Page 1 Serving Santa Barbara County We’re a countywide advocacy and resource organization that promotes bicycling for safe transportation and recreation.

How to reach us Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition PO Box 92047 Santa Barbara CA 93190-2047 phone 569-1544 email web facebook

Holiday bike programs flourish There are two outstanding holiday bicycle programs in Santa Barbara county that give bicycles to needy children. This year, they have increased their combined bicycle donations by 55 bikes, with new helmets to go with them. Both groups welcome your help.

Christmas Bikes 2010

Join us for our general meeting: Tuesday, December 7th 12:00 noon Granada Garage 1221 Anacapa Street Conference Room, 2nd Floor Santa Barbara

The Village Dirtbags, a group of mountain bike enthusiasts in the Lompoc Valley, have given away over 200 bicycles since 2006. Their bikes go to needy children whose parents are stationed at Vandenberg AFB, and currently overseas. This year they will give over 100 bikes and helmets. The group’s goal is to be good ambassadors to cycling and to protect the environment where they live. You can join them on their holiday mission, donating money (visit them at, or coming to their annual bike distribution:

Online email list

Saturday, December 18, 10:00 AM-12:00 noon Bicycles Unlimited, 660 North H Street, Lompoc

December 7th meeting

We sponsor a free online email forum where you can post and read messages about regional bicycling issues. To subscribe, send an email to:

Leave the subject and body blank.

Join our Coalition You can help improve bicycling safety and conditions in Santa Barbara County by joining others in our bicycling advocacy group. See page 6.

Street Skills Clinics

Seeing the kids riding their new bikes is enough to warm anybody’s heart.

Kids and Bikes 2010 Started by Lou Ventura in 2004, the Kids and Bikes Foundation works throughout the year organizing a massive infusion of bicycles to needy children through South Coast charities. This year, they will have a “bike build day” on December 4th to assemble the 700 new bikes.

Here a bicycle winner with her mother pose for a souvenir photo in the Village Dirtbag’s 2008 give-away.

Consider helping out, bring your tool set: 5mm and 6mm Allen wrenches; Philips screw driver; 10mm, 13mm and 15mm sockets wrenches with extension; something to cut zip ties. They will have 75 tool sets available, but bringing your own will speed things up. It will take place at Ventura’s home at 329 Vereda Del Ciervo, Goleta, starting at 10:00 AM. Learn more about this generous donation of bicycles into our community—and how you can donate—at their website

Union Pacific rejects proposed Cabrillo bike tunnel

The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition offers Street Skills Clinics. Details at www.sbbike. org/skills/apply.html, or email coordinators at streetskills@

Bici Centro program Bici Centro of Santa Barbara is our community bicycle program, helping people who bicycle. Look at www.sbbike. org/bici/BiciCentro.html, or phone 617-3255. Quick Release is published monthly by the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, PO Box 92047, Santa Barbara, CA 93190. Subscribe for $30 per year. Issue # 230.

December 2010

Looking north on Cabrillo Boulevard, the proposed bike/ped tunnel would be to the left of the existing train bridge.

Part of the “operational improvements” on Highway 101 between Milpas and Hot Springs has been a new bicyclist/pedestrian tunnel under the Union Pacific railroad. The tunnel would connect the multipurpose path along the Bird Refuge to Coast Village Road in Montecito. Working with the railroad, the our Association of Governments designed tunnel alternatives, then submitted a final design last spring, only to have the UPRR reject it altogether. The railroad saw no benefit for them—unless SBCAG builds a $10 million replacement for their 100-year old bridge. So what is now being proposed is a raised bike/ ped walkway on the west side of the existing tunnel roadway. Cyclists could still legally ride in the road lanes if they wished, or take the new walkway. So it’s no tunnel now, but a separated walkway. Maybe in years to come, we’ll get that tunnel.

Wet Willy Sez Dear Wet Willy: I keep getting inner tube failures where the metal valve stem joins the rubber inner tube. This really sucks because, as far as I know, a valve stem / inner tube failure can’t be patched. I don’t overinflate my tires, so… —Malcolm

BIKES committee improves UCSB biking

Dear Malcolm: There are a couple of things that could be happening here: g


There can be a lot of tension on the valve stem/inner tube connection when removing the pump head from the stem (after the tire is inflated). Basically, you could be slowly tearing the stem out of the tube if the pump head is too tightly attached to the stem. If this is your problem, you may need to get a different pump head or a different pump. Your local bike shop can help you with this. Cheap off-brand inner tubes from some internet suppliers are more likely to have stem/tube interface problems than inner tubes from your local bike shop. Also, the local bike shop will stand behind the products they sell and replace a defective tube if you encounter one.

