• March 04, 2013 12:06 PM | Christine Bourgeois (Administrator)

    Four years ago, Matthew Wagonhurst founded the annual Santa Barbara Sports Drive, a local sports equipment and clothing drive designed to help get kids off the street and into sports, increase membership in the Boys and Girls Clubs, and recycle sports equipment. Through the effort he started, thousands of gently used or new pieces of sports equipment and items of clothing have been donated directly to over 1500 kids in the community. Bicycles which are available in a raffle have always been a big hit and in big demand but unlike most donations, they need to be checked up by experts to make sure that they are in safe & working condition.

    This year, a collaboration between the Bike Monkeys from Santa Barbara Middle School, a group of students from SBici (bike club at SBHS) and volunteers from Bici Centro worked on the “bike part” of the popular and well attended SB Sports Drive. For the last 2 months, 10-15 youth hosted weekly repair at Bici Centro and SBHS to do an overall tune-up of the 35 donated bikes. A lot of work and not always an easy task! Finally on Friday afternoon, the trailer was loaded and driven over to the back parking lot of the Boys & Girls Club.

    On Saturday morning, four bilingual volunteers from the Spanish Language Outreach committee of the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition were on the blacktop fitting new helmets on the head of each “winner” and educating young riders and their parents about proper riding etiquette. Youth from SBHS & SBMS were also present to help out and witness the big smiles on everybody's faces. Thanks to the staff at the Boys & Girls Club who helped with the selection of families at Franklin Elementary School & other schools on the Eastside: all winners finally became the proud owner of a bicycle and for some of them, it was their first bike ever! What an exciting day for all of us!

    Article from the local news

    More photos

  • February 14, 2013 10:40 AM | Ed France (Administrator)
     SB BIKE has been feeling the love this month! At our Bici Love Shop Warming event we had over 200 people, three great bands, and in the run up to it 56 new members!  Members don't just pay dues, they are involved in our events, our advocacy, and our voice. We are already much more influential representing nearly double our membership just a few years ago, and when we reach 1,000 members, our voice will be that much stronger then the 450 or so active members we have today.

    We will be hosting numerous member only functions this year, such as member only movie nights at the new space, BBQ, parties, and not to mention new classes.

    Other membership benefits include:
    • 10% discounts in most all SB County bike shops
    • ability to volunteer for plush events like bike valet at the SB Bowl!
    • Custom Tailored advocacy alerts for issues in your neighborhood.
    • Belonging to a movement making positive change! 
  • February 14, 2013 10:25 AM | Ed France (Administrator)
     On Ash Wednesday, our Bicycle Coalition truck was nearly overloaded with bikes as we were overloaded with generosity from the Kids and Bikes program. The effort, spearheaded by Lou Ventura over five years ago has made a lasting impression on thousands of Santa Barbara County youth. Like the Bicycle Coalition, Kids and Bikes believes in the power of the simple joy of riding a bicycle, and that all youth should have such an opportunity.

    With over 37 new bikes for our program, we'll be able to continue to grow our after school 'Pedal Power' safety and cycling adventure program to more schools. In addition to locks, lights, and helmets- not to mention the bike- kids gain a sense of responsible riding. Most importantly, as our friends Lou and Richard above would agree- the kids gain the joy of cycling- a gift that keeps on giving.

     Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride. --John FKennedy
  • February 14, 2013 10:16 AM | Ed France (Administrator)
    After seeing this article both in the Atlantic and on the Better Cities and Towns listserve, I realized this new research is important- and should be a part of our decision making. Courtesy of the Better Cities and Towns

    A study by University of Connecticut researchers compares three cities that have supressed parking with three that have provided plenty undefined with surprising consequences.

    Norman Garrick and Chris McCahill, Better! Cities & Towns

    Big roads and parking garages are so common in American cities that it's easy to forget these places once functioned exceptionally well without them. However, in their persistent battle to satisfy the demands of motorists, many urban areas are losing out.

