Bicycle Bash by the Bay 2008: A Photographic Tour

The 2008 Bicycle Bash by the Bay was held today at Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. The weather was gorgeous, the crowds were thick and the enthusiasm for all things bicycle was strong and friendly. Of course, Bikecommuters.com was there to tell folks about our website, meet fellow commuters and give away some goodies provided by our wonderful site sponsors KHS Bicycles and the good folks at Xtracycle. We gave away literally HUNDREDS of flyers, “Gas Sucks” stickers, Bikecommuters.com stickers, KHS and Xtracycle catalogs, Hillsborough County Bike Maps and a variety of other pamphlets, pens and literature, and we spoke to hundreds of bike fans of all types. Great times were had by all!

For those of you unable to attend, I shot a bunch of photos and a couple videos to share so that you can experience this event “virtually”. Let’s proceed, shall we?

My partner for the day was Terry Eagan, fellow librarian and employee of the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission. He was chosen by his agency to represent sister agency Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization. Terry was extremely helpful and friendly and helped get the Bikecommuters.com word out, allowing me to wander the event, schmoozing with friends and strangers alike for most of the day.

terry

Check out some of the crowd — bicycles and bicyclists of all types…recumbents, roadies, fixed-gears, ratrods, choppers, trikes, BMX bikes and mountain bikers galore:

crowd

Here’s a wide shot of the enormity of this event — 70+ tents, thousands of visitors (estimated at 3000 or more):

wide

Vendors were varied this year…everything from bike shops to component manufacturers, advocacy groups, regional transportation planning agencies, bike clubs and co-ops. Here we see the lovely ladies of The St. Pete Skirts, fixed gear badasses and incredible vegan bakers:

skirts

Right next door we have the Tampa Bike Co-op. The Co-op volunteers did seminars and demos throughout the day, from repairs to loaded bike touring. They were selling really incredible t-shirts to raise funds for the Co-op, and I was happy to add one to my shirt collection. Here they are fixing bikes and telling folks how they can do it themselves:

co-op1

Here’s another one of the Co-op demos — this one the finer points of loading bicycle touring. This demo drew quite a crowd, and they had a sweet tourer to show off:

co-op2

Manny Sierra of Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium chatted up passerby and did some bike tuneups of his own. CBE is my absolute favorite bike shop in the Tampa Bay area — they’re super-friendly, talented and knowledgeable. They have a really good understanding of the needs of bicycle commuters, as many of the employees there are out mixin’ it up with traffic every day.

manny

Next to them, we’ve got the cool folks and ultra-badass wheels of American Classic. American Classic’s headquarters is right down the street from my house…too bad they don’t give “good neighbor” discounts!

am classic

Here’s the line for the St. Petersburg Bike Rodeo program. These folks gave away hundreds of bicycle helmets to kids in attendance today…each one with a personalized fitting. Bravo, Bike Rodeo!

rodeo

The custom-printed Bikecommuters.com jerseys were a gigantic hit at the Bash. We were asked dozens of times if we had any for sale, and were asked to get some made pronto in sizes all the way up to XXL. We’re sitting on a fashion goldmine, folks! Here, the boys from Bikecommuters.com model these awesome jerseys…comfortable on a hot and breezy day — we’re bringin’ sexy back:

sexy
(Thanks, Moe, for the wicked “One Speed” socks…another big hit)

Speaking of sexy, my wife and son came over and spent most of the day with us. Leah helped out a bunch, chatting up visitors, fetching lunch for us and passing out stickers and flyers. She’s a dedicated bike commuter, too, so advocating for us came naturally:

supersexy

I brought the Recycletron 1000 to display — man, the Xtracycle was a HUGE hit with this crowd. We gave away dozens of Xtracycle catalogs and literally hundreds of business cards. Folks had a million questions and most came away convinced to add one of these to their lives. Xtracycles sell themselves, really, but the real thrills came when I took my son out for loops around the park — we were being stopped every 20 feet or so to answer questions and we received lots of smiles and thumbs-up. One of the shops had a Kona Ute under their tent…and it languished all day in the shade. Xtracycle ruled this day! People were truly excited by the prospect of hauling groceries, children and anything else aboard an Xtracycle.

xtra

Toward the end of the day, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker made an appearance and spoke to the gathered bike throngs. This guy is SERIOUS about making St. Pete a truly bike-friendly city, and he’s made tremendous progress in getting things done there. I had a chance to speak with him during his tour of the event, and he’s very personable, passionate and dedicated to bicycling as a valid transportation alternative. Kudos, Mayor — you rock!

Mayor Rick Baker

Here’s a Flip video I shot — one quick loop around the park. I’m calling out highlights as I see them, and you’ll be able to see what a huge event this was for the Tampa Bay area:

We’d like to thank site sponsors KHS and Xtracycle for sending goodies our way to distribute (we’ll be giving away some KHS “Gas Sucks” t-shirts and cycling socks soon…stay tuned for details) and Alan Snel and the shops of SWFBUD (Southwest Florida Bicycle United Dealers) for putting on this amazing event for its third year.

I hope you enjoyed this virtual “taste” of the Bicycle Bash. Perhaps we’ll see you next year?


14 Comments

  1. Moe October 19, 2008 8:59 pm 

    Awesome Coverage!!! We are all extremely grateful to Jack for being such a great ambassador of bike commuting and a great member of the BikeCommmuters.com Team. You Rule!

