Monday, November 12, 2018

November 12: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, Nov. 17: Inspiring Health 5K. The third annual Inspiring Health 5K, and 1 mile fun run brought to you by the Lee Health Healthy Life Center and Shipley Cardiothoracic Center.  Come join us as we gather at the brand new Lee Health Coconut Point facility. Lee Health Coconut Pointe, Estero (runsignup.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 18: 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.  7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: 39th annual Turkey Trot 5K, 7:30 a.m., Cape Coral Wellness Center, Cape Coral (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: Thanksgiving Day 5K Run/Walk, 7 a.m., Germain Arena, Estero (eliteevents.org
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: FGCU Gobbler 5K, Alico Arena, Fort Myers (runsignup.com)
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: GCR Thanksgiving 5K, 7:30 a.m., Cambier Park, Naples (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Dec. 1: 40th Annual River Run 10K, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 1: CCSP 5K. Run or walk to benefit Collier County Public Schools. Barron Collier High School (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Dec. 8: Christmas Glow Run 5K, 6 p.m. Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (eliteevents.org)
  • Sunday, Dec. 9: Florida West Coast Half Marathon and 5K, 7 a.m., Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 15: Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, 6 p.m., sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org
  • Saturday, Dec. 22: Marco 5 Mile Hill Run, Marco island (gcrunner.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:

  • Sunday, Nov. 18: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group (meetup.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 24: 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)
  • Sunday, Nov. 25: Iron Joe Turkey Ride. Begins and ends at Fit & Fuel Bicycle Café in the Pavilion Shipping Center, Naples. Fully supported ride of 62, 40, 20 and 5 miles (caloosariders.org)
  • Sunday, Nov. 25: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. (meetup.com)
  • Friday, Nov. 30: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at 7:30 p.m. at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly ride through the Cape. Lights required, helmets recommended  (meetup.com
  • Friday, Dec 7: 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)
  • 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, Nov. 18: Longboat Key Triathlon & Duathlon, sprint and Olympic tris, sprint and Olympic duathlon. Longboat Key Club & Resort (longboatkeytriathlon.com
  • Sunday, Dec. 16: Christmas Sprint Triathlon/Duathlon, Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Jan. 6, 2019: HITS Triathlon Series, with sprint, Olympic and half-Ironman distances. Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (hitstriathlonseries.com)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

SWFL Lost a Complete Streets Champion Today




 Celebrating the Life of Beth Brainard



We are sad to share the news that after a lengthy battle with cancer, Beth Brainard passed away on Wednesday, November 7, 2018. Her friends and colleagues are invited to a memorial service to celebrate her life on Saturday, November 17 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm at The Moorings Country Club, 2500 Crayton Road, Naples, FL 34103. In lieu of flowers, she asked that donations be made in her name to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

Beth was honored by the City of Naples for her contribution to the community during her tenure with Naples Pathways Coalition. Please visit our website and scroll down to the News and Announcements section to watch the video of Mayor Bill Barnett reading the proclamation presented to Beth declaring October 2018 as Beth Brainard Month.

We will be forever grateful to Beth for her passion to create safe, bikeable and walkable communities, her efforts to change legislation that would make texting while driving a primary offense, and her work to educate motorists, cyclists and pedestrians of their responsibilities and how to safely share the roads.

Contact Us
phone: 239-777-7718
web: naplespathways.org
NPC Facebook

Mailing Address:
300 Fifth Ave. S, Suite 101, Box 464
Naples, FL 34102

President, Craig Manchen
Executive Director, Michelle Avola
email: Michelle@naplespathways.org




Less means more for safety


BikeWalkLee Column
The News-Press, 11/8/2018
by Ken Gooderham

Welcome to fall in Southwest Florida – or at least what passes for autumnal weather in the subtropics. It’s a time of year when we have to deal with less, and more.

Under the “less” category comes less heat and humidity – a welcome trend after a very long hot summer – as well as less daylight – which makes bikers, runners and walkers less likely to be seen by drivers.

On the “more” side, we definitely will have more people – as snowbirds return and visitors flock to fairer climes – which will mean more traffic (both vehicular and bike/ped) and more opportunities for unfortunate interactions between vehicles and non-vehicles.

It will also mean more people using our area’s bike/ped facilities – good news for awareness, bad news for possible accidents. So it’s time to brush up on your courtesy and competence skills, to ensure there’s room for all on the local paths and lanes.

More traffic and more bikers and walkers means more emphasis on safety – and that applies to all parties. It’s too easy to single out motor vehicles for blame in bike/ped incidents simply because they can do far more damage far too easily. But staying safe needs to be a mission undertaken by all the road (or road-adjacent) users, even though the risk is far higher for the more vulnerable users on foot or on bikes.

The Florida Department of Transportation has a campaign going on right now that emphasizes safety for all. Titled “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow,” it focuses on safety steps for all road users to increase awareness of risks and requirements along with a range of tools and reports (hey, it’s DOT… there has to be studies!) to increase safety for all parties.

The campaign breaks down into three areas:

  • Engineering: Primarily focused on Complete Streets, to give all road users a place of their own on state roadways.
  • Education: A variety of pieces and PSAs to spotlight safety measures for all concerned, including some good reminders we call think we already know but could stand to brush up on nonetheless.
  • Enforcement: The part nobody wants and everyone needs, with an effort to target high-risk areas with high-visibility enforcement activities… because the only way you get through to some people is with a ticket and a fine.

