Monday, December 11, 2017

December 11: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Citygate Ministries Downtown Christmas Run 5K. The Downtown Christmas Run is an exciting way to get into the Christmas spirit. We will be running through downtown Fort Myers over the bridge and back. We will be lighting the course with Christmas lights as our way of spreading Christmas cheer. All of the proceeds will go to the youth at Crossover Youth Center, which is a program that works with at-risk youth in the city of Fort Myers. 6 p.m., downtown Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Christmas Santa Stroll 5K Glow Run. Run on paths lined with thousands of lights and dozens of lighted characters!  Add to the excitement and fun by running or walking with glowing decorations. A true glow run and walk where participants help to decorate beautiful Lake Avalon with their shining movements as they compete in the professionally chip timed 5K.
    5:30 p.m., Sugden Regional Park, Avalon Drive, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 23: Marco 5 Mile Hill Run, 8 a.m., Wesley United Methodist Church, Marco Island (gcrunner.org)
  • Monday, Jan. 1: Dave Cranor 5K/ Big Dave’s Polar Plunge, Lowdermilk Park, Naples. (gcrunner.org).
  • Saturday, Jan. 6: 3rd Annual Facial Hair for Cancer Causes, 10K/5K run, 2 mile walk. Tara Woods, North Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  • Sunday, Jan. 14: Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Old Naples (gcrunner.org).
  • Saturday, Jan. 27: 10th annual Calusa Bug Chase, 5K run/walk, Calusa Nature Center, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:
  • Friday, Dec. 15: Roll Estero is CANCELLED for now.
  • Saturday, Dec 16: Ugly Sweater and Christmas Cookie Ride. Join us for the annual SWFL Critical Mass holiday Crappy Sweater, Cookie and Carol Ride! Grab your ugliest sweater or snarkiest t-shirt, bring your favorite holiday treat to share, light up those bikes and join us for some Holiday Cheer! 6:00 p.m., side lot next to the downtown Publix, 2160 McGregor Blvd · Fort Myers (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Friday, Dec. 29: 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, Dec. 30: 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, Jan. 5: 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/)
  • 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:

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Drive like your kids (or cops) played here


BWL Column
The News-Press, 12/7/2017
by Ken Gooderham

Lee County sheriff's operation targets pedestrian, bicycle safety in traffic problem areas.
Ricardo Rolon/news-press.com
Which is more likely to change your behavior: Fear of harming others (including people you might know), or fear of harming yourself?

This is not an esoteric exercise. Rather, it could be key to making our streets, sidewalks and bike paths safer.

Safety is a big issue locally, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians. Our region has regularly ranked far too high in the “Most Dangerous” places for walking and biking, evidence of a chronic and, sadly, statewide issue putting far too many people at risk on a daily basis.

How do you make streets and sidewalks safer? Three ways:
  • Better facilities, meaning properly designed, adequately interconnected and of sufficient quantity to provide a (somewhat) secure network.
  • Better awareness, by both drivers and walkers/bikers of both the laws under which they all should operate and the courtesies that should be extended to other users.
  • Better enforcement of existing laws or passage of necessary new ones, so those who are determined to flaunt the rules can reasonably expect to pay a price.

So, how are we doing?

On facilities, we’re catching up – with some cities pulling ahead of others. On the county level, the sizeable backlog of bike/ped capital expenditures is still appalling, but there are success stories out there and new designs are at least not letting our roads lose more ground in the fight for safety.

As to awareness, also signs of improvement but with a long way yet to go. As more people bike, run and walk, the awareness of those users increases – both because there are more people out there for motorists to see, and because more walkers and bikers tend to be (we hope) more aware drivers. Again, there’s room for improvement… but the danger seems to be turning from outright hostility toward bike/ped users to benign ignorance.

Enforcement has always been a thorny issue. For it to be effective, it has to be consistent and timely – hard to do unless one posts a police officer on every corner. It also has to have consequences – again problematic, since some of the offenses against bikers and walker is not a primary offense or lacks a serious penalty (unlike the penalty weighing on a biker or walker in an unfortunate interaction with a motor vehicle… which can be serious injury or death).

So the news of the new initiative by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, “High Visibility Enforcement,” is welcome. Deputies are targeting areas prone to bike/ped/car problems. It will run to the end of May, hopefully enough time to both educate good behaviors and eradicate bad habits. And it will underscore both the existing traffic laws and the need to enforce/abide by them. (And you can bet that those LCSO officers on foot who narrowly escape harm at the hands of local drivers will be all the more sensitive to the vulnerabilities of bikers and walkers in the future.)

Of course, enforcement goes both ways; bikers and walkers need to abide by the rules of the road as well. However, given the disparity of consequences for an unfortunate interaction, the bike/ped side of the equation will be far more likely to obey than one may see from the motor vehicle drivers.

That’s why enforcement is crucial, and we hope the LCSO initiative is a great success and can be repeated in the future. But enforcement alone is not enough.

That brings us back the opening question about changing behaviors. You need both enforcement (the fear of harming yourself) and awareness (the fear of harming others) to effective change behavior over the long haul.

People will change their actions if they see a police car parked on a street. But will they will also change their behavior if they see a “Drive Like Your Kids Played Here” sign along the road? Will they be more careful if they fear getting caught OR if they know the cyclist or pedestrian could be someone they know – or that could be them the next time?

 

Ready to ride or run?


Run? Feel like running to celebrate the holidays? Join the Babcock Ranch Jingle Bell 5K/10K for its first outing on Saturday. There’s also a QBE Shootout 5K in Naples that morning. Appropriately, the Christmas theme continues Dec. 16, with evening 5Ks in Fort Myers and Naples. Find out more at 3dracinginc.com, gcrunner.org and eliteevents.org respectively.

