Category: Events

Recently reported on the Spoke ‘N’ Word blog, Tampa will soon have a bicycle cooperative! This is very exciting news for the Tampa cycling community in that a bicycle co-op is a good sign of a healthy and growing bicycle culture. Atlanta has Sopo, Los Angeles has Bike Oven, Portland has Citybikes, Minneapolis has The Hub…and now Tampa is going to join these other cities and give a little back to folks who really need some bikes to get around…


I had a chance to speak briefly with one of the founders of the co-op, Dave Japenga. I asked him what kinds of parts and supplies he needed and what we could do for him as far as promotion. He said,

“I think it is going to be a good experience. I just kind of threw the idea out there and let the momentum carry it. Fortunately there seems to be enough like-minded people that this project will be a success.

Parts we could use are really wide open. I have about 30 bikes (mtn, road, and cruisers) that all need a bit of love. Once the co-op gets more established they will be rebuilt and for sale via a no minimum required donation price. In an effort to both get more bicycles on the road, and to have bikes that are accessible to anyone underprivileged.

Any coverage would be much appreciated. One thing that needs to happen is for this to be promoted in all niches of the cycling community. I’ve been living with no car for the last 6 months. I love bikes, all aspects, but as a commuter I’m always in need of an adjustment or quick fix and spend a lot of time behind a wrench. I think education on how to fix the basics is both empowering and a defining part of getting more bikes on the road.”

The co-op is having a grand opening celebration on April 7th from 6-9 PM at the Transitions Art Gallery at the Skatepark of Tampa (the co-op’s current location). If you are in the Tampa Bay area, please come out and show your support at this gala event. If you are coming and you’ve got bicycle parts or bicycles to donate, the organizers would love to have whatever you’ve got.

I’ll be covering the grand opening party for — and I’ve got a box of parts and spare tubes I’m going to haul along to donate. I’m so excited about this!

The owners of and have recently sold the rights to all five of the sites they own to Evomo Clothing for an undisclosed amount. When asked why Moe Ramirez and RL Policar had sold out, they simply said, “It was about F#$%^ing Time! We’ve wanted to do this for so long!â€? “We worked our butts off to make sure that we got noticed and bought out quickly,” stated Ramirez. Policar said, ” I’m glad I don’t have to put up with the staff any more – geez, it was like trying to babysit little kids after a night of drinking…excruciating!”

Ramirez and Policar at the 2007 Interbike
interbike 2007

Ramirez and Policar were asked about the amount that they were paid for their brands, but refused to give concise answers to the question. Rather, Policar had said, “Just think about it this way, I don’t have to work until the end of the year! The temporary tattoos and gift certificates to my favorite restaurant, Hometown Buffet made it all worth it!” Ramirez stated that he plans on taking his family on a long vacation to Catalina Island with the money he made. “What?! Its not like I can afford to take them to Hawaii or Fiji! You kidding! No way Jose, I am taking them there because I had to make sure that I put a big deposit down on a new Hummer H2.”

The rest of the staff of the sites, including Policar’s wife, Priscilla, Jeremy Yang, Lance Lowry, Russ Roca, Khoa Nguyen and Jack Sweeney, have all been terminated as soon as the deal had closed. All six bloggers are now looking to write for other sites, but when Yang was asked what his next step was, he stated, “My next step, well, I’m going to forget about those idiots! They didn’t even tell me that they were selling off the company! This experience has severely traumatized me and I don’t think I can ride bikes again! I’m going to go back and start racing lawn mowers again…”

Priscilla Policar, RL’s wife of nearly 13 years, spoke about the sale. “You know, being married to RL for so long, I would have thought he’d tell me these sorts of things, but he didn’t! He woke up the morning after the deal had closed and demanded eggs and chorizo for breakfast! He doesn’t even like chorizo! I don’t know who he is anymore….” she stated.

The rest of the staff was contacted but all were speechless. In fact when Jack Sweeney, a staffer and Sheldon Brown-wannabe for was approached, he gave reporters the international hand signal for anger and ran away, cursing loudly.

Jack Sweeney visibly upset.

Lance Lowry, a staffer on MtnBikeRiders and, was simply distraught over the sale, that he decided to get away from Ramirez and Policar and move from Orange County, Ca. to Portland, Oregon. As he drove away in his U-Haul Van, he was pumping his fists in the air and yelling, “Damn you both to hell!”

Khoa Nguyen was found later found by family members locked in the bathroom of his new home. He too was upset about the events and was heard saying, “Up yours Moe, up yours RL, screw MtnBikeRiders and!!!” Russ Roca, also a professional photographer and recent recruit to, was clearly bothered by the event and was found in a Long Beach, Ca. wings and beer restaurant stuffing himself with their hottest wings and best beers on tap to wash away the pain.

“The acquisition of and from Moe and RL has been in the works since December’s meeting at the Hometown Buffet. This deal went through with only a few stipulations including the gift certificates in lieu of stocks.”, said Sedrik Vomir, Evomo Sponsorship/Marketing Director. “This is our first step towards the purchase of high traffic internet based companies in the form of blogs and user generated content. Our list of companies that we are in talks with his quite large and by 2010 we will have about 45% ownership.”

evomo clothing

Both Ramirez and Policar will remain on staff until their replacements can be found. In the meantime, if you are interested in running or, please leave a comment below. If you are selected, you will be sent a rose, a voucher for Hometown Buffet and your username and passwords for the site. KHS Bicycles have also donated a KHS Green and Lucky 7 to give to the new Editors of the blogs as a “Welcome Aboard!” gift.

This morning was the inaugural ride of the newly-formed Seminole Heights Bicycle Club here in central Tampa. We had about 60 riders of all ages and abilities today, and we were graced with the company of none other than Mayor Pam Iorio of the City of Tampa! She and her husband are both active cyclists and so they came along to experience a chilly, family-friendly ride around our historic neighborhood.

Me and the Mayor!!

First off, I must admit that I was already a HUGE fan of Mayor Pam — she is very personable and really gives me the impression that she tries to do whatever is best for the community at large, not just for her supporters. She’s had to make some really tough decisions of late as the Florida State Legislature has steadily chipped away at funding for local governments, and while these decisions certainly don’t please everyone, they appear to be well-considered. In any case, after this ride and the encouraging words she said to our group, the deal was sealed — Mayor Pam is awesome, and we’re lucky to have her looking out for the city!

Ok, enough fan-worship…on with the ride!

The group strings out...

Once again I was pressed into “sweeper duty”, making sure no one was left behind. The day started out chilly but warmed quickly. The ride was only 6 miles long — the whole idea of the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club is to keep things community- and family-friendly. There will be longer rides scheduled for the more hardcore among us, but the bulk of our rides are for people of all ages.

At the midway point we were treated to free hot coffee and bottled water from the store manager of the Seminole Heights Starbucks…thanks, guys! That was mighty sweet of you!

Here’s the group in all our glory — 60 friendly faces who make our neighborhood a great place to live:

The group
picture by Alan Snel

Even my son’s trailer was a hit. Here is Grey demonstrating its features to a group of eager future cyclists:

trailer love

We’re looking forward to riding as a group again in a couple weeks, and I am VERY excited that this club has formed. We may not have a special guest every time, but the friends and neighbors involved in this club will make our get-togethers more than worthwhile. Events like this are yet another reason that the Seminole Heights area is renowned city-wide for its friendly, active residents.

I want to thank Alan and Mike for planting the seeds that got this club started, thanks to Mayor Pam for riding with us and pledging to do what she can to make Tampa a more bike-friendly city, and I want to give special thanks to my friend Ellen, who dropped back and gave me someone to chat with towards the end of the ride…being the sweeper can be a lonely chore!

More coverage of the ride (text and great photos and a video of the Mayor speaking to the group) can be found here and here.

We’d like to congratulate our third winner in the raffle, which was held at this year’s Bicycle Bash by the Bay.

Meet Dorian Sage of Palm Harbor, Florida — he won a pair of 26″ “Nightwing” tires. He came over to my house to pick them up and to talk about bikes. Here he is with the tires:

SweetskinZ winner

Congratulations to Dorian and to all our winners…we thank you for entering our raffle!