Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ride the Divide Movie in Tampa

Join us for fun and a great movie:
Ride the Divide Movie

Location Cinebistro Hyde Park
Thursday, April 28
6:30 & 8:15 p.m.; Tickets $11 in advance at

First 50 to attend via bicycle receive a free bike light!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


TAMPA (March 22, 2011) – The Tampa Downtown Partnership announces the Third Annual Cigar City Brewing Twilight Criterium and Festival, presented by DEX Imaging, on Saturday, March 26, 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m., based at Lykes Gaslight Square in downtown Tampa. The event is free and open to the public, and caps off the Tampa BayCyclec ampaign’s Florida Bike Month activities.

The Criterium will draw athletes from all over the southeast, from teen to professional racers. The bicyclists will be vying for position while racing through downtown Tampa streets at 35 mph – it is NASCAR on two wheels!
In addition to the Criterium, the family-friendly event also features a street festival, including demonstrations on bicycle maintenance, spinning, bike polo, an “exotic bike” display and more. Families will want to check out the Fit Kids Playground, decorate their own bicycles and join area mascots in the St. Petersburg Times Fun Ride. The *tbt Urban Roll is a casual ride that will give riders the chance to win raffle prizes, including Cigar City Brewing beer for a year! Free bike valet parking is available throughout the day.

Local restaurants will be on hand with their own fare, and Cigar City Brewing will offer Criterium Ale, blended exclusively for the event.

A Criterium, or crit, is a bike race held on a short course (usually less than 5 km), often run on closed-off city centre streets. Race length can be determined by a total time or a number of laps, in which case the number of remaining laps is calculated as the race progresses.

Generally the event’s duration (commonly one hour) is shorter than that of a traditional road race, however, the average speed and intensity are appreciably higher. The winner is the first rider to cross the finish line without having been lapped.

Success in a Criterium requires a mix of good technical skills — in particular, the ability to corner smoothly, while “holding your line” on the road, as well as rapidly and sharply — and riding safely with a large group on a short circuit and exceptional “sprint” ability to attack other riders and repeatedly accelerate hard from corners.

In addition to Cigar City Brewing and DEX Imaging, event sponsors include Carrollwood
Bicycle Emporium, City of Tampa, Lifestyle Family Fitness, Reeves Volkswagon and Subaru, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Suncoast Electric Vehicles and US Tent.

For more information about the Third Annual Twilight Criterium and Festival, and to preregister for events, please visit, or call (813) 221-3686.
Tampa BayCycle encourages commuters to cycle to work, school, to run errands or play. Tampa BayCycle was formed through efforts of the New North Transportation Alliance and the Tampa Downtown Partnership. For more information, visit
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Monday, March 14, 2011

2011 Words for Wheels Winner Essays

Words for Wheels is a 200-word essay contest. The winners wrote and submitted essays describing in their own words how winning a bicycle would change their lives. Here are the two 2011 winning essays!

Larry - I’ve lived the life of many men and walked the road of many men. I am proud to say the life I live today is a more positive life tracing the road for many to follow. I have to wake up everyday and find my strength in order for me not bounce back in the kind of negative life surrounding me. I have many appointments to get to on a daily basis, so I use my bike as a means of transportation in order or me to get around. Although I have the option to use public transportation to get to my destination I choose to use my bike because it also helps me to maintain my health. My health is very important to me and I know exercising is a way to do so; therefore I do my best to ride long distances at times to my appointments. Sometimes it’s painful but I keep going because it will do me more good than bad.

A couple of months ago, all that effort came to an end because my bike was stolen. It has been hard for me because I don’t get around like I use to I can’t get the exercise that I need. I use a cane to walk, and it is not easy, so since I need my exercise. I walk long distances when I can to my doctor appointments.

Sometimes I have to go to the doctors without an appointment so I don’t really have a chance to plan to use transportation. So I’m hoping that I will have an opportunity to win this bike, because I can’t afford one. Like I said I walked the road of many, I would love to ride with the ones that choose to be on the right path for their health.

