Thursday, December 13, 2007

1st Annual BayCycle Photography Contest!

Are you a bicyclist? Do you love to take pictures? Then don't hesitate to enter the 1st Annual BayCycle Photography contest! Help celebrate the relationship between bicycling and daily life in Tampa Bay.

GENERAL INFORMATION: The contest is open to everyone, from the amateur photographer to the casual or experienced cyclist living in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Citrus, Pasco and Hernando counties. The contest is designed to offer participants the opportunity to share their love of bicycling with our community and the general public. Winning photographs will be on display at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMoPA) during the month of May 2008. Photos will be evaluated by a panel of three judges. All decisions are final and at the discretion of Tampa BayCycle. All entries must be postmarked no later than March 30, 2008.

Photograph guidelines: 8”x10” print, color or black and white; must include a bicycle or some part of a bicycle and have been taken in the Tampa Bay area. Participants are allowed to submit five photos per entry. A digital image of the photo or photos on CD must be included with submission. Label the disc and back of photo with contact information. All submitted photos become property of Tampa BayCycle.

AWARDS: Prizes will be awarded in two categories, General Public and Student, and include a combination of bike gear and gift certificates worth the following amounts:
*1st place - $500
*2nd place - $250
*3rd place - $100
*Honorable Mention - $25
In addition, all winning photographs will be showcased in an exhibition during May 2008 at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts.

FEE: General Public, $10 per entry (max. five photos per entry); Student, $5 per entry (max. 5 photos per entry). Payment must be made by cash or check made payable to Bay Area Commuter Services.

RULES AND INFORMATION: Questions? Call (813) 974-9799, or visit Registration form is available on website.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New Blog started by Mighk Wilson
From Mighk Wilson:

It will be targeted to new cyclists, but I'd like to have content for cyclists of nearly all levels. I won't cover racing issues, but everything else is pretty much fair game, with my primary focus on people using bikes for transportation and general fitness.

If you have questions or topics for the blog, please check in and post a comment; and if you have friends or family who could use some advice, send them the link.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tragic News

Car Hits, Kills USF Cycling Team Founder
By Josh Poltilove of The Tampa Tribune

Published: October 22, 2007

TAMPA - A founder of the University of South Florida's cycling team died Sunday after being hit by a car, the team said on its Web site.

Joshua Kuck, 22, was riding the Hilly Hundred when he was hit, according to the team.

"Josh was instrumental in the formation of the cycling team, and most likely the team would not exist at all if it were not for him," the site states. "In addition, Josh brought life to the team with his outgoing and positive attitude. The team deeply mourns his loss and it will take a great deal of time for the team to recover emotionally. At the very least, the 2008 racing will be dedicated to his spirit and hard work."

Kuck, a Maine native, was a team co-captain and helped secure sponsorships and school funding for it, the site states.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Commuter Choices Week in Downtown Tampa and USF

We celebrated Commuter Choices week across Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties last week. This student won a bicycle light set courtesy of Temple Terrace Schwinn at the first Ride Green day at USF. Green for the saving the environment and money and the winning USF bulls, of course.

Dave draws the winning ticket. Jenean won the red cruiser.

Dave Luppino of Carrollwood Bicycle Shop provided a cruiser at USF and a folding bike at Poe Plaza. Several students won lights, helmets and locks courtesy of Temple Terrace Schwinn.

At the Poe Plaza in Downtown Tampa, Bruce won the folding bike giveaway. He is a contractor in the Verizon Building and heard about the event by someone announcing there was free pizza downstairs.

He lives in Clearwater and drives alone to work. However, he found about PSTA’s 300x express bus and has already tried it out. Bruce lives about ¾ of a mile from the bus stop, which has no parking, so this bike will allow him to get there easily. He plans to fold up the bike and keep it in his cube.

He may visit David’s shop (Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium) to purchase a 2nd bike for his wife if he likes his a lot. He also promised to get a helmet, which I should have provided as well.

