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.

Hard Core Cider Tour returns to SLO

Drink Cider – Benefit Bikes

The Hard Core Cider Tour, which brings together some of the world’s top craft hard cider makers, is returning to San Luis Obispo’s El Chorro Regional Park on Saturday October 21st. Tickets are available through Bike SLO County and we benefit from this annual event.

If you attended last year you know what to expect: UNLIMITED 2 oz. samples amazing cider, mouth watering food from the Cubanissimo and Hurricane Kitchen food trucks (food sold separately), Live Music from the Redemption Brass Band, and super fun Jumbo Lawn Games!

The Hard Core Cider Tour’s mission is to celebrate the revival of craft hard cider making. As one of America’s long lost alcoholic beverages, the Tour strives to reintroduce the joy of imbibing hard cider to all!

*NEW THIS YEAR*: Purchase your favorite bottles to take home at the Cider Store Tent!

TICKETS: To enjoy world class cider and benefit Bike SLO County, purchase your tickets online at this URL (tickets purchased directly from the Tour don’t benefit Bike SLO County so please use and share this URL): https://nightout.com/events/hard-core-cider-tour-san-luis-obispo/tickets?a=bike-slo-county

You’ll also be able to purchase paper tickets at the Bike Kitchen starting on Saturday September 2nd.

Tickets are $40 online or at the Bike Kitchen ($50 at the door). There are also group rate tickets for groups of four or more for $30 a ticket. Designated Driver tickets will be available for $10 at the door.

TICKET ADMISSION INCLUDES:
* UNLIMITED 2 oz. Tastings
* Signature Keepsake Mason Jar
* Unlimited Selfies & Goodtimes … #hardcorecidertour

Parking: Riding your bike? Our free Free Bike Valet will be there to watch your bicycle during the event. Limited Automobile Parking will be available on-site. There will be a $5 Cash Only Parking Fee.

This is a 21 and Over ONLY event.

Ciders to enjoy at the event:

CIDERS: Common Cider CompanyTin City Cider Co.Red Branch Cider CompanyJean Marie CideryBristols Cider HouseAce Premium Craft CiderCider Brothers101 Cider HouseSouth City CiderworksHumboldt Cider CompanyTwo Broads CiderworksReef Points Hard CiderCiderBrothersWilliam’s OrchardsKrazy Farm Cider Co.Meraki Cider

WHEN: October 21st 1 – 4 PM

WHERE: El Chorro Regional Park

Bike-Build-A-Thon

We’re excited to announce the upcoming Bike-Build-A-Thon on Wednesday August 23rd at Foothill Cyclery in SLO. Wondering what a Bike-Build-A-Thon is? Read on!

What’s the Bike-Build-A-Thon?

During the Bike-Build-A-Thon bicycle mechanics from Foothill Cyclery and Bike SLO County’s Bike Kitchen will assemble 30 kids’ bikes that will be Bike SLO County’s Fleet of Bikes to teach elementary school kids all over SLO County how to ride safe and smart. At 2 PM there will be remarks from representatives of Bike SLO County, Trek & Foothill Cyclery followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony to “christen” the new fleet.

Why have a fleet of bikes?

Bike SLO County is working with SLO Regional Rideshare’s Safe Routes to School program to provide inclusive classroom and on-bike safety and skills education to elementary school children throughout SLO County over a three-year pilot program. In our experience there are children who can’t afford bikes and therefore can’t participate in on-bike education opportunities. The bike fleet allows every child the chance to experience the joys of riding at an early age.

Where do the bikes come from?

To fill the need for a fleet of bicycles, Bike SLO County reached out to Trek Bicycle and local Trek dealer Foothill Cyclery, who agreed to help make the bike fleet a reality by providing 30 kids’ bikes at a steep discount. To raise the balance of the cost, Bike SLO County started a GoFundMe campaign on August 15th to cover the remainder of the cost of the bike fleet and has already raised $1,055 of their $4,650 goal. People wishing to contribute can learn more at https://www.gofundme.com/SLO-County-Bike-Fleet

What: Bike-Build-A-Thon

Where: Foothill Cyclery: 767 Foothill Blvd B, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

When: Wednesday August 23, 2017. Noon-2 Pm with ribbon-cutting ceremony shortly after 2 PM

Questions? steve@bikeslocounty.org

Women’s Night Moves to Wednesday

Women’s Night at Bike Kitchen Makes a Move

Our weekly Women’s Night @ Bike Kitchen has moved! Previous occurring on Thursday evenings from 6 – 8:30 PM, Women’s Night now takes place on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th Wednesday of every month from 5 – 8:30 PM.

What about the 1st Wednesday? The first Wednesday of every month is now WTF (Women, Trans, Femme) Night @ Bike Kitchen, with the same hours as Women’s Night, 5 – 8:30 PM.

Why Women’s Night and WTF Night?

Bicycle maintenance has traditionally been an overwhelmingly male-dominated area. It is our goal to help teach individuals who have been intimidated or marginalized in this setting to be knowledgeable and confident working on their bikes.

On a daily basis, Bike SLO County strives to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all, while also recognizing the benefits of offering women, trans & femme-specific evening hours as a stepping stone to achieving greater confidence working in our space at any time.

Women’s Night and WTF Night are for:

Women: A person who identifies as a woman.

Trans: Transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, gender creative, anyone whose gender identity is fluid, transgressive, and/or transitioning.

Femme: A gender identity in which a person of any gender embodies a feminine appearance, expression, or identity.