Chris - I haven't biked to the workplace since I was 16, several presidents and nearly 30 years ago. At that time, my employer was a beachside restaurant twenty miles from home. I had a 28-inch waist, my resting heart rate (if I'd known what such a thing was at that age) would be the envy of every 40 year old I know.

I now live less than 8 miles from a downtown St Petersburg workplace that features indoor bicycle storage, a shower, wellness philosophy and a parking lot that could use a spot freed up for customer use. There's dependable and direct (bicycle-friendly) bus service a few blocks over for those few days and nights when the Tampa Bay climate prevents me from cycling home.

The route to and from work features dedicated bike paths and trails. It passes a bayou that in winter holds manatee and white pelican, in summer fishermen and kayakers. I'll pass a shrimp house and coffee roaster, a bakery and on Saturdays, a world-class produce and fresh food market so need to get panniers!

On mornings when able, Ill accompany my fourth grader to her school several blocks from home. Well share the experience of a 'commute' through our community, a few minutes saved from the purgatory of car line.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Penn’s Cycling School Presents: Traffic Skills 101:

Penn’s Cycling School Presents: Traffic Skills 101:

Who: Anyone who wants to improve bicycle handling skills, ride safe in traffic and learn evasive maneuvers. This is a pre-requisite course for League Certified Instructors.

When: February 18th and 19th, 2011

Time: Friday: 7:00 - 9:00 PM, Saturday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Where: Tampa Bay Trail Ranger Station: 9201 W Waters Ave Tampa, Fl - 33635

What: This is a 9 hour course designed by League of American Bicyclists to teach you how to ride safely in traffic, develop bicycle handling skills, hot to use multi-use trails, and to fix common mechanical problems. The class will also include a 7- 10 mile road skills test in which will ride to a spot to eat lunch (to be purchased individually). For a certificate of completion you must also obtain 80% on a written test.

Cost: $125.00 (includes materials, refreshments and Sat AM breakfast) Pre registration required – space is limited

Register Online: By Mail: Send checks Payable to: Sharon Monahan, 18808 Tracer Drive, Lutz, FL 33549

QUESTIONS: Contact Sharon by phone 813-482-4364

Important Information
• All riders must sign a release
• All riders must have an approved Helmet and 2 wheeled bicycle in good working order – see your local bicycle shop for tune-up details.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

USF’s Amazing Race, ”A bicycle scavenger hunt”

March is Florida’s Bike Month and National Brain Injury Awareness Month

Join us for USF’s Amazing Race, a bicycle scavenger hunt. The event will take place at the University of South Florida’s Tampa Campus! The race is open to anyone over the age of 18 who would like to join the fun. You do not need to be affiliated with USF to enter and participate in the race.


■Saturday, March 5, 2011
■Team check-in begins at 11 a.m.
■Race orientation starts at 12 noon; all participating teams must be present
■Race begins immediately after orientation
■After Race party with food, music and prizes
■Awards Ceremony with prizes for the top 5 teams; certificates and photos for all teams
Preregistration is required


■Teams of two ride bicycles to solve clues leading to checkpoints on campus
■Self photos taken of team showing checkpoint
■Each team must bring either a digital camera or camera phone to take checkpoint photos
■First teams back with correct check points win grand prizes, everyone receives recognition, certificate and other prizes
■Teams must stay together and photos from only one cell phone/camera will be allowed and taken in order of checkpoint list
■Teams must cross finish line with bicycle, walking bicycle during event is allowed, bicycle must remain with participant throughout race
■Phone-a-friends to help solve clues are allowed at any time during the race
■Information booths include WeCar, WalkWise Tampa Bay, Wellness Education & Promotion, Tampa BayCycle, Bicycle Club at USF , USF Police Bicycle Registration and more

■USF Campus Recreation Center, Race takes place on the Campus of University of South Florida Campus

Questions? Call USF Wellness Education & Promotion (formerly Wellness USF) at 813-974-4936. Or Email Julie Bond, Tampa BayCycle co-founder at

Brought to you by Wellness Education & Promotion, Tampa BayCycle , Bicycle Club at USF, New North Transportation Alliance and USF Campus Recreation. Grand prizes will be awarded to the top teams and everyone will receive a Certificate of Participation. Check back for a list of Prizes. Photos of each team will be posted on the Tampa BayCycle website, and Wellness Education & Promotion and Tampa BayCycle Facebook pages!

