May 2015

 WHEEL PEOPLE            Vol. 34  No.  3             May 2015

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 2015.
New Members
Mary Onstad, Eureka
Kimberly Ryan, Arcata**
Renewed Members
Rick Gustafson, Eureka**
Debra Pecaut, Eureka**
Philip & June Lescano, Eureka**
Emily Sinkhorn, Eureka***
Patricia-Anne and George WinterSun, Eureka***
Steve Sipma & Noreen O’Brien, Fairhaven**
Tim Daniels, Redwood Coast Mountain Bike Association***
Wally Coppini, Loleta**
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.
The Next Regular Meeting will be Held on May 11th in Eureka
The next regular HBBCA meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., Monday, May 11th, at Chapala’s Café, 2nd and C Street in Eureka. Dinner is optional. Natalie Arroyo, Eureka City Council member, has accepted our invitation to attend the meeting. She expressed interest in hearing what our members and guests have to say.
Agenda items may be suggested by emailing   
May is Bike Month Humboldt 2015
Attached to the mailed copies of this newsletter is a calendar showing all events planned for Bike Month Humboldt 2015. The Calendar of Events is also available at  We hope you will attend all you can to support the efforts of the Bike Month Humboldt Coalition.
Signature events are the Bike to Work Days in Eureka and Arcata, which include the following:
Arcata, Thursday, May 14th
7-9 a.m.:  Energizer Station at
North Coast Co-op in Arcata
Noon: Bike Rally at the Plaza
Eureka, Thursday, May 21st
7-9 a.m.: Energizer Station at
North Coast Co-op in Eureka
Noon: Bike Rally at the Old Town Gazebo
Lots of free prizes will be given via raffle at the noon rallies., including prizes for the longest bike commute, best commuter bike, most functional helmet, and recognition to best represented organizations. 
This year, Oona Smith of the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG) has signed up many “Bicycle-Friendly Businesses” in Arcata and Eureka.   Check out store windows for participating businesses that will give discounts to customers who bike in.  Bike-Friendly Businesses also donated lots of raffle prizes for the noontime rallies.
The annual “Humboldt Bike Shorts” (i.e., short films) will be held Friday, May 8th at Siren’s Song Tavern in Old Town Eureka, 325 2nd Street, 7 – 9 p.m.  Enjoy a diversity of short films covering bicycle culture, commuting, cargo biking families, and more.  All ages are welcome.   Free admission.
This year we are also showing a feature film Saturday, May 9th at the Eureka Theater.  The film will be “Breaking Away,” a classic bicycle racing film from 1979.  In addition to being an enjoyable human interest film, it contains great footage of racing of a college team versus the non-college “cutters.”  It is rated PG.  Doors open at 7 p.m. with the film at 7:30.   The film is free to everyone.
On Friday, May 22nd, there will be a Scavenger Hunt Bike Ride in Eureka.   Meet at the Old Town Gazebo at 5:30 p.m.  Explore Old Town and the waterfront on this “alley cat” ride.  Bring your family along with your bikes and helmets, and dress up in your 1980s aerobic gear (or not).
All events planned by the Bike Month Humboldt Coalition are free and kid-friendly.
Eureka’s Revised Bicycle Ordinance to go to City Council
Thankfully, the proposed controversial bicycle ordinance that was in conflict with the California Vehicle Code (CVC) and that would have banned bicycle riding on all sidewalks in the City has been revised to mostly mitigate the concerns.   Police Chief Mills reached out to our President, Rick Knapp, in an effort to get a proposed ordinance that might be supported by the bicycle community.  The resulting ordinance is now in compliance with the CVC.   The sidewalk ban will only apply to commercial areas, and excludes the section of Broadway between Wabash and 4th Street where there is no place to ride without full occupation of the traffic lane.   The Transportation Safety Commission unanimously supported the revised ordinance at its April 14th meeting.    It will be heard at an upcoming City Council meeting, but as of this printing, a date has not been set. 
Route 101 Mad River Bridges Dedicated to the Late Bicyclist John Mello
On April 11th, the new Route 101 Mad River Bridges were dedicated to “Bicyclist John Mellow.”  As you may recall, John lost his life while doing something he loved, bicycling on Route 101 near Big Lagoon on February 24, 2013.  His life was taken by a distracted driver.   This was a tragedy.   But, at least something positive has resulted, thanks to widespread community support, efforts of John’s family, and actions of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, and legislators Wesley Chesbro and Noreen Evans.   Tim Wykle, local attorney spearheaded the effort.
As far as we know, this the first highway or bridge dedicated to a fallen bicyclist.  Members of the family, representatives of the CHP, and members of the HBBCA were on hand at the event and speakers emphasized hopes that motorists will think about the fact that bicyclists are using all north coast highways and should be given the same right to the road as motorists as is granted by the California Vehicle Code.
Arcata Bicycle Boulevard Completed
The Arcata Bicycle Boulevard, primarily on 10th and on I Streets has been completed.   Repairs have been made to the streets, signing and roadway markings have been made and several new bike racks have been placed.  Changes to intersection “stops” have been made in attempt to make it more desirable for bike use while other changes were made to discourage motorists from using the Boulevard. 
After the Thursday, May 14th Bike to Work Day noon bike rally, Doby Class, Director of Public Works, will lead those who wish to ride the Bicycle Boulevard.
The City has recently completed a 5-minute video which explains the work that has been done and tells motorists and bicyclists how to use the “Boulevard.”  To see the video, go to YouTube and enter: Arcata Bicycle Boulevard Overview.
Eucalyptus Trees in the Route 101 Eureka-Arcata Corridor to be Trimmed by Caltrans
Beginning Thursday, June 11th (originally scheduled to start May 11th), Caltrans will begin trimming the eucalyptus trees in the Eureka-Arcata Corridor.   For those who bicycle the corridor, you are well aware of the mass of limbs and seed pods that litter the shoulder after every strong wind.   Caltrans sweeps the shoulders frequently, but the trees have gotten higher and wider and drop much more litter than they did a few years ago..  Bike commuters may wish to consider using Old Arcata Road for their southbound commute while the trimming is occurring.  Coordination is occurring with Caltrans in an effort to assure the safety of cyclists using the corridor.  According to Caltrans the work will be done Mon-Thurs, 9 a.m-4:30 p.m..
Eureka to Start Street Sweeping Every Two Weeks
For many months, the HBBCA has been urging the City to  sweep bike lanes more than once per month.   They have now decided, that effective May 2015, all City streets will be swept every two weeks.
Ground Breaking on April 15th for Arcata Bike Paths
On April 15th, the full Arcata City Council broke ground on two Class I Bikeways (bike paths).  The Foster Avenue extension project will extend Foster Avenue to Sunset Avenue near the skate park. It will include a Class I bikeway separated from the roadway. The Arcata Rail with Trails project will construct a Class I bikeway from Shay Park (where the bike path leaves Foster Ave) along existing railroad tracks, across Alliance Road, and down L Street to 5th Street. Both projects have been in the works for some time and will benefit bicyclists and pedestrians. This bike path will eventually connect to the Humboldt Bay Trail.
In the March Wheel People, Rick Knapp stated his position regarding a proposed Senate Bill which would require adults wear helmets when riding a bicycle (since pulled).   While he thought it was a good idea, he invited others to respond.   The following responses were received:
Hello Rick,
I'm still on wheels and continue to enjoy issues of Wheel People.   Especially appreciate your column Re: the proposed law to require adult cyclists to wear helmets.  Seems like a no-brainer to me.   (Maybe a pun) I was surprised to read of the CA Bicycle Coalition’s (CBC)  opposition.