“Wet Willy” is an advice column authored by our Coalition’s Wilson Hubbell. Please submit any questions you have about cycling issues to him at

Quick Release ~ December 2010 ~ Page 2

Students stick dots on a UCSB campus map to show where bikepaths and parking need attention.

Our Bicycle Coalition, seeing a need for bicyclists to have a voice at UCSB, established the Bicycle Coalition at UCSB in 1998. It thrived and has since become the Associated Students’ BIKES committee, now funded by the students themselves to improve bicycling conditions on campus. With meetings every two weeks during the academic year, AS BIKES is managed by Nathan Pfaff, helped by student volunteers, CSO representatives, our Bicycle Coalition’s Ralph Fertig, and University staff members Scott Bull, Jamey Wagner, Dennis Whelan, plus others as situations arise. They hold periodical “Bike Gripe” events where students identify locations on campus with degraded bikepaths, bike rack shortages, or dangerous situations—all so the committee can prioritize funding for improvements. Their recent four-hour Bike Gripe on November 17-18th resulted in over 200 people identifying problem areas. A typical project will take place over winter break. It’s repaving the “Storke Circle” bike roundabout, plus bikepath just east and north of it, if there are enough funds. The committee has a list of proposed projects for the next two years. In addition, they work to identify abandoned bikes that can clutter racks, inventory existing parking capacity and demand, auction off usable abandoned bikes, replace old bike racks with “Peak Racks” that have 30% greater capacity, and work with campus police on enforcement and safety. At their November 17th meeting, the idea of educational sessions or videos was discussed, and they are going ahead with developing new material. Learn more at, and join them at their meetings any time.

Oberstar leaves US House with vacuum On November 2, 2010, voters outside of California tossed out many Congressional incumbents. In Minnesota, they ended the political career of Representative James Oberstar. With his departure, the cycling community has lost a longtime champion. Millions of Americans are reaping the benefits of the Oberstar’s legacy: Safe Routes to School, Recreational Trails, the Non Motorized Transportation Pilot Program, state bicycle/pedestrian coordinators, Transportation Enhancements, the creation of AASHTO guidance on design and operation of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and the creation of a bicyclist/pedestrian clearinghouse for technical assistance. We thank him for his outstanding contributions to a better America.

Countdown timers increase our safety

“Eight seconds to go” this Santa Barbara intersection countdown timer tells bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

You’ve probably seen them everywhere in our county as jurisdictions replace regular pedestrian “walk/don’t walk” displays with ones showing the number of seconds left before the signal turns red. A three-year study with them at 579 intersections in San Francisco showed a 25% drop in pedestrian crashes, and an even larger 34% decline for motor vehicle collisions. While they didn’t report on bicyclist crashes, most likely they dropped as well. It seems that everybody, knowing just when the “red” is coming, acts more carefully. In California, the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, the source of signal standards, is being revised, and may follow the federal version that will require countdown timers at all intersection crosswalks.

UCSB biking leaves

consultant misty eyed When Prof John Pucher visited the UCSB campus before his Walk/Bike Forum two years ago, he said the density of bicyclists reminded him of Germany. So when campus bicycling consultant Mark Simpson, aware of Pucher’s comment, visited on October 21st, he said “I can understand Prof. Pucher’s comparison! With all of the dedicated bicycle facilities, UCSB is a veritable bicycle utopia. Dennis Whelan took me for a tour of the campus, and I was nearly misty-eyed seeing so many students on bicycles pouring through the roundabouts.” Simpson is hoping he might be able to help UCSB with cyclist education, marketing, and wayfinding signs. You can learn about Simpson and his BICI Planning business at We may or may not hear more from him, but do like his views.

COAST honors Ralph

Fertig for advocacy

On November 4th, the Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST) held its Fall Gathering at the Inn of the Spanish Garden in Santa Barbara. Although he was trekking around the Yucatán at the time, Ralph Fertig of the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition was honored in absentia with the Barry Siegel Award for his longstanding work towards making our community safer and easier for bicyclists of all ages. Wilson Hubbell accepted the award on Fertig’s behalf and offered some witty words reflecting on his outstanding character and persistence in advocacy. Ralph Fertig has been involved with the Bicycle Coalition since 1991, serving as secretary, vice president, president, and board member. Stepping down last month as president, he requested the title of “President Emeritus,” and the board acquiesced.

