Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Donate Your Old Used Bicycles At The Bash

God's Pedal Power will be in the house Sunday the Bicycle Bash festival to accept old used bikes -- Mike Olsen and his pals at GPP restores the bikes and then gives them to people in need.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Perfect Weather for Sunday's Bicycle Bash

Sunday's weather for the Bicycle Bash in downtown Tampa looks exquisite -- High of 80 degrees, sunshine and zero chance of rain! Special thanks goes to Jim James E Shirk whose work on the Bash is making this annual bicycle advocacy event possible. To my bicyclist friends in Pinellas, please come and enjoy the bike stores of SWFBUD, a short, easy bike ride with Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Columbia Cafe foo
d, free bike helmets courtesy of the Hillsborough County sheriff's office, bicycle legal advice from Steele Olmstead, Cigar City beer, chats with national bike advocacy leaders like Andy Clarke of the League of American Bicyclists, a swap meet and free raffle for free bike goodies. And don't forget the first-ever Tampa Bay Bicycle Summit the next day on Monday Nov 5 from 1-4PM at the History Center. More info here

You want to turn around Tampa and make it into a bicycle town where bicycling is both safe and enjoyable? Then get involved. See you at the Bash and stop by the SWFBUD table to say hi.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: Build Bicycle Infrastructure To Recruit High-tech Start-ups

Enjoyed chatting tonight with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who told SWFBUD that he recruits high-tech start-ups by building bicycle infrastructure in Chicago. Good advice for Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Driver Who Killed USF Cancer Researcher Gets Jail Time

Hit-and-run car driver who killed Kay on her bicycle gets jail time:

Building A Paved Tampa Bypass Canal Trail

SWFBUD prodded the MPO to hire a company that did a study on building a paved 17-mile trail along the Tampa Bypass Canal Trail and I was happy to hear that people checked out the studyat an open house last month. You're allowed to ride or hike ride now along the Tampa Bypass Canal Trail, but the thing is it's not paved so not too many bicyclists go there unless they have a mountain bike. I also wish the water district would create better access to the current grassy trail because here's a gate opening off Morris Bridge Road that doesn't even allow a mountain bike to pass through. Please email and call your county coommissioners and advise them them to build a paved Tampa Bypass Canal Trail.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dr. Gills Lawsuit Threatens Connector Trail Between Suncoast and Upper Tampa Bay Trails

Welcome to the Tampa area and Hillsborough County where even people who say they support bicycling files lawsuits to stop trail projects.

Eye doctor James Gills III, who is a bicyclist and uses the Pinellas Trail for his bike rides and whose family is connected to the Ironman event, sues Hillsborough County to stop connector trail between Upper Tampa Bay and Suncoast trails. It could delay project and jeopardize funding. Here's the story.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bicycle Bash/Post-Bash/Bike Summit Sked Nov 4-5

Bicycle Bash Schedule

Sunday NOV 4    10 am to 4 pm  Cotanchobee Park, Old Water Street in Downtown Tampa

10 am -- Start of Bicycle Bash
10:30am -- Group stretch
11am -- Mayor Bob Buckhorn bicycle ride
12 noon -- SWFBUDDY Awards
2 pm -- Kids bikes along Riverwalk
3 pm -- Free gear raffle
4 pm -- Bike Bash ends

Activities -- swap meet, demos, Columbia Cafe food, Cigar City beer, music

Sunday NOV 4   7 pm to 9 pm   Independent Bar, 5016 Florida Ave. in Seminole Heights

Meet and greet Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists; and Tim Bustos, executive director of the Florida Bicycle association

Monday NOV 5   1 pm to 4 pm    Tampa Bay History Center   Downtown Tampa

"The Big Turnaround: Bridging the Divide to Becoming a Great Bicycle Town"


Andy Clarke, League of American Bicyclists president -- What makes a great bike town?
Rick Baker, former mayor of St. Petersburg -- Why should an elected official invest in bicycling?
Cheryl Stacks, St. Petersburg bike-ped coordinator -- How do you keep bicycle projects rolling?
Jean Duncan, Tampa transportation director -- How does Tampa turn things around?
Tim Bustos, Florida Bicycle Association executive director -- How do we bridge the hopes of advocates with the goals of public officials?

