Monday, September 29, 2008

I Don't Think This Is Tampa

If we only had it so good here in the Tampa Bay area.

But first, maybe we can actually build a commuter train line or light rail?

Tip of the helmet to Bill Addler of Revolution Bicycles in St. Petersburg for sending this to Bicycle Stories.

It's from Rockport, Mass.

"When the conductor approached me as I was walking my bike on the platform, I was braced. She told me the 'Head Car" was for bikes, this is what I found. Multi-modal! it does exist! I think that is 18 racks and room for 12 on the yellow tipped car rack style on the right and left."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

2008 Debut of the Bicycle Bash Rolling Billboard

This morning I rolled out the famous Bash-Board and took it for a ride on the Pinellas Trail this morning.

I biked up to Bicycle Outfitters -- one of the 7 SWFBUD stores -- and let the Bicycle Billboard rest next to the Bicycle Bash by the Bay banner. Mark Oct. 19 on your calendars fof the Bicycle Bash by the Bay!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Take Time To See The Trees

Tonight I did the Flatwoods ride very late in the day, catching the best light at the end of the day instead of at the start.

Take the time to see what's around you when you bike.

That's the beauty of bicycling.

Seeing Red -- And Then Turning

Sorry for being red light anal, but does everyone in Tampa run red lights and make left turns after the signal turns red.

I'm at my favorite intersection -- Nebraska and Hillsborough -- and there's a red-light runner at the end of every signal cycle.

Here's a bus that just couldn't wait another signal cycle and makes a left turn after the light turns red.

This car runs a left turn red light.

Armstrong vs. Lemond

Lance draws verbal shots

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lance Goes On GMA To Announce Return

Lance Armstrong was on Good Morning America today to tell the public about his plan to return to the Tour de France.

He mentioned spreading the word about fighting cancer to the rest of the world and he believes he's still at age 37.

Went To A Hockey Game And Watched Baseball

I journeyed to a Lightning game on Tuesday night and a Rays baseball-watching session broke out.

They Ride All Types

You never know how people will show up at a Lightning hockey game. Like father and son on a west coast low-rider this week.

Earlier in the day I saw this guy. What's interesting about this area is that I see a lot of bicyclists who haul trailers around.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rays Manager Loves To Bike

The answer is "yes."

Yes, I have inquired with the Tampa Bay Rays to see if manager and avid cyclist Joe Maddon can appear at the 2008 Bicycle Bash by the Bay on Oct. 19 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg.

A story about Joe Maddon in today's USA Today mentions Joe's bicycle riding ways:

"The manager of baseball's surprise team is an out-of-the-box thinker who insists he doesn't make those decisions by the seat of his pants. The seat of a bicycle is another story.

"An avid rider, Maddon often cruises around major league cities trying to conjure ways for the Rays to win. This season it has worked, as he has managed Tampa Bay to its first winning season and playoff berth in its 11 seasons.

" 'It's therapeutic,' " Maddon says. "Managing definitely is a passion. But bike riding (is), too, if that makes any sense."

And the New York Times also mentioned Joe and his love for bicycling in a recent profile:

"ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — That bike. Of all the items that teammates would watch Joe Maddon lug on trips with the Angels — books without pictures, wine magazines, an iPod pulsing with Springsteen and Green Day and Pavarotti — none made them smile and shake their heads more than his beloved mountain bike.

The Angels’ bench coach from 1996 to 2005, Maddon would, before most every trip, take it apart — wheels, chains, from seat to nuts — so that he could pop it on the plane. Upon arrival, he would lay the pieces out on his hotel room floor and, quite happily, put it all back together again. Then bike to the ballpark.

“I can still see him doing that,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. “He just loved that bicycle.”

Maddon has retired his wrenches because he now can afford to rent bikes on the road for his 80 or so miles of weekly riding."

The Tampa Bay Rays will be participating at the 2008 Bicycle Bash by the Bay and I am waiting to hear back about Joe Maddon's availability. Thing is the Rays have qualified for the MLB playoffs and Joe's Rays might be still playing by the time the Bicycle bash by the Bay rolls around on Oct. 19.

