Trek president John Burke (right) speaks as People for Bikes staffer Martha Roskowski and Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider look on

Brandon Fastman

Trek president John Burke (right) speaks as People for Bikes staffer Martha Roskowski and Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider look on

Bicycle Game Changer?

Santa Barbara Bike Coalition Launches Bike-Lane Campaign with Help from Trek

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
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There was surprisingly little spandex when all fashion of bicycle enthusiast — from backyard frame builders to shop owners — converged on the Montecito home of Trek Bicycles President John Burke and his wife, Tania, for a Sunday-afternoon cocktail-party fundraiser. The Burkes lent their home and pledged $25,000 to the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition’s Connecting Our Communities campaign, whose ultimate goal is to attain an integrated network of bike lanes and paths from Goleta to Carpinteria.

Since the Burkes bought property in the area a few years ago, they have offered both their resources and connections to Santa Barbara’s bicycle advocacy efforts. John Burke, aside from captaining one of the world’s most well-known cycling companies, sits on the board of People for Bikes, an advocacy organization that was founded in 1999 by cycling businesses. A People for Bikes staffer that attended the event, Martha Roskowski, referred to protected bike lanes as a “game changer.” They take black diamonds, she said, and turn them into green circles and blue squares, referring to the system for ranking the difficulty of skiing trails. She also suggested that, with the miles driven by 16- to 34-year-olds decreasing 23 percent from 2001 to 2009, and cities like Brownsville, Texas, and Kansas City, Missouri, adding bike lanes, Santa Barbara is not as eco-hip as some of its residents might fancy.

Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Ed France explained that the timing for its campaign is ripe because within the next couple of years, five jurisdictions operating on the South Coast will be updating their bike planning documents. “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve our lives through bicycling,” he said. So far, the coalition has raised over $60,000 toward its goal of $100,000.

With Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and City Councilmember Gregg Hart at the event, there was an indication of receptiveness on the City’s part. However, Hart, who also works for the transportation planning body the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, said, “All the easy bike lanes are done, and now only the hard ones are left.” He was referring to the fact that any future bike lanes will likely threaten parking.

For his part, John Burke, whose favorite rides include Romero Canyon (via mountain bike) and the climb up Gibraltar to Camino Cielo (via road bike), said that 40 percent of car trips are less than two miles long. Getting more people onto bikes also makes the roads less congested for drivers who really need them, he said, adding that cycling also addresses major health and environmental issues. “Bicycles,” he told a crowd of around 100 people, “are a simple solution in a complicated world.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

How about requiring bicyclists to A: follow the rules of the road, B: pony up about $20.00 a year for registration and a license plate, and C: require everyone to take and pass a basic safety course before issuing said plate?

Oh't do wouldn't be politically correct...and besides, it would remove that wonderful anonymity enjoyed by the jerks who ride on sidewalks, run stop lights and signs, and aggress on pedestrians and drivers who dare get in their way. Can't have any of that, no sir.

Sorry...I forgot myself there for a minute!

Back to reality: I pay to register my car and drive it, I pay gasoline taxes, I pay property taxes and keep the roads usable (for EVERYONE, I thought), I obey the laws, stop at red lights and stop signs and for pedestrians whether or not they are in a crosswalk, and I only walk across the street when the light is green and in a crosswalk when I'm on foot. I enjoy walking, but I know I don't move very fast, so I'm pretty careful to be as safe and visible as possible.

And yes, I HAVE been run down by bikers, both as I was in a crosswalk and numerous times on sidewalks. It ain't pretty.

Bike riders get a free pass all the way around, can do exactly as they please, with complete anonymity, and anyone who questions that is a jerk who needs to "lighten up and get out of their car".

Oh're disabled? Can't ride a bike? Or maybe you just don't WANT to ride a bike? Then leave...because you aren't welcome here.

Silly my perfect world, people get to walk, drive, take buses, ride bikes and skateboards etc. and peacefully enjoy their days going to and fro. Nobody is endangered, or special, or better than anyone else based on their mode of transport. Everyone obeys the rules of the road and of common sense and courtesy.

Oh well...I can dream, can't I?

Holly (anonymous profile)
December 18, 2013 at 11:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I have always rode my bike as if it were a car minus the smog or the freeway but obeying the traffic lights, crosswalks and right-of-way has been my thing, not to leave out speed or its excess of such. Bright colors that would make a gay man blush with lights and reflectors and reflective clothing to be better seen rather than not; Oh and not to ever forget my Helmet which depending on all others occupying the road keeps my melon from getting squashed.
I don't do that much riding in the DC area due to the insane drivers who would run you over just to look at you but the trails are awesome and the Fall is always a pleasure. Never got a ticket but have watched a guy and his bike get taken to jail in the backseat of a squad car once. A great bike buying website is: For all your bike buying needs in balk and cheap!

dou4now (anonymous profile)
December 18, 2013 at 11:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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