Ride? Upcoming Critical Mass rides are NE Lee (Friday night) and Sanibel (Saturday night), with a special “Crappy Sweater, Cookie and Carol” ride Dec. 16 in downtown Fort Myers (details pending, so check on this one before you go). For night rides lights are required, helmets recommended, and details and sign-up info is online at meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events.

Both?  If you want a tri for the holidays, check out the Dec. 17 Christmas Duathlon & Triathlon set for Sugden Regional Park in Naples. Otherwise, check active.com or trifind.com for statewide events.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR RIDE:

Have a favorite route you like to bike, or a unique walk you’d like to share with others? Tell us about it at info@bikewalklee.org, and maybe we can feature it in an upcoming column.

# # #

Ken Gooderham writes this on behalf of BikeWalkLee, a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for complete streets in Lee County — streets that are designed, built, operated and maintained for safe and convenient travel for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Information, statistics and background online at www.BikeWalkLee.org. 


 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Share the road and pathway

Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 12/6/17
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com

As the rest of the country begins to experience the type of weather that understandably sends folks our way, the influx of snowbirds and tourists impacts not only our roads but our pathways as well. That fact means there will be many more opportunities for collisions, conflicts, mishaps and close calls. By following the laws and etiquette that we, as a society, have put in place over the years, our interactions on the road and pathway will be enjoyable and safe. But it takes all parties to make that possibility the rule rather than an exception.

It would seem obvious that pedestrians, being the most vulnerable user of the public rights of way, should have the highest priority in anyone’s mind, if for no other reason than the ease at which we can be seriously injured or killed when mixing in traffic. But even though traffic laws appear to take the vulnerability factor into account, the reality is they are not enforced in that way, nor are laws as pedestrian-friendly as one might expect. In some cases that is very understandable — considering drivers can’t be expected to avoid every potential collision when it’s physiologically impossible due to time and distance elements that are in play with any moving object — drivers get priority.

The most important things to keep in mind when walking, running, skating or operating an assistive device like a wheelchair, are common sense concepts. Be predictable to other users. Use sidewalks and pathways when available and when not obstructed. Pay attention to the surroundings and forgo the use of distracting devices when on public rights of way. Be assertive when necessary at places like crosswalks and other areas where the rights are clear and obvious. Be considerate of others with whom we are sharing the pathway. And be patient when stuck at signals where the only reason we can’t cross when adjacent motor traffic has a green light is because the auto-centric pedestrian signal timing formula makes us wait another cycle for the sake of moving more cars. But we must also keep in mind that, on average, being struck by a motor vehicle at 30 mph gives us a 50 percent chance of survival and being hit at 40 mph decreases the survival chance to only 15 percent. In both cases, if not fatal, major and perhaps permanent injuries will likely result.

Those of us who operate bikes are required to follow the same rules and laws as drivers when using the roadway. One law that doesn’t apply is to maintain a minimum speed that would result in illegally obstructing traffic for motorists. While we are required to ride “as far right as practicable” we are not compelled to ride in the gutter and can, in most cases, use any part of the traffic lane as necessary to be safe from motorists passing illegally (i.e., less than a 3-foot buffer). If travel lanes are less than 14 feet wide (almost all our roads’ lanes are less than that width) we need not ride right when passing traffic puts us at risk. On pathways, bicyclists have second-class status and must not put pedestrians at risk by operating too fast, passing without warning or passing too closely. Bicycle operators must also keep in mind that public roads and pathways aren’t bicycle race courses.


When behind the wheel of our motor vehicles, machines that can easily take and ruin lives, we have the ultimate responsibility to behave appropriately for the power we wield. That’s the law and that’s what society agrees is required of anyone wishing to have the option to drive, at least in theory.

For example, one of the broadest laws, the careless driving statue states: “Any person operating a vehicle upon the streets or highways within the state shall drive the same in a careful and prudent manner, having regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.” (FSS 316.1925). That’s about as direct and basic as it gets, in my opinion. As well, the law that places blame on anyone who rear-ends another vehicle, person, or object is just as direct: “The fact that the speed of a vehicle is lower than the prescribed limits shall not relieve the driver from the duty to decrease speed when approaching and crossing an intersection, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, or when special hazards exist or may exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or other roadway conditions, and speed shall be decreased as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance on or entering the street in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.” (FSS 316.185). Aside from these two comprehensive rules of the road for vehicle operators there are many other laws intended to keep us safe on the roads. But common courtesy — especially when operating around vulnerable users — should always be in play. Perhaps by thinking of that guy on the bike who is holding up traffic as our spouse/brother/father or the woman crossing the street, delaying drivers wanting to make their right turn, as our spouse/sister/mother will help us better understand and have patience with our fellow road users.

Go to floridabicycle.org/bicycle-trafficlaw for details of Florida’s bicycle laws. FDOT’s pedestrian law brochure can be found at alerttodayflorida.com. And, as always, for more about this and similar matters visit BikeWalkLee’s blog at bikewalklee.blogspot.com. ¦

- 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.





Monday, December 4, 2017

December 4: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: Babcock Ranch Jingle Bell 5K/10K. Babcock Ranch will host it’s first Jingle Bell 5k and 10K race on December 9. Babcock Ranch is America’s first solar powered town.  It will eventually be home to 50,000 residents.  Our races will start and finish in our downtown area and will take in some of the most beautiful views in the area. 7:30 a.m., Babcock Ranch (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: QBE Shootout 5K. The QBE Shootout 5K presented by Greg Norman Estates commences on Saturday morning of the tournament, with participants competing on a self-contained course within Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort community. 7:30 a.m., Tiburon Golf Club, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Citygate Ministries Downtown Christmas Run 5K, 6 p.m., downtown Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Christmas Santa Stroll 5K Glow Run, 5:30 p.m. (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 23: Marco 5 Mile Hill Run, 8 a.m., Wesley United Methodist Church, Marco Island (gcrunner.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:
  • Friday, Dec. 8: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride, Gathers at 7:30 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: Sanibel Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:30 p.m. at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Friday, Dec. 15: 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/)
  • 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:

Monday, November 27, 2017

November 27: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: 39th annual City of Palms River 10K Run and 2-mile fun run/walk. 8 a.m., Centennial Park, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: Run for Hannah 5K, 8 a.m., Rotary Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: Collier County Public Schools Wellness Fun Run, 5K competitive race, 5K fun run and 1 mile fun run. 8 a.m., Barron Collier High School (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: Babcock Ranch Jingle Bell 5K/10K, 7:30 a.m., Babcock Ranch (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: QBE Shootout 5K, 7:30 a.m., Tiburon Golf Club, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Citygate Ministries Downtown Christmas Run 5K, 6 p.m., downtown Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Christmas Santa Stroll 5K Glow Run, 5:30 p.m. (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 23: Marco 5 Mile Hill Run, 8 a.m., Wesley United Methodist Church, Marco Island (gcrunner.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:
  • Friday, Dec. 1: 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/)
  • Friday, Dec. 8: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride, Gathers at 7:30 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: Sanibel Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:30 p.m. at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Friday, Dec. 15: 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/)
  • 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:

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Reporting a bike/ped facilities operations problem and getting results: The Fiddlesticks Blvd. story

Last year, BikeWalkLee penned several blog posts about how to report a bike/ped facilities or operations problem and get results. In those blogs we provided information about who to contact to report such a problem and urged you to report problems you see while you're out walking or biking. We suggested that you to track the resolution of the problem, thank the agency staff who addressed the problem and share your stories with the BWL network, including before and after photos, so that we could demonstrate that reporting problems does get action. Today's blog is the story of one success story from the Fiddlesticks Rd. community.

By Ben and Kelly Bishop
 (Residents of the Legends and long-time advocates for safe biking and walking on Fiddlesticks Blvd.)
 

 The long-awaited Fiddlesticks Blvd. shared use path opened in December 2016, with great fanfare
(See BWL Column: Patience pays off for Fiddlesticks Blvd. community), and the road itself was repaved in the Spring of 2017.  When we returned to Lee County in October (after Hurricane Irma), we discovered that the road edge had degraded and there was a 6 inch drop that could damage a car wheel or cause a bike/car crash.  We took photos of the problem and emailed them to the LeeDOT RFA (request for action) team.  We got an immediate response from the team that they would look into it.  Within 3 weeks, the LeeDOT maintenance crew had come out and fixed the problem.

Below are the before and after photos:
Before

After   
Thanks to the LeeDOT RFA team for quickly fixing a safety problem for cars, bikes, and walkers!

BWL Note:
So next time you see a problem when you're out walking or biking, take the time to report it to the RFA team.  Take a few pictures of the problem, make notes on the approximate location (e.g., X feet east of Oakwilde Street), and then file a report through LeeDOT's RFA system. You can either fill out a form online, email or call (239-533-9400). 

 Not only is your walk or ride likely to be safer and more enjoyable next time, the fix will benefit everyone who uses these facilities in Lee County. We, the thousands of users of the bike/ped facilities throughout the county, can be the eyes and ears for the staff on a daily basis. And when you get that email from RFA telling you that the problem is fixed, don't forget to send them a thank you email....and share it with us (info@BikeWalkLee.org) so we can share it with the BikeWalkLee network.
Below is the key contact information that you should keep handy:

Form online: https://www.leegov.com/dot/requestforaction
Email: RFA@leegov.com
Call: (239)533-9400

The LeeDOT RFA team does a terrific job of responding to the reports in a timely manner, not only sending you an email response but actually going onsite to fix the problem and reporting back to you when it's done.

Thanks for being an engaged user...and a big thanks to the RFA team that quickly responds to the reports.


p.s. put the RFA contact info in your I-Phone NOW so you have it when you need it.

Click here for a one-pager with all who/what/when/how to report (keep this handy)

BikeWalkLee Related Blog Posts:


BWL blog 4/16/16: http://bikewalklee.blogspot.com/2016/04/how-to-report-bikeped-facilities-or.html

BWL blog 4/28/16: BikeWalkLee'sColumn in News-Press "Go Coastal" section: 4/28/16

BWL blog 7/26/16: Reporting a problem with a roadway and getting results: The story of one pothole and FDOT









Friday, November 24, 2017

This Sunday: Naples Fit & Fuel Iron Joe Turkey Ride

Fit & Fuel Iron Joe Turkey Ride, Naples' After-Thanksgiving Cycling Tradition, is this Sunday, November 26 from 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at 819 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Pavilion Shopping Center, Naples, FL.

The Fit & Fuel Iron Joe Turkey Ride is Naples’ Sunday-after-Thanksgiving cycling tradition. In its 12th year, the event is named in honor of bicycle advocate and world-class Iron Man athlete Joe Bonness who was one of the original founders and presidents of Naples Pathways Coalition.

The revelry begins and ends in the side lot of Fit & Fuel Bicycle Café in the Pavilion Shopping Center on Vanderbilt Beach Road. There are fully supported rides for all levels – 62 , 30, 20 miles -  and a 5 mile Family Fun Ride. Included in the fee are an ice cold beer or beverage, a great band, and a delicious lunch by Johnsonville Sausage Marketplace and Food & Thought Organic Café. Kids 12 years and under are FREE with a paid adult.

Proceeds from the even help fund the work of Naples Pathways Coalition.
Registration & Information: http://www.naplespathways.org/event-2625739.
Questions: 239-777-7781.



Thursday, November 23, 2017

BWL Column: Gallup before you gobble?