When Some Nudes Is Good News

Big Nick at Moffitt offered this nudesy item. Rolling wheels gather some Moss

Monday, September 22, 2008

Deep Purple

Purple Pedaling

Some Bicyclists Will Stay On Sidewalks (And Bike Against Traffic)

Most of the city officials and city road workers I have met are not sympathetic to bicyclists as far as taking action to make streets more accommodating to bicyclists.

And many bicyclists I have met around Tampa are also not keen on the idea of cycling on the road either.

Like the bicyclist I met this afternoon while we both pedaled north on Florida Avenue. He was biking a used Cannondale road bicycle on the sidewalk while I was on my errand bicycle on the road surface.

While he was riding on the sidewalk he took evasive action to bike around the front of a SUV that was leaving a parking lot and exiting onto Florida Avenue. The bicyclist rode around the front of the car, avoiding a crash.

Then a pedestrian came walking right at him.

Again, more evasive action by the bicyclist. This time he swerved to the right onto grass next to the sidewalk to avoid crashing into the guy walking right at him.

He followed the curb cuts at each intersection, his bike rattling every time he bounced through the curb cut at the corner.

I finally caught up with him and inquired why he liked to bike on the sidewalk. I mentioned to him that I saw that the SUV almost broadsided him while he was biking on the sidewalk and that maybe he might be safer on the road.

He angrily said he wanted to bike on the sidewalk and said his daddy was killed while riding a bicycle in the street.

He thanked me for my interest and continued biking on the sidewalk.

I also met several bicyclists on Morris Bridge Road on the way to Flatwoods county park who insisted that it's safer to bike against cars.

Nothing I said could convince them otherwise.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This 100-Mile Trip Took Me For A Ride

You never know about long-distance bicycle rides of 100 miles or more because rides always take you -- not the other way around.

What I mean is that today I rode 100.1 miles and visited 13 Dunkin' Donuts stores in the metro Tampa Bay area to celebrate bicycling and the Rays' unlikely playoff clinching while also having some fun with Dunkin's delicious Rays promotion that allows anyone to get a free donut the day after a Rays win at a Dunkin' store in the Tampa area.

Back in June whe the Rays' winning ways were seen as novel and unexpected, I vowed that if the Rays clinched a playoff spot, I would bike 100 miles the very next day following the clinching and hit as many Dunkin' Donuts stores along the way.

Well, that day was today and I made good on my promise. I started at 5:45 a.m. and hit about five stores when Toby Srebnik, Dunkin' all-pro public relations whiz, flew to Tampa from south Florida this morning and caught up with me at Dunkin' store No. 5 on the great Rays Victory Donut bicycle ride.

All in all, it was a wonderful day. It was great hanging out with Toby at the stores, cycling 100 miles with very good weather conditions and hitting 13 stores along the route. I met a slew of very fascinating people as I handed out cards for free Dunkin' Donut coffee, donuts and flatbread sandwiches.

The truth is that I ate only a couple of donuts during the day and ended up handing out the free Rays victory donuts to people who needed them a lot more then me -- the homeless guy at the end of the Dale Mabry Highway ramp that leads onto Hillsborough Avenue who appreciated a pair of chocolate donuts; the newspaper hawker in new Tampa on Bruce B. Downs who gladly accepted a coconut donut; and the homeless woman at the Gandy Avenue store who sported a smile when I gave her free coffee and sandwich coupons.

Toby saw a homeless guy with an Ohio State ballcap at the Fowler Avenue Dunkin' Donuts store -- the same exact he saw a few months ago when he visited the same store. He, too, handed out the free food and drink cards to the guy.

Fox Channel 13 and CBS Channel 10 came out for coverage and I tried to explain that combining bicycling and baseball and donuts can be a good time.

This is one of my most favorite photos. At this store, three Dunkin' employees posed with Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir. As you can see, Kaz is looking a bit stiff.

The look on this fella's face tells you what it likes to work the early morning shift on a Sunday. It's 6 a.m.

I don't what to say except this photo says, "Tampa," on Busch Blvd. at 6:20 a.m.

