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This year, the state of Florida decided to celebrate Bike Month in March (rather than May, when it is celebrated in much of the rest of the U.S.).

Tampa BayCycle is sponsoring a series of events in the Tampa Bay area to help celebrate…lots of good times to be had by cycling enthusiasts in this region:

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Clearwater Sunday Ciclovía
March 1, 2009 8:00am to 2:00pm

Enjoy a day of family fun and healthy activities on a car-free, carefree Cleveland Street. Two miles of downtown Clearwater streets will be off-limits to car traffic on March 1, 2009, from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, so cyclists, walkers, skaters, joggers and dog walkers can take over the streets for a day of street play. Click here to view the event flyer.

Call (727) 562-4047 for more information, including how you or your organization can get involved.

Free Flat Tire Changing Classes Each Saturday in March

Don’t let the fear of a flat tire slow down your cycling adventures. Register today!

When: One class each Saturday in March at 1:00pm
Where: The Bike Room, 2808 Fourth Street N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704
To Register: Call the City of St. Petersburg-Cheryl Stacks at 727-892-5328
Details: Class size is limited to 4 students per class. You must bring your bicycle, as you will be learning hands-on how to change the tire.

2009 Words for Wheels Bicycle Giveaway Contest

Area residents are invited to enter Words for Wheels, an essay-based bicycle giveaway contest sponsored by Tampa BayCycle. To enter, submit a 100-word essay detailing how winning a bicycle would change your life. Two winning entries will be selected, and the winning authors will each receive a bicycle, light, helmet, and lock.

Submit your essay online by clicking here, or by mail to:

Words for Wheels
601 N Ashley Dr, Suite 1100
Tampa, FL 33602

Contest Rules:

Words for Wheels is open to all area residents in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Citrus, Pasco, and Hernando counties.

Entries must be postmarked or received via email by February 20, 2009.

Your entry must include the following information: Name, Complete Mailing Address, Telephone Number, Email Address

1st Annual Tampa Twilight Criterium and Festival

Saturday, March 21st, 10AM — 8PM

A downtown Tampa loop will be blocked from traffic to allow for a variety of criterium races to take place. Racing categories range from a family fun ride all the way up to USAC Cat 1/2, with lots of amateur and senior action thrown in. During the races, a wellness and community festival and kids’ bike rodeo will take place in Lykes Park in the center of the crit loop. Please visit the Tampa Twilight Criterium website for more details and racing entry information.

Other events tend to pop up around the area during Bike Month…stay tuned for coverage of some of these and other events. I have to work on the day of the criterium, but the race course is just around the corner from my office so I’ll try to swing over there at lunch and after work to get some photos of the action.