How important is bicycling to Sonoma County? Well, it boosts tourism, public health, business, real estate, transportation, recreation, manufacturing and more.
Bicycling has gained a much higher profile in Sonoma County over the past few years, thanks to big races and increased numbers of individual visitors who come here to ride. Altogether, said Sandra Lupien, Outreach Coordinator for the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, it's something that ought to be getting more attention from policy makers and other local leaders.
Santa Rosa Police Chief Tom Schwedhelm is acutely aware of the surge in bicyle-involved accidents and fatalities this year, and told the gathering he,too,had been dangerously harrassed while riding. His department has stepped up a combination of enforcement and educational efforts in high-incidence areas, the chief said, while he personally endeavors to set a good example when cycling.