• Who We Are

    Maria Contreras Tebbutt

    Founder, Bike Campaign & Bike Garage

  • OUR HOLY GRAIL

    Our mission is to reduce car trips to school and workplaces, while increasing biking joy and safety. Maria Contreras Tebbutt, founded The Bike Campaign, along with its counterpart, The Bike Garage, in 2011 to help educate people about bicycling and encourage more people to ride their bikes. We work closely with city governments, county health departments, school districts, and community service groups.

    OUR TEAM

    Professional, friendly and knowledgeable, all Bike Campaign and Bike Garage staff volunteer their time, including founder Maria Contreras Tebbutt. Every penny received is re-invested into our outreach and impact, not our overhead.

  • HERE ARE A JUST SOME OF OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

    • Leadership Bike Rides with City of Davis, City of Woodland, and UC Davis Leaders
    • Free Bike Clinics County-wide
    • Best Bike Maps of Davis and Woodland
    • Safe Routes to School Programs
    • Transportation Options Workshops
    • 4th of July Bike Parade in Woodland (800 people attend)
    • After School and Summer Camp Programs
    • Internships for Teens and Young Adults
    • Bike Rack Installation at the Yolo County Fairgrounds
    • Advocate for Open Streets Ciclovia-style Events

     

    AND SO MUCH MORE

    Why I Ride: A Conversation With Barbara Goodman

    by Lisa Montanaro of The Bike Campaign

    Barbara Goodman has always been a fan of cycling, and doesn’t necessarily consider herself a trailblazer on two wheels. She genuinely enjoyed bike riding as a sport in high school and wasn’t doing it to make a statement. Living in a suburban town in Michigan and riding her bike long distances for fun, and not merely for transportation prior to getting a drivers license, shouldn’t have placed her in a category of one. And yet, Barbara was the only girl who took cycling in PE class, and the only girl to go on a statewide week-long cycling trip her senior year.

     

    She started doing century rides while living in Southern California after college, sometimes to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program. While living in Davis, she met her husband, who resided in the Bay Area. She joined him there, and about three years into their marriage, they did a fundraising ride in honor of her mother, who was battling cancer at that time. She realized that she had found a kindred spirit who also adored cycling.

     

    They had two children together, now ages 6 and 9, and moved from the Bay Area to Davis. Barbara and her husband both worked from home, and home schooled their kids. They walked too many places, and realized that they had two cars sitting in the driveway. After meeting some other Davis parents that transported their kids by bike, they decided to ditch one car and replace it with a Bakfiets — a Dutch cargo bike that allows you to transport children in the front of the bike where you can see them, as opposed to in the back. It became their primary means of transportation for the next five years. Barbara was hooked. She preferred it over the cargo style bikes with a bucket in the front. They bought the Bakfiets used from My Dutch Bike in Sausalito. Now the only West Coast current importer that she knows of is in Santa Monica.

     

    “There’s a ton of room in the Bakfiets for more than kids,” Barbara shared. “We transported everything in there. We had a cover for it when it rained, which kept the kids and any items we were transporting nice and warm. And the kids loved being up front. We rode pretty much in any weather, except when temperatures would climb over 100 degrees.”

     

    Barbara found the Bakfiets easy and fun to use. She didn’t have to worry about finding parking for a large SUV. And the Bakfiets had a built-in lock in the back wheel, as well as a chain that she could connect to a bike rack or to use to lock up a second bike if her husband was biking along with them.

     

    Recently, Barbara and her husband relocated to Woodland, buying a house there after living in Davis for many years. Their kids are getting old enough that they are going to places that are farther distances, biking short distances on their own, and splitting up more to attend different events. Logistically, that has made it difficult to transport the two of them by bike. So the family made the difficult decision to sell the Bakfiets. Thankfully, Bakfiets retain their value so they sold it for almost what they paid for it.

     

    “It’s the end of an era. It served our family really well. But it was time to purchase a second car again. To be environmentally conscious, we got an electric plug-in hybrid. Plus, everyone in the family now has his or her own bike,” Barbara shared.

     

    Barbara bought a lightweight cargo bike with a built-in rear rack for one kid and will use that in Woodland, but it is small and light enough that she can put it on a car bike rack and head to Davis for solo cycling, errands, etc. The kids often take turns riding a bike independently alongside her, while the other one gets a rest on the back of her bike.

     

    Barbara Goodman may not have set out to be a trailblazer on two wheels, but the label certainly fits. From being the only girl cycling as a sport in high school, to being one of the few American parents riding a Dutch-style bike to transport her kids, Barbara has figured out a way to adapt cycling to her lifestyle, and in the process has also served as an unintended role model to others. Selling the Bakfiets may be the end of that particular era of cycling, but Barbara will no doubt continue to find ways to keep cycling in her and her family’s life for years to come.

     

    This article was written by Lisa Montanaro, commissioned by The Bike Campaign. For more information about how to “Drive Less. Ride More.,” contact Maria Contreras Tebbutt at funmaria@sbcglobal.net or www.TheBikeCampaign.com

    Why I Ride: A Conversation With Carlos Casillas

    by Lisa Montanaro of The Bike Campaign

    When Carlos Casillas sat on his first bicycle at 9-years-old, he had no idea the extraordinary role the bicycle would play in his life. He only knew at that time that it served as a great way for him to spend time with his father, going on long rides together.

     

    Indeed, he didn’t even realize how much he truly loved cycling and how important it was to him until he got to UC Davis as an undergraduate. He had every intention of being part of the baseball team in college. That was his sport at the time. Or so he thought. As a freshman, he got a part-time job at the Bike Barn, teaching bike maintenance and working at the shop. He started cycling with some of the friends that he met there, and was hooked. Out went baseball, and in came a newfound love and talent for bicycle racing. From that point on, cycling and the bicycle became part of who Carlos Casillas is.

     

    He now considers himself a bike racer that commutes. For years, he raced on a competitive level, putting in 500 miles of riding per week, and racing approximately 60 times per year. Now he races about five times a year. But he is still putting in some serious mileage — about 60 miles per day Monday through Friday rain or shine. He commutes to work from Davis to Sacramento and back, and also rides on his lunch hour. He is joined by about ten other workers on his lunch hour rides. In fact, seven of the other employees in his unit ride their bikes to work now, no doubt inspired by Carlos. One employee has lost 40 pounds riding to work and credits cycling with saving his life. And while this makes Carlos happy, it doesn’t surprise him. He has seen first hand the positive benefits of cycling for himself and those around him.

     

    “Cycling has made me a better person, husband, friend and father. I never get sick. It is the hub and foundation of my life. There are obvious benefits — cost savings, health and environmental. But I also feel like cycling brings me peace and harmony, and gives me a better lens in which to view life. It brings an abundance of enthusiasm.”

    Carlos has had quite the eclectic ride when it comes to cycling and its role in his life. He opened a pro shop at one point and sponsored a junior team. On that junior team was Kevin Moncrieff, who made the U.S. Junior Cycling team and rode with the likes of Lance Armstrong, Bobby Julich, and George Hincapie — heavy hitters in the world of bicycle racing. Carlos has a photo of Kevin and the other three racers in his office so he can reminisce. That’s not all he has in his office. He has racing medals, cycling-related signs, jerseys, and other cycling paraphernalia. They inspire him on a daily basis, and in turn, inspire other workers that come into contact with his office.