Meanwhile the Arcata Bicycle Boulevard continues to unfold. “I” Street  south is my customary daily drop down the hill to the marsh and I was  surprised this morning by the STOP signs at 11th and the traffic circle.  I'll be interested in public comment during this phase of the project.   Remember the bulb-out, planter placement, etc., during earlier “bicycle-friendly” changes?

I keep in touch thanks to Wheel People.  I would like a “Give Me Three Feet” sticker and hope to be at the next meeting.

Thanks, too, for summarizing the reasons for and the meeting with Chief Mills (Re: Proposed Sidewalk Ordinance in Eureka).  Informative for me and I'm sure for others!

Betty Jain, Arcata
I don't feel threatened in my community of Arcata, by automobile traffic on my daily commute.  I noticed when I changed to an upright bicycle style a year ago; automobiles were actually giving me more buffer space between us.  A helmet does not equate to automatic safety.
I have no helmet on, I wear normal everyday clothes, and I'm in a tall/proud upright position (which allows me to be very visible to the motoring public). Auto drivers behave differently, depending on your bicycle style. It seems as though drivers see my upright bicycle style, observe my confidence in riding, and identify me as a real person in everyday clothes.  With drivers this seems to equate into more respect for my human mobility space.
My daily commute is not associated with fear. Fear is what sells helmets.  My daily commute brings a smile on my face, in the morning, and on the way home in the evening.  My ability to follow the road laws keep me safe, and a friendly commute route.
The collision rates of auto vs. pedestrians are the highest stats.  So why don't we advocate for pedestrians to wear helmets?  The reason is, it is just socially acceptable to do so, and the fatality rates are just ignored by the "bull".  Bicycle helmets are perceived differently, even though collision rates are much less. 
Wearing a helmet could be helpful if you are training for races, commuting within less friendly non-motorized infrastructure, etc.
For me it is about three factors - Improving infrastructure for non-motorized users. 2. Marketing - we need to market bicycles differently in the US.  A bicycle is fun, cool, convenient, etc. If more people ride, the environment naturally becomes safer. 3. Tame the automobile - Install traffic calming measures.
Chris Butner, Arcata,
Who to Call When You See a Safety Concern (Rev. 4/2015))   
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
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 ---Allison Isaacson,
Director of Planning----- vacant
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