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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.

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

Bike Month 2017: Week 3

Bike Month 2017 continues with a fun filled week, including Bike to Work Day, the Bike Month Blow Out, a special guest at Women’s Night @ Bike Kitchen, the AMGEN Tour of California and the Downtown SLO Bock Party.

Tuesday May 16th: AMGEN Tour of California, Downtown SLO Block Party

Our Bike Valet will be at the start of the AMGEN race in Pismo Beach and in San Luis Obispo for the Downtown SLO Block Party. We’ll be in Pismo Beach from 9 AM – 12:30 PM near the intersection of Cypress & Pomeroy, then we’ll run Bike Valet from 2 – 6 PM in front of Sanctuary Tobacco on Chorro St in SLO (map). Ride your bike to the Downtown SLO Block Party and leave it with us! More info on the block party: https://www.facebook.com/events/1208757802567645/

Thursday May 18th: Women’s Night @ Bike Kitchen presents: An Evening with Karen Aydelott

Join Coeur Sports Ambassador Karen Aydelott for a special evening in the Bike Kitchen. Karen, a San Luis Obispo resident, is an avid cyclist having completed 60 double centuries and the Paris-Brest-Paris event. In addition she is an experienced triathlete and has completed 31 Ironman distance races; 5 since her amputation on 2008.  More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1901656286790237/

Friday May 19th: Bike to Work Day, followed by the Bike Month Blow Out/Bikes & Beauty Fashion Show

Bike to Work Day starts early with Commuter Stations galore and ends with the Bike Month Blow Out/Bikes & Beauty Fashion Show at the Guild Hall in SLO. Visit any of the Commuter Stations around the county to get your raffle ticket, then bring your ticket to the Bike Month Blow Out for your chance to win a 7-speed Linus Commuter bike.  Tickets for other bike raffles and giveaways will be available for purchase at the Bike Month Blow Out.

Find Commuter Stations here: https://rideshare.org/events/bike-to-work-day/

More info on the Bike Month Blow Out/Bikes & Beauty Fashion Show here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1185750391548494/

Saturday May 20th: Street Skills 101 

Bike Month is a fantastic time to brush up on your street skills. Our fun, informative course gives you in-class and on-the-road experience to make sure you know how to bike safe and bike smart. Noon – 4 PM on Saturday May 20th in SLO. Reserve your place here: https://bikeslocounty.org/events/#!event/2017/5/20/street-skills-101

Get the full Bike Month calendar of events over at Rideshare: https://rideshare.org/bike-month-events/

Advocacy Alert

Advocacy Alert: Bob Jones Trail Extension

Stand up for the Bob Jones Trail

Write your Supervisors & show up!

On Tuesday, May 9th the Board of Supervisors will meet to decide whether to move the Bob Jones Trail Extension project forward, or not.  At least four Supervisors need to vote in favor for the project to move ahead. Bob Jones TrailWhile the San Luis Obispo County Parks & Rec Department has found most of the funds needed to move the Bob Jones Trail forward, it is up to the county Board of Supervisors to approve the use of the money. 

If the Supervisors approve the funding, it will put SLO County in a strong position for additional funds and we could see actual construction of the Bob Jones Trail extension in the next 18 to 24 months.

Please help to move this project forward by doing the following three things:

  • Email or call your Supervisor expressing your support for the additional funding needed to move the Bob Jones Trail project forward. 
  • Show up at 9 am for the May 9th hearing to express your support for this project. We will need a large turnout for the Board of Supervisors so that the minimum four votes are obtained. The Bob Jones Trail item is currently on the consent agenda. If it stays on the consent agenda, there will be no public commentary. This is a great opportunity for signs reading “Support the Bob Jones Trail” “I <3 the Bob Jones Trail” etc. If the item is taken off of the consent agenda for discussion, public comment is encouraged. As always, be polite and respectful. 
  • Forward this request to your friends and family, especially in Arroyo Grande, Nipomo and North County.

