Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition


New study for Old Town Goleta
Membership Drive starts with a bang!
Surprises in new UCSB travel survey data
Wet Willy Sez
GVCC donates to us and others
We thank Ray LaHood for his bike support
Street Skills cycling class on July 15-17th
Santa Barbara Bicycle Festival avoids cancellation
Pay-as-you-drive insurance is coming
Traffic Solutions’ Bike Challenge clears the air
Team Kalyra sets record
Pedal Power program at Goleta Valley Junior High
New Santa Barbara video cameras
Santa Barbara Car Free program wins national award
Bici Centro activities
We thank our active members
Cachuma study recommends bike riding on the lake’s north shore
Adventure Cycling director coming to Santa Barbara in August
June Coalition meeting topics
Dom and Ernie bike across America

Quick Release Newsletter

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New study for Old Town Goleta

photo of biker on Hollister

Heading west on Hollister Avenue past Kellogg, a bicyclist leaves the bike lane and faces travel next to parked cars, sharing a travel lane with motorists. Photo by Ralph Fertig.

  • A new Hollister Avenue Redesign Project was funded by the Goleta City Council on June 15th. The council approved a contract with the Wallace Group ( in San Luis Obispo to begin a one-to-two-year study of the Goleta Old Town area of Hollister. They will be responsible for preliminary engineering, environmental studies and public outreach. Project manager George Amoon says we can expect preliminary results and public workshops in early 2011.
  • That Old Town stretch is a scary one for people on bicycles because bikelanes don’t continue through the commercial center. While we would love to have traffic lanes removed to allow for continuous bikelanes, there are about 25,000 vehicle trips per day there, many if not most using Hollister as an arterial corridor to speed through the district. Bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities have occurred there. It seems that the sole possibility for wider sidewalks, bikelanes, trees, crosswalks and human-scale amenities is to replace vehicle parking on Hollister with off-street and shared parking areas behind the businesses. Narrowing the traffic lanes is another possibility, but it will likely gain inches, not needed feet. We’ll keep you informed of developments and upcoming workshops.

Membership Drive starts with a bang!
by Michael Chiacos

  • In the last two months, our Coalition has added 48 new members, which is quite a feat as we started off the year with around 200 members. Certainly the success of CycleMAYnia (which attracted thousands of people to a couple dozen events) brought in new members, along with the personal outreach from board members to their individual networks.
  • Can you help us reach our goal of 100 new members by year end? We ask you to send a group email, make a phone call, or talk personally with everyone you know who bicycles, urging them to join the Coalition so we can make Santa Barbara County the best place in the world to bicycle. It’s easy to join with the new online membership capabilities at and if you need some suggested text to help nudge your bicycling buddies, email board member Michael Chiacos at
  • In recent years we’ve seen a huge increase in bicyclists on our streets, an explosion of bike culture, and new services and programs for bicyclists. We ask you to please tap into your personal networks to help us build on this forward momentum. Membership does matter. More members means more power to advance our pro-bike agenda and build the bike network!

Surprises in new UCSB travel survey data

graph of UCSB travel data

  • Last February, UCSB’s Social Science Survey Center conducted a survey of campus members, asking how they traveled to classes and work.
  • Because this is the first survey to consider four categories of commuters—undergraduate students, grad students, faculty and staff members—the in-depth results reveal striking differences that were not seen previously. Prior survey analyses grouped all students together, and likewise grouped faculty together with staff.
  • What the new study shows is that the four groups are very different in their travel modes. The percentage of those who bicycle to campus is 57% undergrads, 35% grad students, 22% faculty, and only 7% of the staff members. And for every three students bicycling, there is approximately one walking to campus.
  • The best news is that, over time, university people are choosing more sustainable travel by bicycle. The earliest survey was done in 1969/1970. Since then, the percentage of students (grad and undergrad) bicycling has increased from 38% to 52%. And the percentage of faculty and staff choosing bikes has increased from 4% to 11%.
  • The new study results were presented to UCSB’s Transportation Alternatives Board on June 3rd. While the committee recognized that many staff members commute long distances, and therefore choose motor vehicles, many graduate students live closer and are more likely to convert to responsible modes of travel—like bicycling—if enticements and information are provided.
  • Data for this article were supplied by Bicycle Coalition member (and avid bike commuter) Paolo Gardinali. Paolo is Associate Director at the University’s Survey Center. We certainly thank him.

Wet Willy Sez
by Wilson Hubbell

  • Dear Wet Willy: The padded handlebar tape that I install on my road bike will tend to fray and peel back after it’s been on the bike for a few months. I buy good tape and wrap it tight, but it doesn’t seem to help. Any suggestions? — Audrey
  • Dear Audrey: This sounds like you may be wrapping the padded tape from the center of the bar to the end of the bar. This makes sense because the end the handlebar is where the end plug holds the end of the bar tape in place, right?
  • Well, no… It’s counter intuitive, but padded bar tape should be wrapped from the end of the handlebar to the center of the handlebar. That way the natural position of your hands will not press against the edge of the tape and cause it to peel or fray. If anything, your hands will help to hold the tape in place and make it more resistant to peeling or fraying.
  • So, the handlebar end plug should be used to anchor the beginning of the padded bar tape to the end of the handlebar. The tape is then wrapped from the end of the bar toward the center of the bar. When the tape is wrapped to where you chose to end it (near the center of the bar), use the small pieces of plastic adhesive tape that came with the handlebar tape to hold your wrapping job in place. Note: Some bikies use twine instead of adhesive tape to hold their padded tape in place because twine is not inclined to fail in hot weather or rain like some adhesives can.

GVCC donates to us and others

photo of Doris Phinney

GVCC president Doris Phinney presides over the club’s meeting. Photo by Art Shapiro.

  • At their annual meeting and BBQ on June 6th, the Goleta Valley Cycling Club voted to support our Bicycle Coalition, along with the League of American Bicyclists, the California Bicycle Coalition, and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. We certainly thank them for their dedication to improving bicycling for us all. Finally, watch for the return of their People Powered Ride this October.

We thank Ray LaHood for his bike support

  • The US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has come out as a champion of bicyclists and pedestrians more than any prior DOT secretary. In recognition of his public position, our Bicycle Coalition joined others in co-signing a thank-you letter sent to him.
  • In part it says, “We are writing to thank you for your recent Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation, leading the way to make bicycling and walking equal modes of transportation, and we are eager to work with you to implement these changes.”

Street Skills cycling class on July 15-17th

  • Every other month, we offer our Street Skills for Cyclists Class, and the next one is on July 15th and 17th. Participants will build confidence as they learn to cope with urban traffic. The class will help you foresee and avoid trouble, be visible day and night, position yourself in traffic, cross freeway bridges, equip your bike, and lots more including a group ride on Saturday.
  • The class is held at the Granada Garage Bikestation, 1219 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara. Online info and registration at

Santa Barbara Bicycle Festival avoids cancellation

One of the competing bikers works his way up one of many steep climbs on a cross-country race. Photo by Ralph Fertig.

  • Disagreement over use of Elings Park for the sixth annual Santa Barbara Bicycle Festival nearly resulted in the event cancellation. Only five days before the weekend event the County and Elings Park management reached an agreement that allowed the June 5-6th Festival to take place. At issue were conditions of an agreement between the County and the Park over $525,000 funding that helped purchase the land from the Jesuits. Although the Bike Fest took place this year, future bike events and uses are still under the shadow of the county lawsuit.

Pay-as-you-drive insurance is coming

  • Last fall, California’s insurance commissioner announced that car insurance companies could apply to offer “pay-as-you-drive” insurance. On May 22nd, State Farm, the largest US car insurer, was the first to apply. Approval is expected this fall, and the new policies would then be offered by them.
  • The greatest benefit will be to those who don’t drive much, like people who bicycle instead. Insurance premiums would be based on miles driven according to odometer devices installed in the insured vehicles. A study by Brookings Institute estimated that driving in the US would be reduced by 8% if everybody bought such policies, resulting in a 2% reduction of total nationwide carbon dioxide emissions.

Traffic Solutions’ Bike Challenge clears the air
by Lori La Riva

  • Forty-two thousand pounds of carbon dioxide? Not from our bike riders. This May, 540 community members in Santa Barbara County had fun saving the air, their money, and their waistline, by participating in Traffic Solutions’ Bike Challenge, as part of CycleMAYnia 2010.
  • Participants formed teams of five and challenged each other to bike as many days as possible in the month of May. Local employers also leveraged the challenge as a way to build morale in the work place and support biking to work, often in addition to other amenities such as offering bike lockers and showers for employees.
  • As with the annual Commuter Challenge, the results were great for our whole community. 47,000 miles of auto trips were replaced by bike trips, 1,000 pounds of toxic air pollutants were kept out of our air, and 42,000 pounds of Greenhouse Gas emissions were curbed. In addition to saving $26,000 by biking instead of driving, participants also enjoyed hundreds of dollars in prizes, such as gift certificates to local bike shops as well as bike gear.
  • Congratulations to the winning team, Fielding Forward, whose members, Michael, Holly, Janet, James, and Bob biked 147 days in May. In addition to the winning teams, Traffic Solutions also rewarded the best performing employers in the challenge. The City of Santa Barbara, Yardi Systems, Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District, Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, and Blackbird Architects all topped their employer categories.
  • The Bike Challenge was made possible by SBCAG Traffic Solutions and sponsors VeloPro, Cranky’s Bikes, Fastrack Bicycles, American Bicycle Security Company, and Lezyne.