A limited supply of “new” and cool helmets will be given to those who need a helmet and preregister. Bikes and helmets are also available to USF employees and students through the USF Borrow Our Bikes program. All participants must sign an event waiver and helmets are mandatory during the race.

Preregistration is required. The first 75 to register will receive a WeCar t-shirt or a WYBAC t-shirt that can be picked up on event day. Awards Ceremony and post event party after race. There will be booths, music and giveaways throughout the entire event.

If you want to learn or refresh skills, attend a free Bicycle Commuter Skills Course at the University of South Florida before the Race on Wednesday, March 2 at 11:30 a.m. Register HERE!

Monday, October 4, 2010

WalkWise Tampa Bay joins Tampa BayCycle to walk and bike safely

USF’s Center for Urban Transportation Research Takes on Pedestrian Safety in WalkWise Tampa Bay

Tampa, Fla. (Sept. 22, 2010) – With the Tampa Bay area leading the nation in pedestrian injuries and fatalities, the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) and the Florida Department of Transportation’s District Seven have joined forces to educate walkers and promote pedestrian safety in a new community initiative, WalkWise Tampa Bay.

Over the next year, approximately 400 free presentations will be made to community groups, neighborhood associations and in local workplaces in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties promoting safety techniques that can save the lives of pedestrians. Julie Bond, a senior research associate with CUTR, is coordinating the effort under a contract with the Florida Department of Transportation.

In 2008, 11.1 percent of pedestrians and 17.4 percent of bicyclists killed in the U.S. died in Florida, which has six percent of the nation’s population. The 15-minute presentation that provides pedestrians with easy-to-remember safety tips and encourages them to share safety methods with others is designed as a grassroots effort to empower pedestrians to protect themselves.

“Everyone is a pedestrian at some point during their day- whether they are taking a walk, walking to school or just walking from their car in the parking lot,” Bond said. “This is information everyone can use.”

Each attendee to the safety workshops receives a WalkWise Tampa Bay reflective bag after the presentation and is named to a growing list of WalkWise Ambassadors. The hope, Bond said, is that if local residents can walk safely and reap the environmental, financial and health benefits of walking, they will do so.

Among the projects that are part of WalkWise Tampa Bay is the Gulf Boulevard flag program, which has created new safety measures for pedestrians. Walkers at cross walks can use a large flag highlighted with reflective tape to help better alert drivers to their presence; when they are finished crossing the street, the flag is left in a holder at the intersection for the next pedestrian. Three hundred flags are located at more than 30 crosswalks along the Pinellas beach communities with plans for eight additional locations.

Additional information on WalkWise Tampa Bay can be found at

Members of the media interested in attending a presentation to a community group should contact Julie Bond for information on dates, times and locations of upcoming WalkWise events.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tampa BayCycle Co-Founder Presents on Panel during ProWalkProBike Conference 2010

The Pro Walk/Pro Bike® 2010 conference takes place this week in Chattanooga, Tennessee, September 13-16, and will have a wide-ranging program focusing on everything from basic bike/ped planning to sessions covering the latest design manuals in sessions led by national experts. The conference theme is Bringing Livable Communities to Scale—a timely theme considering how Federal agencies like DOT, EPA, HUD, and HHS are now beginning to coalesce their efforts under the umbrella of livability.

Julie Bond, Tampa BayCycle co-founder is part of a panel presentation set to take place on Tuesday, September 14.