You can check out the details at alerttodayflorida.com, which has a range of links and logos and more reports than you can count. A lot of this is recent material that have been repackaged (or at least re-linked) for this campaign, and some of it is pretty technical… but there’s plenty of good information for all road users, it’s a good collection of road safety and design information for anyone form the novice to the knowledgeable, and the focus on the full spectrum of safety is a welcome one indeed.

With less light and more motorists, sharing the road or path or lane is more crucial than ever if everyone is going to arrive home safe. Anything that increases awareness of the need for everyone to strive for safety is a good message to hear..

Ready to ride or run?

Run?  Plenty of options if you’re looking for a run (or even walk), with a variety of distances and venues as well. This Saturday, you’ll have a 10K run (2K walk) in Olde Naples, a 5K as part of the Cape’s Coconut Festival, a chance to run across the river thanks to Midpoint Madness, and a tot walk and 5K in Punta Gorda. Next weekend, you can handle a half-marathon in Naples or a 5K in Estero or Naples – all building up to the annual Turkey Trots to celebrate Thanksgiving. Info at gcrunner.org, 3dracinginc.com, ftmyerstrackclub.com, runsignup.com and eliteevents.org.


Ride? Two Critical Mass events – NE Lee on Friday night and Sanibel on Saturday night – lead a slimmed-down cycling schedule. Lights are required for the night rides and helmets are recommended for all; details at meetup.com. You can also join the no-drop Wakey, Wakey! Sunday morning ride leaving from Fort Myers Trek. The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group.


Both? Upcoming events include:
  • Sunday, Nov. 18: Longboat Key Triathlon & Duathlon, sprint and Olympic-distance tris, plus a sprint and Olympic duathlon. Longboat Key Club & Resort (longboatkeytriathlon.com)
  • Sunday, Dec. 16: Christmas Sprint Triathlon/Duathlon, Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Jan. 6, 2019: HITS Triathlon Series, with sprint, Olympic and half-Ironman distances. Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (hitstriathlonseries.com)
  • Willing to drive? Check trifind.com or active.com for tris around the state.

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 7, 2018

So many weekends, so many events


Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 11/07/18
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com




The local running and walking season is underway, and there are numerous events in Southwest Florida. Here’s a list of events in coming months.

Saturday, Nov. 10: Achieva Credit Union’s Coconut Run 5K, 7:30 a.m. start time, Sun Splash Waterpark, Cape Coral. 3dracinginc.com.

Saturday, Nov. 10: Midpoint Madness 5K, 7 p.m. start time, Royal Palm Square, Fort Myers. www.ftmyerstrackclub.com.

Thursday, Nov. 22: Turkey Trot 5K, 7:30 a.m. start time, Cape Coral Hospital, Cape Coral. www.ftmyerstrackclub.com.

Thursday, Nov. 22: Thanksgiving Day 5K Walk/Run, 7 a.m. start time, Hertz Arena, Estero. www.eliteevents.org.

Saturday, Dec. 1: 40th annual River Run 10K and 2 Mile Fun Run/Walk, 8 a.m. start time; downtown Fort Myers. This classic running event, which traverses two bridges over the Caloosahatchee River, is our area’s longest continuously running road race. Its original name was Lee Memorial Hospital Run. Although Lee Health (formally known as Lee Memorial) is a sponsor of a number of local running events it is no longer involved in this one, something that is difficult to understand. Word is that unless it or another sponsor steps up this may be the last year for this event. www.ftmyerstrackclub.com.





Saturday, Dec. 15: City Gate Ministries Downtown Christmas Run 5K and 1 Mile Walk, City Gate Ministries, downtown Fort Myers, 6 p.m. www.3dracinginc.com.

Sunday, Jan. 6: Hooters River Roots & Ruts Trail Half Marathon & 5K, 8 and 8:15 a.m. start times, Caloosahatchee Regional Park, Alva. Although both the original River Roots, & Ruts and Hooter’s Half Marathons are no more, the RRR was resurrected by Hooters this past March — but goes back to the original RRR January date in 2019. www.ftmyerstrackclub.com.

Saturday, Jan. 19: Run to Home Base 5K & 10K, 8 a.m. start time, JetBlue Park, Fort Myers. www.ftmyerstrackclub.com.

Saturday, Jan. 26: Bug Chase 5K Run/ Walk, 7:30 a.m. start time, Calusa Nature Center, Fort Myers. www.ftmyerstrackclub.com.

Saturday, Feb. 2: Strides for Education 5K Run/Walk, details upcoming. www.ftmyerstrackclub.com.

Sunday, Feb. 3: Publix Run to the Arts 5K, 8:15 a.m. start time, Riverfront, downtown Fort Myers. It’s on the final day of the weekend-long Art Fest, our area’s premier outdoor art festival. endurancesportstiming.com.

Sunday, Feb. 10: Edison Junior Parade Races, various morning start times, downtown Fort Myers. Lots of family activities as part of the Junior Parade day. www.ftmyerstrackclub.com.

Saturday, Feb. 16: Edison Fest 5K Run/Walk, 5:45 p.m. start time, downtown Fort Myers. One of the country’s largest night parades immediately follows the race. www.ftmyerstrackclub.com.