    Carlos Casillas may not have known where that first bicycle would take him at 9 years old. Now at 57 years old, he credits all of the magic that has happened in his life back to that moment. His motto is Show Up For Life, and Cherish The Day. And he is indeed doing that … one mile at a time.

     

    This article was written by Lisa Montanaro, commissioned by The Bike Campaign. For more information about how to “Drive Less. Ride More.”, contact Maria Contreras Tebbutt at funmaria@sbcglobal.net or www.TheBikeCampaign.com

     

    Lisa Montanaro is the author of the book The Ultimate Life Organizer, and is a freelance writer for print and online publications. She is currently writing her first novel. When not writing, Lisa helps organizations and people be more productive. And when not working or writing, Lisa can be found on two wheels cycling!

    Why I Ride: Families love riding their bikes to school

    by Lisa Montanaro of The Bike Campaign

    In August 2018, the Spring Lake Elementary School in Woodland opened its doors to welcome students for the first time. A newcomer to the Woodland Joint Unified School District, Spring Lake is located on the East side of the city, and offers Transitional Kindergarten through 3rd grade. The school’s mission is “to empower and engage all students through innovative learning, authentic challenges, creative solutions and joyful practices.” One of those joyful practices starts happening before the students even get to the school’s entrance. Kids in Spring Lake are bike riding to school with their parents and other students.

     

    Keri Johnson has two boys, Ian and Jase, who attend Spring Lake. Ian is in the 3rd grade, and Jase is in 2nd grade. They ride their bikes to school everyday unless it’s raining. It provides them an opportunity to socialize with friends and get some fresh air and exercise. “The boys really enjoy riding their bikes to school, as it gives them independence and a way to get some energy out before school starts,” Keri shared. “We have two friends that come to our house in the morning to ride as well.”

     

    Julie Miesfeld’s children have been biking to Spring Lake Elementary since the school opened last year and have converted their school commute into a Bike Pool (as opposed to a Car Pool). “We are big biking advocates! We usually pick up one or two neighbor girls on the way. It works well because we aren’t limited by available spaces in a car. I think there were maybe five days last year that we didn’t bike, mainly due to heavy rain. Even in a mild rain the kids do well. They bring a towel and dry off their bike seats before biking home at the end of the day.”

     

    Julie and other Spring Lake parents emphasized that bike riding to school gives their kids a chance to be outdoors on a daily basis, which is so important considering a large portion of the kids’ days are spent inside the classroom. Many of the parents also emphasized the importance of social interaction with other children, parents, and community members that happens on the way to and from school, that would not happen if those same kids were sitting in a car. Plus, some parents appreciate the chance to get in their own exercise, whether that is walking, running, or cycling alongside the kids.

     

    “We have great conversations on our rides to and from school, and I love hearing the kids chat with friends we meet along the way about what occurred during the school day,” Julie shared. “Biking is not only a healthy lifestyle choice, but it’s cheaper and great for our environment as well. I often run alongside my biking crew, and last year I even brought our dog along in the mornings. What’s more efficient than taking my kids to school while getting a workout in and walking my dog at the same time?”

     

    Biking to Spring Lake Elementary is sometimes easier on parents with young children than taking the time to strap all of them into car seats, and waiting in the car line that forms for drop off and pick up at the school’s entranceway. Indeed, cycling helps keep car congestion down in the area surrounding the school on busy mornings and afternoons.

     

    “I have four kids ages eight and under, and logistically it is much easier and quicker for me to throw the younger ones in a bike trailer or stroller than it is to strap all four into their car seats, wait in a line of traffic, and fight for a parking space, only to get all four out of the car again once we arrive at school. On bikes, we bike right into the gate at school, and the crossing guards safely and swiftly stop traffic to get us across the street. My 4-year old daughter has been riding a two wheeler without training wheels for nearly a year now, which I attribute to all those days of practice biking to pick up her older sisters from school,” Julie commented. Sounds like a win-win for everyone involved!

     

    Katie Neverkovec has a daughter in first grade at Spring Lake Elementary. They started riding bikes to school last year when she started Kindergarten. They had a tag-a-long bike and everyone knew them because they were the only ones to use that style bike. This year, Katie has seen at least two other families with tag-a-longs. But her daughter Carlee has now graduated to using her own bicycle and is excited to use it as much as possible.

    “This summer, my daughter Carlee learned to ride her own bike and is just as excited about riding to school as she was last year. If there is ever a day when we can’t ride bikes to school, both of our days seem to drag on. Riding our bikes to school gives us a burst of fresh morning air and some time to get the ‘sillies’ out before heading into class and work,” Katie shared.

     

    Indeed, her daughter likes to ride bikes to school so much that Katie has been able to use it as leverage for good behavior. She will sometimes say to Carlee, “Biking is a privilege, so let’s make sure we are ready for school in time so we can ride.”

     

    Katie, like other parents in Spring Lake, relishes the chance to be outdoors and get some activity as part of her daughter’s daily commute to school. “Riding back to the house after the bell rings (or sometimes I can drop her off and leave before the bell) literally takes five minutes or less. It gives me another burst of movement and energy before I start my day and head to work in Davis by 9 AM.” Over the last school year, Katie and Carlee have met the same people and dogs every morning along the route. They get to visit with friends on their way to school and love that it gives them a chance to get to know their neighborhood on a more intimate basis. “It’s also an incredible way to beat any sort of traffic on the way to school. I hate battling for the parking line during school drop off.”

     

    What does the Spring Lake Bike Brigade provide? A built-in form of fresh air and exercise, an environmentally conscious way to decrease traffic congestion, and a chance to engage in social interaction with friends and neighbors. Sounds like these Spring Lake kids and their parents are onto something. Kind of makes you want to jump on your bike and join them, doesn’t it? Well, if you are in Spring Lake, you can!

     

    This article is written by Lisa Montanaro, commissioned by The Bike Campaign. For more information about how to “Drive Less. Ride More.,” contact Maria Contreras Tebbutt at funmaria@sbcglobal.net or www.TheBikeCampaign.com

    Why I Ride: A Conversation With Jessica Jacobson

    by Lisa Montanaro of The Bike Campaign

    Jessica Jacobson is a newcomer to Davis, but not a newcomer to bike riding. As a kid growing up in the Midwest, Jessica first started riding a bike as a means of transportation to get to and from school. But it wasn’t always a pleasant experience.

     

    “We were forced to ride because our parents weren’t able to shuttle us around. It was sort of ‘uncool’ to ride my bike when other teenagers were driving cars to school. Plus, it was cold outside!”

     

    Other than a short stint with a used car in high school, Jessica didn’t own a car until her 30s. She lived in many cities and used public transportation to get around, as well as a bicycle. Now that she has relocated to Davis, after living in many locations in the US and overseas, most recently New Jersey, she is grateful for the warmer weather, and the Davis bike culture and infrastructure.

     

    “As an adult, I get a lot of joy out of bike riding. I ride primarily for health and environmental reasons. Cycling is a low-impact means of transportation. Our family has made a conscious lifestyle choice that helps us get exercise and helps the environment.”