Friday, September 28, 2007

"Ride Green" day at USF

“Ride Green” Day at USF is one of a week-long series of events included in the 11th Annual Commuter Choice Week happening throughout the Tampa Bay area October 1-5, 2007. Pledge to try carpooling, biking, walking, riding the bus, or teleworking as an alternative to driving alone to campus one day during the week and be eligible to win a free bicycle or bike helmets, lights, and locks! Drawing is at 12:30 pm. First 50 pledges receive a free CCW t-shirt. Come for food, fun, prizes, and more!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Top Ways to Stay Green

1. Eliminate driving as much as possible.
2. Hang your clothes out to dry.
3. Eliminate or cut back on meat consumption.
4. Ride your bike or walk for short trips and errands.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tampa BayCycle wins Creative Excellence Award

Tampa BayCycle was recognized and awarded the 2007 Creative Excellence Award from the Association for Commuter Transportation at the annual international conference in Seattle. The award was presented on Tuesday at an awards luncheon. The award was competitive and it is an honor to be recognized by the association.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Independents' Film Festival "24 Solo" plays at the Channelside Cinemas

Mountain bikers have it easy when it comes to the terrain in Florida. If you want to see what challenges the really elite mountain bikers around the world you won't want to miss "24 Solo" when it comes to town on Thursday, Sept. 13th for an exclusive engagement as part of the Independents' Film Festival.

This film was awarded the Director's Choice Award for its overall beauty and manic excitement. Thursday, Sept. 13th, 9 p.m. at the Channelside Cinemas, 615 Channelside Drive in downtown Tampa, you can catch "24 Solo," which rides the handlebars with Chris Eatough, in his bid for a 7th consecutive 24 Hour Solo World Championship. Shot in high def, this rare glimpse into the personal life of the sport’s most successful 24 Hour racer is a rollercoaster of energy and emotion. The documentary balances action and emotion with commentary from the biggest names in mountain biking including Gary Fisher, John Stamstad, Hans Rey, John Tomac, Alison Dunlap, Ned Overend and others cut to a powerful soundtrack crafted by the award-winning "Off Road to Athens" composer Haik Naltchayan. From resounding victories in China and Wisconsin to his tumultuous training and the final race, viewers will have an unprecedented glimpse into the intense machine that is Eatough. The film’s dramatic conclusion will have you on the edge of your seat! Even if you're not especially into bicycle racing, this film has something for everyone. Tickets are $7.50 and available at the door.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Bicycle Bash by the Bay set for November 4

Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg, Fla
Sunday, Nov. 4th, 1 1 am to 4 pm
Florida Bicycle Association Event of the Year


Presented by: SWFBUD
South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers
member stores:
Bicycle Outfitters
Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium
Chainwheel Drive
Flying Fish Bikes
Oliver’s Cycle Sports
Revolution Bicycles
Suncoast Trailside Bicycles
and friends of SWFBUD.

For further information, please contact
Alan Snel at

Swap Meet Bike Rides Free Bike Gear Trike Races
Bicycle Camping & Mountain Bike Demonstrations
Bike Donation Station Private Bike Collections
Bike Commuting Info Bike Agencies & Clubs
Local Bike Dealers and Manufacturers
City Bike Rodeo- Free Helmets
Food, Drink and Music!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Road Kill-Worth the read

Road kill

by Gregg Easterbrook, in the Los Angeles Times - August 5, 2007

Suppose 245,000 americans had died in terrorist attacks since Sept.
11, 2001. The United States would be beside itself, utterly gripped
by a sense of national emergency. Political leaders would speak of
nothing else, the United States military would stand at maximum
readiness, and the White House would vow not to rest until the danger
to Americans had been utterly eradicated.

Yet 245,000 Americans have died because of one specific threat since
9/11, and no one seems to care. While the tragedy of 3,000 lives lost
on 9/11 has justified two wars, in which thousands of U.S. soldiers
made the ultimate sacrifice, the tragedy of 245,000 lives lost in
traffic accidents on the nation's roads during the same period has
justified . . . pretty much no response at all. Terrorism is on the
front page day in and day out, but the media rarely even mention road
deaths. A few days ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration announced that 42,642 Americans died in traffic in
2006. Did you hear this reported anywhere?

This phenomenon is not just American, it is global. Traffic deaths
are the fastest-rising cause of death in the world. Yet you've heard
far more about H5N1 avian influenza, which has killed 192 people
worldwide since being detected five years ago, than about the 6
million people who have died in traffic accidents in the same period.
Last year alone, 1.2 million people were killed on the world's roads,
versus about 100,000 dead as a result of combat. The last decade is
believed to be the first time in history that roads posed a greater
danger to human beings than fighting (which is partly a reflection of
the decline of war).

Global prosperity is rising fast, which means that global car
ownership is rising fast, and both of those things are good -- but
they also mean that global traffic deaths are rising as well.
Worldwide, traffic deaths look exactly like a pandemic -- increasing
in most nations, with local rapid spikes.

