Cycling Tourism in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties

In 2018, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties set out to make the Central Coast a premier national and international bicycle destination, attracting tourists, and improving the quality of life for residents. And, today a cycling tourist can go to https://cyclecalcoast.com and find suggested bike routes, accommodations, amenities, bike friendly businesses, local attractions and updated news about bike riding along the California Coast.

The goals established in 2018 by Santa Barbara and Ventura bike clubs, elected officials, transportation planners and officials helped make these counties a model for bike tourism.

  • Make Santa Barbara and Ventura counties premier bicycle tourism destinations and facilitate cycling along the California coast
  • Improve the safety, livability, and quality of life of our communities by improving the bicycling environment for local commuting and recreational uses
  • Convene a unique coalition of businesses, tourism, advocacy, and government organizations to improve bicycling in our area and communicate opportunities for bicycle-centered adventures
  • Develop a sustainable structure for cycleCalCoast to ensure long-term success

My wife and I have traveled to Santa Barbara several times to ride our bikes for a weekend mini vacation. I realize that Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties had a vision for creating a bike network of bike trails and lanes. It is a premier bike destination. And, we will return to ride the California Coast when it is safe to travel again.

Looking at the what made Cycle the California Coast successful will help our five county partners create Bike Valley to Sierra as a cycling destination. The first step is to identify a bike loop, or several bike route options.

This is the Cycle the California Coast Initial Bike Route that helped make this region a cycling destination.

https://cyclecalcoast.com/rides/the-grand-loop/

The partners in Bike Valley to Sierra are currently, looking at bike popular bike routes. The following are routes based on my cycling experience:

San Joaquin, Woodbridge to Thornton

Stanislaus, Modesto to Oakdale

Calaveras, Tri Dam Loop from Valley Springs

Tuolumne, Cherry Lake to Evergreen Lodge

Alpine, Markleeville to Ebbetts Pass

As Outreach Manager for the CalBike Cycling Tourism Study I contacted over fifty civic leaders, government officials, friendly bike business owners, bike club leaders and transportation planners about cycling tourism. One memorable conversation was with Kim MacFarlane, Tuolumne County Public Works,Tanya Allen and David Ruby, Tuolumne County Transportation Engineers. This phone call lasted 90 minutes! We talked about creating a bike riding network for all types of bicycle riding. We discussed bike lanes, routes to school, bike lanes for commuting to work or shopping. And, finally routes to link popular recreational bikes from downtown Sonora. In retrospect, I suspect this conversation was similar to the vision setting in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

Our vision for Bike Valley to Sierra begins with our conversations to make our region a premier cycling destination.

The Motherlode Bicycle Coalition

There are four bicycle coalition’s in Caltrans District 10: Bike Lodi, California Alps Cycling, San Joaquin Bike Coalition and the Modesto Bike Advisory. These bike advocacy organizations all have a common goal to promote safe, healthy and accessible bike riding.

The Motherlode Bicycle Coalition represents Amador, Apline, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties. Jack Becker, former Bakersfield Bike Coalition Executive Director is the MLBC Executive Director. The MLBC Board Members are Carl Baker, Nikki Grimes, Dwight Follen, Robert Leibold, Carolyn Ryder, and Holly Azevedo.

The Motherlode Bicycle Coalition is an educational project of the California Bicycle Coalition. https://www.calbike.org/

Our affiliation with CalBike includes advocating and promoting cycling tourism in our five Motherlode Counties. Our Board Members have suggested bike routes for Bike Valley to Sierra, participated in conversations with local civic leaders, business owners, and government officials about the economic benefits of promoting our region as a cycling destination.

The 2020 End of Year MLBC Newsletter is below and highlights our accomplishments and plans for 2021.


The bicycle coalition’s in Caltrans District 10 recently requested to meet with the newly appointed Deputy District Director for Planning, Marlon Regisford. We hope to form a partnership that insures that all Highway and Caltrans road improvements support safe bicycle travel.


https://bikelodi.weebly.com/

https://californiaalpscycling.bike/

https://www.sjbike.org/

http://www.stancog.org/bpac-committee.shtm

CalBike, Bike Davis, Chico Velo, Motherlode Bicycle Coalition and Sacramento Area Bike Advocates speaking with Congressman John Garamendi about The Invest In America Act, a Federal Transportation Infrastructure Plan, including making roads safe for all users pedestrians and bicyclist.

December 12, 2020

Dear Motherlode Bicycle Coalition Members,

Thanks for being a member!

We hope this newsletter finds you safe, outside, riding and healthy. The MLBC Board Members are optimistic about the new year. We are committed to making our roads safe for bike riding and being a public partner in all Caltrans District 10 and county public work road projects.

Our 2021 scheduled bike ride plans include Covid safety procedures in place and a continued commitment to exploring the Gold Rush Towns in the Motherlode.