Get out of Your Neighborhood and Into the Public Square - Tips and Strategies for Using Social Media
They say it’s the new public square, a cyber gathering place where relationships are grown. But it’s a scary new world and difficult to know where to begin. This session will discuss when, where, how and if social media is right for your organization; what steps are appropriate and how to be sustainable in your efforts. The panel will demonstrate ways use various platforms effectively and with proven results.
CM Credits 1.5

Kelley Segars, Principal Planner, Knoxville TPO

Ginny Sullivan, Special Projects Director, Adventure Cycling
Rebecca Serna, Executive Director, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition
Julie Bond, Research Associate, Center for Urban Transportation Research

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Independence from Oil and Bicyclist Safety Day

For immediate release
Jose Menendez

TAMPA, FL (Aug. 9, 2010) — Last week BP finally succeeded in plugging its blown-out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. Sealing the well, however, won’t repair the massive environmental damage that has been done to the Gulf, and it won’t solve the other problems related to America’s addiction to oil. To emphasize that fact, and the fact that bicycle commuting has never led — and never will lead — to oil spills that foul our oceans and beaches, local cycling advocates, joined by Tampa BayCycle ( and SWFBUD (South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers —, have declared Sunday, August 15, 2010, “Independence from Oil Day 2.” Like the first Independence from Oil Day this past 4th of July, the goal is to promote the environmental (and other) benefits of using bicycles for transportation. This one, however, will be much larger, a true Tampa Bay area event, featuring simultaneous rides starting from Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa, USF’s Tampa campus, Coachman Park in Clearwater, and the Pier in St. Petersburg.
All the rides will start at 8 a.m., but participants* should arrive at the starting points no later than 7:45 a.m. Since the theme of the event is “independence from oil,” participants are encouraged to ride their bicycles from home to the starting points. To find more bike-friendly routes, people can use the bicycle directions feature on Google Maps — (See page 2 for specific ride nformation
and links to route maps.)
While the organizers of this event believe strongly in the benefits of bicycle commuting, the recent tragic death of retired admiral LeRoy Collins Jr. is a stark reminder of the risks. Therefore, we have also declared August 15th “Bicyclist Safety Day,” and we call on both local and state governments to make Florida’s roads safer by adding more bike-friendly infrastructure, such as bike lanes, multi-use paths and trails, sharrows, and “share the road” signs. We also call on the media to help keep pressure on government officials to make our roads safer. And we ask them to help raise public awareness by doing more reporting on the issue of bicyclist safety, rather than just reporting the latest traffic fatality or injury. For instance, they could remind their viewers and readers of the 3-foot passing law and that motorists need to watch out for cyclists and pedestrians before making turns. Finally, since knowledge is a cyclist’s best protection, the organizers will offer some printed copies of bike safety literature to the participants of each ride. (The supply is limited, however.) We also urge cyclists to make use of bike safety resources on the internet. One of the best is the Florida DOT’s online
version of Florida Bicycling Street Smarts (
Tampa BayCycle ( has links to many other resources.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to make the roads totally safe for bicyclists and pedestrians — or for motorists. Accidents will always happen. Our hope, however, is that by working together, government, media, and advocates can help prevent some needless injuries and deaths in the future.
Downtown Tampa Rides. Starting place: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Dr., 33602. Pace: 12-14 mph.
The shorter ride will be about 11 miles long and will go down scenic Bayshore Blvd. to Ballast Point Park, then
head back to downtown. Contact: Karen Kress, 813-221-3686,
Route map:
The longer ride 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. Contact: Margaret Shepherd, 813-254-8882,
Route map:
(Thanks to City Bike Tampa, — — 212 E. Cass Street, for its generous support in offering to provide some refreshments for the participants of the downtown Tampa rides.)
USF Ride. Starting place: Near the Botanical Gardens, 12210 USF Pine Dr., Tampa, 33620. Pace: 12-14 mph. This
ride, led by the USF Bicycle Club, will be about 21.5 miles long and will go to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa, then head back to USF. Contact: Jessica Brenner,
Route map:
Clearwater Ride. Starting place: Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., 33759. Pace: 10-12 mph. This ride will be about 18.6 miles long and will go to the Pinellas Trail, head north on the trail to the Honeymoon Island spur trail, west on the spur trail across St. Joseph Sound to the entrance of Honeymoon Island State Park, then head back. Contact:
Chip Haynes, 727-464-8200,
Route map:
St. Petersburg Ride. Starting place: The Pier, 800 Second Ave. NE, 33701. Pace: 12-14 mph. This ride will be about 28 miles long and will go up to Gandy Blvd. and head east across the Gandy Bridge, turning back after reaching the Hillsborough side. Contact: Jose Menendez, 813-598-1031,
Route map: petersburg/905128129874436590
In case of rain in the area on the morning of the 15th, the rides will be rescheduled for a later date.
*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. They are also encouraged to bring spare inner tubes, snacks, and plenty of water.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tampa Independence from Oil Day