Two forces seem at play in skewed perceptions of these risks. The
first is the fundamental difference between harm because of accidents
and harm because of deliberate action; the second, society's strange
assumption that traffic fatalities cannot be avoided.

The loss of life caused by terrorism on 9/11 -- or similar losses in
other acts of terror or war -- has a wholly different moral standing
than loss of life in accidents. Terrorists are criminals whose intent
is homicide. Those who act illegally or immorally must be opposed
even if that means engaging in complex, expensive, perilous
undertakings, as the United States has since the darkness of 9/11. A
life lost in a traffic accident is very sad, but it does not involve
an offense against morality or human dignity. Most traffic accidents
are just that -- accidents. In that sense, it may be reasonable that
3,000 deaths because of terrorism have a disproportionate effect on
national policymaking.

Next, cars and trucks possess utility. They are vital to our economy
and to our personal freedom. Having millions of cars and trucks
roaring every which way is necessary for the American economy to be
so productive. Environmental Protection Agency figures show that, in
the last three decades, vehicle-miles traveled have risen 170% in the
United States. Some of this may be unnecessary, but most vehicle-
miles happen because they serve someone's interest. If the use of
cars were restricted, accidents would certainly decline, but so would
economic productivity and personal freedom.

Here's where the big faults in our thinking come into play. Do the
media downplay road dangers in part because the auto industry is the
No. 1 advertiser on TV and among the top advertisers for newspapers?
Detroit would much rather Brian Williams or Katie Couric titter about
Paris Hilton, or the L.A. Times feature articles on Waziristan, than
hear about 42,642 dead on the roads last year.

Typical Americans are to blame as well. Because we don't want to
contemplate dying in a car crash, we seem to assume that highway
fatalities cannot be reduced, that they fall into the "stuff happens"
category. This isn't so. Risks of driving or of crossing the street
-- each year more pedestrians die in the United States than the death
toll of 9/11 -- could be reduced significantly without any sacrifice
of freedom by car owners.

Relative to passenger-miles traveled, traffic fatalities have
declined in the United States owing to anti-lock brakes, air bags,
impact engineering (a hidden safety feature of most new vehicles) and
the big rise in shoulder-harness use (your seat belt is much more
important to safety than air bags). Tougher laws and social awareness
have reduced drunk driving. Yet fatalities per mile traveled have not
fallen as much as might be expected given improved technology and
less alcohol-impaired driving. There appear to be two key reasons:
cellphones and horsepower.

Driving while yakking may seem harmless to you, but try telling that
to the loved ones of the hundreds or even thousands who die each year
in totally avoidable phone-related accidents. Holding a cellphone
while driving will become illegal in California in 2008. But the odds
of getting stopped are slight. Automated cameras now issue speeding
tickets; why can't they issue tickets to owners of cars photographed
with a driver using a phone?

Another idea is to pass laws under which, if a driver is on the phone
at the moment of a crash, he or she is presumed to be at fault. It is
well past time for legislatures to stop waffling on this issue and
take action. People make phone calls while driving because they know
they can get away with it. This is more important than human life?

The ever-rising horsepower of cars, SUVs and pickup trucks is another
reason road fatalities stay high. Twenty years ago, the average new
passenger vehicle had 119 horsepower and went from zero to 60 in 13
seconds; this year's averages are 220 horsepower and zero to 60 in
9.5 seconds. New cars, SUVs and pickup trucks of this model year are
the "fastest and most powerful vehicles since the EPA began compiling
data," the federal agency recently said. Even many new family sedans
are ridiculously overpowered. Car & Driver magazine recently tested
the new, 268-horsepower Toyota Camry: It did zero to 60 in 5.8
seconds, which was Corvette acceleration a generation ago.

Cars with high horsepower and rapid acceleration are easy to lose
control of, especially for young drivers. Tap the accelerator in a
tight curve for just an instant in that Camry -- to say nothing of
socially irresponsible monstrosities such as the 520-horsepower
Porsche Cayenne SUV -- and you can lose control. High-horsepower cars
enable cutting off and other forms of aggressive driving; cutting off
and sudden lane changes are leading causes of highway collisions. A
generation ago, a small percentage of American drivers had high-
horsepower vehicles. Now the majority do! Is it a coincidence that
road rage and high horsepower have occurred simultaneously? High
horsepower makes road rage possible, which in turn adds to the death

The proliferation of high horsepower cars is doubly wrong because it
links to ever-rising petroleum use and greenhouse gases. Automakers
have significantly increased powertrain efficiency in the last 20
years -- but the gains have gone into horsepower, not fuel
efficiency. Other things being equal, if new-vehicle horsepower were
reduced by one-third, miles per gallon would rise by one-third. One
decade of sales of new vehicles with one-third higher horsepower
accounts for the amount of oil the United States imports from the
Persian Gulf region. Reduce horsepower by a third and end U.S.
Persian Gulf oil dependence. Yes, it's that simple. If only we'd
actually do it!

