November 2011


VOL. 30 NO. 6

 November 2011

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:

  • Barry & Janet Dobosh, Arcata
  • Catherine Barnes, Eureka**
  • Robert Seymour, McKinleyville***

Renewed Members:

  • T. Scott Kelly, Portland OR***
  • Beth Abels, Arcata***
  • Tina Manos, Eureka***
  • Roy Henock, Eureka**
  • John Gahn, British Columbia***
  • Kristi Wrigley, Eureka***
  • Bob & Susan Ornelas, Arcata**
  • Oona Smith, Arcata**

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.

A  very special thanks to Kristi Wrigley who made a $25 donation in memory of Mary Lou Mitchell Knapp who passed away in August 2011.  She also donated another $20 above her regular dues. [See her letter to the editor within.]

The Next Regular Meeting will be held on November 28th in Arcata

The next regular HBBCA meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., Monday, November 28th, at Carmela’s Restaurant, 13th and G Streets in Arcata.  Dinner is optional.   Agenda items may be suggested by emailing Rick Knapp at

Bike Lanes Going Down on Harris Street in Eureka

Extensive effort by the HBBCA, other associations and the public to get more bike lane on Harris Street in Eureka is now paying off.   In November, the following will be completed: 

• Repaving of the street from Broadway to Harrison Avenue

• New bike lane from just above Broadway to Fairfield

• Restored bike lane from Fairfield to I Street

• New bike lanes from I Street to R Street

• All bike lanes will be striped using thermoplastic, providing a longer life

• “Sharrows” from R Street to Harrison Avenue 

There is insufficient width to provide a bike lane to the junction of Broadway, so it begins about 300 feet above Broadway.   Channelization at intersections precludes continuous bike lanes from R Street to Harrison Avenue.   As such, “sharrows” will be placed on the pavement in the lanes to indicate that bicyclists and motorists must share the traffic lanes when parked vehicles preclude the use of the shoulder.   This will be the first application of sharrows in Eureka.   They have been used extensively in Arcata. 

Users will notice several areas where the full shoulder of the roadway has not been paved.   This is somewhat disconcerting, but was done to cut costs on the project and stay within budget.   The full width of bike lanes will be paved and the section with sharrows will be paved curb to curb. 

Sheila Parrott, City Engineering staff person on this project deserves a great deal of credit for her initiative and her willingness to work closely with the HBBCA throughout the planning, design and construction of the project. 

[As of November 4, the contractor had begun striping of bike lanes as weather permits.]

Governor Brown Vetoes Senate Bill 910, the “3-Foot” Bill

On October 8th, the Governor vetoed SB 910 that would have required a minimum 3-foot space when motorists pass cyclists on the road.   This represents back to back disappointments from the Governor, who recently vetoed legislation that would have increased fines for those talking and texting on their hand-held devices, indicating that the penalties were a sufficient deterrent---$25 for the first violation. 

With respect to SB 910, the Governor took issue with a provision that would have allowed motorists to pass cyclists over a double yellow centerline, but at speeds not over 15 mph.   He said that Caltrans and the CHP were troubled by this provision.   Trucking interests and the Southern California AAA have opposed the legislation all along.  In his veto message, the Governor said, “I encourage the author, proponents and opponents to send me a bill next year that solves these problems.”   We don’t yet know whether or not that will occur.

Two Projects in Arcata Affecting Bicyclists Close to Completion

As we enter November, two major projects are nearing completion in Arcata.   Both will affect bicyclists, one in a very positive way, and the other in a manner not clearly known at this time.   These are the projects and some of their element:

Samoa Gateway Project G Street to L Street:

• Roadway converted from four lanes to two lanes, plus bike lanes and sidewalks

• Bike lane widths vary from 5 feet to 8 feet depending on available width 

This will be a major improvement for pedestrians and cyclists.  Bike lanes will accommodate cyclists and the reduction in traffic lanes will lower the speed of motor vehicle traffic.   Bicyclists still must share the lane with motorists between G Street and the freeway.

Reconstruction of H Street between 9th and 11th Streets

• Sidewalks have been widened

• Bike lanes were removed

• Right lane is intended to serve cyclists and right-turning vehicles

• Green coloring and sharrows have been added to right lane to accommodate cyclists 

The project is a good one from the standpoint of local businesses and pedestrians; it is of questionable benefit to cyclists.   The HBBCA provided several suggestions to the City in advance of construction to respond to concerns regarding signing, pavement markings and safety.   While the City responded to many of the concerns, the HBBCA is still concerned regarding the placement of concrete planters on the far side of 10th and 11th Streets, in the traffic lane, requiring cyclists to ride between the planters and the curb  in a 5-foot space.   It also causes motorists in the right lane, to change to the left lane, and then back again if they want to turn right.   This will cause unnecessary merging conflicts with motorists and cyclists.   Time will tell if remaining concerns are a problem or can be mitigated in the future. 