This list as well as many other active events throughout Southwest Florida are always available on this blog.¦

- 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 5, 2018

November 5: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: Achieva Credit Union Coconut Run 5K, 7:30 a.m., Sun Splash/Coconut Festival, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: Olde Naples 10K run/2K walk, 7:30 a.m.(gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: Midpoint Madness 5K, 7.00 p.m., Midpoint Bridge (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 11: Twins Tot Walk and 5K, 4:15 p.m., Laishley Park, Punta Gorda (runsignup.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 17: Inspiring Health 5K, Lee Health Coconut Pointe, Estero (runsignup.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 18: Naples Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, 7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: 39th annual Turkey Trot 5K, 7:30 a.m., Cape Coral Wellness Center, Cape Coral (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: Thanksgiving Day 5K Run/Walk, 7 a.m., Germain Arena, Estero (eliteevents.org
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: FGCU Gobbler 5K, Alico Arena, Fort Myers (runsignup.com)
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: GCR Thanksgiving 5K, 7:30 a.m., Cambier Park, Naples (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Dec. 1: 40th Annual River Run 10K, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 1: CCSP 5K. Run or walk to benefit Collier County Public Schools. Barron Collier High School (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Dec. 8: Christmas Glow Run 5K, 6 p.m. Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (eliteevents.org)
  • Sunday, Dec. 9: Florida West Coast Half Marathon and 5K, 7 a.m., Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 15: Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, 6 p.m., sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org
  • Saturday, Dec. 22: Marco 5 Mile Hill Run, Marco island (gcrunner.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:

  • Friday, Nov. 9: 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)
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: 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)
  • Sunday, Nov. 11: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group (meetup.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 18: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group (meetup.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 24: 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)
  • Sunday, Nov. 25: Iron Joe Turkey Ride. Begins and ends at Fit & Fuel Bicycle Café in the Pavilion Shipping Center, Naples. Fully supported ride of 62, 40, 20 and 5 miles (caloosariders.org)
  • Friday, Nov. 30: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at 7:30 p.m. at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly ride through the Cape. Lights required, helmets recommended  (meetup.com)
  • Ongoing: Join the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club on one of their many weekly rides for members and potential members, with an array of paces and routes to choose from. Check them out online at www.caloosariders.org.
  • For more Lee County cycling and tri events, visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (caloosariders.org); Florida Mudcutters (mudcutters.org); and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL).

Triathlons:
  • Sunday, Nov. 18: Longboat Key Triathlon & Duathlon, sprint and Olympic tris, sprint and Olympic duathlon. Longboat Key Club & Resort (longboatkeytriathlon.com
  • Sunday, Dec. 16: Christmas Sprint Triathlon/Duathlon, Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Jan. 6, 2019: HITS Triathlon Series, with sprint, Olympic and half-Ironman distances. Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (hitstriathlonseries.com)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.

Monday, October 29, 2018

October 29: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, Nov. 3: Lions Chase and Cub Run 5K, Villas Elementary School, Fort Myers (runsignup.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: Achieva Credit Union Coconut Run 5K, 7:30 a.m., Sun Splash/Coconut Festival, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: Olde Naples 10K run/2K walk, 7:30 a.m.(gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: Midpoint Madness 5K, 7.00 p.m., Midpoint Bridge (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 11: Twins Tot Walk and 5K, 4:15 p.m., Laishley Park, Punta Gorda (runsignup.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 17: Inspiring Health 5K, Lee Health Coconut Pointe, Estero (runsignup.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 18: Naples Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, 7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: 39th annual Turkey Trot 5K, 7:30 a.m., Cape Coral Wellness Center, Cape Coral (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: Thanksgiving Day 5K Run/Walk, 7 a.m., Germain Arena, Estero (eliteevents.org
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: FGCU Gobbler 5K, Alico Arena, Fort Myers (runsignup.com)
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: GCR Thanksgiving 5K, 7:30 a.m., Cambier Park, Naples (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Dec. 1: 40th Annual River Run 10K, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 1: CCSP 5K. Run or walk to benefit Collier County Public Schools. Barron Collier High School (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Dec. 8: Christmas Glow Run 5K, 6 p.m. Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (eliteevents.org)
  • Sunday, Dec. 9: Florida West Coast Half Marathon and 5K, 7 a.m., Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 15: Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, 6 p.m., sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:
  • Friday, Nov. 2: 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)
  • Sunday, Nov. 4: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Sunday, Nov. 4: Gulf Coast Cyclefest. 104-, 79-, 63-, 35- or 20-mile routes starting at Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota. Breakfast, lunch, SAG, rest stops, well-marked routes. (caloosariders.org or active.com)  
  • Sunday, Nov. 25: Iron Joe Turkey Ride. Begins and ends at Fit & Fuel Bicycle Café in the Pavilion Shipping Center, Naples. Fully supported ride of 62, 40, 20 and 5 miles (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, Nov. 18: Longboat Key Triathlon & Duathlon, sprint and Olympic tris, sprint and Olympic duathlon. Longboat Key Club & Resort (longboatkeytriathlon.com
  • Sunday, Dec. 16: Christmas Sprint Triathlon/Duathlon, Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Jan. 6, 2019: HITS Triathlon Series, with sprint, Olympic and half-Ironman distances. Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (hitstriathlonseries.com)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Environment near schools for bikes, walkers, cars needs to be improved


Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 10/24/18
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com


A car blocking the sidewalk is an all-too-common sight around Allen Park Elementary School in Fort Myers,
even with No Parking signs posted everywhere.
Even if you don’t live very near a school there’s a good chance you’re affected by one or more of them each day they’re in session. Whether you’re a nearby resident or simply have to navigate around one or more schools during the morning or afternoon bells, you are well aware of the congestion and chaos around them. Based on conditions you witness daily, if you have a student in your household you’d understandably be skeptical of allowing your child to walk or ride a bike there. If you’re a chauffeur for your child, you are the reason for the problem.