     

    Jessica and her husband have three children, ages 5, 8 and 11. The older kids ride their bikes to school on a daily basis, barring any miserably hot weather. The 5-year-old is brought to school in a bike trailer by an adult, a commute of approximately 30 minutes, which is quite the commitment. Jessica finds that the time is quite meditative for her 5-year-old, who arrives at school calm and ready to start the day. Jessica was inspired by a neighbor that has a cargo bike and takes her kids around regularly. Their sons were in the same preschool and the neighbor regularly took her son the 3+ miles there by bike.

     

    The family includes an au pair, who rides a bike with the children. It was so important that their au pair ride a bike that Jessica and her husband made it a requirement for the position. They are a one-car family for 6 people and follow the unofficial family rule, which is that riding a bike as transportation is the default.

     

    “If the trip is under 2 miles, we ride. If the weather isn’t extreme, we ride. If we aren’t carrying anything too large, we ride. The car is the back up, not the other way around.”

    Jessica has lived and traveled in other parts of the world, and enjoys studying and participating in bicycle culture. She loves the safety and expanded bike lanes of Europe, and sees them as something for US cities to strive towards. She appreciates the advanced Davis bike culture, but also respects that the city is constantly looking at ways to improve and not resting on its laurels.

     

    When Jessica lived in Central Asia, she was one of the only people on a bicycle commuting to work, creating some local interest. It was especially rare for a woman to ride her bike to work on a daily basis. She hopes that seeing her cycling was helpful in some ways to other women that lived there. Recently, she was in Seattle and took the opportunity to ride a Jump bike, something she doesn’t do here in Davis even though Jump bikes are readily available around town as the family has a bicycle for each member, including one for guests.

    “I love how being on a bike brings you closer to the neighborhood. You can stop and see things more closely, listen to the sounds, and talk to people along the way. You can’t have that same sensory experience in a car.”

     

    Jessica may be a newcomer to Davis, but she certainly fits in well with the bike culture here. She is currently a member of the Bicycling, Transport and Street Safety Commission. Sounds like she found the perfect match for her and her cycling-loving family. Cycling to school in the Midwest many years ago may not have been considered cool. But here in Davis in 2019, she gets to be one of the “cool kids” riding to school on a daily basis.

     

    This article is written by Lisa Montanaro, commissioned by The Bike Campaign. For more information about how to “Drive Less. Ride More.,” contact Maria Contreras Tebbutt at funmaria@sbcglobal.net or www.TheBikeCampaign.com

    Why I Ride: A Conversation With Clark Fitzgerald

    by Lisa Montanaro of The Bike Campaign

    Clark Fitzgerald first started riding a bike on a consistent basis in 2007. He came back from Afghanistan, where he had been deployed as a member of the military, and took some time off for about a year, riding his bike on frequent one-week trips.

     

    “I was hooked on riding,” he shared. “But also, I didn’t want to blow my money on a car at the time.”

     

    He and his wife are indeed a one-car family, using bicycles as a primary means of transportation. Clark has two bikes that are at opposite ends of the spectrum. “I have a pricey tandem that we bought instead of a second car, and then my touring bike, which is a 1992 Bridgestone MB3 that I use for commuting to UC Davis where I am a graduate student in statistics, as well as to take my two children to day care and the pool. The commuter bike is a total beater!”

     

    The family’s one car is a mini van that can fit the tandem, a CoMotion PeriScope, enabling Clark’s 3-year-old daughter to fit on the back at only 3’2”, or Clark himself at 6’1”. Clark first started riding a tandem with his wife, and now enjoys having his daughter on the back as a co-pilot often.

     

    “I am hard core and like to go fast. My wife doesn’t. So when she is on the tandem, I go slower. But when my daughter is on the tandem, I can go faster!”

     

    His daughter recently had the pleasure of getting lots of attention when Clark joined a Davis Bike Club group ride from Davis to Dixon, with a stop for donuts at the halfway point. “She was certainly the talk of the group. She’s the youngest rider that’s ever been out with them. I think she really liked the attention from all the other riders, and liked dressing up in matching outfits too.”

     

    Although Clark enjoyed the group ride, he is mostly an independent rider. In fact, one of his favorite activities is taking his bike on solo trips, like the recent overnight trip he did in the mountains of Northern California. “I’m pretty into it as a lifestyle,” Clark confessed. He writes about his cycling life on a personal blog. “It’s really for my personal use, so I can remember these experiences when I’m old and grey. I also share my blog with our extended family.”

     

    Clark thinks bike riding is more efficient in a lot of ways than driving. “Also, I like being a part of the environment, not trapped in a car." That love of efficiency carries through in Clark’s attitude about cycling in general (“People should do what they want to do when it comes to cycling”), about cycling apparel (“I always thought the roadies looked kind of funny with their lycra and spandex”), and types of cycling (“I’m unpretentious about cycling, almost like an un-racer”). That relaxed attitude seems to be working well for Clark, whether his two-wheeled adventure is a backroads riding and backpacking trip into the mountains, a tandem ride at a relaxed pace with his wife to spend quality time together, his commute to campus, or a tandem ride with his daughter in an organized group ride with the “roadies,” matching lycra and spandex outfits included.

    Why I Ride - Rich Rifkin

    By Jennifer Ann Gordon

    “I love to ride for the health!” said Davis Enterprise political columnist and former associate editor for The Economist, Rich Rifkin. Living out in the country far from downtown Davis, a lot of Rifkin’s riding is scenic touring with friends and participating in organized rides.

     

    “I set goals for myself,” he said. For example, Rifkin will be riding his 1979 Peugeot 82 gorgeous, challenging miles in Eroica California, a vintage bike tour which begins in Cambria, April 7. And, oh has he been training…no clip-in cycling shoes, just metal toe cages and a heavy old bike. Yes, Rifkin’s going vintage all the way. Rifkin explained that part of the challenge with the longer rides is getting one’s butt accustomed to being in the saddle for long periods. “Cycling takes you places you otherwise wouldn’t go,” said Rifkin. “When you ride 75 miles on your bike, you see 75 miles of nature. When you’re in your car, you don’t see anything.”

     

    Growing up in Davis, Rifkin rode his bike a lot—to and from school, on weekends, all summer, after school. He began riding at three years old and rode on through high school. “I totally endorse Bike Campaign founder and director Maria Contreras Tebbutt’s campaign to get young kids riding bikes. If you don’t grow up riding a bicycle, you don’t think of it as an option.”

     

    “Biking doesn’t break down your body like a lot of other things. You can ride so late in life. Look at Wes Yates.”

     

    Rifkin’s advice for people who are uneasy about biking? “Start on a stationary bike. You’ll get the same muscle workout. Then practice in an open playground. Build up your confidence with easy things. Get used to balancing.”

     

    Rifkin said he learned from running that you begin where you’re able, and then extend yourself, i.e., do a little more every week. “I’ve also learned in the last couple of years how to approach biking with high intensity—sprint, slowdown, repeat,” said Rifkin. “I like hard work.”

     

    The “Why I Ride” article series is produced by The Bike Campaign. For more information, visit www.thebikecampaign or email Director Maria Contreras Tebbutt at funmaria@sbcglobal.net . Drive less. Bike more. THE BIKE CAMPAIGN.

