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FCBC Newsletter

November 2021

The Central Valley seems to have long summers and winters but short springs and falls.  With the shorter days that are upon us, make sure that you light up at night with a sufficiently bright headlight and taillight so that you can see and be seen.  Remember to keep your lights charged up or carry spare batteries.


In this month’s newsletter:

  •  The next Bike Café is on Tuesday, November 9, at 7:00 pm with the topic “Bike Law:  What to Do in Case of a Crash,” with LA bicycle attorney Jim Pocrass
  • Bicycle infrastructure is important for the safety of bicyclists. This is the introduction to a series of articles on the types of bicycle infrastructure, where the funding comes from, and why it can take so long for new bicycle facilities to be built.
  • Nominations are being accepted for the FCBC Board at the Board meeting on November 18.
  • The next chapter from the pending book by FCBC Vice Chair Juan Flores on biking in Fresno discusses the Clovis Old Town Trail and Sugar Pine Trail.

FCBC Bike Café

Don't wait to have a bicycle crash to prepare for it.  Bicycle crash attorney and FCBC member Jim Pocrass will share the two most important things you can do before you have a crash and all the steps you need to take after a crash.  Topics covered include uninsured motorist insurance, police reports, whether you need a bicycle crash attorney, liens for medical care, and much more.  There will be time for questions and answers.

Jim Pocrass

Jim is a recreational bicyclist and is on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.  He is on the forefront of helping make Los Angeles a more bicycle-friendly community.


Register in advance to receive the Zoom link for Bike Café at https://www.fresnobike.org/event-4555871.  If you have any questions about using Zoom, registration for the event, or questions about bike crashes you would like addressed during the event, email us events@fresnobike.org.


Future Bike Café topics include the following:

  •  Bike bridges - January 11, 2022

We also want to hear from you for additional topics.  Send your suggestions to events@fresnobike.org.

Bicycle Infrastructure

Engineering is one of the “5 E’s” necessary to create a bicycle-friendly community.  Engineering is needed to create safe, accessible, and comfortable places to ride a bike.  The challenge is to engineer infrastructure that is cost-effective, connected, and maintainable.  While some bicycle infrastructure can be inexpensive to implement, such as striping an existing shoulder to a bike lane, building dedicated, off-street trails can get expensive, but the bigger issue may be maintenance.  The federal and State governments are becoming more aligned with their goals to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and a greater emphasis on the active transportation modes.  That should theoretically translate to increased funding for bicycle infrastructure.


Upcoming FCBC newsletters will examine these topics:

  • Where and why Class I, II, III, and IV facilities are placed, and how they are marked and signed
  • Protected intersections, roundabouts, and bicycle detection at signalized intersections
  • Funding for bicycle infrastructure and associated pitfalls and roadblocks
  • How Senate Bill 743 (reduction of vehicle miles traveled) may affect funding bicycle infrastructure
  • How the Safe System Approach may be changing what the infrastructure will look like

Upcoming Board Elections

Nominations will be taken for FCBC Board members up until the FCBC Board meeting scheduled for November 18. Voting will be held online afterwards until the December general membership meeting on Thursday, December 16, when the results will be announced.  FCBC members are encouraged to nominate themselves or other FCBC members  for the Board positions of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Membership Coordinator, Treasurer, and Members at Large.  The Membership Coordinator position is currently vacant and is therefore a priority for filling, but nominations will be gladly accepted for any or all positions.  There are no specific requirements other than being a FCBC member and resident within Fresno County. You can email your nominations to elections@fresnobike.org up until the next FCBC Board meeting on November 18, 2021 when nominations will be closed.


FCBC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and Board members set the direction, plan the activities, and manage the resources of FCBC.  In January, the Board members will have a strategic planning meeting to determine the priorities and plan the activities for the year.


More information on the Board elections can be found in the FCBC bylaws.  Any questions can be directed to elections@fresnobike.org .


Upcoming Book on Bicycling in Fresno


Below is the third chapter in the book that FCBC Vice Chair Juan Flores is writing on bicycling in Fresno.  This is the first of several chapters that will describe the Class I trails in the Fresno-Clovis area.  Juan welcomes any comments, corrections, and constructive criticism at juan@fresnobike.org.


Clovis Old Town Trail and Sugar Pine Trail


The Clovis Old Town Trail and the Sugar Pine Trail are two adjoining rail-trails that link the communities of Clovis and Fresno.  They came about as a result of community involvement as well as an opportunity to convert an old and unused railroad track into a great community asset.  Joggers, cyclists, businesses, and multiple environmental organizations all came together to support the rail-to-trail conversion, which connects many existing area resources.  Approximately 4,400 trees were planted along the trails to add to the beauty and provide shade for joggers and cyclists from the hot Central Valley sun.


The Clovis Old Town Trail is 8.5 miles long and begins near the intersection of Dakota and Clovis Avenues on the southern edge of Clovis and continues north along Clovis Avenue.  The trail meanders through many residential and commercial areas, with easy access along the entire length.  There are various rest stops along the way as well as locations that offer opportunities for people to do sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups with the exercise equipment situated in various places along the trail.


Along the Clovis Old Town Trail you will find Old Town Clovis, located west of the trail, between 4th and 5th Streets, as well as the Clovis Rodeo Grounds, home to the annual April rodeo.  You will also find the connection to the Dry Creek Trail at Minnewawa Avenue and Railroad Park on Peach Avenue.

The Clovis Old Town Trail joins the 3.5 mile long Sugar Pine Trail on Willow Avenue between Nees and Teague Avenues.  Bicyclists can take that trail north along Willow Avenue and west along Shepherd Avenue through northern Fresno to eventually reach the River Park shopping center at the end of the trail on Nees Avenue below the State Route 41 freeway.  A spur trail along Willow Avenue extends from Shepherd Avenue to Copper Avenue.  At the intersection of Shepherd and Willow Avenues, the City of Fresno constructed a trailhead with a parking lot.

Some people complain about the many intersections along the trail, with their crosswalks and red lights, but these are minor inconveniences when you consider the safety and convenience that the trail provides by being off the street.  There are a few underpasses along the trail that permit you to avoid crossing some busy streets.  As a caution, you will sometimes find sludge at the bottom of the underpasses next to the drainage grates.  These could be slippery and cause bicyclists to slip.  Also inexperienced bicyclists or those using one-speed bikes could struggle with the steep grade of the underpasses.  There are also some construction projects in downtown Clovis that have broken up the trail.  Once they are completed, the trail will be reconnected and continue to offer a great bicycling experience.


To reach the southern trailhead in Clovis from State Route 99, take State Route 180 east for 7 miles and exit at Clovis Avenue.  Head north for 2.5 miles. The trailhead is on Clovis Avenue, 0.3 miles south of the intersection with Dakota Avenue. There is no parking at the beginning of the trail, but you can park along Dakota Avenue.


Next Board Meeting


The next Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 18 at 7:30 pm via Zoom.  Everyone is welcome to join the virtual meeting.  If you would like to participate, please register in advance to receive the Zoom link, and subsequent reminders, at: https://www.fresnobike.org/event-4560713/Registration


If you are not yet a member of FCBC or need to renew, please visit https://fresnobike.org/join to become a member or renew your membership.

Have a comment or suggestion?  Contact us at info@fresnobike.org

Fresno County Bicycle Coalition

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