California's bicycle clubs organized into a state federation in 1972 to protect bicyclists' interests statewide and to encourage, maintain, and improve bicycling conditions.

CABO (the "A" is pronounced long) fosters and promotes a favorable climate for bicycling in California by representing the interests of cyclists before the appropriate governmental bodies to protect their rights and promoting laws, policies, and actions that treat cyclists equitably.

In addition to the usual officers, CABO has Area Directors which mirror the boundaries of the twelve Caltrans districts. All are unpaid volunteers.

Board Mtg. Jan 31st. What are your issues?

January 29th, 2015 No comments

CABO’s first Board meeting of 2015 will be this Saturday, Jan 31st. This year I am inviting some CABO friends to participate after 8 PM when the Board’s business meeting should have concluded; meet and greet, share issues, concerns, and ideas for forwarding CABO’s interests – promoting and protecting bicycling for bicyclists in California. Forward your ideas and request to me for an invitation to participate. (Sorry I must limit the number on the call – so get your request in early to

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Adventure Cycling route blocked?

January 15th, 2015 Comments off

We want Caltrans to live up to its responsibility and stated goals to provide for bicycling as well as motor vehicle transportation. When a State Highway is to be unavailable for bicycling there should be a usable other route for people to bike through, right? Or that highway should be made accessible for people to use by bicycle. Seems pretty clear to us.
Here’s what I sent to Caltrans.
Director Dougherty:

I am providing this email and will follow up with a letter on behalf of the members of your California Bicycle Advisory Committee (CBAC), and also on behalf of the Calif. Assoc. of Bicycling Organizations ( and the bicycle travelers who depend on the Adventure Cycling Association for maps of appropriate bicycling routes across the USA.

Caltrans District 8 has refused to make certain shoulders of State Highway/freeways available for bicycle travel in spite of their being no available viable alternative route for bicycling. Viable bicycling routes in California are vital, especially for the “Bicycle Route 66″ part of an effort by the Adventure Cycling Assoc. to provide National Trails across the USA.

The present position of District 8 – refusal to allow freeway shoulder use or to provide an alternative route – seems to be contrary to current Caltrans policy for providing for bicycling travel, not just for motor vehicle travel. The refusal also seems to be contrary to State and Highway Code 888, which we understand to place responsibility on Caltrans to provide for bicycle travel either on or adjacent to a State Highway route that is available for motor vehicle travel.

At the December 4, 2014, CBAC members voted to bring to your attention their recommendation that Caltrans/you direct District 8 act to provide for bicycle travel along this route. I do so now.

I will be in Sacramento February 4th and for the next CBAC meeting February 5, 2015. I would like to meet with you about this request. I may be able to also have present a representative from the Adventure Cycling Association who can provide in person more detailed information about this need.

Following is detail is the issue:

There is currently no legal route for cyclists to travel between Ludlow and Barstow California. The I-40 freeway between these two communities is posted “Bicycles Prohibited” and the adjacent legal route, Historic Route 66, also known as the National Trails Highway (NTH) is currently closed to all traffic.
Adventure Cycling’s Bicycle Route 66 maps will go to print in mid-January and will be released to the public in early March.
This route will one day be part of the U.S. Bicycle Route System an AASHTO project that Adventure Cycling supports & provides technical assistance to.
The NTH is currently closed due to flooding. 5 bridges are out and it will take until at least February or March for the bridges to re open. We expect touring cyclists may start as early as March or April.
The NTH road surface is in extremely poor condition and is not safe for cycling
I-40 runs parallel to the NTH and we’ve been informed that the freeway is posted “Bicycle Prohibited” from mile marker 00 to 133
The NTH is closed now and will continue to be closed periodically in the future due to future issues related to storm and flood damage common in the area or construction on the roadway.
Cyclists need a legal and safe way to travel and I-40 is the solution
I-40 has 8 ft shoulders bordered by a rumble strip and the region is very rural with low traffic counts
Bicycle travelers are used to riding periodically on rural freeways

Based upon the fact that Caltrans District 8 has provided no reason for prohibiting bicycles on this section of I-40, the California Bicycle Advisory Council highly recommends Director Dougherty allow bicycle access on I-40 minimally between Exits 2 and 5 around the Marine Base and optimally from Ludlow to Barstow.
The Adventure Cycling Association needs to provide this information on their maps which go to print in January, this is extremely time sensitive.
Please ensure cyclists have a legal route to travel along this 40 mile corridor
Caltrans should consider instituting a future policy that will ensure when a Caltrans manages roadway that is currently posted “Bicycle Prohibited” and the identified adjacent roadway is closed, that there is a procedure to ensure cyclists have a legal and safe way to travel through that corridor.

Thank you.

Jim Baross
​CBAC Co-Chair
President, Calif. Assoc. of Bicycling Organizations​
San Diego, CA

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Will the FHWA improve your bicycling experience?

January 8th, 2015 Comments off

FYI, I sent the following comment to the FHWA Facebook page this morning. I expect that it may be subject to review before it appears.
I took the liberty of also quoting Doug and John.
I have concerns about “New video shows how FHWA makes walking, biking safer” Is the efficiency of travel by bicycle to be jeopardized to maintain or enhance primacy of motor vehicle travel? To what extent will providing facilities (Sidepaths) with some level of comfort and increased safety require people bicycling to only use them?
I, and many people who already find bicycle travel to be a better choice for many trips are worried that people bicycling will be further marginalized if the right and ability to use public roadways is diminished rather than enhanced.
Ask me how to make bicycling a more popular choice for transportation.

Jim Baross Jr
President, California Association of Bicycling Organizations (CABO)

Note the following recent discourse from the public forum of the California Association of Bicycling Organization’s (

From Doug Williams, Jan. 7, 2015 to CABOforum

I had the same notion [previous comments below from J.F.] when I viewed the video. I suppose that the “new design fans” are always going to overplay the safety of their plans and underplay how their designs slow down competent bicyclists who are capable of riding in traffic. If this were not the case, there would be no conflict in the bicycling community. Hey, if you can build a bike path that is safer for me to ride in WITHOUT any loss in my commute speed…please build it and I will ride it. But no…I haven’t seen many of those.

Why do bike path fans feel that is is necessary to criticize vehicular cyclists? Why can’t they support our right to ride on the street at the same time that they advocate bike paths? The answer, of course, is that they feel that competent vehicular cyclists threaten their plans. That doesn’t have to be the case. I’m not against bike paths that don’t slow me down, but I am tired of being told that only 1% of cyclists are capable of safely riding on the street. Anyone can do so with just a minimum of training! I’m tired of being told that riding on the street is a bad thing that only daredevils with no concern for public safety do. Jeez! You would think that people who promote vehicular riding and train people to ride in the street safely are menaces to society!

Why is it so difficult for bike path fans to advocate bike paths AND AT THE SAME TIME support my right to ride in the street? Am I going to get a ticket if I leave their magically protected green bike lane and merge into the (gasp) motor vehicle traffic lane?

Doug Williams

On Wednesday, January 7, 2015 12:19:18 PM UTC-8, John Forester wrote:
The same old propaganda based on foolish superstitions, with only a grain of truth in the presentation. Then there’s the same old propaganda that their designs make cycling safe and useful for cyclists without traffic skills and without compromising safety and usefulness for cyclists with traffic skills. Society should not permit all cyclists to be dumped in the pile of incompetents; those cyclists with traffic competence ought to be allowed to obey the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles.

Jim Baross
​CABO President​
San Diego, CA

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Blatent Appeal for $upport

December 7th, 2014 Comments off

I want you to support CABO with some of your dollars.

Yes, it’s nearing the end of 2014, a good time for making tax deductible contributions to non-profit organizations. CABO, the Calif. Assoc. of Bicycling Organizations, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization to which donations are considered tax deductible.

You may know that CABO is a volunteer organization relying on the extensive knowledge and experience of our Board members and Area Representatives.

I can state that all of CABO funds are spent in direct support of California bicycling and bicyclists. CABO has low overhead – no administrative costs – no paid staff – no office – no phones – one PO Box – one Sacramento-based professional legislative consultant/lobbyist – some bank fees – some board member insurance. CABO spending is primarily for monitoring and effecting California and Federal legislation with assistance of professional lobbyist; supporting Board member attendance at important forums and meetings; development, purchase and distribution of bicycling educational materials and courses (to CHP staff too!); social media; and costs for legal defense of bicycling issues.

Membership numbers matter both to lend credibility to our efforts but to show our volunteers that you care enough to join.
CABO membership is laughably cheap to encourage participation. All donations in addition to memberships are appreciated and are tax deductible.

If you have enjoyed CABOforum, web site, or our Facebook page posts, if you appreciate the mission and policies of CABO – to protect and promote bicycling in California – become a CABO member and make an annual donation.

