Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tour de France Rides and Activities at 2 SWFBUD Shops

There are lots of big-time international sports going on -- the World Cup in South Africa and Wimbledon in Londson and that little bike race in July in France called the Tour de France.

I have been informed that two SWFBUD bike shops -- Just Ride Bicycles and Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium -- are having fun Tour-related rides and activities at their stores.

On Saturday July 3, Just Rude Bicycles is hosting a 56-mile road ride from the bike shop, located at 13431 Fishhawk Blvd. in Lithia. The ride will head to the Oasis store in Manatee County and return. The will starts 7 am with a 18-20 mph pace.

Just Ride Bicycles, owned by David and Jodi Luppino, will also have food and drinks at the shop all day on Saturday from 10 am-5 pm and invite you to watch the Tour. Lots of items are on sale. And those who do the ride get a free radio Shack waterbottle. Call David at 813-381-3907 for more info.

Over at Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium, owner Brian Eckman also has some fun Tour activities. On Sunday July 11, CBE is having a Tour ride at 7:30 am, with two loop options-- a 27-miler and a 42-miler. Both will be at an intermediate 18-19 mph pace.

The long route will go to Safety Harbor for a quick stop at Starbucks, then back.
After the ride, there will be lots of French-themed refreshments and snacks, with the Tour de France on both of the store's TVs at 14407B North Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. Call Brian at CBE at 813-063-5765 for more info.

RIP Tampa Police Officers

People mourned the killing of two Tampa police officers by dropping off flowers at the police memorial at Tampa Police Headquarters. The memorial of flowers was getting bigger and bigger by the hour today.

Too many bad guys and unstable people out there combined with too many handguns and easy acceess to handguns and it's a calculus for tragedy.

Commendation Presented to Independence From Oil Day

One of the last things Friend of Bicyclists Linda Saul-Sena before she resigned from the Tampa City Council to run for Hillsborough County Commission was makes ure that the city council signed a commendation presented to "Independence From Oil Day."

Here is Linda's legislative aide -- Rhonda Smalls -- holding the plaque at city hall.

Great work Jose Menendez for asking for the commendation and getting the ball rolling for Sunday's Independence from Oil" bike rides.

No Batting Practice?

Using a car to get the point across about BP. Parked on Kennedy in downtown Tampa.

Ban Driving While Texting

Here's why we need to ban texting and driving at the same time. This guy was in the far left lane going about 65 on north I-275 north of Hillsborough Avenue -- and traffic was passing him on the middle and right lanes.

Let's take a closer look. Yup, distracted driving. Texting on the Crackberry.

Be On The Lookout Today

Bicyclists see things and people that motorized vehicle operators don't so keep your eyes open for the suspect in the killing of two Tampa police officers yesterday. Police checked out a motel at 15th Street and Hillsborough Avenue, so the manhunt has spread into Seminole Heights.

Here are the money rewards being offered:

Several agencies are offering rewards totaling $95,000 in the case of the two Tampa police officers shot and killed Tuesday.

The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of suspect 24-year-old Dontae Rashawn Morris, the suspect in Tuesday's shooting of Tampa Police Officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab.

In addition the U.S. Marshal's Office and the Police Defense Fund are offering $10,000 a piece.

Also, the Florida State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police offers a reward of $10,000. F.D.L.E. has offered $10,000.

Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward of up to $5,000.

Citizens with information regarding their whereabouts can contact Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay by phone, web, or text message, 24 hours a day, and remain completely anonymous.

Call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS(8477), report anonymously online at or text "CSTB plus your tip" to C-R-I-M-E-S (274637).

The FBI can be reached at (813) 253-1000.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Independence From Oil Bike Ride Set For July 4th

Independence From Oil Bike Ride -- 8 AM Sunday July Fourth from Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park -- 11 and 24 miles. It's free and an easy pace of 12-24 mph.

Bicycle As Urban Vehicle In Paris

Bridget sends photos from Paris showing bicycles as great urban vehicles. The bikes on display are all practical two-wheelers that get you around in style.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Let's Go To The Paris Video

Bridget sent another bike video from Paris showing how bicycles move quicker than cars in an urban setting.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Celebrate July Fourth With Two Independence From Oil Bike Rides In Tampa

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 -- 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 -- 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.

