Our intense summertime weather means it’s important to make plans for when one engages in outdoor activities. The best bet, of course, is to get out early, before the heat cranks up and thunderstorms threaten. But not everyone has the self-motivation to hit the road or pathway at that time, so having others to walk, run, or ride with could be just what it takes to make the difference.
One option for finding others who are interested in your preferred activity is through local meetup groups (meetup.com). Most are free or very low cost to join with the only expense being what you would otherwise pay for things like parking or entrance fees to parks or other places the group has decided to use for the select activity. They’re usually quite informal and embrace all skill or fitness levels. Below is a list of some in our area that might be of interest. The idea is that anyone can suggest an outing and take the lead with the help of the features included on meetup. By the way, I inherited the biking meetup group a number of years ago when the original organizers were backing away and asked me if I’d like to take over. My primary reason for agreeing to do so was and remains to get folks educated on the rules of the road and pathways so they can actually enjoy their rides by becoming confident they’re doing the right thing out there, whether on meetup rides or any other time. Give one or another meetups a shot, especially if you’re having trouble dragging yourself out the door this time of year.
At a recent Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinating Committee meeting of the Metropolitan Planning Organization the agenda included an item relating to the Americans with Disability Act. Each jurisdiction was asked to provide an update as to the status of their streets and sidepaths being in compliance with the law that is intended to require public spaces to be accessible to all users, which, by the way, benefits sidepathriding cyclists as well. Although only a few jurisdictions actually provided what could be considered a detailed status report, one that did was the city of Fort Myers.
Since 2010 the city has been working to get into compliance with a U.S. Department of Justice settlement agreement that arose from a complaint acted upon by DOJ. The city representatives reported significant progress had been made since the settlement agreement.