Sunday, December 31, 2017

December 31: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Monday, Jan. 1: Dave Cranor 5K/Big Dave’s Polar Plunge. Get your new year started out right! Come join us for this free 5k race on new year's day! Free champagne included! The 5k begins at 7:30 a.m. There will be a clock for finish time, but this is a fun run. No chip timing. No need to sign up for the 5k. 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).
  • Friday-Saturday, Jan 19-20: Wings Over Water Festival. Guided walk through Harns Marsh. 8 a.m., Harns Marsh, Lehigh Acres. Admission is free. (wingsoverwaterfestival.com/WOWJan20/)
  • Saturday, Jan. 20: Wings Over Water Festival 5K Nature Run, 7.45 a.m., Harns Marsh, Lehigh Acres. Registration required (wingsoverwaterfestival.com/wings-over-water-festival-5k-nature-run/)
  • Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 20-21: Tour de Cape. 5K run/walk and 3-mile kid’s ride Saturday, rides of 15-, 30-, 60- and 100-miles Sunday. All based at Cape Harbour in Cape Coral (www.tourdecape.net)
  • Saturday, Jan. 27: 10th annual Calusa Bug Chase, 5K run/walk, Calusa Nature Center, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Jan. 27: 10th annual Hands Across The Harbor half marathon. 5K run/walk, and bike rides of 13.1-, 20- or 30-miles. (www.handsacrosstheharbor.com)
  • Saturday, Jan. 27: 11th annual run for the Paws 5K Run/Walk, Airport-Pulling Road, Naples (www.gcrunner.org)
  • Sunday, Feb. 18: Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Lely Resort, Naples (www.paradisehalf.com)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:
  • 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/)
  • Friday, Jan. 12: 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, Jan. 13: 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/) 
  • Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 20-21: Tour de Cape. 5K run/walk and 3-mile kid’s ride Saturday, rides of 15-, 30-, 60- and 100-miles Sunday. All based at Cape Harbour in Cape Coral (www.tourdecape.net)
  • Saturday, Jan. 27: 10th annual Hands Across The Harbor half marathon, 5K run/walk, and bike rides of 13.1-, 20- or 30-miles. (www.handsacrosstheharbor.com) 
  • Saturday-Sunday, March 10-11: 20th annual Royal Palm Challenge, 32- and 42-mile rides both days, starting from Fort Myers Brewing Co. (www.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:
  • Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 6-7: HITS Triathlon Naples. All distances… open, sprint, Olympic, half-Ironman and Ironman. Half and full Ironman Saturday, the rest Sunday. Vanderbilt Beach, Naples (www.hitstriathlonseries.com/naples-fl)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.

Monday, December 25, 2017

December 25: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:

  • 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-Sunday, Jan. 20-21: Tour de Cape. 5K run/walk and 3-mile kid’s ride Saturday, rides of 15-, 30-, 60- and 100-miles Sunday. All based at Cape Harbour in Cape Coral (www.tourdecape.net)
  • Saturday, Jan. 27: 10th annual Calusa Bug Chase, 5K run/walk, Calusa Nature Center, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Jan. 27: 10th annual Hands Across The Harbor half marathon. 5K run/walk, and bike rides of 13.1-, 20- or 30-miles. (www.handsacrosstheharbor.com)
  • Saturday, Jan. 27: 11th annual run for the Paws 5K Run/Walk, Airport-Pulling Road, Naples (www.gcrunner.org)
  • Sunday, Feb. 18: Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Lely Resort, Naples (www.paradisehalf.com)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:
  • 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/)
  • Friday, Jan. 12: 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, Jan. 13: 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/) 
  • Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 20-21: Tour de Cape. 5K run/walk and 3-mile kid’s ride Saturday, rides of 15-, 30-, 60- and 100-miles Sunday. All based at Cape Harbour in Cape Coral (www.tourdecape.net)
  • Saturday, Jan. 27: 10th annual Hands Across The Harbor half marathon, 5K run/walk, and bike rides of 13.1-, 20- or 30-miles. (www.handsacrosstheharbor.com) 
  • Saturday-Sunday, March 10-11: 20th annual Royal Palm Challenge, 32- and 42-mile rides both days, starting from Fort Myers Brewing Co. (www.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:
  • Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 6-7: HITS Triathlon Naples. All distances… open, sprint, Olympic, half-Ironman and Ironman. Half and full Ironman Saturday, the rest Sunday. Vanderbilt Beach, Naples (www.hitstriathlonseries.com/naples-fl)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Ho-ho-ho? Then go-go-go!

BWL Column
The News-Press, 12/21/2017
by Ken Gooderham

Image: Corporation Park Supporters group
The holidays are here… time for family and friends, food and drink, and (for some) a big dollop of stress on the side.

All the more reason to go for a walk, run or ride.

Sure, time can be tight over the next two weeks, with plenty to do, people to see and preparations to make. But there’s always time for a break to get outside and go for a walk, a run or a ride.

Why are holidays the right time to exercise?
  • Calories. For many, holidays are based on meals – and those meals are based on a lot of food. Thanks to that, some experts say you could easily gain 5-7 pounds during this period – not necessarily a good plan for an already obese nation. However, including a regular walk, run or ride in your holiday plans not only helps you burn some calories, it also may lessen your appetite… or at least give you some time not in the vicinity to food. And if you can’t see it, you can’t eat it.
  • Camaraderie. Getting outside for a walk is a great family activity, a chance to both move around and focus on each other a little more, perhaps to catch up with people who you haven’t seen for a while or have a little quiet for a serious talk. Finding activities you can share is also a great icebreaker if you’re getting together with people you don’t know that well… or a good “time out” if you’re spending a little too much time with people you know a little too well.
  • Calm. Walking, running or riding also can get you a little “me” time, often in short supply during the hectic holidays. It can settle your thoughts and boost your spirits, helping you shake either the cobwebs or the crazies at a time of year fraught with both.
If you’re in the habit to regularly walk, run or ride, be sure you stay on track during the holiday break… maybe not as often as you usually do, but at least on a regular basis. And if you have not gotten that habit, this could be a good time to start… and to avoid being part of that post-holiday hike in exercise efforts by already being on board.

It just might be the best gift you give yourself this holiday season.

Speaking of gifts, if you’re looking for a last-minute idea for a walker, runner or cyclist… really! Have you looked at the calendar? Didn’t you realize Christmas is next Monday?

Actually, having a real (and really short) deadline focuses the mind – and takes a lot of choices off the table (unless you’re willing to fork over for express shipping). But you’re not out of luck… yet.

Get yourself to a bike shop, running store or sporting goods big-box, and take a look around or ask one of the experts on hand. Think of the things your runner/walker/cyclist uses (and replaces) regularly or something for which they could always use a spare. If they’re new to the activity, ask someone what a novice would really appreciate (or really needs even if they don’t know it).

When in doubt, there always are gift cards to let the recipient select their own gift – generic, true, but often a good approach if your runner or cyclist has strong preferences in gear or is working to purchase something pricey toward which a gift card could be applied.

If all else fails, give them the gift of your time – either to join them in their favorite activity, or to do something for them that will free up some time for them to go walk, run or ride. No one ever says “no” to having more time for fun.

Seniors, take a survey!

Carol Kachadoorian, a transportation planner with Toole Design Group, is doing research on seniors who cycle. She has launched a survey is for cyclists 50 years and older, which includes an option to complete an online journal of two cycling trips.

The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.  It will remain open for several months in order to get the greatest number of responses. Go to https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3879293/Active-Seniors-Cycling-Survey to take the survey.


 Ready to ride or run?


Run? Not much on the schedule for the week between Christmas and New Year’s. There’s a 5-mile Hill Run at Marco Island this Saturday and a 5K coupled with a “polar plunge” Jan. 1 in Naples. Details for both at gcrunner.org. Enjoy the rest, because the running schedule fills fast once we get into January.

