• February 06, 2014 11:54 AM | Christine Bourgeois (Administrator)

    Advice from our friends: CICLE (Cyclists Inciting Change thru LIVE Exchange)

    Bikes are great for commuting, exercise, errands… and love! Here are some tips for an endorphin-filled, two-wheeled (times 2!) date!


    1. First things first, make sure your bikes are set for a short adventure, full tires mean full hearts. Check the air pressure, brakes, cranks, chain and cassette ahead of time.
    2. Prepare and bring along your tool kit for those “just in case” situations. Don’t let the air out of the date with a flat tire and no solution!
    3. Unless your date includes riding aimlessly and getting lost in the sunset, plan out a route. A planned route will smooth out any confusion about turns and direction.
    4. Romantic lighting: If you’re riding at night, set the tone and don’t forget your lights! White in the front and red in the back to light up your path! The flashing will add an extra sparkle to your evening.


    1. Dress to impress! You can look great and still have functional riding clothes.  From casual to dressy, everything matches a bike. Ties and dresses go great with bikes! Check yourself for any loose clothing that could get caught in your chain before your zip off. And, keep in mind that when it comes to footwear, heals and flip-flops are much trickier than the alternatives when it comes to pedal power.
    2. Nourishment: Ride to a destination or pack a picnic! Bringing along some treats will be refreshing, energizing and rewarding. Avoid leaks with Tupperware and don’t forget the water to quench your date’s thirst.
    3. Take it slow: Let the slower person set the pace. Plan the route together or decide who will lead the way, so you know where to go.
    4. Locks of Love: Don’t forget to bring a lock (and cable) if you plan on leaving your bikes somewhere. Someone can steal your heart, but not your bike!

    The ADVANTAGES of taking your date out on a bike:

    1. Parking will be a breeze: No need to circle the block or pay a valet or parking meter.
    2. A bike date is free!
    3. If you don’t usually ride, explore this new challenge together.
    4. The bikes contribute to the journey as well as the destination!

  • January 31, 2014 9:23 AM | Ed France (Administrator)
    From our Friends at the League of American Bicyclists
    January 29, 2014


    by Carolyn Szczepanski

    Last year, the League released a report undefined "The New Majority: Pedaling Toward Equity" undefined that highlighted the prevailing disparities in safe biking and walking in low-income and communities of color nationwide.

    Now, an innovative, bi-partisan bill in Congress, introduced by Representative Albio Sires(D-NJ) (pictured), would take steps to advance equity for bicyclists and pedestrians, and boost funding for bike/ped projects low-income communities.

    The New Opportunities for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Financing Act of 2014 (NOBPIFA) will allow communities to take advantage of low-cost financing for projects that make streets and sidewalks safer for all users through a new federal credit assistance program that would direct millions specifically for low-income communities.

    Take action now: Click here to tell your lawmaker to support this important bill!

    The bill, H.R. 3978, is co-sponsored by:

    • Andre Carson (D-IN)
    • Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
    • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)

    "President Obama called on Congress to help rebuild our middle class, and this bill would do just that,” said Congressman Sires. “When we make our roads and sidewalks safer, we help connect workers to new jobs.  We create communities where families want to live and businesses want to invest. And we give mothers and fathers peace of mind, knowing they aren’t sending their children to school on the unsafe sidewalks and roadways that exist in so many of our rural and urban communities.”

    "This bill checks all the boxes in helping to create a bicycle-friendly America for everyone," said League President, Andy Clarke. "Without adding any new spending, this bi-partisan bill creates an incentive for local governments to target smart transportation investment in areas that need it most, where transportation costs are typically 30% or more of household budgets, and where good transportation options are limited. Bicycling and walking are healthy, practical, and efficient modes of travel that we should be encouraging -- and that means making them safer and more realistic choices."

    "Rep. Sires' initiative does just that; enables communities to turn back the clock on decades of under-investment in the most basic of transportation solutions," Clarke added. "At the same time, the bill promotes the kind of quality-of-life improvements that will attract world-class investment and world-class jobs to American cities."

    So what does the bill do?

    • It creates a low-interest long-term loan program for communities to build biking and walking networks. 
    • 25% of the funding must be spent in low income communities
    • The funding, $11 million, is a set aside from the $1 billion dollar TIFIA loan program funded in MAP-21.

