Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition


Coalition hires Education Coordinator
Street Skills Class Jan 21st and 23rd
Santa Barbara area featured in Bicycling magazine
Wet Willy Sez
We're on Facebook
Santa Barbara Car Free 2010 program
Amérique à Vélo features Santa Barbara ride
CycleMAYnia event
Our Bicycle Coalition's 2009 accomplishments
Lance Armstrong's Santa Barbara tweets
Santa Barbara history on website
UPS delivers by bike
Lompoc "Dirtbags" bring wheels to 100 kids
We thank our active members
Bici Centro hours
Coalition requests new UCSB bike racks
Don Lubach leaves our Board
December Coalition meeting topics
Kids and Bikes delivers 650 bicycles

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Coalition hires Education Coordinator

photo of Christine Bourgeois

Christine Bourgeois. Photo by Dave Bourgeois.

  • Our Bicycle Coalition and the Bici Centro community bike project have jointly hired Christine Bourgeois to coordinate our bicycling education activities for youth and adults. She writes, "Parents want their children to be active, stay healthy, learn new skills, be independent, protect the environment, be responsible, and have fun. Riding a bicycle covers all those priorities and more."
  • Three schools (Santa Barbara Junior High, Washington School and Hope School) have already signed up for new after school bike programs starting this month. Other ongoing programs include:
  • Junior Cyclers. For grades 1-3, riding skills, games, and rules of the road.
  • Super Cyclers. For grades 4-6, consisting of bike handling skills, rules of the road, traffic awareness, and neighborhood rides.
  • Pedal Power. Junior high students earn bikes while learning bike mechanics and safe riding around Santa Barbara.
  • Street Skills for Cyclists. This 10-hour workshop is offered for those 16 and older every other month. See box at the left.
  • Learn Your Bike. This is an eight-week program at Bici Centro for learning basic bike repair.
  • Mechanics Modules. These are single-evening bike repair sessions at Bici Centro.
  • Volunteers are welcome to help with many of the programs. If you can help, want a program for your organization, or just want to share ideas, contact Christine at or 699-6301.

Street Skills Class Jan 21st and 23rd

  • Our November class filled up with 15 participants. Consider taking our January 10-hour confidence-building class that consists of learning tricks for safe biking in urban areas, then going on the road to practice them. Spread the word to your friends, relatives, and others who might benefit. Details and registration at

Santa Barbara area featured in Bicycling magazine

photo of Bicycling magazine page

  • Each issue of Bicycling, the country's dominant bicycling magazine, features an excellent city or area for biking. In their January issue, they selected the Santa Barbara area and published the one-page article shown above.
  • Story writer Kristy Holland gathered information from Ralph Fertig, Chris Orr, Mike Hecker, Bruce Davis, Laura Kath and other locals. She described three prominent rides that cyclists can take—Gibraltar Road, Romero Canyon, and Figueroa Mountain Road. In addition, she reported seven "Best of Santa Barbara" things to do:
  • Healthy food—Natural Cafe
  • Beer o'clock fun—Brewhouse
  • Winery adventure—Cloud Climbers Wine Tour
  • Caffeine jolt—Santa Barbara Roasting Company
  • Insider advice—Hazard's Cyclesport
  • Sand in your shorts—East Beach
  • Reason to return—Solvang Century
  • Bicycling magazine has 2.1 million readers, and its website has 550,000 unique visitors each month. This exposure will doubtlessly enhance our reputation as a cycling destination, and attract others here, feeding dollars into our economy and healthy activities onto our roads.

Wet Willy Sez
by Wilson Hubbell

  • Dear Wet Willy: I've seen you with loaded pannier bags on your bike and I've seen you pulling a loaded BOB trailer with an unloaded bike. So, based on your experience, what is the better way to haul a load? — Gabby
  • Dear Gabby: For me, the pannier/trailer decision depends on (1) what is being hauled and (2) where is it going. Most trailers can carry items that won't fit into panniers, and the load weight will usually ride lower in a trailer too. This is important when transporting a bunch of heavy stuff like groceries and a case of soft drinks (or whatever).
  • Trailers can also be readily attached to bikes that have no fittings for conventional pannier racks, like most racing bikes and full suspension mountain bikes, and the trailer wheel carries a portion of the load rather than all of it being placed on the bike. However, some cyclists have experienced downhill bike handling difficulties with trailers attached, so the BOB trailer has a maximum speed limit of 25 MPH and the Nashbar clone specifies 17 MPH. Downhill speed is probably not an issue when hauling groceries from the store, but it could be significant on a long tour.
  • Most casual cyclists and many touring cyclists don't need all the space that a trailer can provide, and just transporting a rider, bike, touring gear and trailer to and from a tour can be a problem—particularly if there is an airline involved. Channing Hammond at Old Man Mountain makes pannier racks here in Santa Barbara that will fit any bike, including recumbents and full suspension mountain bikes, so no bikie is forced to buy a trailer because panniers won't fit.
  • The bottom line? I really like my trailer and regularly use it for local chores, but panniers tend to work best for me around town and on long distance road tours.

