July 2011


VOL. 30 NO. 4      

 July 2011

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


New Members:

  • Victor Dumlao, Eureka**
  • Danielle Una Sarason, Arcata***
  • Patrick Grace, Eureka
  • Amanda Devons, Eureka

Renewed Members:

  • Carol Nelson, Blue Lake**
  • Christine Aus, Arcata**
  • Joan Helwer, Eureka**
  • Brett Gronemeyer, Eureka**
  • Mj Goble & Charlotte Peters, Fortuna**

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.

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 July 25th in Arcata

The next regular HBBCA meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., Monday, July 25th, at Carmela’s Restaurant, at 13th and G Streets in Arcata.  Dinner is optional.   Agenda items may be suggested by emailing Rick Knapp at info@humbike.org

Humboldt Bike Month a Big Success

Approximately 300 cyclists attended the various bike events held in the Humboldt Bay region during Bike Month, which included two Bike-to- Work Day rallies, a Film Festival, and a Bike and Gear Swap.   In addition, “fuel-up stations” were offered at the two North Coast Co-Ops.   Turnout was likely the most ever for our Bike Month celebrations over the last 15 years.   Check out our website for pictures from this year’s events.  They should be posted by mid-July. 

Many businesses and groups served as sponsors this year.   In particular, we’d like to thank the Co-Op, and three bike shops who provided tune-ups at the Co-Op and at Bike-to-Work Day rallies.   These were Adventure’s Edge, Revolution Bicycle Repair, and Pro Sport Center/Outdoor Store (recently renamed Pacific Outfitters).   Prizes were provided by those bike shops as well as Henderson Center Bicycles, Sport and Cycle and the HBBCA.

Sweeping to Resume in Eureka

Street sweeping has been reinstated into the City of Eureka budget passed on July 5th. This is something we have been pursuing since it was terminated last fall.   We’ve made personal appeals to City management as well as the City Council.   According to Bruce Young, City Road Maintenance Superintendent, it will take about 6 months to get the entire system fully cleaned with the accumulation of debris over the last 10 months.   But, at least we won’t be seeing the same piles of glass and rock into next year!!  The schedule for each street will likely be monthly with sweeping to occur between 3:00 a.m. and noon each day.

BikeSmart Training Being Offered this Summer

For the 18th consecutive summer, the HBBCA is offering BikeSmart training for youth in Humboldt County.   Training is being conducted by Rick Knapp and P-A WinterSun.   Training involves verbal instruction and on-street training, conducted in Eureka.   Participants will learn the rules of the road and how to ride effectively and defensively on city streets.   Contact Rick Knapp at 445-1097 or email: info@humbike.org for an application.   Applications can also be printed from the website, going to the Bike Safety Training button.

HBBCA Working to Get Bike Lane on Harris Street in Eureka

City Engineering staff has been working to include bike lanes on Harris Street for the gap between I Street and Harrison Avenue as part of a pavement rehabilitation project scheduled this summer.   Initially, the proposal called for removal of half of the parking (on one side or the other) to allow room to stripe bike lanes.   

At the Parking Place Commission meeting on June 9th, the Commission heard from several residents about the impacts loss of parking would have.   The HBBCA worked with City staff on an alternative which would narrow traffic lanes to 10 feet (same as the portion east of Harrison), include 5 foot bike lanes and 7 foot parking lanes.   With this alternative under consideration, the Parking Place Commission voted unanimously to oppose parking removal.   The HBBCA endorsed the alternative that would not remove parking. 

The alternative was proposed as the preferred alternative at the Transportation Safety Commission meeting on June 14th.   The Commission unanimously endorsed the idea after hearing from several cyclists supporting the concept and taking issue with residents who stated that a bike lane on Harris Street would be unsafe.  Several Commissioners also spoke in support of the need to provide additional facilities for cyclists in the City.   Due to insufficient width and steep curvy alignment, the proposal would include “sharrows” for the portion between V Street and Harrison Avenue instead of bike lanes.   Sharrows, which include “Share the Road” pavement markings have been used in Arcata but not in Eureka.   They are generally used on popular cycling roads that have insufficient space to provide striped bike lanes. 

Another improvement to be provided on Harris Street at the urging of the HBBCA is striping from just above Broadway to the current beginning of the bike lane near Fairfield. 

In the near future a final design will be presented to the City Council for approval.   The HBBCA will have an opportunity to review it prior to the Council action.   It will be important to have cyclists well represented in order to be sure the bike lanes become a reality.   If they aren’t included in this project, it could be many years before this gap is filled.