I recently took part in Walk to School Day activities and a couple of bike-safety training sessions for school resource officers. Those experiences prompted me to again write about the very poor conditions for anyone around school campuses on foot or bike, and even in their cars. The relatively recent phenomenon (at least for an old guy like me) of so many kids being driven to school has resulted in a vicious cycle that won’t end unless changes are made. The environment is downright hostile, whether you’re a student, parent or just some poor sap who ventures near.

Per Florida policy, any student who lives within one mile (elementary) or two miles (all other grades) of a school are considered close enough to walk or bike unless there are hazardous walking conditions between home and the school — then a school bus would be an option. Hazardous walking conditions include crossing major highways where no crossing guards are in place, lack of safe conditions along busy roads (no sidewalk may not be enough to warrant hazardous conditions), or other things determined on a case-by-case basis. Many students who have bus transportation available, whether because they reside more than walking distance away or due to hazardous conditions, are instead driven by parents. For those eligible to be bused, this means wasted tax dollars because the bus must still be available for the entirety of the school year (the annual busing/ transportation budget for Lee District Schools is more than $58 million).

Besides congestion there’s the ongoing issue of speeding and driver distraction in school zones. Safe Kids Worldwide (www.safekids.org) reports that within school zones the number of teen pedestrian deaths has increased 13 percent since 2013. But there are ways deal with the traffic problems created by the high number of parents driving kids to school.

Some customs, reported by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking (www.bikewalk.org).

  • In Odense, Denmark, parents are told at an assembly that their kids are capable of walking or biking to school and that student drop-offs are not allowed. Having a good bike/ped infrastructure is key to 80 percent of students using their feet or bikes.
  • Bolzano, Italy, closes the streets around schools to cars for 15 minutes before and after bell times and has been doing it for over 20 years. This has resulted in a 50 percent drop in injuries involving cars versus people. And one school in Vienna is doing the same as a pilot project.
  • A school in Vancouver, Canada, has taken the annual Walk/Bike to School Day concept and made it a weekly event. “Freedom Friday” was created as a way to encourage parents to allow their kids to get out of the car each Friday and it has resulted in a major increase in that happening as well as a coinciding significant decrease in cars around the school, exactly as intended.

While it is possible to change people’s behavior on this matter, the political will must be in place. Unfortunately, as is the case with our local leadership’s unwillingness to address the larger problem (i.e., being the most dangerous place in the U.S. for pedestrians), there’s little hope for anything like those examples to be undertaken here. But all it would take is one or two school principals or a few school board members to have the courage to take action to prove it can be done. Getting kids back on their feet, bikes, skateboards and scooters improves their health and ability to learn. Reducing the number of cars around schools creates a better environment for those kids and reduces the number of traffic-related injuries and fatalities. It’s a win-win. Keep abreast of issues like this by visiting www.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.






Thursday, October 25, 2018

Saving Daylight Saving Time


BikeWalkLee Column
The News-Press, 10/25/2018
by Ken Gooderham

Not this coming weekend, but the one after that, we’ll all have a chance to “fall back” again due to the departure of Daylight Saving Time.

And if you’re thinking that doesn’t sound quite right… well, you’re right (sort of).

During the last legislative session in Tallahassee, lawmakers in both houses overwhelmingly approved what was called the “Sunshine Protection Act” – basically leaving Daylight Saving Time in place year-round. Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill, and it became law in July.

Except the Legislature doesn’t have the authority to do any of that.

You see, DST is a federal thing, first instituted in 1918 supposedly as a wartime way of lessening energy needs by keeping daylight lighter longer. The country went back and forth on the concept, finally adopting it for good during the energy crisis of the 1970s… except, of course, those exceptions such as Arizona and Hawaii that steadfastly stay on the same time.

So states can vote all they want to adjust (or not adjust) their clocks, but only Congress can actually act to enact such measures. And, so far, this Congress has not – although Sen. Marco Rubio has filed two bills to save DST, one for Florida only and the other for the entire country, which have yet to win a hearing on the Hill.

So, come 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4, we’ll be falling back once more – disruptive, to be certain, but at least less so than springing ahead next march.

So what does this have to do with biking, running and walking? Plenty, if you do any of that outdoors.

Tinkering with the sun’s timing is usually a zero-sum game – for everyone who gains by getting more light at one end of the day, someone else loses when the sun disappears sooner that it did before.

For those whose time is not their own thanks to jobs and other commitments, it’s even more of an issue. Like to go for a run before you head to work? An earlier sunrise can be your friend. How about a bike ride after work? When sunset jumps forward by an hour, you either dig out the lights or leave the bike in the garage.

It can also have a very real impact on other whose schedules can’t adjust when the clocks do. It’s particularly difficult on students who either wait for the bus by the side of the road in the morning or walk home from the bus stop in the afternoon – because doing either of those in the dark or even dusk adds danger to the beginning or end of their school day.

Either way the clock shifts, someone’s safety is at risk – which should be a warning to drivers to keep a sharper eye after the time change as everyone adjusts to the different light and time conditions. Unfortunately, we live by the clock and stay safe by the sun – so when the two re-adjust their daily routine, bad things can happen.

Research has ruled out some of the presumed benefits to DST… in fact, in subtropical areas such as ours, having sun later in the day can increase energy use as we run the A/C longer to keep cool. And most of the world does not bother with springing forward nor falling back, just sticking with the same old time all year long.

So is permanent DST a good idea? Who knows… and, unless Congress does something to change it, who cares? We’re stuck with the time shifts we have no choice but to get used to – which is a lot easier falling back than springing ahead

So ask most people their opinion on Nov. 4, and they’ll be happy for the “extra” hour. Wait until March 10 next year (when DST returns) and you’ll probably get a very different answer.


Ready to ride or run?