    Provides common sense transportation solutions

    • The bill offers a new tool for Mayors and local governments to finance needed transportation infrastructure. According to Sires: "This novel approach will add another tool in the toolbox for mayors, governors, and private investors to reinvigorate their communities and develop a strong, vibrant middle class.”
    • The bill doesn’t add any new costs to the transportation bill, or to the federal budget.

    Builds better integrated bicycling and multimodal networks that reduce transportation costs and close gaps in job access for low-income families and individuals.

    • Nationally the average family with an income less than $50,000 spends 30% on transportation
    • Residents earning less than $30,000 per year account for 28% of bike trips in 2009- more than 1.1 billion bike trips overall.

    Helps commuters

    • Americans are driving less, and want to bike and walk more. Creating safe infrastructure gives commuters cheap and safe options.
    • Between 2000-2012, bike commuting rose 61% nationwide, and rose by 80% in bicycle friendly communities. Where infrastructure is safe and accessible, people bike more.

    Meets the need for safety and infrastructure

    • There are still disparities in access to safe infrastructure for low-income communities and people of color across the country.
    • Bicycling and walking make up 12% of all trips, but over 16% of all fatalities
    • The fatality rate for Hispanic bicyclists is 23% higher than for white bicyclists and 30% higher for African American bicyclists than for white bicyclists.
    • 71% of people of color agree that safer bicycling would make their community better.

    "Equity is something that needs to be addressed at multiple scales - on the ground in local bike movements and in decision making that will impact our future landscapes," said Adonia Lugo, League Equity Initiative Manager. "This bill makes it clear that bicycle improvements belong to all American communities, and that's something we need to emphasize more than ever."

    The nuts and bolts:

    This legislation is modeled after the existing Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), which encourages innovative public-private partnerships by providing low-cost credit assistance to large transportation infrastructure projects. TIFIA’s proven record has shown that each dollar of Federal funds can provide up to $10 in credit assistance - and leverage $30 in transportation infrastructure investment. NOBPIFA would authorize a two-year, $11 million pilot program, funded as a set aside using existing TIFIA funds, and requires a report to Congress on implementation after two years.

    Currently, TIFIA’s significant $50 million minimum project cost requirement puts the program out of reach for smaller, stand-alone bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects. The set aside created under this program would lower the minimum project cost to $2 million, and provides greater flexibility for eligible projects. Projects eligible for NOBPIFA assistance include:

    1. The construction, planning, and design of on-road and off-road pathways for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized forms of transportation to create a comprehensive and connected transportation system, including sidewalks, bicycling infrastructure and parking, pedestrian and bicycle signals, traffic calming techniques, lighting and other safety-related infrastructure, and transportation projects to achieve compliance with the American with Disabilities Act of 1990;
    2. Innovative infrastructure for bicycling and walking, such as designs included in the National Association of City Transportation Officials guide for urban street design to enhance the ability of communities to develop solutions to increase non-motorized travel;
    3. A project for the conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other nonmotorized transportation users that connects to or expands an existing network of bicycle and pedestrian facilities;
    4. bike share program as a standalone project, or in conjunction with other infrastructure projects.

    The Department of Transportation will select NOBPIFA loan recipients on a rolling basis in the same manner that current TIFIA projects are selected. A minimum of 25% of each project must be dedicated to low income or underserved communities.

    Stay tuned for more information and join us at the National Bike Summit to make your voice heard for bike equity!

  • January 30, 2014 1:34 PM | Ed France (Administrator)

      Do you have a strong background in communications, community organizing, and/or public policy work? SBBIKE has started to build a very strong volunteer team around our Connecting Our Community campaign and is looking for motivated and capable staff to help steward our efforts to Make Santa Barbara a national leader in Bicycling!

    Due to overwhelming support from our enthusiastic individual supporters, SBBIKE has secured 75% of our $100,000 program budget for 2014. For the first time, a professional level, vision-based campaign will help our South Coast Santa Barbara County communities to be leaders in making bicycling safe and accessible to everyone. 

    Interested to apply as staff or get involved as a volunteer? Please review our 2014 plan and our job description and email with a cover letter and resume by Feb 15th!

  • January 29, 2014 1:46 PM | Christine Bourgeois (Administrator)

    SBici is an after school bike club at Santa Barbara High School that meets every Thursday afternoon.  It was founded by staff and volunteers of the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition and is a joint venture for the 3rd year of the Dons Net Cafe.  Students learn bike repair skills with the help of professional mechanics, building bikes for use in community programs.  By working on bikes for others, SBici students also earn a bicycle for themselves to refurbish and customize.  Students learn and practice safe handling techniques on rides around town as responsible drivers of bicycles.

