Category: News

We’d like to congratulate Lisa Abney of Tampa, Florida — our first SweetskinZ raffle winner to claim her prize of two 26″ “Scorch” tires.

Here she is with her prize:

We have a WINNER!!!

Lisa was so excited about her win and so intrigued by these tires that she is going to buid up a “rat-rod” style cruiser to show them off…perhaps even a bicycle version of the motorcycle ridden by the Ghost Rider himself (aw, a girl after my own heart!)…we’re talking chrome skulls, fire imagery and some welded chain handlebars. YES!!! If this comes through, Lisa promised that she’d let us post pictures of her creation.

Congratulations again, Lisa — good luck with your project and thanks for entering our raffle!

Our friends at KHS Bicycles sent us some awesome “Gas Sucks — Ride a Bike” t-shirts that we’d like to give away…there’s only one catch: you must answer a trivia question!

The first person who correctly answers one of the following three questions will win a t-shirt. Simply send your answer to ghostrider(over there at)bikecommuters(dot)com.

You are welcome to answer all three questions, but each contestant is eligible for only one t-shirt.

Ok, here are the questions:

1. Who was “lanterne rouge” in the first Tour de France held after the end of World War II? The correct answer will include the full name of the rider, final position in the standings, year of the race and the racer’s home country.

2. Who was the first Italian to win back-to-back Tours de France? The correct answer will include the rider’s name and the two years he won back-to-back.

3. According to a U.S. Census study conducted in 2007, what are the top 10 cities in the United States with the most active bicycle commuters? The correct answer will include all ten cities in the correct order.

So, send in your entries and good luck!

By the way, members of the teams are not eligible…you folks already have your badass KHS racing jersies…so we’ll give other people the chance at some schwag!

Gas Sucks -- Ride a Bike!

Thanks to everyone who signed up for our mailing list and entered the raffle to win a pair of Sweetskinz tires. It was great meeting you all at the Bicycle Bash by the Bay on Sunday!

Winners were chosen by a blindfolded 4-year-old (to keep things fair and objective!), and they are:

Lisa Abney (26″ pair)

Zachary Pena (700c pair)

Terri Lawley (26″ pair)

Sara Palmer (700c pair)

If you are one of the winners, please contact me at “ghostrider(over there at)bikecommuters(dot)com” — we’ll make arrangements to get the tires out to you and take your picture if you’ll let us!!

Thanks again to all the entrants for this raffle! Stay tuned for other prize giveaways in the coming days.

Well, it has come and gone…the 2nd annual Bicycle Bash by the Bay held today in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. The weather couldn’t have been better — 78 degrees and sunny! was there to provide coverage and to spread the word about bicycle commuting in the Tampa Bay area. Come with me as I walk around the incredible Vinoy Park venue…a tour in pictures, if you will!

First, a satellite view of the venue — that blue stuff to the right of the arrow is Tampa Bay itself. Vinoy Park is located on the north edge of downtown St. Petersburg and is RIGHT ON the water. It’s a great place for a great event!

Satellite view of Vinoy Park partnered up with the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization to distribute flyers, bike route maps, blinkies, “Share the Road” stickers and lots of other great giveaways. I recruited my good friend Terry (a fellow librarian, rocker and all-around good guy) to assist. We both had a blast meeting people and spreading the word.

Jack, spreading the word

On with the tour!

Bikes from every discipline were on hand…from mild to wild. Here are a couple of the highlights:

There was a fantastic vintage BMX collection on display (this is only a fraction of the full collection…I caught the guy right after he started unloading his trailer).

Vintage BMX collection

There were lots of freakbikes here, too. Many were hand-built by chopper-building extraordinaire Robert “Bullet” Ferrin.

Choppers and freakbikes

Here’s the winner of Bullet’s “$100 freakbike challenge”…this machine had the most pristine chrome on any bike I’ve ever seen!

Chrome event winner!

Check out this machine…a Welsh-made Newton trike. This bike’s front wheels are turned with steering rods attached to the fork’s steerer tube. It was, in my opinion, the coolest bike that stopped by the booth!

Welsh-made Newton tricycle

Here’s a shot of “tent city” during the height of the event. It is estimated that somewhere in the neighborhood of 3000 people came to the Bash, making it one of the largest (if not the biggest ever) bicycle-related events in the Tampa Bay area’s history.

Look at all those tents!

In addition to the bike shops, advocacy groups, free massages, bike and component manufacturers and others in attendance, there was also a lot of locally-made food. This tent was serving some BADASS Cajun cuisine…hot and spicy!

Cajun goodness

There were also lots of demos throughout the day…everything from cyclocross to BMX to fixed-gear stylin’. Here, some junior BMX racers from the Profile Racing Team demonstrate the starting gate “holeshot run”:

Profile Racing baddies bashing the starting gate

There was a short, tight grass cyclocross course set up for demonstrations of powerslide turns, run-ups and barrier jumping. On this racer’s first pass, he chose to shoulder his bike and run over the pair of 2ft. high plywood barriers. He did that with no problem. On his second pass, he decided to try to bunnyhop the first barrier and packed it in. I caught him just as he hit the ground:

Cyclocross demo mishap

The rider was OK, but he appeared to have damaged his front wheel…he got some technical assistance from his crew before he resumed the demo.

Meanwhile, out in the parking lot, the small (and growing!) but dedicated local contingent of fixed-gear riders was showing their stuff — barspins, wheelies, reverse circles, hangstills and skids galore. Here’s a rider doing his thang:

Fixed-gear shenanigans

While I was wandering around, collecting freebies from other tables and taking photos, I ran into Julie Bond from Tampa BayCycle. You may recognize Julie from her commuter profile (photographs lost to our hacker) on our very own website! Here she is hobnobbing with some cyclists:

Julie Bond of Tampa BayCycle

Finally, I caught the man behind this event in a quiet moment. Alan Snel is our area’s dedicated champion of all things bicycle, and his hard work, relentless spirit and great personality came together to make this event a success for participants and visitors alike. Alan, take a bow — you deserve your moment in the spotlight!!!

Alan Snel, the driving force behind this event

We’d like to thank Alan for inviting us to this event and getting us a table to use. We’d also like to thank the great folks from Sweetskinz for donating a few sets of tires that we are going to raffle off…those tires created quite the buzz at our booth — everyone who walked by could not resist picking them up, remarking about them and asking questions…good thing we had brochures to distribute! We’d also like to thank our friends at KHS Bicycles, who donated some goodies for us to give away and who support our advocacy efforts in many other ways. Finally, we’d like to thank the gentleman from Tampa Bay Freewheelers (sorry, buddy, I didn’t catch your name) who graciously offered us the use of a tent canopy for the event — we would have gotten a wicked sunburn without you, and we are gratefully for your group’s generosity!

I just stumbled across this terrible story via Kent Peterson’s blog.

Read about a nice, cheerful man who was shot twice for no reason whatsoever and survived while commuting home on his bicycle:

Sonsabitches! As if we didn’t have enough to worry about out there with the douchebags in Hummers, rich assholes in Mercedes and all the glass, debris, substandard bike lanes, shoddy law enforcement and rough streets we bikers have to face!

Bring out the torches and pitchforks…it’s vigilante justice time!