Run?  Any holiday is a good excuse for a race, and Halloween is no exception: There will be themed 5Ks this Saturday at Babcock Ranch and Fleischmann Park in Naples (3dracinginc.com and gcrunner.org respectively), plus the annual F.I.S.H. 10K on Sanibel (ftmyerstrackclub.com) and a Run for Recess 5K at Diplomat Elementary in Cape Coral (runsignup.com). Another elementary school run follows on Nov. 3 at Villas Elementary in Fort Myers (runsignup.com).

Ride? The Cape Coral Critical Mass amasses tomorrow (Friday) night at the SWF Military Museum, followed by the Saturday Slow Roll in downtown Fort Myers the next morning. The following Friday (Nov. 2) brings the original Critical Mass rise in downtown Fort Myers. Lights are required for the night rides and helmets are recommended for all; details at meetup.com. This weekend also brings the annual Tour de Northport on Sunday, with 15-, 35- and 65-mile rides planned (caloosarider.org). The Gulf Coast Cyclefest rides in the following weekend, with 104-, 79-, 63-, 35- or 20-mile routes starting at Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota (caloosariders.org or active.com). You can also join the no-drop Wakey, Wakey! Sunday morning ride leaving from Fort Myers Trek. The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group.

Both? Upcoming events include:
  • Sunday, Nov. 18: Longboat Key Triathlon & Duathlon, sprint and Olympic-distance tris, plus a sprint and Olympic duathlon. Longboat Key Club & Resort (longboatkeytriathlon.com)
  • Sunday, Dec. 16: Christmas Sprint Triathlon/Duathlon, Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Jan. 6, 2019: HITS Triathlon Series, with sprint, Olympic and half-Ironman distances. Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (hitstriathlonseries.com)
  • Willing to drive? Check trifind.com or active.com for tris around the state.

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. 


 

Monday, October 22, 2018

October 22: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: F.I.S.H. 10K, Sanibel Community House, 7:30 a.m. (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: Halloween Monster 5K. This 5K race will begin at Fleischmann Park. Immediately following the race we will have awards and a costume competition with refreshments. Everyone is encouraged to wear your favorite Halloween costume. Fleischmann Park, Naples, 7:30 a.m. (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: Babcock Ranch Trick or Trot 5K, 7:30 a.m., Babcock Ranch (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: Run For Recess 5K, 8 a.m., Diplomat Elementary School Cape Coral (runsignup.com
  • Saturday, Nov. 3: Lions Chase and Cub Run 5K, Villas Elementary School, Fort Myers (runsignup.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: Achieva Credit Union Coconut Run 5K, 7:30 a.m., Sun Splash/Coconut Festival, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: Olde Naples 10K run/2K walk, 7:30 a.m.(gcrunner.org)
  • Sunday, Nov. 11: Midpoint Madness 5K, Midpoint Bridge (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 11: Twins Tot Walk and 5K, 4:15 p.m., Laishley Park, Punta Gorda (runsignup.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 17: Inspiring Health 5K, Lee Health Coconut Pointe, Estero (runsignup.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 18: Naples Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, 7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: 39th annual Turkey Trot 5K, 7:30 a.m., Cape Coral Wellness Center, Cape Coral (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: Thanksgiving Day 5K Run/Walk, 7 a.m., Germain Arena, Estero (eliteevents.org
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: FGCU Gobbler 5K, Alico Arena, Fort Myers (runsignup.com)
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: GCR Thanksgiving 5K, 7:30 a.m., Cambier Park, Naples (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Dec. 1: 40th Annual River Run 10K, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 1: CCSP 5K. Run or walk to benefit Collier County Public Schools. Barron Collier High School (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Dec. 8: Christmas Glow Run 5K, 6 p.m. Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (eliteevents.org)
  • Sunday, Dec. 9: Florida West Coast Half Marathon and 5K, 7 a.m., Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 15: Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, 6 p.m., sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:
  • Friday, Oct. 26: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at 7:30 p.m. at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly ride through the Cape. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: 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)
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: 9th annual Tour de Northport. 7 a.m., 15-, 35- and 65-mile routes (caloosariders.org
  • Sunday, Oct. 28: 9th annual Tour de North Port, 15-, 35- and 65-mile rides, 7:30 a.m., Imagine School, Upper Campus, 2757 Sycamore Street, North Port (caloosariders.org)
  • Sunday, Oct. 28: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Friday, Nov. 2: 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)
  • Sunday, Nov. 4: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Sunday, Nov. 4: Gulf Coast Cyclefest. 104-, 79-, 63-, 35- or 20-mile routes starting at Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota. Breakfast, lunch, SAG, rest stops, well-marked routes. (caloosariders.org or active.com)  
  • Sunday, Nov. 25: Iron Joe Turkey Ride. Begins and ends at Fit & Fuel Bicycle Café in the Pavilion Shipping Center, Naples. Fully supported ride of 62, 40, 20 and 5 miles (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, Nov. 18: Longboat Key Triathlon & Duathlon, sprint and Olympic tris, sprint and Olympic duathlon. Longboat Key Club & Resort (longboatkeytriathlon.com
  • Sunday, Dec. 16: Christmas Sprint Triathlon/Duathlon, Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Jan. 6, 2019: HITS Triathlon Series, with sprint, Olympic and half-Ironman distances. Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (hitstriathlonseries.com)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.