Another way to support our work is to have your club or organization join and support CABO. Recommend this to your group.

Send checks directly to –
Alan Forkosh, CABO Treasurer
33 Moss Av, Apt 204
Oakland, CA 94610.

Or use the PayPal Donate button on our web site, under “Membership/Donate.”

Thank you and Happy Holidaze!
Jim Baross, CABO President

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National Trails Highway/Route 66 blocked in Calif?

November 21st, 2014 Comments off

Our friends, Adventure Cycling, are developing a National Trails Highway substantially along old Route 66, great!. But, they are encountering a problem in California where the route is deteriorated significantly with no real plans or funding to fix it. The adjacent freeway prohibits bicycling but seems to be just fine for our use – wide shoulder, etc., but the local Caltrans District 8 has so far said they would keep bikes off the freeway, offering an unreasonably out of the way alternative.

We have provided examples of Calf. freeways that allow bicycling access on their shoulders. We will be bringing the issue to Caltrans Bicycle Advisory Committee on Dec. 4th in Sacramento. Your speaking up to Caltrans and/or elected officials who might care may be useful. [Bike tourism means business.] More info has been posted on the Google Group CABOforum.

The following is from Ginny Sullivan, Director of Travel Initiatives for Adventure Cycling.

I may have mentioned some time ago that we are trying to gain legal access for cyclists to be on I-40 between Ludlow and Barstow in San Bernardino County. The District 8 staff have not been open to providing access despite the fact that the parallel roadway, the National Trails Highway/Old Rte 66 is in horrible condition, the surface pocked with holes, crevasse and a much deteriorated surface. It also flooded recently and is currently closed, when reopened the bridges will have only a 3 ton capacity. We fear future closure and then perhaps construction which will again, close the roadway.

Long story short, we will be asking for the 3rd time for Caltrans D08 to take the necessary steps to open the freeway up to cyclists. We will cite legal code and so on but they are claiming fear of liability. One way to try and overcome that is to show other places in California where cyclists are legally allowed on freeways.

We know that sections of I-5 in SB County are open to cyclists, can you name any from the district you worked in? Or other districts? I think having a few examples could really help our cause. Feel free to ask your present or past colleagues or connect me to them.

Thank you in advance.
Ginny Sullivan
Director of Travel Initiatives
t. 800 755 2453 or 406 532 2769
f. 406 721 8754
150 E Pine St, Missoula, MT 59802

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle
Get the latest information on the U.S. Bicycle Route System

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Ride to the right ticket appealed

November 21st, 2014 Comments off

Appeal won! A small but significant step toward re-training Sheriff and traffic enforcement personnel in general where and when bicycling may legally occur – “in the way” when warranted. We should provide a loud Thank you to Ron Lacy for making the significant effort to bring this about.

Now it’s important for us to help anyone bicycling to Ride Right; but not too far to the right. And if cited while doing it right, to consult with SDCBC locally or CABO Statewide, to determine when to fight back. Please spread this information to your club, friends, family, etc.

Here’s what just occurred.

This morning, July 18th, I sat through several traffic court appeal hearings at SD Superior Court under Superior Court Judge Kelly Williams. I was there to observe and provide moral support to Ron Lacy for his appeal of a CVC 21202 citation he had been given by SD Sheriff Officer Garcia. Ron had been cited on southbound Pacific Coast Highway south of Swamis for not riding as far to the right per CVC 21202. Officer Garcia claimed that Ron riding slightly to the right of the center of the number 2 (outside) lane was illegally positioned and that this was further established as illegal since another bicyclist road next to and by Ron on his right – that bicyclist thereby being as far right as required. At that trial expert (LCI trained) witness testimony was provided by SDCBC’s Board member Serge Issakov – Serge is also active as an Area Director for CABO. Trial Commissioner/Pro Temp Judge Codaz found Ron guilty. Ron paid his fine and decided to appeal that court’s decision – he didn’t think that he’d been treated fairly, that there was evidently bias against him as a bicyclist, and that the commissioner and Sheriff were not applying the law accurately.

Today Superior Court Judge Wells decided in favor of Ron’s appeal, reversing the decision of the Commissioner. The judge stated that the testimony of Ron and the expert witness about the exceptions to the “… ride as far to the right as practicable” law, CVC 21202 (copied in full below) were not rebutted at the original trail, that riding “in the door zone” can be considered a potential hazard that it is appropriate to avoid by riding further out into a lane. Ron and you won another step toward proving our roadway use rights!

It may be that Judge Wells was more likely to be amenable to considering Ron’s lane positioning as reasonable since, as she stated, she and her husband ride bicycles (“my husband is an avid bicyclist”) and are aware of the lane positioning issues. We’d do well to encourage more traffic enforcement personnel to become bicyclists, familiar with traffic laws and best practices; cops, sheriffs, commissioners, judges, attorneys.

Some notes of the appeal hearing:
1. There was no evidence presented at the original trial that the exceptions in 21202 did not apply; there was no rebuttal to Ron and the expert witnesses assertion that the exceptions were applicable.
2. The opposing attorney tried to bring up that Ron was not riding single-file when the other bicyclist was next to him; the judge state that there is no CVC against two-abreast riding… that single-file riding is not required.
3. The opposing attorney mentioned that Ron was impeding other traffic – a fact disputed by Ron’s testimony (and Ron was not cited for CVC 22400)
4. The opposing attorney was asked by Judge Wells if she was a bike rider; the attorney said she rode a bike but not much in traffic.
5. The judge would not accept that there was any evidence at the original trail establishing that there was bias shown by the Commissioner or the Sheriff Officer (maybe the reversal of the verdict will send a message to Garcia and Codaz).
5. Judge Wells suggested that bicycling advocates might pursue legislative changes and more Bike Lanes to help make roadway positioning rules more clear.

I recommend that we all make all our bicycling associates to ride lawfully but is cited inappropriately, to contact SDCBC or CABO to discuss options; fighting bad tickets is one way to turn around the bias against our roadway rights.

CVC 21202. (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.

Amended Sec. 4, Ch. 674, Stats. 1996. Effective January 1, 1997.

Jim Baross
​CABO President
SDCBC Spokesperson
LCI #185​
San Diego, CA

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An attempt to clarify CABO opposing AB 1193

August 29th, 2014 Comments off

Some people have said they’re confused by our opposition. Maybe this will help?

The California Association of Bicycling Organizations opposes AB 1193 (Ting) as passed by the Legislature for the following reasons.
· We are frustrated with the lack of movement by Caltrans to better provide safety for bicycling. (The number of annual roadway fatalities of bicyclists has been rising while the total number of all roadway fatalities has fallen!) This frustration fostered the California Bicycle Coalition to promote the bill against our advice.

· Much of the frustration comes from Caltrans’ failure to appropriately follow the Legislatures intent for AB 819 (Wiekowski, 2012) for starting a process for permitting local governments design exceptions for experimenting with new ideas for better Bikeways. The intent of AB 819 is to to allow for creative and innovative design improvements, to collect valuable data for evaluating them and eventually incorporating them into standards, and to relieve local agencies of the threat of liability for their experimentation. This process needs to be strengthened, not abandoned, so that agencies can be encouraged to help Caltrans update bikeway standards by evidence-based review.

· AB 1193 does conflicting things;

1) it requires Caltrans to establish Class IV, Cycletracks standards – a good thing – but at the same time it would allow local governments to ignore State standards.

2) it allows Caltrans to side-step its mandated oversight role for Bikeway standards

3) it allows Caltrans to ignore AB 819 leaving local governments no process or encouragement of experimenting with Highway Design Manual Bikeway designs. We want better designs, but not unsafe ones and not with each city doing their own thing – inconsistency leads to confusion – confusion contributes to collisions and deaths.

· A hidden intent of the bill’s proponents is for wholesale adoption/use of an upstart coalition, referred to as NACTO, to provide acceptable bikeway safety design guidance. NACTO, the brand new National Assoc. of City Transportation Officials is a popular movement of new-urbanism. Their evolving guide, an “Urban Bikeway Design Guide”, provides exciting cutting edge encouragement but little guidance for safety standards, and some designs encourage traffic movements that are illegal per our California Vehicle Code. Although their Guide is endorsed by many groups – including Caltrans – it is endorsed ONLY for its innovative ideas, not as providing necessary and reliable safety design standards!

We support encouraging the use in California of appropriate new bikeway ideas, we assert that bikeway minimum safety design guidance should apply equally statewide – there should not be potentially confusing differences in bikeway types between cities or counties. We also are fearful that agencies would, on their own, mistakenly construct incompletely thought-out facilities that could create hazards for people bicycling and other road users.
Although the name of the newly defined type of facility has been changed from “protected bike lane” to “cycle track,” the misleading term “protected bikeway” remains at 3:8, 3:11, 3:21, 4:24, and 5:8.