Monday, October 15, 2012

DUI Manslaughter Case Involves Alleged Drunk Driver Killing Central Fla Bicyclist

Another bicycle tragedy in Florida -- this time the central Florida Orlando area:

This was sent via email today:

There was a fatal cycling accident in our area today. Forrest Flaniken, an Eastside Cycling Club (ECC) member, was hit and killed by an 18-year old motorist who was later stopped after attempting to flee the scene. Initial reports are that the driver was under the influence. This occurred on Avalon Park Blvd shortly before 3 pm. The ECC is having a Ride of Silence tonight, Monday 10/15, at 6 pm in honor of Forrest. It will leave from the Avalon Park YMCA. It will be a slow ride of about 12 mph through the neighborhoods and on Avalon Park. Any type of bike will be fine for this ride. Please come out and show your support.,0,5791302.story

Sunday, October 14, 2012

SHBC Bikes and Friends at the SH Sunday Market

Seminole Heights is a special place. We have a Seminole Heights Bicycle Club and a Seminole Heights Sunday Market and when you combine the two you get the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club-run bike valet thanks to the bike racks supplied by Mr. Bike Valet himself, Jim Shirk.    

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Lance's Legend Lives On

There's a pile of evidence and ex-teammates who said he doped , but it doesn't matter for many who still love Lance Armstrong --

How About Closing Bayshore For Bicyclists Before The Nov 4 Bicycle Bash In Downtown Tampa

Daily confessions of an early-morning bicyclist II: Just after dawn Bayshore Blvd in Tampa is closed for a running event, I believe -- and I bike the empty boulevard and revel in the joyfulness of biking on a road in Tampa without a car buzzing me or a motorist yelling at me to get on the side walk. Then I thought, what if Mayor Bob closed Bayshore for two hours from 8-10am before the NOV 4 Sunday Bicycle Bash Festival and allowed the denizens to take it to the streets on their bikes before the bike festival in downtown? What do you think?

When Bicyclists Own the Roads

Is there a more joyful activity than pedaling a two-wheeler on a closed road in a city? You're looking at Bayshore Boulevard right before a running race in Tampa and I took a quick spin this morning and had the road to myself. That never happens around Tampa.

Tampa government people should try something different. INITIATE SOMETHING UNIQUE. many cities have bike-sharing programs. In fact, the concept is not even new to Tampa itself. But how about closing one side of Bayshore once a month on a Sunday morning or the top deck of the Selmon Expressway on a Sunday morning when nobody is using the road and open it up to bicyclists for two or three hours. Break out of the average and do something that's original and uniquely Tampa.

Friendship TrailBridge and the Clueless Politicians Who Don't Understand Its Wonderful Potential

Daily confessions of an early-morning bicyclist: It just sits there. Lifeless. I still bike over the water as part of my 3 Bridges Ride, but I gaze at the dormant TrailBridge and lament the political leaders who do not understand the potential in their midst.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Nighttime Biking On the Causeway

I tilted my head and looked at the sky. Darkness. Yet to my right, only a few feet away, were calm ripples of water off the causeway frontage road.

There's nothing like bicycling at night when images are beautifully stark. There's no shades of gray or shades of glare. The ripples off the Courtney Campbell Causeway were artwork in motion.

Slight breeze and the air was a bit heavy but cool. Inspiring biking weather.

Biking at night is perfectly safe with a good light system and a vest and reflectors. Tonight reminded me how great it is to bike at night.


Friendship TrailBridge Update

Bridge news update: Pinellas County is considering transfering all rights and funds to Hillborough County. They are allowing Hillsborough to take the lead and not stand in the way. This is great news in the long process of transforming the bridge into an iconic park for Tampa Bay.

Congrats to this Year's SWFBUDDY Award Winners

One of the best things I enjoy most about the annual Bicycle Bash is giving the coveted SWFBUDDY Award to local citizens and elected officials who step up and make Tampa Bay a more bicycle-friendly place. SWFBUD is proud to announce the 2012 Class of SWFBUDDY Award winners, who will receive their SWFBUDDYs at the Bicycle Bash event on Nov 4 in downtown Tampa. Our SWFBUDDY Award winners are:

-- Cindy Roberts, wife of fallen Tampa Police Officer Cpl. Mike Roberts. Cindy rode her bike 250 miles as part of the Police Unity Tour last year and she showed how truly inspirational bicycle riding can be when she rode in the memory of her husband during the PUT.

-- Tampa City Councilwoman Lisa Montelione, who has consistently supported bicycling on the city council and as a member of MPO panels. Lisa knows bicycling makes Tampa a better place to live and has used her position to support steps to improve bicycling.

-- Architect Ken Cowart and political consultant Kevin Thurman, who this year submitted a business plan to the Hillsborough County Commission that prompted the commissioners to not demolish the Friendship TrailBridge. Not only did their report stop the demolition of the beloved Friendship TrailBridge, which was used by 600,000 annual users before it was closed, but their work has resulted in Hillsborough County government now working on a request for proposal to draw bids to rebuild the Friendship TrailBridge.

-- Antiques specialist Myron Griffin and Tampa Heights community leader Lena Younghave spearheaded a central Tampa bicycle and pedestrian trail movement called the Green Artery to build a network of paths and trails connecting the green spaces of central Tampa. Their unrelenting efforts have resulted in monthly neighborhood meetings in 20 different central Tampa communities over the past two years and have prompted Mayor Bob Buckhorn to support the concept. 

