2010 Bicycle Bash by the Bay Announcement

The other night, I attended the press conference to announce the 2010 Bicycle Bash by the Bay, southwest Florida’s premier bicycling event.

bash poster

Good stuff is in the works for this year, including a new venue:

South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers is celebrating the relocation of a popular bicycle event to Flatwoods Wilderness Park.

The Bicycle Bash, which was previously at St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park, will take place Nov. 7.

“It’s a really big move for us,” said Alan Snel, director of SWFBUD, the bicycle advocacy group. “It was successful in St. Petersburg, but to take it to the next level we needed to have live bicycle activities with the bicycle exhibitor village.”

More details can be found at the Tampa Tribune online.

Alan was inspired by his trip last year to Sea Otter, and moving the Bash to a location where bike riding can take place during the event is a GREAT move…who knows? Perhaps one day the Bash will rival Sea Otter!

Anyhow, back to the press conference. Here, Alan presents some details to the group:


Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe spoke to the gathered crowd. Sharpe was instrumental in getting the Bash moved over to our side of the bay and the man is absolutely passionate about finding ways to incorporate alternative transportation (including rail, cycling and walking) into our daily lives here in the Tampa area. Plus, he’s a hell of a nice guy:

mark sharpe

Next, Tina Russo of the Hillsborough County MPO Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (and an employee of the Hillsborough County Parks Department) spoke to the group. She stressed the importance of having such an event in a beautiful location like Flatwoods and seemed very excited by the prospect of this year’s Bash:

tina russo

Here are some of the attendees mingling after the formalities…the press conference was held at SWFBUD member store Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium, and they had the place well-stocked with cold beer and yummy snacks for all ages. They make fantastic hosts…and didn’t even mind my child running amok through their showroom. Good folks over there!

Check out our coverage of last year’s Bicycle Bash by clicking here. You can be sure we’ll be at the 2010 edition to provide coverage. We may even sponsor a booth again this year and should have goodies to give away. In any case, I hope those of you in the Tampa Bay area mark your calendars for November 7th, and we’ll see you there!


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  2. Raiyn

    I have to say I’m REALLY disappointed in the choice of venue this year. Sure they might have some sort of “live bicycling event” but the visibility of the event is decreased by placing it out in the boonies as opposed to downtown St. Pete.

    No sir I don’t like it.

  3. Ghost Rider

    Well, it may deter casual or “walk-up” visitors, but then again Sea Otter is in the boonies…Dirt Demo is in the boonies…and dozens of other cycling events are in out of the way places, yet they all attract thousands of visitors.

    And, if it doesn’t work out, I’m sure things will relocate once again…that’s the beauty of a festival like this — it can be very flexible. Give it a chance, Raiyn! Come out to Flatwoods and we’ll do some pedaling together.

  4. Raiyn

    I respectfully disagree.
    I know you’re buddies with Alan, but you’re comparing apples to hand grenades here.
    Sea Otter and Dirt Demo are corporate events with national sponsorship and advertising. Dirt Demo’s a spin-off of Interbike for crying out loud. Sea Otter started as a race and slowly gained corporate sponsorship through pro riders entering the event.

    Bike Bash was a potential source of advocacy for transportational cyclists, this move to a more isolated venue only serves as a reminder that to most bikes DON’T belong. If you throw in the fact that the (more scenic) Vinoy location has plenty of local shops and eateries within casual bike or walking distance as opposed to the (again) comparatively isolated Flatwoods site and it looks even less attractive to the average observer.

    If SWFBUD wanted to add a race they could have tossed in an Alley Cat or done some actual leg work with the city and held a criterium in town.

  5. Raiyn

    I’m sorry to keep beating this horse.

    If alternative transportation and having the event on your side of the bridge was such a big thing for Mr. Sharpe he’d have worked to put it in Downtown Tampa as opposed to Flatwoods. I’d think that would have been pretty darn easy considering that Downtown Tampa is downright deadsville on most Sundays.

  6. Gordon

    @Raiyn I think you are missing the point for this event. I cannot speak for all riders, but I ride more than one type of bike including on and off road. Many commuters I know are the same way. Having attended previously I see this event as being about the many ways we can incorporate the bike into our lives, whether it be commuting, recreational, or competition. Can’t we all just pedal along?

  7. Raiyn

    @ Gordon
    No, I don’t think I am. Like you, I’ve attended Bike Bash on more than one occasion and I really think of this as a mistake.
    I ride more than one type of bike as well, and (since you brought it up) honestly if you want off-road activities, Flatwoods / Morris Bridge is a poor example of the Bay Area’s trails especially when you compare them to Alafia.

    I stand by my earlier posts.

  8. Raiyn

    Look I hate to be a wet blanket, but Bike Bash was something I was really looking forward to this year and I’m really disappointed.

  9. Alan Snel

    Hi Raiyn,

    Bicycling comes in all forms and my charge is to get people excited about riding a bike. The Bicycle Bash’s goal is to celebrate bicycling in Tampa Bay and energize cyclists of all stripes.

    I’m sorry you’re stuck on the location of the Bicycle Bash and offer comments that seem divisive to me at a time when all bicyclists — regardless of their particular biking interests or home location — should be supportive of each other.

    A person who’s new to bicycling and living in Tampa might find it imposing to start riding a bike out of the gate in an urban setting such as Tampa. Sounds like you’re a bicycle expert, but for those people who are new to biking, they usually feel more comfortable starting in a setting where there is no cars initially such as Flatwoods before moving to the next step of a cityscape for transportational bicycling.

    As with past Bicycle Bashes, we will invite agencies and organizations that advocate transportational cycling and give them free space to make connections with people who come to the Bash. Our region is very spread out, which meant St. Pete seemed to be the boonies to some people who live outside Tampa in Hillsborough County and thought it was too far away to attend Bike Bashes in St. Pete. It’s not Vinoy Park vs. Flatwoods. They’re both beautiful places to get excited about bicycling.

    Alan Snel

  10. Ghost Rider


    Alafia doesn’t offer on-road riding, far as I know…something Flatwoods DOES have.

    Look, it’s way too early to tell — I’m excited by the prospect of having the Bash in another location purely to see how this thing grows. I’ve attended every one of them (even the inaugural event at the St. Pete Times Forum…where were YOU?).

    This event does get some corporate sponsorship, and can only get better and better as the years go on. Sea Otter started out much smaller and grew into a premier event, and I have every faith that the Bicycle Bash can do the same — no matter what, it’s the best we’ve got around here and it has been pretty damn good so far.

    And yes, having the event over in Hillsborough County might “inconvenience” St. Pete residents (the way it “inconvenienced” Hills. Co. residents when it was held in Vinoy/Straub Parks). But, we didn’t think twice about hauling our asses across the bay to attend, and we hope that Pinellas County residents do the same for 2010.

  11. Ghost Rider

    I should add that I would absolutely LOVE to see the event in downtown Tampa…blocking off the streets for bike racing and the exhibitor village. But I’m quite happy with Flatwoods as the venue.

  12. Raiyn

    @ Alan I’m sorry you found my comments “divisive” but that’s a bit of a strawman in my opinion as is the “fear of cars” point you attempt to raise as I believe those are the same people who are more likely to casually encounter the Bash in a more centralized location in town as opposed to the sprawl zone that surrounds Flatwoods.

    I’m glad you’ve had the honor and luxury of attending every Bash, regrettably I haven’t been as fortunate as you in that regards but that’s hardly germane to the conversation at hand.

    I mentioned Alafia as a much better example of what our (extended) area has to offer in terms of off-road trails, not as an alternate location. (Even though the time / distance equation for either is a wash for me.)

    As for the “inconvenience” factor, that’s not really as much of a sticking point with me as you seem to imply. I’d be perfectly willing to cross the bridge to Tampa as you and your riding buddies have done to come here in the past, but even if my schedule does allow it, the Flatwoods location has no appeal to me and I can’t justify driving an hour plus (or riding four) each way to attend in that location.

    The Flatwoods deal could be a separate event if it suited SWFBUD, (Tampa Bay TrailFest???) but to me “by the Bay” implies an event by the actual water, not a sun baked Flood Detention Area 45 miles away in Thonotosassa. (Yes, Flatwoods is a Thonotosassa address even though on a map it seems to be swallowed by the East Tampa Sprawl)

    On the flip side, The Tampa Crit is pretty much EXACTLY what I had in mind for my vision of an expanded Bash. (I was spending time with my infant nephew or I would have gone.) I think holding that sort of event in Pinellas would kick some serious butt. (Even if we had to hold it Clearwater **shudder** 😉 of all places.) Frankly I’d love it if the two events alternated between our fair cities.

    I’m not trying to sound petty, “divisive”, or even my usual charmingly 😉 snarky self, but I am worked up a bit by this news.
    I simply feel that this event deserves to be in a centralized area where ordinary people can see it – not just shop rats and forum dwellers. (I was the former, still am the latter.) Speaking off the cuff, I’d be surprised if a ticket deal of some kind with either the Rays or Lightning couldn’t be worked out (with valet style bike parking) for a event in the downtowns especially if an alternating schedule could be had. The Lightning, as you well know, has set a precedent for just such a thing.

    Just to clarify gentlemen, I don’t wish the event ill, nor do I want to cause friction for those who planned it or for those who intend to attend. I just hope that my position is understood and perhaps that for next year the Bash is back where it belongs – in town with the people.

    I don’t wish to burn up any more bandwidth on my comments about this dead horse, so I’ll respectfully take the opportunity hop off my soap box with some shred of grace and retire from commenting on the issue of the Bash’s location until next year. Good Day.

  13. Beerfart

    I have been to every Bike Bash, including the first one, and am excited to see what the new venue brings. Incorporating road and dirt rides as part of the event sounds great. Thanks Alen and to all that make Bike Bash happen.

  14. Trail View Mount

    Anyone and anything that promotes bicycling is a good thing indeed. No matter where the venue is. Looking forward to the Bike Bash 2011. Great blog and photos Jack. All the best.

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