Because horsepower is an arms race -- if one automaker offers more,
all must -- federal legislation to limit horsepower would offer a
good-news trifecta: Higher mpg, reduced greenhouse-gas emissions and
lower road fatalities as average motorists stop acting like they're
at a NASCAR track.

Why doesn't Congress act to end the horsepower wars? Please don't
counter that "no one can tell me what I can drive." The Constitution
says you've got a right to own a gun and to read a newspaper.
Firearms and materials related to 1st Amendment expression are the
only categories of possessions given protected status by the
Constitution; courts consistently rule that vehicles on public roads
can be regulated for public purposes such as safety.

Horsepower regulation and serious enforcement against cellphone use
while driving might save thousands of lives a year. Such reforms
might also prevent many billions of dollars in economic losses and
make a big dent in the other road-danger figure no one talks about --
2.6 million Americans injured in traffic crashes last year.

Other reforms, such as pedestrian-activated warning lights at
crosswalks, could also reduce traffic deaths in the United States.
Numerous reforms could reduce traffic deaths in developing countries.
As a nation, we find common ground in agreeing that even one death
from terrorism cannot be tolerated. Why are tens of thousands of
annual road deaths OK?

* Gregg Easterbrook is a fellow of the Brookings Institution and author
of "The Progress Paradox." Lauren Hovel of Barnard College provided
research assistance for this article.

is a fellow of the Brookings Institution and author of "The Progress Paradox."
Lauren Hovel of Barnard College provided research assistance for this article.

Monday, August 27, 2007

*New program* USF Students can get an Emergency Ride Home

USF students at the Tampa, Downtown and St. Petersburg campuses can now qualify for the Emergency Ride Home provided through Bay Area Commuter Services. If you ride your bike at least 2 times per week (or carpool, walk, vanpool, take transit or any combination), you qualify. If you get sick or have a qualified emergency, you can get a taxi ride HOME. You must sign up first.

Click here for details

Thank you Bay Area Commuter Services for adding students to the program!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

New Bicycle Blog from St. Pete Times

Adam Newman has created a new and informative blog for cycling news and events. Check it out at the following link.

Adam Newman blog

Monday, August 20, 2007

Voice your opinion, send letters to US Transportation Secretary Mary Peters

League Responds to U.S. Transportation Secretary's comments on PBS

Transportation Secretary Mary Peters talks about infrastructure problems and travel initiatives.

More Info
Peters cited "bicycle paths" as a prime example of the waste

Last night on the PBS NewsHour with Jim Leher, DOT Secretary Mary Peters was interviewed by Gwen Ifill. Peters, when asked about a possible gas tax increase, repeated President Bush's response - No, there can be no tax increase because Congress is wasting the money they already get. Peters cited "bicycle paths" as a prime example of the waste because bicycles are not a transportation use of the gas tax money. It is disappointing that the administration is attacking Jim Oberstar for his efforts to get the Minneapolis bridge repaired along with raising all the funding for transportation maintenance, by using Oberstar's support for bicycles as a weapon.The League of American Bicyclists feels strongly that this should not go without a response and we have sent a letter to Secretary Peters voicing our view. Click here to view our response. For those of you who feel strongly about bicycling issues, we would also urge you to contact the Secretary to share your personal viewpoints.To view a copy of the program click here

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Jim Lehrer News Hour-An interview with Mary Peters, Secretary of Transportation

MARY PETERS: Well, there's about probably some 10 percent to 20 percent of the current spending that is going to projects that really are not transportation, directly transportation-related. Some of that money is being spent on things, as I said earlier, like bike paths or trails. Some is being spent on museums, on restoring lighthouses, as I indicated.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Conserve By Bicycle

The Conserve By Bicycle study completed by Sprinkle Consulting and funded by the FDOT provides interesting recommendations.

From the Executive Summary:

. . . . . . the purposes of the Conserve by Bicycle Program are to:
• conserve energy by increasing the number of miles ridden on bicycles and
reducing the usage of petroleum-based fuels,
• increase cycling efficiency by improving interconnectivity of roadways, transit,
and bicycle facilities,
• reduce traffic congestion on existing roads,
• increase recreational opportunities in Florida,
• provide healthy transportation and recreation alternatives to reduce obesity and
decrease long-term health costs, and
• create safe ways for children to travel to school by supporting the Safe Paths to
Schools Program.

