March 2012


VOL. 31 NO. 2

 March 2012

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

Thanks to the New and Renewed Members for 2012!

New Members:

  • Christel Shaughnessy, Arcata***

Renewed Members:

  • Robert Schultze & Sonja Schultze-Huff, Eureka**
  • Rick Knapp, Eureka***
  • Rees Hughes, Arcata**
  • Danielle Sarason, Arcata
  • Loren Azvedo, Bayside***
  • Catherine Barnes, Eureka**
  • Paul Harris, Eureka
  • Betty Jain, Arcata**
  • Chris Ursich, Arcata**
  • Justin Brown, Revolution Bicycle Repair, Arcata***
  • Will Spurling, Henderson Center Bicycles***
  • Wally West, Redway**
  • Jennifer Johnson, Adventure’s Edge***
  • Roger Tuan, Arcata
  • Richard Will, Eureka**
  • Bob & Susan Ornelas, Arcata***
  • Nancy Reichard, Arcata**

A very special thanks to Bob Ornelas who donated $125 for bicycle helmets.   Bob has appreciated the value of a helmet after a recent crash resulted in destruction of his helmet but not his head!   Bob is back on his bike putting on more mileage than the vast majority of serious cyclists.   Congratulations, Bob, on your comeback.

If you have not yet renewed your membership for 2012, please do so by using the membership application at the end of the newsletter.
Those with a ** have made additional donations to the HBBCA. Those with *** have made donations of $25 or more. Thank you for your generous donations to the HBBCA.

The Next Regular Meeting will be held on March 26th in Arcata

The next regular HBBCA meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., Monday, March 26th, at Carmela’s Restaurant, 13th and G Streets in Arcata.  Dinner is optional.   Agenda items may be suggested by emailing Rick Knapp at

May is Bike Month—Events Planned by Humboldt Bike Month Coalition

The Humboldt Bike Month Coalition, an organization representing many organizations that support bicycling.   The coalition has held its first meeting and has set the dates for two of its major events: 

Bike to Work Day in Arcata will be on Thursday, May 10th.    A noontime rally will be held at the Plaza.

Bike to Work Day in Eureka will be on Thursday, May 17th.  A noontime rally will be held at the Old Town Gazebo at the foot of F Street.

At the noontime rallies, we will celebrate the bicycle and those who are riding them.   There will be prizes for the longest commute, the best commute bike, and the top participating businesses.   There will be many prizes given out as a result of drawings.  In the mornings, there will be a free “fuel-up” sponsored by the Co-Op in Arcata and Eureka, which will go from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.   At the Co-Op and at the rallies, there will be bike shops present to get your bike problems fixed so that you can get to work on time!   Adventure’s Edge, Henderson Center Bicycles, Revolution Bicycle Repair and Pacific Outfitters are all expected to provide support for the events. 

Other events will be planned for the month, including a bike/gear swap and a film festival.   The dates and times for all events and activities will be posted later on the HBBCA’s website:, by  the first week of April.

Paul Harris is the HBBCA Bike Commuter of the Month
By Rick Knapp, President

HBBCA member, and a friend of Paul Harris, Patti Pedigo nominated Paul as the HBBCA’s bike commuter of the month.   I interviewed Paul on January 27th along with his wife, Cynthia.  At the time, we all knew Paul wouldn’t be with us too much longer.   This is the article I had written the day after the interview.  Paul passed away on February 13, 2012.   

Paul lives with his wife, Cynthia, on Old Forest Lane in a redwood forest near Freshwater School.  He’s been a member of the HBBCA since November 2008, just after he was hit on his bike near Redwood Acres while picking up trash on the shoulder of the roadway—not something uncommon for Paul (as evidenced by the story below).   About that time, I was contacted by Paul about his collision.   I went to his home and we talked about his injuries and how to proceed with his case against the errant motorist.   We’ve talked several times since.  Paul recovered from his injuries and was able to get back on the bike. 

The occasion of my January 27th interview with Paul comes on the heels of finding out that he was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia in December after being sick since September.   It took awhile to determine exactly what he was suffering from.   By then, the prognosis wasn’t good.   Nevertheless, Paul says he isn’t afraid of death.   He’s at peace with his maker and has enjoyed a full and rewarding life. 

Paul was born in New Jersey in 1935.   At age 6, he had measles and mumps at the same time, and was confined to the household “sick room.”  His Mother was told by their doctor that he wasn’t expected to live.   It was suggested that they provide him with as much joy as they could for as long as he was to be with them.   Since riding a bicycle was his favorite thing to do, his Dad got him an “Ivory Johnson” bike.   He said, “I rode that bike for weeks to get stronger.   After about a month, he was ready to declare himself “alive.” 

Paul attended Earlham College, a Quaker College, in Indiana.   When he was in college, he was a goalkeeper for their soccer team, an endeavor that would direct much of his future attention.   Paul said, “I tried out for the Olympics.   I didn’t make it, not even close…..”   But, in the years to follow, Paul would referee 2,000 soccer games, including professional games.   Through his life, he has written 20 books on soccer, including the official book for referees, as well as books for coaches, players and goal keepers.  As a matter of fact, Paul was wearing a Pele soccer shirt when I interviewed him.   Anyone who knows anything about soccer knows that Pele was the greatest soccer player of all time.  

While he didn’t ride a bicycle while in college, he took up the sport again in 1968, about 6 years after moving to Humboldt County.   He’s been riding regularly ever since.   He has used his bicycle for pleasure and for transportation.   As for transportation, Cynthia said, Paul would often come back from a trip to town with his front basket filled, his panniers filled, and his backpack filled.   “I don’t know how he could do it.”   He said, ever since he started riding, he’s always stopped to pick up trash wherever he was riding—sometimes stopping 20 times on an outing.   That happened in town as well as on trips.   He and Cynthia have taken many trips by RV across the country, and Paul always took his bike along and road all around whether in Yellowstone Park or many others.   Cynthia showed me his “picture room,” named by me, with photos all over the four walls, including photos of him and his bike in the wilds.  Paul liked to ride every road in town.   He figured he could learn a lot about a place by riding each street.   

Paul’s first bike as an adult was a Peugeot, and his last bike was a Peugeot, with no other brands in between.  Why switch?

A passionate and happy person, with many friends, Paul will be missed when the inevitable occurs.   We hope that won’t be anytime soon. 

[The Lord has a new angel, one who will never let Heaven accumulate any littler.]

“3-foot Bill” is Resurrected

According to the California Bicycle Coalition (CBC), SB 910, vetoed last October by Governor Brown, is being resurrected as SB 1464 this session by the Senator Alan Lowenthal.  SB 910 would have established three feet as the minimum clearance vehicles must give bikes when passing. 

When he vetoed the legislation, the Governor cited concerns about an exception for drivers in dense, slow-moving urban traffic.   He said “send me a bill next year that solves these problems.”   So, that is what Senator Lowenthal and the CBC is doing—trying to get the wording right for the Governor without overly compromising the intent.   Senator Wesley Chesbro will be co-authoring the bill, so we can be sure to have support from our northcoast Senator. 

If approved, California will become the 20th State to provide a legal minimum passing distance.   It seems about time. 

It is anticipated the bill will have its first committee hearing in late May or early April.   The CBC will be soliciting support from organizations and individuals at that time.

Bike and Pedestrian Funding Resurrected in Senate Transportation Bill

In its report of March 2nd, the League of American Bicyclists reports that “After several long weeks of intense work from advocates around the country, we are extremely pleased to report that the Cardin-Cochran amendment has been accepted as part of the base Senate transportation bill, MAP-21. This amendment will ensure that local governments, school systems, and metropolitan planning organizations are able to access much-needed funds for to make routes to school and routes throughout communities safe for bicycling and walking.

Thank YOU for making this Senate win a reality! We are one step closer to a federal transportation law that makes streets safer for all users. Please consider calling your Senators to thank them for including the Cardin-Cochran amendment, and to ask them to vote for MAP-21.

Here is the contact information for your Senators.” 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (202) 224-3841

Sen. Barbara Boxer (202) 224-3553 

The HBBCA and several of its members joined the fight when it was apparent that the next Transportation Bill may have deleted funding for pedestrian and bicycle programs.

Cell Phone Use in Vehicles Persists

AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety surveyed over 3,000 people in June 2011 nationwide on cell phone use and texting.   Here’s what they found: 

  • 94% said that cell phone use and sending text messages are dangerous, but more than 1/3 said they had read texts or emails while driving.
  • One quarter of those surveyed said they had sent messages while driving.
  • Two-thirds said they had talked on their cell phones while driving. 
So, when you see drivers looking between their legs instead of at the road, it’s likely they are either sending or receiving instead of looking out for you and me.

Another Cyclist Seriously Injured in Collision with a Motorist 

On February 23rd at 7:45 a.m., Kjerstine Jennings, 47, of Eureka, was struck by a motorist near the 14th Street exit of Route 101.  She had been riding northbound on the shoulder of the exit lane when she turned her bicycle into the lane according to the California Highway Patrol.   She was crossing the off-ramp near the gore point when she was hit and knocked off her bicycle.  She was transported to Mad River Hospital.   Two days later she was listed in stable condition.   She was wearing a helmet. 

