March 2009


VOL. 28 NO. 2       

 March 2009

Newsletter of the Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association
P. O. Box 9054 Eureka CA 95502


New Members:

  • Christine Aus, Arcata***
  • Betty Jain, Arcata
  • Jim & Gina Christopher, Eureka**
  • Steve Carmichael, McKinleyville
  • Colleen Clifford, Arcata**
  • Jim Friedrichson, Arcata**
  • John Mello, McKinleyville
  • Richard Engel, Arcata***

Renewed Members for 2008:

  • Martin Smuckler, McKinleyville**
  • Jack Nash, Eureka***
  • Revolution Bicycle Repair, Arcata**
  • Kristi Wrigley, Eureka***
  • Gail Popham, Eureka**
  • Bob Ornelas, Arcata** 
  • Jim & Anne Robbins, Eureka**
  • Mike & Bonnie Walund, Eureka**
  • Tina Manos, Eureka**
  • Kathleen Tillinghast, Eureka**
  • JR Anderson, Whitethorn**
  • Bob Berg, DDS, Eureka**
  • Daryl & Phyllis Chinn, Arcata**
  • Betty Jain, Arcata***
  • Lloyd McClelland, Eureka**
  • Steve Sipma & Noreen O’Brien, Fairhaven**
  • Cathy Crandell, Arcata
  • Melanie Williams, Arcata**
  • Holly & Ron Vetter, Eureka**
  • David & Jean Durbin, McKinleyville**
  • Michael Lau, Eureka
  • Richard Will, Eureka**
  • Carol Nelson, Blue Lake**

Those with a ** have made additional donations to the HBBCA. Those with *** have made donations of $25 or more.
The HBBCA would like to acknowledge a very large donation made by Lisa Hoover. Thank you,
Lisa, and others, who have contributed generously to the HBBCA.

If you have not renewed your dues for 2009, please do so by filling out the application at the end of this newsletter.

The HBBCA is in desperate need for volunteers for a variety of endeavors:

Board Members: We have a vacancy on our Board.   Two of our Board members have served for many years and it is time for some new blood, with new ideas, to be introduced.  Free mentoring included!

Bike Month:  There are many activities planned for Bike Month.   Volunteers are needed to help plan and implement.  Please checkout the article in this newsletter for a list of events and activities.

Tour of the Unknown Coast: We’d like to partner again with the TUC to provide volunteers to “man” a table in Ferndale the afternoon of the ride; and we need volunteers to run a sweep to pick up riders (and bikes) abandoning the ride.   Need a van or truck that can haul 3-4 riders and bikes.

Action Plan: We need volunteers to help plan and implement strategies identified at the forum hosted in December.

If you are interested in any of these endeavors, please contact a Board member or send an email to; and attend the next meeting (See below).

The next regular HBBCA meeting will be held on March 16th at HealthSport Conference. Room in Arcata, 300 Community Park Way.  We will be trying some new locations for meetings that might be more conducive to conducting business.   There have been concerns due to the noise at previous restaurant locations.   The meeting will begin at 6:00.  The meeting is open to the public.  Included on the agenda will be discussion of an action plan under development in response to the motorist/cyclist road safety forum hosted December 8th.  If you have other items you’d like to see on the agenda, please phone one of the Board members listed in this newsletter or send an email to

By Jen Rice
This year, HBBCA, Humboldt Partnership for Active Living, Green Wheels, the City of Arcata and Caltrans are planning more, bigger, and better bike events than ever before!   Mark your calendar to attend all you can, and let us know if you can pitch in to help!

Get Ready For Bike Month Humboldt!

  • Mondays: 6:30 p.m. Green Wheels Meetings at 1465 G Street in Arcata
  • March 16: HBBCA meeting at Arcata HealthSport, 6:00 p.m. (
  • March 18: Bike Month planning meeting, 5:00 p.m. at RCAA, corner of 9th & G in Eureka
  • March 28: Kid’s Health Fair 10-2 Arcata Community Center, free sponsored by the Arcata Recreation Department
  • April 1: Bike Month planning meeting, 5:00 p.m. at RCAA, corner of 9th & G in Eureka
  • April 4: Wheels of Change Conference hosted by Plan It Green, Green Wheels & Humboldt Partnership for Active Living at Arcata Community Center – more info at
    • HBBCA will host bike commuter skills workshops, 2-5 p.m. Family Bike Skills – Trailers Too! Session: 11:00 a.m. to noon
    • Regional Trail Planning session 10:00 a.m. to noon
    • Green Wheels, HumPAL & Public Health will host sessions on employers’ Transportation Demand Management programs, Safe Routes to School, Health Impact Assessments, and more!
  • April 5: Los Bagels Birthday Party and fundraiser for Green Wheels at Arcata Community Center (
  • April 15: Bike Month planning meeting, 5:00 p.m. at RCAA, corner of 9th & G in Eureka
  • April 17: Green Wheels Gala at Arcata Vet’s Hall at 6:00 p.m., $40 includes dinner, $8 for music later (
  • April 19: Bike to the Bayside Grange Breakfast for free organic syrup! 8:00 a.m. to noon

May Is Bike Month Humboldt!

