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Tag Archive: alan snel

Bike To Work Week: Rookie Commuter Resources

I love my Bike in all the months.

Hello enthusiastic readers – year-round cyclists, beginner cyclists, or future bike commuters!  Like the title above says, next week is Bike to Work Week! May is also the only month where you can cycle to work and get loads of freebies – safety tuneups, swag, blinkie lights, bike maps, and bike buddies.  Check out Jack’s article for handy links. For the bike-commuters-to-be and fledgling velodactyls, the staff writers at Bike Commuters wanted to share some tips, inspiration, and motivation to make May’s Bike to Work Week the best. week. ever. Everyone remembers the first time they rode a bike, and our readers have told us how they got started pedaling to work, and it turns out Bike to Work Week is a great starting point!

Here’s a list of some great articles I call the Rookie Commuter Resources. Hand selected and gleaned by yours truly… and don’t forget to read the comments, sometimes you guys are the ones with the best tips for bike commuting!  Enjoy:

  1. Let’s Bike – This year, Elizabeth presented the basics on bike commuting at her job.  She asked our readers to give their advice to newbie commuters.  As Ghost Rider says, “the comments are GOLD” in this one.
  2. 10 Bike Commuting Myths Dispelled Jack’s buddy Alan Snel shines truth on all myths related to bike commuting.
  3. My Conversation with a Cop about Bikes, Traffic, and Safety TipsRL hashes it out with his friend “Officer Ben” to discuss the legal stuff and how to bike commute safely within the law!
  4. Out of My Way, Boys!This article is by Dottie from Let’s Go Ride a Bike.  A funny read for Cycle Ladies getting pumped to tear up the streets!
  5. Commuting in Style (Pint-Sized Edition) Matt gives some tips on how to bike commute with tiny humans (a.k.a. children).
  6. Friday Musings – Top 3 Must-Have Bike Commuting AccessoriesReaders share their thoughts on their favorite commuter accessories.

We know there are more out there, on our site and others, so please share more links in the comments box for any Rookie Commuter Readers out there getting pumped for Bike to Work Week: May 14th through 18th!  Pedal Forward, Cycle Ladies and Gents!

Lookin' fly, Priscilla! Bike to Work Week with your DOG!

Friday Musings: What Got You Pedaling?

Utterly Shameless Bike Love Month: May 2012

New Recruits: May is just around the corner, and so the creeper approaches: National Bike to Work Month!  And, like every fun-loving, zero-emissions, two-wheeled, “coffee + eggs = bike fuel”, transportation cyclist, I always wonder if this year’s Bike to Work Month will bring new commuter faces beyond the month of May.  Yes Velodactyls, this is what keeps me up at night (either that or the heaping tablespoons of Nutella I shoved in my face post-dinner).

How can we get more people to commute by bike? May 2012 will be a barrage of Bike to Work Week challenges, workshops, rallies, and bikey SWAG, as local bike organizations shotgun their way through possible Spring recruits.  Our own star staff writer Elizabeth posed the question in 2010: We all know bike commuting is the best thing since the Jammy Shuffle, so why aren’t more people doing it?  I gotta admit, I’m on bike commuting like a woman on smack, so I surely don’t know the answer!

Calf-Envy, this is RL when he commutes sans SPDs.

Minority Report: As the minority, commuter cyclists face the same puzzled looks from co-workers, semi-sweet concerned lectures from loved ones, and blatant stares of calf envy (hello Mr. Officer, I’m up HERE) as we think to ourselves – if only you’d know the glories of the dark side, you’d be out of excuses and on a bike too!  Nevertheless, we’ve had some progress.  Last year, this Atlantic Cities article reported increased bike ridership across the U.S.  (If you like colorful graphs, you should definitely click the link to this article).

Overall, a universal increase U.S. Bike Commuters over the past decade! I'll take it!

Converting to bicycle commuting is all the rage in U.S. cities, if the proliferation of blogs devoted to the topic is any indication. But we wanted to know: Just how big have increases in the percentage of bike commuters been in specific cities? Are there regional differences? Cities where bike commuting isn’t catching on at all? We surveyed 55 major U.S. cities to see if we could find the answer.  While there are stark differences across individual cities, taken as a group these metros saw an average increase in their percentage of regular bicycle commuters of 70 percent between 2000 and 2009.

The chart-laden article concluded that Portland had the highest percentage of trips taken by bike at 5.8% with a 222% increase from 2000 to 2009 (Don’t make me graph battle you, Portland.)  I can say for my office, the percentage of riders has increased since I started three years ago from 1 out of 16 to 6 out of 16!  HUZZAH!

Majority Report! Best Monday of my life: 7 bikes for 10 employees at the office... fist pump.

So, we all agree we need more bike commuters on the road to alleviate traffic congestion, stress, obesity, arthritis, pollution, drugs, guns, high fructose corn syrup, and other bad stuff (we can solve world peace with transportation cycling, right!!?)