Check out the full report at:

Monday, August 13, 2007

Commuter Profile-Becky Alexander

Becky is featured in the Tampa Bay Commuter.

Views from the Road

Becky Alexander
Bicycle Commuter
Research Administrator
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Institute

I started commuting by bicycle two months ago. I live in Temple Terrace and work at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Institute as a Research Administrator. My ride covers mostly neighborhood streets and this makes for very nice morning and afternoon commuting. I started riding instead of driving to save money on gas, wear and tear on my car and for the health benefits of weight loss. I have lost 10 pounds so far! I am also a member of Tampa BayCycle’s Elite 100, and I successfully recruited 10 people who tried cycling during the month of May.
I got into cycling by trail riding on the weekends, and I currently own two mountain bikes. Along with other coworkers, we are trying to help Moffitt have a greater awareness of employees who commute by bicycle to work. We have access to showers at work; so by the time I get to my desk, my coworkers are completely unaware that I rode my bike to work. I bike about 75 miles a week, that’s 60 during the week back and forth to work, and then trail riding on the weekends is around 15 miles.
So far, my commute has been easy. I carry an extra tube, portable pump and a multi-tool just in case I need to change a tire or make small adjustments. I did have a driver harass me from their car at the same spot on my route each day, so I take another route to avoid this driver. Some people tell me its great and some tell me I’m crazy. It’s just something that you get up every morning and do, just like getting in your car to go to work. The best thing that I have learned is to take command of my lane. I noticed that when I do this, drivers respect my space on the road.
I’ve noticed that since I have been bicycle commuting my stress level has gone down. Even when it rains and I’m on my bike, I am not as stressed as when I’m in the car and it’s raining. I’m sure part of it has to do with the fact that my commute is mostly on neighborhood streets, but it’s nice to enjoy the commute to and from work.
I do wish that there were public service announcements or newspaper ads making drivers aware of the fact that there are bicyclists on the road. Drivers should acknowledge and respect the fact that especially during the week, bicyclist are only trying to do the same thing – get to work or home from work and that the same traffic rules apply. Bicycles do belong.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007 Passes

August 4th, 2007 by Karina

By a vote of 221-189, the House passed H.R. 2776, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007. The Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007 would accelerate the use of clean domestic renewable energy sources and alternative fuels. The bill provides longterm tax incentives encouraging the production of electricity from renewable energy - including energy derived from wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, river currents, ocean tides, landfill gas, and trash combustion resources. The bill also provides tax incentives for the production of renewable fuels such as cellulosic alcohol, biodiesel and renewable diesel.

To pay for these renewable energy and conservation incentives, the bill repeals approximately $16 billion in tax breaks for oil and gas companies that were given during an era of record profits. To ensure that oil and gas companies are paying their fair share of taxes, it closes a tax loophole that allows big oil and gas companies to game the system by understating their foreign oil and gas extraction income. It also closes the “Hummer” Tax Loophole, fixing a serious mistake that provides an extra tax incentive for businesses buying luxury SUVs, while exempting vehicles that are used for legitimate business purposes.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Florida 3-Foot Law

We have had many requests for the 3-foot law, so here it is:

[§§316.083, 316.085, & 366.0875]
The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle
proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the
left thereof at a safe distance and shall not again
drive to the right side of the roadway until safely
clear of the overtaken vehicle. A driver overtaking a
bicycle must maintain a horizontal clearance of at
least 3 feet [§316.083]. Three feet is a minimum
"safe distance" for passing a cyclist under typical
urban conditions; when the passing vehicle is large,
towing a trailer, or traveling at much higher speed,
greater lateral clearance is needed.
No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center
of the roadway in overtaking and passing another
vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless
the left side is clearly visible and free of oncoming
traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit passing
to be made without interfering with the operation
of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.
In every event an overtaking vehicle must
return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as
practicable and, in the event the passing movement
involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles
approaching from the opposite direction, before
coming within 200 feet of any approaching vehicle
The prohibition of passing in a no-passing zone
does not apply when an obstruction exists making it
necessary to drive to the left of the center of the
highway [§316.0875(3)]. Thus, when a cyclist is
traveling so slowly as to constitute an "obstruction,"
a motorist may cross the center line in a no-passing
zone to pass the cyclist if the way is clear to do so,
i.e., when it can be seen that any oncoming traffic is
far enough ahead that the motorist could finish
passing before coming within 200 feet of an oncoming
About 1 percent of bicycle-motor vehicle crashes
involve motorists who misjudge the width or
length necessary to pass a cyclist. Close passing
causes some cyclists to "hug the curb," or
ride on the sidewalk, where crash risk actually

