Saturday, March 31, 2012

SWFBUD Enjoys Talking Bicycling and the Bam At The Tampa Crit

SWFBUD was proud to participate in the Downtown Tampa Crit today as bike racers took to the streets of Tampa. It wass wonderful to meet some old bike friends and also meet new ones today when I chatted about the BAM Network and SWFBUD's tole.

Kudos to Karen Kress and the Tampa Downtown Partnership for putting on the race event and for drawing bicyclists to downtown.

Harsh rains struck about 2:30 PM, and I along with other exhibitors had to pack up but the races carried on and the skies eventually cleared with more spectators coming to downtown to check out the pro racers in the early evening.

Here's Chaz chatting with J. Steele Olmstead, a bicyclist-lawyer who is a SWFBUD member.

Chaz and his partner Monica talk with J. Steele. Great story about Chaz and Monica. When I worked on my first Bicycle Bash 5 1/2 years ago I met Chaz and Monica while I was biking in St. Petersburg near Witham Field with my Bicycle Bash trailer. Chaz and Monica still remember those days.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn was working the crowd and stopped by to say hi. Here's Mayor Bob with SWFBUD lawyer member J. Steele Olmstead.

Mayor Bob enjoys a photo opp with bicyclists, young and old.

Hey, who's that guy with the mayor?

A crit competitor heads out.

Michael with his helmet cam paid a visit.

Ben and Jerry took a break from their ice cream business to stop by the Crit.

And even Bullet made a cameo with his fat tire rig.

Friday, March 30, 2012

SWFBUD Will Be In The House At Saturday's Tampa Crit

Swing by the SWFBUD tent at Saturday's Downtown Tampa Crit race. I'll be visited by SWFBUD lawyers J. Steele Olmstead (11AM), Tom Singletary (1PM) and Morgan Gaynor (4:30PM) who will offer free legal advice about bicycle issues.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

SWFBUD Lawyers Will Offer Legal Advice At The Tampa Crit March 31

Do you have legal questions about bicycling?

SWFBUD will have the answers for you.

SWFBUD's three lawyers -- Tom Singletary, J. Steele Olmstead and Morgan Gaynor of the Mark Roman law Group -- will be at the SWFBUD table offering free legal advice at the Tampa Downtown Crit on Saturday March 31. The lawyers will be available from 3 pm to 7:30 pm, so swing by the SWFBUD tent at the Crit

Monday, March 19, 2012

On Sunday, 1 Bicyclist Killed In Hillsborough and 1 Critically Injured In Pinellas

SWFBUD is saddened to report that there were more bad bicyclist news from car-bike crashes over the weekend in the Tampa Bay area.

On late Sunday night in Seminole in Pinellas County, bicyclist Roger Hiers, 54, of Gibsonton suffered life-threatening head injuries when police said he pedaled into the path of a vehicle driven by John Collins on Park Street N., the Times said.

"Hiers appeared to have been drinking and alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash, investigators said," according to the Times.

Here's the Times story, which offers a few more details.

And early Sunday morning at 3:16 am on US 41 in Lutz in north Hillsborough County, a bicyclist tried to cross US 41 at Crystal Lake Road, police said. He was killed. did not have many details excapt to say, "A man on a bicycle tried to cross U.S. 41 and pulled in front of a northbound Ford Fusion, deputies said. The Ford struck and killed the bicyclist. The names of the victim and the driver of the Ford were not available Sunday."

In less than the last three months in Hillsborough, seven bicyclists have been killed. A common factor is bicyclists killed at night or faint light conditions.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

USF Study Shows Bicyclists Need A Place and Space

Three University of South Florida grad students gave a fascinating presentation to the Tampa/Hillsborough Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee Wednesday evening about motorist, bicyclist and pedestrian attitudes at the USF campus.

One of the interesting conclusions is that motorists didn't like bicyclists on roads and pedestrians didn't like bicyclists on sidewalks, leaving bicyclists wondering where were they welcomed.

Of course, it spoke to the key issue of educating and training motorists to accept bicyclists as part of the traffic and users of our publoc roadways.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

State Legislative Roundup of Bicycle Laws In Tallahassee

Mike Lasche offers a roundup of the bicycle and pedestrian scene in Tallahassee. The gist of the news is that the Florida Legislature just passed laws which:

1) Might raise money for trails by selling naming/sponsorship rights for trails.
2) Repeal the requirement for cyclists to keep at least one hand on the handlebars.
3) No longer restrict the cyclist to a bike lane even when it is dangerous.
4) Allow cyclists to install lights instead of paying fines for not having them.
5) Allow cyclists to use flashing lights at night.
6) Require bicycle helmets to meet the federal standard.
7) Require vehicle drivers to stop when a mobility-impaired pedestrian is in a crosswalk.

Also, motorized wheelchair users are allowed to leave the sidewalk and use the road when no other alternative route exists.

Mike said we feel that the bicycle/pedestrian news from Florida is especially important because, since 2001, Florida has either been #1 or in the top 3 among American states, in both bicycle and pedestrian fatalities per capita. Since no other state comes close to this tragic record, Florida is acknowledged as the worst state in the nation for bike/ped safety.

Thus, these legislative efforts are particularly important.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to correspond with Mike at

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

SWFBUD Says Kudos To Mary Helen Duke For Enlisting Joe Maddon In Bicycle PSA

Mary Helen Duke, who used to work on bicycle trails issues for the city of Tampa, went out and got Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon and the Rays to participate in a bicycle awareness program.

Check out the first PSA with Joe Maddon here.

Mary Helen on her own went out and enlisted Joe Maddon and the Rays to advise bicyclists to be safe when cycling.

The local DOT safety office in Tampa wasted money on a Ybor City ad agency called Dunn and Co. to create an inflammatory campaign that scares bicyclists and pedestrians off the road and emboldens car drivers to feel they own the road. The DOT/Dunn campaign was criticized by the leaders of the Florida Bicycle Association and the League of American Bicyclists. SWFBUD also contacted the DOT to say the DOT/Dunn campaign fails to teach the public that roads are for everyone and that bicyclists and motorized vehicles must learn to properly share the public right-of-way.

Kudos to Mary Helen for approaching the Tampa Bay Rays with her Arrive Home Safe idea and the Rays for having Manager Joe Maddon participate in the PSA campaign.

SWFBUD Mourns Death of Bicyclist Crossing SR 54 In Pasco County

SWFBUD is sorry to report yet another bicyclist death in the Tampa Bay area. A semitrailer truck killed the bicyclist on State Road 54 near the Suncoast Parkway in Odessa in south Pasco County at around 6:30 am when it's still dark outside. That's all the available details at this point.

Read the story here.

Friday, March 2, 2012

SWFBUD Interviewed In Channel 13 News Report On Bicycle Safety

More bicyclist deaths and motorized vehicles cars crashing into bicyclists in Tampa Bay and Lakeland prompted this Channel 13 news report Thursday night.

SWFBUD was interviewed in the TV news report.

By the way, news reporters call these car-againt-bicyclist crashes as "bicycle accidents." Funny how the semantic expression reveals a cultural/social bias against bicyclists.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

SWFBUD Likes Bike Lanes In US301/SR41 Project

The Florida DOT is improving a 1.9-mile stretch of US 301/SR41 outside Tampa by expanding it from two to four lanes and adding bike lanes and sidewalks for the segment. SWFBUD appreciates bike lanes as part of this project. SWFBUD hopes bike lanes are included whenever there is road improvements or construction.

SWFBUD attended an information meeting on the project Tuesday evening.