Congratulations to the 2017 Red Davis Award Winners!

The 7th Annual Red Davis Celebration took place Friday, November 2nd at the King David Masonic Lodge in San Luis Obispo and it was a blast! Bike SLO County presented 6 deserving winners with our 2017 Red Davis Awards for:

Volunteer of the Year:  Aldi Geramaldi Red Davis 2017 Volunteer of the Year Aldi Geramaldi

Donor of the Year:  San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club

Business of the Year:  Foothill Cyclery

Community Program of the Year:  SLO County Sheriff’s Christmas Bike Program

Advocate of the Year:  Helene Finger

Board Member of the Year:  Tyler Wertenbruch

All award winners were also presented with a certificate of recognition from the office of California State Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham.

During the ceremonies Dave Abrecht, Board President of the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club (Donor of the Year winners) presented Bike SLO County with a check for $20,000. Thank you SLOBC for your ongoing support!

Attendees dined on delicious food prepared by Mee Heng Low and enjoyed beverages donated by the fine folks at Central Coast Brewing, Peloton Cellars, Rabbit Ridge Winery, Diringer Estates and Whalebird Kombucha.

Photos of all award winners and the photo booth pictures are up on Flickr. You can see them here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/slobikelane/  

Thanks to everyone who showed up. It’s great to see so many faces, old and new, gather together to celebrate bikes and the people who make Bike SLO County possible.

Next year will be the 8th Annual Red Davis Celebration! See you there!

About Red Davis: In 2001 Red was a founding member of Bike SLO County (back when we were the SLO County Bicycle Coalition). For countless years Red has worked hard throughout SLO County as an advocate for better bikeways, including a ten year stint with the county’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. The County Board of Supervisors honored Red by designating the bike lanes on Los Osos Valley Road between Foothill Boulevard and South Bay Boulevard as “The Red Davis Bikeway”. Red’s hard work and dedication were the inspiration for the Red Davis Celebration, created to honor members of the bike community who make SLO County a better place for bikes. Red currently serves as a member of the Morro Bay City Council.

Another cyclist has died: It’s time to act

The following op-ed from our Executive Director Mike Bennet appeared in the San Luis Obispo Tribune on September 2, 2017:

Upon arriving to work on the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 30, I received a message from a friend alerting me that a cyclist had been killed the night before on Foothill Boulevard in San Luis Obispo.

A search online confirmed the tragic news. Later in the day, updates to the sad story informed the community that Kennedy Love, a 22-year-old Cal Poly student, had been struck and killed by a car driven by a 17-year-old Los Osos resident who fled the scene of the crash. The driver later admitted to police that she had been drinking prior to hitting and killing Kennedy.

At almost the same time that Kennedy was struck and killed, two Central Valley residents were killed in a single vehicle crash on Cuesta Grade. The two passengers were ejected from the car when the driver lost control and the car went up the embankment. They were then struck by several cars and killed. The driver of the vehicle was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

On Wednesday afternoon, I stopped by the location on Foothill Boulevard where Kennedy was killed. I placed some flowers nearby and thought about the reasons behind the needless deaths of three young Americans. Looking at the place in the road where Kennedy breathed his last breath, I spent some time thinking about what would have broken the chain of events that led to his death. My first thought was that protected bike lanes—which place a physical barrier between cyclists and motorists—on Foothill might have prevented his death. Protected bike lanes on this stretch of road have been discussed, and this event highlights that now is the time to make them a reality. In conjunction with other Safe Routes to School projects, protected bike lanes on Foothill and elsewhere will help make cyclists and pedestrians of all ages safer.

In the Marine Corps, and particularly in Marine Corps Aviation where I spent most of my military career, each member of the organization is charged with recognizing when they need to act to break the chain of events which can lead to a mishap. So how can we each work to break the chain of events that can lead to tragedy in our daily lives?

We start by obeying the rules of the road. The vehicle code is there to protect us and to make our roadways function as efficiently as possible.

If you are a pedestrian, please employ all the senses you were given by the good Lord in order to help you survive; watch where you are going, don’t look at your phone while crossing the street or train tracks and don’t use ear buds when, for your own personal safety, you need to be aware of your surroundings.