BWL Column
The News-Press, 11/23/2017
by Ken Gooderham

Buffalo YMCA Turkey Trot, 2011
For most of you, today is a day of food and family. But, for some of you, it’s also a day to lace up those running shoes and start the morning out with a run… specifically, a turkey trot.

There are no shortage of such opportunities around Southwest Florida, with Thanksgiving runs set from north (both Englewood and Punta Gorda) to south (Naples), and from venerated (Cape Coral, at 38 years) to newcomer (Estero, on its third year).

It makes sense to balance out a day so focused on food with a little early-morning exercise – the better to work up an appetite. But the idea of a Turkey Day race goes back a long way – and can cover a lot of different distances.

Likely the first such event was the Buffalo Turkey Trot, billed as the oldest continually running public footrace (established in 1896) in the United States. Some T-Day races draw thousands of runners and walkers, with events in Dallas and Austin pulling in 20,000 to 25,000 registrants.

Distances can vary, although the local preference is your standard 5K. At the other end of the spectrum was the Atlanta Marathon which, for more than 40 years, was held on Thanksgiving. (It has since been moved to another day.)

Locally, all our Thanksgiving events are early-morning 5Ks… so if you slept in this morning you missed all the action. Most benefit a worthy cause, from Habitat for Humanity (Punta Gorda) to the Cape Coral Hospital Wellness path (Cape Coral) to St. Matthew’s House (Naples) to San Carlos Park Roller Hockey (Estero) to the Englewood Area Cancer Foundation (Englewood).

If running is not your thing, or you’d rather eat first then exercise, grab your bike and get ready for a long ride.

Caloosa Riders offers its annual Turkey Leg Century on Friday, Nov. 24, with distances of 100 miles (a full century), 62 miles (a metric century) and 20 miles. On Sunday, you can join the Iron Joe Turkey Ride, with distances of 62, 30, 20 and 5 miles included in a full slate of events.

And if that’s all too energetic, it’s Critical Mass to the rescue with a Cape Coral ride Friday night and a downtown Slow Roll Saturday morning.

Just something to keep in mind as you reach for that second helping of stuffing and turkey.

Let’s give thanks


In the spirit of the day, a few things to be thankful for (feel free to add your own, of course):
  • Be thankful that, for as bad as Irma was, it could have been worse. Just ask the people in Puerto Rico or Houston. Here, the lights are on and the debris piles are (mostly) gone.
  • Be thankful that we live in a place where you can ride, run or walk every day, if you’re so inclined.
  • Be thankful we have such dedicated running and cycling clubs, who keep the events and enthusiasm coming.
  • Be thankful that, slowly but surely, we’re seeing improvements in the bike/walk infrastructure – and, because of that, an increase in the people biking, walking and running.
  • Finally, we hope, be thankful you can share this day with people who matter to you – people who give you another reason to be thankful.

 

Ready to ride or run?


Run? Looking beyond the Turkey Trots, be part of another tradition by joining the River Run 10K, celebrating 39 years in downtown Fort Myers on Saturday, Dec. 2. There’s also 5K race that day in both Cape Coral and Naples. Want to be part of a new tradition? Join the Babcock Ranch Jingle Bell 5K/10K for its first outing on Dec. 9. Find out more at ftmyerstrackclub.com, 3dracinginc.com and gcrunner.org respectively.

Ride? Besides the Turkey rides mentioned above, upcoming Critical Mass rides are Cape Coral (Friday night) Fort Myers (a Saturday morning slow roll), Fort Myers again (for a Dec. 1 night ride), NE Lee (Dec. 8 night) and Sanibel (Dec. 9 night). For night rides lights are required, helmets recommended, and details and sign-up info is online at meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events.

Both? You’ve got time to train for the Dec. 17 Christmas Duathlon & Triathlon set for Sugden Regional Park in Naples. Otherwise, check active.com or trifind.com for statewide events.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR RIDE:

Have a favorite route you like to bike, or a unique walk you’d like to share with others? Tell us about it at info@bikewalklee.org, and maybe we can feature it in an upcoming column.

# # #

Ken Gooderham writes this on behalf of BikeWalkLee, a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for complete streets in Lee County — streets that are designed, built, operated and maintained for safe and convenient travel for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Information, statistics and background online at www.BikeWalkLee.org. 


 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

‘Bike friendly’ includes accepting legal group rides


Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 11/21/17
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com

Being designated a Bike Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists is an honor and something any community should strive for. Potential benefits — if not already realized, at least to some degree — come in the form of quality of life, safety and economics. The extensive application process requires documentation of the many aspects of eligibility, from infrastructure to traffic crash statistics to community commitment.

Besides advocates, bike promoters and citizen visionaries who are usually the driving forces behind seeking BFC status, the local government must buy in and be an integral part of the application process, since much of the documentation and commitment that’s required comes from them.

This generally results in a unified voice but sometimes there’s disagreement between the two camps’ vision of what being “bike-friendly” really means.

Over a decade ago, Lee County completed an application that included only unincorporated Lee County, but that attempt was summarily dismissed and Lee County didn’t even make honorable mention. The county received a long list of “to dos” from LAB so it at least had a starting point. From a practical standpoint, whole counties rarely do well since there are so many disparate sub-communities, including underserved ones that have little. But now two municipalities in Lee have been granted BFC status — the city of Sanibel and the city of Cape Coral, the former being a silver-level BFC and latter bronze.

I’m writing about this is because I continue to hear of incidents on Sanibel that make me wonder about whether its silver-level status is deserved. In particular, those who choose to use the road seem to be unwelcome there.

Sanibel’s network of multi-use paths is well known and is one of the reasons the island community is such a popular tourist and day-tripper destination. Other than bike lanes on a few hundred yards of San-Cap Road near the Blind Pass Bridge to Captiva, and paved shoulders on a very short segment of Causeway Boulevard, there is nothing in place to accommodate on-road cyclists.