[As of November 4, the planters and signs were not installed.]

HBBCA Members Assist with Bike Rodeos in Eureka

Several members of the HBBCA, including Emily Sinkhorn, P-A WinterSun, Oona Smith, Melanie Williams, Brad Albee, and Rick Knapp, participated in bike rodeos held in Eureka during the month of October.   The first was in conjunction with the annual Latino Health Fair; the second held at Alice Birney Elementary School.   Both were well attended, with kids fitted with free helmets, as needed.

Inspirational Speaker, Scott Q Marcus, Hit by Motorist at 5th and E Streets in Eureka
By Rick Knapp, President

On October 25th, longtime inspirational speaker, Scott Q Marcus, was hit by a motorist in the 5th and E Street intersection.  Luckily, Scott is going to be okay-- in time. 

Scott was riding his bike northerly on E Street.   He had stopped at a red light at 5th Street.   When the light turned green, he proceeded into the intersection.   At the same time, a motorist turned left onto 5th Street, running directly into Scott, throwing him onto the hood and into the windshield.   Thankfully, he was wearing a helmet, which was destroyed, but it protected his head from major trauma.   He has broken or bruised ribs, major contusions on his legs, and more.   He thinks he will be okay in a few weeks.   His bike and clothing will not. 

Initially, a report in the Times-Standard was upsetting to Scott and other local cyclists.  The article was titled: “Bicyclist slams into car windshield, lands about 20 feet away.”   The inference was that Scott was at fault.   In the article, Eureka Police Officer Gary Whitmer was quoted as saying “no one was at fault.”   I contacted the Eureka PD about the same time as Scott was also contacting them about the statement.   We both found out from Officer Whitmer that the statement was incorrect and that the motorist was at fault for violating Scott’s right of way.   A correction was printed the next day.   Also in the article was evidence of Scott’s inspirational nature, joking with paramedics and good Samaritans who came to his aid.   [Scott writes about the collision in an article in the Times-Standard on October 30th.   He has a regular column in the T-S.] 

Two days after the collision, I talked to Scott about the experience and how he was feeling.   To his credit, he harbors no ill will toward the motorist, but credits his helmet for saving his life as he knows it.   Knowing that Scott is a careful and law abiding cyclists, who sets a positive example for others, the HBBCA is making a special donation to him, a lime green vest to wear over his clothing, so that he will be more visible on the road, and even the careless and distracted  motorists may see him.

Bicycling Mileage Chart Included in this Newsletter

As has been done every year in November, CLICK HERE for a Bicycling Mileage Chart to be used to keep track of your mileage by day, week and month for the year.   By tracking your mileage each year, you can make sure you aren’t slacking off on your cycling.   Or, if you are just starting out, it will serve as a constant reminder to get on the saddle.   Once you do, you will realize how much benefit there is.   You’ll start to feel better about yourself and your health.   And, notice how much easier it is to hike when you have been biking.   There is nothing like it!!!

Letter to the Editor

Dear HBBCA, 

Please accept my renewal for next year, 2012, at this time.   And, a $25 donation in memory of my very dear Jr. & High School friend, Mary Lou Mitchell Knapp, an absolutely beautiful person inside and out.   It was an honor to have been her friend so many years ago.   

Thank you.
Kristi Wrigley, Eureka 

Hey Rick, et al, 

Time flies!  The years go by so quickly and there’s only so much time to ride.   Thanks, always, for all the work and fun that HBBCA does and provides.   Pedal till you die. 

Bob Ornelas, Arcata 

Dear HBBCA, 

My grandson, Dylan Hart Arnold (5 years old) and I took the BikeSmart Training Program with Rick & P-A WinterSun in early September and I want you to know how very much it helped both of us with our confidence and skills, especially me: at 61 years, I was still unclear on procedure on certain maneuvers (e.g., left turns!).   Thanks so much.

Catherine Barnes, Eureka CA

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

Brett Gronemeyer has stepped up to serve as the Association Vice-President from his previous Director of Planning position.   Thanks, Brett.

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 (Revised 1/09)

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:


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. 822-2424

City of Eureka

Pearl Mendoza

Public Works Administrative Assistant


Abandoned Vehicles:

Mary Kirby



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, promotions, postage, etc.   And, it will help demonstrate your commitment to our goal.

With your membership card, 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.