Northcoast Horticulture Supply Offers Bike Racks for Arcata

The Northcoast Horticulture Supply, inspired by the HBBCA’s recent donation of $1,000 worth of bike racks to the City of Eureka, has offered to purchase $1,000 worth of bike racks for the City of Arcata.   The HBBCA is working with the City to get approval to include a donation plate on the racks and agreement for the City to install them this summer.    If you have an idea of a place where a bike rack is needed, please contact Rick Knapp at 445-1097 or email him at: info@humbike.org.

Landmark Safe Passing Bill Beats Stiff Opposition to Win Assembly Committee Vote

According to Jim Brown of the California Bicycle Coalition, the Coalition’s bill to give drivers clearer guidance about how to pass bicyclists safely was approved on June 27th by the Assembly Transportation Committee in a raucous hearing that reflected California’s deeply conflicted relationship to motor vehicles and driving. 

Senate Bill 910, authored by Sen. Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach, and co-sponsored by the City of Los Angeles would amend the California Vehicle Code's vague guidance for how drivers must pass bicyclists by requiring drivers to give bicyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing from behind. Three feet is the passing distance required in 19 other states and also recommended by the California Department of Motor Vehicles in the California Driver’s Handbook.  Existing state law requires drivers to pass other vehicles and bicyclists at a “safe distance” that is not further defined in law. Passing-from-behind collisions account for about 40% of all adult bicyclist fatalities. 

The committee approved SB 910 on an 8-to-5, party-line vote after nearly an hour of debate in which unionized truckers and the state’s two automobile clubs and their allies on the committee argued that specifying a minimum passing distance might confuse and inconvenience drivers, tie up traffic and lead to more collisions. 

The bill goes next to the Assembly Appropriations Committee; however, SB 910 does not require or allocate any public funds or have any other fiscal consequences for state or local government. 

The HBBCA has gone on record as strongly supporting the legislation.

Jen Rice Going to Humboldt Area Foundation

Former HBBCA Board member and major contributor to bicycle planning and development in the Humboldt Bay region, Jen Rice, is taking her many talents to the Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF).  For the last 15 years, Jen has had an important role in the Natural Resources Division of the Redwood Community Action Agency (RCAA). 

The HAF announced on June 29th that Jen had been selected as Director of the Community Strategies Department.    This Department  provides training and resource programs through the Cascadia Center for Leadership and others as well development of collaborative community initiatives and discretionary grant making.  According to the HAF Executive Director, Peter Pennekamp, Jen was offered the position “after a rigorous search, which attracted many qualified candidates.” 

Jen will transition from RCAA to HAF over the next few months.

Family Rides Planned this Summer

Family rides are planned for the summer by “kidical mass.”  There is an “Ice Cream Ride” planned for July 9th and a “Watermelon Ride” scheduled for August 13th.   Both rides are on Saturdays and start at 2:00 p.m. at the Northcoast Children’s Center, 1266 9th Street in Arcata.  For more information, email: humboldtkidicalmass@gmail.com or visit www.humboldtkidicalmass.org.

Cycling Touted as Good for the Heart
By Rick Knapp

On a recent “Sunday House Call” Program, Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld said that bicycling 20 minutes a week reduces the incidence of heart disease by 50%.  He said, “It is a form of exercise the heart likes.” 

I’m sure most cyclists and doctors would agree that cycling is good for your heart as well as your overall health.   However, 20 minutes a week doesn’t sound like much.   But, do you suppose that those that cycle regularly, even a little bit,  might not be the ones who readily do their eating at McD’s and their arteries aren’t getting further plugged each week?

More Than One Use for a Bike Helmet!

Recently, a tornado virtually destroyed Joplin, Missouri.   A Mom was on TV telling a story about how her child was saved by a bike helmet.   She said, “I heard that in an earthquake, with the fear of falling objects, use a bike helmet to protect your children.”   So, she put one on her child when the tornado approached.   Immediately after the tornado arrived, the child was hit in the head by a flying toilet.   Because of the helmet, the child was unharmed.

Letter to the Editor


Thank you so much for helping out at the Arcata Bike Rodeo this year! 

You were such a huge help at both the bike inspections as well as the smoothie machine.  

We look forward to hopefully working with you at future biking events. 

                                               Recreation Coordinator 

[Note: A similar note was sent to P-A WinterSun who did helmet fitting at the event.   And, another thank you note was sent to Rick and P-A from Oona Smith .   We both enjoyed helping again this year.]

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 info@humbike.org or call Rick Knapp at 445-1097. 

Melanie Williams has nominated Beth Abels to be Bike Commuter of the Month.   She will be interviewed for the September 2011 Wheel People.

HBBCA Board of Directors

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

445-1097(h) email: info@humbike.org

Vice-President------------- vacant

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.