    Why I Ride - Koen Van Rompay

    By Jennifer Ann Gordon

    “I’m very impressed with what The Bike Campaign is doing,” said UC Davis research professor Koen Van Rompay. “I usually have students or postdocs living with me who need bikes. And it’s better to buy used bikes; often with Craigslist, though, you end up with a bike that’s junk and unsafe. It’s better to get a used, general-purpose bike that has been safety-checked from The Bike Campaign’s Bike Garage. For example, when my housemate’s child needed a bike, the Bike Garage helped the child find just the right bike.”

     

    Growing up in bicycle-friendly Belgium, Van Rompay finds it natural to ride his bike most of the time. “I hope young and old people ride,” he said. “We’re spoiled here in Davis. And, parking structures cost money.”

     

    On most days, he commutes to work on his bike. Overseeing UCD’s HIV, Zika, and Chikungunya research, as well as serving as secretary and treasurer of the nonprofit he co-founded, Sahaya International, Van Rompay is a busy guy. He treasures the time he has on his bike every day. “Biking is healthy,” he said, “and it gives me 20 minutes outside twice each day seeing nature. In a car, you miss out; you don’t see the blossoms or hear the birdsong. And downtown parking is difficult, so biking gives a big advantage.”

     

    Van Rompay is a member of UCD’s GoBike Club, which entices people to ride by offering 24 free day parking permits to bike commuters for those rainy or need-to-wear-a-suit days.

    During his visits to Sahaya’s partner organizations in India, he rides a bike. The local people are surprised—their perception of Americans is that everyone is rich and drives big cars. “Sahaya has given many bicycles to children in India and Vietnam. A bike is a dream come true,” said Van Rompay.

     

    He said, “If you can be happy with very simple things in life, you’ll feel rich inside. That’s the way I live my life. With a bicycle, you can live a simple lifestyle. You can share the money you save with other people. Social media presents pictures of what everyone else has; it’s distorted.”

     

    “When I was riding to work last Friday, I saw an amazing rainbow,” said Van Rompay. “I stopped and took some photos. Riding my bike keeps me in touch with nature.”

     

    The Bike Campaign’s Bike Garage is really good for foreign students who need help finding a bike and getting started. It saves a lot of time, too, because you get great help from the staff and don’t have to go all over the place to find a decent bike. And they have a nice variety.”

     

    The “Why I Ride” article series is produced by The Bike Campaign. For more information, visit www.thebikecampaign or email Director Maria Contreras Tebbutt at funmaria@sbcglobal.net . Drive less. Bike more. THE BIKE CAMPAIGN.

    Why I Ride - Dennis Dingemans

    By Jennifer Ann Gordon

    “Bicycling has been important to me,” said Dennis Dingemans. “I was a low self-esteemed kid. My dad told me, ‘Just try it.’ I fell on the grass. But then I got the hang of it. My dad was right!”

     

    Now, after orbiting the sun at the astounding speed of 76k miles-per-hour seventy-three times, Dingemans has completed four Davis Double Centuries, the notorious 200-mile ride through Yolo, Napa , Solano, Lake, and Sonoma counties, on a $100 Bobet bicycle he bought at Payless Drug Store. All four times, he finished after midnight, but he finished! “It’s not a race; it’s a tour,” he said, “and it’s one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever done.”

     

    Dingemans shops for used bikes at yard sales and thrift stores, which he then repairs and donates to The Bike Campaign’s Bike Garage. To date, he has donated 125 bicycles. He is a self-proclaimed “hoarder of bicycles,” although he has whittled down his collection to six.

    When in college at the University of Chicago, he rode his bike to campus every day.

     

    Sometimes, his girlfriend rode on his handlebars. One Friday afternoon, his best friend and he biked 5 miles downtown to buy $5 tickets to the 5th floor nosebleed seats at the home of the Chicago Symphony where that day Herbert Von Karajan was conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra performing Beethoven’s 7th.

     

    In 1971, when Dingemans was in grad school at UC Berkeley, his friend, Chris Winters, suggested they ride their bikes to the top of Mt. Diablo on Easter Sunday. They did it, despite a dicky shifter cable that locked up in 10th gear. Two weeks later, they rode to Monterey and spent Saturday night in a plum orchard along the way. They planned to take the train back to Berkeley, but the crew of the Monterey Ltd. told them they weren’t allowed to bring bikes on the train. Somebody overheard the conversation and suggested they take off one of their pedals to fit the train crew’s luggage-width parameters. They did, and it worked. (Southern Pacific was discouraging passengers on their trains because it wasn’t profitable and low ridership would help them drop the passenger service.)

     

    In 1972, his major professor told him there was a position newly open at UC Davis to teach Urban Geography and asked him if he’d like to be recommended for the job. He jumped at the chance. “This was just right for my level of ambition and for the availability of recreational biking plus team sports – soccer, basketball, and softball (no more rugby and no golf),” he said. Every day for fifteen years, Dingemans biked to UC Davis to teach. And, every day, he leaned his bike up against the same eucalyptus tree near his office. Twenty years later, there was still a mark where his bike had rested on the shady side of the tree. And, he was honored with the Academic Senate’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Yes, “this job was just the right opportunity for me.”

     

    Admittedly, he’s done some foolish things on his bike. For example, he rode home balancing a chair he found at a thrift store. He crashed, after which Dingemans decided not to transport easy chairs via bicycle anymore.

     

    Dingemans has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He no longer drives. “I can barely walk, but I can still bike,” he said. “I’m certain biking helps me be coordinated.” His wife Robin and he recently rode bikes together to the movies. “Robin and I have never walked downtown. We always ride. One of the reasons I married her was that she was a good bike rider and a bold driver,” he said. They’ve been married 43 years.

     

    Two years ago, Dingemans delivered the presidential address to the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers on the historical geography of Village Homes. He said that the creators of Village Homes “created an environment where they’d like to raise their kids. Bike riders of all ages abound on the Village paths.”

     

    He said, “I’m not a very good athlete, but I love to play.” Dingemans' advice? “Keep playing. Do it carefully. Know when to stop trying impossible things.”

     

    The “Why I Ride” article series is produced by The Bike Campaign. For more information, visit www.thebikecampaign or email Director Maria Contreras Tebbutt at funmaria@sbcglobal.net . Drive less. Bike more. THE BIKE CAMPAIGN.

    Why I Ride - Iben Wilson

    By Jennifer Ann Gordon

    As a child in Denmark, Iben Wilson rode her bike everywhere...to see friends, to the movies. She loved the independence biking brought to her.

     

    Wilson’s love affair with Davis began when, as a 10-year-old, her father suggested that she visit her grandmother in Davis for one year so that she could learn English to be able to communicate with the American side of her family. Wilson begged her mother to let her go. Finally, her mother acquiesced. Wilson loved every minute of her 10-year-old life in Davis! While Wilson was in Davis, her family moved from Denmark to a suburb of New York. “Even though I reunited with my family in New York, my heart remained in Davis with my grandmother,” she said.

     

    After arriving in New York, Wilson was surprised to discover that in the United States, there was no space for bicycling, no infrastructure. The independence and freedom biking gave her were gone. After six years in New York, Wilson moved to Davis. She was seventeen. Home sweet bicycling home! She was surprised to learn that Davis’s bike lanes were inspired by those in Denmark.