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

August Commuter Profile: Alan Badia

Alan has been commuting via bicycle to work for 2 years. Recently, the corporate headquarters of his workplace moved across the bay into Pinellas county. He has not found a safe route there yet, but he is working on it. He is the Creative Coordinator and Webmaster of Suncoast Roofers Supply, Inc. His job consists of creating various marketing materials (print and Internet) including magazine production, publication advertisements, promotional materials, logo creation, website creation and administration, search engine optimization, video production, graphic illustration, etc. The Suncoast Roofers Supply, Inc. headquarters used to be located in Tampa, which was really convenient for bike commuting where he would start from his front door in Old Seminole Heights through downtown/Bayshore Blvd. to Reo Street, near Tampa International Airport. The new corporate headquarters is now located on Ulmerton Road, near 49th street. He hasn't found a safe route to this new location yet, but he is working on that -- don't tell his wife though.
Alan started commuting for a few reasons:
#1 Mileage
. I am on a racing team and to be able to compete in bicycle races you need to put in 300-400 miles per week to really be able to have a chance at placing in the Top 10. Riding to work and back is about 22 miles, which doesn't sound like much but if you add that every day you've got 100 miles alone in the commute. I usually train on the way home from work on the bike, and there lies the benefit for me. I don't have to travel in the car to train. It's built into the commute! That worked out very well.
#2 Lack of stress. Sure cycling on the streets through Tampa is stressful, but not as stressful as being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Talk about a waste of time! With my busy schedule I don't have time to waste sitting in traffic. I can make it home faster on my bike than in the car! Of course, you've got to be super-alert when cycling on Tampa's streets. But I've noticed it really hones your alertness. I have averted many automobile crashes due to lighting fast reactions I've been able to make with drivers that either don't see me, misjudge the distance, or are on the phone not paying attention. Oh, don't get me started on cell phones and drivers. I almost got run over by a driver on a cell phone recently. Just make sure you are very visible using everything you can to stand out and be seen. I wear a rear helmet light, rear bike light, very bright front light, DOT flame orange vest, ankle reflectors, flame orange shorts and jersey, flame green backpack (with reflective material) and a rear light attached to that. You cannot be too safe.#3 Fitness. If you ride to work, you WILL get in shape. All those extra calories you're burning to and from work really add up. It's a great way to lose some weight, maintain weight and improve your fitness. After all, you have to get to work anyway. Why not ride there and benefit at the same time?

#4 Relaxation. I typically use Bayshore Blvd. as one of the routes to and from work. If you've never seen the Bayshore at sunrise you are missing out. It is beautiful. It's also calm and tranquil at that time of day -- much different than the rest of the day when it's busy with cars and pedestrians every where. Sometimes I just stop there and watch the sun come up, taking in the reflection of it off the mirrored buildings of our downtown skyline. It truly is a great way to start my day!

#5 Money I save on gasoline. It's such a good feeling to get in the car on the weekend and the gas gauge has hardly moved. With today's gas prices, you save some serious coin by bike commuting to work.

"My training/everyday bike is a carbon GIANT TCR Advanced Team Healthnet that was used by the Professional Racing Team in 2005 season. It's a treat to train on this bike. It weighs 14.5 lbs., which is very light for a training bike. My road racing bike has the same exact geometry. It is a carbon GIANT TCR Advanced T-Mobile Team bike. The same bike the T-Mobile squad used last year in the Tour de France. I have this bike setup with compact carbon cranks and superlight wheels, along with lots of weight-saving components and parts. It weighs 12.3 lbs. Racing on this bike is like driving a Ferrari. I use it in the mountains and have maxed out at 59 mph. And it's stable at that speed too. I also have a custom painted hot yellow P2K time trial bike. I have raced this bike in triathlons and time trials for 6 years. The bike to this day still looks brand new. I just had my fastest 15K time trial this month on this bike averaging 26.78 mph for 9 miles. It is a super-fast bike and one of a kind color. Unfortunately my work does not promote workplace cycling, but I am working on that. I try ride at least 300 miles per week. The more the better.

