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Tag Archive: seminole heights bicycle club

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.

Ride With Us to the Bicycle Bash!

Folks from the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club and Bikecommuters.com are partnering up to host a group ride out to Flatwoods Park, home of the 2010 Bicycle Bash by the Bay. Here are the details:

On November 7, 2010 we’ll meet at 8AM and roll out promptly at 8:30 from the Seminole Heights Garden Center, 5800 Central Avenue in Tampa. From Flatwoods, the group will leave for the return leg to the Garden Center at 2:30PM from the SHBC tent. Distance will be roughly 40 miles roundtrip at a pace of 15-17 MPH.

Due to last year’s experience riding such distances on the road with a group, we must add: given the distance and pace, a well-functioning road bike is the only practical alternative for making the trip.

As with all rides hosted by Bikecommuters.com and SHBC, helmets are strongly encouraged. See you there!

DSC04169s

Tampa Bay Heats Up for National Bike Month

Literally…it’s already in the 90s here, so don’t forget your waterbottles!

Here’s a list of the various events happening in the Tampa Bay area for National Bike Month. These events are sponsored primarily by Tampa BayCycle and City Bike Tampa:

National Bike Month Activities May, 2010

All month:

– Tampa BayCycle Ambassador membership

– Free use of locker/shower at Downtown YMCA branches

– Weekly Discounts at CityBike Tampa

Tuesday 5/4 Group Bike to Work rides into downtown Tampa from various locations

Thursday 5/6 Bike giveaway + Street Skills workshops at the Clean Air Fair, 11:30am – 1:30pm, Poe Plaza, sponsored by City Bike and Tampa Bay Bicycle Co-op

Friday 5/7 Ride Your Bike, Get in Free! 7:30pm Storm game. Secure bike parking St. Pete Times Forum

Thursday 5/13 SWFBUD ride to BOCC Transportation Referendum Public Hearing 4:45pm

Wednesday 5/19 Street Skills Class, USF Campus 12 – 1:30pm

Friday 5/21 National Bike to Work Day – rides into downtown Tampa and USF campus

Saturday 5/22 Hands on basic bike maintenance clinic from 9:30 – 11:30am, RSVP to www.citybiketampa.com. $25/person includes toolkit

Saturday 5/22 Hub Grub II Bicycle Ride, 3-6pm visiting various restaurants in Seminole Heights, sponsored by the Seminole Heights Bike Club.

Tuesday 5/25 Hands on basic bike maintenance clinic from 9:30 – 11:30am, RSVP to www.citybiketampa.com. $25/person includes toolkit

Thursday 5/27 Urban Restaurant Ride, sponsored by CityBike Tampa

Lots of good times to choose from…hopefully I’ll see some of you at these events and out on the road enjoying Bike Month!

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:

going

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

gandy

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:

bmx

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

tent city

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:

crowds

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

crowds2

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:

rickshaw

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:

fixie

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:

pavillion

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:

waterfront

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:

shbc

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:

paceline

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:

flat

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.

July 4th Ride a Success!

Bikecommuters.com and the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club co-hosted a bike ride the night of July 4th to go catch the fireworks in downtown Tampa. We only got about ten riders…LOTS of regulars were out of town for the weekend…but we had a blast and couldn’t ask for a better viewing area for the fireworks display.

Here’s our crew heading out from the Seminole Heights Garden Center:

bunch

It’s a pretty effortless spin downtown…not a lot of traffic heading down that way, and once we got into the downtown zone, being on bikes made a huge difference in navigating the narrow streets. We were able to zip right down to Tampa’s Riverwalk and scored a great spot to view the fireworks at Cotanchobee Park. Being able to “park” mere feet from our viewing spot was nice, too:

parking

Lots of folks took their boats downtown, too — here’s a shot of the water traffic in Garrison Channel, with Tampa’s exclusive Harbour Island in the background:

boats

And, of course, the main event…a pretty spectacular fireworks display with a stunning finale that left the crowd cheering. I ran out of both still- and video-camera memory just before the finale, but got some of the display recorded for posterity. Enjoy!

fireworks

fireworks 2

The ride home was a piece of cake, too. While thousands of “temporary” pedestrians headed for their cars, we simply got on our bikes and headed out. We were able to zip past dozens of cars caught in post-finale gridlock and made it home in only a few short minutes. No one even tried shooting bottle rockets at us!