Saturday, August 15, 2009

Join The Fun at SWFBUD

In case you're wondering what SWFBUD does for bicyclists in Tampa Bay, let me give you an example from this summer.

Last week, SWFBUD successfully lobbied the Hillsborough County Commission to apply for federal money to fix the closed Friendship TrailBridge after SWFBUD attended TrailBridge public forums on back-to-back nights in St. Petersburg and Tampa several weeks earlier.

Two weeks ago, SWFBUD met with Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe to discuss ways of keeping the county's parks open 7 days a week after the county administrator proposed a budget that called for the closing of the parks two days a week. I, along with Brian Eckman of Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium and Randy Myhre of Olver's, met Sharpe two weeks ago and explained the importance of preserving the current parks schedule, which is open 7 days a week.

SWFBUD also led a bike ride to a county budget hearing last month that included riders from SWAMP, BAADR, the Tampa Bay Freewheelers and the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club.

It paid off -- this week the Hillsborough County Commission voted to tentatively restore the parks such as Flatwoods to a 7-days-a-week operation after the proposed budget originally called for the closure of county parks for two days a week.

The St. Pete Times wrote a story explaining the parks were spared the budget ax

It's the behind-the-scenes, trench work like this that prompted Trek Bicycle Corp. to present SWFBUD with the national advocacy award this week. Congrats to SWFBUD and the six Trek dealers in SWFBUD.

Only four months ago, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, the trade bible that covers the bicycle industry in this country, gave SWFBUD a national advocacy award.

SWFBUD is on the national radar and people around the country are recognizing our contributions to the Tampa Bay bicycle scene.

Please support SWFBUD so we can continue standing up for bicyclists in the Tampa Bay area and join us in putting on the 2009 Bicycle Bash by the Bay, Tampa Bay's bicycle festival on Oct. 11 in downtown St. Petersburg.

Be a volunteer, exhibitor or sponsor at the Bicycle Bash by the Bay or be a Friend of SWFBUD for only $25 and receive a free Polar Bottle water bottle.

Join the bicycle movement in Tampa Bay.

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