Friday, August 14, 2009


In case you're wondering what SWFBUD does, let me give you an example from this summer.

Last week, SWFBUD successfully lobbied the Hillsborough County Commission to apply for federal money to fix the closed Friendship TrailBridge after SWFBUD attended TrailBridge public forums on back-to-back nights in St. Petersburg and Tampa several weeks earlier.

Two weeks ago, SWFBUD met with Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe to discuss ways of keeping the county's parks open 7 days a week after the county administrator proposed a budget that called for the closing of the parks two days a week. I, along with Brian Eckman of CBE and Randy Myhre of Olver's, met Sharpe two weeks ago and explained the importance of preserving the current parks schedule, which allows all types of bicyclists to use the parks such as Flatwoods.

SWFBUD also led a bike ride to a county budget hearing last month that included riders from Swamp, the Tampa Bay Freewheelers and the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club.

It paid off -- yesterday the Hillsborough County Commission voted to tentatively restore the parks to a 7-days-a-week operation after the proposed budget originally called for the closure of county parks for two days a week.

The St. Pete Times wrote a story explaining the parks were spared the budget ax

It's the behind-the-scenes, trench work like this that prompted Trek Bicycle Corp. to present SWFBUD with the national advocacy award last night. Congrats to SWFBUD and the six Trek dealers in SWFBUD.

Only four months ago, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, the trade bible that covers the bicycle industry in this country, gave SWFBUD a national advocacy award.

We're on the national radar and people around the country are recognizing our contributions to the Tampa Bay bicycle scene.

Please support SWFBUD and be a vendor or sponsor at the Bicycle Bash by the Bay in downtown St. Petersburg on Oct. 11 from 11 AM to 4 PM.

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