The new year is looking better than March 2020 when all things bike related were cancelled: RideandWalk4Art, Monthly Pop Up bike rides in Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties and MLBC in person board meetings.

We did meet as a Board using Zoom to discuss advocacy actions that would support safe bike routes. Also, we shared our collective voice with Caltrans and county transportation agencies.

Active Transportation Plans were updated with your comments and suggestions.

We held our holiday party on Zoom which included a presentation from Youth Bike America. Our special guests included SFUSD Teacher Andy Padlo, a Senior Projects Teacher from the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts and three recent graduates: Emmet Forde, Dasha Yurkevich and Julian Jordan. They shared their Bike Ride Across America during the summer of 2020!

2020 Highlights

Provided comments to improve the Active Transportation Plans in Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties.

Provided comments to Caltrans District 10 SHOPP Improvements

Conducted summer Bike Event Director’s Meetings, co-sponsored by Cycle California Magazine, to plan bike events post Covid 19.

Submitted Caltrans and county road maintenance requests on Murphys Grade, Highway 4, and Highway 108.

Supported CalBike Cycling Tourism Study to improve and encourage recreational biking in the Motherlode. https://www.bikevalleytosierra.com/about

2021 Agenda

Advocate for the formation of a Caltrans District 10 Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

Reschedule Monthly Pop up Bike Rides led by MLBC Board Members featuring our favorite Gold Rush rides.

Organize youth bikes rodeos in the Motherlode.

Take an active role in supporting the California Bicycle Coalition 2021 Advocacy Agenda.

Come ride with us! Become a MLBC Member in 2021.

With your energy, experience, and membership, we can work together to:

● Build bicycle-friendly communities

● Break down barriers to cycling

● Improve air quality and public health

● Educate cyclists and motorists on Sharing the Road

● Promote bike rides and routes in the Motherlode

● Organize more bicycle events to promote cycling, increase public awareness, and have fun.

Safe riding in the California Foothills in 2021

Motherlode Bicycle Coalition Board Members

Rob Williams

Carl Baker

Jack Becker

Nikki Grimes

Robert Leibold

Dwight Follen

Carolyn Ryder

MLBC End of Year Newsletter

The Motherlode

December 15, 2020

Dear Motherlode Bicycle Coalition Members,

Thanks for being a member!

We hope this newsletter finds you safe, outside, riding and healthy. The MLBC Board Members are optimistic about the new year. We are committed to making our roads safe for bike riding and being a public partner in all Caltrans District 10 and county public work road projects. 

Our 2021 scheduled bike ride plans include Covid safety procedures in place and a continued commitment to exploring the Gold Rush Towns in the Motherlode.

The new year is looking better than March 2020 when all things bike related were cancelled: RideandWalk4Art, Monthly Pop Up bike rides in Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties and MLBC in person board meetings. 

We did meet as a Board using Zoom to discuss advocacy actions that would support safe bike routes. Also, we shared our collective voice with Caltrans and county transportation agencies. 

Active Transportation Plans were updated with your comments and suggestions.

We held our holiday party on Zoom which included a presentation from Youth Bike America. Our special guests included SFUSD Teacher Andy Padlo, a Senior Projects Teacher from the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts and three recent graduates: Emmet Forde, Dasha Yurkevich and Julian Jordan. They shared their Bike Ride Across America during the summer of 2020!

2020 Highlights

Provided comments to improve the Active Transportation Plans in Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties.

Provided comments to Caltrans District 10 SHOPP Improvements 

Conducted summer Bike Event Director’s Meetings, co-sponsored by Cycle California Magazine, to plan bike events post Covid 19.

Submitted Caltrans and county road maintenance requests on Murphys Grade, Highway 4, and Highway 108.

Supported CalBike Cycling Tourism Study to improve and encourage recreational biking in the Motherlode.  https://www.bikevalleytosierra.com/about

2021 Agenda

Advocate for the formation of a Caltrans District 10 Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

Reschedule Monthly Pop up Bike Rides led by MLBC Board Members featuring our favorite Gold Rush rides.

Organize youth bikes rodeos in the Motherlode.

Take an active role in supporting the California Bicycle Coalition 2021 Advocacy Agenda.

Come ride with us! Become a MLBC Member in 2021

With your energy, experience, and membership, we can work together to:

● Build bicycle-friendly communities

● Break down barriers to cycling

● Improve air quality and public health

● Educate cyclists and motorists on Sharing the Road

● Promote bike rides and routes in the Motherlode

● Organize more bicycle events to promote cycling, increase public awareness, and have fun.

Safe riding in the California Foothills in 2021

Motherlode Bicycle Coalition Board Members 

Rob Williams

Carl Baker

Jack Becker

Nikki Grimes

Robert Leibold

Dwight Follen 

Carolyn Ryder

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