For immediate release
Jose Menendez
(813) 598-1031

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 will be about 11 miles long and will go down scenic Bayshore Blvd. to Ballast Point Park, then head back to downtown.
Route map for short ride: longer ride 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.

Route map for long ride:
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.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Letter sent to Governor Crist from the Florida Bicycle Association regarding HB971, Crist signed the Bill

May 17, 2010

The Honorable Charlie Crist
Governor of Florida
The Capitol, Suite PL05
Tallahassee FL 32399

Dear Governor Crist:

The Florida Bicycle Association (FBA) has serious concerns about House Bill 971, and respectfully requests your veto of the bill. Our members are not merely bicyclists, but also bicycle and pedestrian planners, traffic engineers, and bicycle safety educators, and we have identified a number of problems with the mandatory bicycle lane use amendment, as well as with allowing local governments to permit certain types of motorized vehicles on sidewalks and trails. FBA was unfortunately not included in discussions about these amendments.

The mandatory use of bicycle lanes poses a number of significant safety and legal problems for cyclists. Many members of the general public, as well as some law enforcement officers, already have a poor understanding of the existing law and of the real safety needs of cyclists. Current law requires bicyclists to drive as far right as practicable, but includes a number of exceptions that are in-practice very common on our streets and highways. Such misunderstandings already lead to unwarranted citations, as well as to harassment by motorists that will only be aggravated by the new law; any cyclist to the left of the bicycle lane stripe will be deemed a law-breaker by those with an incomplete understanding of the law.

There are also many roadways with striped (but undesignated) areas that do not meet bicycle lane standards, but that many motorists and law enforcement officers (as well as many bicyclists) believe to be bike lanes. Bicyclists driving outside of such areas will not likely be cited for violations, but will likely suffer harassment by uninformed motorists. Such harassment is the primary deterrent to cycling for many people.

There are numerous bike lanes around the state that do not meet Florida Green Book standards, and these facilities pose significant risks to cyclists. Bicyclists who avoid such lanes will be put in the position of defending themselves against unwarranted citations to officers and judges who do not understand the standards. One should not have to defend oneself for driving a vehicle in a safe and defensive manner.

Pairs and groups of bicyclists will be required to travel single-file on roadways with designated bike lanes, even when traffic volumes are low and passing is easy. They will not be so restricted on roadways without bike lanes.

The law permitting local governments to enact ordinances to allow motorized vehicles on sidewalks may not in practice pose problems for many pedestrians, but we feel it sets a bad precedent. Vehicles belong on roadways, not on sidewalks. We should be focusing on making our roadways safer for lower-speed vehicles instead of moving them into pedestrian areas.
Florida’s bicyclists wish to be part of the solution for many of our states challenges. Florida Bicycle Association is working hard to ensure cyclists understand the safest ways of using our roadways. HB 971 will make the law and its enforcement more complicated, not less, and will make cycling less safe and enjoyable.


David Henderson
Board President

cc: Chuck Drago, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor