January 2011


VOL. 30 NO. 1

 January 2011

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


New Members:

  • Brad Albee, Eureka**

Renewed Members for 2010:

  • Mary Ann Madej, Arcata
  • Dick & Lois Wild, Arcata***
  • Will Dvorak & Carol Beaton, Eureka***
  • P-A and George WinterSun, Eureka***
  • Mike & Laura Cent, Eureka**
  • Carl & Judy Cooper, Bayside**
  • JR Anderson, Whitethorn**
  • Rick Knapp, Eureka***

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.

If you have not renewed your membership for 2011, please do so by filling out the application at the end of this newsletter.

The Next Regular Meeting will be held on January 24th in Eureka

The next regular HBBCA meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., Monday, January 24, 2011 at Chapala’s Restaurant, 2nd and C Streets, in Eureka. Dinner is optional. Agenda items may be suggested by emailing Rick Knapp at info@humbike.org

Some Changes to the Wheel People Newsletter for 2011

You will notice some minor changes to the Wheel People for 2011. Rick Knapp was inspired to make a few changes after working with member Carol Stafford on the newsletter during the last month.

Considering Carol’s ideas, Rick has changed the font to one which uses less space for the same size letters, so it will conserve space on printed copies.   In addition, he has updated the header for the copies that hit the street.   The header on the website version will be unchanged.

Excerpts from “Smart Cycling” to be included in Wheel People Newsletters

The HBBCA has purchased a copy of “Smart Cycling,” a new publication by the League of American Bicyclists, edited by Andy Clarke. One of the things Carol suggested is including more inspirational articles in the newsletter. By including excerpts from Smart Cycling, we believe we can encourage more bicycle commuting and we can better educate those who are already commuting by bicycle. The following article is an excerpt from Smart Bicycling. 

“Smart Cycling” Expounds on the Benefits of Bicycling

The League of American Bicyclists recently published “Smart Cycling” to promote safety, fun, fitness and the environment. Here’s what the publication says about the “Benefits of Bicycling.”  

The bicycle is a simple two-wheeled machine that uses human power for propulsion. But riding this machine is one of the great and simple joys of life. It grants a sense of delight and accomplishment no matter your age or ability—from a 3-year old on training wheels to an 85-year old riding 50 miles in a day. The wind in your face and the freedom with which you flow over the earth can refresh the soul. Your hear pounds and your muscles push you faster and faster up a hill. Then, as you stop pedaling and coast down the other side, a grin magically spreads across your face.

Of course, the benefits of bicycling include more than freedom and independence. Cycling helps you save money on fuel, get into better shape, and remain healthier longer. Bicycling is a fitness activity that the entire family can enjoy together. Bicycles are used for recreation, transportation, sport, and work. In fact, more people around the world use the bicycle as a means of transportation than any other vehicle. Starting at below $100, the bicycle is a form of transportation virtually everyone can afford and a way of life that no one should pass up.

[Look for more excerpts in future editions.]

Nominations Being Accepted for Bike Commuter of the Month

Another idea from Carol Stafford: Solicit nominations for Bicycle Commuter of the Month. So, we’re doing it. If you know someone who is a die-hard 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 info@humbike.org.

Keep up with the Humboldt County Regional Bike Plan

The Humboldt County Regional Bike Plan is being updated at this time. Keep up with the update effort by going to http://www.hcaog.net/

Eel River Trail Association Pushing to Turn Rail to Trail in the Eel River Canyon

Chris Weston of Phillipsville is heading up the Eel River Trail Association with the objective of converting the railroad right of way from Willits to Humboldt Bay to a non-motorized trail.  If you would like to sign a petition, you can call Chris at 707-223-2226 or attend the next meeting of the HBBCA.   Petitions will be on hand.

What’s Going on Elsewhere in the State and Nation?

Bicyclist Speaks Up

Letter to the Editor included in the December 16, 2010 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle [One many HBBCA members can appreciate]:  

Help the cyclists. I use my bicycle as my primary transportation. I follow the laws, I stop at stoplights, I signal, I use the traffic lanes when appropriate as I am allowed and required. Some drivers don’t seem to want to share the road. I do not ride close to the sides of parked cars in the door zone—or, as I think of it, the death zone. I stay more than three feet away as state law requires. If that means I “take the lane,” well that is my right.

Drivers, when we cyclists are following all traffic laws, please don’t honk at us, scream at us, endanger us, trying to get around us. We are not blocking traffic, we are traffic.

Drivers, when we cyclists are following all traffic laws, please don’t honk at us, scream at us, endanger us, trying to get around us.   We are not blocking traffic, we are traffic.

Richard Kane, Oakland

Idaho Stop Law May Be Considered in CA

According to Bill Burton who attended the November 2010 meeting of the HBBCA, California Assemblyman Lowenthal may introduce a bill that would mirror the Idaho Stop Law, which allows bicyclists to look, yield and slowly roll through clear, designated stop signs. The idea is to keep the bicycle moving, however slowly to maintain momentum, balance and efficiency. The Idaho Stop Law has been in effect for 27 years and according to statistics has not compromised safety.

Oregon and other states are also pursuing similar rules.   It is sure to be controversial in that many motorists already feel bicyclists ignore the laws that currently apply to motorists and bicyclists.   The following site features a video that explains how the bike yield procedure works: http://vimeo.com/4140910.

Oregon’s Vulnerable Users Act

In 2007, Oregon enacted the Vulnerable Users Act. The Act is intended to enhance protection for bicyclists and pedestrians by increasing penalties to reckless drivers who cause injury or death to users of the roadways who are categorized as vulnerable. The Act requires motorists to give at least 3 feet of space to cyclists when passing them on the roadway. Several other States have similar laws. So far, California has no such law. To get more information on such laws, Google “Vulnerable Users Act.”

HBBCA Board of Directors

President---------------------- vacant

Vice-President------------- Rick Knapp 445-1097(h) email: info@humbike.org

Secretary/Treasurer--- Gail Popham, 444-3316(h); 445-5204(w)

Director of Publicity………… vacant

Director of Planning----- Brett Gronemeyer 845-2117(h); 441-5770(w)

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

445-6393 Mark_Suchanek@dot.ca.gov

County of Humboldt

Wendy Meeks, Dispatcher

445-7421 wmeeks@co.humboldt.ca.us

Abandoned Vehicles:

Wally Williams

County Sheriff’s Office 268-3629

City of Arcata

Monica Campbell

Public Works Administrative Assistant

822-5957 pubworks@arcatacityhall.org

Abandoned Vehicles:

Arcata Police Dept. 822-2424

City of Eureka

Pearl Mendoza

Public Works Administrative Assistant

441-4192 pmendoza@ci.eureka.ca.gov

Abandoned Vehicles:

Mary Kirby

268-5232 mkirby@eurekapd.org


The HBBCA is working to improve and encourage bicycle commuting.  Help make it happen by joining now or renewing your membership for 2011.  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.

Please click here to download our Membership Application.