We’re on Facebook

Facebook logo

  • Facebook, started in 2004, is the largest online social networking site with 350 million users. Our Bicycle Coalition has established a Facebook page in order to complement our website, meetings and email services.
  • Thanks to work by Paolo Gardinali, we now have a site and invite all bike people who have a Facebook presence to become our fans. Go to and sign up at:
  • If you're not part of the Facebook experience, you can sign up for free at We hope you'll join the Bicycle Coalition's group, and share your thoughts about regional bike activities and people.

Santa Barbara Car Free 2010 program

  • SB Car Free announced a program that offers discounts on rooms, restaurants and more to visitors who show up by bike. Or alternately, they can get a 20% discount on Amtrak trains coming to Santa Barbara, roll bikes onto Surfliner cars, and still get the other discounts.

Amérique à Vélo features Santa Barbara ride

Photo of cyclists

Riders from Santa Barbara join Yvan Martineau and the Swan Productions team before filming their ride. Photo by Ralph Fertig.

  • If you saw a van with cameras sticking out of the side and rear followed by a group of cyclists on November 28th, you saw the Swan Productions truck filming for Canadian TV. They came from Montreal to shoot a network segment on bicycling in Santa Barbara. It will be in one of 13 hour-long episodes of an upcoming series L'Amérique à Vélo that will be broadcast on the French-language Evasion network next April 6th through July 5th.
  • The documentary production company came here with avid cyclist and TV host Yvan Martineau who chatted into a microphone about what he was seeing during the ride. The route was laid out by Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition's Ralph Fertig to showcase our area to Canadian tourists. It went from Santa Barbara's Dolphin Fountain, along East Beach, up Hot Springs and San Ysidro in Montecito, west along Mountain Drive, then past the Mission and back down State Street to the Fountain.
  • The crew was delighted with the vistas from Mountain Drive, and very pleased at the 15 or so local cyclists who accepted their invitation to ride along with Yvan.
  • Evasion is a subscription-only network for travel, tourism, and adventure. It currently has 1.85 million viewers, a 25% increase over 2008. We hope that many of them will be inspired to visit and enjoy our great cycling opportunities.

CycleMAYnia event
by Ed France

  • For those of you who made it out on December 3rd, big thanks. We hosted a fabulous fund raiser for CycleMAYnia and put out a very strong art event amongst the others from First Thursdays. I'd like to thank all those who volunteered (Matt, Lori, Kent, Christa, Kevin, WheelHouse crew and others), Telegraph Brewery for some fantastic California ale, Mark Grieve for offering art for sale as a benefit as well as the memorializing "bubble" wheel arch for the event itself, the IV Food Coop for coming all the way down to bring us yummy appetizers, and the riders from the Sustainable Living Bike Tour.
  • We had 80 riders on the evening Bike Moves ride, and easily twice that number attending the event beforehand at WheelHouse. We put out a sophisticated, yet goofy, fun energy out on an otherwise cold December night. We don't yet have a final tally on the income earned from the benefit, but we know that we raised at least $750!

