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Bicycle Bash Classic 2010 — A Tour in Photographs

Another Bicycle Bash has come and gone here in the Tampa Bay area…the 5th annual Bicycle Bash Classic, which for the first time since its inaugural run was held on the Hillsborough County side of the bay. The temps were cool, the sun was bright and there was enough bikey goodness to go around for everyone. Didn’t see too many St. Pete folks on this side of the bay this year…a little distance never stopped us Tampa dwellers from rolling over there for the Bash, but apparently the cold weather and distance was too much for the Pinellas residents. Bummer — the more the merrier I always say!

Anyhow, on to the tour. A group of eight intrepid riders got out their winter gear and headed into the wind on their way to the Bash. Here we are just as we arrived on the scene (one of our riders went missing along the way):

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Presenting sponsor Cure on Wheels was on hand, with over 300 riders participating in fund-raising rides throughout the day. Here are their registration tents and some volunteers trying to stay warm in the early morning chill:

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Plenty of folks enjoyed the sights and sounds…lots of mountain bikers in attendance this year as well, since the hosting park (Flatwoods) is next-door to some great offroading trails:

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J&B Importers came up from Miami with a big tent, a big trailer and a lot of goodies to show off…many great bikes of all styles:

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As I wandered around, I came across this stunning and sophisticated young lady with an obvious understanding of high fashion. That’s a great-looking shirt!

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My homies at Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium brought a sneak peek…the new Trek “Earl” urban machine: singlespeed freewheel/fixed, doubled top tube that integrates a U-lock holster and bottle opener within, and subdued styling. Nice!

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Here’s a view of the myriad tents set up to display everything from advocacy groups, local bike shops, ratrods, swap meet vendors and dozens of other bike-friendly organizations:

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Tampa-based American Classic Wheels was on hand with a great display of their dreamy wheels…they had some really cool cutaway hubs showing their bearings and unique pawl systems and those displays were fun to check out. If only they offered a “locals only” discount!

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There was a large corral set up for bicycle valet parking this year…here’s the lovely and talented Bridget manning the corral (which was PACKED with bikes!):

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This is a cool tadpole trike…one of many such bikes on display over by the J&B Imports tent. I might just grow a beard and don some SPD sandals for a machine like this:

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There was a somber note to the Bash this year…in light of the many tragic deaths of cyclists in the Tampa Bay area over the past couple months, a special focus on bicycle awareness and safety was presented to the crowd. Here, Bash organizer and all-around champion advocate Alan Snel talks with Cpl. Troy Morgan of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office:

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Michael Ploch of SharrowShirts.com was on hand to show the ever-increasing reflective merchandise his company offers to cyclists, from safety vests to hats to casual wear. You may remember the vest from this recent article. This stuff was a big hit:

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The South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers (SWFBUD) presented their annual “SWFBuddy” awards to a number of folks this year for their advocacy and service to the Tampa Bay cycling community. Here’s a group photo of the recipients provided by SWFBUD; award-holders pictured from left to right are Ed Collins, Christopher Chow, Selena Glass, Cpl. Troy Morgan of the HCSO, Tampa City Councilwoman Mary Mulhern, State Rep. Janet Cruz, and Tampa Police Major John Newman. Not pictured was Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe, who was instrumental in getting the Bash on this side of the bay for 2010:

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A good time was had by all — the (rather remote) location was well-received despite some early grumbling when it was announced back in March. The crowd wasn’t quite as big as years past, but if anything the group was MORE diverse…recumbents, roadies, fixed gear riders, tons of mountain bikers and lots of path ramblers. I’ve been to every Bash since its humble beginnings at the St. Pete Times Forum in downtown Tampa, and I’ve watched this thing grow by leaps and bounds. I’ve only got to say this in closing: things bode well for the future of the Bicycle Bash, and I’m already looking forward to next year!

Bicycle Bash by the Bay — In Two Weeks!

The 5th annual Bicycle Bash by the Bay is rapidly approaching…November 7th is the day when the Tampa Bay area’s largest bicycle event gets underway. As with past years, I’ll be there to take photographs to share with those of you who can’t attend in person.

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Some friends and I are putting a ride together to head en masse to the Bash…more details on that in a day or two. We had a lot of fun and a pretty sizeable group in last year’s Bash ride, and I hope this one’s even bigger and better. Parking for the Bash is going to be tough, so beat the crowds by riding your bike there!

Save the Date…More Bicycle Bash Goodness!

The new flyers for the 2010 Bicycle Bash by the Bay appeared today…this year’s event is at Flatwoods Park in Hillsborough County (just NE of the University of South Florida campus). The Bash will be held November 7th from 10AM-4PM, and you can be sure I’ll be there to provide coverage of SW Florida’s premier bicycling event.

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Bicycle Bash by the Bay 2009 — A Tour in Photographs

For those of us in the Tampa Bay area, another Bicycle Bash has come and gone. This year’s Bicycle Bash by the Bay was in a new venue (Straub Park in downtown St. Petersburg), had some new sponsors and was even better-attended than previous years. It was a celebration of pure bikie love under the trees!

While Bikecommuters.com didn’t have a tent this year, I still wanted to share coverage of the event for those of you who couldn’t make it down. When the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club announced that they were hosting a ride to the Bash, I jumped at the chance to join them for a cross-Bay bicycle adventure.