     

    And, the love affair is still going strong. Wilson has lived in Davis since 1984. Retired from UC Davis after 20 years in various departments as a financial analyst, she decided to go into real estate because of her love of people, home and numbers. Recently, she further honed her business and let go of the Sacramento market to focus on Davis. (Wilson shares what she loves about Davis in her blog.)

     

    “There are so many things to see and do in Davis. I love the special qualities of Davis’s distinct neighborhoods,” said Wilson. She enjoys exploring Davis on bike and meeting its wide variety of stakeholders. She often sends The Bike Campaign’s Davis Bike Maps as a special gift to her clients. She and her husband Everett saw The Bike Campaign’s New Year’s Day Polar Bear Ride event in the paper and joined the fun. (Read more about Iben's adventure on the Polar Bear Ride.)

     

    Her doctor advised, “Biking is the best thing you can do,” to improve a chronic knee problem. She often bikes to her office and meetings. “I got tired of spending so much time driving around looking for parking,” Wilson said. “Everett and I often ride our bikes downtown when we go out on a date,” she said. When their two sons were young, they had a Burley bike trailer. “My youngest son would clap all the way to preschool,” she said.

    “I'm working on making bicycling my main mode of transportation. It’s so refreshing! It simplifies life. It’s great to observe nature, breathe the air, get the circulation going, and clear the mind. Biking beats paying a gym membership. It feels great to be connected and to integrate exercise into my life, rather than making it a to-do,” Wilson said. She is enjoying getting to know the different bike groups in Davis who are dedicated to strengthening our Bike Culture.

     

    Iben Wilson’s advice? “Explore downtown on your bike. Feel the freedom. Let your kids ride to school—let them be independent.”

     

    The “Why I Ride” article series is produced by The Bike Campaign. For more information, visit www.thebikecampaign or email Director Maria Contreras Tebbutt at funmaria@sbcglobal.net . Drive less. Bike more. THE BIKE CAMPAIGN.

    Why I Ride - Nicolas Fauchier-Magnan

    By Jennifer Ann Gordon

    Parisian bicycling beginnings

    Davis resident Nico Fauchier-Magnan’s love affair with bicycles goes back a long way. Growing up in Paris, he says, “Biking gave me a lot of independence. I rode my bike to the library, to my activities, to my friends’ places...basically, everywhere. A bike is often faster than the Metro and busses. Back in the nineties, Paris was just starting to build its bike infrastructure; I remember the first bike lane in my neighborhood was quite a novelty. Now Paris has come a long way. Look at the success of the Vélib' bike-share system: it is one of the most-used in the world, with 100,000 trips per day and four times more docking stations than metro stations.”

     

    Nico’s parents and three siblings, still in Paris, are avid bikers. “Everybody in my family rides bikes now. Our grandma calls us ‘the bicycle family.’ My dad is in finance; he rides his e-bike to the office in his suit and tie, and to meetings with clients. It’s so cool! My brother bikes five miles to work every day, rain or shine, and takes his son to daycare in a child seat on his rack.”

     

    The Magnan biking tradition continues

    Nico and his wife moved to Davis from Switzerland when she accepted a professor position at UC Davis. Nico found a staff position on campus. And the whole family rides! The couple commutes to work by bike, rain or shine, and they also take their kids to daycare by bike. Their one car rarely leaves the driveway, except on the weekends for family road trips.

     

    Faster than driving

    “One of the reasons we bike to work everyday is that it’s so much faster than driving. By the time we drive, park and walk to the office, we could have already been there if we had biked. There are all these shortcuts, too—the off-street bike paths and tunnels are so nice and direct, and you rarely have to cross traffic. Yes, they are so nice!”

     

    More economical than driving

    The family has recouped the money they invested into getting the right bikes for their family by saving on parking fees—approximately $800 per year—on top of all all the other costs of driving, such as gas, maintenance, and depreciation. They also have pay-per-mile car insurance to take advantage of their low annual driving mileage. Nico said, “Biking has paid back financially and in fun.”

     

    The ongoing quest for better street design and engineering

    Nico lived in San Francisco in his twenties and volunteered actively for the local bike advocacy group, the SF Bicycle Coalition. When he moved to Davis, it was only natural for him to become active in Bike Davis, a bicycle advocacy group that promotes bicycling through advocacy, encouragement, education and design.. One major aspect of Bike Davis’s work is the ongoing quest for safer streets, with better design and engineering. Nico said, “In Davis, 20-25 percent of all trips are made on bicycle. We have an amazing infrastructure already, but there are still some gaps in our bike network.”

     

    A family that bikes together has more fun

    Nico and his wife purchased a family bike from Nihola, a Danish company, in Old Town Sacramento. The bike incorporates a front cab that can seat two children, with a strong emphasis on safety: a strong metal frame, and the same durable material used around ice hockey rinks, make the cab feel bullet-proof. “My kids love sitting in front, they get to see everything. The three-point harnesses are great, and the raincover is amazing: it keeps them dry even through heavy rain,” Nico said.

     

    Nico’s 3-½ year old son already rides a bike with no training wheels. “When he was two, my brother gave him a balance bicycle. By the time he was three, he was well-balanced. He had learned how to pedal from riding a tricycle, so it was natural for him to put it all together to ride his bike.”

     

    Nico’s advice for families who want to bike together

    “Start small and build up your confidence,” he said. “Get a trailer or a bike seat for your child and try it out for a week. And, make it playful for the kids. Sometimes, my son and I pretend that our Nihola bike with the cab is a submarine and he’s the pilot. Trees become whales, other bikes are octopuses… he loves it!”

     

    The “Why I Ride” article series is produced by The Bike Campaign. For more information, visit www.thebikecampaign or email Director Maria Contreras Tebbutt at funmaria@sbcglobal.net . Drive less. Bike more. THE BIKE CAMPAIGN.

    Why I Ride - Mele Echiburu

    By Jennifer Ann Gordon

    Mele Echiburu and the Cycling Lifestyle

    In the 2016-2017 school year, Emerson Junior High School teacher Mele Echiburu cycled to and from work 179 out of 180 days...rain or shine. And the only reason she missed one day of cycling was that it was her turn to drive on a field trip. This school year, she’s shooting for a perfect record. One of her co-teachers, Jenn Wolfe, took on the challenge, as well, to bike to school every day regardless of weather and other factors. “We egg each other on,” said Mele.

     

    Now in her 24th year of teaching, Mele exemplifies the healthy, cycling lifestyle. Davis is an ideal place for commuting à la bicyclette. Mele said that driving to work takes 9 minutes; cycling takes 11 minutes. Sure, there are “little challenges,” when it gets hot or it’s raining, but she has a system. And, she said, “Cycling is a nice way to debrief after work.”

     

    Growing up near Annadel State Park in Santa Rosa, Mele mountain-biked as a kid. In 1986, when Mele was in eleventh grade, she formed a bike club. “It was a big deal,” she said, “our motto was ‘Canada or Bust.’” The club was planning to ride to the World Expo in Canada, but the members dwindled down to 2 people, Mele and her friend Sean Parsons. She and Sean had planned everything, including the route, miles per day, food and rest stops. But with just two of them, Melanie’s dad stepped in and offered to ride with them. They rode 70-100 miles per day and camped out at night. “Riding my bicycle from one country to another was amazing.”

