Sunday, November 28, 2010

Debut Of The Tampa Critical Manners Ride On Wednesday

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.


Donald said...

Interesting, and I will be at the USF one!

Though I have to say, the name seems a bit off-putting for those of us who are fans of Critical Mass. It reminds me of little old nuns with rulers... ah, grade school.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I was a Catholic in another life :-)
"Critical Manners" is a name that has been used in other cities, just like the name "Critical Mass" has been used for a particular type of ride. I got flack on this from both sides...some don't like it b/c it's too similar to Critical Mass and some b/c it's not 'edgy'...
I don't care what it's called. The ride isn't to show 'manners' - it's to improve VISIBILITY in a law-abiding way.
What's a better name for it? Help me out here. I hope to get this going as a regular ride in the New Year.

Donald said...

If you're actually looking for a suggestion, I think "street legal" is a phrase that is both a bit edgy and conveys the message behind the ride.

I do appreciate the idea behind the ride. While I think Critical Mass is great as a political protest of sorts, I think something that focuses on safe and legal riding is important as well.