Team Kalyra sets record

  • “The fact that we are women, or are 50 years old, or have full time jobs and family is not a limitation to reaching our goals. I race to inspire women and girls to believe in their own power,” says Avalon Jenkins-Balker, Team Kalyra member and Race Across America (RAAM) cyclist.
  • Inspiring indeed, four women cyclists from the local Team Kalyra finished the 3005-mile RAAM race across the United States, beating the record for the fastest time in the 50-59 age group by 10 hours.
  • The four-member Kalyra team, consisting of Jenkins-Balker plus Jill Gass, Lisa Tonello, and Sonia Ross, finished the race in Annapolis, Maryland with an average speed of 16.8 mph. Torrential rain and a tornado watch in Kansas slowed them down a bit, but they kept riders on the road in rotating shifts throughout the tough non-stop race.
  • The Team has been sponsored by Kalyra Winery in Santa Ynez since 2003. This year, they used the RAAM to raise money for Girls Inc of greater Santa Barbara. You can follow their ongoing activities online at Our congratulations!

Pedal Power program at Goleta Valley Junior High

photo of school students

Goleta Valley Junior High students who completed the Pedal Power program enjoy the BMX show and more at the Bike from Work Day in Santa Barbara. Photo by Christine Bourgeois.

  • A very successful “Pedal Power” program at Goleta Valley Junior High school attracted 11 students. The six-week after-school course took participants on bicycle rides around Goleta and Santa Barbara while gaining self confidence and learning safe riding and bicycle maintenance skills. By working hard, they earned their own refurbished bicycles, new locks, lights and helmets to keep.
  • The program ended with a 10-mile trip from school to downtown Santa Barbara for the city’s Bike from Work Day event on May 18th. They especially enjoyed watching the BMX stunt team perform.
  • Congratulations to our Education Coordinator Christine Bourgeois for her efforts here and at other South Coast schools.

New Santa Barbara video cameras

  • Santa Barbara’s mobility coordinator Sarah Grant tells us that 70 new video cameras have been installed at city intersections. Like those on outer State Street, Goleta and county locations, these will detect bicyclists in places where pavement loops fail.
  • The new ones are in the city’s downtown and beach areas, following suggestions from Bicycle Coalition members and other bicyclists who loathe being stuck undetected at traffic signals.

Santa Barbara Car Free program wins national award

photo of Byrd and Kukurin

Mary Byrd, left, joins Karen Kukurin in cake cutting at a Car Free reception on June 17th at the Inn of the Spanish Garden. Photo by Ralph Fertig.

  • The Santa Barbara Car Free program received one of 14 national Clean Air Excellence Awards from the US Environmental Protection Agency. The Car Free program director Mary Byrd accepted the award in Washington DC at a May 26th ceremony.
  • At the June 17th meeting of our county’s Air Pollution Control District Board, a resolution was presented to many of the supporting organizations and businesses, including our Bicycle Coalition. Wilson Hubbell and Ralph Fertig accepted our recognition document. Also, Karen Kukurin, the Deputy Director of Community Liaison for California’s governor, read a congratulatory statement from Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • You can learn more about this super program that other communities are now copying at

Bici Centro activities

Bici Centro logo

  • Our Bici Centro community bike program is offering bicycle services each week. Below are hours for various groups. more info at or phone 617-3255.
  • Monday, volunteers only, 4:00-8:00 PM
  • Tuesday, youth only, 3:00-6:00 PM
  • Tuesday, “Learn Your Bike” classes, 7:00-9:00 PM
  • Wednesday, Spanish-speaking only, 4:00-7:00 PM
  • Thursday, open shop 4:00-7:00 PM
  • Saturday, open shop 2:00-5:00 PM

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
  • WheelHouse, Santa Barbara
  • Santa Barbara Bikes To-Go, Santa Barbara
  • Tailwinds Bicycle Club, Santa Maria
  • We welcome these new members: Barbara & Albert Lindemann, Ward Cuellar, David Sims, Jared Kaneshiro, Kalib Valera, Joel Rhine, Dmitri Shartin, Maricela Aguilar and Nathan Pratt.
  • We appreciate Don Bullick who renewed his membership.

