BikeCommuters.com

advocacy

Bicycle Commuter Act in the News

Several folks have written to us asking why Bikecommuters.com hasn’t offered any coverage of the recently-passed Bicycle Commuter Act, which was a last-minute addition to the $700 billion bailout package approved by the U.S. Government.

Well, here’s why: because it’s been covered at length almost everywhere else…and in a lot of cases, mere minutes after the measure was approved. To get an idea of the wide coverage of this news, check out Paul Dorn’s Bike Commute Tips blog, where he has a link list at the bottom of his writeup of it. Heck, even Rush Limbaugh covered it on his website!!! You’ll have to find the link for that on your own, though.

Frankly, the staff at Bikecommuters.com doesn’t have anything worthwhile to add to the discussion. In the first days after this news broke, I frantically scoured the Web looking for “cheat sheets” to guide commuters in applying for such benefits, only to discover that it is in employers’ hands. In any case, we’re certainly hopeful employers choose to offer this incentive to their bike-commuting employees, and we strongly urge such employees to ask their employers to provide this benefit.

But, we’d like to hear from you: what do you think about the passing of this piece of legislation? Is it too little, too late? Any word on whether your employer(s) will extend this benefit to you? For me, I’m excited that this bit passed, but I’m a little sad to see it was tacked onto the bailout package.

Bicycle Bash By The Bay — Next Week!

It’s only seven days away…the 2008 Tampa Bicycle Bash by the Bay.

bashposter

If you’re in the Tampa Bay area, come on by…food, fun and bicycles galore. I’ll have a table with some goodies to give away from our site sponsors — maybe even some stuff to raffle off. I’ll also have the Recycletron 1000 on hand for those of you “on the fence” about getting an Xtracycle. If the mood strikes me or I drink enough beer, I might even offer rides on it…

See you next Sunday from 11:00-4:00. For those of you who won’t be able to make it, I’ll be taking photos and videos throughout the day and I’ll write up a “virtual tour” — it’ll be almost like being there in person!

Tampa Bay’s Commuter Choices Week 2008

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!

Mark Your Calendars: Tampa’s Tour de Cure 2009

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.

Producing a Bike Map for Your Town…

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!!!