Category: advocacy

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:

baycycle_header

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.

We got the following email from Susie Cooley on behalf of Someonestolemybike.com:

If riding a bike is a universal pastime, then having it stolen is a universal nuisance, and it is for this reason that we have created SOMEONESTOLEMYBIKE.COM; to give individuals a cathartic forum to share their own personal stories and express their distinct feelings and philosophies on the aggravating subject of bike theft. We’ll be updating the page weekly with new stories. There’s no gimmick or money-making intentions here, just the hope that people will enjoy the videos and find a place to vent.

screenshot

Having a bike stolen is something a lot of us can relate to. Since I moved to Florida in 1992, I’ve had two bikes stolen…and my wife has also had two stolen. I can think of dozens of friends here and elsewhere who have experienced this psychological “kick in the junk”, too. It’s a bummer every time it happens. Someonestolemybike.com offers videos of bike theft victims talking about their losses…and who knows — perhaps getting the word out may even help recover a few of these stolen bikes? It definitely eases the pain when you can talk about your loss, in any case.

Check it out, and if you’ve got a story to share, the folks at Someonestolemybike.com would love to hear it (of course, we’d like to hear the stories, too).

The Major Taylor Project is dedicated to creating a multicultural community where teenagers
have equal opportunity to spend time outdoors and on a bicycle.

Marshall “Major? Taylor was the first African American professional cyclist. Born in 1878, Major Taylor’s professional racing career included the world one-mile track cycling championship in 1899. The Major Taylor Clubs will honor his commitment to his passion in the face of adversity. Community Partners: Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation, Bike Works, Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club, Global Connections High School, and The YES Foundation of White Center Project supported by King County Metro, Group Health Cooperative, Seattle Bike Supply, Recycled Cycles, Rack N Road, Cycle University, and Cascade Bicycle Club

Please RSVP to Danielle Rose: opa@cascadebicycleclub.org, 206-957-6960

You may have read on other cycling sites that Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) has offered up an amendment “to prohibit funds for any bike trail path in the version of the stimulus act now in the Senate.”

We urge everyone to contact their Senators immediately to let them know that you want them to support bicycle-friendly infrastructure projects in the Stimulus package and to block the DeMint amendment. The League of American Bicyclists even has a handy Senator lookup feature and talking points for you to call their offices and let your voices be heard. This lookup feature can be found by clicking here.

Talking points for calling or writing your U.S. Senators include:

–Bike/ped projects offer better direct stimulus, because labor is a higher percentage of their cost compared to other transportation projects
–These smaller projects can start more quickly, providing immediate stimulus to local economies
–When polled, Americans call for bike trails and walking paths more than for highway projects
–Better bike/ped connectivity helps the poorest members of society, by giving them transportation options that they can afford
–Bike/ped connectivity is an essential part of Safe Routes to School
–Bike/ped projects are essential in reviving troubled downtowns

(thanks to the Virginia Bicycling Federation for providing these points).

And just so you know, this isn’t just “another day at the office for Republicans”…for U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has also spoken out against using Stimulus funding for bicycle infrastructure.

Let your Senators and other elected officials know that they’re really dropping the ball if they don’t realize that investing in alternative transportation infrastructure of ALL kinds makes quality of life better for all Americans, not just cyclists, mass-transit users and pedestrians.

Special tip of the ol’ “foam chapeau” to Fritz of Cyclelicious for bringing this to our attention.

As promised, here is part two of our two-part commuter profiles of the lovely and talented ladies of Bike Skirt. Today I present Elisa Munoz, the other stylish mastermind behind Bike Skirt (in partnership with Anna Carrigan):

elisa
(photo courtesy of T. Scott Carlisle, www.t-photographic.com)

How long have you been a bike commuter?

4 months, give or take.

Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?

I was part of an online contest with friends, Triathablog.com, where each had a sport (running, swimming, cycling) and I decided the best way to get rides in was to combine my commute and my rides. So, I became a bike commuter! It was something I had wanted to do; Triathablog just gave me the boost (and the healthy competition) I needed. My commute is 6 miles each way.

How does Bike Commuting help you with your lifestyle (economics, health, relationships)?

It keeps me in shape for sure. Bike Commuting saves me on gas money and a gym membership. It has also introduced me to a small group of urban riders in Birmingham that I am so thankful for. Plus, I get to meet hot guys on bikes!

What do you do for a living and in what city do you bike commute?

I am a Book Buyer for a large book chain that is based out of Birmingham, AL. I commute from the city to the suburbs. Birmingham is 87/100 of the Unhealthiest Cities for Women, with the lowest % of women riders. Anna (the other half of BikeSkirt) and I are trying to change that, one ride at a time.

What kind(s) of bike do you have?

I have one bike, Mick Jagger. He is a Lemond eTape. The love of my life.

mick
(photo courtesy of T. Scott Carlisle, www.t-photographic.com)

Any funny or interesting commuting story that you may want to share?

I was recently profiled for both the newspaper and the local CBS station for being a bike commuter. (editor’s note: Here’s another of her profiles) It makes me laugh that the fact that I do what people all over the world do daily is so foreign in Birmingham that it is ‘news’. That says a lot about the bike culture here.

What do people (coworkers, friends) say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?

“Are you CRAZY?” and “Watch out for cars”. It makes me laugh when non-bikers try to give me cycling advice. I want to say “You know that I ride every day don’t you?” Instead I smile and thank them. I also get looks and questions when people find out that I ride most of the time in a skirt. They are so much more comfortable than pants to me, and much more awesome!! And when your legs start to look like you ride everyday, you want to show them off…

route
(photo courtesy of T. Scott Carlisle, www.t-photographic.com)

How about bicycling advocacy? Are you active in any local or regional advocacy groups?

We don’t have many advocacy groups in Birmingham, but we are trying to change that. I am in the process of starting a Bike Co-op with friends, Bici Coop (www.bicicoop.org) and we are hoping to have a large advocacy presence.

Anything else that you want to share with us?

I can’t imagine anything more fun than riding my bike. Occasionally, I want nothing more than to throw Mick Jagger off of the mountain, but most of the time I arrive at work smiling and thinking that I just had the most fun getting to work. I feel sorry for the folks who will never know that feeling.

refresh
(photo courtesy of T. Scott Carlisle, www.t-photographic.com)

We’d like to thank Elisa for taking the time to submit her profile and photographs…do yourself a favor and check out Bike Skirt — these ladies really know how to roll in style!

We’ve got a few more profiles of stylish commuters in the works…and, as always, if you want to be profiled on Bikecommuters.com, just send us an email.