  2. Lily October 20, 2008 6:08 am 

    Thanks Jack! You are one of my favorite community members of all time. I think Gray makes it into number one though.

  3. Ghost Rider October 20, 2008 6:09 am 

    Lily, you’re a sweetheart — and the feeling is mutual from both my and Grey’s perspectives!!!

  4. ragged claws October 20, 2008 6:29 am 

    Love the cinema verite production values and the voice-over. Where did you find all the actors? More seriously… looks like an amazing event and makes me wish we had something like that here in Mobile.

  5. Jean Dion October 20, 2008 5:55 pm 

    I won the Cannondale CO2 From Bicycle Bash
    EXCELENT!

  6. Lance October 20, 2008 6:27 pm 

    Your bike advocacy is always admirable, Jack. Looks like a fun event!

    Although…I thought you said it was hot and breezy out. Is that why you look like you’re dressed for a nippy winter morning(see beanie and long sleeve shirt). You’re obviously fully acclimated to that Florida humidity! :)

  7. Ghost Rider October 20, 2008 7:48 pm 

    It started out chilly…hence the wool cap and extra shirt. It was blazin’ by the time we were done, though.

    Congratulations, Jean — sweet win!

  8. Steve January 27, 2010 4:48 pm 

    >One of the shops had a Kona Ute under their tent…and it languished all day in the shade. Xtracycle ruled this day!

    I can understand people’s enthusiasm for the Xtracycle, but I’ve never really understood why people who have them seem to get so worked up about dissing other options like the Ute. It’s all just so unnecessarily negative. Why not just talk up the positives of the Xtracycle? It’s a whole lot more positive and will do more to bring people round to using a bike for more than the things they used them for when they were a kid. All the negativity just alienates people.

  9. Ghost Rider January 27, 2010 5:19 pm 

    Steve,

    are we reading the same sentence? Because I sure don’t see any “unnecessary negativity” in the above quote. Simply stating a fact: hardly anyone showed interest in the Ute but folks were ALL over the Xtra. I was there, you know…

  10. Steve January 28, 2010 6:10 am 

    Hi “Ghost”,

    I don’t doubt for one second your report that there was little interest in the Ute and plenty in the Xtracycle. But your sentences, for me at least, read negatively. I read your use of the ellipses in the first sentence as the pause before the sarcasm in the form of “football team X…blows. Particularly when contrasted to your second sentence and the use of ruled.

    But look, I was being a little harsh on you. For all I know you might be a level headed person and it was a simple shout out for your passion.

    My comment was motivated by what I had read going through all the pages Google returned when I was researching the Ute. If you go through the pages and read the comments it’s amazing how much negativity is out there from the Xtracycle/Big Dummy crowd. There seemed to be a real sense that many Xtracycle folks reaction was defensive and sometimes coupled with the need to attack these new cargo bikes which I just really couldn’t get my head around.

    Personally I think it is good that manufacturers are shipping more cargo carrying bikes of all types and that the Ute and Xtracycle fulfil different needs. I think that whole market can grow and there is a lot of interesting conversation to be made about how people are using them in their lives.

    Like I said in my post I can understand passionate advocacy in the form of look at all these cool lugging applications you can do with a bike and here is how a Xtracycle is great for them. But there seemed to be a hell alot of fanbois out there of the kind you see for Windows, Macs and games. I just happened to come across your post after reading many hours of this and my reply was my reaction to that as much as it was to your two short sentences. If I misinterpreted you as one of those Xtracycle fanbois whose comments I had waded through then my apologies. Peace and enjoy your Xtracycle. I have never had the pleasure of trying one, I hope I do.

  11. Ghost Rider January 28, 2010 7:19 am 

    Steve,

    I’m definitely an Xtracycle fanboi — you’ve pegged me there. In this instance, though, I wasn’t being negative, just stating an observation over several hours of attendance at the 2008 Bash.

    I imagine a lot of the negativity between the Xtra folks and users of the other cargo rigs stems from the “early adopter phenomenon”. Obviously, the Xtra wasn’t the first cargo bike ever created — cargo-haulers have been around as long as there have been bicycles. But frame this in the same way that people talk about rock bands: “I was into Band X before anyone!”. I think the same thing is going on here…Xtras captured the thrills of truly living car-free and had huge market penetration pretty much from the beginning. Then, Utes and Yubas and others came along, and an early reaction was, “aw, they’re just ripping off the concept.” We know now that that’s not the case — there’s room for many flavors of cargo-hauling machine out there, and every one of them offers the opportunity to reduce or eliminate motor vehicle use.

    Still, there have been some very well-reasoned comparisons/contrasts of the various cargobike platforms — you may even find such articles on this site.

    Stay tuned for an upcoming review of the RANS Hammertruck — another player on the cargobike market. Here’s a quick taste of what’s in store:

    http://www.bikecommuters.com/2010/01/18/preview-rans-hammertruck/

  12. Steve January 31, 2010 2:01 pm 

    Yes, I think you make some good points. I think I had just od’ed on too much in one go.

    I do think the Xtra is further along the cargo capability scale and is a better match for a “do everything” car replacement. Perhaps one will be in my future if the whole cargo bug bites bad. With an 80mile round trip to work I’m not about to start commuting on a bike yet, but it’s going to be interesting to see what local trips I can replace.

    Yes, I think there have been some good comparisons and it’s great to see people putting together some well thought out journalism that help put bike to need. One comment I read likened an Xtra to a transit van, whilst bikes like the Ute are more like an estate car/station wagon. I think that’s a good one line summary.

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