John Hygelund—the consummate bicyclist by Ralph Fertig is part of a linked group of roboticallyNew Director on our controlled telescopes Board John Hygelund around the world that is a consummate bicytarget supernovae, clist. When asked what gamma-ray bursts, bikes he has, he ratand exoplanets. John tled off a list of about moved to Santa Bar10, from track bikes bara three years ago to mountain bikes. to work as a mechaniJohn was born and cal engineer at the raised in Los Gatos, LCOGT headquarters in the foothills of the in Goleta. Santa Cruz Mountains. At Cal Poly, John After his parents took took part in their away his skateboard law-abiding mass bike and inline skates (got rides, and brought into too much trouble, the idea to Santa Barthey said), they gave John Hygelund, so we’re told, in his Star Wars bara where it has takhim a bicycle which outfit before one of the Bike Moves rides. en root over the past brought him newfound two years. The monthly “Bike Moves” rides freedom that he immediately took to. He take place the first Thursday of each month, biked all over the nearby mountains, joined coinciding with Santa Barbara Downtown’s the Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club, and as First Thursday art and culture events. It’s a a teenager, started racing. This led to a way to get people to have fun on bicycles, to cycling career with the U23 National Team, get them involved in a healthy activity. ReSaturn, and Sierra Nevada Racing teams, cent rides have attracted over 100 cyclists taking him to training and races in Europe riding in the monthly themed apparel and and North America. joining up after the ride to socialize and As his cycling career wound down, he fundraise for local non profits. took up mechanical engineering at Cal Poly Around the South Coast, John loves to in San Luis Obispo. Out of all his thousands mountain bike and his favorite ride is Jesuof rides, John’s most memorable one insita trail. More than just using our trails, he volved getting up in the middle of the night to ride with a SLO friend forty miles to milk gives back by serving on the board of the SB Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers, and helping a cow at sunrise and eat breakfast at the maintain our trail network. farm, all in spandex. John finds the bicycle a fun, efficient way In his senior year at Cal Poly, he and othto get around, and he continues to share his ers worked as interns at Los Cumbres Obenthusiasm for all aspects of bicycle culture servatory Global Telescope (LCOGT) where with others. Welcome, John, to our Board. they designed a 0.8m telescope mount. It

Coalition supports new Carpinteria bike trail

Safe nighttime biking Daylight is in short supply these days, so consider what the California law says about what our bikes need during darkness: a white headlight visible from 300 feet, a rear reflector visible from 500 feet (in headlights), a reflector on each pedal or shoe visible from 200 feet, and reflectorized tires or wheel reflectors. Blinking lights and bright clothing also help. Be obvious!

This shows where the proposed connecting trail will likely be located. Map is courtesy of Google.

Our Bicycle Coalition recently urged the California Coastal Conservancy to help fund an environmental analysis of the proposed Carpinteria Rincon Trail. A Project Study Report has been completed, and the next step is the environmental analysis. The trail will provide a connection between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara county’s Rincon Beach County Park, neatly connecting to Caltrans’ upcoming trail along the ocean from Rincon Beach three miles east to Mobil Pier. It will encourage people to bike and walk and jog along the coastline, enjoying the ocean views and experiencing our local habitat. Well be watching for that next step. Quick Release ~ December 2010 ~ Page 3