SWFBUD congratulates the 2012 class of SWFBUDDY winners and looks forward to the Bicycle Bash on Nov 4 when they will be publicly recognized for their work.

Dallas Bicyclists Don't Wait For City To Paint Shared Lane Markings

There are a few bicyclists in Tampa who can relate. Frustrated over a city dragging its feet about making roads and streets more bicycle-friendly, Dallas bicyclists take it to the street -- literally.

The markings are shared lane markings and not bike lanes but you get the point of the story.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oh OK, That's Why Regions Bank Uses A Bicycle In Its Ads

There's few lines of work where the employees are more stiff and straight-laced than banking folks. Which is why I enjoyed a laugh this morning when I talked to a guy at a Regions branch about the bank's bicycle-theme ad campaign. I asked him why did the bank choose a bicycle to build its PR campaign around and he joked that the bike in the ads don't have brakes, which is good for customers who want life insurance. That was a regular rib-buster.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tampa Looks To Start Bike-Sharing Program

Mayor Buckhorn Requests Proposals to Create a Tampa Bicycle Sharing Program
Tampa, Fla. (October 10, 2012) – The City of Tampa released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Bicycle Sharing Program today.
“Biking is a great way to get around - it's easy, fun and good for the environment. It’s also quickly becoming an integral part of how people commute around our urban core,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “A bike share system would provide an affordable, healthy option for residents and visitors traveling around downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods."
Tampa’s goal is to have 30 stations with 300 bikes throughout Tampa’s downtown core, Ybor City, and surrounding neighborhoods in fall 2013, with expansion phases to continue out to Westshore and the University of South Florida area by fall 2015.
The Bike Sharing Program is part of Mayor Buckhorn’s overall goal to make Tampa a more bicycle-friendly community and to expand on our bicycle infrastructure, which currently includes 32.5 center lane miles of trails, bicycle lanes, and signed bicycle routes.  
All interested parties are invited to submit proposals no later than 2:30 p.m on November 7, 2012 to the City of Tampa Purchasing Department.
For members of the media seeking a copy of the RFP, please download it at

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bicycle Bash Banners Go Up Around Tampa Bay

SWFBUD thanks the Hillsborough County parks guys at Flatwoods Park and Tina Russo at the Suncoast Trail for hanging Bicycle Bash banners promoting the NOV 4 bicycle festival in downtown Tampa. There are also two other Bicycle Bash banners hanging in Pinellas County -- email me with the locations of the other two Bicycle Bash banners and the first three people with the correct locations will get a free Polar Bottle at the Bash. Good luck!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Creative Loafing Previews Bicycle Bash Nov 4

I urge you to support businesses and political candidates that support bicycling. Creative Loafing has used its editorial space to spotlight bicycling and kudos to Mitch Perry and Julie Garisto for their coverage, including Julie's latest. Thanks CL, Mitch and Julie

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flatwoods hangs Bicycle Bash Banner -- Thanks Guys!

I love those guys who work at Flatwoods County Park -- I gave them a Bicycle Bash banner to string up and they had it hanging the next day or two. Thanks Grizz, Eddie, Ranger Rick and other county park rangers!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Red Sox Manager Crashes On Bike Because He Was Reading Text

Bobby Valentine, the unpopular Red Sox manager who ticked off his own players, crashed while bicycling in New York City because he was reading a text!

From the New York Times:

On the wet, slippery path, Valentine was reading a text on his phone from Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox second baseman, and riding his bicycle. When he looked up, he had to swerve to avoid the umbrellas of two French tourists walking in front of him. The bike skidded, and he lost his balance and went careening head over pedals down the side of the hill by the road.

“I shouldn’t have been reading a text while I was riding, ” he said. “That’s the wrong thing to do. But at least I was wearing my helmet.”

Three Things I See Every Morning About Drivers In the Tampa Area

Three things I see every day about car drivers in the Tampa area when I go out for my daily early-morning bike ride or walk:

1. The profound sadness in the faces of drivers stuck in traffic. They're beyond mad. It's a blank, defeatist look that evokes pity.

2. The stunning high number of drivers who do not yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. The DOT lectures people to use crosswalks, yet drivers don't yield the right of way. No wonder so many pedestrians try alternative routes to cross streets -- and then get blamed.

3. The penchant of car drivers to drive fast to red lights. I don't understand this -- why do car drivers speed up to get to red lights?  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mayor Bob Buckhorn To Have Mayor Ride During NOV 4 Bicycle Bash

Ride with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn at the 2012 SWFBUD Bicycle Bash Festival on NOV 4. The Bash is from 10 am to 4 pm and the Mayor Bob Ride will be a short ride in downtown at 11 am.

Here's Mayor Bob inviting you to the Bash: