March 2014

WHEEL PEOPLE            Vol. 33  No.  2               March 2014

Newsletter of the Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association

P.O. Box 9054 Eureka CA  95502                                                                                    

New and Renewed Members of the HBBCA
The following new and renewed members have become members for 2014.
New Members
Robin Baker, Arcata
Jacob Lee Green, Eureka**
Hart Ford & Ben Iberle, Bayside
Renewed Members
Stella Clark, Eureka**
Jim & Gina Christopher, Eureka**
Nancy Reichard, Arcata***
Mike & Bonnie Walund, Eureka**
Daryl * Phyllis Chinn, Arcata**
Bob & JoAnn Hart, Bayside***
Mike Slavin, Arcata**
Victor Dumlao, Eureka***
Lisa Hoover, Blue Lake***
Rick Knapp, Eureka***
Those with a ** next to their name gave an additional donation.   Those with *** gave a $25 or greater donation.   Thanks to all those who have joined or renewed their commitment and those who have given additional donations to support our many causes.
The Next Regular Meeting will be Held on March 24th in Arcata
The next regular HBBCA meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., Monday, March 24th, at Carmela’s Mexican  Restaurant, 13th and G Streets in Arcata.
Dinner is optional.   Bike Month activities for May 2014 will be discussed.   Also, Rick Knapp will do a “picture presentation” on the transportation use of bicycles in Uganda.  Rick just returned from a 3-week trip there where he circled the country in a safari vehicle.   Additional agenda items may be suggested by emailing Rick Knapp at or phoning him at 707-445-1097.     
Time to Renew Your Membership
While most of you have renewed your memberships for 2014 already, some of you haven’t gotten around to it.   If you’d still like to be a member, please consider renewing as soon as possible.  An application is included in the back of the newsletter.   Please send us any updated information.  We sincerely appreciate your continued support.
Mark your Calendar for Bike to Work Days
The Humboldt Bike Month Coalition held its first meeting in late February.   While details are still evolving, the annual Bike to Work Day Noon rallies have been set:
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at Arcata Plaza
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at Gazebo in Eureka
As in past years, morning energizer stations will be held at the Co-ops in Arcata and Eureka on their respective days.
Details on these events and others will be posted on when finalized, likely by the end of March.
Bike Project Planned for Old Arcata Road between Mitchell Heights and Pigeon Point
Humboldt County has received State Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA) grant funding for a project that will establish 5-foot bike lanes on Old Arcata Road, and additional funds to repair a damaged concrete culvert.   Hopefully, once the work is done, the usual flooding of that section of shoulder will be alleviated and a good place for cyclists to ride will be established.  A bid opening for the project is scheduled for March 25th.   If the County receives good bids, the project should be undertaken this Spring/Summer.
Will Dvorak Gets Stolen Bike Back
On November 13, 2013, long time HBBCA member, and former Board member, Will Dvorak, had his custom Oswald bicycle stolen from his garage in Eureka.   Of course, he never expected to see it again, but he didn’t give up trying.   He got the word out as fast and thorough as possible.   The HBBCA helped in that regard, getting information out to members via email and Facebook.  And, Will provided the details to the Eureka PD.  He also took a flyer to pawn shops, bike shops and second-hand stores.
On January 2, 2014, Will received a nice New Years’ present, a phone call from Brian Issa, Code Enforcement Program Manager for the City, saying he found his bike.   He said he was working on cleaning up homeless encampments and spotted his bike, which had since been painted “rattle can” brown.  He could tell by the quality components that it just didn’t fit in the area.  So, he did an internet search, and up popped Will’s flyer.  
Will had advertised a $500 reward.   Since Brian  couldn’t accept the reward as a City employee, he suggested the reward go to RCAA’s Bicycle Kitchen.   Will happily made that donation, which will be of great use to the “Kitchen.”  Good news all around!
Letters to the Editor
HBBCA President,
Enclosed is a check for dues for my 2nd year as a member.   Moving here in July of 2012, I wanted to support efforts to keep bicycling safe in my new community.   I have been what I will refer to as a “silent member” since I have never attended a meeting, or assisted at an event (something that perhaps will change some day).   Also, I am in no way either a bicycle commuter, or a serious cyclist unlike probably all other members of the HBBCA.
That stated, I supported the passing of the new legislation regarding the space required for a motor vehicle to safely pass a bicyclist.   Now, however, I’m having second thoughts, even though I feel overall that the law is good and needed.
  1. Has passing this legislation removed the state’s responsibility to create safe bike lanes?  After this law passed, I’ve been more careful to observe the area for a bike to travel on Highway 101—there are way too many places that I consider to be quire dangerous and I feel Caltrans should address.
  2. I am hoping that bicyclists do not take advantage of the law by purposefully causing motor vehicles to slow unnecessarily.   This could create frustrations leading to further problems.
I hope my concerns are invalid, but just wanted to share them.
Mike Slavin, Arcata
Editor’s note: Rick Knapp responded to Mike, telling him that he had noticed no difference in the way bicyclists or motorists are operating on the roadways of Eureka.   Also, he noted that it generally takes many years for people to be educated on new laws directed at roadway users; and that California lagged many other states who have passed similar but more stringent laws over the last few years. 
Also, Mike, many of our members are not serious commuting cyclists, but support the efforts of our association to make life better for those who do use their bicycle as a legitimate mode of transportation.  We thank you, Mike, for your support.
The following are letters are reprinted from recent issues of the Times-Standard.
After two letters to the editor suggesting that cyclists should be paying more taxes for the right to use public roads, one calling them “deadbeats,” and indicated that cyclists should be paying special taxes on everything bicycle-related that they buy (including clothing)  several replies came, two of which are repeated here:
Editor, Times-Standard,
I wanted to respond to the letter to the editor titled “Let all roads’ users help bear the costs.”
I am a bicyclist but I am not a “bicycling deadbeat.”  The vast majority of those over 16 who ride bicycles on public roads also drive vehicles and do pay their share of building and maintaining our roads.   Bicycles are also vehicles (Ed: Technically, “devices” per the CA Vehicle Code) and they have just as much right to use the public roads as motor vehicles.
Those who ride their bikes help reduce our dependence on oil and gasoline as well as not contributing to pollution and global warming.   I realize that some bicyclists behave badly and upset those drivers who are trying to use the same public roads.   I try to not be one of those bicyclists.  Some motor vehicle drivers behave badly as well and some even endanger the lives of the bicyclists who are obeying the rules of the road.  As far as an excise tax on all products related to bicycling, I do not agree.  To be fair, you would also have to tax those who run, walk, walk their dogs and so forth.  I do agree that more bike lanes and paths is a good idea and would help reduce the potential conflict between motor vehicles and bicyclists who use the same roadways.
Share the road—remember to give the bicyclist three feet of space when passing (it’s the law!)
Mike Woychak, Fortuna
Editor, Times-Standard,
Mr. Spellenberg’s diatribe on cyclists who “should be licensed, and pay excise taxes for the use of public roadways” seems to be based more on a personal dislike for bicyclists than on any logic that I can see.
I have lived in Eureka for over 40 years and have been an avid cyclist for over 30 of those years.   As a “bicycling deadbeat” I have paid my share of taxes over all those years.   I own my home (property taxes), my family owns three motor vehicles (excise, road, gas taxes), I am retired, having been gainfully employed for over 40 years (federal, state taxes), and now Mr. Spellenberg feels I should have to pay more to ride my bike on the public roadways.
Tell me, Mr. S., how does a bicycle that weighs in at less than 20 pounds impact the condition of a roadway compared to the thousands of pounds of steel that spew out noxious fumes, oil and grease, and rubber on my roads?
Doug Felden, Eureka
Who to Call When You See a Safety Concern (Rev.10/28/2013)