    In the early 1960s – when highway construction was at its peak and cars were just beginning to leave their mark – a handful of critics predicted there would be irreconcilable tensions between vibrant cities and their motorized inhabitants. Nearly 50 years later, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania published research validating this idea.

  • February 06, 2013 2:48 PM | Ed France (Administrator)
  • February 06, 2013 12:17 PM | Ed France (Administrator)

    Tomorrow- Thursday we'll be hosting a post-bike moves Bici Centro ShopWarming party  at our new shop setting.  Members enter for free! New membersget a commemorative T-shirt! 

    Start off by joining  the height of First Thursday fun,  the ever popular Bike Moves ride, meeting at 7:30pm at Plaza Vera Cruz (across from the Saturday farmers market).  After a light ride, obeying traffic laws, along with 200 of your closest friends,  join our party at the new space!

    -Don’t worry about bike parking, there will be bike valet racks inside the massive gated parking lot.
    -Don’t worry about getting hungry, a food truck will be there.
    -Don’t worry about your thirst, they'll be pouring local Telegraph beer all night.
    -Don’t worry about getting cold, there will be a firepit, outdoor heaters, and plenty of space inside.
    -Don’t worry about being bored, Honeysuckle Possum, Patina String Band, Oso Street Outreach will all be playing on the main stage, plus a jam session with guitars, drums and bike percussion instruments inside. Also there will be a projector slide show, awesome lighting, video booth, and more!

    All admissions include one beer – $2 beers inside.

    1. Non-members - $10 admission.
    2. Existing SB Bike Coalition members – free admission.
    3. New members - $25 includes: admission, commemorative “Love your Bici” T-shirt, and all the other SB Bike coalition benefits including admission to future parties, discounts at local shops, and much more.

    Become a member here ( to avoid the line and enjoy first class treatment. The member list will be printed at 5pm the day of the party, T-shirt style can be sellected at the party.

    Must be 21 to enter. Cash and CC will be accepted.
    “Love your Bici” American Apparel ‘Tri Blend’ in mens and Next Level Girly ‘Tri-blend’ Deep V-Neck in women's. Some sample sizes will be available to try on at the party. S-XL available. T-shirts will be ready for pickup at 506 E Haley in approximately 2 weeks. If already a SB Bike Coalition member T-shirts will be sold for $15.
  • February 06, 2013 12:16 PM | Ed France (Administrator)

    You may have missed a fascinating conversation about statewide policy with Dave Snyder, Exec. Director of the California Bicycle Coalition. Also discussed were the Eastside Planning Process, and the projects up for funding this year from Measure A. Due to the Bicycle Coaltion's new membership in the Cal Bike charter, all SB BIKE members are also members of the California Bicycle Coalition. This is an important leverage point for state law.

    The 3-ft passing law Saga
    Going Back to 2006 our own State Assemblyman Pedro Nava introduced a 3-ft passing law in honor of Kendra Payne, a UCSB tri-athelete who was struck and killed on Gibraltar road. This type of law exists in other states, but has strong opposition from the automobile lobby and truck driver unions. The bill originally never made it out of committee. Since then, after much lobbying and multiple attempts, the 3-ft passing law has passed both the Ca House and Senate, TWICE! Sadly, the bill has been vetoed twice by Governor Brown.  The California Bicycle Coalition is regrouping on this issue, and is looking for input from local organizations. What do you think? Comment or email

    Also discussed were potential bicycle lane and road diet exemptions to CEQA- The California Environmental Quality Act-which is not without its share of controversy- despite that CEQA is outdated in terms of environmental impacts of congestion.  Many members were upset by the role of the AAA- and specifically the Southern California Automobile Association had in opposing bicycle legislation like the 3 ft law. The group moved on to discussing the Eastside's neighborhood traffic planning process, and the fact that THERE ARE NO VIABLE BIKE ROUTES THROUGH THE EASTSIDE - a fact not lost upon residents with uncomfortable bike commutes. Lastly, Measure A funding was discussed, and there was concern voiced for the fact that cities are using these 'competitive' funds to replace internal funding, and not to 'go above and beyond' as was sold to voters. Aside from the significant  bicycle work being planned around the City of Carpinteria, many cities are using Measure A funds to finance small projects, few that hope to connect to become new bike routes. YOUR voice in bicycle advocacy is needed to help promote more ambitious projects for the next round of $2,000,000 in funding. 
  • January 17, 2013 4:38 PM | Ed France (Administrator)
    Been to the new 506 E Haley Bici Centro and Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition HQ yet? Bici Centro has been open for one week, operating from the 'soft opening' (Don't worry, our Grand Opening is still to come). We've been able to nearly complete the site in the same way we refurbish bikes: with DIY elbow grease and eye for re-purposing what would otherwise fall into the waste-stream. 

    One example? Our old couches did not cut muster as they were grease stained and past their life expectancy?

    Solution? Since the hardwood and American-made 'bones' of the couch were in good condition, we re-finished the wood and (with fabric from Art from Scrap) re-upholstered the cushions. Special thanks to Francesca Cerami for helping give two twenty year old couches a new lease on life!
  • January 17, 2013 4:22 PM | Ed France (Administrator)
    Today we prepared five bikes that were headed out to Isla Vista Elementary School. By working with our sister organization, Safe Routes to School (A project of COAST) we have taken advantage of our bicycle refurbishing to provide loaner bikes. 

    Imagine being a fourth grader who wasn't able to ride in the bike rodeo because your family hadn't bought you a bicycle. Thanks to in-kind donations from community members and our new shop facility, we can help share the joy of the bicycle with more and more youth.

    With our Pedal Power program in five different junior high schools, more and more Santa Barbara county youth (over 200 so far!) can earn a bike, a lock, lights and a helmet through us. Perhaps more importantly, We are making progress toward our goal of Universal access to bicycle education.
  • January 14, 2013 12:58 PM | Christine Bourgeois (Administrator)

    Pedal Power group from Goleta Valley Junior High

    (photo by Michael Guttierez)

    How successful after-school youth bike programs have positive impact on the community in Santa Barbara county?

    The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition (SBBC), a countywide advocacy and resource organization that promotes bicycling for safe transportation and recreation, has been offering bike classes to the community for the last 10 years. Thanks to a small group of dedicated cyclists who went through the training from the League of American Bicyclists to become certified League Cycling Instructors (LCIs)! Many adult riders with different levels of riding experience have been enjoying quality bike education taught by our local experts.
    In 2007, Bici Centro (a Do-It-Yourself “bike kitchen” and a project of SBBC) opened its doors to the community: it became an immediate success. In the last 5 years, volunteer mechanics refurbished 900 bicycles rescued from the dump and dusty garages, they helped 6,700 people with bike repair and they built a strong bike education center in our town. The impressive numbers reflect the high demand of a welcoming place for riders with a limited budget to learn about maintenance for their primary mode of transportation and/or to buy an affordable refurbished bicycle.

    60% of the bicyclists visiting to Bici Centro are Spanish speakers

    (photo by Christine Bourgeois)

    However, bike programs for youth have been almost non-existent at Bici Centro mainly because of the location of the shop, the lack of public transportation and limited open hours. In 2009, a partnership with the City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation gave the opportunity for the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition to propose an after-school biking program at a local Junior High School. After a meeting with the principal, a pilot Youth Earn-A-Bike program for girls where they would learn basic bike mechanics, practice bike handling skills and signage, review the rules of the road and go on rides in the neighborhood was approved. The school district required a teaching background check and a CPR certification for all instructors involved with the program.

    As an avid cyclist, an experienced French/ESL teacher and an LCI, the experimental 18 hour program over a period of 6 weeks sounded like a fun and rewarding project. Moreover, my friend Erika Lindemann, a long time LCI and a pioneer in bike education in Santa Barbara arranged her schedule to co-teach with me. We met a couple of times to review lessons from the League of American Bicyclists and to prepare ourselves but the real challenge was recruiting a group of 6 participants.
    On day 1, we discovered that 2 girls signed up because they didn’t know how to ride a bike. No problem: in less than an hour, our 2 novices were pedalling on their own, still wobbling but they were ready to practice more. The news about our two “heroes” spread like a wildfire across campus: the following week, two boys asked if they could join the program.
    Every week, we could see the growing sense of self-confidence, pride, and independence. Everybody really enjoyed taking care of simple maintenance tasks like putting air in tires, fixing flats, or adjusting the brakes on their bikes. By week 3, they could demonstrate their street skills: they were mastering signaling left -and right-hand turns and they understood the importance of moving into the correct traffic lane and scanning from the front, sides, and rear. Even more importantly, during the last week, they learned to work and ride together as a group. They were communicating with each other about road hazards, riding together in a line, waiting for slower riders, maintaining distance and speed. More experienced riders were helping learners master new skills. By week 6, our teenagers had become responsible owners and safe drivers of a bicycle: they all graduated with a refurbished bike, a helmet, a lock, some lights and a big smile on their face.
    One special session was when our friend Nancy Mulholland came to talk about her experience as a bike leader with Women Tours. She brought a map of the US marked with all the long distance trips that she rode during her 5 years on the job: our 12-14 year old girls couldn’t have been more engaged. They never thought that a lady could get paid while exploring the world on two wheels. Nancy’s presentation also motivated the group to give a name to the program: “Earn-A-Bike” became “Pedal Power”.

    Yes, the first Pedal Power program was a success! It passed the test but recruiting and marketing the program in an attractive way (while competing with all the other sports and activities on campus) will require creativity, persistence and hard work. I won’t narrate all the details about the evolution of Pedal Power from 2009 until today but the quick summary is: Pedal Power is in high demand!

    Two major shifts happened:
    1) All 12-16 year olds (with or without a bike) are welcome to sign up with the commitment to attend the entire session. Parents fill out paperwork and pay a low non-refundable registration fee before the first day of class.

    2) The community recognized that the bicycle is a tool for empowerment and a vehicle for change. Community involvement and new partnerships have been supporting the demanding youth bike programs and excellent results have been contributing to the huge success.

    Wrenching night at Bici Centro (photo by Christine Bourgeois)

    1. The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition has been building a strong group of volunteers to organize bike drives and wrenching nights before each Pedal Power session.
    2. Principals and teachers who were hesitant at first, are now promoting Pedal Power, making announcement on campus, sharing link on school website and if if they can, trying to fit a ride with the group in their busy schedule.  
    3. More students are riding to school and some of them are making their own “posse” group.
    4. A fabulous ride along the Pacific Ocean and up in the hills, the Santa Barbara Century, was created in 2010 and provides funding for Pedal Power. More than 800 riders from all over the US register each October for the popular event.
    5. The demand for LCIs in Santa Barbara County has been skyrocking: twenty-two instructors, more than half which are women have been trained during the past 3 years and eight participants are registered for an upcoming LCI training seminar in San Luis Obispo.
    6. Parents and cyclists from our thriving bike community have been showing interest in going on rides as chaperons and in giving support to our teenagers.
    7. Local organizations and businesses have been welcoming Pedal Power groups for private tours, demonstrations and snacks.
    8. Pedal Power program is expanding to Santa Maria, a city located 70 miles north of Santa Barbara. The first pilot program last year attracted 16 students: two local foundations are funding the program for this school year.
    Thank you all! Merci beaucoup! Muchas gracias! Dank u! Grazie!...
    Enjoy the video!

Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, PO Box 92047, Santa Barbara, CA 93190
Bici Centro, PO Box 91222, Santa Barbara, CA 93190
located at 506 E. Haley St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Phone: 805 617-3255
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software