Beating The Heat This Morning With The 4-Bridge Ride

I re-visited the 4-Bridge Ride this morning as eight of us covered three Bay bridges and the ol' Platt Street Bridge in Tampa.

Four members of the Evil Squirrels Race Team of the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club joined forces with David Luppino's Radio Shack Team from Just Ride Bicycles and we had a great ride of eight cyclists smoking the 50-mile course in less than three hours.

Check out the bike route.

This is the paved trail from the Skyway Park off George Road that leads to State Road 60 and Rocky Point.

Cycling the frontage road on the Courtney Campbell Causeway is an incredible cycling experience because you're only a few feet from the water.

We're on the Bayside Bridge in Clearwater.

Back in Tampa, we cycled along Bayshore and Nick took this photo.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Live From Boone, NC

Bicycle Stories correspondent Ellen Pierson is in the Boone, NC area this weekend, so she sent this cool photo of bicyclists on a mass ride.

Ellen is a local organizer behind the Police Unity Tour, which include law enforcement bicyclists riding in the memory of police officers who have lost their lives in he line of duty. Ellen did the Police Unity Tour long ride a few months ago.

Ride the Divide Movie Opens in W. Palm Beach July 3

A movie called Ride the Divide is playing in Florida -- with the first official showing in West Palm Beach at a bike shop on July 3.

Itt documents the travels of several mountain bike racers as they compete in the famed Tour de Divide -- a race that follows the Great Divide from Banff in Canada and runs through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico where the 2,700-mile route ends in Antelop Wells, NM.

the competitors complete the routwith no outside assistance -- as the only resources are the ones available along the way.

There's more than 200,000 feet of climbing -- the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest from sea level seven times.

Rob Roberts and Karlos Bernart, local Florida racers and competitors, are attending this race in June of 2011. They will host a workshop at 6 pm to discuss off-road touring and bikepacking.

They'll also present the film. Rob Roberts is also doing the ride to raise awareness and funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

So, the mivie is July 3 with the showing at The Bicyclery. 6 pm is the clinic and 8pm is movie screening). The Bicyclery is at 1649 North Military Trail, West Palm Beach. Tickets will be $5 at the door and available online at

This is an outside showing so bring a chair and a blanket. Bring the family and enjoy the Florida premier of Ride the Divide.

For more information, contact Karlos A Rodriguez Bernart at 386-624-8540.

Let's Go To The Videotape From Paris

Bicycle Stories correspondent Bridget sends this bicycle video from Paris.

You'll notice bicycles are given space on the right-of-way.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Top 10 Today

Ten bicycle thoughts that popped into my head today.

1. Connect the dots between riding your bicycle and the BP oil disaster. Ride your bike more for trips you normally take with your car; use your car less; create a less demand for oil; create a less of a need to bore holes into our earth for fuel.

2. I watched a Lipitor TV ad showing a family on bicycles. And they're wearing helmets, too. Have you noticed more TV commercials are including bicycles?

3. I was bummed to hear that Tampa City Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena had to resign today to be on the November election ballot to run for Hillsborough County Commission. Linda was an incredible voice for bicyclists on the city council in a city that's way behind other parts of the country when it comes to bicycle resources.

4. No day is a bad day if there's a bike ride during it.

5. The toughest part of the bike ride for me is pushing my bicycle out the door because once I hop on and start pedaling, the bike ride takes me, I don't take the bike ride.

6. I need two road bikes because it's unfair for one road bike to shoulder all the burden of all those miles. One of my road bikes is in the shop.

7. I feel bad for motorists who are stuck in traffic while I whiz by them on my bicycle and I want them to know what I know -- that not only is it more fun to bike to a place it's actually more practical and cost-efficient.

8. When I'm cycling and looking at drivers in cars (especially in the mornings), their facial expression is either sad or zombie-like.

9. The hunger pangs about an hour after a long and great ride can lead to the consumption of thousands of calories.

10. I don't understand why Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio who wants light rail to be approved so badly doesn't reach out to bicyclists for their support because many bicyclists would support improved mass transit and less use of the car. She's not helping her light rail cause by not helping bicyclists.

