Your Orange County Bicycle Organization


The Orange County Bicycle Coalition encourages safe bicycling through advocacy, education and recommended infrastructure improvements to streets and paths by state and local governments. Unlike bicycle clubs, we don’t organize weekly rides. However, we do love to ride, and we work for all Orange County bicyclists by providing feedback and suggestions to government agencies seeking funds for bicycle projects. We also offer letters of endorsement for projects that meet our standards.

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition, also known as OCBC and OC Bike, was founded in 1991 and has worked tirelessly since then to improve bicycle safety in Orange County, California. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, your donations are 100% tax deductible.

Have You Ever Had a Close Call?

If you have ever been passed dangerously while riding your bike, raise your hand.

Hmmm… everyone is raising their hand.

Riding safely can help. Check the OCBC Education page. In addition, there are two websites where bike riders can report close calls, post videos and hopefully raise public awareness. Both provide maps, so riders as well as community officials can spot trends and perhaps even identify aggressive drivers.

Cyclist Video Evidence says their Incident Management System can help police departments search for repeat offenders and identify hot spots.

Close Call Database says that reporting a close call will make the information available to fellow cyclists and store it for access by law enforcement.

CyclingSavvy class in Orange April 24th and 25th

Register Here

OCBC is proud to announce our first CyclingSavvy course of 2015 on April 24th and 25th in Orange.

CyclingSavvy is a program of American Bicycling Education Association, Inc. (ABEA). The course teaches the principles of Mindful Bicycling:

  • empowerment to act as confident, equal road users;
  • strategies for safe, stress-free integrated cycling;
  • tools to read and problem-solve any traffic situation or road configuration.

The course is offered in three 3-hour components: a bike-handling session, a classroom session and an on-road tour. The classroom and bike-handling sessions may be taken individually, the road tour requires the other two as a pre-requisite.

Sample Lesson

The object of the course is not to turn people into road warriors. Being a confident, competent cyclist has nothing to do with speed or bravado. You don’t need either of those things to have access to the entire transportation grid.

Even most confident cyclists prefer to use quiet routes when feasible. In many cases, it is only an intimidating intersection or short stretch of busy road which hinders a cyclist’s preferred route. This course is designed to show students simple strategies to eliminate such barriers, and ride with ease and confidence in places they might never have thought possible.

The philosophy and intent of our course is best described in this quote by Aimee Mullins:

…all you really need is one person to show you the epiphany of your own power and you’re off. If you can hand somebody the key to their own power… the human spirit is so receptive… if you can do that and open a door for someone at a crucial moment… you are ‘educating’ them in the best sense. You’re teaching them to open doors for themselves. In fact, the exact meaning of the word “educate’ comes from the root word ‘educe.’ It means to bring forth what is within. To bring out potential.

The 3 Part Course
Our course is designed to be taken as individual sessions or as a complete course. Train Your Bike (bike handling) and Truth & Techniques (classroom session) can be taken individually in any order. To sign up for a Tour of Orange, you must have taken or be signed to take the other two classes prior to the tour class. Individual sessions are $30 per session. A package of three sessions (the full course) is $75. A package may be used to take the sessions at any time.

Train Your Bike! (3 hours):

This session is conducted in a parking lot. It consists of a set of progressive drills designed to increase students’ control and comfort handling their bikes in various situations. Drills include:

  • Start/Stop, Power Pedal & Balance Stop
  • Snail Race, Slow-speed Balance
  • Drag-race, Gears & Acceleration
  • Ride Straight, One-handed
  • Shoulder Check
  • Object-avoidance Handling, Weave, Snap
  • Turning: Slow-speed Tight Turns, High-speed cornering, Emergency Snap-turn
  • Emergency Braking

The Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling (3 hours):

Through guided discussion with video and animation, this session familiarizes students with bicycle-specific laws, traffic dynamics and problem-solving strategies. Students discover that bicycle drivers are equal road users, with the right and ability to control their space.

Tour of Orange* (3.5 hours):

This session is an experiential tour of the roads in the city of Orange. The course includes some of the most intimidating road features (intersections, interchanges, merges, etc.) a cyclist might find in his/her travels. The students travel as a group, stopping to survey and discuss each exercise location. After observing the feature, discussing the traffic dynamics and the best strategy for safe and easy passage, the students ride through individually and regroup at a nearby location.

* The Tour session is only available with the full course. The other two sessions may be taken á la carte, in any order.

More information
Origins & Principles of CyclingSavvy

Register Here



To ensure that your bike is in perfect operating condition for the class, Jax  will extend a 50% discount on the labor charge for a “basic service” at any Jax Bicycle Center for anyone who signs up for a Cycling Savvy or TS 101 class. The basic service is $69.99. Jax will  provide a coupon to anyone who signs up for one of the classes for 50% off on the labor charge ($35.00). Any parts that are needed for the service will be at the regular price.

