Friday, June 27, 2008

SWFBUD Addresses TBARTA At Its Monthly Meeting

This morning I represented SWFBUD and addressed the board of TBARTA (Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority). The TBARTA Board, chaired by former Bucs player Shelton Quarles, held its monthly board meeting at a golf course country club off State Road 52 near I-75. We need to let people know who serve on governing boards and in transportation agencies that bicyclists need a piece of the pie. Let your voice be heard.

Here was the statement I read into the TBARTA record:

"My name is Alan Snel and I am the director of SWFBUD, which stands for South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers. It’s an attention-grabbing play on words of that water agency name. SWFBUD is a coalition of seven prominent retail bicycle stores in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties and we and our thousands of loyal pedaling customers are united behind one voice – a voice that is committed to advancing bicycling as an effective means of transportation and as a healthy lifestyle in the Tampa Bay region.

In much the same way you get in your car and apply your seat belt, I hop on my bicycle and strap on helmet. I pedal more than 12,000 miles a year in the Tampa Bay area. I have bike-commuted in cities such as New York City, Denver and Fort Lauderdale and I am here to ask you one thing – please integrate bicycling into every facet of your regional transportation planning and execution.

I talk with people all the time who want to bike to work or bike to the store or bike to the park and for many inexperienced cyclists they perceive the current road conditions as too dangerous. No safe place to ride a bicycle.

That needs to change and it will change through your political will and through your bicycle planning in your regional transportation plans. Please make your proposed corridors friendly to bicyclists – require all buses and any potential light rail to include accommodations for bicycles. Have bicycle storage stations at major park-and-rides. Require all roads to have a bike lane when you fix, widen or build a road.

I pledge SWFBUD will do our part. SWFBUD is holding a giant bicycle festival on October 19 in Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg to advocate and celebrate bicycling in all its forms, including bike-commuting. I am personally inviting each one of you to attend the Bicycle Bash by the Bay. SWFBUD also held the first of its “Pedal Power” lecture series just last night at one of our member bike shops and two speakers representing TBARTA – Brian Bollas and Brandie Miklus – spoke about your plans and we responded with one word – bicycle.

Bicycling makes sense and it’s cost-effective. I hope we can be a resource to you as you blend bicycling into your transportation plans and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I appreciate your time.


Alan Snel
Director of SWFBUD, 7 Tampa Bay area bike shops united behind bicycle advocacy and home of the 2008 Bicycle Bash by the Bay

SWFBUD Backs Bicycling In Regional Transportation Planning

West Florida Bicycle United Dealers (SWFBUD) held the first of its Pedal Power Lecture Series tonight at Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium, inviting two representatives from the Tampa Bay Area Transportation Authority to give a presentation on regional transportation planning.

We learned that it's not just bike shop owners who wants more bicycling synthesized into a transportation program that crosses county borders. In fact, many people commented at forums and meetings across teh area about the need for bicycling to be blended into a regional transportation scheme, according to the presentation made by Brian Bollas and Brandie Miklus.

We peppered the two with comments and questions about whether TBARTA's program will include bicycling and they couldn't promise anything but did say many people have told them and the agency that bicycling and walking have to be part of the links in any regional transportation plan.

The TBARTA board meets Friday morning at 9:30 AM at a country club in San Antonio at I-75 and State Road 52 and they might just have a bicycling visitor.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Web Site for the 2008 Bicycle Bash by the Bay

My pal Steve Swiger of the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club, who loves bicycling (you should see some of his works) and is a pretty darn good IT/computer whiz, put together a new Web site for the 2008 Bicycle Bash by the Bay, creating a concise, colorful and user-friendly site peppered with wonderful photos from the past two Bicycle Bashes.

Make this one of your favorites.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sign of the Bicycle Bash by the Bay

Thank you Ryan Wakefield of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority for this terrific sign for the 2008 Bicycle Bash by the Bay. This sign is scheduled to be installed on PSTA buses.

Monday, June 16, 2008

SWFBUD Announces Bicycle Bash by the Bay Is Set For October 19

This morning I pedaled from Seminole Heights across The Bay to St. Petersburg to submit two applications on behalf of SWFBUD to hold the 2008 Bicycle Bash by the Bay at Vinoy Park on October 19. One application is for the city of St. Pete to be a co-sponsor and the other application was for a park permit for the event.

As many of you know from last year, the 2007 Bicycle Bash by the Bay -- a bicycle festival to promote and celebrate bicycling in the Tampa Bay market -- was a tremendous success, drawing 3,000 people to Vinoy Park on Nov. 4, 2007.

This year's event is expected to double that number to 5,000-6,000. SWFBUD is partnering with the Share the Road Ride, which will hold its annual bike ride the morning of the Bicycle Bash by the Bay from Vinoy Park. John Sinibaldi of St. Petersburg is the point-man for the Share Ride, which SWFBUD believes is an ideal theme for the day of bicycling.

The Florida Bicycle Association will also be a partner because the FBA's annual Pro Bike Pro Walk Conference will be in St. Petersburg this year starting October 20.

We have plenty of room for vendors and a table is only $60! Please contact me at for a vendor form so that you reserve your space early.

SWFBUD Meets Congresswoman Kathy Castor Today

Today I represented SWFBUD in a meeting with Congresswoman Kathy Castor, who was in town to chat with locals. I asked the congresswoman to support legislation that would integrate bicycling into transportation plans and to vote for legislation that would allocate money for bicycle transportation projects. She said she was on board and said her husband even biked to work in May.

Friday, June 13, 2008

SWFBUD Holds Forum on June 26 At CBE

SWFBUD (South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers), an alliance of seven Tampa Bay-area bike stores committed to bicycle advocacy, is proud to present the first of its Pedal Power public forum series this month.

SWFBUD has invited a representative from the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority to discuss the role of bicycles in a regional transportation plan for the Tampa Bay area.

The forum is set for:

7 PM on June 26 at Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium in the Grand Plaza at 14407-B North Dale Mabry in north Tampa.

There will be snacks and drinks.

Hope to see you there,

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

SWFBUD Member Store Revolution Bicycles Gets New Digs

Congrats to Revolution Bicycles owner Bill Addler of St. Petersburg, who is moving his bike store across the street to a stand-alone building at the corner of 4th Street and 30th Avenue.

It's a terrific building that Bill bought and has decorated into a cool retail space, complete with wood floors, earthy colors on newly painted walls, a tall ceiling, a ton of natural light coming through big windows, an outdoor deck and even a mini-bike lane painted from the side street through the parking lot right up to his buiiding front door.

Here's Bill hanging out this morning at the new store on the cool deck, which will be used for bike social gatherings.

I loved the bike lane that runs through the parking lot right to the store. Funny thing is some bike lanes around the Tampa Bay area are actually that long.

Check out the special parking sign in front of Bill's store -- good stuff.

Revolution Bicycles is a member of SWFBUD -- South West Florida Bicycke United Dealers. Bill is an active bicycle retailer who cares deeply about bicycle advocacy. He is a member of the mayor's bicycle-pedestrian advisory committee and is known nationally as an advocate retailer.