     

    After years of being a triathlete and snowboarder, Mele began to ride her bicycle in earnest. At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, she invited her students to join her in the challenge to commute every day that year to school. Now, cycling to school is growing.

    Mele is all geared up for the rain. She wears a poncho with big boots and lots of lights. “Riding in the rain is flat-out fun,” she said. She has a few hard-earned tips for rain-riding: wait to put on mascara until once you arrive; get a really good poncho (she used to wear her backpack underneath her poncho until her husband, Lautaro, got her a fluorescent waterproof zip bag); and get some serious rain boots.

     

    What else does Mele advise? Do everything you can to make your cycling experience better. Get a bicycle that’s comfortable for you. And, let your kids choose their bikes.

    To put it in perspective, Mele said, “A good bike costs around $600. That seemed like a lot until I realized that I pay $600 without blinking an eye to get my car fixed.” She added, “Always wear your helmet and don’t worry about your hair. Lock up your bike. And, understand that, here in Davis, a bike is often faster and easier than a car.“

     

    Mele’s joy, commitment and unwavering enthusiasm are contagious. “I just hope that people realize how easy the cycling lifestyle is, especially in Davis.”

     

    The “Why I Ride” article series is produced by The Bike Campaign. For more information, visit www.thebikecampaign or email Director Maria Contreras Tebbutt at funmaria@sbcglobal.net . Drive less. Bike more. THE BIKE CAMPAIGN.

    Why I Ride - Loretta Moore

    By Jennifer Ann Gordon

    Loretta Moore pours her heart and soul into her job as the Program Coordinator for the City of Davis’s “Street Smarts/Safe Routes to School” program. Moore is a certified League Cycling Instructor (LCI); the LCI’s role is to help people feel more secure about getting on a bike, to create the mindset that bikes should be treated as vehicles, and to make sure that people know how to ride their bikes safely and legally. Her programs are creative, integrative and collaborative. City of Davis Art Director Rachel Hartsough contributes greatly to the success of the program. “Rachel is a joy to work with,” said Moore. “It’s really fun to develop new ideas with her, along with my fabulous UCD intern Amber Medina. We are so lucky to have access to talented students who are passionate and bring their skill and creativity to the program.”

     

    British Columbia, Sweden, Togo...Davis

    Growing up in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, British Columbia, Moore always had a bicycle. Her favorite was a purple banana-seat bike that, incidentally, her dad ran over twice with his pickup truck—mainly because she usually left her bike in front of his truck. Then she took up mountain biking. She loved the downhill rush of fast, technical riding. Her 12th grade class trip was a 450 kilometer road ride from Jasper to Lake Louise and onto Radium Hot Springs.

    After many years of data processing on seismic exploration ships offshore in Togo, Brazil, China, Russia and Sweden, Moore is glad to be moored in Davis. She and parent volunteers hold Bike Rodeos for each school on their blacktop, with events centered on bike safety, bicycle maintenance, and traffic skills. Moore also works closely with Jennifer Donofrio’s Bike PED on the Bike Rodeos, Light Up the Night (encourages and distributes bike lights), and other events.

     

    Travel Independence

    Here in Davis, Moore commutes to work most days. Her family of four—husband Jason Wingo and sons Miles (14) and Nolan (10)—has a truck and 11 bicycles. “Most kids are thrown in a car and passengered around,” Moore said. “Cycling or walking to school gives your child travel independence—navigating, being more aware of surroundings, even using public transportation, and understanding maps—which ends up helping them a lot when they leave home; navigating their way in new places isn’t as stressful.”

     

    Moore also coordinates the “active4.me” opt-in barcode scanning program, developed by Davisite Tim Starbuck, for kindergarteners through sixth graders, and implemented by Volunteer Champions at each school site. Each child has a barcode tag that a Champion scans when the student arrives at school. The parents then receive a text or email confirming their child arrived safely. Kids that participate in the scanning program also get prizes for their efforts. Additionally, Moore is hoping to implement a student-run active4.me program for junior high and high school students.

     

    May 9 marked Bike to School Day, created by Moore, with prizes awarded to the school with the most students scanned. The winner was Willett Elementary; and the prize was a Fat Face popsicle party, with Fat Face providing their cool confections at cost.

     

    Also on Bike to School Day, the Golden Wheel trophy was awarded to Patwin Elementary, who had 66% of their student body either cycle or ride scooters to school, and to Holmes Junior High with 49% of their students cycling or scooting. Fairfield Elementary, 4 miles outside of Davis, received an ice cream party for the longest bicycle train; out of 42 students total, 36 of the k-3rd graders (and their parents) rode the 4 miles to school.

     

    Books Boasting Bicycles...A Great Aliteration

    Books On Bikes, another of Davis’s Street Smarts/Safe Routes to School programs, has donated approximately 400 books about bicycling to the Davis and Woodland libraries. “People are bombarded with images of cars, not bikes, in books,” said Moore, “and we want to change that.” Moore’s top picks? “Green Bicycle” by Haifaa al Mansour; “Cycle City” by Alison Farrell; and “The Bicycle Spy” by Yona Zeldis McDonough.

     

    Loopalooza Is a Lollapalooza

    Yes, Loretta Moore has been busy. With the Bike Davis advocacy group, Davis’s Street Smarts/Safe Routes to School hosted “Loopalooza,” an annual 12-mile bike ride around Davis that connects the community’s schools. This year’s Loopalooza took place on Sunday, May 6. The participants—from toddlers to grandparents and everyone in between—received a passport, and could start at any point along the route and go in either direction. Their passport got stamped at each of the nine different stations or schools. For every 3 stamps, the rider received a healthy snack. UC Davis’s design students created the passports and marketing materials. The purpose of Loopalooza was to paint a picture of a healthy, integrated lifestyle—school, home, bicycling paths, community, fun.

     

    32 Polar Bears So Far

    One of Moore’s most popular events is the Polar Pedal, which takes place in February. Every time a child walks, cycles or rides their scooter to school and gets scanned, they earn points toward adopting a polar bear via Polar Bears International. In 2017, the children adopted 14 polar bears; in 2018, they adopted 18 polar bears. “Cycling and scooting to adopt a polar bear helps reduce our carbon footprint, which then helps save the polar bears’ habitat...a win-win,” said Moore.

     

    Davis Police Department’s Bike Train

    Even the Davis Police Department’s Officers John Evans and Mike Yu are in on the fun. Bike a Kid to School began in the 2016-17 school year and Moore hopes to develop the event further. The officers lead a bike train to school. “This helps the police better understand what kids encounter,” said Moore. Parents join in, too. Her advice: “Get out there and feel how great it is; you get to talk with your kid!”

     

    And this is just the tip of the bicycle-burg! Street Smarts/Safe Routes to School is made possible by a one-time $500k grant from CalTrans. Check out City of Davis’s Street Smarts/Safe Routes to School online for more information.

     

    “We’re so fortunate to live in Davis, a community designed for people to bike to school. It’s a great opportunity. There’s no better place to live! Biking to school is so easy. If you can’t bike to school, you can park two blocks from school and walk. The point is to drive a little less and, by doing so, keep the roads safer for our kids.”

