Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tampa Bay Area Celebrates Florida Bike Month

Story Sources: Julie Bond
(813) 974-9799
New North Transportation Alliance
Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida

Karen Kress
Tampa Downtown Partnership
(813) 221-3686

Tampa Bay Area Celebrates Florida Bike Month with Baycycle Events

TAMPA, Fla. (March 2, 2010) – The New North Transportation Alliance and the Tampa Downtown Partnership announce Tampa BayCycle during March in conjunction with Florida Bike Month. Tampa BayCycle is an initiative that encourages commuters to cycle to work, school or play all year.

This is the fourth year that events of this nature will be held in the Tampa Bay area. Tampa BayCycle is made possible through a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.
Each year Tampa BayCycle recruits “Ambassadors” and “Friends” to join more 1,000 cyclists that have already gotten involved. The Ambassadors are a group of bicyclists who know that riding a bike provides for a sound mind, fit body, and helps the environment. Those who join the Tampa BayCycle Ambassadors commit to encourage at least five other friends, neighbors, co-workers, acquaintances, community leaders, or anyone who wants to join the movement, to try biking instead of driving during the month of March. They gain recognition as local leaders and will be listed on the Tampa BayCycle website. Those who are recruited can become part of the Friends of Cycling, a long-term network of cyclists.
In addition to the Ambassadors and Friends of Cycling, activities are planned throughout the month of March, including a Words for Wheels essay contest, Safety Courses, Individual Commuter Challenge; downtown Tampa Criterium and more. A schedule of events can be found at http://www.tampabaycycle.com.

“We are encouraging people of all ages and abilities to ride bicycles to their destinations instead of driving” said Julie Bond, executive director, New North Transportation Alliance managed by the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida. “Bicycle safety is a top priority and through education, bicyclists and motorists can share the roads more safely and enjoyably.”

Bond, an avid bicycle commuter herself hopes this month will bring greater visibility to the needs of cyclist in the Tampa Bay area. She also encourages cyclists and drivers to sign up for one of the Bicycle Street Skills classes offered during March at USF and downtown Tampa.

Area residents are invited to enter ‘Words for Wheels,’ an essay-based bike giveaway contest. To enter, participants should submit a 200-word essay detailing how winning a bike would change their lives.
“With Tampa BayCycle, we hope to generate an awareness of bicycling as a mode of transportation,” said Karen Kress, director of transportation and planning, Tampa Downtown Partnership, and a bikes on bus commuter. “Fifteen percent of trips are within one mile of home and could easily be taken by bicycle instead of car. With a helmet, proper safety skills and careful route choice, biking becomes a much more feasible and healthier way to get around.”
For additional information regarding Tampa BayCycle and a complete schedule of events, please visit www.TampaBayCycle.com.

Tampa BayCycle encourages commuters to cycle to work, school or play. Tampa BayCycle was recently formed through efforts of the New North Transportation Alliance and the Tampa Downtown Partnership. For more information, visit www.TampaBayCycle.com.

The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR), established in 1988, has become recognized nationally and serves as an important resource for policymakers, transportation professionals, the education system, and the public. With emphasis on developing innovative, implementable solutions to transportation problems, CUTR provides high quality, objective transportation expertise in the form of technical support, policy analysis, and research support that translates directly into benefits for its project sponsors.

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