Our Bicycle Coalition’s 2009 accomplishments
by Ralph Fertig

SBBC logo

  • Each day, week and month, I see our Bicycle Coalition working hard on many projects throughout Santa Barbara county. However, it always seems that there is much more to do, more places to ride, more bike events to participate in, more meetings in which to speak out for our interests. So it comes as a heart-warming experience when at the end of each year I compile a list of what we did. We accomplished so much! Here is a sample of how we, with your support and actions, made our home community a better, more fun and safer place to bike:
  • Launched plans for a whole month of bicycle activities called Cycle MAYnia.
  • Spoke out for retaining BMX facilities at Elings Park.
  • Asked Caltrans to fund the Goleta slough bridge resurfacing, and new bike racks for UCSB.
  • Analyzed new 2008 Census Bureau data that documented an increase in bike commuting for both Santa Barbara and Santa Maria since 1990.
  • Worked with the Contemporary Arts Forum to put on the "Aeolian Ride" of costumed bicyclists in Santa Barbara.
  • Offered six successful Street Skills for Cyclists classes.
  • We advocated for no parking on the newly-widened section of Foothill Road, west of Mission Canyon in the county. Limited parking was later permitted on a trial basis.
  • Teamed with COAST, Traffic Solutions, the Community Environmental Council and others to promote biking to school through the "Walk & Roll" program, as well as through a "Bicycle Ambassador" program that promotes biking in general.
  • Met with Caltrans' new district bicycle person, Adam Fukushima, and gave him a bike tour of the Santa Barbara area.
  • Worked with Team Tailwinds, Cycle Star, and Main Street Cycles to buy "Share the Road—Save a Life" stickers for North County distribution.
  • Worked through Bici Centro to offer valet bike parking at Santa Barbara Bowl concerts.
  • Coordinated a Santa Barbara bike ride with Montreal's Swan Productions that will result in promotion of our area in a segment for the Evision network's "Amérique à Vélo" series.
  • Conducted another bicyclist count in Santa Barbara, resulting in 3861 bicyclists passing through 25 intersections. It showed a 16% increase over the average of the prior 4 counts.
  • We succeeded in adding the Santa Ynez River Trail as an "action item" appended to the Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan.
  • We advocated for improving bicyclist safety near Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara by making Bath and Castillo Streets one-way with new bikelanes along three extra blocks each.
  • Discussed bicyclist safety at a UCSB workshop concerned with cyclist-pedestrian-motorist conflicts along their proposed Ocean Road housing development.
  • Advocated for Carpinteria bikelanes on proposed bridges and a new bikepath along Carpinteria Creek above the high-water marks.
  • Worked with Caltrans for a safer intersection at Highway 246 and Purisima Road near Lompoc. The roundabout will slow traffic to cyclist speeds and include a separate outside path.
  • Sent representatives Ed France and Ralph Fertig to the LA Bike Summit in March.
  • Worked with Santa Barbara's Parks & Recreation department to offer summer clinics in road safety and mountain bike skills for young people.
  • Strongly urged Santa Barbara to improve our safety at the intersection of State and De la Vina at two public meetings. The City Council sent it back to Public Works for further study.
  • Had booths at many events to tell people about bicycling, including Earth Day, Bike to Work Day at UCSB and Santa Barbara, Citrix Online's "Online of Wheels" event, and Thomas Friedman's talk.
  • Our Bici Centro program expanded opportunities for youth, Spanish-speaking people, shop volunteers, and the general public. Hands-on workshops attracted adults and young people.

Lance Armstrong’s Santa Barbara tweets

  • December 18th, Santa Barbara: Well that was rockin'! 750 books in an hour! Thanks to you all for coming out. Love this town.
  • December 19th, Figueroa Mountain: Epic ride, 115 miles, 6.5 hrs, 10k ft climbing. Sunny and 70 most of the day til we finished in the dark.

Santa Barbara history on website

Photo of vintage postcard

This is a vintage postcard used to illustrate the history of Santa Barbara. It shows Fiesta dancing at the Courthouse lawn.

  • A brief history of the Santa Barbara area is now on the Bicycle Coalition's website, with vintage postcards from Ralph Fertig's collection. It was written for the participants' Program Guide at the Pro Bike/Pro Walk 1998 conference that we hosted in Santa Barbara, attracting over 500 people to our community. Read it at:

UPS delivers by bike

  • After trial bike delivery during the holiday season in 2007, and an expansion in 2008, UPS delivery by bicycle has come to our Santa Barbara region. They used eight bike-pulled carts that can carry about 20 packages per trip. Not only does it take trucks off the roads and eliminates air pollution, but it provides exercise and, not incidentally, saves UPS about $13,000 per bike deployed.
  • In the South Coast area, UPS bike delivery started in October and ran though December. Although it's only for their seasonal workers, perhaps UPS and other delivery services will expand the service and become environmentally responsible year round.

Lompoc “Dirtbags” bring wheels to 100 kids

Photo of Lompoc children

Over 100 needy children received new bicycles in Lompoc. Photo by Ralph Fertig.

Photo of hand-cycle

Vietnam veteran Jim Daniels received one of the three hand-cranked bikes. Photo by Ralph Fertig.