If you are a driver, be focused solely on the task of operating your car or truck; please give cyclists the three feet of clearance the law requires and give that motorcyclist in your rear view mirror a little room to pass.

If you are a cyclist, please obey traffic signals and signs, and if you are riding on a road without a bike lane, don’t ride two abreast. It does nothing to improve the relationship between drivers and the community of cyclists to which you belong.

Consideration for all road users is a must to ensure safety. If you are a cyclist, respect the driver pulling a load of hay, grapes or horses; he or she is likely just trying to get home after a 14-hour day to see the kids for a few minutes before trying to get a couple hours of sleep.

If you are a driver, please keep an eye out for motorcyclists and pedestrians, and please keep in mind that the cyclist riding down the road with you may be the ER doctor who eased your child’s pain last week; the manager of the winery across the valley where you had such a great time last weekend; a retired police captain who leads bike rides to help people stay active and healthy in retirement; or an old Marine helicopter gunship pilot who moved to the Central Coast after a quarter century of serving his country in peace and in war, and just wants to get a little exercise with his wife and friends. He’ll be the one giving you a smile and a wave and hoping for the same in return.

Help Make SLO County Better for Bikes

Twice a year Bike SLO County raises funds from our supporters to make sure that we can do what needs to be done to make SLO County better for bikes.

Our current 2017 Annual Fundraising Campaign goal is to raise $30,000 and we are way behind. Please watch our video and then dig deep with a whatever can give. Your donations make all the difference between the present and the bike and pedestrian friendly future we’re working hard to achieve. Donation links are below the video. Thank you!

Donations of any amount a greatly appreciated as we strive to reach our goal to raise $30,000 by Friday, June 16th.

Click here to make a one time donation.

Prefer to make a recurring monthly donation? Click here to make a monthly donation.

Rather send a check? Bike SLO County, 860 Pacific St, Suite 105, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Already support Bike SLO County? Thank You!

Come to the High Street Block Party!

Kids! Adults! Inbetweens! Don’t miss the High Street Block Party, May 12, 13 & 14, part of the Better Block project.

Scroll down for details!

High Street Block Party

Advocacy Alert

SLO City Alert! ACT TODAY!

Tell SLO City Council

Keep bike projects moving forward

Tonight SLO City Council will be reviewing staff budget recommendations that put the brakes on bike projects which were deemed high priorities in the budget priority process two years ago. It is important to reach out to City Council before 11 a.m. TODAY, or to attend the second part of the SLO City Council meeting this evening starting at 8 p.m. to comment directly to City Council to make sure that these projects don’t stall.

Whether you are sending email or commenting in person, please always remember to be respectful and to thank the City Council for the previous work to connect and expand the city’s bicycle transportation network.

Talking points:

  • I am part of the 20 percent dedicated to helping the city meet its 20 percent trips-by-bike goal.
  • In the last budget cycle, the City Council funded feasibility studies for three projects: 1) Safe Routes to School for Pacheco and Bishop’s Peak Elementary Schools, 2) a bicycle/pedestrian crossing on Foothill Boulevard at Ferrini Road and 3) the Broad Street Bicycle Boulevard. Please follow through and allocate funding for improvements recommended in the studies. Finish what has been started to provide a more safe and convenient connection for people living on the north side of the city to downtown.
  • Please delay the Penny Lane bridge over the Union Pacific RR tracks project and allocate the funding to the Safe Routes to Schools, Foothill/Ferrini crossing and Broad Street Bicycle Boulevard projects. This project is a temporary fix and the funds are better spent on shovel ready projects.
  • Thank you for securing the grant for the Railroad Safety Trail segment from Taft Street to Pepper Street, including the bridge over the railroad tracks behind California Highway Patrol headquarters. Support staff’s recommendation for a feasibility study for the next segment from Pepper Street to the Amtrak station. Complete the Railroad Safety Trail to provide a complete network for people on bikes and pedestrians between Cal Poly and downtown and eventually Orcutt Road.
  • Support staff’s recommendation to place a higher priority on the Bob Jones Trail segment between Oceanaire and Calle Joaquin over the segment from LOVR to the Octagon Barn because of limited funds. But please insist that the next budget cycle must fund the segment from Los Osos Valley Road to the Octagon Barn in anticipation of the opening of the Octagon Barn for public use, pending approval of the Avila Ranch and San Luis Ranch developments and extension of the county’s segment of the trail from the Octagon Barn to the Ontario Road staging area.
  • Please fund a feasibility study of a Highway 101 at Marsh Street Crossing to determine the best fix to the gap in the bicycle transportation network between downtown San Luis Obispo and the Laguna Lake area. Without this vital connection in the City’s bicycle transportation network, more people will choose to travel between downtown and the Laguna Lake area by personal motor vehicle for safety reasons even though the distance is easily covered by bicycle or on foot. The existing crossing to the Madonna bike path is so perilous that experienced bicyclists avoid it, and Laguna Middle School students rarely consider it as a viable option for safe travel to school. The proposed San Luis Ranch development is only responsible for its fair share of transportation improvements, and fixing this gap is not included.
  • Support continuation of $100,000 annually for miscellaneous bike projects and $60,000 annually for maintenance of bike/pedestrian facilities.

If you cannot attend the hearing, please e-mail the Mayor and City Council at: emailcouncil@slocity.org, preferably before 11 a.m. today. Address your e-mails to Mayor Harmon and City Council Members Christianson, Gomez, Pease and Rivoire.

Or you can send e-mails to each member individually:

Mayor Heidi Harmon: hharmon@slocity.org
Carlyn Christianson: cchristianson@slocity.org
Aaron Gomez: agomez@slocity.org
Andy Pease: apease@slocity.org
Dan Rivoire: drivoire@slocity.org

Remember, public comments on SLO City staff’s recommendations on the 2017-19 budget cycle will not be accepted until approximately 8 p.m. or later. The 4 p.m. session is for the staff presentation only. If you really want to attend and comment in person, a good strategy is to watch the meeting live from home on Charter Cable Government Access Channel 20 or streamed online via the City Council website at: http://www.slocity.org/government/mayor-and-city-council/agendas-and-minutes. Time your appearance on when the discussion on a petition to repeal or replace the rental housing inspection program is coming to a close.

Thank You!

Meet Our New Executive Director

Attend a Meet and Greet This Week

We’re excited to introduce our new Executive Director, Mike Bennett who joined Bike SLO County in early January. Late last year our Board of Directors selected Mike to take over Executive Director responsibilities from Interim Executive Director and Board of Directors Treasurer Tyler Wertenbruch. 

Executive Director Mike BennettMike graduated from Cal Poly in 1989, having been an active member of the Cal Poly Wheelmen and Velo Club San Luis throughout the four years he spent in SLO. When not racing or studying, Mike worked at the now defunct Spirit Cycle Works. He recently returned to San Luis Obispo after spending 24 years serving as an Officer and Aviator in the Marine Corps and a couple of years wrenching in a bike shop.

“I am grateful that the Bike SLO County Board has given me the opportunity to lead the exceptional Bike SLO County team. Our staff, members, and volunteers have, for 15 years, been making significant contributions to the quality of life within San Luis Obispo County. I hope to help them continue to grow the organization and to make the local transportation environment safer and more enjoyable for cyclists and non-cyclists alike,” said Bennett.

There are a few upcoming opportunities to meet Mike in the Bike Kitchen. Mike will be in the Kitchen for a few hours this Thursday and Saturday wrenching on bikes. Stop in, say hi and get to know our new Executive Director. Save room for coffee, donuts and other refreshments. Bring your bike and Mike will clean your chain!

When:  Thursday January 26, Noon – 1:30 p.m.
What:   Executive Director Meet and Greet
Where: Bike Kitchen, 860 Pacific St, SLO, CA 93401 (map)

When:  Saturday January 28, Noon – 1:30 p.m.
What:   Executive Director Meet and Greet
Where: Bike Kitchen, 860 Pacific St, SLO, CA 93401 (map)

2016 Red Davis Award Winners

Last Friday we held the 6th Annual Red Davis Celebration, Bike SLO County’s yearly gala to honor meant to honor the example, the spirit, the dedication and the hard work of Red Davis and everyone else who strives to make SLO County an even better place for bikes.

Food and drinks were provided to the happy bike community crowd, and before the awards were presented Red Davis himself spoke about the history of the so many individuals who have helped make Bike SLO County over the years.

Every year it is difficult to choose the award winners – there are so many creative and energetic folks doing great work for bikes. Congratulations to all of our 2016 Red Davis Award Winners!

2016 Business of the Year:

SLO Sail and Canvas
slo-sail-red-davis-award-2016

2016 Board Member of the Year:

Chris McBride

2016 Red Davis Award

2016 Advocate of the Year:

Dave Abrecht

2016 Red Davis Award

2016 Public Professional of the Year:

Jeff Brubaker

jeff-red-davis-award-2016

 2016 Volunteer of the Year*:

Kylie Mendonca

kylie-red-davis-award-2016

2016 Volunteer of the Year*:

Audrey Surprenant

audrey-red-davis-award-2016

*This year we had not one but two Volunteers of the Year. Woo-hoo!

Bike Fest

Bike Fest! Bob Jones Trail Day! More!

Saturday April 30th: A big day for Bikes

San Luis Obispo County has a lot going on for bikes this Saturday. Bike Fest? Yup! Bob Jones Trail Clean Up Day? You bet! Bike Valet at Family Fitness Day? Yes indeed!

Bob Jones Trail Clean Up Day

JaimeHillThe Friends of the Bob Jones Trail, in conjunction with the city of San Luis Obispo, is holding a trail work day on Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to noon. Ready to volunteer? Our focus is the city’s stretch of trail from Prado Road to Los Osos Valley Road, including an area that needs to be weeded and replanted near the new bridge close to Los Osos Valley Road. The city will provide tools, water and snacks. Pulling weeds is hard physical work, so pace yourselves.

To participate, confirm with Lea Brooks, at lea2skip@aol.com that you want to participate, and she’ll will send you more details about the cleanup and parking.

Bike Fest

Get ready for an awesome day of bicycles in the Village of Arroyo Grande – the 8th annual Bike Fest takes place on Saturday, April 30th from 12:20 – 4 PM and this year is going to be better than ever.

Bike Fest is a fun-filled celebration of Bikes and the people who love them!  The festivities kick off with a Bike Parade around the Village starting at the Rotary Bandstand on Nelson Street at 12:20 PM. The Bike Parade concludes at Branch Street Deli where the fun continues at 1 PM with great food, fantastic music, incredible prizes (you can win a bike!) and discounted beverages from New Belgium Brewery.

Bike Fest is sponsored by the Bike SLO County, Rideshare, Lezyne, Branch Street Deli, Ira’s Bike Shop and New Belgium Brewing Company.

All ages are welcome, so grab your bicycle, join the Parade then enjoy the festivities at Branch Street Deli (map) – It’s going to be a blast!

Family Fitness Day

The SLO Marathon + Half’s Family Fitness Day will have FREE activities for children of all ages and abilities, on Saturday, April 30 and our free Bike Valet will be there parking bicycles. The fun goes from 9:00am to 2:00pm at the iconic Madonna Inn property. Each family can participate in a variety of games and activities at no charge and will receive a Race SLO Champion sticker, play with all the local team mascots and get lessons in fun and sportsmanship from a variety of local sport teams and clubs. Food and vendors will be at the festival as well as all weekend long.

FREE activities for children and adults include:

    1. Soccer Ball Kick with Cal Poly and Musty Mustang
    2. Basketball Toss with Cal Poly
    3. Baseball Pitch with SLO Blues Baseball and Bluebelle the Bull
    4. Sack Race with Downtown Brown
    5. Cornhole, Ladder Golf, Croquet and Giant Connect Four with SLO Coast Shenanigans
    6. Golf Putt with Sunset Honda
    7. Rope-a-Steer with Cal Poly Rodeo

In addition, on Family Fitness Day, there are three running events:

    1. Kids One Mile (8:00am start)
    2. 5K Run / Walk / Strollers (8:15am start)
    3. Kids Quarter Mile Dash (9:30am start)

For more event information or to register for races before they sell out, go to: www.slomarathon.com/family-fitness-day

Plus, enjoy the food, beer and wine (adults 21 & older only!) garden all day!

Sunday too?

Our free Bike Valet will be back at Madonna Inn on Sunday, parking bicycles for the SLO Marathon + Half. We’ll be there from 7 AM – 2 PM: Bike down and watch the big finish!