March 2015


 WHEEL PEOPLE            Vol. 34  No.  2             March 2015

Newsletter of the Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association

P.O. Box 9054 Eureka CA  95502                                                                                                                                                                           


New and Renewed Members 2015
New Members
Melanie McCavour, Eureka
Kevin & Jenny Krause, Arcata**
Kevyn Harris, Eureka**
Allison Isaacson, Eureka**
Renewed Members
Stella Clark, Eureka**
Rick Knapp, Eureka***
Gail Popham, Eureka**
Sandra Rosas, McKinleyville**
Betty Jain, Arcata***
Revolution Bicycles**
Melanie Williams, BikesThere, Arcata**
Daryl & Phyllis Chinn, Arcata**
Jack Nash, Eureka***
Sonja Schultze-Huff & Robert Schultze, Eureka**
Catherine Barnes, Eureka**
Bob & JoAnn Hart, Bayside***
Will Spurling, Henderson Center Bicycles, Eureka***
Mark Mueller & Nina Greenburg, Eureka***
JR Anderson, Whitethorn**
Loren & Linda Azevedo, Arcata**
Victor Dumlao, Eureka***
Those with a ** next to their name gave an additional donation.   Those with *** have given 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.   Get on board now for all the benefits, including discounts at all the bike shops.
***PLEASE JOIN NOW FOR 2015!!    
 It’s only $5 a year
The Next Regular Meeting will be Held March 23rd in Arcata
The next regular HBBCA meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., Monday, March 23rd, at Carmela’s Mexican Restaurant, 13th and G Streets in Arcata. Dinner is optional.  Agenda items may be suggested by emailing
The HBBCA Board has a New Director
In February, Allison Isaacson was welcomed to the HBBCA Board to be Director of Publicity.   Allison is the Outreach Coordinator for Making Headway.   Allison had called Rick Knapp to express an interest in joining the Board in that both the HBBCA and Making Headway have similar objectives.  We are pleased to have Allison on the Board.   She has also joined the Bike Month Humboldt 2015 Coalition and is working hard to help make this our best Bike Month yet.
Rick Knapp Meets with Eureka Chief of Police and City Attorney to Express Concerns Regarding a Proposed Bicycle Ordinance
At the request of Chief Mills, the City Attorney has prepared several drafts of a proposed ordinance regarding bicycle operation in the city.   After it became clear to the Chief that the HBBCA Board was vehemently opposed to each draft it had seen, and at the insistence of Councilmember Kimberly Bergel, he invited Rick to meet with him, the City Attorney, a subcommittee of the City Transportation Safety Commission (TSC) and public works staff.   That meeting was held on February 9th.
Rick expressed continuing concerns that the proposed ordinance was inconsistent with the California  Vehicle Code (CVC), was overreaching with respect to the rights of bicyclists, and was generally unfair in many respects.
The draft ordinance proposed that bicyclists not be permitted to ride on any sidewalks in the city.   Currently, they are banned on sidewalks in Old Town, Downtown and Henderson Center.   Our belief is that there is no reason to ban sidewalk use in outlying areas of the City given that no known problem exists.
The draft also proposed confiscation of bikes not attached to bike racks, and when left over 24 hours.   The draft ordinance did not have a system for providing reasonable notice for removal of bikes.  It also was blind to the fact that there are few bike racks except in the Downtown, Old Town and Henderson Center areas, and even there many more are needed before one could expect all bike parking to be via bike rack.   It was pointed out that in the last 10 years, virtually all bike racks installed on City property were funded by the HBBCA and in partnership between the HBBCA and local businesses.
CVC Section 21 restricts what cities can regulate regarding the operation of bicycles.   It does allow regulation of sidewalks but does not allow a city to enact regulations on street operation which each draft has tried to accomplish. 
At the end of the meeting, the Chief directed  the draft be pulled from the TSC meeting agenda, scheduled the following day.  He said he would meet with us again before sending anything forward for action.
Following the meeting, the HBBCA Board provided a summary (dated 2/17/15) stating what we would support and what we would not support.   Other than a “thank you” from the City Attorney, we have not heard anything on the subject since.
Bike Month Humboldt 2015! Planned for May
The Bike Month Humboldt Coalition is busily planning for events in May.   Our main events, Bike to Work Days, will be celebrated as follows:
Arcata Plaza, Thursday, May 14
 11:45 a.m. till 1 p.m.
Eureka Old Town Gazebo, Thursday, May 21 11:45 a.m. till 1 p.m.
The morning of each Bike to Work Day, the North Coast Co-op will host an energy station from 7 to 9 a.m. in the respective city.
There will be about 20 events during the month, both for adults and kids, both on and off of your bikes.   We are working on a detailed calendar of events and plan to post it to the HBBCA website,, by mid-April.   Also, look for posters at bike shops and other popular locations like the North Coast Co-op.
Eureka Councilmember Kimberly Bergel Attended January HBBCA Meeting
At Rick Knapp’s invitation, Kimberly Bergel, newly elected councilmember for Eureka, attended the January 2015 HBBCA meeting.   Kim, along with Natalie Arroyo were elected to the Council in November.   Both are cyclists, and as reported in the last newsletter, are expected to provide support to initiatives that improve conditions for cyclists.
