Monday, December 12, 2011

Hanging With Pedal America Today

I spent today working with the Pedal America TV show crew, who are visiting Tampa Bay for a PBS episode on the local bicycling scene. They biked on the Pinellas Trail and Gulf Blvd in Pinellas Cointy and spent Saturday with the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club for an urban ride and a bicycle-theme art show.

Pedal America is led by host Ira David, a wonderful friend I met 2 1/2 years ago at the National Bicycle Leaders Conference in 2009 in Monterrey, Calif. Ira David worked to draw the sponsors necessary to finance a series of eight shows on towns across the country from Napa Valley to Savannah to Chicago to central Pennsylvania.

And this week he and his terrific can-do crew have been wonderful. Ira David's right-hand lady is producer Stephanie Rabiola, and his crew include camera whizes Peter and Andrew, super soundman Will and all-around tech Eric who went to the Lightning-Devils game tonight in Tampa.

Tampa Bay is a diverse bicycle scene, and they hit the highlights such as the Pinellas Trail. The Pedal America crew put together the cool video camera that was on a tripod mounted on a trailer pulled by veteran cameraman Peter for shots along Riverwalk in downtown Tampa today.

Putting together a TV show like Pedal America requires skill, enthusiasm, high technical standards and patience. My pal and show host Ira David and cameraman Peter showed all those qualities.

There's camera guru Peter from Wyoming, who biked his video rig on a trailer.

There's Ira David pedaling along Riverwalk in Tampa. He's a wonderful spirit who is using his TV show to show that bicycling is for all.

My pal Ira David saw the disappearing bike lane on Cross Creek Blvd and wondered, "gee, this doesn't look right." The city of Tampa and Hillsborough County has blown off this pathetic example of bicycle infrastructure, but now it's going national on Ira David's Pedal America show. As Tampa bicycle man Jim Shirk put it, sometimes you have to shame local government into addressing bicycle concerns.

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