Group riders - courtesy lsu.edu
That’s not necessarily a problem because the top speed limit on the island is 35 mph, making road riding both safe and enjoyable for many cyclists. What does appear to be a problem, however, is that the city doesn’t seem to want cyclists anywhere but on the paths.

If that’s indeed the case, Sanibel is not alone in its lack of enthusiasm for group riders on its roads, sometimes for valid reasons. Our public roads are not race courses so anyone who operates on them is if they were — in or on any vehicle — deserves to be treated as the law dictates. And when cyclists come in large numbers and operate legally, sometimes creating delay or causing motorists to be extra careful when around them, they should be allowed to proceed on the public roads just like other legal users.

I’ve received reports of cyclists in group rides being stopped for obstructing traffic, riding two abreast, and tailgating. Interestingly, the first two of those actions are completely legal while tailgating is a common and useful cycling tactic that allows a group to travel much faster than one could alone. On Sanibel that can mean the group is oftentimes able to operate near the speed limit.

Florida law requires cyclists to ride as “far right as practicable” and may ride two abreast when not impeding traffic. Here’s where a problem seems to lie: According to the Florida Greenbook (fdot.gov/roadway/floridagreenbook), the official roadway standards guide, any travel lane less than 14 feet wide is considered “substandard” in terms of it being able to accommodate a bicycle and motor vehicle side-by-side and still allow the required three-foot buffer between the two. In such cases a person operating a bike may ride on any part of the lane and is not illegally impeding traffic; riding two abreast does not change this dynamic and in fact should be encouraged since it shortens the length of the group, whether there are 20 or two riders in that group, thus making them easier to pass if necessary. It is, by the way, legal to pass stationary objects or vehicles travelling less than the posted speed limit in a no-passing zone when safe to do so.

Being a BFC means there’s a commitment to embrace the use of bicycles. This includes those who choose to use the paths or roads. In Sanibel’s case, the usually busy pathways are not appropriate or safe for those who operate at speeds approaching the motor vehicle speed limits, nor is it safe for other pathway users. If Sanibel truly deserves its BFC designation it will deal with this fact in a different way than they sometimes have been. And cyclists — especially group riders — cannot expect the city to tolerate cyclists who treat their roads or paths as race courses or break traffic laws. I trust everyone can agree that both parties must cooperate. As always, for more about this and similar matters, visit BikeWalkLee’s blog at bikewalklee.blogspot.com. ¦


- 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.





Monday, November 20, 2017

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

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Thursday, Nov. 23: 37th annual Turkey Trot. Proceeds from the event will help construct Cape Coral Hospital’s Pathway to Discovery and benefit Fort Myers Track Club youth scholarships. 6:00 a.m. Check-in; 7:30 a.m. - Start. Wellness Center, 609 SE 13th Ct., Cape Coral (leehealth.org, 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
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: 39th annual City of Palms River 10K Run and 2-mile fun run/walk. 8 a.m., Centennial Park, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: Run for Hannah 5K, 8 a.m., Rotary Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: Collier County Public Schools Wellness Fun Run, 5K competitive race, 5K fun run and 1 mile fun run. 8 a.m., Barron Collier High School (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: Babcock Ranch Jingle Bell 5K/10K, 7:30 a.m., Babcock Ranch (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: QBE Shootout 5K, 7:30 a.m., Tiburon Golf Club, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Citygate Ministries Downtown Christmas Run 5K, 6 p.m., downtown Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Christmas Santa Stroll 5K Glow Run, 5:30 p.m. (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 23: Marco 5 Mile Hill Run, 8 a.m., Wesley United Methodist Church, Marco Island (gcrunner.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com/

Cycling:
  • Friday, Nov. 24: 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/)
  • Friday, Nov. 24: Turkey Leg Century. Welcome Ride, 20 mile distance @ 14-16 miles per hour (no drop); Metric Century, 62 miles @ 16-18 miles per hour (no drop); Full Century, 100 mile @ 18-20 miles per hour (self supported). 7 a.m., Publix @ Daniels Crossing Shopping Center
    6890 Daniels Pkwy. Details at caloosariders.org.
  • Saturday, Nov. 25: 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/)
  • Sunday, Nov. 26: Iron Joe Turkey Ride, 62-, 30-, 20- and 5-mile rides, starts and ends at Fit & Fuel Bicycle Café, Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples (caloosariders.org
  • Friday, Dec. 1: 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/)
  • 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, Dec. 17: Christmas Sprint Duathlon & Triathlon, 7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.

Friday, November 17, 2017

In case you missed Dan Moser on Gulf Coast Live

In case you missed Dan Moser's interview on Monday's Gulf Coast Live re: Lee County's ranking as most dangerous place in the country for pedestrians, click here to listen and/or read. Thanks, Dan.

Cape Coral-Fort Myers Area 'Most Dangerous' For Pedestrians In U.S.

Jan 11, 2017


Pixabay/Public Domain

A recent national study rates the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area the most dangerous in the country for pedestrians. And Florida was labeled the worst state, overall.

The nonprofit group Smart Growth America said pedestrians in Cape Coral and Fort Myers are at most risk based on the number of people struck and killed by cars between 2005 and 2014.

Dan Moser is with the local advocacy coalition Bike, Walk, Lee. He’s not surprised with the latest report. Moser said Lee County’s roads are designed like highways, which he said induces speed. Plus, he said there’s a lack of sidewalks and amenities for walkers and cyclists.

"But even where they do exist, and they're up against a highway, you gotta cross a 6, 8,12-lane intersection that's not very friendly to you-- doesn’t matter how many sidewalks you have or crosswalks. It's just not conducive to people wanting to use them," said Moser.

But the study’s data stops at 2014, and Moser said a lot of improvements have been made by the county in the last couple years.