Monday, October 15, 2018

October 15: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, Oct. 20: Gulf to Gulf 80 Relay, 80-mile relay race starting and ending at Cambier park, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Oct. 20: St Andrew Catholic School Run for the Stars 5K, 7:30 a.m., Jim Jeffers Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Sunday, Oct. 21: Rocktoberfest 10 Miler and Relay, North collier Regional Park, 7 a.m. (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: F.I.S.H. 10K, Sanibel Community House, 7:30 a.m. (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: Halloween Monster 5K, Fleischmann Park, Naples 7:30 a.m. (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: Babcock Ranch Trick or Trot 5K, 7:30 a.m., Babcock Ranch (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: Run For Recess 5K, 8 a.m., Diplomat Elementary School Cape Coral (runsignup.com
  • Saturday, Nov. 3: Lions Chase and Cub Run 5K, Villas Elementary School, Fort Myers (runsignup.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: Achieva Credit Union Coconut Run 5K, 7:30 a.m., Sun Splash/Coconut Festival, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: Olde Naples 10K run/2K walk, 7:30 a.m.(gcrunner.org)
  • Sunday, Nov. 11: Midpoint Madness 5K, Midpoint Bridge (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 11: Twins Tot Walk and 5K, 4:15 p.m., Laishley Park, Punta Gorda (runsignup.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 17: Inspiring Health 5K, Lee Health Coconut Pointe, Estero (runsignup.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 18: Naples Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, 7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: 39th annual Turkey Trot 5K, 7:30 a.m., Cape Coral Wellness Center, Cape Coral (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: Thanksgiving Day 5K Run/Walk, 7 a.m., Germain Arena, Estero (eliteevents.org
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: FGCU Gobbler 5K, Alico Arena, Fort Myers (runsignup.com)
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: GCR Thanksgiving 5K, 7:30 a.m., Cambier Park, Naples (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Dec. 1: 40th Annual River Run 10K, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 1: CCSP 5K. Run or walk to benefit Collier County Public Schools. Barron Collier High School (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Dec. 8: Christmas Glow Run 5K, 6 p.m. Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (eliteevents.org)
  • Sunday, Dec. 9: Florida West Coast Half Marathon and 5K, 7 a.m., Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 15: Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, 6 p.m., sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:
  • Sunday, Oct. 21: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Friday, Oct. 26: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at 7:30 p.m. at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly ride through the Cape. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: 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)
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: 9th annual Tour de Northport. 7 a.m., 15-, 35- and 65-mile routes (caloosariders.org
  • Sunday, Oct. 28: 9th annual Tour de North Port, 15-, 35- and 65-mile rides, 7:30 a.m., Imagine School, Upper Campus, 2757 Sycamore Street, North Port (caloosariders.org)
  • Sunday, Oct. 28: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Friday, Nov. 2: 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)
  • Sunday, Nov. 4: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Sunday, Nov. 4: Gulf Coast Cyclefest. 104-, 79-, 63-, 35- or 20-mile routes starting at Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota. Breakfast, lunch, SAG, rest stops, well-marked routes. (caloosariders.org or active.com)  
  • Sunday, Nov. 25: Iron Joe Turkey Ride. Begins and ends at Fit & Fuel Bicycle Café in the Pavilion Shipping Center, Naples. Fully supported ride of 62, 40, 20 and 5 miles (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, Nov. 18: Longboat Key Triathlon & Duathlon, sprint and Olympic tris, sprint and Olympic duathlon. Longboat Key Club & Resort (longboatkeytriathlon.com
  • Sunday, Dec. 16: Christmas Sprint Triathlon/Duathlon, Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Jan. 6, 2019: HITS Triathlon Series, with sprint, Olympic and half-Ironman distances. Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (hitstriathlonseries.com)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Under construction


BikeWalkLee Column
The News-Press, 10/11/2018
by Ken Gooderham

The idea for this piece came to me as I stood in a sea of barricades and orange cones at the corner of Six Mile Cypress Parkway and U.S. 41 South, trying to figure out where I was supposed to go next.

There were “Detour” signs pointing this way and “Pedestrian Walkway” signs pointing that way. The dedicated turn lane for vehicles was buried under a barrage of concrete barricades, so you had to watch out for cars turning onto U.S. 41 from the main traffic lanes (surprise!). There, on the other side of the always bustling highway, were two pedestrians looking totally lost, trying to figure out how – when? – to attempt to cross six lanes of four (or more)-wheeled fun.

Welcome to the Construction Zone.

If you cycle in Southwest Florida, you’re going to hit a roadway or intersection that’s under construction. It comes with the fast-growth territory, where a burgeoning population quickly outstrips an aging road system.



So what do you do when you see those orange cones popping up on your favorite bike lane? Assuming you can’t simply find a new way to go from Point A to Point B (usually not an easy solution when your bike facilities choices are limited as they are here), there are a few ways to stay safe:

First, assess the situation. Is the way to get where you want to go clear and obvious? Take the path (literally) of least resistance. Is the way forward hard to fathom? Then what are your options in terms of roadways, sidewalks or parking lots.

Second, realize that everyone else is as confused as you are. The motorists are trying to figure out how they get to where they want to be, just the same as you. The pedestrians (if they haven’t been scared off altogether) are as vulnerable as you are… but they can’t move as quickly, which makes them even easier targets for mistakes.

Finally, have a little patience. If the construction confusion means you need to take a minute to figure out the traffic pattern du jour, allow yourself that time. It’s better to be slow and safe than to be quick and on your way to the hospital.

Most construction sites should take steps to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians (if they don’t call your local or state DOT about that) – but sometimes those accommodations are more dangerous than just staying on the road with the other traffic. Riding through a detour filled with soft sand, sharp debris and uneven surfaces puts a cyclist at more risk, so follow your instincts if that’s the path you take.

