Personal tools
You are here: Home Stories Davis Bicycles!
Document Actions

Davis Bicycles!

Russell shares the story of trying to promote biking in Davis.

Submitted by Russell Reagan, 11/08 

This entry relates to the past, present. 

Categories: Bicycles, Davis Institutions, Unforgettable Experiences.

I moved to Davis from San Francisco in 2003, a time when bicycling was catching on in San Francisco, due to thriving activism. Bike advocates all over the country looked to Davis as the leader. But fewer people in Davis were riding bikes compared to ten or twenty years ago.


Ted Buehler in UC Davis Transportation Studies wrote his master's thesis on how Davis became the leader in the 1960s and 70s, and why the bike culture in Davis had diminished. He gave a presentation in December 2006 on campus, attended by several concerned community members. We passed around a signup sheet and several people indicated their interest.


Ted saw an opportunity to start an advocacy group. We started meeting, we opened a bank account for the new group, Davis Bicycles! We handed out flyers: "50 Years of Bicycling in Davis," at the Varsity Theatre on February 26. "Reclaim Davis's Bicycling Soul." Ted gave his thesis presentation again to a packed house of over 300. We signed up new members and announced our first general meeting. About 30 people attended. Ted announced, "We're going to have more fun than the City Council and the School Board combined!"


We set up a table at the Saturday farmer's market. We organized bike rides to examine problems along the bikeways. We helped with the city's bike plan revision. We went to the City Council to ask for several easy improvements in time for the Walk-Bike Conference that Davis would host in September 2007. One result is the green "Davis Bike Loop" pavement markings that show the way around the city's bikeway network. Most Davisites didn't know the best bike routes across town via the greenbelts before these were painted. This was our big hit.


Ted moved to the Portland area a year after the Varsity presentation. A few dedicated members have stayed on to sustain an active nonprofit group. Recently we hosted a bike film festival, including the premiere of a film by one of our members on bike commuting to Sacramento. More bicycle-themed events are planned. Davis Bicycles! pedals on!

This site provided with the assistance of the Davis Community Network.