Cachuma study recommends bike riding on the lake’s north shore

photo fo Cachuma Lake

As seen from the south shore of Cachuma Lake, the north shore beckons to bikers and hikers who are currently banned from using it. Photo by Ralph Fertig.

  • In May, the US Bureau of Reclamation, managers of Cachuma Lake area, published an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on possible increased access to the 9250-acre area. What it says about potential mountain biking on the lake’s north shore is promising.
  • The EIS is a result of years of input, including two public workshops in August and October 2008, where people were asked to comment on three possible scenarios:
  • Change nothing
  • Allow moderate increases in use
  • Build major visitor amenities.
  • The EIS said that the most environmentally-responsible is the moderate increases because they will include management constraints that do not currently exist. Like reduce motor boat emissions on the lake.
  • The north shore of the lake is currently off limits to mountain bikers, although equestrian rides and cattle grazing are permitted. A new management plan would allow biking, but prohibit access in winter and after heavy rain storms. Users would have to reserve in advance and pay a small permit fee. Only daytime access on designated trails would be allowed.
  • Access to the north shore would be via the existing Live Oak Campground. Bikers would probably have to walk or pedal through the Santa Ynez River. In our September 2, 2008 letter to the Bureau, we asked for a bridge or paved crossing that water would flow over. The EIS addressed that, saying that a future crossing would be considered if demand is high and funding is available.
  • The EIS also addressed hikers’ concerns that equestrians and bikers would cause heavy erosion on their trails. The EIS document, however, states “In reality, the impact of all users is significantly less that the impact of water on a trail. A poorly designed trail that gets zero use will erode more from water than a well-designed trial that receives heavy use.”
  • So what’s next? According to the County’s Parks Department that currently manages the 375-acre recreation area on the south shore, it’s up to them to finalize a new agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation. Once that is done, hopefully this year, the County will invite requests for proposals from potential concessionaires. Stay tuned.

Adventure Cycling director coming to Santa Barbara in August

  • Details are still be worked out, but we’re bubbling with excitement because Jim Sayer, director of the 42,000-member Adventure Cycling organization will be in Santa Barbara about August 4th. He, his wife Wendy, and three daughters are bike touring down the Pacific Coast this summer. We’re working on a big event, watch for upcoming details.

June Coalition meeting topics

  • Our June 1st monthly Bicycle Coalition meeting was held at the Granada Garage conference room, Santa Barbara, with 9 people talking about these topics:
  • Everybody described what they liked best about CycleMAYnia events. Although several were mentioned, the Cycle Chic Bike Fashion Show seemed to rank tops.
  • Ralph Fertig described the Cyclists for Cultural Exchange international group that toured Santa Barbara and enjoyed an evening potluck at Kalon and Karen Kelley’s home.
  • Cancellation of the Santa Barbara Bicycle Festival was discussed.
  • Ralph Fertig described the newly-released study on Cachuma Lake recreation and its implication for biking.
  • Sarah Grant announced that new video cameras are now operating at Santa Barbara intersections.

Dom and Ernie bike across America
by Ralph Fertig

photo of Dominic and Ernie

Dominic Gill and Ernie Greenwald riding their unusual German Pino touring tandem bike.

  • Lompoc cyclist Ernie Greenwald is 74, has leukemia, and started a bike ride across the US on June 26th. He’s not alone, but on a tandem bike mostly propelled by British cyclist Dominic Gill.
  • When Dominic came through Santa Barbara 4 years ago, I put him up here for a night and wrote about his Alaska-to-Argentina ride in December 2006 Quick Release. Because my article about Dominic mentioned Greenwald who rode with him from Lompoc to Santa Barbara, an amazing chain of fortuitous events took place.
  • It turned out that 40 years ago Ernie had envisioned a cross-country bike ride with his son. That never happened and after a divorce, they lost contact with each other. However, a friend read the Quick Release article, told Ernie’s son about it, and that led to a family reunion with not only his son, but also his daughter.
  • Separately, Dominic had not forgotten about Ernie’s love of cycling and dream of crossing America by bike. He found a German tandem bike with a recumbent front, and solicited filming support from the Wilderness Adventure Society to craft what he believes will result in an inspirational documentary. You can follow the “Dom and Ernie Project” at
  • Greenwald said, “Dominic has given me this incredible opportunity, and how many old geezers get an opportunity to do something like this?”
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