     

    The “Why I Ride” article series is produced by The Bike Campaign. For more information, visit www.thebikecampaign or email Director Maria Contreras Tebbutt at funmaria@sbcglobal.net . Drive less. Bike more. THE BIKE CAMPAIGN.

    Why I Ride - Jenny Tan

    By Jennifer Ann Gordon

    Jenny Tan, a UC Davis alumna, went from driving every day to and from her job as the Public Information Officer for Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District (YSAQMD) to becoming a dedicated bike commuter, and ushering her entire family—a husband and three robust boys—into the biking lifestyle. How did this happen?

     

    Maria Contrera Tebbutt, founder and director of The Bike Campaign, a nonprofit which partners with YSAQMD, asked Tan what was keeping her from riding her bicycle to work. Tan confided that she didn’t know what route to take. Tebbutt rode with Tan and showed her the routes through the UC Davis campus. Tan was surprised at how fast and easy the bike commute was, and she has been riding ever since.

     

    YSAQMD offers its employees incentives for reducing driving and using “active transportation.” Tan bikes the 4-mile commute to work about half the time.

     

    The Tans moved from Natomas to Davis in 2017. “Davis’s community and culture, with its existing bike lanes, is so much safer than Natomas was,” said Tan. Although it’s not feasible for Tan’s husband, Hoa, to commute via bike, he rides with the family on the weekends. Their three boys, Ethan, 14, Matthew, 10, and Andrew, 5, have embraced active transportation. Ethan loves the increased freedom that riding his bike affords; Matthew enjoys walking to school, and is gaining bike confidence by practicing riding at his school on the weekends; and “Andrew is super enthusiastic about riding downtown to the grocery store, the farmers marketing and the library,” said Tan.

     

    In deciding what types of bikes they wanted to buy, the Tans asked themselves if they needed bikes for mostly in-town riding or for longer rides to Woodland and Sacramento. They decided that bikes for riding in town would suit them perfectly and ended up purchasing in-town, single-speed bikes at the Davis Bike Exchange, including a used bike trailer for their youngest, Andrew, when they needed to ride in heavy traffic. Tan also took advantage of Yolo Commute’s $100 bike grant via its Bicycle Incentive Program, offered every May, to purchase cell phone holders, bike lights and reflective shirts.

     

    Each morning, Tan asks herself, “Where are we going and what are we going to do today? Can we ride?” “Biking gives the family something fun to do together,” she said.

     

    What does Tan want to say to people who have not experienced the joy of driving less and biking more? “Give it a shot. Try to bike more. There are a lot of support systems to build confidence and skills, and learn the rules of the road. I support what Maria’s doing with The Bike Campaign.”

     

    Drive less. Ride more. THE BIKE CAMPAIGN.

    Why I Ride - Scott Thomsen

    By Jennifer Ann Gordon

    Scott Thomsen, Principal of Ralph Waldo Emerson Junior High School in Davis, commutes to work from Woodland most days, rain or shine, on his e-bike, which can reach 27 m.p.h. He leaves at 6:30 AM and arrives at 7 AM. He has a system that includes packing his tie, snacks and briefcase. With his highly reflective Showers Pass raingear, he is prepared for a downpour (something he learned to do by inverse when he arrived at school drenched early on).

     

    “Technically, I don’t have a car,” said Thomsen. His wife Wendy is a Montessori School teacher in Sacramento and commutes with the family car. They ride together recreationally. In 2013, the Thomsens rode their bikes from San Francisco to the Santa Monica Pier, covering approximately 500 miles in 7 days.

     

    Why does Thomsen ride? “I ride to relieve stress. Riding to work each day is a great time to think things through and to practice conversation,” he said. Sometimes he rides with students part of the way.

     

    Thomsen noted that the biggest impact of commuting via ebike has been financial. “I feel better each week not having to maintain a car,” he said. “When you add up car payments, gas, wear-and-tear, insurance, and the other often hidden costs of driving, biking is preferable.”

     

    One of the misconceptions that kept him from biking was that it takes a lot more time. “One of the biggest obstructions I had to make the shift to biking was that I have a lot of meetings at the District Office and I didn’t think I had time to bike to the meetings,” said Thomsen. But he found out that by the time he drove to the meeting and parked, he could have biked, not had to worry about parking, and de-stressed in the process, in roughly the same amount of time. For example, driving from his home in Woodland to Emerson Junior High takes 18 minutes. Biking takes 26 minutes, and he gets the benefit of the exercise and “peace of mind.”

     

    Thomsen says that the right gear makes a big difference. And really bright lights! Also, to develop a routine, so you bring what you need. He recommends taking the time to determine the safest routes. “I feel completely safe on roads that have significant bike lanes,” he said. “I’m seeing more and more respect by cars. Make eye contact and be visible.”

     

    Note: To help you determine the safest bike routes, The Bike Campaign offers free Biking Maps of Davis and Woodland.

     

    Drive less. Bike more. THE BIKE CAMPAIGN.

    Scott Thomsen, Principal of Ralph Waldo Emerson Junior High School in Davis, commutes to work from Woodland most days, rain or shine, on his e-bike, which can reach 27 m.p.h. He leaves at 6:30 AM and arrives at 7 AM. He has a system that includes packing his tie, snacks and briefcase. With his highly reflective Showers Pass raingear, he is prepared for a downpour (something he learned to do by inverse when he arrived at school drenched early on).

     

    “Technically, I don’t have a car,” said Thomsen. His wife Wendy is a Montessori School teacher in Sacramento and commutes with the family car. They ride together recreationally. In 2013, the Thomsens rode their bikes from San Francisco to the Santa Monica Pier, covering approximately 500 miles in 7 days.

     

    Why does Thomsen ride? “I ride to relieve stress. Riding to work each day is a great time to think things through and to practice conversation,” he said. Sometimes he rides with students part of the way.

    Why I Ride - Wesley Yates

    By Jennifer Ann Gordon

    Wesley Yates, 91, is going strong. An avid skier and cyclist, and a lifelong outdoorsman, Yates recently purchased an electric road bicycle, or e-bike, from Freewheeler Bicycle Center in Davis. He rides with the Over the Hill Gang, a group in the Davis Bike Club. “I noticed that the others were getting a little faster,” said Yates. After 26 years of road cycling and unwilling to give up riding with the group, he looked into an electric assist bicycle, which requires pedaling, but assists the rider as much or as little as he wishes. “Riding the aerodynamic e-bike is like having a constant tailwind; and you get to decide how strong a tailwind you want; you select the levels of assist you want, from low to high,” said Yates. “The ride is so smooth and going up hills is great. The e-bike has opened a whole new window for me; it allows me to do a lot more riding than I normally would be able to do.”

     

    In 1970, Yates joined the volunteer ski patrol at Sierra-at-Tahoe, and spent everyweekend during ski season on the ski patrol for the following 19 years. When a friend told him that the best way to prepare for ski season was road biking, Yates borrowed a road bicycle from a friend and joined the Davis Bike Club. When Yates first joined the Davis Bike Club, his role model was an older longtime member of the club, Doc Wright, who was then 94 years old.