Donald Scott, with the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization, said they’ve adopted a master plan looking into pedestrian and cyclist needs. In 2015, they got $40 million from state and federal funds, alone, to make Lee County streets pedestrian-friendly. But Scott said it’s not just about infrastructure.

"One of the things we'd like to see also from the education side of it is more attentive driving, avoid distraction" said Scott. "Quite a few of these fatalities happen at night-- about 40 percent. And wearing bright clothing and flashlights and reflective clothing would help."

Scott hopes to see some more changes within the next five years. But Lee County is not the only one with the problem. Eight out of the top 10 worst metro areas in the country were in Florida, placing the state as the most hazardous for pedestrians.

More than 5,000 people died walking on Florida roads between 2005 and 2014. Alex Dodd is with the group that released the report. She said overall, people of color in low income communities and older adults were most affected.

"For people of color and low income communities, we know those populations walk more. So the more that you walk, as a pedestrian, the greater your exposure is to being struck and killed or just being struck and injured," she said. "For older adults... they move more slowly, have lower eyesight and sometimes pedestrian infrastructure is just not built to accommodate those types of impairments."

Dodd said she hopes the Florida Department of Transportation uses this study to improve the state’s roads for walkers, especially those at higher risk of being hit by a car.

This story answers a Curious Gulf Coast question from Dan Moser asking, "What are the reasons for our area being deemed the most dangerous place in the US to be a pedestrian (cyclists don't fare well, either?"


Article link: http://wgcu.drupal.publicbroadcasting.net/post/cape-coral-fort-myers-area-most-dangerous-pedestrians-us

Monday, November 13, 2017

November 13: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Sunday, Nov. 19: Naples Fall Classic Half-Marathon and 5K. The Naples Fall Classic Half Marathon features miles of scenic waterfront views, brand new paved nature trails, bridges and so much more.  The scenic course will showcase the brand new Isles of Collier Preserve neighborhood and Sugden Regional Park while finishing in front of the lake front stadium amphitheater full of fans.7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (napleshalf.com
  • Thursday, Nov. 23: 37th annual Turkey Trot. Proceeds from the event will help construct Cape Coral Hospital’s Pathway to Discovery and benefit Fort Myers Track Club youth scholarships. 6:00 a.m. Check-in; 7:30 a.m. - Start. Wellness Center, 609 SE 13th Ct., Cape Coral (leehealth.org, 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
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: 39th annual City of Palms River 10K Run and 2-mile fun run/walk. 8 a.m., Centennial Park, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: Run for Hannah 5K, 8 a.m., Rotary Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: Collier County Public Schools Wellness Fun Run, 5K competitive race, 5K fun run and 1 mile fun run. 8 a.m., Barron Collier High School (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: Babcock Ranch Jingle Bell 5K/10K, 7:30 a.m., Babcock Ranch (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: QBE Shootout 5K, 7:30 a.m., Tiburon Golf Club, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Citygate Ministries Downtown Christmas Run 5K, 6 p.m., downtown Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Christmas Santa Stroll 5K Glow Run, 5:30 p.m. (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 23: Marco 5 Mile Hill Run, 8 a.m., Wesley United Methodist Church, Marco Island (gcrunner.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com/

Cycling:
  • Friday, Nov. 17: 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/)
  • Friday, Nov. 24: 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/)
  • Friday, Nov. 24: Turkey Leg Century, details to come at caloosariders.org.
  • Saturday, Nov. 25: 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/)
  • Sunday, Nov. 26: Iron Joe Turkey Ride, 62-, 30-, 20- and 5-mile rides, starts and ends at Fit & Fuel Bicycle Café, Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples (caloosariders.org
  • Friday, Dec. 1: 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/)
  • 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, Dec. 17: Christmas Sprint Duathlon & Triathlon, 7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

BWL's Dan Moser on WGCU's ‘Gulf Coast Live’ this Monday

BWL's Dan Moser will be on WGCU's Gulf Coast Live call-in show on Monday, 11/13, at approx. 1:30 p.m. to discuss the League of American Bicyclist's report card on our bicycling environment. The report featured in this week's Dan Moser column. Florida State Senator Kathleen Passidomo, a supporter of our cause and a sponsor of vulnerable road user bills, will also be a guest.

BWL Column: The case for walking

BWL Column
The News-Press, 11/8/2017
by Ken Gooderham

Image: health.usnews.com
It’s one of the simplest and most accessible exercise regimes around, yet it’s also an essential skill that can have a tremendous impact on both the quality and quantity of life you enjoy. It can help you lose weight, gain insights and reduce stress.

Sound miraculous? Not really… it’s just walking, the exercise everyone takes for granted (until they can’t).

Walking is a pathway to both fitness and to wellness. Let me explain.

Walking for fitness typically means to improve your health by reducing weight, building muscle, improving cardiovascular function, etc. You set goals and track progress with a regular routine designed to challenge your body – albeit in a low-impact way that makes this an ideal entry point for exercise.

Walking for wellness means maintaining your health and mobility, to help your body combat aging and infirmity and to keep both your muscles and your mind better toned. It keeps you moving mentally and physically, a benefit you probably never fully grasp until you have those mobility skills challenged.

You see, walking is not just the means to get around. It strengthens balance and endurance, enabling you to stay independent longer – ever more critical as we live longer and have less support systems around on which to rely.

So if walking is so easier and so good for you, why don’t more people do it? There are a variety of reasons/excuses:
  • It’s inconvenient. Everyone drives everywhere, then cruises the parking lot to find the closest parking spot. Or there’s nowhere nearby where it’s safe to walk, with so many local streets lacking sidewalks or even decent shoulders.
  • It’s inclement. The summers here are hot and humid, and it’s too easy to get caught in the rain. When the weather gets better, the traffic gets worse – and shorter amounts of daylight further curtail your chances to take a stroll.
  • It’s uninspiring. Frankly, you’re more likely to walk when there’s something to walk to and when that’s the faster way to get somewhere. But our roads and development patterns revolve around cars, so unless you are in a more densely populated area (think downtown) or a place where traffic makes you think twice about jumping in your car (think the islands in season), walking is not likely your first choice.
Well, it should be (your first choice, that is) for all the reasons above.