    Through a generous Donor Advised Grant from The Fund for Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition is sending two SBici club representatives to New York City for the fourth annual Youth Bike Summit.  Club president and SBHS senior, Sergio Garcia, along with one of the club's mentors, Mike Vergeer, will attend the three-day national conference.  SBHS senior Dylan Carmody will also join the group and attend the conference.

    The Youth Bike Summit brings together educators, advocates, activists, students, teenagers, practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and community leaders to engage around youth, bicycles, education, and advocacy.  Conference organizers bring people together from different disciplines and backgrounds to network, learn, and explore how the bicycle is a catalyst for positive social change.  Sergio, Mike, and Dylan will bring inspiration and ideas back to share with the rest of the club and with the rest of our community.

  • January 28, 2014 4:21 PM | Ed France (Administrator)
     As inventions go, we put bikes on par with cold beer and long weekends.

    (To see the whole article go to Horny Toad's Website

    Recently we spent the afternoon volunteering at BiciCentro. Bring your bike totheir cool shop and they’ll help you fix it for a small donation. They have used and new parts, cycling accessories and a whole lot of knowledge.  They also have a wide variety of tuned-up used bikes for sale at affordable prices, which is where we came in.  We disassembled old bikes for parts and put new bikes together.  We tuned and tested them out.  We drank a cold beer.  It was great.

    BiciCentro’s vision is to turn Santa Barbara into a completely bike-friendly town, with paths connecting the entire city and bikes available to everyone who wants or needs one.  Hard to argue with the greatness of that dream.
  • January 27, 2014 9:05 PM | Omari Fuller
    new report out this week from The Alliance for Biking and Walking and People for Bikes explains why protected bike lanes — those that keep car traffic separate from bikes  are good for business. These findings help demonstrate how more safe, continuous, comfortable and protected bike routes for ALL in our community are in everyone's best interest.  Read the report here.
  • January 27, 2014 4:23 PM | Ed France (Administrator)
    The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition has launched the Youth Bicycle Fleet- a trailer and a fleet of new youth bikes to help bring safe bicycle education throughout our community.  This $12,000 project was the result of funds raised from student leaders at SB High School. Two leaders from SBici (bike club at SBHS), Sergio Garcia & Dylan Carmody shared their experience of how they raised enough money for the purchase to an audience of more than 50 people (including SBBIKE board members, city officials, sponsors, Bici Centro volunteers and high school students)

    SBBIKE staff Ed France and Christine Bourgeois started the event by explaining that three years ago, a feasibility study showed that having a trailer & a bike fleet would triple the number of students that they reach today. It has been a dream for SBBIKE but it never happened because of lack of funding. Thanks to our visionary youth, the trailer and the new mobile bike fleet will be used for community events and even planned for bike education in PE classes.

    Dylan, now a senior at SBHS explained that everybody was very supportive and liked the idea. With the help of another SBHS student, he approached community businesses for sponsorship and he worked with Pedal Born Pictures filmmakers, Jacob and Isaac Siegel-Boettner to show their movie “Single Track High” at the Lobero. He acknowledged all the supporters: Montecito Bank & Trust, the City of Santa Barbara, the Towbes Group, Bartlett Pringle & Wolf, Agility Capital, American Riviera Bank, Hazards Cycle Sport, Santa Barbara Middle School, Trek, Bicycle Bob’s, Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers (SBMTV) and Pedal Born Pictures.  He concluded with the announcement of the upcoming Youth Bike Summit in NYC over President’s Day weekend. He is hoping to bring back ideas and innovation for bike advocacy and accessibility in Santa Barbara. 
  • January 16, 2014 5:00 PM | Christine Bourgeois (Administrator)

    One look at Santa Barbara Middle School’s Friday afternoon elective schedule, and the school’s commitment to student-centered personal choice, community and service has never been more apparent.

    From the 14 course offerings this quarter, each elective is required to have some kind of service component. SBMS staff embraced this new requirement and designed a variety of creative and humanitarian-inspired elective classes.

    Students made their elective selections based on personal passion, and their own penchant for giving back. Any funds raised in these elective classes are earmarked as contributions back to the Santa Barbara community, or for schoolwide, student-determined sustainability projects.