Ride? You can ride out the old year with the Critical Mass Cape Coral ride Dec. 29, followed the next day with the Saturday morning Slow Roll in downtown Fort Myers. For night rides lights are required, helmets recommended, and details and sign-up info is online at meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events.

Both?  You’ll have tris of every size Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 6-7, when the HITS Triathlon Naples races come back to town. Distances range from open, sprint, Olympic, half-Ironman and Ironman. Half and full Ironman Saturday, the rest on Sunday, starting from Vanderbilt Beach in Naples. Details at www.hitstriathlonseries.com/naples-fl.

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. 


 

Ho-ho-ho? Then go-go-go!

Friday, December 22, 2017

A holiday wish list

Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 12/20/17
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com

Dear Santa,

I know I’ve asked for some of these many times over the years but I’m hoping this time you’ll see fit to fulfill my wishes.

☛ That people will be more considerate of others by not obstructing sidewalks with their vehicles and other items. It’s especially difficult for those who have trouble getting around due to mobility limitations and other disabilities - not to mention folks pushing strollers. If you can’t grant this one, could you at least ensure that the laws prohibiting what is an easily observable violation will be proactively enforced?

☛ That the Seminole Gulf Railroad will agree to sell the rights to the CSX corridor it leases and that runs down the middle of our county so we can turn it into the spine of our paved trail system as envisioned in our bike/ped plans. Also related to the rail corridor, that the state of Florida will reinstate it into the SunTrail plan so Estero and Bonita Springs will once again be included.

☛ That the city of Fort Myers will finally come to an agreement with FDOT on a plan for the last segment of the Metro corridor left unfinished (Hanson Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) so cyclists and pedestrians will finally be accommodated and so that Cleveland Avenue could be put on a “road diet” in order to add bicycle lanes and widen sidewalks.

☛ That the city of Fort Myers will stop dragging its feet on studies to 1.) extend Yarbrough Trail that will link it to North Colonial Trail and 2.) decide on a Winkler Canal trail alternative that could include a north-south trail along the edge of the Fort Myers Country Club property along U.S. 41 that would link two neighborhoods, as well as improving east-west access, also along their golf course property adjacent to Hill Avenue.

Pedestrians and cyclists could get off the edge of Cleveland Avenue if this golf course buffer area was made into a shared use path.
Pedestrians and cyclists could get off the edge of Cleveland Avenue if this golf course buffer area was made into a shared use path. DAN MOSER / FLORIDA WEEKLY

☛ That FDOT will approve funding of this 5-plus mile Able Canal trail shared use path that connects Lehigh Acres Trailhead Park to Lehigh Acres Community Park and Harnes Marsh, providing residents and visitors a safe and enjoyable way to bike and walk between these popular destinations.

☛ That the city of Cape Coral will continue to fulfill its commitment to improving its environment for pedestrians and cyclists to the point that they are awarded silver-level Bike Friendly Community status at the next renewal in 2019.

☛ That the city of Sanibel will treat as legitimate roadway users those who operate their bikes on the island’s streets because they are traveling too fast to use the pathway network or simply choose to do so.

☛ That FDOT and all the local governments that formally made Complete Streets their policies will not backslide on their commitment to accommodating all users, by caving into developers’ pressures and allowing them to “build on the cheap” in order to maximize profits at the expense of public access and safety.

☛ Finally, that all drivers - whether locals, visitors or part timers - will behave and treat fellow road users as they’d wish to be treated, keeping in mind that it could be their loved ones or even themselves who could become victims of distracted, aggressive, inconsiderate, clueless, or impaired driving.

For more about pedestrian and cyling matters, see 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 18, 2017

December 18: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, Dec. 23: Marco 5 Mile Hill Run. Celebrate the holidays by running the toughest course in southwest Florida with 17 hills! 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. 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:

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.