Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Davis Bicycles!: Get a free bike light at market Saturday

John Whitehead of Davis Bicycles!, right, gives free bike lights to Marlene Amador and Melissa Franco, both third-year chemistry majors at UC Davis, during a promotion in downtown Davis during the last week of September. More lights will be distributed Saturday at the Davis Farmers Market. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise file photo

From page A8 | November 16, 2012 |

By Steve Tracy

Even in years like this one where the weather stays warm, here in Davis we get undeniable signs that winter is approaching. For me, the most obvious is all the kids in costume who descend in the afternoon of Halloween Day to loot candy from our generous downtown merchants.

Something less positive happens in late October each year that reveals the magnitude of a long-festering safety issue here in Davis, when the end of daylight-saving time suddenly moves our evening commute from daylight into dusk. Then, looming out of the darkness, comes another indicator species much more ominous and fearful than kids in costume. Yikes!! DARK BIKES!!

We all see them. Actually, we often don’t see them until the last second. Zooming into view from the shadows. In bike lanes, in the middle of the street, on sidewalks, riding the wrong way — virtually invisible.

More evidence that fall is here can be found in the letters that appear in this fine local newspaper you are reading, condemning those bicyclists who ride without lights and run stop signs. Some of these comments seem to target all cyclists and wish the streets could be cleared of them completely.

To be fair, each fall, UC Davis attracts thousands of new students, arriving from places less bike-friendly than Davis with the first bicycle they have ridden in many years. These bikes are often brand-new, and have only the basic reflectors required by law, no operating headlights or rear lights.

The board of Davis Bicycles! has long lamented this issue, and recently had been discussing creating a bike light giveaway program we tagged “1,000 Bikes of Light” (thank you, George H.W. Bush). To buy lights, we designated a large portion of the proceeds from this summer’s Clips of Faith Film Festival brought to Davis by the New Belgium Brewing Company. A huge thank you to everyone who participated in this event, and made this possible.

Enter Dave “DK” Kemp, Davis’ new and very active transportation coordinator, who had a source for lights and described a similar program he had done in Fort Collins, Colo. Eventually, Davis Bicycles!, the city of Davis and UC Davis bicycle coordinator David Takemoto-Weerts joined together to purchase 3,700 lights to give away in the city and on campus. There are three varieties of lights, each branded with one of the logos of the organizations participating in the giveaway.

We began our light giveaway efforts on three weekdays in the last week in September. Kemp and Davis Bicycles! members stood at the bike lanes on Third Street and near the sharrows on Second Street from noon to 1 p.m. We gleefully corralled, chided and cheered light-free cyclists who were riding by and installed our little lights on hundreds of handlebars. This effort will continue on campus and in town until all the lights are gone, and thousands of cyclists are more visible and safer.

Davis Bicycles! will be at the Farmers Market on Saturday, rain or shine, to continue our efforts. One rule — we have to see the bike and install the light, not just hand it to you. We want these lights on handlebars, not sitting on dressers.

We will continue this program in the future, and will be looking for additional sponsors who would like to contribute to improve bicycle safety in Davis. These lights aren’t fancy, or the brightest available, but they do make you visible to motorists. We encourage anyone receiving a light to consider an upgrade from a local bike shop. Then pass the free light on to someone who has no light at all.

We can’t easily change behavior like running stop signs, but we can light the bikes. Please come to the market on Saturday and do your part.

— Steve Tracy is a Davis resident and Davis Bicycles! board member. Matt Biers-Ariel and Mont Hubbard are co-editors of the Davis Bicycles! column, published regularly in The Davis Enterprise. To offer a Davis Bicycles! column, write to them at [email protected] or log on to to see instructions for authors.



Special to The Enterprise



Davisite competing for breast cancer ‘Survivor of the Year’

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Cool musicians, hot jazz at Coconut Grove fundraiser

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Guilty verdict in child abduction case

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

Moore featured at two climate talks this week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Talk breast cancer with oncologic surgeon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

DPNS offers open house Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Public input sought Monday on Northstar Pond

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Veggie gardening, composting are workshop topics

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Visiting prof will discuss Armenian genocide

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Holmes plans open house Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Nominees sought for Bill Streng Business Award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Museum brick sales to end this month

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Prostate cancer group looks at massage

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Closing education gap will lift economy, a study finds

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Applications due for Rotary’s leadership camp

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Project Linus meets March 11

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Breakfast with the Bunny tickets on sale now

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery



It was music to our ears

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Thanks for pet drive support

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Story was an ad for NRA

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Athletes just want time to do their homework

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Let’s not delete Giovanni Barovetto from Davis history

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Low-flow toilets in our parks?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6



DHS girls lacrosse coach likes her 2015 squad

By Dylan Lee | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Hawkins enters the home stretch of brilliant UCD career

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Blue Devils girls stay undefeated ahead of league opener

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Blue Devils drop softball opener

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Cousins returns to lift Kings in New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

San Jose crushes Canucks behind Nieto

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3



Ringing in the Year of the Sheep with dim sum

By Ann Evans | From Page: A8 | Gallery



French-Algerian guitarist weaves acoustic spells at The Palms on Friday March 6

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

California Honeydrops drop in for ‘Down Home’ tour

By Landon Christensen | From Page: A7 | Gallery





Merna Petersen

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



Comics: Wednesday, March 4, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B6