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Fiesta Cruiser Run (Aug. 9, 2009)

Paul Wellman

Fiesta Cruiser Run (Aug. 9, 2009)


Crackdown on Fiesta Cruiser Run

Police Warn of Increased Enforcement at Annual Bike Ride


Originally published 11:00 a.m., August 1, 2013
Updated 12:16 p.m., August 1, 2013
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The Santa Barbara Police Department sent out a press release warning of increased enforcement during the Fiesta Cruiser Run, an annual bike ride that leaves from Stearns Wharf at noon on the last day of Fiesta, Sunday. The ride – which tends to ignore traffic signage and holds up downtown traffic – heads up State Street before taking the bike path from Modoc Road to Goleta Beach and Isla Vista, then returns to Santa Barbara. Although an unpermitted event, it is now in its 34th year. Attendance increased exponentially the last few years as invitations to the ride made their way onto social media. Originally composed of Santa Barbara residents, the Run is now attended by tourists and cruiser clubs throughout Southern California. Several people travel from other states specifically for the event.

“During past events,” wrote police spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood in a release, “the Police Department has received complaints from the public about disorderly and hazardous conduct by the bicyclists participating in the ride.” He also listed the three most common bicycle infractions and their associated fines: failure to ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb, $194.00; failure to obey stop sign, $194.00; and failure to obey red signal light, $480.00.

According to Police Chief Cam Sanchez at his presentation to City Council last August, between 10 and 15 officers are usually assigned to the ride. “We will have more officers present than last year,” Harwood told the The Santa Barbara Independent. “However,” he added, “I don’t think that divulging specifics about our response plan prior to the event would serve us well.”

At last year’s post-Fiesta City Council meeting, councilmember Dale Francisco said it was only a matter of time before there was a serious injury or death. “We as a city can’t allow this mass law-breaking to go forward,” he said.

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oh brother....heeerrreee we go... "failure to ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb" this goes on 24-7 around here especially with the bike racing guys in their neon spandex. It is a bike ride for Pete's sake. Get the motorcycle cops to escort them instead of trying to round them up and bullying them (serve and protect?). There are tons of street closures during fiesta anyway. I think a little more planning into this by the cruiser people themselves would also help this potential upcoming mess.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
August 1, 2013 at 11:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Of course the cops and the city want their cut. Imagine Pamplona trying to regulate the running of the bulls for safety.

brybret (anonymous profile)
August 1, 2013 at 11:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Good. This is necessary and long overdue.

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
August 1, 2013 at 11:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I hope they enforce these rules for all bicyclists, all the time. They act like they own the road.

laxer (anonymous profile)
August 1, 2013 at 12:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

These rules have helped me operate many types of vehicle safely:
1. Share the road
2. Watch where you're going
3. Have patience
4. Don't be a dick

ElWrongHubbard (ElWrong Hubbard)
August 1, 2013 at 1:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

More than 10 to 15 officers just for this ride? Lighten up, people.

banjo (anonymous profile)
August 1, 2013 at 3:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I hope they enforce these rules for all automobile drivers, all the time. They act like they own the road.

Nockamixon (anonymous profile)
August 1, 2013 at 5:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dale Francisco said it! "We as a city can't allow this mass law breaking to go forward." Hahaha! Does this mean Fiesta is cancelled? Like you make a difference city council members. It's a happy bike ride! Let it be!

Ryansbca (anonymous profile)
August 1, 2013 at 5:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"failure to ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb" this goes on 24-7 around here especially with the bike racing guys in their neon spandex."

I am a cyclist, but not part of the cruiser ride and just want to point out that this goes both ways. I've been cut off, stopped in front of, had things thrown at me, and on and on, all while in the bike lane and violating nothing.

We cyclists need to follow the laws, but motorists also need to give us room as the law allows. It really comes down to giving respect in order to receive the same.

cycleboy (anonymous profile)
August 1, 2013 at 8:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think that cyclists are among the most arrogant of all folks using the road. They run stop signs, cut across lanes, block traffic, and generally seem to do whatever they please. And I am a regular and prolific bike rider.
That said, I have ridden in the past 10+ rides and other than filling up State St for a few minutes of fun I have never seen anything unrully. How about they allow us to have 30 minutes of fun once a year. The tourists seem to be amused so advertise the damn thing as another wacky left coast fun fest...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 1, 2013 at 9:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think that cyclists are among the most arrogant of all folks using the road. They run stop signs, cut across lanes, block traffic, and generally seem to do whatever they please.