Biking and the Yucatán

by Ralph Fertig

For two weeks from I gave them my conOctober 27th, I tact information. We traveled all around may meet again. Mexico’s Yucatán Izamal is the one place that I found peninsula. I went to with bicycles for explore the Mayan people’s 2500-year rent, so for three old heritage, and to hours I explored nearly all its streets. join them on bicycles I rented a front suswhen possible. pension mountain What I found was a gentle, handsome bike that cost me people in small villagonly $5. Izamal is the town that I liked es scattered through- In small Yucatán towns like Valladolid, transport trikes like this are used to carry goods and people the most. My Rough out the entire area. Guide to the Yucatán says, “Izamal can be a Many live in thatched-roof homes, depend on slash-and-burn farming, and raise chickgood alternative to Mérida if you prefer the ens and goats for food. They walk for most country to the city.” I certainly did. What surprised me most was the large trips, use a bicycle in the larger towns, or number of women on bicycles, sometimes take one of the regional buses if they have with one or two children along for the ride. to travel farther. I had expected narrow potholed roads, I had expected to see nearly all male bicyclists, but was pleased to find it otherwise. and indeed bounced along many in my rental Nissan, but I was surprised to find The other surprise was the large number of transport trikes that people were using major national highways with wide lanes to carry goods and passengers. I saw a new and shoulders in better condition than California freeways. They would serve nicely for one in the window of a closed bike shop in Valladolid, but I have no idea where they are touring cyclists—and certainly did for local bicyclists. The problem is that there seem to made or how much they cost. However, they must be durable to have so many in service be no maps showing just where they are. carrying so much. I met only one touring cyclist, a young man from London, traveling by himself Overall, I had a great trip, visited 14 Mayan archaeological sites, had no sense of from northern Alaska to southern Argendanger at any time, learned a lot, and came tina, finding lodging through the “warm to appreciate the many aspirations and showers” program. He was one of only traits that we all share. four bicyclists that I saw wearing helmets. Another was on a road bike, head down, pedaling away from the city of Mérida. And Presentation on the Yucatán I met two men who were taking bikes off Come to our next Bicycle Coalition meeting on December 7th. Ralph Fertig has crafted a a car rack in the town of Izamal. They had PowerPoint presentation about his trip to the driven 40 miles from Mérida to bike around Yucatán, with photos of bicycling conditions the scenic, bike-friendly town. They were and historic Mayan sites. Meet at 12:00 noon, Mexicans who spoke some English and said Granada Garage conference room. they were coming to California next year, so

Corporation gives bikes to Boys and Girls Club A large US corporation, in Santa Barbara for a board retreat, wanted to do something meaningful for team-building, so they bought 100 bicycles for the Santa Barbara Boys and Girls Club. The lucky recipients had earlier written or crafted an art project about the benefit of bicycling, but didn’t know until November 12th as they arrived at the club that they would get new bicycles. They were fitted with helmets, given a Quick Release ~ December 2010 ~ Page 4

safety talk, and then rode their new steeds around the playground. Club coordinator Donna Reeves described one father who was brought to tears of joy because now his family would be able to bicycle together. The CEO of the firm even took time to support a girl who had not biked before, learning to balance and control her bike. It was a meaningful gift from the corporation (anonymous by request) to our community!

December bicycling events and meetings Here are upcoming bicycling events in Santa Barbara county. Our website has ongoing updates, details, and live links at www.sbbike. org/meet/meet.html. December 1, Front Country Trails Meeting. December 2, Bike Moves. December 4, Holiday Bike Assembly. December 6, Bike Events Meeting. December 7, Bicycle Coalition General Meeting. December 12-13, Dirt Club Winter Races.. December 15, Education Committee Meeting. December 18, Christmas Bike Distribution. December 28, Bicycle Coalition Board Meeting.

Santa Barbara Century is first time success

Our Bicycle Coalition’s rest stop on East Camino Cielo welcomed hungry, thirsty cyclists who had just climbed several thousand feet.

After organizing an ambitious Santa Barbara Century ride on October 23rd, co-directors Kalon Kelley and Bill Lindberg managed to pull off a great ride. We staffed a Bicycle Coalition rest stop on Camino Cielo about the half-way point for the 100-mile cyclists. Thanks go to our staff of Nancy Mulholland, Mark Sapp, Pierre Delong, Gail & Wilson Hubbell, and Ralph Fertig. Other members worked at other stops to make the event a great success. Kelley reported receiving over 40 pages of emails from cyclists, commenting on how unexpectedly difficult the ride was, but also saying how friendly and helpful the aid station volunteers were. The profits went to benefit two organizations, our Bici Centro program and Sports Outreach International. We’re absolutely grateful to Kelley and Lindberg for their hard work and generous contribution to us all.

SB City wins Safe Routes to School funding

Busy Modoc Road, left, intersects with an extremely wide Portesuello Avenue coming in from the right.

