Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition


Walk & Roll comes to South Coast kids
Meeting will host Caltrans, Goleta and Carpinteria
The Bike Stand opens in downtown Santa Barbara
Wet Willy Sez
Street Skills class September 17-19
August Coalition meeting topics
Bike repair class begins September 14th
Green Routes to Work
Greg LeMond leads Montecito ride
California manual to drop bike section
Sign up now for October's Aeolian Ride
We thank our active members
Coalition supports Santa Maria safety
Cyclists find safety in numbers
Not just another bike trip: reflections of the "Oldest Woman"
John Zant chooses bike for fitness

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Walk & Roll comes to South Coast kids

Walk & Roll website screen

Eight thousand of flyers like this, in Spanish and English, have been distributed in school information packets for South Coast students.

  • Our Bicycle Coalition is teaming with COAST, the Community Environmental Council and six local government agencies to encourage kids to get to school by bike, foot, bus or carpool. There's a new website with information about different ways to get to school.
  • There are already "Walk & Roll to School Challenges" at Cold Spring and Brandon elementary schools, plus La Cumbre Junior High. Classes compete against one another. Parents and teachers at other schools are urged to encourage kids to use alternatives to being chauffeured, and to work with school administrators in organizing programs. "Walking school buses" where parents walk with a group of students, or "Bicycle trains" where they do the same by bike, can be done on an individual or group basis. Watch the website for new developments and help make our children more fit and responsible.

Meeting will host Caltrans, Goleta and Carpinteria

  • Don't miss our monthly meeting on September 1st in downtown Santa Barbara. We're pleased to have guests who will be discussing bicycling opportunities and projects in Santa Barbara County.
  • Caltrans new District 5 bicycle/pedestrian person, Adam Fukushima, will be coming down from San Luis Obispo to describe his views and learn about our bicycling needs. He is the past Director of the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition, so intimately knows what bicycling people need.
  • Rosemarie Gaglione, Jorge Aguilar, and Gerald Comati will return to discuss the Goleta project to replace the Los Carneros Road bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad. It entails safe methods for bicyclists heading north to contend with southbound Highway 101 onramp traffic. This is a follow-up to their meeting with us in March 2008. We're interested to hear what they have this time.
  • To balance out the South Coast, we're going to hear from Matt Roberts, the Parks and Recreation Director for Carpinteria. His vision is to have an off-road trail between Santa Claus Lane and Rincon County Park. Parts of that exist, and he will talk about the missing links. In addition, other bike-friendly paths are being designed or conceived.
  • That's all in addition to other exciting events and opportunities on the agenda. Watch our email list for details, and join us on September 1st.

The Bike Stand opens in downtown Santa Barbara

photo of Baron Corpuz

Baron Corpuz, owner of the Bike Stand shop, stands next to racks of bike components and accessories. Photo by Ralph Fertig.

  • We were saddened when Baron and Cecile Corpuz left Santa Barbara and took their Café de Velo to Santa Paula two years ago. Actually, they continued to live in Santa Barbara, however commuted 50 miles to work.
  • The good news is that they just opened a new shop back in our county. It's called "Bike Stand" and it's located at 1213 State Street in downtown Santa Barbara, just back the paseo from McDonalds. The place is tiny, but stuffed to the ceiling with bikes, parts, and accessories. According to Baron, the shop is specializing in fixed-gear bikes assembled almost entirely from their warehouse of classic parts that they have been importing from Europe for years. Check it out.

Wet Willy Sez
by Wilson Hubbell

  • Dear Wet Willy: There seems to be a lot of chatter about fatter bike tires being faster and more comfortable than skinny tires. I can understand more comfortable, but faster does not sound right. What do you think? — Johnnie F.
  • Dear Johnnie F: Well, recent tests on identical road bikes have shown that slightly fatter tires (like 26 to 28mm) can be more comfortable and faster (in other words, easier to propel) than skinny tires (20 to 25mm) of the same type from the same tire manufacturer. In a nutshell, the difference in performance has to do with the weight of the rider/bicycle and the resulting deformation of the tire on the roadway. Wider tires have a wider and shorter contact patch on the road, thus requiring less deformation as the wheel rotates.
  • This slightly wider tire phenomenon is not news to bikies who have experience with tubulars (sew-ups). Most good road tubulars measure in the 25mm range and some from the old days, like the Clement Paris-Roubaix or Clement Campionato del Mundo, measured about 30mm.
  • In general, there is not much difference in weight between skinny tires and slightly wider tires of the same type from the same manufacturer, so it can make sense to go with a wider tire for comfort and performance. You can usually fit the same inner tubes too. They stretch!
  • Nowadays, Wet Willy mostly rides 28 mm or 32 mm Panaracer Pasela Tourguard tires. Although the weight difference between a 28 and 32 is less than an ounce, the 32mm can be an awkward fit for some modern road bikes.