I learned the hard way by almost getting run over a few times due to not having a front light that was bright enough. For a cyclist, one of the most dangerous scenarios is you're going down the road and you're approaching a car on a side street that has his left blinker on. And the car also has dark tinted windows. You don't know if the driver sees you or not as you cross in front of him. If he doesn't see you, he could run you over and kill you instantly. I had many close calls in those early morning low-light commutes to work going down North Boulevard. Cars would pull out in front of me causing me to take evasive maneuvers to avoid hitting them. I determined that my front light must not be bright enough. So I purchased a very expensive front light and I haven't had the same incident since (knocking on wood). Expensive is actually relative here though. You cannot put a price on your life, so I say buy the brightest light you can find for your own good and peace of mind.

Most people think I'm insane when I tell them I bike to work in Tampa. And I can understand there feeling there. Tampa can be a very challenging bike commute. But I'm living proof that it can be done. Like they say, where there's a will there's a way. Most people have curious questions like how many miles do you ride a week or ever been hit by a car? Some people say they'd like to try it.

Get the brightest front light and brightest flashing rear light you can find. Load yourself up with visibility aids to make yourself as visible as possible. Most drivers that hit cyclists say they never saw the cyclist. If someone hits me, the first words out of my mouth are going to be 'Don't tell me you didn't see me'. High visibililty is one way to avoid problems. And always ride predictably. Drivers will respect you if you obey the laws and show them respect. And always carry a cell phone, some cash, extra tube, air, tire levers and wear a Road ID.

If you are a beginner, Alan suggests joining a bicycle club for beginners. It's a great way to learn to ride, while enjoying the company of other riders. Then, as you work your way up, join on on the local group rides. We have some of the best local group rides around. Many of them have local pros that you can benefit from as they drive the pace very high. You can benefit greatly from high-paced group rides. Or if you want to just ride, get your bike there and just experience life on a bike. It's great to just get out there and tool around on a bike.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Hawaii pushes for better bicycle commute

Even the state of Hawaii is pushing for a better bicycle commute. A law that took effect July 1 allows biking initiatives that go beyond bike path improvements to be funded with federal dollars and requires the state Department of Transportation to involve bicycling organizations in planning decisions.
Alan Badia sent this interesting link that shows bicycle fatalities by state for 2004.

Here are preliminary statistics I received regarding roadway fatalities from the Department of Highway and Safety Vehicles for 2006.

2006 Preliminary

YTD Fatalities

Motorcycle Operator Fatals

Motorcycle Passenger Fatals

Bicyclist Fatals

Alcohol-Related Crashes

Alcohol-Related Fatal Crashes

Alcohol-Related Fatalities

Pedestrian Fatals

Friday, July 27, 2007

Gena Torres sent this link to a website that will calculate the walkability of your neighborhood. Give it a try.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tampa City "Tampa BayCycle" Business Challenge Winners

Tampa City was one of four companies to receive top honors for their commitment to cycling during the Tampa BayCycle Business Challenge, May 2007.
A big THANKS to Mary Helen Duke for her commitment to promoting the challenge and for her efforts to support cycling.
Photo: Front row: Janet Hamilton 198 miles; Santiago Corrada (Neighborhood Services Administrator); Karen Kress (Tampa Downtown Partnership); LeAnne Honeycutt 100 miles.

Back row: Bruce Lucas 24 miles; Michael Jordan 35 miles; Mary Helen Duke 24 miles; Richard Johnson 68 miles; Roy Paz 230 miles.

Missing: Janice Davis 70 miles and Ross Silvers 147 miles.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fox 13 News Story--Biking to Work

Check out this incredible story about employees biking to work at Tampa General Hospital.;jsessionid=DA1F72099E2648C235361BF8A3294F53?contentId=3812049&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1&sflg=1

Elite 100 members--keep recruiting your "friends"

Elite 100 members who recruit 5 friends will receive a Planet Bike Light. Recruit 6 or more and receive both a front and back light.

Elite 100 members received their lights at the party at Splittsville. Those who were unable to attend recevied their lights via mail.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Covered bicycle parking provides security and shelter

If you can't store your bicycle inside your office, outside covered bicycle parking is a great option.