Bridget Rents A Bicycle In Paris

Bicycle Stories correspondents span the globe, including Bridget offering this report from Paris. (No, not Paris, NY outside Uitca).

Usually the lovely Bridget can be seen pedaling her purple or green Electra chariot on the tree-lined boulevards of Seminole Heights.

But this week Bridget is in Paris using a "Velib" card to rent her bicycle, which is pictured here.

Bridget sys the Velib bikes are a bit heavier than what she's used to riding here in Tampa.

"The Velib bikes are not really bikes- they are MULES!! My God, they weigh a ton and the brakes can be scary (slow to stop). I think I will ride them around Neuilly (our tree-lined avenues are a bit calmer than in Paris) every morning for about an hour to keep me in shape until I get more used to the feel of them," Bridget writes.

Stay tuned for more of Bridget's coverage from Paris.

Bicyclists Beware Black Hawk, CO

Bicycle Stories reader Michael Ploch sent me a graphic he created in response to the town of Black Hawk in Colorado banning bicyclists in its town.

Thank You Sandy For Standing Up For Bicyclists

To mark the 1,500th post on this Bicycle Stories blog, I want to publicly thank cyclist Sandy Pacheco Pehl who contacted Pasco County Sheriff's deputies this week after a pickup driver stopped his vehicle in front of Sandy and a group of bicyclists outside San Antonio and threatened them with a gun.

While cyclists have drawn criticism in Pasco County lately for not being courteous on the road for not staying to the right, I don't know a single case where a bicyclist has threatened a motorist with a gun.

Yet, this is exactly what happened here when a driver threatened Sandy and her group with a gun by passing them, stopping in front of them on the road and telling them that he has guns and he's not afraid to use them.

Sandy, to her credit, reported the pickup truck's tag to law enforcement and gave statements to the sheriff's deputies in hopes of bringing this dangerous driver to justice.

Sandy's work has paid off this week. She has informed me that deputies found the driver and the passenger and they admitted to everything, including the gun threat. A report for assault is currently being filed.

On behalf of bicyclists, thank you Sandy for taking action against a dangerous driver.

My advice is that if a driver threatens your safety, please file a report with the local police. It's easy for everyone to complain and talk about incidents, but the bottom line is that we need to create a paper trail and public record of drivers imperiling the lives of bicyclists to get public help to make things safer for us.

Please, get the vehicle's tag number. If you carry a camera, take a photo of the tag and vehicle if you can and any other relevant things.

Stay safe out there everyone!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Most Colorado Towns Like Bicycles -- Except Black Hawk

I used to bike in Colorado all over the place -- from the mountain passes to the Platte River Valley. Generally speaking, the cities and towns are rather accommodating to cyclists.

Boulder leads the way with an incredible bike lane network and a major bike trail that gets swept of snow in the winter.

But one town in Colorado is getting an avalanche of nasty bicycle PR for pulling a real boner by banning bicycles.

It's the tiny mountain casino town of Black Hawk that is giving $68 tickets to all bicyclists who dare to ride their two-wheelers through the main drag of this town that is dominated by tourists and gambling.

The League of American Bicyclists had a comprehensive report about the Black Hawk bike ban in its email newsletter today.

Bicycle Colorado is also involved in the bike ban issue, and is holding a rally at the state Capital in Denver on June 29 against bicycle bans.

The media contact at Black Howk Town Hall is Melissa Greiner, who can be reached at303-582-2292 or Check out the Black Hawn town press release on the matter:

City of Black Hawk Ordinances 2009-20 and 2010-3 states bicycles are prohibited within the City on certain streets. Signs are posted on Gregory Street, Main Street, Richman Street, Mill Street, Miner's Mesa Road, Bobtail Street, and Selak Street prohibiting bicycles.

City Police Officers will ticket anyone caught riding on these streets.

Wow, "caught riding." Now that's some pretty gnarly language.

Being a former Colorado cyclist myself, I couldn't resist and called Melissa to voice my displeasure and opposition. We had a civil discussion, though we disagreed with each other.