You can combat inconvenience by making walking more of a habit, by parking further away from your destination and letting your legs do some of the work. You can look around your neighborhood for safer routes (or go where it’s easier to walk as a last resort. While you’re doing that, look at who else is out walking… if it’s some you know (or should), maybe you could join them for a walk (one of the better ways to motivate yourself.

Inclement? In the summer, walk early or late when both the heat and rainfall chances are lower. In the winter, make time to walk – or get yourself some lights and reflectors and walk when it’s a little darker.

Uninspired? Get over it! Put on a good pair of shoes and hit the bricks… and inspiration may just come when you least expect it. Maybe it will be a better mood, or a few less pounds and a few more muscles. Maybe it just be how good you feel after a good walk.

Finally…


Looking for a different place to run? How about the Midpoint Bridge?

Midpoint Madness is back, in the annual 5K put on by the YMCA. This year, both the calendar and the weather are on your side, with a Saturday night race (starts at 7 p.m.) and moderate temperatures (thank you, cool fronts) making this an ideal event. The only downside? The ups and downs of the bridge itself, a possible shock to those used to our flat terrain.

Interested? Look for the link at ftmyerstrackclub.com and join the crowds this Saturday night rallying at Royal Palm Square.

Ready to ride or run?


Run? Besides the Midpoint 5K, you have plenty of choices and distances: The Olde Naples 10K is also this Saturday, while the Coconut Run 5K is Sunday. The following weekend brings you the Naples Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K. Find out more at gcrunner.org, 3dracinginc.com and napleshalf.com respectively.

Ride? Upcoming Critical Mass rides are NE Lee (Friday) and Sanibel (Saturday), with Estero on Nov. 17. For night rides lights are required, helmets recommended, and details and sign-up info is online at meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events. For a more traditional group ride, there’s the Tour for Epilepsy next Sunday, with 21-, 32- and 62-miles rides starting from Coastline Cyclery in Fort Myers; details at caloosariders.org.

Both? You’ve got time to train for the Dec. 17 Christmas Duathlon & Triathlon set for Sugden Regional Park in Naples. Otherwise, check active.com or trifind.com for statewide events.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR RIDE:

Have a favorite route you like to bike, or a unique walk you’d like to share with others? Tell us about it at info@bikewalklee.org, and maybe we can feature it in an upcoming column.

# # #

Ken Gooderham writes this on behalf of BikeWalkLee, a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for complete streets in Lee County — streets that are designed, built, operated and maintained for safe and convenient travel for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Information, statistics and background online at www.BikeWalkLee.org. 


 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Florida’s bikeability report card a mixed bag


Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 11/7/17
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com

Editor's Note: Dan Moser will be on WGCU's Gulf Coast Live call in show on Monday, 11/13, at approx. 1:30 p.m. to discuss LAB's report card. Florida State Senator Kathleen Passidomo, a supporter of our cause and a sponsor of vulnerable road user bills, will also be a guest.

If you came home with a report card similar to the one Florida just received from the League of American Bicyclists, grading the bicycling environment, you might be happy but confused. While we received a solid “B” there are so many negatives noted that it would make you wonder how that “B” is possible.

LAB’s 2017 Bike Friendly State Report Card (bikeleague.org) ranks Florida 15th out of 50 states, up from 24th in 2015, the date of the last report and 28th in 2014. We fare very well in most categories, ranking 8th best for infrastructure and funding; 6th for education and encouragement; 3rd for policies and programs; and 10th for evaluation and planning. Much of those good marks can be attributed to Florida Department of Transportation’s commitment to Complete Streets, both in policy and practice, something that’s trickling down to county and other local governments, at least to some degree.

Anyone who has a disability, rides a bike, walks or runs should be thankful for this major change of approach to infrastructure planning and construction by FDOT. It’s due to the herculean efforts of Billy Hattaway, our area’s former FDOT district secretary. And he made it happen not just in our district but statewide. However, there remain key weak points that even he could not affect.

Florida is near the bottom in legislation and enforcement, ranking 42nd. The report stated, “Florida has a long and sustained record as one of the most dangerous states for bicyclists. Florida has the highest per capita bicyclist fatality rate by two standard deviations and this rate is increasing. This extraordinary safety crisis deserves extraordinary actions by FDOT and all communities in Florida to improve traffic safety, particularly for people who bike and walk.”

At the state level, Florida fails to enact legislation to make our roads and paths safer for all users. In particular, LAB points to the lack of any real distracted driving laws or penalties and the legislature’s obsession with banning all local governments from using photo-enforcement of traffic laws. Ironically, the few laws that have been put in place have made it less safe for cyclists and pedestrians.

LAB notes the need to rescind the relatively recent change to the law that now requires bicyclists use bike lanes when they exist. While this may seem like a no-brainer, the fact is that far too many bike lanes are poorly designed, not adequately maintained, or made unusable by illegally parked vehicles and other obstacles. Florida Bicycle Association (floridabicycle.org) has been a strong opponent of this law, legislation that was slipped into a catchall bill at the end of the session a few years ago.

Another area needing to be addressed is Florida’s lack of a statewide bicycle plan. We have a state trail plan, something that has allowed local governments to tap into funds they’d otherwise not have access to. An on-road bike plan would do the same, as well as assist local jurisdictions when developing their own plans, as has been the case with the SunTrail Plan. Funding is also a shortcoming, according to the report, which gives us a low mark for policies that limit the ability to fund bicycling and walking infrastructure. Finally, other than counting bike/ped crashes, injuries, and fatalities — for which we have far too much experience and opportunity — data collection on users and latent demand needs to be significantly improved. In Lee County we essentially have no such data collection ability or programs other than when consultants are called in for specific projects.