CABO would support an effort to implement AB 1193′s original purpose, defining cycle tracks and requiring Caltrans to establish standards for them. Otherwise, we urge you to oppose it.

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AB 1193, bicyclists may differ…

August 23rd, 2014 Comments off

This is from the official bill analysis as the bill goes to the Senate next week, likely Aug 25th.

ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION : Opponent believes that rather than
allowing Caltrans to cede its oversight role and responsibility
to local governments, it is time to double down on Caltrans,
hold its feet to the fire, and make it live up to its
legislatively directed charge as principal overseer of bikeway
planning and design. The California Association of Bicycle
Organizations (CABO) points to the California Bikeways Act of
1975 as a clear statement of the state’s fiduciary duty to
address the “functional commuting needs of the employee,
student, businessperson and shopper…, to have the physical
safety of the bicyclist and the bicyclist’s property as a major
planning component, and to have the capacity to accommodate
bicyclists of all ages and skills.” CABO states that “What is
needed is better compliance mechanisms for standards, not
greater latitude to deviate from them arbitrarily.”

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Are NACTO’s guidelines new standards?

August 5th, 2014 Comments off

Some of the advocates of better facility designs for accommodating bicycling are, in my opinion, overzealous, loose, and somewhat misleading in their promotion of NACTO’s guideline ideas. This recent promotional piece uses the term “endorsed” as though the US Dept of Transportation FHWA accepts NACTO guidelines as standards to be used in place of existing standards. We too want better accommodation, even perhaps prioritization of bicycling over motor vehicles uses in some cases, but I and USDOT and FHWA are actually saying use NACTO for inspiration/vision but not in place of responsible engineering judgement.

This excerpt is quoted from the FHWA document answering questions about “Design Flexibility for Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities.”

Does the [NACTO] Urban Street Design Guide supersede other existing national standards or guidelines?

No. The Urban Street Design Guide can serve as one of many sources to inform the planning and design process, but it does not supersede other existing national standards or guidelines. The Urban Street Design Guide can be used in conjunction with other design resources; however, there are many design details not addressed by this Guide and it is not fully consistent with other guidance. For example, in the area of accessible design, the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards and the Public Rights-Of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) are the primary source of design and construction details to ensure compliance with the ADA. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) is the national standard for traffic control devices to promote highway safety and efficiency on the Nation’s streets and highways as required by Federal regulation.

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Passing of Santa Barbara bicycling activist, Ralph Fertig

July 19th, 2014 Comments off

​Al Forkosh: Very sad news. For many years, Ralph was a lynch-pin of bicycle activism in the Santa Barbara and statewide. He raised the profile of bicycling in Santa Barbara and was responsible for bringing the 1998 ProBike conference to Santa Barbara. Ralph also served as the Regional Director of CABO for the Central Coast for many years and graciously hosted the CABO Board and members when we met in Santa Barbara.

​David Takemoto-Weerts: Very sad. I probably first met Ralph at the first ProBike I attended –1990 in Wash., DC. Great guy. He was always a go-to guy with a wealth of info and experience. He was probably at every bike conf. I attended and was a great contributor to advocacy for bicyclists.

John Cinatl: It is with a heavy heart that I forward this information to all of you. Ralph was always one of us and if my memory serves me correctly was the organizer or co-organizer of the first or second ProWalk-ProBike Conference held in Santa Barbara several years ago. Ralph had been suffering from leukemia for about a year or so but, as per our last few e-mails, was confident that he had beaten it and was in full remission. Apparently, during the last few week he had a re-occurrence and as such was undergoing another round of chemo.

Jim Baross: Ralph was class-act providing me with someone to emulate. Goodbye Ralph.

Doris Phinney, President Goleta Valley Cycling Club: It breaks my heart to inform the cycling community that Ralph Fertig died today at 130am, while in the hospital. He had experienced a re-occurrence of his cancer and was being treated with chemotherapy when he had a stroke. We cyclists owe so much to Ralph for all of his many years of continuing devotion to improving the cycling environment for all of us. On Saturday, August 2, 930am, I will be leading my monthly Newcomers Ride as a memorial ride for Ralph. We will meet at Java Station for an easy paced ride around Goleta. I hope you will join me.

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