Two great bike rides are set for the Fourth of July to celebrate our independence and independence from oil. One is 11 miles and the other is 24 miles and they start from downtown Tampa.
My friend Jose Menendez came up with the idea of having a bike ride on the Fourth of July to show our independence from oil in light of the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf.
The rides start at 8 AM Sunday at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa and are easy, fun rides at about 12-14 mph along Bayshore and also across the Gandy Bridge.
Here is Jose's press release:
TAMPA, FL (June 26, 2010) - The massive oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is only the most glaring example of the dangers of America's unquenchable thirst for oil. With images of the ongoing disaster on TV every day, the environmental (and other) benefits of using bicycles for transportation have never been clearer.
Bicycling is a clean, sustainable mode of transportation that produces no pollution. It's also fun, practical, especially for shorter trips, and it improves health and fitness. By using bicycles, people can save a lot of money annually on gasoline, diesel fuel, motor oil, etc. Most importantly, using bicycles doesn't require that billions of barrels of oil a year be pumped out of the ground and shipped around the world -- with the constant risk of a disastrous leak or spill.
To encourage people to try bicycle commuting, local cycling advocates, joined by SWFBUD (South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers), have declared Sunday, July 4, 2010, "Independence from Oil Day." To declare their own independence, people should leave their motor vehicles at home that day and use bicycles (or walk) to get around.
To help celebrate the day, there will be two "Declare Your Independence from Oil" bicycle rides, starting that morning from Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park on Ashley Dr. (between Zack and Twiggs Streets) in downtown Tampa. Both rides will start at 8 a.m., but riders should try to arrive at the park between 7:30 and 7:45 a.m.*
The shorter ride (click here for a route map -- http://www.mapmyride.com/route/us/fl/tampa/910127732519235986) will be about 11 miles long and will go down scenic Bayshore Blvd. to Ballast Point Park, then head back to downtown.
The longer ride (route map -- http://www.mapmyride.com/route/us/fl/tampa/733127732460144652) will be about 24.5 miles long and will also go to Ballast Point Park, then west on Gandy Blvd. and across the Gandy Bridge, turning back after reaching the Pinellas side of the bridge.
Declare your independence this 4th of July, and help free yourself and your country from its costly and dangerous addiction to oil.
(Since the theme of the event is "independence from oil," participants are encouraged to ride their bicycles from home to downtown Tampa. To find a more bike-friendly route to get there, people can use the bicycle directions feature on Google Maps.)
*All participants in this event assume responsibility for their own actions and safety. By participating, they agree to absolve all organizers and sponsors of the event of all blame and liability for any harm, injury, or loss that may result from participating in the event. All bicyclists must wear a bicycle helmet and ride a bicycle in good operating condition.