  • Arts Alive Ride: contact Green Wheels
  • Arts Arcata Ride: contact Green Wheels
  • Bike raffle at Eureka and Arcata Coops, giveaway TBA in May
  • Bike Gear Swap (5-7:00 p.m.) and Bike Film Fest (7-9:00 p.m.) on May 1 at Arcata’s D Street Neighborhood Center, co-sponsored by the City of Arcata
    • Volunteers needed: email:
    • Submit films/film suggestions by April 1
    • Sign up for table space to sell gear by April 24
  • Bike Rodeo on Arcata Plaza May 3 in the morning: contact City of Arcata for more info: volunteers needed
  • Tour of the Unknown Coast on May 9, www.tuccycle.orgHBBCA sweep car volunteers needed,
  • HBBCA meeting on May 11 at the Water District office, corner of J & 7th in Eureka, 6:00 p.m.
  • Arcata Plaza Noon Rally (lots of prizes) and morning bike station at Arcata CoOp from 7-8:30 a.m. on May 13
  • Eureka Gazebo Noon Rally (lots of prizes) and morning bike station at Eureka CoOp from 7-8:30 a.m. on May 20
  • Kinetic Sculpture Race, May 23-25: Spectator’s Ride organized through Green Wheels

June: start of summer youth ‘Bike Smart’ skills training program – volunteers needed.

Jerome Lengyel
April 30, 1934 – February 9, 2009
by Rick Knapp

On February 14, about 250 people gathered at the Presbyterian Church in Eureka to remember and celebrate the life of Jerome Lengyel.

Jerome lost his life on February 9, 2009 as a result of a heart attack while riding his bike to work in the Route 101 Eureka-Arcata Corridor.   Jerome has known of his heart problems for about three years but preferred to live the rest of his life without surgical intervention.   After hearing his fellow doctors, friends and family talk about him at his service, it was clear that if Dr. Lengyel was to die, he probably would rather it happen while he was doing something he loved, like riding his bike or kayaking a local river.

Testimonials and his obituary elaborated on his love of life and the great outdoors.   Not only did he love cycling, running, kayaking, and hiking, but he relentlessly tried to get family members and friends to join him in the fun.   His fellow doctors and family members spoke of the “near death” experiences Jerome would put them through to be sure they were “prepared” for river kayaking.   Some ended up enjoying the sport for life; others feared the kayak from the first day on; and one was pleased when the kayak Jerome had given him was stolen from the river bar where he had tied it to a willow (the amount of security he thought best).

Jerome’s outdoor accomplishments included completing the Western States 100 Mile Run and 21 consecutive Tours of the Unknown Coast “in blue jeans and on a beat up bike.”  He never cared about how fast he accomplished these feats, only that he continue to challenge himself.

Jerome was a member of the Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association (HBBCA) and a major contributor to the organization for the last 25 years.    Apparently, he spoke fondly of the organization, as his family suggested donations be made to the HBBCA along with two other organizations that were important to him.

At the service, I learned that Jerome took up writing poetry about five years ago when he father passed away.   His father was a poet.   Since then he had sent many poems to family members and friends, even inspiring some of them to write poetry.   In December 2008, he submitted a poem, published in the January 2009 Wheel People that he wrote in memory of Greg Jennings.   Greg was tragically killed by an errant motorist. while riding his bike on Route 299.  You will be missed, Jerome.  

Since his passing on February 9, the HBBCA has received many donations from fellow professionals, friends, relatives and patients.  The following have made generous donations to date:

Don & Nancy Quintrell, Eureka
Frances Rapin, Eureka
Dennis & Shirley Cushman, Eureka
Richard & Deborah Storre, Eureka
Marian Marcellus, Eureka
Acumen Building Enterprise, Inc., Oakland
Ann & Lawrence Wieland, Eureka
Eric & Michele Gerdes, Eureka
Olga Dahl, Eureka
W. N. Tetrault Co., Inc.
Willard Foote, Arcata
George & Pauline Strimel, Eureka
Dora Kaliamos (Jager), Eureka
William McAuley, Eureka
Betty Jain, Arcata
Lorraine D. Miller, Eureka
Richard and Lorraine B. Miller-Wolf, Bayside
Humboldt Radiology, Eureka

Thank you to all who have donated and to Jerome’s family who recommended the HBBCA for donations in his memory.