I learned from Melissa that she is not a fan of bicyclists and the casinos don't like bikes and that bicycles were causing safety problems.

She said the bikes don't add anything, that cyclists are discourteous on the road and have left a string of obscenity-laced phone messages at town hall.

I advised Melissa from Black Hawk that taking the most extreme measure of banning the bicycle is exclusionary and is earning Black Hawk very bad PR around the country.

She said the ban was for everyone's safety on a very narrow strip of roadway through the tiny town.

And she said bicyclists should just get off their bikes and walk the quarter-mile of Colorado 119 that she said was off-limits to bicycles.

Colorado. I used to bike the mountains. So, here are a few mountain scenes for your flatlanders here in Florida.

Pickup Driver In Pasco County Threatens Cyclists With Possible Use Of A Gun

As you know, there's a lot of tension and conflict between motorists and cyclists on the scenic, hilly roads outside San Antonio -- a rural area about 45 miles northeast of Tampa. Pasco County sheriff's deputies have been monitoring bicyclist groups to make sure cyclists pedal to the letter of the traffic law, stopping at every stop sign and staying to the right.

But Sandy Pacheco Pehl reports to me and also on Facebook about a dangerous incident caused by a pickup driver who threatened her cyclist group with violence and s gun recently.

According to Sandy, a pickup truck travelling faster than the speed limit stopped in front of the cyclists almost causing the group to crash into him.

"The driver and his friend get out of the truck and get in our faces yelling at us and carrying on completely blocking the road so we couldn't go around. When we didn't back down, the one guy informed us he had guns in the truck and he wasn't afraid to use on us," Sandy said.

Sandy explained further that this truck had multiple firefighter stickers on it. And she got a tag number.

Sandy also notes that she got a call from cyclist Joel Chavez and he told her the guy did, in fact, have a gun and threatended to use it and he wants to press charges.

The passenger in the pickup truck took the gun from the driver/gun owner, Sandy said.

Sandy said she called two deputies, and they are trying to find the driver as the truck is registered to a company not a person.

Sandy explains there are several witnesses.

"Our sport is so dangerous as it is and after John got stabbed (many of us are friends with him, myself included) I am not just gonna sit and let this kind of thing happen," Sandy says.

RIP Britt Hardy, A Voice For Bicyclists At The Florida DOT

Only a few weeks ago I was chatting bicycling with a friendly Midwestern guy who also happened to be a road engineer and designer for the local Florida Department of Transportation office.

Britt Hardy, who loved to commute on his receumbent bicycle from his Brandon area home to the DOT office in Tampa, was talking about roads in Hillsborough County he loved to bike on. We were both sharing pizza and soda pop at a party at Splitsville held by the Tampa BayCycle folks.

Britt was a vital voice for bicyclists at the DOT, not exactly known as a bastion of bicycle progressive thinking.

So I was saddened deeply after I came home this afternoon from a county bicycle map meeting to learn that Britt our DOT bicyclist had died only two days ago on Saturday.

The Tampa Bay area lost a champion for bicyclists and I will allow Scott Collister of the local DOT office to elaborate:

"It is with great sorrow that we share with you that our Design and District Seven family has lost a cherished employee and friend. Mr. George Britton Hardy passed away on Saturday, June 19, 2010. Britt was an exceptional family man who always shared stories about his family and their dinner table lectures with his district family. Britt was very active at his church, Nativity Catholic in Brandon, as a member of the church choir and as a key player in planning and executing their annual community “Novemberfest”.

"Britt joined the district team on May 20, 2005 as the District Roadway Design Engineer and built a strong roadway production section for District Seven. Britt was well respected by Central Office design staff, and the consultants he worked with for his engineering judgment and practical approach to design challenges. Britt shared his culinary skills during the Thursday Roadway Design breakfasts with us, with the aroma from his cooking lingering for everyone to envy.

"Britt enjoyed commuting to work on his bicycle. He was truly a champion of bicycle lanes and pedestrian facilities, and he was always ready to cite the Florida Statutes regarding pedestrians and bicyclists to district staff and consultant engineers. He enjoyed his annual fishing trips to upstate NY for salmon and reuniting with lifelong friends.