My question today is what got you pedaling?  We weren’t all born on fetus-sized bikes so it had to start somewhere!  A lot of bike commuters have shared our first bicycle memories, but what converted you to utility cycling?  Was it a Bike to Work Month challenge, an enthusiastic bike-loving friend, a hand-me-down bike, a car in the shop, or an inspirational blog on bike commuting (hint, hint!)?  Safety in numbers means that bike commuters need more bike commuters!  So, muse along with us and share your thoughts!

~Happy Friday Bike Commuters.

Best parking spot at the beach - that's what's got me pedaling!

Two of my very favorite bike commuters…

I was happy to see this published in the online and print editions of the Tampa Tribune this morning…two of my favorite bike commuters, Doug and Doreen Jesseph of Tampa.

jessephs
(Shameless photo borrowing from the Tampa Tribune…because it’s just so dang cute!)

I had been hounding the Jessephs to submit “commuter profiles” for our recurring series…perhaps now, with a little celebrity, they will agree to pull the trigger and share their two-wheeled thoughts with us!

Anyhow, take a look at the Tribune article by clicking here. And, stay tuned for more commuter profiles as we empty the hopper in the next few weeks — I am a bit behind on publishing a few of them.

Tampa Bay Bicycle Bash…Coming Sunday, November 6th

Whatcha doin’ on Sunday? Live in the Tampa Bay area and want to get your bike on? Well, the 5th Annual Bicycle Bash will take place at Flatwoods Park in Hillsborough County. Here’s a little bit from the Bash website:

The Fifth Annual Bicycle Bash is all about celebrating bicycling in the Tampa Bay area and it’s brought to you by SWFBUD (South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers) — a nationally-recognized alliance of 12 Tampa Bay-area bike stores and three lawyers, too. The 12 SWFBUD bike shops are Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium, Oliver’s Cycle Sports in New Tampa, Just Ride Bicycles in Lithia, Bicycle Outfitters in Seminole, Chainwheel Drive in Clearwater and Palm Harbor, University Bicycle Center in north Tampa, the Trek Bicycle Store in South Tampa and Clearwater, ABC Bicycles in St. Petersburg, Street Fit 360 in South Tampa, the Trek Bicycle Store of St. Petersburg, the Ironman Store in New Tampa and Velo Champ in Seminole Heights. SWFBUD members who are lawyers are Thomas Singletary in Tampa, J. Steele Olmstead in Tampa and the Mark Roman Law Group in Clearwater.

The Bicycle Bash invites bicyclists of all stripes, backgrounds, ages and interests to come to beautiful Flatwoods to visit the bike shops, check out the vendors, bike the seven-mile paved loop or a mountain bike trail, enjoy the music, food and swap meet.

SWFBUD thanks our presenting sponsor — the Cure on Wheels bike ride, which will hold its event one day before the Bicycle Bash on Saturday Nov. 5 at Flatwoods. We also thank our co-sponsor, Hillsborough County, which manages Flatwoods Park, and our sponsor, American Traffic Solutions. See you Nov. 6 at the Bike Bash!

There’s going to be a lot of good times for bicyclists…Tampa’s Mayor Bob Buckhorn will be there to lend his support for the Peopleforbikes.org petition; food from the fabled “Taco Bus” (featured on Man Vs. Food and on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, both on the Food Network) will be served; rides to, from and around will take place during the event…so much to do and see! The Bash goes from 10AM to 4PM on Sunday. And, for the first time since the Bash’s inception, I won’t be there to capture words and images of the event. However, if you’re interested, you can see coverage of past years’ Bashes by clicking here.

If you’re in the area, it’s a must-visit event — one of, if not THE largest bike festivals in Florida.

A Troubling Florida Bike/Ped Safety Campaign

I read about the following ad campaign on friend Alan Snel’s blog:

The Florida Department of Transportation and the University of Florida picked a Tampa firm called Dunn&Co to create a bike and pedestrian safety ad campaign. Dunn&Co called it, “You vs. Vehicle: You lose every time.”

While there may be some truth to that statement, I feel this is NOT the way to capture hearts and minds. The focus certainly doesn’t address motorist behavior — it suggests that the onus is on us, the bike riders and pedestrians, to watch our behavior. Besides, as most of us know, bicycles are considered vehicles under most state and municipal laws, so the statement doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Nor do I care for the ad agency president’s (Troy Dunn) response when Alan “called him to the carpet” on the campaign:

“[Mr. Dunn] said there is no way to change aggressive, dangerous or reckless motorist behavior.”

I’m going to take a wild guess and say that Mr. Dunn isn’t a cyclist or pedestrian on our deadly streets. His comment is misguided, at best.

Florida folks, what do YOU think? Does this campaign sound like something you’re comfortable supporting through your tax dollars? I know it doesn’t for me, but I’d like to hear your thoughts.

And, if you object to the campaign and want to contact the agency behind it, simply send a note to the following email address and let your voice be heard: Troy Dunn dunn@dunn-co.com. You may also consider contacting the Florida Department of Transportation, too.