These bicycle lids at the Center for Urban Transportation Research at USF are always used and provide safe, secure and convenient bicycle parking for commuters.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Urban Assalt and Tech Class this Week

One of our sponsors, Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium sends us the following news for this week:

URBAN ASSAULT-- downtown Tampa on Friday, July 27.
For those of you that do not know what an URBAN is, we meet at the shop at 7pm and/or downtown at Bayshore/Platt at the Walgreen's two blocks east of the Publix's at 8pm. From there we ride on any bike you can bring with you, that is rideable, and we cruise the streets, parking garages, stairwells, escalators, and anywhere else we can take a bicycle, including ybor city and the projects, they have a place called the bowl, where some of the guys do freestyle. You do not have to do all of the hard core riding to have fun, and or to get a work out. Lots of people come just to watch the crazy ones do the hard stuff. We usually ride for 1-2 hours and I like to compare it to intervals training, due to a lot of start and stop riding.

Our FREE Tech class is this coming Thursday at 7pm and if you have not attended yet then you might want to call, and/or email us to reserve a spot for the class. We will teach you flat repair and basic cleaning and repair on your bicycle. Class is usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours and is free. Please be sure to let us know if you are going to come, space is limited.

Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium
(813) 963-5765
14407-B North Dale Mabry
Tampa, FL 33618

Another Request for Best Route

Another request came to us from Linda. Anyone who has a preferred bicycle route from the vicinity of Sheldon Road to Downtown Tampa, please post.

More specifically:
Westchase/Citrus Park area to Downtown Tampa. I was thinking Anderson road maybe??? Definitely NOT Dale Mabry or Veterans.
Then around Kennedy/275 - what is the best east/west road.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Best routes from USF to Downtown Tampa

I have had several requests from bike commuters new to the area regarding how to ride safely from USF to Dowtown Tampa. If you have a suggestion, please post your preferred route.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Pro Walk Pro Bike Florida Conference this August

The annual Pro Walk Pro Bike
Healthy Community Makeovers:
Designs and Programs
for Active and
Healthy Lifestyles
August 27 - 30, 2007
Orlando, Florida
Host Hotel:
Embassy Suites Downtown

Tampa BayCycle advocacy will be discussed on Wednesday morning.

Check it out!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Check out Bike Commuters

Tampa BayCycle member Julie Bond was profiled on
Check it out and post your comments at

Tampa BayCycle
Elite 100
Commuter Profile


I am a Physician Assistant with the USF Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, and the commute from my home in Westchase to campus is about 15 miles each way (that is, if I don’t make a detour to Flatwoods Park to add in some extra miles!). It is a straight shot east on Linebaugh, north on Sheldon, then east on Gunn/Ehrlich/Bearss all the way to Bruce B. Downs, then south to campus. There are bike lanes about half the route, and I usually take the Upper Tampa Bay Trail for part of the way home. I probably ride 3-4 days a week, if I can. Some months I commute a total of about 500 miles.

I have been bike commuting for a few months now. I have been riding recreationally and competing in triathlons for about 7 years, after a long cycling hiatus since childhood. Once I started riding again as an adult, I remembered all the good times I had riding while I was younger. Once I started commuting, I could not believe that I did not start commuting sooner. I think bike commuting is like a lot of other activities people think about starting … we always think about starting something, but until we actually make the commitment and start doing it, it remains somewhat distant. However, once you start it, and realize the enjoyment you get from it, it becomes part of your life. That is the way cycling is for me. I ride for the exercise (an extra 30+ miles a day really helps) and it also is a very enjoyable 45 minutes or hour to start the day and to unwind on the way home after a hectic day in the office.

I find it very interesting the comments I get from friends and co-workers about commuting - most are very supportive (if not incredulous about riding on the streets of Tampa), although very few would ever consider commuting themselves. I try to be very positive about my experiences, because they are just that - very positive. I think that if you pay attention, follow the rules of the road and understand that you WILL LOSE any battle with an automobile, commuting can be a very safe and rewarding experience. I would recommend to anyone who is thinking about commuting to plan their route out first by car, and then once you think you have the route, try it out early on a weekend as a ‘pleasure’ ride, when there is very little traffic and you have lots of time. Make sure you are familiar with the area and look for spots that might be tricky if there is traffic. Plan for flats (always carry a spare … and know how to change it!); make sure you invest in a good set of lights (front and back) if you will be riding at all in the early or late hours; carry a bit of spare change – just in case; and probably carry your cell phone. I would also suggest to newer commuters to only ride once or twice a week at first to get used to it and then begin to increase the number of days as you get comfortable with riding.

Enjoy yourself, enjoy the feeling of getting something accomplished before you even begin your work day and enjoy knowing that you are doing something positive for yourself, the community and the environment. Good riding!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tampa BayCycle Commuting

This blog has been created as a forum for Tampa Bay bicycle commuters. Please share your stories, ideas and experiences.