    The array of classes available to the SBMS students is almost as varied and plentiful as the selection of nonprofit and philanthropic businesses in Santa Barbara.

    A group of SBMS Bike Monkeys (mechanics) are volunteering each Friday at Bici Centro, Santa Barbara’s do-it-yourself bike shop, where the students are tuning up and repairing bikes that will be donated to those who really need and rely on the bicycle for their livelihood and transportation needs. READ MORE

  • January 02, 2014 10:00 AM | Christine Bourgeois (Administrator)
    On Saturday, December 21 at 9:00am, Bici Centro elves were busy getting ready for the event "A Bike 4 Christmas". There were many last minute details before welcoming twenty seven families from the Franklin Neighborhood Center at 10:00am. 
    Outside in the back parking lot, bicycles were lined up by size and to make it more festive, a bow was placed on the handlebar of each one. New & colorful helmets were set up on two tables so children could pick one that they would like to wear. 
    Inside the bike shop, snacks & drinks were prepared while the cycling instructor in charge of the bilingual safety presentation was hanging a bike map on the wall to show parents the best place to take their children for a ride.
    By 9:45am, parents & well-behaved children (ages 3-10) were all lined up on the sidewalk patiently waiting for the door to open.

    The event was a HUGE success. Parents were extremely grateful to receive a lesson of bike safety tips in Spanish. They learned to fit a helmet properly on the head of their child and they were surprised to see that all the donated bikes didn't have training wheels. Bici Centro volunteers helped children choose a bike that fit them and they adjusted the height of the saddle if necessary. Many children didn't know how to ride but with the help of volunteers and parents, they all got a taste of the joy of riding. The smile on their faces was priceless!
    At the end of the event, Ricardo Venegas, the coordinator at the Franklin Neighborhood Center, commented: "Many of those kids will remember this day for the rest of their life. THANK YOU!"

    Photos are online:
  • December 10, 2013 11:14 AM | Christine Bourgeois (Administrator)

    In the so called “Food Basket of The World”, it would surprise most people that some families of the San Joaquin Valley go without a traditional Christmas.  Growing up in this area of great abundance, I am all too familiar with the embarrassment of returning to school after the Christmas holidays and not being able to share in the “What did you get for Christmas?” revelries.  The world we know as a child is incredibly small, and any gift, however insignificant, is a tremendous joy and blessing.  

    In the winter of 1983, the dry spell of no toys for christmas ended.  On what appeared to be a normal trip to the grocery store, my parents made a turn into a nondescript strip mall, where we entered a dusty office of sorts.  There were old office partitions, and various chairs of different shapes and sizes for us to sit on.  This office felt cobbled together with hand me down parts, presumably from the vestiges of better offices.  We were waiting, for I don’t know what, until a lady said they were ready for us.  My sister and I were led through the maze of  partitions until we reached the back of the office.  There, sitting in what must have been his temporary office away from the North Pole, sat Santa, with all his might and glory.  My sister and I looked at each other, then at santa, then at my parents, (who were wearing coy smiles), and then again at each other, before we ran and jumped up on Santa’s lap! Finally some toys for Christmas!

    This year, as a member of the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition, along with the volunteers at Bici Centro, we have the opportunity to help spread some Christmas cheer to children that may otherwise go without Christmas presents.  With the help of the City of Santa Barbara for the purchase of new helmets and the Franklin Neighborhood Center for selecting families on the Eastside, we will give away 25-30 refurbished bicycles to young children in the community.  Although Bici Centro lacks the shine and polish of a fancy toy store or a pretentious shopping mall, we have the dusty homegrown feel of a good non-profit outfit, down to the used mismatched office chairs.

    Anonymous SBBike/Bici Centro volunteer

    On Saturday, December 21st at 10:00am, Bici Centro, a project of the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition (SBBike), is hosting its first "A Bike 4 Christmas" event at the community DIY bicycle repair shop located at 506 E. Haley St.

    SBBike/Bici Centro anonymous volunteer behind the idea “A Bike 4 Christmas” is hoping that it will become an annual event involving more partners & volunteers to fulfill the dream of many young children in our community…

    More info:

Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, PO Box 92047, Santa Barbara, CA 93190
located at 506 E. Haley Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Phone: 805 845-8955

Bici Centro is located at 434 Olive Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Phone: 805 617-3255

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