Street Skills class September 17-19

photo of bicyclists

Participants get instructions before their Street Skills class last March. Photo by Ralph Fertig.

  • Gain confidence biking in an urban setting. Our Street Skills for Cyclists class will help you foresee and avoid collisions, be visible day and night, position yourself in traffic, cross freeway bridges, equip your bike, and lots more including on-road bicycling on Saturday. The 10-hour class will be here:
  • September 17th and 19th
    Granada Garage Bikestation
    1219 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara.
  • Online information and registration are at Send your questions to

August Coalition meeting topics

  • Our August 4th monthly Bicycle Coalition meeting was held at noon in downtown Santa Barbara, with 17 participants talking about these topics:
  • Christine Bourgeois described the Walk & Roll school program. Eight thousand flyers have been printed and sent to South Coast parents, encouraging biking and walking.
  • South Coast summer youth bike programs are successfully continuing for both mountain biking and street skills.
  • Michael Chiacos reported that a subcommittee of the Bicycle Ambassador program is considering what their scope might be.
  • Ralph Fertig and Matt Dobberteen described the recent bike fatality near Orcutt. We're waiting for the police report to come out.
  • Parking along Foothill Road was discussed. A letter from the Bicycle Coalition asking for bikelane designation has been sent, and an upcoming government meeting may determine what will happen.
  • Baron Corpuz described his upcoming "Bike Stand" shop in Santa Barbara.

Bike repair class begins September 14th

Bici Centro logo

  • Bici Centro of Santa Barbara is offering its popular "Learn Your Bike" class again this fall. The eight-week class consists of two hours each Monday evening, 7:00-9:00 PM, starting September 14th.
  • Weekly topics include basic repair, tires, bike fit, wheels, hubs, chains, cogs, shifters, brakes, and more. Classes are limited to 12 participants. The 8-week course costs $80, or $15 per evening if space is available.
  • Read more about the class at, and reserve a space by an email to

Green Routes to Work

  • On July 21, Earl Blumenauer introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that will potentially help bicyclists. The "Green Routes to Work Act of 2009" will probably not pass by itself, but will be inserted in other legislation. It includes parking cashout (workers can take cash instead of free car parking), business tax credit for improving bicyclist access to jobs, increased bicyclist fringe benefits to $40 a month (from the current $20), and acceptance by multi-modal commuters of bike benefit plus other modes like bus. Essentially it promotes "low-carbon" transportation. Stay tuned.

Greg LeMond leads Montecito ride

photo of LeMond and Zimels

Greg LeMond, left, stands with long-time Goleta cyclist Bob Zimels.

  • In 1986, Greg LeMond was the first American to win the Tour de France. After that, he went on to recover from a life-threatening injury and win it two more times in 1989 and 1990. So it was exciting for many when he led a ride in Montecito on August 8th.
  • Called "Le Tour de Montecito," the 50-mile ride attracted 75 cyclists who raised money for the nonprofit "1in6," an organization that supports men who've had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences, including LeMond who has been dealing with personal abuse issues.
  • Goleta cyclist Bob Zimels wore his Z team jersey to the ride because he knew that LeMond had raced for them 1990-1992. Zimels wrote, "After the ride, Greg chatted about cycling, cross-country skiing and fame. What a terrific, down to earth guy!"

California manual to drop bike section

  • Caltrans' Highway Design Manual is the bible for planners of California's transportation facilities. It currently contains Chapter 1000 that deals exclusively with bikeway design, but that will likely be eliminated in the near future. Alarming as that sounds, it's actually to our benefit.
  • What is spurring change is the passage of California's AB 1358, the Complete Streets act that goes into effect in January 2011. The state Office of Planning and Research is currently working on implementing complete streets policies where all users of our roads—motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, children, seniors, the handicapped, and bus patrons—will have safe conditions for travel.
  • They are planning to spread bike policies throughout the manual, and in addition, create a complete streets document that addresses "level of service" that now only considers the convenience and safety of motorists. Life is getting better all the time.

Sign up now for October’s Aeolian Ride

photo of Aeolian ride

Here Aeolian riders in Bridgeport, Connecticut, ride along their waterfront. Photo by Jessica Findley.

  • Our Bicycle Coalition is teaming with Santa Barbara's Contemporary Arts Forum and WheelHouse to bring the "Aeolian Ride" to town on October 1st.
  • The ride that has taken place in Tokyo, Halifax, Melbourne, San Francisco, Milan, Cape Town and elsewhere, is now coming to Santa Barbara. Conceived and crafted by New York artist Jessica Findley (and discovered by our Board member Don Lubach), the ride is, as she writes, "Inspired by a love for bikes, city cruising, critical mass, costumes, sillyness plus things that inflate."
  • The word "Aeolian" refers to the Greek god Aeolus, the keeper of the winds. Findley says, "It excites those riding as well as delights those watching, all the while transforming the landscape into a playground of windfilled shapes."
  • Fifty-two bicyclists will wear handmade white nylon suits that inflate while riding. The route and starting time are still being finalized, but it will probably pass along the waterfront and start between 4:00 and 5:00 PM. You have to register to be one of the riders or course assistants; so go to this site before it's filled up:

We thank our active members

  • Please thank and support these Bicycle Coalition business members:
  • Bicycle Bob's, Santa Barbara
  • Nett & Champion Insurance Services, Santa Barbara
  • Pedal Power Bicycles, Santa Maria
  • Chris King Precision Components, Portland, Oregon
  • Dr J's Bicycle Shop, Solvang
  • Big Bang PR,, Santa Barbara
  • Santa Barbara Pedicabs, Santa Barbara
  • Santa Barbara Bike Repair, Santa Barbara
  • WheelHouse, Santa Barbara
  • Santa Barbara Bikes To-Go, Santa Barbara
  • We welcome new members: Kerisuke Suzuki and Jim Snow. Plus, we appreciate those who renewed their memberships: Diane Soini, Pierre Delong, Matt Dobberteen, Ron Williams, Mark McClure, Joya Sexton, Kathy Foltz, Stuart Feinstein, Annemarie Horner, Jim Marshall, Dennis Thompson, Nancy Mulholland and Mark Sapp.

Coalition supports Santa Maria safety

  • The sad loss of two bicyclists in Santa Maria in the past four months has led to a campaign to increase motorists' awareness of people on bicycles.
  • Last May 14th, 59-year old Paul Sladek died of a heart attack while biking away from a mad motorist who was chasing him. Sladek chose to be car-free; he depended on bicycling to get around. His sister requested that instead of flowers, donations be made to our Bicycle Coalition to help improve relations between motorists and bicyclists in Santa Maria.
  • While we were considering how to proceed with the contributions, 19-year old Eric Okerblom was hit from behind and killed on July 25th while biking on Telephone Road east of Orcutt.
  • We contacted Nancy Jo Ward and Rick Sweet in Santa Maria just as they were considering a safety campaign. The result has been a collaboration, using a 3-color window sticker design by Ward shown above. She has solicited contributions from Team Tailwinds, Cycle Star and Main Street Cycles, that together with our funding, will purchase 500 stickers to be distributed in the Santa Maria and Orcutt areas. They won't bring Sladek and Okerblom back, but will hopefully save injuries and lives of others.

Cyclists find safety in numbers

  • In a comparison of cycle use and safety in English cities, a recent CTC study found new evidence that cycling is safer the more cyclists there are. Places with high cycle use—York, Hull, and Cambridgeshire—are the safest places to ride. In London there's been a 91% increase in cycle use since 2000, along with a 33% reduction in the number of cyclist casualties. Details at

Not just another bike trip: reflections of the "Oldest Woman"
by Gail Hubbell

photo of Gail Hubbell

Gail Hubbell crests Huckleberry Pass on her 67-mile ride from Seeley Lake to Lincoln, in Western Montana. Photo by Wilson Hubbell.

  • It was not the trip that I had hoped to take, but perhaps it was the one I needed. When the self-contained Alaska/Yukon road trip that had captured my imagination was cancelled, Adventure Cycling's Great Divide ride in Montana became my disappointing second choice for a summer adventure.
  • I'd never done an off road trip, and I would put more miles on my mountain bike in the month including the trip than I had in the 10 years that I had owned it. Still, the idea of doing something different had a certain appeal. A car trip to the starting point in Whitefish, Montana would also enable us to ride the new, separated bike path in Grand Teton National Park. On the way home, we could also spend time in Glacier National Park and on the highly praised rail trails in northern Idaho. A plan was born.
  • The ride was challenging in a positive sense. Seventy miles in one day on hilly, dirt roads was about all I could handle, but I biked every mile.
  • On the night before the last day's ride, the Event Director recognized me as the oldest woman on the ride. How could that be? Fifty-nine is not all that old. Now Russ, at 76, definitely had the right to crow about being the oldest man.
  • The last day's ride took us from Lincoln, Montana to the Continental Divide and back—about 40 miles. I was in a reflective mood and rode alone, stopping often to enjoy the beauty around me and to appreciate my body's ability to still negotiate steep mountain passes. I never passed anyone and even though I got a late start, perhaps a half dozen riders overtook me. No one else seemed interested in holding onto the moment.
  • Memories from long ago flooded my mind. I remembered a very elderly woman whom I met in 1980 when she was seeing the Canadian Rockies for the first time. She was in awe, and said that what her eyes had seen, no one could ever take from her. And I remembered a saying of my 1976 Trans-Am leader: "We will never pass this way again". I didn't fully understand in that youthful time that even if I should be so fortunate as to see the same places again, I would be viewing them through an altered prism of experience.
  • On the bus shuttle back to Whitefish, rider Anne gave me a high five for a job well done. Though our paths had rarely crossed, I had watched her from afar. She reminded me of myself when I was younger: a strong, independent, capable, no-nonsense woman determined to do all the miles. Perhaps in me she saw her future.
  • Only a week before my fellow bus passengers had been strangers. I recalled the words of rider Eli, 65, on the subject of reincarnation. He believed that we are reborn every morning, and that each travel experience is a lifetime, with a beginning, an end, and its own cast of characters. At that moment, I was grateful to each one of them for having shared this "lifetime".
  • The following day, Wilson and I drove over Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier National Park. I had bicycled over that road in 1980, 1986, and 1988, and it was good to see it again, even in a car. As we began to descend Logan Pass, it dawned on me that my beloved Wild Goose Island would soon be coming into view. And then there it was. Looking from the west to the east, the trees appeared to have been devastated by the Mountain Pine Beetle. I burst into tears, remembering how a picture of this little island afloat in St. Mary's Lake had graced my home and office walls for so many years. Surely this couldn't be!
  • As we continued driving, we saw the island from a different vantage point, appearing now much as I remembered it. The trees on this side of the island seemed healthy, but I was still disturbed by my first sighting. There was a young family, though, sharing the turnout who were obviously seeing the island for the first time. They thought it was beautiful, for they had no means of comparison.
  • And then it was as if the island spoke to me. Twenty-one years ago, when last we saw one another, it seemed to be saying, you looked much better too. There was vigor in your step, your skin wasn't sagging, and you weren't hobbled by arthritis. But we're both still here, and that in itself is a reason to rejoice.
  • I thought about my fellow riders. There were two young men from Colorado in their early 20s who would zoom past me every day. Did I admire them? No, perhaps there was some envy, but not admiration. I admired Russ, 76, Ed in his early 70s, and Phil, 68, not only for still being out there, but for still being strong.
  • With a chuckle, I even recalled my reaction to Karl Mygdal who, in 1976, had ridden the Trans-Am at 70 years of age. To a 26-year old, that seemed truly amazing. To "the oldest woman", it no longer seems that remarkable at all.
  • Wilson and I drove on to Wallace, Idaho, looking forward to biking the Route of the Hiawatha the following day. As we prepared to go for an evening ride, we were approached by another motel guest—a man about 30—who politely asked us how old we were. Though he clearly was enjoying his role as father to his two young children, he seemed pleased to realize that there would be time later for him to return to other pursuits.
  • Once, not so terribly long ago it seems, strangers older than I would comment, with envy in their voices, that they wished they had done something like what I was doing when they were young. Now strangers younger than I express admiration. In retrospect, Wild Goose Island looked pretty good after all.

John Zant chooses bike for fitness
by Ralph Fertig

photo of John Zant

John Zant with his Centurian bicycle in Santa Barbara. Photo by Ralph Fertig.

  • Anybody watching or participating in local sports in Santa Barbara knows John Zant. Now a sports writer for the Independent, he previously served for 38 years covering local sports for the News-Press.
  • Like many young men in the middle 1900s, John worked delivering newspapers by bike. For him, it was the afternoon Los Angeles Herald-Express in his La Cañada Flintridge neighborhood. He was active in high school track and football. Then, at UCSB he majored in anthropology, and his work writing for the yearbook led to a job at the News-Press after graduation.
  • These days, John has given up running because of knee problems, but finds the bike perfect for keeping fit with its low-impact activity. He gets in rides most days, usually on errands or work, but also for the fun of pedaling all over the South Coast. His current steed is a fine Japanese-made Centurian road bike that he bought used for $50.
  • His message to others is that bicyclists should not feel marginalized, that we are not alone. Each of us should talk to others and encourage them to enjoy what we already know is a responsible and sensible means of travel. And did we mention it's fun?
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