  • Since 2006, the Village Dirtbags mountain bike club has worked with Steve Miller at the Bicycles Unlimited bike shop to bring bikes to children. On December 19th, they gave over 100 bikes to deserving kids from Lompoc and Vandenberg Air Force Base.
  • Earlier this year when club members were talking after a ride, they began thinking of injured war veterans. It ended up with buying three hand-cranked trikes manufactured by Tim Brummer at Lightning Cycle Dynamics in Lompoc. Dirtbags founding member Roger McConnell said it's their way of thanking not only the folks at Vandenberg, but also those who have suffered defending our freedoms. Read about the bike club at

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
  • Dr J's Bicycle Shop, Solvang
  • Hazard's Cyclesport, Santa Barbara
  • Chris King Precision Components, Portland, Oregon
  • Santa Barbara Pedicabs, Santa Barbara
  • Santa Barbara Bike Repair, Santa Barbara
  • WheelHouse, Santa Barbara
  • Santa Barbara Bikes To-Go, Santa Barbara
  • Tailwinds Bicycle Club, Santa Maria
  • We welcome new members: Betsy Weber and Tailwinds Bicycle Club. Plus, we appreciate those who renewed their memberships: Marcia & Otto Engelmann, Steve Morris, Dottie McLaren, Richard Lambert, Lee & Anita Carter, Woody Wilde, Robert Rainwater and Brigitta van der Raay.

Bici Centro hours

BIci Centro logo

  • Our Bici Centro community bike program is expanding their services. Below are hours for various groups. Info at or phone 617-3255.
  • Monday, youth only, 3:30-6:00 PM
  • Monday, "Learn Your Bike" classes, 7:00-9:00 PM
  • Tuesday, volunteers only, 5:00-9:00 PM
  • Wednesday, Spanish-speaking only, 4:00-7:00 PM
  • Thursday, open shop 4:00-7:00 PM
  • Friday, Mechanics Modules, 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Saturday, open shop 1:00-7:00 PM

Coalition requests new UCSB bike racks

Photo of UCSB students

Students next to the Music Building search for parking among hundreds of other bicycles. Photo by Ralph Fertig.

  • Our Bicycle Coalition urged Caltrans to fund needed bike racks for UCSB as part of California's Bicycle Transportation Account. We wrote on November 27th, saying, "About 42% of students, staff and faculty choose the bicycle to access and move around the large campus. This means that 10,000+ bicycles need short term storage every school day." We noted that the University is growing, and new students will increase demand that already outstrips current supply. The University is requesting racks for 2000 bikes, to be installed at Davidson Library, Music, Snidecor Hall, and Harder Stadium.

Don Lubach leaves our Board

Photo of Don Lubach

Don Lubach, smiling as usual.

  • Don Lubach has served on our Bicycle Coalition Board of Directors since February 2004. He has brought an enthusiasm and experience that have helped shape our course of success. Although he resigned last month, he promises to keep biking to work at UCSB, and to encourage others to choose the bicycle whenever possible. We thank him for his great contribution.

December Coalition meeting topics

  • Our December 1st monthly Bicycle Coalition meeting was held at noon in Downtown Santa Barbara, with 17 participants talking about these topics:
  • Thomas Matthias reported that the November Street Skills class was a success, attracting a record 15 participants.
  • Ralph Fertig described the Swan Productions TV crew's successful bike ride with local cyclists, to be aired next spring on the French-language Evasion network.
  • Lori La Riva said that Traffic Solutions is going to reprint the Santa Barbara County Bike Map in early 2010. There will be a workshop to gather suggested changes some time in January.
  • Ed France reported that the committee to select an Education Coordinator considered 5 applicants, and they expected to announce the result soon.
  • Opportunities to create events for Cycle MAYnia are ongoing. Traffic Solutions is offering mini-grants to help individuals or groups organize them.
  • The annual Santa Barbara Holiday Bike Ride will take place on December 19th. All are welcome. Bring cheer.
  • Sarah Grant reminded people of the educational "webinars" each month. The next one, on December 16th, is about health and bikes.

Kids and Bikes delivers 650 bicycles

Photo of bike assembly

About 400 volunteers turned out to assemble the 650 bikes in Goleta on December 5th. Photo by Ralph Fertig.

  • Goleta businessman Lou Ventura has, since 2004, organized bike purchases for needy children through South Coast charities. This year, Ventura and his nonprofit Kids and Bikes Foundation managed to bring 650 bicycles to local kids. Bikes, he says, give today's kids the freedom and independence that many of us discovered after past Christmases. New this year are 650 helmets that accompanied the bikes. They were donated by Citrix Online, and the Santa Barbara city and county fire departments. We're hoping that in the future, bike safety education can be added. Learn more at
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