The marked detour may end being your best option, even if it sends you on a less direct route. It should be the best marked and more stable way forward, which means you should take it if you don’t see other options or are not familiar with the area.

If you are comfortable sharing the road, do so – but remember the driving lanes may be narrower due to construction and unexpected obstacles and debris may arise, so you need to be a pretty good rider to hold your own here. If you’re not that skilled, then walk your bike through the worst of the detour and live to ride another day.

In a pinch, look at your off-road options. Parking lots can often be a good Plan B to get around a construction area, as long as you remember that drivers in parking lots don’t always look out for cyclists. (You’re lucky if they look out for other vehicles sometimes.)

A few final thoughts: Construction means disruption which, from a cyclist’s perspective, can mean unreliable surfaces and almost daily changes. If you riding a narrow-tire bike, soft or uneven surfaces can wreak havoc. And if those tires aren’t sturdy enough (meaning Kevlar reinforcements or something similar), it’s way too easy to pick up something in a construction zone that will flatten your tire in an instant.

Also, construction means workers and machinery. For the former, see and be seen if you’re passing nearby – and don’t give them grief because your bike path is pulverized, they’re just doing their job. As to the heavy equipment, give it a wide berth if you can. Again, that machinery is here to do a job, and it’s usually far less agile than your average motor vehicle so it can’t stop as fast or turn as quickly.

That may be your one advantage in a construction zone: Your size and agility. You can go where cars and trucks can’t, and sometimes that works for you when there’s roadwork ahead. Just make sure you’re not inadvertently riding into danger – or, worse, a dead end where you’ll have to beat a hasty retreat.

If it’s any consolation, in a few months the bulldozers will move on and the dust will settle… and you’ll have a nice new roadway to ride on (at least until the next batch of orange cones appear).


Ready to ride or run?

Run?  Plenty of choices if you’re ready to run: On Saturday, there’s the Cops & Joggers 5K in downtown Fort Myers at 7:45 p.m. (ftmyerstrackclub.com) or the Sprint for Students 5K at Koreshan State Park in Estero (runsignup.com). Sunday brings the Run Like A Bandit 5K/10K at Port Charlotte Beach Park (runsignup.com). On Oct. 20, you can go long with the Gulf to Gulf 80 Relay, an 80-mile relay race starting and ending at Cambier Park, Naples (gcrunner.org). For a shorter course, consider the St Andrew Catholic School Run for the Stars 5K at Jim Jeffers Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com). Or for something in the middle, there’s the Rocktoberfest 10 Miler and Relay on Oct. 21 at North Collier Regional Park (eliteevents.org).

Ride? There’s a Critical Mass double-header (sort of), with the NE Lee ride on Friday night and the Sanibel ride Saturday night. Both are night rides so lights are required and helmets are recommended; details at http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/. You can also join the no-drop Wakey, Wakey! Sunday morning ride leaving from Fort Myers Trek. The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group.

Both? Upcoming events include:
  • Sunday, Nov. 18: Longboat Key Triathlon & Duathlon, sprint and Olympic-distance tris, plus a sprint and Olympic duathlon. Longboat Key Club & Resort (longboatkeytriathlon.com)
  • Sunday, Dec. 16: Christmas Sprint Triathlon/Duathlon, Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Jan. 6, 2019: HITS Triathlon Series, with sprint, Olympic and half-Ironman distances. Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (hitstriathlonseries.com)
  • Willing to drive? Check trifind.com or active.com for tris around the state.

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, October 10, 2018

Your vote can help outdoor quality of life

Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 10/10/18
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com




Since early this summer there have been quite a number of opinion pieces — from letters to editors to guest columnists’ writings — expressing exasperation and demanding solutions to our water woes. Like too many other problems our community faces, it took a near meltdown of the tourism and fishing industries for anyone other than the “usual suspects” (i.e., environmentalists, scientists and others who have been sounding the alarm for a long, long time) to finally become indignant and press for action.

Whether this newfound support to solve the problem will eventually succeed is yet to be determined, but it sure can’t hurt to have so many more aware of and concerned about just how much impact bad water has on our community’s economics and quality of life.

Much like our current water problems, our chronically unsafe traffic environment has been obvious and festering for decades. Both have been denied the attention and resources necessary to adequately address these issues. Why our local, state and federal governments, the business community and the general public give such relatively low priority to both significant problems remains a mystery to me.

Apparently, I’m expecting too much. One would think that routinely being among the worse environments in the country for non-motorists would eventually equate to it becoming a high priority to change that fact. Falling to the worst in the nation should have sent everyone scrambling. However, like other quality of life and vital economic aspects of Lee County and Southwest Florida, that’s not been the case.

Understandably, our water quality and natural environment have taken center stage recently. Just like the many obvious indicators of problems for pedestrians and cyclists that have and continue to plague our transportation network, our water and environment woes have been apparent for decades. Yet it wasn’t until the double-whammy of our inland waterways becoming clogged with algae and tons of suffocated sea life washing up on our shores did almost every elected official acknowledge the seriousness of the problem. And then only because of the economic impacts it’s having, not so much the environmental and health costs. So, until the lives lost or forever changed by traffic related incidents equate to what our leaders at all levels consider an economic crisis, it looks like nothing will change. Unless, of course, until there are leaders in office who decide we’ve had enough.

Being mid-term election season, we have an opportunity to move toward changing priorities that benefit all citizens when it comes to health, safety and quality of life. Each of those elements does indeed have economic value so there should really be no negative trade-off versus the status quo. In some cases it will take new representatives to recognize and address the problems. In others it’s just a matter of those in office being on the wrong side of the majority so they are being thwarted in their efforts. Unbiased information is required to determine how candidates and incumbents at various levels of government, from municipal positions to the federal levels, will work on those and other important matters.