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, the need to clear vegetation encroaching on a shoulder, or a street light that is out, 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
Alynn Zdawczynski,
Public Works Administrative Assistant
Abandoned Vehicles:
Arcata Police Dept. at 822-2424
City of Eureka
Kristen Ireland  [New contact 2/2013]
Public Works Administrative Assistant
with cc:
Abandoned Vehicles: Mary Kirby, 268-5232
HBBCA Board of Directors (Rev. 1/2012)
President---------------------- Rick Knapp
445-1097(h) email:
Vice-President---------------- Brett Gronemeyer
845-2117(h); 445-5390(w)
Secretary/Treasurer---Gail Popham,
Director of Publicity………… vacant
Director of Planning----- vacant
Please Join or Renew Your Membership for 2014  (Rev. 1/2013)
The HBBCA is working to improve and encourage bicycle commuting.  Help make it happen by joining now or renewing your membership for 2014. 
Your $5.00 annual dues, paid on a calendar year basis, will help pay for youth helmets, bike racks, this newsletter, the 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 Pacific Outfitters, and 15% at Sport and Cycle.  Membership cards include stickers on the back showing discounts offered by the various bike shops.
Enclosed: $_____dues    $_____donation
____I’d rather receive my newsletter by email.   This is my neatly printed email address:
Mail to HBBCA, P.O. Box 9054 Eureka CA 95502-9054