Wow! After nearly a dozen years of (almost continuous) membership to the HBBCA, I have to say that the January 2009 issue was by far the most, personally, stimulating and gratifying, thought provoking, and just plain make me feel good about being a member issue that I have ever read!
I'll spare you the details - it was entirely amazing - and just say that I would love to see a reprint of Harvey Kelsey's letter printed everywhere. His is a universal cry for good planning, responsible driving, personal responsibility and a wake-the-*uck-up call to the public and bureaucrats everywhere.

Finally, thank you so much for taking your 'no project' stand against Caltrans' insane policy of increasing speed between Eureka and Arcata, and its obsession with spending millions on stupid projects that satisfy a handful of folks and justifying it's bloated planning department. It's too bad that Caltrans seems unaffected by the state's financial fiasco and continues to recklessly cater to single occupant cars - thus, failing to live by its supposed axiom: Balanced Transportation.

Thank you, thank you, thanks, HBBCA.

Bob Ornelas, Arcata
(P.S. Check enclosed!)  Thank you, Bob!


The HBBCA would like to extend a sincere thank you to Will Dvorak who served on the Board as the Director of Publicity for over 7 years.   Will has been a big supporter of the HBBCA since 1995.   Will expects to continue to support the efforts of the HBBCA, although not in Board capacity.  Thanks again, Will, for all you have done.   We appreciate your commitment.

By Brett Gronemeyer

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 was signed into law recently.  Government agencies throughout the country are scrambling to implement the ARRA and determine where the funds will be used.

There is a requirement for each State to obligate 50% of the funds administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) within 120 days of apportionment. The remaining 50% must be obligated within one year of apportionment. Failure to obligate by these deadlines means the funds will go to other states that have already met the deadlines. Federal apportionment is expected the first week of March.

The State’s Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Rural Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs) are currently assembling lists of projects to be programmed.  For Humboldt County, the RTPA is the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG).

The projects to be programmed must be “shovel ready.” Priority is given to projects that can be completed within 3 years.  This means most projects will consist of resurfacing highways and streets, repairing existing infrastructure (i.e. bridges), and new projects that have completed environmental review, are designed and ready to bid, but have stalled due to lack of funding.  When highways and streets are resurfaced, the striping must be redone which means it is an opportune time to add or enhance bicycle lanes.

The State of California has not yet determined how the State’s share of transportation funding will be distributed between Caltrans and regional agencies.

For up to date information on the ARRA, check out these websites:


  • President------------------------Scott Kelly
    839-3614(h); 839-4336(w)
  • Vice-President/Treasurer----Rick Knapp
  • Director of Publicity-----------Vacant
  • Director of Planning-----------Brett Gronemeyer
    845-2117(h); 441-5770(w)

The HBBCA checked with agencies in the Humboldt Bay region to determine appropriate contact personnel to respond to bike-related issues. If you see a condition that needs to be corrected in order to improve safety or convenience for cyclists such as a pothole in a bike lane, accumulated debris on a roadway shoulder, the need to re-stripe a bike lane, or the need to clear vegetation encroaching on a shoulder, call the responsible agency/person listed below.

Of course, if you see a condition that requires immediate emergency action,
call 9-1-1. For other conditions, the following is provided:

  • Caltrans
    Mark Suchanek, Deputy District Director
  • County of Humboldt
    Wendy Meeks, Dispatcher
    Abandoned Vehicles: Wally Williams,
    County Sheriff's Office, 268-3629
  • City of Arcata
    Monica Campbell,
    Public Works Administrative Assistant
    Abandoned Vehicles: Arcata Police Dept. at 822-2424
  • City of Eureka
    Pearl Mendoza
    Public Works Administrative Assistant
    Abandoned Vehicles: Mary Kirby, 268-5232
  • Abandoned Vehicles:
    Arcata Police Dept. at 822-2424

The HBBCA is working to improve and encourage bicycle commuting. Help make it happen by joining now or renewing your membership for 2009. Your $5.00 annual dues, paid on a calendar year basis, will help pay for youth helmets, this newsletter, our website, promotions, postage, etc. And, it will help demonstrate your commitment to our goal. Please click here to download our Membership Application.

With you membership card, request the following discounts on bike parts and accessories: 10% (or more) at Henderson Center Bicycles; 10% at Revolution Bicycle Repair; 10% at Adventure’s Edge; and 15% at Sport and Cycle.

If you are already a paid-up member and would like to start receiving your newsletters by email, please advise us at:

Newsletter of the Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association
P. O. Box 3054 Eureka CA 95502