For those seeking background of an overall sense on currently elected officials and candidates the Lee County chapter of League of Women Voters (lwvlee.org) is an excellent resource. Politifact Florida (politifact.com/florida) offers a Truth- O-Meter that covers many topics and statements made by elected officials and candidates.

Specific to issues related to pedestrians and bicyclists, Florida Bicycle Association (floridabicycle.org) has “Legislative Platform” pages and the League of American Bicyclists (bikeleague.org) has an “I Bike – I Vote” section. BikeWalkLee’s blog (bikewalklee.blogspot.com) is a good source of information on the people, organizations and policies.

If we are ever to shed the stigma and related reality of being the most dangerous place in the U.S. to be a pedestrian, we must have in place leaders who acknowledge and seriously address the causes. ¦

- 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, October 8, 2018

Save the date! Public meeting SUN trail Cape Coral

On behalf of the City of Cape Coral, you are invited to a public meeting regarding plans for the City's Florida Shared-Use Non-motorized (SUN) trail, a bicycle and pedestrian multi-use trail connecting Burnt Store Road and Del Prado Boulevard.  The project involves construction of a new 12-foot wide multi-use trail and three new pedestrian bridges. The purpose of this public meeting is to receive public input from the local community.


MEETING INFORMATION
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Cape Coral Public Works Building
Large Conference Room A200 (Green Room)
815 Nicholas Parkway East, Cape Coral

The meeting will be held as an open house format, with a formal presentation at 6 p.m. Participants may review study information and discuss the project with City staff at any time during the meeting.
 
 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

October 8: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • (Photo: Roger Valdivia/Fort Myers Police Department/the News-press)
    Saturday, Oct. 13: Cops & Joggers 5K, downtown Fort Myers. 7:45 p.m. (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 13: Sprint for Students 5K, Koreshan State Park, Estero (runsignup.com
  • Sunday, Oct. 14: Run Like A Bandit 5K/10K, Port Charlotte Beach Park (runsignup.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 20: Gulf to Gulf 80 Relay, 80-mile relay race starting and ending at Cambier park, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Oct. 20: St Andrew Catholic School Run for the Stars 5K, 7:30 a.m., Jim Jeffers Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Sunday, Oct. 21: Rocktoberfest 10 Miler and Relay, North collier Regional Park, 7 a.m. (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: F.I.S.H. 10K, Sanibel Community House, 7:30 a.m. (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: Halloween Monster 5K, Fleischmann Park, Naples 7:30 a.m. (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: Babcock Ranch Trick or Trot 5K, 7:30 a.m., Babcock Ranch (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: Run For Recess 5K, 8 a.m., Diplomat Elementary School Cape Coral (runsignup.com
  • Saturday, Nov. 3: Lions Chase and Cub Run 5K, Villas Elementary School, Fort Myers (runsignup.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: Achieva Credit Union Coconut Run 5K, 7:30 a.m., Sun Splash/Coconut Festival, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: Olde Naples 10K run/2K walk, 7:30 a.m.(gcrunner.org)
  • Sunday, Nov. 11: Midpoint Madness 5K, Midpoint Bridge (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 11: Twins Tot Walk and 5K, 4:15 p.m., Laishley Park, Punta Gorda (runsignup.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 17: Inspiring Health 5K, Lee Health Coconut Pointe, Estero (runsignup.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 18: Naples Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, 7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: 39th annual Turkey Trot 5K, 7:30 a.m., Cape Coral Wellness Center, Cape Coral (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: Thanksgiving Day 5K Run/Walk, 7 a.m., Germain Arena, Estero (eliteevents.org
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: FGCU Gobbler 5K, Alico Arena, Fort Myers (runsignup.com)
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: GCR Thanksgiving 5K, 7:30 a.m., Cambier Park, Naples (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Dec. 1: 40th Annual River Run 10K, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 1: CCSP 5K. Run or walk to benefit Collier County Public Schools. Barron Collier High School (gcrunner.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:
  • Friday, Oct. 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)
  • Saturday, Oct. 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)
  • Sunday, Oct. 14: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group.  (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Sunday, Oct. 22: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Saturday, Oct. 28: 9th annual Tour de Northport. 7 a.m., 15-, 35- and 65-mile routes (caloosariders.org)
  • Sunday, Oct. 29: 9th annual Tour de North Port, 15-, 35- and 65-mile rides, 7:30 a.m., Imagine School, Upper Campus, 2757 Sycamore Street, North Port (caloosariders.org)
  • Sunday, Nov. 4: Gulf Coast Cyclefest. 104-, 79-, 63-, 35- or 20-mile routes starting at Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota. Breakfast, lunch, SAG, rest stops, well-marked routes. (caloosariders.org or active.com
  • Ongoing: Join the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club on one of their many weekly rides for members and potential members, with an array of paces and routes to choose from. Check them out online at www.caloosariders.org.
  • For more Lee County cycling and tri events, visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (caloosariders.org); Florida Mudcutters (mudcutters.org); and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL).

Triathlons:
  • Sunday, Nov. 18: Longboat Key Triathlon & Duathlon, sprint and Olympic tris, sprint and Olympic duathlon. Longboat Key Club & Resort (longboatkeytriathlon.com
  • Sunday, Dec. 16: Christmas Sprint Triathlon/Duathlon, Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Jan. 6, 2019: HITS Triathlon Series, with sprint, Olympic and half-Ironman distances. Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota (hitstriathlonseries.com)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.