Email if you would like a coupon for a tune-up!

Help us change the law to make cycling safer in California!

There’s a new petition out to amend the California Vehicle Code to allow motorists to cross a double yellow center line to pass a bicyclist when safe to do so. Please sign the petition and help spread the word!

Visit for more information.

By Greg Kline

Although the recent implementation of California’s 3 Feet for Safety Act has clearly informed motorists of the need to leave sufficient space when passing cyclists, it still does not fully address the needs of cyclists nor of motorists when it comes to narrow two-lane roads with long sections of double-yellow lines. Currently it is not legal for faster motorists to pass slower cyclists over a double yellow line, even when safe to do so. Drivers of motor vehicles are now forced to make the decision to either endanger a cyclist’s life and break the law (CVC 21760 three feet for safety act) by passing too closely or break another law (CVC 21460 double lines) by crossing a double yellow to pass safely.

The majority of roads in California, and almost all two-lane roads have lanes that are too narrow for cyclists to safely share with motor vehicles. Here’s why:

A bicycle is a two wheeled articulated vehicle that remains upright by balance.  A cyclist is approximately 2′ wide, and requires at minimum 12″ on either side for balance and minor obstacle avoidance. Assume a 4′ minimum operating space for a bicyclist, the operating width used by the AASHTO design manual and the guidelines set forth by the Federal Highway Administration.

If you add the 4′ operating space for a cyclist to the 3′ required for minimum legal safe passing clearance and 8.5′ (*excluding* mirrors) maximum vehicle width in California you come up with 15.5′. Most lanes in California are 10 to 12 feet wide and require moving into the next lane to safely pass a cyclist safely.

14' lane is too narrow to share
Graphic by Keri Caffrey

Most rural roads have lanes much narrower than 15.5′ and many miles of double yellow. It is unreasonable to assume that motor vehicle traffic will slow to the speed of cyclists until there is either a passing lane or a turnout. Faster vehicles will either pass unsafely and illegally (too closely) or just illegally (by crossing, at least partially, a double yellow).

Yet a previous version of California’s three foot law was specifically vetoed by Governor Brown for allowing for such passes when safe to do so:

California Senate Bill 1464

(f) The driver of a motor vehicle on a two-lane highway may drive to the left of either of the markings specified in subdivision (a) or (c) to pass a person operating a bicycle proceeding in the same direction if in compliance with Section 21751 and if both of the following conditions are met:

(1) The left side of the road is clearly visible and free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit overtaking and passing of the bicycle to be completely made without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.

(2) The driver operates the motor vehicle to the left of either of the markings specified in subdivision (a) or (c) only to the extent reasonably necessary to comply with Section 21750.1.

Governor Brown’s reasoning in his veto of Senate Bill 1464 in September of 2012:

“Crossing a double yellow line is an inherently dangerous act that increases the risk of head-on collisions. When a collision occurs, it will result in a lawsuit where the state is likely to be sued as a “deep pocket.” By making it legal to cross a double yellow line, the bill weakens the state’s defense to these lawsuits.”

By vetoing SB 1464, and subsequently passing the watered down version that became law, Governor Brown prioritized the safety, speed and convenience of motorists, protected by airbags and crumple zones, over the lives and safety of cyclists who have no protections.

Governor Brown’s veto of SB 1464 and passage of Assembly Bill No. 1371 was a decision to not afford cyclists the same protections that other road users enjoy. As such, it does not shield the state from “deep pocket” lawsuits from cyclists. That may be what is required to amend the law to give cyclists the protection the 3′ law was intended to confer.

Many states have sensible laws that allow motorists to cross double yellows when passing a slow moving vehicle such as a cyclist or slow moving farm equipment. For example, here is Ohio’s statute.

§4511.31.  Hazardous zones

(A) The department of transportation may determine those portions of any state highway where overtaking and passing other traffic or driving to the left of the center or center line of the roadway would be especially hazardous and may, by appropriate signs or markings on the highway, indicate the beginning and end of such zones. …

(B) Division (A) of this section does not apply when all of the following apply:

   (1) The slower vehicle is proceeding at less than half the speed of the speed limit applicable to that location.

   (2) The faster vehicle is capable of overtaking and passing the slower vehicle without exceeding the speed limit.

   (3) There is sufficient clear sight distance to the left of the center or center line of the roadway to meet the overtaking and passing provisions of section 4511.29 of the Revised Code, considering the speed of the slower vehicle.

Comment:  Section 4511.31(B) should help reduce tension between cyclists and faster drivers.  Now, they can pass in “no passing” zones IF passing is safe.

By allowing faster traffic to pass slower cyclists when safe to do so, drivers of motor vehicles would not be forced to make the decision they now need to make in California: either endanger a cyclist’s life and break a law, or merely break a different law. The choice, obvious as it is, isn’t as clear as it needs to be. The three foot law needs to be amended to meet the needs of all road users.