    Yates has held only one job his entire life—39 years in the Agricultural Engineering Department at UC Davis. Receiving his BS from Iowa State University, Wesley came to UCD in 1949 as a grad student. Once he received his Masters degree in 1951, he advanced through the ranks to Professor of Agricultural Engineering. “I never did drive a car to work. I commuted on my Schwinn 3-speed.”

     

    Yates, who resides at the University Retirement Community (URC), focuses on his skiing all winter through early spring, and cycles during the warmer months. He goes on 3 rides each week—Woodland, Winters, and Dixon.

     

    His advice to other seniors? “Keep active.”

    Why I Ride - Tom Stallard

    By Jennifer Ann Gordon

    An “Active Transportation” advocate, Woodland citizen Tom Stallard stands firm on the positive implication of biking for air quality. He has represented Woodland at both the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. “We’re all breathing the same air,” Stallard said.

     

    Stallard has ridden a bike for most of his life, but he began riding seriously 4-5 years ago for fitness. He makes a 22-mile roundtrip to Davis weekly, and rides throughout the week in Woodland, when he doesn’t have meetings out of town. “Biking is a way to see things from the natural world,” said Stallard, “Hawks, critters…riding out in the country, watching the seasons, the growth cycles.”

     

    In tandem with The Bike Campaign, Stallard promotes active transportation, which includes biking, walking, and taking public transportation. “A bicycle can be the vehicle of choice for people of low income. Bikes can be an equalizer and a lot more,” he said. “The director of the Bike Campaign, Maria Contreras Tebbutt, has enriched so many people’s lives with her hard work. Maria dignifies people with the opportunity to transform their lives by teaching them safe riding and bike maintenance skills at the Bike Garage in Woodland.”

     

    “Safety is a serious issue,” said Stallard. “Drivers need to be courteous to bikers and maintain a minimum of three feet between their car and the bicycle. Drivers need to share the road. We all have to be more considerate of each other. We see others’ needs and accommodate them.” Stallard said, “I am grateful others ride because it means fewer cars on the road and less pollution, for the well-being of our children. School is one of the most important places to use active transportation; there is so much congestion and pollution around school sites, and unsafe traffic conditions.”

     

    Stallard’s advice? “Give it a try. Enjoy your life. Enjoy your community.”

    Drive Less. Ride More. THE BIKE CAMPAIGN.

    Why We Ride - Jonathan and Rhea Bartlett

    By Jennifer Ann Gordon

    Jonathan Bartlett, a business process analyst with Yolo County Health and Human Services, began working with The Bike Campaign founder, Maria Contreras Tebbutt, on the Safe Routes to School project. “Safe Routes to School helps kids bike and walk more, and learn the safest biking paths, to reduce car trips to school,” said Bartlett. The collaboration produced Bike Rodeos with bike education components, free helmet giveaways, and outreach to families via their children’s schools.

     

    “The thing I am most proud of is the new model for pick-up and drop-off at Beamer Elementary. It’s safer now for kids biking and walking to school.” (Previously, the congestion created unsafe conditions for kids on bikes and foot.)

     

    Bartlett’s wife Rhea, also with Yolo County Health and Human Services, is a registered dietitian for the Women, Infant and Children program, aka W.I.C.

     

    The Bartletts, who live in Davis, weren’t ready to be hardcore cyclists; they didn’t want to invest a lot of money in bikes, so they bought used bikes, safety-checked and ready to roll, at The Bike Campaign’s “Bike Garage” in Woodland. “The Bike Garage has nice, reliable bikes. It was a great way to test the water and see how often we used our bikes. Also, to get a feel for biking and see if it’s what we want to do,” said Jonathan.

     

    It is. Rhea said, “Biking is a great way to spend time together and explore Davis.” On weekends, they often enjoy a leisurely pace of riding to the Davis Farmers Market and then stop off for breakfast at a café. They were surprised that biking downtown took approximately the same amount of time as driving. “’Parking’ a bike is easy and you get exercise,” said Rhea, “and biking is a great couple’s activity! We haven’t even begun to explore all the bike paths in Davis yet!”

     

    Jonathan said, “We’re getting more comfortable riding on the country roads. We use all the safety gear, including bright lights and helmets. Biking was never meant to be our focus; our focus is on spending quality time together, enjoying the scenery, enjoying Davis, and biking is a great way to do that.”

     

    The Bartletts always take turns leading the trips. “It’s a great way to spend time together…trusting and following the other. When Rhea is leading the trip, I let her set the pace and hang back.”

    “And when I’m fearful of the traffic,” said Rhea, “I let Jonathan lead. Even though you’re on separate bikes, it’s still teamwork. You still have to stick together. There are times when Jon has to slow down for me. And there are times when I need to navigate to bring us back on course.”

     

    Most recently, they experienced Napa on bikes. Another memorable trip was the Columbia River Gorge Tour in Oregon. They flew to Portland, went to a bike shop where took a van to the Gorge, stopping at scenic spots to bike to the next waterfall.

     

    The Bartletts are living proof that biking is a great way for couples to experience nature, their town, and each other, and to do it with decent, affordable, used bikes from The Bike Garage.

     

    Drive Less. Ride More. THE BIKE CAMPAIGN.

    Why I Ride - David Cluff

    by Jennifer Ann Gordon

    David Cluff is a UC Davis chemistry grad student who researches electrocatalytic reduction of CO2, which Cluff describes as “using electricity to make something useful out of CO2 again.” Cluff bikes the 24-mile roundtrip commute from Woodland to teach and research at UC Davis daily. During inclement weather, he uses the bike rack on the bus to give him the best of both options, staying dry and easy mobility once the bus arrives.

     

    He started biking in earnest as a student at Utah State University when his car gave up the ghost, and his only options were to either bike or walk. During these years he would up pick his future wife, Carrie, for dates on a tandem. Romantic!

     

    What started as enforced frugality latter became frugality by choice as he continued choosing to use biking or a combination of riding the bus and biking, even after buying a car and being able to afford another.

     

    A college athlete, he was on the track and cross-country teams. He joined a local bike riding team after finishing his collegiate career to continue competing. His competitions so far have only included a triathlon and a century challenge (a 100-mile bike ride), but he’s looking forward to being part of many more in the future.

     

    Re-Cycling
    As an undergrad at Utah State University, he began rebuilding his own bikes. Cluff relishes “crafting and tinkering.” He said, “Seeing something broken work again, getting everything aligned and working just right, is very satisfying.”

     

    While looking for further opportunities to learn about and work on bikes, he discovered The Bike Garage, a nonprofit that repairs, maintains, and sells used bikes. Cluff began to volunteer at The Bike Garage several Saturdays per month. (He purchased both his commuting bike and his new carbon-frame racing bike from The Bike Garage.)

    Regarding buying bikes, he says, “A lot of the bikes you get at a bike shop are made for serious, experienced riders—they are largely overpriced and much more than even your regular riders will need—but getting your bikes at The Bike Garage is a really good way to start riding without a big investment. You can experiment with different types and models of bikes to find out what’s right for you before you go all in and break the bank.”

     

    Start Small
    “When you bike, you feel great and you save money,” says Cluff. “Getting started is the toughest part. There’s a mental barrier—‘Oh, two miles, that’s so far.’ But you can start small and build up. One mile is not a big deal, then two, then three, ….”

     

    Drive less. Ride more. THE BIKE CAMPAIGN.

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