Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Public comments needed in support of Bonita-Estero Trail in Seminole Gulf Railroad corridor

 If you haven't acted already,  please provide comments to the State on its draft FL Greenways and Trails System Maps, urging the state to restore the Bonita-Estero Trail to priority status. Last week the Estero Council of Community Leaders (ECCL) heard a presentation by Bonita and Estero Council members urging citizens to support this effort.  Click here to see the PowerPoint presentation about the Bonita-Estero Trail and to see a sample comment letter.  Below is an excerpt from ECCL's latest newsletter reporting on this meeting.

For background information, see BikeWalkLee's earlier blog posts on the topic:
The ECCL Report: October 2017
Executive Summary: 164th meeting of the Estero Council of Community Leaders

SUN TRAIL/ RAIL CORRIDOR - Nick Batos and Peter O’Flynn

The Florida SUNTrail Path Network was the subject of the first joint meeting between the Estero and Bonita Springs councils. This statewide system has been designed with regional connectors from coast to coast and throughout the state. The Florida legislature has committed about $100 million to this system of bike and walking trails. The Gulf Coast connector runs from St. Petersburg to Naples. The Seminole Gulf Railway right of way could be used to connect Estero to this massive trail system.

“The councils collaboratively decided this should be a priority,” stated Bonita Councilman Peter O’Flynn.  However, the state has now made the Coastal Loop, which runs along Fort Myers Beach down to the Bonita Beach area, the main Gulf Coast connector. The Bonita-Estero Trail, which runs along the rail corridor through Estero, has been downgraded from a priority trail to an “opportunity trail.”The Coastal Loop bypasses Estero.

The ECCL is asking its members to send a letter to the Florida Department of Environmental Protections’s Office of Greenways and Trails urging the state to restore the Bonita-Estero Trail to priority status. More information and a sample letter may be found here.

Monday, October 16, 2017

October 16: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Check the current status of the events, using the links below, before heading out.

  • Saturday, Oct. 21: Gulf to Gulf 80 Mile Relay. This relay race, consisting of 30 six person teams, will begin at 6 a.m. with runners winding their way through the tropical streets of Naples continuing north to Bonita Springs, Ft. Myers Beach with a turn around at the Sanibel Causeway. (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Oct. 28: Race 4 F.I.S.H. 10K, 7:30 a.m., Sanibel Community House (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 28: Monster Dash 5K, 7:30 a.m., Fleischmann Park, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Oct. 28: 6th annual LCEC Goblin Gallop 5K Run/Walk.7:30 a.m. at Jim Jeffers Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 5: Fort Myers Marathon, featuring marathon, half-marathon and 5K distances (fortmyersmarathon.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 11: Midpoint Madness 5K, 7 p.m., Royal Palm Square, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 11: Olde Naples 10K, 7:30 a.m., Olde Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Sunday, Nov. 19: Naples Fall Classic Half-Marathon and 5K, 7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (napleshalf.com
  • Thursday, Nov. 23: 37th annual Turkey Trot, Cape Coral Hospital (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Thursday, Nov. 23: Thanksgiving Day 5K Run/Walk, Germain Arena, Estero (eliteevents.org)
  • Thursday, Nov. 23: Gulf Coast Runner’s Thanksgiving 5K, Cambier Park, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com/.

  • Friday, Oct. 20: Roll Estero. Meet at Tropical Smoothie, 10011 Town Commons Drive #104a, Estero, at 7:30 p.m. for a 8 p.m. roll out on an easy 10-miler. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Sunday, Oct. 22: Tour de North Port, start at 8 a.m. with 15-, 35- or 65-mile rides plus an off-road “Gravel Grinders” option. (peoplefortrees.com/tourevent1_17.php)
  • Friday, Oct. 27: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at 7:30 p.m. at 4706 SE 11th Place for a family-friendly ride through the Cape. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Saturday, Oct. 28: Saturday Slow Roll. 8 a.m. meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Friday, Nov. 3: SW Florida Critical Mass ride. A family-friendly slow ride through Fort Myers starting at a special time: 7:15 p.m. Front and rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in the open field next to Publix at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Sunday, Nov. 12: Tour for Epilepsy, 21-, 32- and 62-mile rides, Coasline Cyclery, Fort Myers (caloosariders.org)
  • Ongoing: Join the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club on one of their many weekly rides for members and potential members, with an array of paces and routes to choose from. Check them out online at www.caloosariders.org.
  • For more Lee County cycling and tri events, visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (caloosariders.org); Florida Mudcutters (mudcutters.org); and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bike, walk or run to the nearest great event

Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 10/11/17

It won’t be long until summer’s pattern of daily rainstorms, oppressive heat and high humidity will be little more than a memory. With the change of weather comes plenty of choices for outdoor activities that include running, walking and bicycling events.

There are quite a few organized running and walking events in our own back yard but the majority of managed and supported bike rides take place out of town until later during the tourist season. Especially for cyclists seeking a change of scenery and, in some cases, the challenge of riding hills, there are a number of choices to consider that make a road trip worthwhile. Unfortunately, there’s a bit of a logjam on the third weekend of October so you’ll have to choose wisely.
  • Florida Bicycle Association’s 20th anniversary and annual meeting (floridabicycle.org), Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20-21, St. Petersburg.
Riders prepare for Tour De Cape in Cape Coral in January.. DAN MOSER / FLORIDA WEEKLY
Riders prepare for Tour De Cape in Cape Coral in January. Dan Moser / Florida Weekly

  • Gainesville Cycling Fest (gccfla.org), Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21-22, Gainesville and surrounding communities. This weekend-long event offers many options to fit anyone’s plan. The Santa Fe Century on Saturday and Horse Farm 100 on Sunday; 18-mile Millhopper Ramble, 27-mile Providence Ride, and 65-mile Gravel Challenge dirt road ride on Saturday; and Horse Farm Tour rides of 25-, 30-, and 45-miles on Sunday.
  • Tour de North Port (peoplefortrees.com), Sunday, October 22. Rides of 15-, 35-, and 65-miles through the pine flatwood areas of North Port and the parks that border the Myakkahatchee Creek.
  • Tour for Epilepsy (epilepsy-services.org), Sunday, Nov. 12. Rides of 21-, 32-, and 62-miles in our own town, staging at Coastline Cyclery, Fort Myers. 
  • Horrible Hundred weekend (horriblehundred.com), Friday-Sunday, November 17-19, Clermont. This long-established Florida Freewheelers’ event includes a bike products expo and rides of 35-, 70-, and 100-miles. One of the special aspects of the century ride is that cyclists will climb over 4,000-ft by the time the 100-mile ride is done, with Florida’s second highest point — Sugarloaf Mountain is among the ascents. Prior to the ride on Saturday, Nov. 18, the annual Florida Bicycle Best Practices Workshop takes place. It’s open to anyone who would like to learn or share ideas with other bicycle advocates, enthusiasts, and bike club leadership and be part of solutions for concerns. Registration for the workshop is available at FBA website: floridabicycle.org/floridabicycle summits-and-workshops. 
  • Coastal Cruisers Bicycle Club Pasta Bash (coastalcruisers.net), Saturday, Nov. 18, Port Charlotte. Closer to home than Clermont, this event includes rides of 25-, 50-, and 100-kilometer on flat terrain.
  • Iron Joe Century Ride (naplespathways.org), Sunday, Nov. 26, Naples. This annual ride of 20-, 30-, and 62-miles has become a local tradition. ¦

- Dan Moser is a long-time bicycle/pedestrian advocate and traffic safety professional who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. Contact him at bikepedmoser@gmail.com and 334-6417. 

For Lee County cycling and tri events visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (caloosariders.org); Florida Mudcutters (mudcutters.org); and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). The Florida Bicycle Association (floridabicycle.org) is your source for statewide happenings. BikeWalkLee’s blog site has all the information you’ll need to stay abreast of advocacy efforts in Southwest Florida as well as statewide and nationally.