SANTA BARBARA,Calif. -

Members of the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition hosted their first advocacy meeting of the year.  Peter Brown, from the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, spoke to group about his work to improve cycling at his last job in San Francisco before moving to Santa Barbara.

Brown will be in charge of a regional bike plan that is part of the overall transportation system.

Edward Frances said the coalition's goal is to double the number of cyclists by improving the bike paths and bike infrastructure.

The coalition has raised about $70,000 to pay for improvements including and a path from Goleta to Carpinteria.

Brown said coloring paths is an affordable way to improve visibility and safety.

The Coalition is adjacent to BiCi Centro which serves as a do it yourself bike center.  The nonprofit shop funded by donations reaches out to riders by hosting regular open houses called open shops.  Participants can bring old bikes in need of repair or work toward buying a new used bike.

Lynneal Williams said she could only repair a tire a year ago, now she is a volunteer mechanic who helps others.

Next week, the coalition will hold its first Peddle Power event of the year.  Cyclists will teach students the rules of the road at Monroe Elementary School.