"He is survived by his wife, Marianne, children Aaron, Stephanie and David, three grandchildren, and his mother and sisters.

"He will be dearly missed by everyone who was fortunate to have known him."

Picot's Family Of Five Bicyclists

My bicycle pal Picot Floyd of Seminole Heights has a cool way of hauling his family's battalion of five bicycles for excursions.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

San Antonio Cyclist Reports Deputies No Longer Harassing Bicyclists

Sandy Pacheco Pehl, a cyclist who rides with a group in the San Antonio area outside Tampa, reports a Pasco County sheriff's deputy who has been especially harassing to bicyclists on the roads in the San Ann area is no longer stalking cyclists at every intersection.

Sandy says on Facebook, "I just talked to a Pasco County deputy. We won't be getting harrassed by the sheriffs anymore! The one who was causing all the problems is no longer there. Apparently my calls to the sargeant were effective :-) So while we still need to obey traffic laws, as we shud anyway, we can ride without fearing a cop car at every turn. How cool is that?"

As you know, I'm the first to stand up for bicyclists' right to be in the roadway. But also, I add, courtesy on the roads is a two-way street so to speak. So please comply with traffic laws.

Easy To Ditch The Car To Food Shop

Early this morning I biked a mile to the Fun Lan Market to re-stock the food supplies for the week. It's easy NOT to drive -- just get two big pannier bags, a rear carrying rack and few bungy cords to secure anything to the rear rack and you can do a week's worth of food shopping.

I'm back at the ranch after a five-minute bike ride. No gas used for this trip -- except for some carbohydrate fuel.

Look how much I was able to buy and carry on my bicycle. It's a bounty.

A Red Bicyclette To Celebrate A Happy Half-Century!

Bridget celebrated her 50th B-Day with a fun party with great friends and family and showed a very fine red wine to mark the occassion -- red bicyclette.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Re-visiting Sugarloaf Mountain Road This Morning

This morning, Bridget went to the famed Renninger's antique center in Mount Dora and I took the occasion to pedal over to Sugarloaf Mountain Road outside nearby Clermont -- the second highest point in Florida and a magnet for roadies who want some hill work.

At the top of the hill live Harry and Janice, who I included for a features story on cycling the hills of central Florida I wrote for the Tampa Tribune about five years ago. The couple who used to live in Tampa -- Harry is former Air Force and served at MacDill -- wheel out two orange Gatorade water coolers for cyclists who make it to the top every weekend.

Janice was out there this morning and I caught up with her. What a lovely couple. With so many people in central Florida copping nasty attitudes toward bicyclists it was refreshing to chat with Janice, who makes it a point every weekend to have two big orange containers of water, with cups, ready to serve thirsty Sugarloaf Mountain Road bicyclists.

After biking up the hill and catching up with Janice, I took a 2-minute video of the scene when I began my descent.

Friday, June 18, 2010

SWFBUD Thanks Hillsborough Sheriff's Office For Electronic Bicycle Safety Messages

SWFBUD thanks Troy Morgan of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office for using bicycle safety messages as part of sheriff's office portable electronic signs on Fletcher Avenue near I-75 and also on North Dale Mabry Highway in the Northdale area.

I contacted local governments and law enforcement agencies last month about using their portable signs to get bicycle safety messages such as share the troad and pass bikes with at least 3 feet to the public.

Troy of HCSO was the FIRST to use the electronic signs to help bicyclists. Thanks Troy and HCSO!

I hope Tampa and Temple Terrace police departments and local governments do the same.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mountain Bikers Love Their Tent Partners

No matter where I go people love to talk bicycles with me.

Take Troy, the dental hygienist at Dr. Zielonka's office in south Tampa who is a mountain biker who loves to hit the trails at Alafia and Boyette.

I was in for a cleaning when Troy wanted to show me some photos.

He was especially keen on sharing this one.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bicycle Bash Posters Through The Years

It's hard to believe SWFBUD's Bicycle Bash is in its fifth year in 2010. Through the years, we have had talented poster designers offer their skills to come up with attractive posters. This year, Steve Turner has stepped up and provided our primary and secondary posters.

* * *

In 2009, the talented velo-loving Chip Haynes of Clearwater came up with this poster. We moved the Bicycle Bash to North Straub Park, around the corner from Vinoy Park, in downtown St. Pete.

And Sara Quinn, a talented and gifted designer at the Poynter Institute, created this cool poster as well for the 2009 event.

* * *

In 2008, Steve Turner, my Seminole Heights neighbor and a designer at the Tampa Tribune, came up with these two Bicycle Bssh posters to complement Chip's poster work. The Bicycle Bash was at Vinoy Park again.

* * *

In 2007, SWFBUD moved the Bicycle Bash to Vinoy Park on St. Petersburg's downtown waterfront and the Chip did the first of his Bicycle Bash poster.

* * *

In 2006, I worked with David Luppino -- then-owner of Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium -- to put on the first Bicycle Bash. It was held on the plaza outisde of the St. Pete Times Forum in downtown Tampa before a Sunday afternoon Lightning game.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Virginia Congressman Attacks Safe Routes to Schools Program

The League of American Bicyclists has sent this item to its members. A congressman rom Vorginia is targeting the federal Safe Routes to Schools program as "wasteful government spending."

Please: Urge Your Representative to Support Safe Routes To Schools

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) has targeted the federal Safe Routes to School program established under the 2005 Federal Surface Transportation Bill (SAFETEA-LU) as wasteful government spending in his weekly "YouCut program".

Each week representative Cantor asks people to vote for which of five options they would cut from the federal budget. Republicans then hold a floor vote in the House of Representatives to try to eliminate the program that gets the most votes.

This week, the federal Safe Routes to School program is one of Rep. Cantor's targets. He argues that SRTS duplicates other bicycling and walking programs, and that bicycling and walking infrastructure is a local government responsibility. We need your help making sure that Members of Congress understand the value of Safe Routes to School and support it.

Please take a few minutes to send a message to your Member of Congress to ask them to vote against any effort to cut Safe Routes to School.

More Details Emerge From Disney Bicyclist Death

Every bicyclist death is a tragedy, but hearing about the young boy killed at Disney in April was painful. Here is an update on the investigation of that case.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Last Month's Ride of Silences Remember Those Who Lost Their Lives On Bicycles

The Ride of Silence is a powerful public statement by cyclists to remember those who have lost their lives on bicycles in this country. Here's a powerful CNN report on a bicyclist who lived to tell her memory of her crash.

Riding The Recumbent In Style

Bridget enjoys her recumbent, which shows you don't have to be a retired English professor with a fluffy gray beard and sandals to enjoy riding a recumbent.

Visiting The 4 Bridges Of Tampa Bay

As Bicycle Stories readers know, I enjoy a 50-mile ride I created called the 4-Bridge Ride -- a trek that starts and ends in Seminole Heights that includes biking across the Courtney Campbell Causeway to Clearwater, the Bayside Bridge, the Gandy Bridge from St. Pete to Tampa and the Platt Street Bridge in downtown Tampa near the convention center.

Not too many people ever bike the CCC or the Bayside, but I love the frontage road of the causeway to Clearwater and I have blogged several posts over the years showing how you bike just a mere feet from the bay waters when pedaling that frontage road.

This morning I biked the 4-Bridge Ride with my SHBC pals Doug Jesseph and Nick Griffiths. Doug and Nick were compatible bike partners as we cruised at 17-20 mph most of the way.

The 4-Bridge Ride is a study in contrasts -- the asphalt commercial strips of Hillsborough Ave., 49th Street North, a piece of US 19 and Gandy Blvd. contrasted with the gorgeous watery vistas from the bridges. We took the Gandy all the way from US 19 in St. Pete to Bayshore Blvd for nice Bay views in Tampa and biked along Bayshore's bumpy bike lane that disappears into a ka-thump, ka-thump, ka-thump of the concrete sections that make up the right lane leading to the Platt Street Bridge and downtown Tampa.

It was Sunday morning, so Doug wore a very appropriate jersey for our ride. I happen to be a believer in this church.

Biking on the Bayside Bridge.