If you are traveling downhill on a mountain bike, you must yield to any trail users who are coming uphill.  Use a bell on your bike, especially when riding downhill.

When you are near a horse, pull over to the side and let them pass or ask the rider if you may pass. Some horses are skittish and it’s important to communicate with the equestrian about passing safely.

“Be Nice! Say Hi!” Being polite and courteous to everyone you encounter goes a long way.

For more info, see our page on Trail Etiquette and Courtesy.

What should I know when riding in the San Gabriel Mountains?

The San Gabriel Mountains are the youngest mountain range in the contiguous United States, which makes them the rockiest, steepest, most exposed mountains in the country. They grow at a rate of approximately one inch a year, which means they are always shifting. Even the most experienced riders need to be careful when riding in the San Gabriels because you never really know what’s around the next corner.

  • Be smart: Let someone know when you leave and when you get back. Better yet, do that and ride with someone. Also, the Angeles National Forest is managed by the USFS. which means you might need an Adventure Pass to park. If there are amenities such as a restroom, picnic tables, etc., you will need an Adventure Pass. You can pick up a Daily Adventure Pass for $5 at any local bike shop or REI in the area. Annual passes are $35 and a much better deal if you plan to visit the Angeles National Forest often.
  • Be Prepared: Bring tools in case you get a flat, plus lots of water and nutrition.
  • Be Aware: Stay on the trails and don’t cut corners or try to ride lines that don’t exist. We work to maintain the delicate balance between nature and man, and going off trail damages the ecosystem that can take years to rebalance.
  • Be CourteousANF supports an urban population of over 12 million people. It’s our responsibility to know and follow the rules of the trails. We always yield and say “Hi” to hikers and horses. Also if you are going downhill, you need to yield to the mountain biker who is climbing up. Yield means slow down and stop if needed for hikers to safely pass. Lastly, wear a bell! If you don’t have a bell, you can go to any local bike shop in LA and pick one up. MWBA has free bells too and if you come out to trail work be sure to ask for one.

What is the impact of the San Gabriel Mountains becoming a National Monument?

Protected recreational use of the San Gabriel Mountains is part of the specific language in the new National Monument Proclamation. MWBA and CORBA worked diligently to ensure our user group was not forgotten. Mountain bikers are a part of the “User Group Collective” that shapes the language of the Land Management Plan, which will ultimately describe how the Forest Services will administrate National Monument.

Does MWBA have any social events?

Yeah we do! MWBA organizes Beer Nights throughout the year at a variety of local Craft Beer spots. It’s a great way to get to know each other, have fun, hook up with others for rides & learn about trail work.

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