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  • July 19, 2014 9:52 AM | Howard Booth (Administrator)

    A Memorial: Ralph Fertig

    On Friday, July 18 our community lost longtime bicycle advocate and SB Bike’s President Emeritus Ralph Fertig when he passed away due to complications from his battle with cancer.

    Below is an excerpt from the Santa Barbara Independent’s July 21 article by Nick

    Welsh. Complete article here: 

    Ralph Fertig, a longtime bicycle advocate in Santa Barbara of such consistency,
    durability, and selflessness that his presence had achieved an almost geologic aspect.

    Quiet, unassuming, and absolutely dogged, Fertig made it his mission for more than 20 years to attend any and every transportation planning meeting undefined no matter how arcane and obscure undefined to bear witness to the need for more space on the roads for bicycles.

    Respectful in style, there was nothing flashy or confrontational about Fertig; he was decidedly not the counter-cultural road warrior. The chances of finding Fertig pedaling along in a Critical Mass ride, shutting down traffic in an act of civil disobedience, hovered between none and nil. With Fertig, the ego was sublimated entirely to the cause, to the work. This undefined coupled with the intellectual honesty with which he made his case undefined made it impossible for decision makers to dismiss him out of hand even when it would been exceedingly convenient for them to have done so.

    To an uncommon extent, Fertig understood the complicated anatomy of transportation pork; he knew where the money was hidden, what it had been set aside for, and far better than most, he understood the rules and regulations guiding the expenditure of such funds. As undramatic as he may have been, Fertig became the human crowbar, constantly prying money and considerations undefined even if it was only a seat at the table undefined out of generations of public works directors and transportation bureaucrats for whom cycling was a recreational pastime and at best an intrusive afterthought

    Services, Rides and Tributes Honoring Ralph

    • August 2 The memorial service for Ralph is Friday, July 25th at 2pm in the McDermott-Crockett mortuary chapel at 2020 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara.

    • August 2, 9:30 am – Memorial Ride for Ralph (normally Newcomers Ride led

    by Doris Phinney of the Goleta Cycling Club). Meet at Java Station for an easy
    paced ride around Goleta.

    Remembering Ralph

    Very sad news. For many years, Ralph was a lynch-pin of bicycle activism in the Santa Barbara and statewide. He raised the profile of bicycling in Santa Barbara and was responsible for bringing the 1998 ProBike conference to Santa Barbara. Ralph also served as the Regional Director of CABO for the Central Coast for many years and graciously hosted the CABO Board and members when we met in Santa Barbara. –Al Farkosh

    ​Very sad. I probably first met Ralph at the first ProBike I attended –1990 in Wash., DC. Great guy. He was always a go-to guy with a wealth of info and experience. He was probably at every bike conf. I attended and was a great contributor to advocacy for bicyclists. -David Takemoto-Weerts (Bicycle Program Coordinator at UC Davis)

    We cyclists owe so much to Ralph for all of his many years of continuing devotion to improving the cycling environment for all of us. –Doris Phinney (President, Goleta
    Valley Cycling Club)

    I'm so sorry to hear of Ralph's passing. I met Ralph fifteen years ago or more, and
    since then I always looked to him as the kind of advocate to aspire to be. He always
    impressed me by how knowledgeable he was: laws, regulations, statistics, groups,
    government procedures, current events, he just seemed to know everything. He was an excellent communicator, both as a speaker and with his writing and visual presentations. Just look at any of the Bicycle Coalition newsletters he published---they're effective and beautiful. He was absolutely tireless! Did he ever stop working for the bicycling cause? And through it all he was invariably smiling and friendly. He never came across as strident, but rather, as simply enthusiastic about cycling. Which,of course, he was, as he amply demonstrated with the way he lived his life. Thanks,Ralph. –Greg Janee (COAST boardmember)

    I remember riding up Harris Grade with Ralph on a People Powered Ride ... first time I had ever spoken to him. A very nice guy and a great inspiration, sad to hear he's gone.

    –Jim Balter

    Others have spoken very eloquently on Ralph’s respectful and consistent advocacy,
    grasp of government planning, statistical adeptness, and remarkable communication
    skills. I'd like to add that his long and committed tenure at the Bicycle Coalition set the framework for the explosive growth we've seen at the Coalition and with bicycling in Santa Barbara County.

    It is very bittersweet to note that Ralph passed on closing day of our escrow for the
    Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition headquarters. We miss and honor Ralph and his
    dedication to the Coalition. I'm sure he is smiling knowing that the Coalition now has
    secured our future with our own building and ever expanding advocacy efforts and
    programs. –Michael Chiacos (SB Bike Board President)

    I haven’t ridden a bike since I was a teenager – but I knew Ralph as an activist on
    behalf of bicyclists, pedestrians, and all who want a more sustainable way of life. We
    will miss him greatly. -Mickey Flacks (

    Ralph had a big heart and tirelessly represented the interests of people who believe
    you should be able to get around town without a car. I shall miss him! –Das Williams
    (California State Assemblymember)

    The last time Ralph and I had a long conversation was at Cottage Hospital in between his chemotherapy treatments. It was on a sunny day and he was feeling up for a visit out on the deck looking up to the mountains so we bundled him up and out we went. It was a quiet time to talk about life, his travels, family. Through the painful side effects of his treatments, he still warmly smiled and had a positive outlook. That's what I will always remember about our Ralph. -Deborah Schwartz (City of Santa Barbara Planning Commission)

    I am still in shock that our gentle bicycle godfather Ralph has passed. Somehow I felt
    like he would always be with us to fight the good fight with grace. I feel a big absence
    and heartache knowing that I won't see his genuine smiling face across the table at
    meetings. I am hoping he truly knew just how appreciated and loved he was by our

    Farewell Ralph. May your journey continue in a new form and your legacy inspire us tobring wisdom calm and persistence to our work on this planet. -Kent Epperson (Directorof Traffic Solutions at SBCAG)

    Ralph was class-act providing me with someone to emulate. Goodbye Ralph. –Jim
    Baross (Spokesperson at San Diego County Bicycle Coalition)

    Ralph lives on in all the gifts he gave to our community. We will miss you Ralph. -Mary Byrd (Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District)

    Ralph was respectful, positive and persistent. He was the first local bicycle advocate
    to consistently assess and provide public comment on the needs of the bicycling
    community. I had the pleasure of coordinating with him since the 80's while I was
    working on long range plans and programs as a County Planner, and later as we
    worked together as alternatives advocates for Caltrans' proposals and the City' s
    Circulation Element. He educated the planners, the commissions, the elected officials
    and the community. His work institutionalized the role of bicycles in our plans, our
    vocabulary, and into the community lifestyle. –June Pujo (retired Planner for Santa
    Barbara County)

    I am so grateful for the positive force Ralph was to our bicycling community. He will be missed. –Rebecca Waid (Project Director at COAST)

    When Lee let us know of Ralph's passing, I thought how, in his calm, understated
    way, this smart and thoughtful bicycle enthusiast had made a profound difference in
    our community. He was a role model as one who kept his sense of humor even as he
    was eminently prepared to take on half truths masquerading as the final word. Ralph
    will forever be part of a remarkable extended family joined by a passion for a healthy,
    sustainable, wholesome lifestyle - one worth fighting for. I will miss him dearly but
    he really has not gone anywhere. He's beside little kids as they pedal to school. He
    is present as the space where a car would have been had its owner not chosen to
    ride a bike to work that day. His civility and gentle spirit are present when a traffic
    light responds to you, all wrapped up in your arm warmers and helmet late on a chilly
    winter's eve when no cars are around. I see his smile and hear his compelling and
    reassuring voice encouraging us to carry on.

    I am grateful for Ralph and the wonderful life he shared with us all! –Grant House
    (former Santa Barbara City Councilmember)

    Ralph was the SB Bicycle Coalition. He was the eyes and the ears for bicyclists for nearly twenty years in Santa Barbara county. Too many cyclists may not have been aware of his impact, but they have ridden on routes he successfully advocated for. Ralph- you contribution will always be valued, you will always be appreciated and the example you set will be strived for. Ed France, SBBIKE Executive Director.

    All of us at SBBIKE will miss Ralph and his many contributions to Santa Barbara, cycling and the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition.

  • July 18, 2014 1:18 PM | Ed France (Administrator)

    SB Bicycle Coalition is new owner of 506 E. Haley! - A major milestone as we build the future of bicycling in Santa Barbara.

    A lot is changing along the Haley Corridor, but the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition Community Center and DIY bike repair shop, Bici Centro, isn't going anywhere. The space is strategically located just five blocks off of State street and five blocks from Milpas. The facility offers its office and meeting space entrance at 506 E. Haley street and it's Bici Centro DIY bicycle repair shop entrance at 434 Olive (across from the back corner of ACE Home Improvement Center). When the facility came up for sale this May, the Coalition's board quickly realized they had a major decision to make.

    The Community Cycling Center takes space, and lots of it. From refurbishing bikes, to community events, classes, offices, and as central central command for bike education and events throughout the county, a functional space to serve these needs has proven make or break for the organization. "We are a hands on type of operation" quips Ed France, SBBIKE's executive director, " We interact face to face with well over 5,000 people a year, generally with a bike in tow." The Bici Centro shop space incubated for it's first five years at the Casa de la Raza Cesar Chavez Center, but quickly outgrew the limitations of the space. "Our Haley facility has parking for our trailers, industrial type work space, interior shop and classroom space, and is even outfitted with offices. I can't start to express our gratitude to this community for the outpouring of support to acquire this facility and secure our operation into the future" reflects Mr. France.

    Indeed, over just the last six weeks over 80 community members have contributed over $320,000 to help SBBIKE raise a downpayment. Other philanthropists have engaged in a 'program related investment' or PRI, finance the building. The group is still looking for $250,000 either as PRI long term loans or donations in order to preclude the need for short term loans and to create a modest maintenance fund to keep the building in good shape.
    From a lemonade stand-esque  operation in 2007 offering bike repair help has grown a thriving, multi-armed Community Cycling Center in Santa Barbara. From its store-front headquarters on Haley Street, SBBIKE is constantly expanding and innovating to get the bikes, skillsets, and safety equipment to those who need them and to improve infrastructure. Its DIY repair shop/bike store is booming, saving seven hundred  bicycles annually and offering nearly twice that number of cyclists a place to gather and fix their bikes at low cost.

  • July 16, 2014 1:58 AM | Howard Booth (Administrator)

    For a month leading up to the Clips Tour on August 15th, New Belgium will sponsor a Drink 2 Donate program and 4 Happy Hour events at local Santa Barbara and South Coast bars. New Belgium will donate .50 cents for every beer sold to SBBIKE's Connecting Our Community campaign.

    So after a bike ride or when you are out with friends and cyclists make sure to stop at one of these local bars; Union Ale, American Ale, James Joyce, O'Malley's, Old Kings Road, Arch Rock, Mercury Lounge, Eureka, Zodos, Boathouse, Sandbar, Woodstock IV, Sam's To Go IV, Baja Sharkeez and the Brauthouse.

    The New Belgium's Clips and Brews Tour is coming to Chase Palm Park on Friday, August 15th from 6:30-10 PM at Chase Palm Park. The Clips Tour will share tastes of over 20 of New Belgium's unique beers and showcase short clips of videos submitted by film enthusiasts from across the U.S.

    All proceeds from beer tokens sold will benefit the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition and the Connecting Our Community Campaign. SBBIKE’s goal is to create safe, connected, continuous bicycle routes for cyclists ages 8 to 80 throughout Santa Barbara's South Coast. 

  • July 09, 2014 6:47 AM | Howard Booth (Administrator)

    Picture yourself pedaling to the beach or the Farmers Market on this awesome New Belgium cruiser!

    Buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win this custom New Belgium Fat Tire cruiser by Felt Bicycles. Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and available for purchase at Bici Centro and other SBBIKE events.

    100% of the proceeds from this raffle will go to support SBBIKE’s Connecting Our Community campaign to make cycling on the South Coast safe and accessible for everyone ages 8 to 80.

    You can purchase cruiser raffle tickets or beer tokens here:

    NB Clips Film & Beer Tour-Ber Tokens and Raffle Tickets

    The raffle drawing will be held during the New Belgium Clips Beer & Film Tour on Friday, August 15th at Chase Palm Park from 6:30 to 10:00PM.  

    New Belgium's Clips Tour is coming to Santa Barbara to share tastes of their unique beers and showcase short clips of videos submitted by film enthusiasts from across the U.S.  Don't miss this family friendly evening of movies, beer, food trucks and a Santa Barbara sunset!

    Winner need not be present.  More details soon!

  • June 20, 2014 6:50 AM | Howard Booth (Administrator)

    New Belgium Beer, Movies and SBBIKE! 

    Mark your calendars and spread the word about a very exciting event on Friday, August 15th from 7-10 PM at Chase Palm park - New Belgium's Clips and Brews 21 City tour is coming to town to share tastes of their unique beers and showcase short clips of videos submitted by film enthusiasts from across the U.S.

    All proceeds from beer tokens sold will benefit the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition and the ​​Connecting Our Community Campaign. SB Bicycle Coalition's goal is to create safe, connected, continuous bicycle routes for ages 8 to 80 throughout Santa Barbara's South Coast.

    A New Belgium Bike will be raffled at the event. Raffle tickets and beer tokens will be sold in advance and during the event by designated SBBIKE Coalition staff and volunteers. 

    There is no entry fee, and only those 21 and over may enter. So bring your lawn chair or blanket and come out and enjoy!

  • June 08, 2014 2:13 PM | Holly Starley (Administrator)

    Bici Centro, SBBIKE’s DIY repair and bicycle shop, has a brand-new layout. With new bikes, more and higher-end donations, an easy-to-use organization, and a host of enthusiastic volunteers, Bici is ready to serve the cycling community’s needs.



    “A lot of people are stoked on it,” says Shawn von Biela, Bici’s shop manager extraordinaire, of the new layout. “The sales floor looks like a bike shop now. Everything’s labeled. Bicycles are the center point; they’re really showcased.”

    Von Biela welcomes all to the building he enthusiastically calls “a meeting space, a hub, a hangout, a community gathering place, and a store front.”

    SBBIKE’s headquarters, home of Bici, is up for sale. And to secure the future of both the shop and the coalition’s advocacy, outreach, and education arms, SBBIKE is gathering the funds to purchase the building. Help be a part of securing the future by donating here:

    Open shop hours, where cyclists can rent a stand for just $5 an hour and receive guidance from volunteer bike mechanics, are Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. 


  • June 03, 2014 4:29 PM | Holly Starley (Administrator)

    “Cleaner air, happier citizens,” “to see wildlife,” “so my daughter can walk or bike to school more safely,” “less fossil fuel use,” “for my health”--these are just a few of the reasons cited by South Coast residents asking for better infrastructure to accommodate their alternative transportation choices.


    This Saturday, the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition (SBBIKE) and Traffic Solutions teamed up to bring that request to elected officials. They hosted “Connecting Our Communities in Tandem,” a thirty-seven-mile tandem bike ride along the Coastal Bike Route from Goleta to Rincon at the Ventura County line. The ride was broken into segments of two to four miles, and at each segment, an elected official or other dignitary climbed aboard the back of a tandem as it passed through the various jurisdictions along the route.


    As demonstrated by nearly three hundred handwritten postcards, the constituents of these jurisdictions are choosing alternative transportation, particularly bicycling, in rapidly growing numbers. And they’re asking for the infrastructure to keep up. The tandem ride brought together a number of strides (or pedal strokes as it were) toward filling in the gaps along the coastal bikeways. Sam Franklin, co-leader of SBBIKE’s Connecting Our Community campaign (Connect), says the event symbolized the need for all the jurisdictions to work “in tandem” to plan well-connected and safe bike routes.


    Along the ride, the tandem bikes were joined by a constant stream of enthusiasts, residents and SBBIKE members both adults and kids, some of whom rode the entire route. All in all, the “peloton” was some sixty strong. SBBIKE director Ed France says that showing of support is important. “I think our elected representatives generally get the importance of bike routes,” he says. “But most of them are surprised by how common bicycling is as a form of transportation and how important it is to have that infrastructure be coherent and complete.”



    France points to another benefit of connected bikeways. He hopes the ride helped the officials see “what a resource these routes are not just for our residents but for visitors--for our tourism industry.”


    One of the highlights of the ride was a press event at the Chromatic Arch, where Congresswoman Lois Capps, First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, Assembly Member Das Williams, and Santa Barbara Councilmembers Gregg Hart and Cathy Murillo “had some real discussion around our giant map” (Connect’s eighteen-foot long, interactive map of the South Coast on which community members drew in their routes and highlighted trouble areas during last month’s CycleMAYnia events), “pointing out sections and discussing financing,” says Franklin.


    Omari Fuller, Franklin’s CC co-leader,presented to the representatives the 278 postcards, also collected during CycleMAYnia. Community members wrote about why they’re choosing alternative transportation--less pollution, promoting kids’ independence, enjoyment, and exercise just a few of the reasons--and why they want officials to take action and update the routes. Among the constituents’ requests were more dedicated, marked bike paths; greater visibility; fenced and locked bike areas near schools; road improvements; and more off-street bike paths. ” One parent wrote about a desire to “feel more comfortable riding on the road with my children.” Another person hopes better bikeways will “delete road rage.” And another asked the representatives “to promote environmentally friendly commuting.”



    During the press conference, Fuller, and City of Santa Barbara Transportation Engineer Derrick Bailey discussed both the feedback from the community and potential ways of addressing improvements for bikeways around the city.


    Elected officials and dignitaries who joined the ride, along with Carbajal, Williams, Hart, and Murillo, were Goleta Councilmembers Paula Perotte and Jim Farr, Goleta Planning Commissioner Meg West, and Goleta Mayor Michael Bennett; UCSB representatives Dennis Whelan and Stephen Conner; Assistant Santa Barbara County CEO Dennis Bozanich; Carpinteria Councilmember Gregg Carty; and Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett.


    In addition, several city staff officials joined the ride, including Bailey, Teresa Lopes from Goleta, Rebecca Bjork and Rob Dayton from Santa Barbara, and Jim Kemp from the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments. Also along was a group from the county’s Air Pollution Control District, including Executive Director Dave Van Mullem, Joel Cordes, Chris Hewes, Mary Byrd, Ben Ellenberger, Molly Pearson, and Dave Harris.


    France says the event was an idea borrowed from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “We want to thank Peter Brown for coming to the CycleMAYnia group and challenging us to do this kind of event,” he says.


    Each elected official was interviewed at the end of his or her segment, and Traffic Solution’s Daniel Girard is making a video that will be available next week. Dennis Coffman, owner of Rincon Cycles, joined on a tandem and helped with the camera team.


     Photo Captions: (R) CC co-leader Omari Fuller and SB Councilmember Cathy Murillo; (L) Congresswoman Lois Capps at the Chromatic Arch
Photos by Christine Bourgeois

  • May 29, 2014 4:43 PM | Holly Starley (Administrator)

    If you head from the West Side to City Hall these days, you just might see a familiar, friendly face waving from her new bike. Santa Barbara City Councilwoman Cathy Murillo has recently chosen to commute to City Hall by bicycle, following a dream to be among the growing numbers choosing alternative forms of transportation (alternative for now anyway). So she headed to the Bici Centro shop to find a recycled ride that would suit her. “Bici Centro set me up,” she says of her cream-colored Schwinn, complete with front basket and rear rack.


    Murillo’s decision to ride was inspired by a number of things, environmental responsibility atop the list. “We are seeing the effects of climate change,” she says. And she decided, “I’m tired of feeling guilty that I’m using my car when I could be on a bike.”


    Look for a full interview with Murillo in the summer issue of the Quick Release, where she talks about enjoying the benefits and overcoming the challenges of riding, her inspirations, the future of Santa Barbara’s bikeways, and the importance of making environmentally responsible choices.

  • May 27, 2014 11:52 AM | Ed France (Administrator)
    It's not everyday that a Santa Barbara startup social enterprise is recognized nationally as an example to follow. Read on to see the discussion of Bici Centro- just an idea created here seven years ago- as an example of bi-lingual resource and skill share through a Community Cycling Center.
  • May 25, 2014 6:22 AM | Howard Booth (Administrator)

    New Belgium Beer, short movies, food and a warm Santa Barbara evening by the beach. 

    If this sounds like a perfect evening then sign up to volunteer for the New Belgium Clips Festival to support the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition.  All proceeds from the event will support SBBIKE’s Connecting Our Community Campaign.

    The New Belgium lips Beer and Film Tour will showcases New Belgium beers in a family-friendly evening at Chase Palm Park on Cabrillo Blvd.  Guests will bring blankets; enjoy beer sampling, movies, games and food trucks!

    The 2014  Clips Festival will travel to 21 cities across the country. 

    The following volunteer jobs are available:

    Set-up crew (6):  Will help New Belgium staff set-up and take down the tents, video projection screen, tables, etc

    Beer Servers (18):  The heart and soul of the evening---pouring and serving beer for festival attendees.  Some beer servers will need to complete TIPS training online or at the SBPD. Training covers who can or cannot be served alcohol (more details to follow)

    Beer Gypsies (7):  Roam the crowd with trays of 3 oz. beer samples for tasting

    ID, Wristbands and Tokens (10):  Check ID’s at the gate hand out wristbands and sell beer tokens.

    Fun & Games (6):  Play games with festival attendees.  You should be outgoing and ready to reel people in for some fun!

    Merchandise/Gift Tent (2):  Sell New Belgium gifts and some freebies

    Sign up NOW! 

    New Belgium Clips Film & Beer Festival

    See you there!!

    The SBBIKE Crew

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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
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