A Rays moment -- at a Dunkin' Donuts on Busch Blvd. around 6:45 a.m., I met this Rays fan who was wearing Rays blue, not Bucs red, on a Bucs football Sunday.

At the Dunkin' Donuts in new Tampa, I met this pair of future rappers who wanted to pose next to my wheels.

This newspaper hawker enjoyed his free donut and used his St. Petersburg Times as a burkha.

Eyeing the donut goods.

Toby handed out free Dunkin' Donuts towels to these three lovelies.

A newspaper hawker with his mode of transportation.

More happy customers.

100.1 miles later -- Rays stadium.

Mission Accomplished -- 100-Mile Bike Ride Today

St. Petersburg, FL -- 100.1 miles cycled. 13 Dunkin' Donuts. 1 Tampa Bay Rays playoff berth clinched. And 1 promise fulfilled.

More later.

Rays Victory Donut Bicycle Ride Launched

It's 5:40 a.m. and I'm about to roll out the door. Lights are on the bike and the first Dunkin' Donuts stop will be in about 10 minutes.

I'm off for a 100 miles and the Rays' 81st and last home game of this miracle 2008 season.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Rays Clinch Playoff -- Time To Pay Up

Sunday morning I'll be off and pedaling 100 miles to fulfill a pledge I made back in June, when most people thought the Tampa Bay Rays' winning ways were just a fun novelty. I vowed to bike 100 miles the day after the Rays clinched a playoff spot and visit as many Dunkin' Donuts as I could along the way. That's because a Rays'Dunkin' Donuts promotion allows anyone to walk into a Dunkin' store the day after a Rays win and get a free donut.

So I'll be hitting my first Dunkin' Donuts store at 6 AM Sunday, the one on Hillsborough Avenue near 34th Street.

One hundred miles later I'll be pulling into the Tropicana Field parking lot Sunday afternoon to celebrate the Rays' miracle season so far.

Let's Make Money Tonight

Marvin Gaye offered Sexual Healing -- and for you folks with a few finance wounds this house of worship on 30th Street offers up some Financial Healing.

Let's Get Ready To Celebrate And Eat Donuts! Go Rays Go!

The Rays' magic number to clinch a playoff spot a mere 1-- which means a victory over the Minnesota Twins this afternoon translates into a punched ticket to Major Leaguer Baseball's post-season. If that sounds kind of bizarre, it is -- the Rays have bumbled along for 10 years of consistent losing until this year.

A miracle season has the Rays in first place in their division, ahead of the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox and monster-payroll-salaried New York Yankees.

Back in June, I pledged to bike a 100 miles on the day after the Rays clinched a playoff spot and visit every Dunkin' Donuts store I could along the way since the donut stores have a delicious promotion that allows any one to walk into a Dunkin' Donuts store after a Rays win and get a free donut.

Well, Sunday could be the day! And today, I paid a little visit to one of my favorite stores -- this Dunkin' Donuts store on Busch Avenue near Busch Gardens.

The Dunkin' employees at the Busch Avenue store near 30th Street are getting their donut store cleaned and buffed up for the big day!

LA Officer/Bicyclist Killed In Train Wreck

Bicycle Stories was saddened to hear that a Los Angeles Police Officer, Spree DeSha, 35, and a bicycle rider, was among the 25 fatalities resulting from a head-on collision of a Metrolink commuter train and a freight train in Chatsworth in metro LA Friday. DeSha was a cyclist who participated in the Police Unity Tour.

SHBC's 22-Mile Davis Islands Ride This Morning

The Seminole Heights Bicycle Club rough riders storm Davis Islands.

Riding the streets of Davis Islands

Steve Swiger is the ride leader and he leads the way.

There's stylish Lisa, looking dapper on her snazzy road bicycle.

Matt is the bike club musician.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Donut Cycling Practice

This morning I began cycling before the sun came up to try out a new route -- the Rays Victory Donut tour. Back in June I pledged that if the Rays makd the baseball playoffs after 10 years of unparallelled losing, I would bike 100 miles the day after they clinched a playoff spot and hit as many Dunkin' Donuts stores as possible along the 100 miles since Dunkin gives a free donut to anyone the day after a Rays win.

The Rays are like Rocky Balboa/Hoosiers/1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team/'69 Miracle Mets all rolled up into one -- an amazing story that you should get to know.

I already visited two Dunkin stores this motning when I was on lovely Busch Boulevard heading for a test run of Dunkin stops.

Along the way on Fowler Avenue, I met my pal, Big Bob -- who I used to bump into along 30th Street. Bob has his trusty Schwinn.

At Fletcher and Nebraska, I met some clown who was trying to sell condos.

The Rays Victory Donut bicycle ride will be coming up soon -- as soon as the Rays clinch a playoff berth, which could happen as early as Friday night against the Minnesota Twins.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Churches Love Sundaes, And Nuts Too

The beautiful thing about cycling is that you go fast enough to get to plces but slow enough to enjoy the creative messages on church signs.

Like this beauty along Manhattan Avenue in Tampa.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The BBbtB's Lineup

The Bicycle Bash by the Bay will include a day of activities. Here is the preliminary lineup, which is open to additional events throughout the BBbtB:

The Bicycle Bash by the Bay is 11 AM to 4 PM on Oct. 19 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. If you are interested in holding a demo, contact SWFBUD at

11:30 AM: Tampa Bike Co-op -- Shows how to work on bikes.

12-2 PM: St. Petersburg Bike Rodeo -- Free helmets for kids.

12 Noon
: Adventure Cycling -- Long-distance trip on a recumbent.

12:30 PM: Unicycle demo.

1 PM: The Skirts, St. Petersburg-based women's bicycle group: Gives presentation.

1:30 PM: Chainwheel Drive bike shop: Bike-commuting/bike as utility

2 PM:
Tampa Bike Co-op: Shows how to work on bikes.

2:30 PM: Adventure Cycling -- Riding a recumbent on long-distance bike trips.

3 PM: Unicycle demo.

The Bicycle Bash by the Bay is the Tampa Bay's biggest bicycle-only event and this we expect more than 3,000 people to descend on Vinoy Park on Oct. 19 from 11 AM to 4 PM.

SWFBUD is also looking for volunteers to help put on the Bicycle Bash -- a bicycle festival that is devoted to growing, advocating and celebrating bicycling in the Tampa Bay area.

If you would like to volunteer, contact

Price Is Rising Again

I don't know about you but I get a good laugh when I hear politicians say they have stood up to Big Oil. Here's today's latest: $3.79, as the cost creeps back up to the $4 per gallon price. Shell at Hillsborough and Nebraska.

You mean stand up at Big Oil's cocktail parties?

I'll burn carbs, not carbon, thank you.

Dangerous Intersection For Bicyclists

Generally speaking, the Florida DOT did a decent job re-paving Nebraska Avenue south of the Hillsborough Avenue intersection in Seminole Heights.

Too bad the DOT didn't bother to re-pave the Hillsborough-Nebraska intersection. As you can see by this big gap between concrete sections, a road bicycle's tire can easily get caught in the space and the cyclist thrown onto the pavement in an intersection.

Just Curious, But . . .

Am I the only person in the world who:

1. doesn't use an iPod.

2. doesn't play Fantasy Football.

3. thinks Sarah Palin is a plastic, book-banning, smalltown mayor who was nominated for VP our our country for SOLELY her looks and youth.

4. hates when Papa John's Pizza and Toyota uses one of my favorite songs -- the Romantics' "What I Like About You" -- on their TV commercials.

5. thinks the Rays ascent to first place over the Red Sox and Yankees is the most tangible evidence that God delivers miracles.

6. prefers station wagons to SUVs.

7. thinks the bicycle will ALWAYS be the best way to get around.

8. is amazed and astonished that the rich folks of South Tampa put up with a horrendous and dangerous road infrastructure.

9. thinks that downtown Tampa is the most empty, quiet downtown of any major city in the country during most weekend days?

10. thinks that the price of everyday food in the supermarket like milk and bread is way too high

Just curious.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

This Morning's Visit To Fun-Lan

Today's Fun-Lan market/drive-in bicyclist of the day goes to this fella, who actually has a helmet. That's unusual for the cast of bicycle characters who visit ol' Fun-Lan.