Not sure why there's a need to generalize like that? Not all cyclists are like that. . .

cycleboy (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 5:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I was generalizing to make a point. I know that most bikers are good about sharing the road just like most drivers are. But I cannot stand people who ride down De La Vina when there is a bike lane one street over. I know that when I am riding, I try to ride on streets with bike lanes. I'm afraid of cars and I ride my bike that way.

laxer (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 8:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I came to this news article following a link from an L.A. blogger. I don't live near Santa Barbara. But what I have to say here is: Santa Barbara (and the Independent in particular) has a lot to feel proud of. Most commentary on this article is informed, sane, intelligent, witty, helpful, civilized. So rare for most online news commentary. I feel like I should visit Santa Barbara now.

bailera (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 8:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I will now have to be more careful as to how I hide my beers.

Riceman (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 9:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I think drivers of BMW's are among the most arrogant of all folks using the road.

And if I were a grumpy conservative, I'd say it was Prius drivers.

And those with midriffs wider than their chests might rail against lycra-wearing road cyclists.

Jesting aside, it's funny how personal perceptions are formed. And ... funny how style is so paramount among cruiser riders that most won't wear helmets (so uncool). That's a perception from this bike rider :)

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 9:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Not a grumpy Conservative, however Prius drivers ARE the worst. Used to be Volvo drivers, however the Prius driver has easily captured that title. I drive from SB to San Diego twice a week and have witnessed their lack of skill multiple times each trip. Maybe a documentary is in order?

brimo7272 (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 9:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

i agree. prius drivers are brutally bad.

i don't mind cyclists and i appreciate the sbness of the fiesta ride....but it seems there is a correlation between the 4 abreast mode of riding and neon bright spandex..

lawdy (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 9:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wouldn't it be nice if young people just enjoyed life living within the reasonable limits imposed for all, instead enjoying themselves only when intentionally flaunting the laws?

"Crackdown" is an unnecessarily aggressive and inflammatory word to use in the headline .... however typical for the Independent anti-establishment meme.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 9:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I was driving a company-leased Prius for weekly biz trips to OC. Perhaps that was me you encountered? The sedan has not-so hot visibility out the rear. I blame that.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 9:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@laxer: regarding riding a bike on De La Vina... what if your start or end destination is on DLV? Or if you have to ride DLV above Mission St, in the Oak Park and/or Samarkand neighborhoods?

I ride my bike on all sections of DLV frequently, I take a safe lane position that will keep me from getting killed by someone accidentally opening a car door or poking their hood out into the road so they can see. This does mean that I'm "taking the lane" and that cars have to pass me... but generally speaking this does not seem to inconvenience the car drivers much at all, as they rarely honk or yell, nor have trouble getting around me (I should note that since it's downhill I'm frequently riding at the posted speed limit anyways).

Below Mission St, the bike lane on Castillo is two blocks over but you'll have to ride on non-bike-laned Mission St to get to it, or else continue on DLV and cut over at Pedregosa or one of the other side streets.

The summary is that sometimes a cyclist has to ride on a non-bike-laned street to get where he or she is going. By taking a safe lane position and holding a steady course, the vast majority of cars will "get" what you're doing and will work with you.

surfimp (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 10:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Personally, I love my neon lycra... the way it hugs my junk, and makes me visible to jealous drivers!

ElWrongHubbard (ElWrong Hubbard)
August 2, 2013 at 10:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Can we setup a fund to help Dale Francisco move somewhere else?

This is long overdue.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 11:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Foo - "crackdown" came directly from the SBPD. I got this update on Monday through NIXLE and they used the exact wording.

My feelings on this are that a vocal minority of grumpy locals have caught the ear of our naïve city council and PD once again. If you feel like SB is losing its authenticity that's where you can point your finger.

Num1UofAn (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 11:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

That said, maybe the bikers should just switch over to Chapala and throw everyone off.

Num1UofAn (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 11:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

To read items like "young people just enjoyed life" and "Independent anti-establishment" is like reading Tales from the Crypt..! Indy anti establishment? You have to be REALLY marginal to think that.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 1:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Okay, Prius drivers who wear lycra UNITE, and join us for a drive out together.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 1:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Does this mean you are finally "coming out of the garage" AZ?
And I will agree to add Prius drivers, Frank Hotchkiss, and anyone wearing spandex to my broad stereotype about bike riders being arrogant and self centered. If I get annoyed by anything this list could grown

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 4, 2013 at 8:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The cops could instead protect public safety by controlling traffic while the cruiser ride passes through.

But they would rather crack down. It's more macho.

native2sb (anonymous profile)
August 4, 2013 at 9:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I would come out but this spandex have a tight grip on me. On another note I believe the police who conduct the crackdown should wear spandex also, that way they are not so macho when they do it, it has worked for me.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
August 4, 2013 at 2:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The picture depicts not-true bicyclists. Note the fashion felonies and the fact that they look happy, and lack that desperate angry competitive look.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 4, 2013 at 4:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)