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Tag Archive: bicycle bash by the bay

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!

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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.

bash_flyer

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!

Sharrow Vests From Caleb’s Creations

Do you do any nighttime commuting? Want to give yourself a bit more visibility? Well, look no further — Michael Ploch from Caleb’s Creations is rolling out some screamingly-visible “sharrow vests”:

sharrowvest1

On a standard polyester safety vest with sewn-on reflective bands, Michael is hot-pressing everyone’s favorite USDOT pavement symbol, the sharrow, in reflective pigment. A “Share The Lane” slogan appears at the bottom of the vest. Michael has these available online for $30 by clicking this link:

http://www.sharrowshirts.bigcartel.com/product/premium-sharrow-safety-vest

He will also have a booth at the upcoming Bicycle Bash by the Bay on November 7th, and promises to have a number of other visibility goodies for sale. I’ve seen a couple of previews, and am really liking what I saw!

Sure, you could go to your generic big-box home improvement store and pick up a safety vest for less, but in that $30 you’ll be shelling out for the Caleb’s Creations model, you’ll also be supporting bicycle advocacy in the Tampa Bay area, as a portion of the proceeds goes directly to Bay-area bicycle advocacy groups. Believe me, even if you’re not from the Tampa Bay area, that money is sorely needed to promote transportational cycling in our region. Besides, the generic safety vest is SO boring without the cool sharrow logo and slogan! Best of all, you can look like me, and that’s worth way more than a paltry thirty bucks!!!

sharrowvest2

What are you waiting for? Crack open those wallets and get to it!

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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2010 Bicycle Bash by the Bay Announcement

The other night, I attended the press conference to announce the 2010 Bicycle Bash by the Bay, southwest Florida’s premier bicycling event.

bash poster

Good stuff is in the works for this year, including a new venue:

South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers is celebrating the relocation of a popular bicycle event to Flatwoods Wilderness Park.

The Bicycle Bash, which was previously at St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park, will take place Nov. 7.

“It’s a really big move for us,” said Alan Snel, director of SWFBUD, the bicycle advocacy group. “It was successful in St. Petersburg, but to take it to the next level we needed to have live bicycle activities with the bicycle exhibitor village.”

More details can be found at the Tampa Tribune online.

Alan was inspired by his trip last year to Sea Otter, and moving the Bash to a location where bike riding can take place during the event is a GREAT move…who knows? Perhaps one day the Bash will rival Sea Otter!

Anyhow, back to the press conference. Here, Alan presents some details to the group:

alan

Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe spoke to the gathered crowd. Sharpe was instrumental in getting the Bash moved over to our side of the bay and the man is absolutely passionate about finding ways to incorporate alternative transportation (including rail, cycling and walking) into our daily lives here in the Tampa area. Plus, he’s a hell of a nice guy:

mark sharpe

Next, Tina Russo of the Hillsborough County MPO Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (and an employee of the Hillsborough County Parks Department) spoke to the group. She stressed the importance of having such an event in a beautiful location like Flatwoods and seemed very excited by the prospect of this year’s Bash:

tina russo

Here are some of the attendees mingling after the formalities…the press conference was held at SWFBUD member store Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium, and they had the place well-stocked with cold beer and yummy snacks for all ages. They make fantastic hosts…and didn’t even mind my child running amok through their showroom. Good folks over there!

Check out our coverage of last year’s Bicycle Bash by clicking here. You can be sure we’ll be at the 2010 edition to provide coverage. We may even sponsor a booth again this year and should have goodies to give away. In any case, I hope those of you in the Tampa Bay area mark your calendars for November 7th, and we’ll see you there!

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.

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.

bash_poster

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!

Tampa’s National PARK(ing) Day Installations

Tampa played host to twelve installations as part of National PARK(ing) Day this year. What better excuse to go for a bike ride than to go check it out? And, there was no better way to view all 12 stops on the tour than on a bicycle, as the total distance would have been a fairly long walk.

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Just what IS National PARK(ing) Day? Well, here’s a brief description from their website:

Originally created by Rebar, San Francisco art and design collective, PARK(ing) Day is an annual, one-day, global event where artists, activists, and citizens independently but simultaneously temporarily transform metered parking spots into “PARK(ing)? spaces: temporary public parks.

Anyone can participate in PARK(ing) Day, though it is strictly a non-commercial project, intended to promote creativity, civic engagement, critical thinking, unscripted social interactions, generosity and play.

I rounded up my friend Alan Snel and we rode downtown to check out the buzz. Alan used the ride to help advertise the upcoming Bicycle Bash By the Bay, slated for October 11th in Straub Park/downtown St. Petersburg.

Overall, the installations were fun, quirky and oh-so luxurious. Tampa’s downtown is already blessed with a lot of green space, but the locations of many of these “urban oases” helped break up some of the bleak areas.

My personal highlight: Site 8’s “Park N Squeeze”, where anyone who stopped got a shot of hand-squeezed fresh orange juice and a packet containing a orange tree seed so we could “grow our own”.

park n squeeze

I would have liked to have seen some of the other installations on busier streets, as most of the setups were along the Franklin Street corridor…a fairly quiet street. In other cities, I’ve heard tales of PARK(ing) Day installations in VERY prominent locations — in front of big office towers, along the main arterials in and around downtown, etc. But, Tampa made a pretty good choice for the intended tour — as the whole idea is to make viewing the installations a pedestrian/bicycle-friendly endeavor, there wasn’t a whole lot of vehicle traffic to contend with.

Anyhow, I shot a lot more photos…please check them out at my Flickr stream.

It was fun…here’s to an even bigger and better one next year!

Bicycle Bash by the Bay — October 11th

Just in from our friend at the Southwest Florida Bicycle United Dealers (SWFBUD), the folks who put on the annual Bicycle Bash by the Bay:

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Greetings bicyclists!

SWFBUD is proud to announce the 2009 Bicycle Bash by the Bay — Tampa Bay’s annual bicycle festival — is set for October 11 in beautiful North Straub Park in downtown St. Petersburg.

SWFBUD is inviting you and your organization to participate for FREE because of your commitment to growing bicycling in the Tampa Bay region. All SWFBUD asks is that you do your part to promote the Bicycle Bash by the Bay and continue your hard work at advocating for bicyclists.

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.

SWFBUD wants to thank its sponsors: Cure on Wheels, Polar Bottle, Visionary Studio printers, the city of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Bikecommuters.com will be there to cover the event and to take photos and video. Not sure if we’re going to have a tent there or not this year…but I should have some giveaway goodies nevertheless. Check out our coverage from 2007 and 2008 — if you’re in the Tampa Bay area, this event is a BLAST!