Bravo to Elizabeth Holland, a Tampa bicyclist who came up to me at the Hub Grub restaurant ride in Seminole Heights on Oct. 23 and told me she had an idea -- simultaneous bike rides in the Tampa area at rush-hour to show that cars and bicyclists can be on the road together while increasing the visibility of bicyclists in Tampa.
She dubbed it a Critical Manners Ride, where groups of bicyclists would show car drivers that they can bike by the traffic rules.
I told Elizabeth it sounded like a great idea -- but now it was her job to execute.
Which is exactly what she plans to do on Wednesday,
The first ever "TAMPA CRITICAL MANNERS RIDE" is set for Wednesday at 5:15 PM with the following meet-up spots:
-- University of South Florida at Pine and Alumni Dr. - the parking lot across from the Botanical Gardens.
-- Downtown Tampa at Waterfront Park, Ashley and Zack St.) This ride is point to point. It ends at Sligh and 30th (or peel off to your house or favorite watering hole along the way...maybe the Refinery, Independent or other Seminole Heights favorite.) Elizabeth hopes to get a good group leaving downtown.
Elizabeth is also for looking for volunteers to lead 30-minute rides from other locations. Rides can be point to point OR out and back.
She says, "The purpose of these rides is to improve the VISIBILITY of cyclists on our streets by engaging in safe, sane interactions with drivers. Coexistence!
We will be law-abiding and friendly. Please have appropriate lights, helmets and wear reflective clothing, if possible."
Elizabeth hopes the ride helps make in-roads into Tampa's "car-only" culture - and have fun riding!
Good luck Elizabeth.