What's not easy to find are residents willing to serve on the committee that advises the Town Council on issues such as bicycle safety, bicycle events and bicycle policies. Residents and cyclists, many of whom don't live in Woodside, have a history of contentious relations.
"We're having a very hard time recruiting new members," resident and Bicycle Committee chair Millo Fenzi told the council at its April 8 meeting, where he persuaded the council to reduce the committee's membership requirement to six from the current seven so as to make it easier to reach a quorum and conduct business.
In four of the committee's last 12 meetings, the Bicycle Committee could not assemble a quorum, Mr. Fenzi said.
Adding to the problem is a council habit of not responding to Bicycle Committee reports and proposals, he said.
His list of more-or-less unanswered proposals included safe bike routes to school and Barkley Fields, a map of potholes and other areas dangerous to cyclists, and a courtesy initiative that would encourage drivers, residents and cyclists to consider points of view other than their own.
Anne Kasten, of the Architectural and Site Review Board, urged the council to leave the membership requirement alone and raise community awareness instead. "I think there are people out there who would care," she said.
The council voted 5-0 in favor of the reduction, with Mayor Ron Romines and Councilman Dave Burow absent.
Committee recruitment is being done in an atmosphere of hostility toward cyclists, Mr. Fenzi said, noting that at dinner parties, people step back from him when he mentions his involvement.
"I feel that vilification, (too)," said Councilwoman Deborah Gordon, the council's liaison to the Bicycle Committee for the past several years. She concurred with Mr. Fenzi's dinner-party recollections. "It is like you have some very catchy disease," she said.
One thorny issue is the "peloton" — the platoon of cyclists who tend to take over roadways in Woodside and Portola Valley on weekdays for the "noon ride."
If 50 cyclists violate a stop sign and a deputy wants to issue citations all around, it can't be done without the assistance of all the Sheriff's Office deputies and a truck to transport the impounded bikes, Mr. Fenzi said. "It's logistically impossible."
The best approach, he said, is getting to know the peloton's leaders and sometimes riding along.
With a smaller committee, the members could begin moving toward "a broader, more attractive charter," perhaps one that could also address pedestrian concerns, Mr. Fenzi said.
A new charter and more council attention could attract interest, he said, adding: "It's not a fun committee to be on. Things don't happen."
"Let's figure out a way to solve this problem," Councilman Peter Mason said before the vote. "I go to parties and that's all I hear about, is bikes."