The day started out hot and muggy, but that didn’t keep an intrepid crew of 16 cyclists from gathering to ride across Tampa Bay. Here is the group navigating the mean streets of downtown Tampa on the way over to the Bash:

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And the view for a good portion of our ride — Tampa Bay from atop the Gandy Bridge:

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Once we got there (about a 26 mile journey from our start point to Straub Park), we were greeted with a beautiful venue tucked under the trees. Shade was hard to come by at last year’s Bash in Vinoy Park, so this was a blessed sight after a hot ride over. The park is on the south side of the upscale Vinoy Hotel, and the landscaping, artwork and pavillion were all gorgeous.

First stop, the vintage BMX collection:

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And a view of “tent city” from a distance:

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Many local bike shops were in attendance…including all eight member stores of the Southwest Florida Bicycle United Dealers (SWFBUD), the parent organization that puts on the Bash. Lots of other bike friends were there, including the folks from the Tampa Bay Bike Co-op, the St. Pete Skirts, affiliated businesses and advocacy groups like Tampa BayCycle, Cure on Wheels and others. One of my favorite restaurants in the Tampa Bay area was there serving food, too: the legendary Columbia Restaurant, which has been serving delicious Latin-influenced treats continuously since 1905 (interesting factoid: their flagship location in Ybor City takes up an entire city block).

Look at all this bike love:

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The venue was PACKED with folks of all bicycling persuasions…from fixie kids to triathletes, roadies to cruisers, toddlers to old-timers:

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One of the highlights of my day was spotting this Indian bicycle rickshaw…I don’t think the guy was giving rides, but it was sure nice to see such an unusual machine mixing it up with all the carbon, steel and aluminum on display around the Bash:

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A good sized group of fixed-gear devotees was in attendance…there was word that some of them would be putting on a trick demo, but it didn’t happen while I was there:

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Here’s the pavillion where the MC, John Sinibaldi, set up for the day, and also where bicycle-touring musician Rachel Van Slyke performed a couple acoustic sets for the crowd. The Vinoy Hotel is in the background:

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Did I mention the beautiful waterfront view of the park? This is on the back edge of Straub Park — a tranquil view and a great place to hang out with fellow cyclists throughout the day:

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Here are Seminole Heights Bicycle Club members Ken and Steve — nice guys who also pitch in periodically to help me test bicycles for Bikecommuters.com. If you look closely, you might even see that Ken is wearing our limited edition Walz Cap:

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Well, the day was gettin’ on and it was time to saddle up and ride home. Most of the original pack regrouped and we got going. We were all bathed in the warm afterglow of another successful and fun Bicycle Bash, chatting with old friends and meeting new ones. We’re all already looking forward to next year’s event!

Paceline heading home:

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It wasn’t over yet, though…as road debris claimed its first victim of the day. One of our riders flatted as we left St. Pete, and he held an impromptu “flat tire repair demo” for us:

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The day would claim one more victim, too…almost all the way home, our friend Doug flatted due to a piece of glass. In his haste to get home, he blew out his replacement tube, too. Luckily, a Good Samaritan had another spare and another cartridge of C02 to share, so we were all able to make it home safely. When it was all said and done, I had 55.3 miles on the cyclocomputer, a touch of sunburn and a sore butt and the fond memories of a really great time at the 2009 Bicycle Bash by the Bay. I hope you enjoyed my little photo tour, and if you are in the area next year, you should consider coming to the event…it gets bigger and better with every year!

For even more coverage and photographs, please visit our friend Alan Snel’s blog. He’s got three sets of photos to share.

Bicycle Bash by the Bay — Next Week!

The fourth annual Bicycle Bash by the Bay is almost upon us…Tampa Bay’s showcase for celebrating everything about bicycles.

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This year’s Bicycle Bash event (www.bicyclebash.com) will be extra special.
The Cure on Wheels bike ride is our presenting sponsor, so this year’s event will be known as the “Bicycle Bash by the Bay, presented by Cure on Wheels.? As our presenting sponsor, Cure on Wheels has exclusive food-vending rights to the Bicycle Bash and is partnering with several local restaurants to sell food at the event.

SWFBUD has switched to North Straub Park from Vinoy Park to allow a national senior men’s cross-country race to be staged at Vinoy Park. The national race is drawing 1,200 competitors and there will also be hundreds of high school runners in running events at Vinoy Park, which is next to Straub Park. The Bicycle Bash is expected to draw many visitors from the next-door running races, boosting our attendance with folks from both the running events as well as those visiting downtown St. Petersburg.

Other Bicycle Bash features this year include:

– Singer-bicyclist Rachel VanSlyke is biking from North Carolina to perform.
– The Youth Triathlon Series, led by Suzanne Henslee, is having its season celebration at the Bicycle Bash.
– The St. Petersburg Bike Club will have Share the Road bike rides throughout the event.
– Pinellas County bicycle personality John Sinibaldi is returning to be the event emcee.
– The city of St. Petersburg will be giving away free helmets and holding a bike rodeo.
– Cure on Wheels will be signing up bicyclists for its ride.
– Flatland bike performances will be held.
– A Swap Meet, free gear, public agencies that support bicycling and a bike-donation station will be available.

If you can’t make it, stay tuned for coverage. I’ll be there taking photos and video of the various events throughout the day. Also, if you live on the Tampa side of the Bay and want to ride your bike over to the Bash, the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club is hosting a ride to the event. The SHBC is meeting at the Seminole Heights Garden Center (5009 N. Central Avenue, Tampa) at 8:30 AM on October 11th to ride over. Come join us for a fun 25 mile jaunt across the water!

Check out our coverage of the Bash from 2007 and 2008. This year’s should be even bigger and better, so if you’re in the area, come on out and enjoy a day of bicycle love!