At the meeting, Kim listened to concerns regarding the draft ordinance the Chief of Police was pushing.   Immediately after the meeting, she sent an email to the City Manager, the Chief, and the City Attorney telling them about the concerns we had with the draft ordinance.  As you can see from the earlier article in this newsletter, her involvement has had an immediate effect on this initiative.
Should Adult Bicyclists be required to wear a Helmet?
By Rick Knapp
In early February, Senator Carol Liu, D-Los Angeles County, introduced Senate Bill 192, a bill requiring adult bicyclists to wear helmets.   It also requires reflective gear for night riding.  [I’m ignoring that portion for this article.]
As you know, children, up to the age of 18 are required to wear helmets, but adults are not.
The day after I heard about the proposed legislation, I was contacted by News Channel 3, wanting to do a story with me.  I told the reporter that our organization hadn’t yet debated the proposal, but to me personally, I thought the helmet requirement had merit.   I am aware of many cyclists who have fallen on their bikes, even at slow speeds, resulting in serious brain trauma, often lasting a lifetime.   In similar situations, cyclists wearing helmets can get up and ride home. 
I also indicated that a bill like this helps protect us from our own bad judgment.   Does anyone think that you need a helmet until you are 18, then it isn’t needed anymore?   Sure, it is controversial, so was the helmet law for motorcyclists and the seatbelt law for motorists.   But, both save lives (many lives), and costs to society.   We, at the HBBCA are all about safety.  Probably well over 90% of our members wear a helmet every time they ride.
It turns out, like any “big brother” law, it is very controversial.   It didn’t take the California Bicycle Coalition (CBC) a day to vehemently oppose the bill.  According to Dave Snyder, Executive Director, “It’s the wrong way to go.  California needs to do everything it can to increase bicycling.  A helmet law puts up a barrier.”  Are we trying to encourage people to ride unsafely?  They say, the helmet law would reduce cycling.  Did it take motorcyclists off the road; and did the seatbelt law cause motorists to park their cars.   Of course there are those that ignore the laws.  Some of them have become statistics each year here locally and across the nation. 
It is not likely that the bill will get out of committee according to the CBC, so arguing about it might be moot, but I would be interested in how you feel.   Comment to   We’ll print your comments in a future newsletter with your permission.
HBBCA Partnering with Eureka Main Street for Bike Racks at the Vance Hotel
The HBBCA is splitting the cost for two bike racks (total cost = $500) to be placed in front of the Vance Hotel on 2nd Street in Eureka.   Currently, there are no bike racks on that block, between F and G Streets.   Eureka Main Street, that occupies one of the many businesses in that building, will fund the other 50%.  The City will install the bike racks at no cost to either party.  Thanks to Eureka Main Street for its responsiveness on this issue.    [Also, Eureka Main Street is picking up the insurance requirement for our Bike to Work Day rally at the Old Town Gazebo.]
Would you like to become a Safer and More Effective Cyclist?
By Rick Knapp
For the last 20 years, I have been providing BikeSmart training (along with other members) for children.   Over the last five years, I have also been providing similar free “one on one” training for adults who want to become more comfortable riding on the roads and streets in Humboldt County.
I often hear, I’d like to ride more, but I don’t feel comfortable on the streets; or I don’t know where I should be on the street; etc.   I have taken people out for an hour or two, mostly in the City of Eureka because of the wide range of situations one encounters there.   Lately, I have set a prerequisite: in addition to a helmet, I require cyclists acquire a rearview mirror which I will attach to the helmet for them.   A mirror helps immensely in learning defensive riding.
If you are interested, or know someone who is, please give me a call at 707-445-1097. 
BikeSmart training for children is offered during Summer.   Applications are located at all the bike shops, the DMV, and on our website, or call me at the number above.
HBBCA has free “Give Me 3 Feet” Stickers
To help promote recent legislation that requires motorists to give cyclists a minimum of 3 feet when passing, the HBBCA has purchased three different types of stickers from the California Bicycle Coalition—ones for your bike, for your car, your helmet, or wherever.   To get one or more, attend the next meeting where they will be made available.
Thank you & team for all you do!  Enclosed are 2015 dues [Editor’s note: along with a generous donation].
Loren Azevedo, A 2 Z Eye Care, Arcata
Who to Call When You See a Safety Concern (Rev. 1/2015))   
                                                                                                    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:
Matt Brady, Deputy District Director
Dan Ramirez, Maintenance Manager
(for maintenance-related concerns)
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 
Public Works Administrative Assistant
with copy to:
Abandoned Vehicles: Mary Kirby, 268-5232
HBBCA Board of Directors (Rev. 3/2015)
President---------------------- Rick Knapp
445-1097(h) email:
Vice-President---------------- Brett Gronemeyer
845-2117(h); 445-5390(w)
Secretary/Treasurer---Gail Popham,
Director of Publicity---Allison Isaacson,
Director of Planning----- open
Please Join or Renew Your Membership for 2015  
The HBBCA is working to improve and encourage bicycle commuting.  Help make it happen by joining now or renewing your membership for 2015. 
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, 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