You may have wondered about the name "Slabtown" and how it came to be. The town of Cambria was originally called "Slabtown" because the buildings were made from rough slabs of local pine wood. Known over the years as Santa Rosa, Roseville, San Simeon and "Slabtown", the town became Cambria on January 10, 1870, on the recommendation of a local committee. "Slabtown" grew rapidly and by 1880 the new town of Cambria was the second largest city in San Luis Obispo County.
The Slabtown Rollers is a group of local Cambria cycling enthusiasts who cycle the beautiful central coast of California. The group was founded in 2006 as a group of men, women and youth who wanted to promote the sport of cycling for recreation and transportation and to interact socially and civically as a cycling group. As the group grew in numbers, it absorbed the local “ Cambria Killer Bees” cycling group and assumed the Killer Bee’s role in leading and organizing of the Annual Gene Cerise Memorial Country Coast Classic Bike Ride.
The Slabtown Rollers provide not only the organizational and planning responsibilities of the Country Coast Classic Bike Ride but partners with local sponsors, the Lion’s Club of Cambria and other organizations, to make this annual fund raiser for youth programs a successful event in the community of Cambria.
Individual members of the Slabtown Rollers volunteer to provide an enjoyable and safe cycling experience to all the riders of this event by providing the course preparation and signage, SAG ( support and gear ), phenomenal rest stops, home-baked goods and a great lunch for century riders and post ride barbecue for all who participate.
Promoting bike handling and safety skills to riders of all ages is the first and foremost mission of the Slabtown Roller Cycling Club. A safe ride is the only enjoyable ride!
Slabtown Roller members also serve the larger local community in many other ways, too. They volunteer, donate and raise money for local charities, distribute food to those in need, mentor the youth of the community, volunteer as docents to numerous environmental and historic organizations to name a few. The Slabtown Rollers have been an active participant in the local Pinedorado Parade for many years and have performed admirably in various skits for the local judges and the entire community.
Fix Hwy 1 Campaign -- a David and Goliath Story, 2013
The Slabtown Rollers (a small, but determined group of cycling enthusiasts) woke up one day to find their favorite ride, north out of Cambria and up HWY 1, was all but ruined. CalTrans had spread unusually large rocks (chip seal) all over the road. Motorists, motorcyclists and cyclists were stunned by the road roughness and the flying rocks, which caused paint and windshield damage and even struck cyclists trying to navigate the shoulders.
Many people told us we would just have to live with it -- that we'd have no influence over the large and powerful CalTrans. But we said "watch this." We organized, launched a website and petition drives, secured the help of our County Supervisor, Bruce Gibson, and hired a political consultant to help us navigate unfamiliar waters.
We testified at numerous SLOCOG (San Luis Obispo Council of Governments) meetings and garnered unanimous support from them, including a formal resolution asking CalTrans to fix what it had broken. We met with the CalTrans District 5 Director to plead our case. We wrote letters, made phone calls, and posted "Fixhwy 1" signs. We created buttons and t-shirts, spoke on radio shows and interviewed with newspaper reporters.
Basically, we left no stone unturned and we grew a formidable grass roots effort. Other cycling groups joined us in the campaign. We were politely persistent; one person said we were like fleas on a pound dog:). It took a year and a few thousand hours of effort, but CalTrans finally agreed the road was not suitable for all users. They improved it by applying an additional layer of asphaltic emulsion topped by sand. It's not as smooth as the original (pre-chip seal) road but it is 50% better than the chip seal. We're riding our favorite road again!
Additionally, we got the attention of State government and the top level CalTrans officials. As a result, California now has road smoothness standards that will hopefully prevent a mistake like this one from ever happening again. It was a tremendous amount of effort -- but worth it!
How's that for a David and Goliath story? Sharon Evans, Slabtown Roller
2012 Cambria Scarecrow Festival Best of Show