If you are not WTF identified, please BECOME AN ALLY:

  • Respect the space: Come during our regular hours, don’t ask for an exception, and don’t hang around the entrance during Women’s Night or WTF hours.
  • Respect People: During Bike Kitchen’s regular hours, treat all female & trans mechanics and patrons as you would any other person (don’t assume they’re less knowledgeable, don’t call them “sweetie,” and NEVER take a wrench out of their hand!)
  • Get Educated: Learn about the issues facing women and trans communities.
  • Educate others: About why and how to be an ally!

(Big thanks to DIY bike cooperative, BICAS in Tuscon, AR and Sacramento Bike Kitchen in Sacramento, CA from whom much of our Women’s Night/WTF Night language was cribbed.)

 

Advocacy Alert

San Luis Obispo Advocacy Alert

Stand up for the Broad St. Bike Boulevard and Safe Routes to School

The San Luis Obispo City Council will be meeting on Tuesday, August 15 to discuss three proposed concept plans for making the Broad/Chorro/Lincoln Street corridor safer for bicyclists. This project ties into the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) connections that will make our children safer. Your help is needed to help make sure that the streets of our community are safe for people who ride bikes, people who walk and people who drive cars – everyone.

How can you support Safe Routes to School and the Broad St. Bike Boulevard project?

1. Write a letter of support (see template below for a sample – please add your own personalization).
2. Attend the city council meeting (Tuesday, August 15. Items 15 and 17 on the agenda) — your simple attendance at the meeting and indication of your support will send a needed message to the City Council.
There are some residents of the neighborhood that want no change. The City Council is listening – let’s make sure we voice our support for safe riding for cyclists of all ages.
Sample  Letter Template (you can email it to the Mayor and City Council Members by clicking this email address:  emailcouncil@slocity.org )
Dear Mayor Harmon and City Council Members

On August 15, you will be asked to consider plans for a Broad Street Bike Blvd and other Safe Routes to Schools Plan improvements proposed for the Bishops Peak/Pacheco Elementary School area of town.  These plans are important to the long term residents and homeowners of the immediate area surrounding the two schools, Broad and Chorro Streets, as well as to people throughout SLO seeking to access the Foothill area from downtown and beyond. The Broad Street area and the SRTS Plan (which includes safe crossing options for Foothill Blvd. at Ferrini) should accommodate cyclists and pedestrians safely.

Through your leadership, this area can become safer for residents, cyclists, and pedestrians and help meet many City goals, including Vision Zero and those in the Climate Action Plan.  The planning has continued long enough and staff have done a great job of creating a thoughtful and participatory process. Now is the time to act on their work. If the City is serious about increasing multi-modal transportation and reducing car trips by 20%, we must connect downtown and the Foothill area with more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly routes.

Thank you

(Your Name)
(City of Residence)

SLO City Council Meeting
Tuesday August 15th Meeting begins at 6 PM
City Council Chamber, City Hall, 990 Palm Street, SLO (map)

Bike Kitchen Hours Expand

Keep the Bike Kitchen Cooking

This week we’re highlighting 5 different Bike SLO County programs and efforts that need your support. Our 2017 Annual Fundraising Campaign is scheduled to conclude at midnight tonight, Friday June 16th and we still have a long way to go to reach our fundraising goal of $30,000.

Women's Program

Day 5: The Bike Kitchen

Support the Bike Kitchen

Earlier this week we featured Women’s Night @ Bike Kitchen and RideWell, two great programs made possible in part by the Bike Kitchen. 

The Bike Kitchen opened seven years ago in 2010. Since then more than 6000 people have visited the Kitchen and learned how to fix their bike. From day one, Bike SLO County committed to creating the Bike Kitchen as a safe space for everyone, where there are no stupid questions and all are welcome. As we always say “Come fix your bike! Don’t know how? We’ll teach you!”

Every day that the Bike Kitchen is open, people are empowered to learn and empowered to use what they learn with the tools we share. Currently we’re open Thursday through Sunday, and we’re exploring the possibility of expanding our hours to provide more access to even more SLO County residents. 

Finally, the Bike Kitchen accepts donations of used bikes which are refurbished for the RideWell program or sold to the public to help cover operating costs and partially fund other Bike SLO County programs.

Please support the Bike Kitchen – your one time donation of $100 or more will help the Kitchen thrive and grow. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated as we strive to reach our goal to raise $30,000 by midnight tonight, 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.

Already support Bike SLO County? Thank You!

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!

Support Bike SLO County’s Women’s Program

This week we’re highlighting 5 different Bike SLO County programs and efforts that need your support. Our 2017 Annual Fundraising Campaign concludes on Friday June 16th and we still have a long way to go to reach our fundraising goal of $30,000.

Women's Program

Day 4: Women’s Program

In 2016 Bike SLO County received a request to host a weekly Women’s Night in our Bike Kitchen. Although we didn’t have the capacity to staff Women’s Night, we worked with a team of dedicated volunteers who cared enough to donate their time and energy to take Women’s Night @ Bike Kitchen from a great idea to an even better reality.

Fast forward to 2017. In response to a continuing need, Bike SLO County created a part-time staff position to coordinate and run Women’s Night, hiring Women’s Night superstar volunteer Audrey Surprenant. In April Audrey and a team of 3 Women’s Night volunteer mechanics wrenched at two different stops on this year’s Eroica California, the first women to ever provide mechanical assistance at any Eroica ride.

The successes of Women’s Night led to the creation of our new Women’s Program. In July Audrey will take over running the Bike Kitchen from departing Operations Director Tyler Jamieson (farewell Tyler!) and move ahead with our Women’s Program, working to build a strong, safe caring community for women who bike.

Please support our Women’s Program – your one time donation of $100 or more will significantly help the Women’s Program grow and reach more SLO County women. 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.

Already support Bike SLO County? Thank You!