In 1972, CABO began at the All-California Bicycle Club Convention at the state conference grounds, Asilomar, on the Monterey Peninsula, which was sponsored by the Grizzly Pedal Pushers and the League of American Wheelmen and supported by the Bicycle Institute of America. There the bylaws were written, officers were elected, and initial priorities identified. There were to be four statewide meetings per year.

California’s bike clubs have been organized into a state federation. CABO, (the A is long), was formed to protect bicyclists’ interests statewide. From the beginning it was thought of as a federation of clubs and other organizations interested in bicycling, rather than as an organization of individuals belonging to the member clubs.

CABO was involved in the initial writing of the design standards called Chapter 1000, originally the “Planning and Design Criteria for Bicycles in California” or popularly called the Blue Book, has been the model for other states.

CABO initiated a freeway shoulder study which eventually lead to the opening of over 1,000 miles and later fought back the legislature on their bill to have prohibited bicyclists from any freeway shoulders (ostensibly to protect children).

CABO continues to protect bicycling organizations against local authorities to prohibit bicyclists use of the road. Organized invitational rides as well as routinely scheduled club events are the heart and soul of club activities. A legal fund was established for the purposes of protecting our rights against unjust restrictive local ordinances. The fund is presently depleted due to our appela effort to reverse judicial decisions that have apparently resulted in removal of legal liability for Bike Paths that are not designed, constructed, and/or operated to State standards for Class I, Bicycle Paths.

This is a rather brief description of the history of CABO. If you are at all interested in a more complete accounting, a copy of an article by Alan Wachtel in Bicycle U.S.A. is available here.

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