Monday, February 20, 2017

February 20: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events


Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, Feb. 25: Swamp Stomp 5K, to benefit the Caloosa Human Society. 7:30 a.m., Grandeur Oaks Town Center, LaBelle (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Feb. 25: 4th annual TALC Fun Run 5K, by the Teachers Association of Lee County. Hyatt Place at the Forum (3dracinginc.com)
  • Sunday, Feb. 26: Naples Coconut Run 5K.7:30 a.m. at Lowdermilk Park, Naples (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, March 4: 5K Run for Special Populations, Special Population Center, 410 Santa Barbara Blvd., Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Sunday, March 5: Hooters Half Marathon, 7 a.m., Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, March 11: 2017 Shrimp Run 5K, Doc Ford’s on Fort Myers Beach (3dracinginc.com)
  • Thursday, March 16: St. Patrick’s Day 5K Fun Run, Fit & Fuel, 819 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, March 18: Super Pelican Pride 5K, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, March 25: Scope for Hope 5K Run/Walk, Hammond Stadium at the CenturyLink Sports Complex (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, March 25: Running with the Sharks 5K, Oasis High School, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, March 25: 10K Run for the Music, Artis Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com/.

Cycling:
  • Friday, Feb. 24: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. This is an 11 mile ride that rolls as a group at a very relaxed speed of 8-10 mph with a 10 minute break half way through at the Cape Coral Yatch Club. As with all night rides, bike lights (white on front and red on back) are required and helmets are strongly encouraged, required if under 16 years old. 7:00 p.m., Farmer's market parking lot, 4706 SE 11th Place, Cape Coral. (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Saturday, Feb 25: SW Florida Critical Mass will offer a starter/sightseeing ride on Saturday; gather at 9 a.m., roll at 9:15 a.m. from 2160 McGregor Blvd. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction. (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Friday, March 3: SW Florida Critical Mass ride. A family-friendly slow ride through Fort Myers starting at 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. (twitter.com/swflcm or http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Friday, March 10: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:30 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended. (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Saturday, March 11: Sanibel Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:15 p.m. at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended. (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Sunday, March 12: 19th annual Royal Palm Classic, with 15-, 40- and 62-mile rides starting from Fort Myers Brewing Company, 12811 Commerce Lakes Dr, Suite 27-28. (caloosariders.org
  • Friday, March 17: Roll Estero, 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Light Catholic Church at 19680 Cypress View Drive, Estero. Lights required, helmets recommended. (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Sunday, March 19: Cycling for Fallen Heroes, 10-, 28-, 42- and 62-mile rides starting from Trek Bicycle Store of Estero (caloosariders.org).
  • Saturday, March 25: Pedal and Play in Paradise, 15-, 30- and 62-mile rides plus a mystery tour. Laishley Park, Punta Gorda (pedalandplayinparadise.com)
  • 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). 
  •  
Triathlons:
  • Sunday, April 2: Lake Avalon Reverse Triathlon, Duathlon & 5K, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Check trifind.com to find more regional and state tris.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Cape Coral selected as 'Bicycle friendly community of the year' by Florida Bicycle Association



The Florida Bicycle Association has selected Cape Coral as Bicycle Friendly Community of the Year. 


"Your efforts and achievements for bicyclists is shaping our vision for Florida to be a state where bicycling is safe, respected and encouraged as a means of transportation and recreation" wrote Becky Afonso, Executive Director of the Association in a letter to Cape Coral Bike-Ped.

"Your hard work and dedication to bicycling is to be commended and celebrated", she wrote. The award will be presented later this spring, probably in March (Florida Bike Month) or May (National Bike Month).

BikeWalkLee would like to congratulate Carolyn Conant and the entire group of volunteers of CCBP with this award. It is yet another encouraging sign of the continuing developments to improve conditions in Cape Coral and the entire area for bicycling and walking, as a mode of transportation as well as for recreation and tourism.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Support is needed for four Southwest Florida outdoor projects

Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 2/15/2017 
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com

Dan Moser
The new federal administration’s priorities are a problem for those involved in vulnerable road-user safety, increased access for non-motorists and Complete Streets. Even before this troubling transition took place, four important Southwest Florida projects were put at-risk because of local actions.

River of Grass Greenway

The River of Grass Greenway (evergladesrogg.org) is a proposed non-motorized transportation and recreation corridor across the Everglades connecting eastern Collier County and southwestern Miami-Dade. It’s already had some significant funding for studies and planning as well as for construction of some segments on either end. ROGG is part of the SUNTrail, a network that ultimately links Lee County and all of Florida’s southwest coast to the southeast coast.

Projected River of Grass Greenway trail along U.S. 41  (Image: evergladesrogg.org)
While there are plenty of supporters there are also detractors, including, improbably, some in the environmental advocacy community. There is also concern among Native Americans, whose land it will pass through.

When one considers the types of businesses and uses existing along that section of U.S. 41 (airboat rides and souvenir shops) ROGG represents much less impact and has more significance.

At this time the Collier County Metropolitan Planning Organization is considering a resolution to rescind its support of the project. All three of the MPO’s advisory committees - citizen, technical and bike/ped - have recommended against the resolution. The Miami-Dade MPO also remains behind continuing to study and plan ROGG. Collier’s elected officials who serve on the MPO need to take their advisory committees’ advice and reject this shortsighted resolution.

South Cape greenspace

A less ambitious undertaking but just as important in its own way is the fate of the former Cape Coral Golf Club property in South Cape. At 178 acres, it’s by far the largest greenspace in the city’s most established part of town. It’s privately owned and is currently slated to become a national homebuilder’s latest residential project unless the city steps in and purchases the property. An organization called Save Our Recreation (saveourrecreation.us) has been established to advocate for keeping this green gem a place the public can use for generations to come.

Able Canal Trail

In Lehigh Acres, a part of Lee County that’s notoriously underserved in terms of bike/ped accommodation, a 5.5-mile shared-use pathway is proposed to run along the north side of Able Canal. Besides serving as a recreation opportunity, it would provide a critical connection between nearby residential areas and parks. Among amenities being considered are way-finding signage, information kiosks, boardwalks and pedestrian bridges, making it a park in itself.

But, alas, a few NIMBY’s (not-in-my-backyard folks) have made their opposition known. See swflroads.com/ablecanalpathway.

Old Fort Myers

Finally, the city of Fort Myers has yet another opportunity to enhance its bike/ped environment in a long established part of town by utilizing public property to build a trail along the Winkler Canal. The trail would link Cleveland Avenue and points east to McGregor Boulevard and its neighborhoods. But significant opposition from those who live along the canal has become apparent, so Plan B may be a better option. Utilizing the southern and eastern edges of the Fort Myers Country Club to serve the same east-west connection and could also provide a proper north-south link between neighborhoods on either side of the golf course. Some of those opposed to the Winkler Canal trail have expressed interest in working with the city and advocates on alternatives, including Plan-B.

The east and south sides of the Fort Myers Country Club golf course could
provide space for a multi-use path.
(Photo Dan Moser/Florida Weekly)

See BikeWalkLee’s blog for lots more on these projects. ¦

- 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.