Key points to express are:

  • Support the remaining BJT funding necessary to issue the RFP, allowing the project to move forward and become shovel-ready. 
  • SLO County will be applying for a portion of the 200+ million dollars available through ATP grants in early 2018. Having the project shovel-ready will enhance our chances of receiving $10 million in state funds for construction of the BJT extension. 
  • We have already lost significant grant money for this project due to delays, and are at risking of losing an additional $250,000 grant if progress is not made soon. 
  • Funding for this RFP will not impact the County’s progress on the Nipomo Parks projects that are in the works.  

Below is the contact information for the Board of Supervisors.

District 1: John Peschong, jpeschong@co.slo.ca.us
District 2: Bruce Gibson, bgibson@co.slo.ca.us
District 3: Adam Hill, ahill@co.slo.ca.us
District 4: Lynn Compton, lcompton@co.slo.ca.us
District 5: Debbie Arnolddarnold@co.slo.ca.us

Bike Kitchen Hours Expand

New Bike Kitchen Hours

Bike Kitchen Hours Expand!

Thursdays at Bike Kitchen are getting busy busy BUSY! Earlier this year we added Women’s Night @ Bike Kitchen on Thursday evenings from 6 – 8:30 pm, and this week we’re thrilled to announce that the Bike Kitchen hours are expanding again.
Bike Kitchen Hours

Starting today we’ll be open for all on Thursdays from Noon – 5 pm. That means more time to fix your bike (or more time to learn how to fix your bike), more time to come in and see what gently used bikes we have in stock and yes, more time to volunteer with Bike SLO County. We’re always on the lookout for passionate volunteers – you don’t need to be a skilled mechanic to help. (Learn more about volunteering here.)

New Bike Kitchen Schedule:

Open to All:

Thursdays Noon – 5 pm
Fridays Noon – 5 pm
Saturdays Noon – 5 pm
Sundays Noon – 5 pm

Women’s Night @ Bike Kitchen:

Thursdays 6 – 8:30 pm

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE!

Bike Kitchen will be closed November 24 – 27 for the Thanksgiving weekend and closed Dec 25 – January 1 for the Holiday Break.

The Bike Kitchen is a program of Bike SLO County. We have all the parts, tools and knowledge you need to fix your bicycle! We can help you build a bike from the ground up, fix that junker you found at a garage sale, or simply teach you how to tune up your bicycle. We serve all types of people, and are committed to creating a safe space for everyone. We have provided guided instruction to over 8,000 people since opening our doors in 2010. Looking to buy a gently used, ready to ride bicycle? We sell all kinds of bicycles! Come in and see us! Have a bike you’d like to donate? Your generous gifts help the Bike Kitchen thrive and give even more people the chance to experience SLO County by bike. Thank you!

Like Bikes
? Join us! It’s free! Click here to join and we’ll keep you informed about all things bike in SLO County: JOIN

 

Volunteer Lighthouse Century

Volunteer at the 2016 Lighthouse Century

Calling all volunteers! The San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club’s Lighthouse Century takes place this year on Saturday, September 24th and Bike SLO County staff and volunteers will be at the Donati Family Vineyards Rest Stop in Templeton from 7 – 11:30 A.M. to help make sure riders get the snacks and beverages they need. Proceeds from the Lighthouse Century benefit Bike SLO County and other local cycling organizations as well as programs and the communities and groups that support the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club’s rides.

Volunteer Lighthouse Century

Photo by Roger Heathcote

Want to lend a hand? We’re looking for volunteers who can:

  • Assist with setup (serving and decorations) and cleanup
  • Lift 5-gallon water bottles, and pour the contents
  • Slice and dice some foods, merely set out others
  • Array foods for riders
  • Stir drink mix in 5-gallon coolers
  • Mingle with participants
  • Be creative!
  • Have fun!

Our awesome Volunteers each receive a free Lighthouse Century short sleeve T-Shirt, as well as the option to participate in the Pre-Ride and to attend the Volunteer Banquet. We had a blast in 2015 and we’re hoping that this year is even better.

When: Saturday September 24th, 7 – 11:30 AM
Where: Donati Winery Rest Stop, 2720 Oak View Rd.,Templeton, CA 93465 (map)
 
 
For the question “Please enter your preferred Job or your Organization (CCCMB, CPARC, Wheelmen, Bike SLO County) if you are volunteering as part of the organization team” simply enter Bike SLO County so they’ll know you are with us.
 
Want to car pool? We’ll have transportation from SLO to Templeton and back. Email steve@bikeslocounty.org to reserve a space.

Hard Core Cider Tour 2016

Like cider? We’re excited to announce that on October 22nd, The Hard Core Cider Tour is coming to El Chorro Regional Park and Bike SLO County will benefit from every ticket sold. If you like bikes and cider, this is a win – win! You’ll get to taste some of the best ciders around and contribute to the future of better paths and safer streets throughout SLO County.

The Hard Core Cider Tour’s mission is to celebrate the revival of craft hard cider making. The tour began in 2015 with stops in Santa Cruz and Pasadena and the 2016 tour adds a stop in San Luis Obispo. Hard Core Cider TourSLO County is currently experiencing a cider revival of its own. Local cider producers include Reef Points Hard Cider, Jean Marie Cidery, Bristols Cider, Tin City Cider Co and See Canyon Hard Cider Co.

In addition to the cider producers mentioned above, the tour will include cider from other parts of California, Washington state and from as far away as Herefordshire, England.

Food will be available from two tasty food trucks, Cubanissimo and The Pairing Knife. To make the Festival even better there will be live music, with performances by Bear Market Riot and Medicine Hat.

While car parking will be available for $5.00, our Bike Valet will be on hand to park your bicycle for free!

Tickets are $40 and include unlimited 2 ounce tastings (please imbibe responsibly) and a signature keepsake mason jar. All ticket sales to the Hard Core Cider Tour benefit Bike SLO County, but some ticket sales benefit us more than others. Here’s how it works:

  • Tickets that are sold in the Bike Kitchen give us the highest benefit (50% of ticket price).
  • Tickets sold online also benefit us (12.5% of ticket price), but not as much as the tickets we sell ourselves.

To purchase tickets at the Bike Kitchen: Come by Friday, Saturday or Sunday between the hours of Noon – 5 PM. We’re located at 860 Pacific St, San Luis Obispo, 93401 (map).

Want to purchase a ticket from us but those hours aren’t ideal? Call Steve at 547-2055 and we’ll do what we can to work with your schedule.

To purchase tickets online, go to http://www.hardcorecidertour.com/events/san-luis-obispo/

What: Hard Core Cider Tour

When: October 22, 2016 1 – 4 PM

Where: El Chorro Regional Park, 2910 Dairy Creek Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 (map)

Why: Cider!

Bike SLO County Announces Leadership Transition

Today we’re excited to announce that Bike SLO County Board Treasurer Tyler Wertenbruch is stepping in as Interim Executive Director for long-term Executive Director Dan Rivoire who recently stepped down to pursue other opportunities. Wertenbruch will helm Bike SLO County during the current transition on a volunteer basis. Welcome Tyler!

TylerW_Staff“I’m honored to be able to serve and continue the great work Bike SLO County hasslated for the future as well as build on the legacy that all of our staff has built,” said Interim Executive director Tyler Wertenbruch. “We’re continuing all of our programs and advocacy efforts full speed ahead,” said Wertenbruch.

In addition to their Bike Education, Bike Valet and Bike Kitchen programs, Bike SLO County advocates countywide for safer streets for everyone, regardless of whether they drive bikes, walk and or drive cars.

“The Board is thrilled that Tyler chose to step up as we begin our search for a new Executive Director,” said Bike SLO County Board President Chris McBride. “Tyler brings fresh energy and a wealth of experience with the organization. We’re confident that his vision for Bike SLO County will serve the bike community well,” said McBride.

Wertenbruch previously served as Bike SLO County’s Board President and is currently the Board Treasurer. An avid cyclist, Wertenbruch rides with Team Clif Bar Cycling and will be competing this summer in the Mongolia Bike Challenge. In addition to serving as Interim Executive Director, Wertenbruch will continue his work as IT Manager at RRM Design Group in San Luis Obispo.

Ring your bell and say hello next time you see Tyler biking by!