The city of Santa Barbara was awarded a Safe Routes to School grant of $218,275 to improve safety at the intersection of Modoc and Portesuello near La Cumbre Junior High School and the Santa Barbara Community Academy. Today’s crosswalk is 105 feet across, making it tricky for everybody to navigate. From 19982008, there have been five crashes, three of which severely injured bicyclists. Safety improvements include two landscaped medians, a curb extension, and street lights. The new crossing distance will be 56 feet. Slated for construction next summer, the new configuration and lights will make it safer for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

Bici Centro activities Our Bici Centro community bike program is offering bicycle open shop hours three days each week. Details at or phone 617-3255. It’s at 601 E Montecito Street, Santa Barbara. Stop by to work or just check it out: g Wednesday, open shop 4:00-7:00 PM g Thursday, open shop 4:00-7:00 PM g Saturday, open shop 2:00-5:00 PM

We thank our active members

Please thank and support these Bicycle Coalition business members: g Bicycle Bob’s, Santa Barbara g Nett & Champion Insurance Services, Santa Barbara g Pedal Power Bicycles, Santa Maria g Chris King Precision Components, Portland, Oregon g Santa Barbara Pedicabs, Santa Barbara g WheelHouse, Santa Barbara g Santa Barbara Bikes To-Go, Santa Barbara g Tailwinds Bicycle Club, Santa Maria We welcome these new members: Linda Adler, John Hygelund, Frank & Doris Smeltz, Kathy Vanetti, Bob Coleman, Julia Pustizzi, Mike Mallen, and Sanford Horowitz. We appreciate those who renewed their memberships: Benjamin Ellsworth, David & Christine Bourgeois, Fred Perner and Patsy Bolt.

Junior High students earn bikes Last month, 21 junior high students finished our six-week Pedal Power course and pedaled away with bikes, locks, helmets and confidence. The students learned safe riding skills and basic bike maintenance, earning a refurbished bicycle that they used for group trips around their neighborhoods. Here four Santa Barbara junior High students Some had never ridden raise their bikes. Photo by Christine Bourgeois. bikes before, but were enthused about their bikes, newfound skills, and the adventures they can bring. Our Education Coordinator Christine Bourgeois reported that 15 Santa Barbara Junior High students, followed with 6 from Goleta Valley Junior High, graduated and took celebratory bike trips to ice cream parlors. Each new bicyclist on our streets promotes our favorite means of travel and fun.

Quick Release accepts advertisements. Circulation reaches about 500 people. Ad details and an order form are available online at . Quick Release ~ December 2010 ~ Page 5





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SB Bicycle Coalition Directors: Byron Beck, 969-1712 Howard Booth, 412-901-7876 David Bourgeois, 699-6809 Michael Chiacos, 284-4179 Jim Cadenhead, 963-7433 Robert Caiza, 315-5720 Nick Davis, John Hygelund, Erika Lindemann, 569-1544

Nancy Mulholland, 563-9073 Erik Wright, 845-6547 Advisor, Dru van Hengel, 564-5544 Advisor, Matt Dobberteen, 568-3000 Advisor, Kent Epperson, 961-8917 Executive Director, Ed France, 617-3255

Road repair contacts:

Caltrans Carpinteria Charlie Ebeling, 684-5405 x402

Goleta, Bob Morgenstern, 968-6869 Lompoc, Larry Bean, 736-1261 Santa Barbara City Dru van Hengel, 564-5544 Santa Barbara County Matt Dobberteen, 568-3576 Santa Maria David Whitehead, 925-0951 x227 Solvang, Brad Vigro, 688-5575 UCSB, Dennis Whelan, 893-7009

Member discounts Bicycle Coalition members benefit from discounts. To get your discount at a shop, take your copy of Quick Release to the shop and show them your address label or cut out the label and take it. Discount details are at Bicycle Bob’s 250 Storke Road #A, Goleta 15 Hitchcock Way, Santa Barbara Bicycle Connection 223 W. Ocean Avenue, Lompoc Hazard’s Cyclesport 110 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara Lighthouse Bicycles, Santa Ynez phone 688-6385 Main Street Cycles 311 East Main Street, Santa Maria Pedal Power Bicycles 1740 Broadway, Santa Maria VeloPro Cyclery 633 State Street, Santa Barbara 5887 Hollister Avenue, Goleta Momentum Magazine, save $5 node/4258. WheelHouse 528 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara


There are two outstanding holiday bicycle pro- grams in Santa Barbara county that give bicycles to needy children. This year, they have incr...