To date, the collision is still under investigation.   The motorist, Allen Rice, 48, also of Eureka, indicated that he saw Jennings look back, but said he was unable to avoid hitting her.   He said he was traveling about 55 mph.   With the information to date, we don’t know if he had been in the auxiliary lane from Samoa Boulevard or if he had just entered it.



You rock!  The sand piles (on Myrtle Avenue) have mostly disappeared.   I am sure they will return, but it was much nicer and safer last night and tonight. 

Thanks for your continued help. 

Beth Abels

[Beth had requested the HBBCA help her to resolve some roadway issues that had been adversely affecting her commute from Arcata to Eureka, including sand accumulation on Myrtle Avenue and traffic signals that would not change for her when motorists were not present.   After a few days, we were able to get Caltrans and the City of Eureka to resolve the three problems.  When you see issues on roadways, use the hazard contacts in this newsletter, and if you need our help, email ]


Dear HBBCA, 

Here is my annual membership of $5.00 (such a deal) and an additional $125.00 to go toward buying kids helmets, through your outreach and educational programs, which are priceless!  

All the best in 2012. 

Bob Ornelas 

[Thanks again, Bob.   We will make good use of the funds to buy helmets for youth who take our BikeSmart training classes.]



I am in Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico (January 23) for 3 weeks of Spanish immersion.   Ciclovia is very strong here.   After only one week, I have seen the large groups of cyclists (Sala de Bici) riding through town yelling in support of the bicycle as viable transportation.   It is very heartening to see the bike movement happening in other countries, especially places not as affluent as ours.  

Keep up the good work!
Marylou Avanzino, San Jose CA 

[Marylou was the first President of the HBBCA when she lived in Humboldt County and we were established in 1982.]



Thanks for keeping a close watch on Arcata’s “H Street Project” as it affects cyclists.  

I hope signing helps but those planters are a hazard for us.
Betty Jain, Arcata 

P. S. And thanks, as always, for all of the other information in the newsletter! 

[After meeting with Doby Class at our January meeting, the City did move the planters to the curb, allowing cyclists to go to the left instead of between the planters and the curb and into the car door zone.   That helps.] 



Thanks for keeping up the good work!  Enclosed is our renewal of $15.00. 

Best wishes in the New Year.
Sonja Schultze-Huff and Robert Schultze, Eureka


Rick, et al,

Thanks for your continued advocacy for those of us who prefer two wheels to four.
Rees Hughes, Arcata

Nominations Being Accepted for Bike Commuter of the Month

If you know someone who is a dedicated bike commuter that might inspire others, please send a nomination to us along with the reasons you have nominated the individual.   Then, we’ll contact him/her for an interview that will be included in the next newsletter.   Send nominations to or call Rick Knapp at 445-1097.

HBBCA Board of Directors (Rev. 1/2012)

President---------------------- Rick Knapp

445-1097(h) email:

Vice-President---------------- Brett Gronemeyer

845-2117(h); 441-5770(w)

Secretary/Treasurer---Gail Popham,

444-3316(h); 445-5204(w)

Director of Publicity………… vacant

Director of Planning----- vacant 

If anyone is interested in filling a Board seat, or becoming more involved, please call one of the Board members above.

Who to Call When You See a Safety Concern (Rev. 1/2012)

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 attention, like a stop sign knocked down, call 9-1-1.  For non-emergency conditions, the following contact information is provided: 

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
with cc:

Abandoned Vehicles: Mary Kirby, 268-5232

Please Join or Renew Your Membership for 2012 (Rev. 1/2012)

The HBBCA is working to improve and encourage bicycle commuting.  Help make it happen by joining now or renewing your membership for 2012.  

Your $5.00 annual dues, paid on a calendar year basis, will help pay for youth helmets, this newsletter, our website, BikeSmart promotions, Bike Month activities and prizes, postage, etc.   And, it will help demonstrate your commitment to our goal. 

With your membership card, you may request the following discounts on bike parts and accessories: 10% (or more) at Henderson Center Bicycles; 10% at Revolution Bicycle Repair; 15% at Adventure’s Edge; 10% at Pro Sport Center, 10% at the Outdoor Store and 15% at Sport and Cycle.  [Starting February 2011, membership cards began including stickers on the back showing discounts offered by the various shops.]

Please click here to download our Membership Application.