Category: advocacy

Today I attended the kickoff party for the Bay Area Commuter Services “Commuter Choices Week”, where folks pledge to try a different form of commuting transportation than their usual mode for the month of October.

I didn’t attend in an official capacity…rather, I went along to help my friend Alan Snel get the word out on the upcoming Bicycle Bash by the Bay.

me and Alan
(photo courtesy of SWFBUD)

The crowd at Poe Plaza was smaller compared to last year…but there were a variety of transportation agencies (TBARTA and the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization), community organizations (Tampa Downtown Partnership, among others) and bicycle-friendly folks (Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium and Southwest Florida Bicycle United Dealers, the organizing arm behind the Bicycle Bash).

BACS

Here, Manny Sierra of Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium offers free commuter tuneups for anyone who brought a bicycle…he’s rockin’ the official American League sweethearts Tampa Bay Rays haircut.

manny

Of course, one of the big crowd draws is the free pizza and soda offered by one of the event sponsors:

pizza

A shot of the crowd:

crowd

And, of course, I had to represent by bringing my Xtracycle along…obnoxiously parked so that everyone had to pass right by it. This rig may have attracted more attention than a lot of the display tables…I got a lot of questions about it and handed out a few “Eleven Answers” cards provided to me by Xtracycle. I wasn’t in the mood to offer free passenger rides around downtown Tampa, though…maybe I’ll do that at the Bash.

xtra

We had a good time…talked to a few bike-friendly people and gave some of the local transportation planners some good-natured grief about their lack of support for more bicycle infrastructure in our area. Somehow, this year I missed the official speeches, but that’s ok…we still had fun!

Dawn Keglor, associate manager for the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure, wrote to tell us about the date and time for the Tampa Bay area’s Tour event:

Our Tour de Cure event is coming up on March 1, 2009…it is an incredible ride! It takes place in Venice, FL…not too far from Tampa Bay. It is a lively ride with 4 different
routes: 15, 35, 60, and 100 miles of beautiful scenic views. We have entertainment, great food, prizes, and thank you gifts. It truly is a great biking experience!

Diabetes is on the rise, not only with our adults, but it is now affecting children in great measures. Statistically, every 21 seconds someone in America is diagnosed with Diabetes. We need the help of
cyclists in the Tampa Bay area and beyond to assist us in our fight against this disease.

flyer

Even more information is available at the signup page for this event: http://tour.diabetes.org/site/TR/TourdeCure/TDC246758030?pg=entry&fr_id=5596

Mark your calendars — these events are a blast and proceeds go to a very worthy cause.

Mark Stosberg of Bikes as Transportation wrote to tell us of a project he’s worked on — creating a bicycling map of Richmond, Indiana. His website details all the steps to undertaking such a project, and the steps are expertly presented. His site has it all, from planning for such a project, the actual field work needed to produce a map, presenting it to the city and even fundraising techniques to help float the project. It’s definitely worth a read, and his experiences may inspire others to craft their own city’s map. Check it out…you won’t be disappointed!

The Tampa area is lucky in the fact that despite slow infrastructural improvements for bicyclists, the area’s Metropolitan Planning Organization has been producing bike maps for several years. There are two versions: one is a “bike suitability map” that details good, ok and poor road choices for bicyclists with color codes, and the other is a pair of maps that detail on- and off-road bikeways, both existing and future. All of those maps are available by visiting the Hillsborough MPO site.

Another inspiring bike map story comes from NOLACycle (via Urbanvelo.org). Read all about it by visiting Urbanvelo’s coverage of the project.

Thanks, Mark, for the heads-up on this project — you’ve created a great resource for anyone who desires to help their community by taking on such an endeavor. Bikecommuters.com gold stars for you!!!

Back in March, we were contacted by Matthew Ides, a graduate researcher from Hunter College in New York City. He was looking for NYC-area bike commuters for a project he was working on. Matthew wrote, “The sole purpose is to record the subjective perspective (mental image/imageability) New York City bicycle commuters have of the build environment, good or bad, through a survey.”

He sent me a note today — the completed survey results are now available for viewing. Check it out by visiting his Scribd site.

Good work, Matthew…and thanks to the Bikecommuters.com readers who responded to the initial call.

The official press release came out today:

MEDIA RELEASE: Contact — Alan Snel, 813-468-0064; www.bicyclebash.com

St. Petersburg, FL — A group of seven Tampa Bay area bicycle stores is proud to announce that the 2008 Bicycle Bash by the Bay — the biggest bicycle-only event in the Tampa Bay area — is set to be held on Oct. 19 from 11 AM to 4 PM at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg.

This year’s Bicycle Bash by the Bay will be bigger and more newsworthy than ever before because of a heightened emphasis on green living, alternative transportation and healthy lifestyle. The Bicycle Bash by the Bay’s goal is to promote, advocate and grow bicycling as a healthy lifestyle and effective mode of transportation.

The group putting on the Bicycle Bash by the Bay is SWFBUD — South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers. The seven bike shops are Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium, Oliver’s Cycle Sports in new Tampa, Revolution Bicycles in St. Petersburg, Chainwheel Drive in Clearwater, University Bicycle Center in Tampa, Suncoast Trailside Bicycles in Odessa and Bicycle Outfitters in Seminole.

This year, the Bicycle Bash by the Bay will be bigger than ever. This year’s bicycle festival is extra special because the Share The Road Ride, held by the St. Petersburg Bicycle Club, is joining forces with SWFBUD to hold its annual bike ride from 8 AM to 11 AM before the bicycle festival. Last year we drew 3,000 people and we expect many more because of the organized bicycle ride.

We have also timed the Bicycle Bash by the Bay this year to take place a day before the Pro Walk/Pro Walk Florida Conference held by the Florida Bicycle Asociation in St. Petersburg starting October 20.

At the Bicycle Bash by the Bay, the city of St. Petersburg will hold a bicycle rodeo to hand out free helmets to kids and teach kids important bicycling skills from Noon to 2 PM.

Other Bicycle Bash by the Bay activities include:

-Drop off your old bike that you no longer want to pedal at a bike donation station
and get a free prize.
-Enjoy a swap meet where you can buy inexpensive used bikes and gear — it’s just
like a flea market for bicyclists.
-Meet SWFBUD member bike shops and talk about the latest in cycling and equipment.
-John Sinibaldi will be on hand again to emcee the Bicycle Bash by the Bay.
-Talk to local bike agencies about bicycle commuter tips and chat with representatives from local bike clubs.
-Watch demos on everything from putting together bikes to riding a unicycle.
-Meet bicycle manufacturers and other bike part makers.
-Enjoy food, music and more!!

If you’re in the area, come on out — it’s guaranteed to be a blast!

bash poster