Florida did well on advocacy and FDOT’s education efforts but not so good on driver education. Local efforts led by BikeWalkLee, Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition, Stay Alive…Just Drive!, Lee Trauma Services and others are always working to fill those vital needs.

Local governments should also heed the LAB report. The urgent call to take immediate and significant action to reverse our record of being the most dangerous place in the U.S. for non-motorists is the loud and clear message. For more about these matters visit BikeWalkLee’s blog at bikewalklee.blogspot.com. ¦

- 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.





Monday, November 6, 2017

November 6: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, Nov. 11: Old Naples 10K. The Old Naples 10K registration starts at 6:30am, the 10K will begin promptly at 7:30 a.m. The KIDSCAN 2K Fun Run/Walk will start at 8:00 a.m. Registration will take place for both at the Gazebo located on Third Street South/Broad Avenue in downtown Naples. Food and beverages will be available following the race beginning at 8:30am at the Gazebo. There will also be other great restaurant promotions and activities following the run on Third Street South.7:30 a.m., 1161 3rd St S, Naples 3402 (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Nov. 11: Midpoint Madness 5K. This run will begin on Colonial Blvd a top the McGregor flyover you will run on the bride over the Caloosahatchee River towards Cape Coral and then return to the finish line back at the entrance to Royal Palm Square Shopping Center. All Proceeds to benefit the YMCA Youth programs. 7 p.m., Royal Palm Square, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Sunday, Nov 12: Achieva Credit Union’s Coconut Run 5K. Support local Cape Coral schools and enjoy a unique racing experience! You’ll enjoy a two-loop course through the Festival grounds with a festive luau finish line celebration! All participants will receive a commemorative race shirt and FREE pancake breakfast for our Veterans and runners. 7:30 a.m., Sun Splash Family Water Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com
  • 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
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: 39th annual City of Palms River 10K Run and 2-mile fun run/walk. 8 a.m., Centennial Park, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: Run for Hannah 5K, 8 a.m., Rotary Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: Collier County Public Schools Wellness Fun Run, 5K competitive race, 5K fun run and 1 mile fun run. 8 a.m., Barron Collier High School (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: Babcock Ranch Jingle Bell 5K/10K, 7:30 a.m., Babcock Ranch (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: QBE Shootout 5K, 7:30 a.m., Tiburon Golf Club, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Citygate Ministries Downtown Christmas Run 5K, 6 p.m., downtown Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Christmas Santa Stroll 5K Glow Run, 5:30 p.m. (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 23: Marco 5 Mile Hill Run, 8 a.m., Wesley United Methodist Church, Marco Island (gcrunner.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com/

Cycling:
  • Friday, Nov. 10: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:30 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Saturday, Nov. 11: Sanibel Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:30 p.m. at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Sunday, Nov. 12: Tour for Epilepsy, 21-, 32- and 62-mile rides, Coasline Cyclery, Fort Myers (caloosariders.org
  • Friday, Nov. 17: 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/)
  • Friday, Nov. 24: 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/)
  • Friday, Nov. 24: Turkey Leg Century, details to come at caloosariders.org.
  • Saturday, Nov. 25: 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/)
  • Sunday, Nov. 26: Iron Joe Turkey Ride, 62-, 30-, 20- and 5-mile rides, starts and ends at Fit & Fuel Bicycle Café, Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples (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).
Triathlons:
  • Sunday, Dec. 17: Christmas Sprint Duathlon & Triathlon, 7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.

Monday, October 30, 2017

October 30: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, Nov. 4: Making Tracks for Missions 5K. This project will help build a center in Baneasa, Romania. The center will provide hot meals, school supplies, health classes and even a greenhouse to grow veggies. First Assembly of God Church, 8 a.m. (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 12: Achieva Credit Union’s Coconut Run 5K, 7:30 a.m., Sun Splash Family Water Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com
  • 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
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: 39th annual City of Palms River 10K Run and 2-mile fun run/walk. 8 a.m., Centennial Park, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: Run for Hannah 5K, 8 a.m., Rotary Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: Collier County Public Schools Wellness Fun Run, 5K competitive race, 5K fun run and 1 mile fun run. 8 a.m., Barron Collier High School (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: Babcock Ranch Jingle Bell 5K/10K, 7:30 a.m., Babcock Ranch (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: QBE Shootout 5K, 7:30 a.m., Tiburon Golf Club, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Citygate Ministries Downtown Christmas Run 5K, 6 p.m., downtown Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Christmas Santa Stroll 5K Glow Run, 5:30 p.m. (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 23: Marco 5 Mile Hill Run, 8 a.m., Wesley United Methodist Church, Marco Island (gcrunner.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com/

Cycling:
  • 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/)
  • Friday, Nov. 10: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:30 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Saturday, Nov. 11: Sanibel Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:30 p.m. at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Sunday, Nov. 12: Tour for Epilepsy, 21-, 32- and 62-mile rides, Coasline Cyclery, Fort Myers (caloosariders.org
  • Friday, Nov. 17: 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/)
  • Friday, Nov. 24: 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/)
  • Friday, Nov. 24: Turkey Leg Century, details to come at caloosariders.org.
  • Saturday, Nov. 25: 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/)
  • Sunday, Nov. 26: Iron Joe Turkey Ride, 62-, 30-, 20- and 5-mile rides, starts and ends at Fit & Fuel Bicycle Café, Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples (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).
Triathlons:
  • Sunday, Dec. 17: Christmas Sprint Duathlon & Triathlon, 7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.