Thursday, July 19, 2018

Time to try a tri?


BikeWalkLee Column
The News-Press, 7/19/2018
by Ken Gooderham


Looking for an achievable challenge? Something that will make you stretch to reach your goal, but is well within the skill set of even the moderately fit? An event that lets you work on some new skills while still being able to draw on your existing ones?

Maybe it’s time you tried a tri.

Your best bet to begin with is a sprint triathlon, which typically includes a quarter-mile swim (even up to a half-mile), a 10- to 15-mile bike and a 5K (3.1-mile) run. There are longer distance events, of course, up to and including the famed Ironman… but for your first attempt it’s wise to keep it simple.

Having three sports in one event makes tris more accessible, since most participants typically have some background in one of the three and can develop their skills in the other disciples pretty quickly (thanks to the short distances involved). Most training plans project you could be ready for the race in just six weeks… a dedicated six weeks, to be sure, but still a reasonable time to train.

Having smaller doses of three different disciplines keeps it more interesting (and more accessible, since training distances can be bearable). It’s also can be easier on your body, since you’ll be asking it to something different every day (which can cut down on injuries).

How do you set out to complete your first tri?
  • Find a race: Something local is often best, so you train in the conditions under which you’ll compete. Of course, “destination” races are also a big draw, going to compete in a unique or iconic locale can be an extra incentive. Just don’t set your sights on a hilly course and only train in the flat terrain of SW Florida. You have a few choices locally in the months ahead – Venice, Captiva, Siesta Key, Naples – that combines reasonable training distances with very attractive courses.
  • Find a plan: Training schedules abound, all with a mix of swimming, biking and running to get your body ready for the sprint ahead. All of them enable you to build to the endurance you’ll need to finish without the burnout you’ll want to avoid.
  • Find some help: Need motivation to train? Sign up with some friends to race together, and it makes the effort all the more fun. Need help in a particular discipline? You can work with a coach to improve your skills in any of the three sports… although most people find the swimming the most intimidating, particularly if you’re not used to the open water.
  • Find your gear: Yes, you can spend a ton of money on tri equipment – but you don’t have to. You just need gear that works (and you are comfortable with) and that will work with the changing activities… bike shorts can double as a swimsuit (or vice versa), running shoes are OK for biking too, quick-dry apparel is essential when you’re going from wet to dry to wet (sweat) again. A few musts: You almost always have to wear a swim cap (which the race organizers provide) and bike helmets are a must.
  • Find your motivation: Yes, it’s a race – but it also is supposed to be fun. The allure can be the sense of accomplishment, the chance to compete with/against friends, learning a new sport – whatever makes it fun for you will make it achievable as well.

Some final thoughts:
  • Fueling your body is crucial, even in a short event such as this. Know what works with your system while you train, and use that to guide you during the race (meaning don’t try anything new). And, it’s SW Florida… so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
  • All your training will probably take place outdoors, so sunscreen and conditioner will be your new best friends (particularly if you do your swim work in a pool).
  • Transition – the time between each leg of the race – takes planning, both to bring in what you’ll need and to make the shift from one leg to another as quickly as possible (if you’re seeking to make or break a personal record in the event overall). Think it through, and try things out prior to race day.
  • It’s not essential, but it’s smart to look for a race sanctioned by USA Triathlon, the nation’s governing body for the sport. You usually find a safer and smarter-run race in a sanctioned event, since the organizers need to meet certain standards personally and for the event.
  • Know the rules and the course. There may be volunteers (be sure to thank them) along the course to help guide you, but it’s the athlete’s responsibility to know the course and abide by the rules. You’ll be told where and when you can get on and off your bike (mount and dismount lines), for example – that’s for your safety and the safety of those around you.

 

Ready to ride or run?

Run?  Two runs upcoming: Eagle Lakes 5K, July 28 at 7 a.m., Eagle Lakes Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org); and Fort Myers Track Club Summer Social, July 31 at 7 p.m. at Millennial Brewery, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
 
Ride? Critical Mass rides ahead include the Cape Coral ride July 27 and the Saturday Slow Roll in downtown Fort Myers on the morning of July 28. Lights required for night rides, helmets recommended for all; 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:
  • Saturday, Aug. 11: Naples Junior Tri, 8 a.m., North Collier Regional Park (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Sept. 8: Venice Sprint Triathlon, Sharkey’s on the Pier, Venice
  • Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 15-16: Galloway Captiva Tri, with the kids’ events (three age groups) Saturday and the sprint tri Sunday.
  • Saturday, Sept. 22: (“The Original”) Siesta Key Sprint Triathlon, Siesta Key (trifind.com)

 

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, July 18, 2018

Can you hear me now?

Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 7/18/18
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com

Free T-shirts from past races were part of the perks at the 2018 FMTC Membership Run.
DAN MOSER / FLORIDA WEEKLY
Walkers and runners can be spotted everywhere at almost any time of the day. These two activities are very popular because they’re such an easy and cheap way to get fit, to socialize, and for practical reasons, such as getting to work and taking care of errands. Whether solo or in a group, organized or not, more of us than ever are regularly taking to the pathways and roads on foot. Organized running events are fewer this time of year than during the cooler months but still taking place because demand is there.

And on any given weekend morning I’m among the many who pound the pavement as if the heat and humidity wasn’t even a factor. But one disturbing trend I’ve noticed becoming even more common is the use of earbuds, headphones and other listening devices by runners and walkers.

While not illegal for pedestrians to use them (it is for cyclists and motorists per Florida Statute 316.304) it’s clear they create problems for a number of obvious reasons. Other than when on a treadmill we runners and walkers are mixing with traffic, no matter how much of a “protected” environment we may believe we’re using. That traffic includes other pedestrians (which include users of wheelchairs and power chairs, skaters and skateboarders), cyclists, low-powered electric vehicles and motorists. Intentionally reducing or fully eliminating our ability to hear what’s going on around us while in that situation isn’t too smart, to put it bluntly. Besides the safety aspect there’s the social element: it’s pretty rude to ignore your walking or running buddies by shutting them down. This goes for organized events where many participants are sharing space, even when the course (theoretically) is free of cars.

I witness the problems created by these devices at races when taking on the duty of ensuring the front runners stay on course and run interference for them by leading them out on bike. This task is becoming more difficult not by drivers who sometimes venture onto closed race courses or onlookers crossing or standing in the middle of the road but instead by the race participants themselves. In almost all cases the reason some runners create a problem is because they’re wearing earbuds and unable to hear me telling them to move to one side, so the leaders can pass or provide other instructions. This sometimes happens when coming head-on toward them because some folks run or walk with their head down so they neither hear nor see me trying to get their attention.

Most recently I rode the lead bike for the Fort Myers Track Club’s annual Membership 5K Run. This year’s course was fully contained within the Lee County Sports Complex on its driveways, parking areas and paved paths. This compact course included numerous conflict points as runners and walkers encountered each other, sometimes from the opposite direction and other times in the same direction. Adding to the course challenges was a baseball tournament taking place that morning so vehicular traffic was unexpectedly thrown into the mix.

As it turned out the biggest problem was not 3,000-pound vehicles seeking to encroach onto the race course as drivers tried to determine where their field was and where to park — race volunteers managed them well — but rather from the runners and walkers who were unable to hear me as I attempted to get the leaders past them. So as not to run over some of the clueless runners and walkers I enlisted the help of those who could hear me to make physical contact with the unhearing to get their attention. By my estimation one-third to one-half the participants were among the clueless.

Even after participants were reminded in no uncertain terms when registering and at the start line that any type of listening devices is prohibited — as is the case for all running/ walking events sanctioned and insured by Road Runners Club of America (rrca.org) — many decided to ignore the common sense rule. If this were a triathlon, even a short sprint distance that attracts many firsttimers and casual athletes, anyone failing to heed the rule would have been disqualified. I can only hope that close calls — not serious injuries or worse — will convince my fellow runners and walkers to forego the earbuds and keep the vital sense of hearing in full use when out there mixing in traffic, no matter what the traffic entails. ¦


- 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, July 16, 2018

July 16: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events


Running/walking:

  • Saturday, July 28: Eagle Lakes 5K. The second event in the Elite Events Summer 5k Series takes place at Eagle Lakes Community Park.  This park features prime bird watching areas and scenic views throughout. Runners will race on closed paths throughout the park and finish under the palm trees as music and post race festivities await. 7 a.m., Eagle Lakes Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Tuesday, July 31: Fort Myers Track Club Summer Social, 7 p.m. at Millennial Brewery, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Aug. 11: Cape 5K, 7 a.m., Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Tuesday, Aug. 14: Fort Myers Track Club Summer Social, 7 p.m. at Lazy Flamingo, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Aug. 18: Inaugural Omega Youth 5K, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Aug. 25: North Collier Regional Rampage, 7 a.m., North Collier Regional Park (elitevents.org
  • Tuesday, Aug. 28: Fort Myers Track Club Summer Social, 7 p.m. at Millennial Brewery, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Monday, Sept. 3: Labor Day 5K, 7 a.m., Lowdermilk Park, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:

  • Friday, July 27: 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)
  • Saturday, July 28: 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)
  • Sunday, July 29: 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, Aug 3: SW Florida Critical Mass ride. A family-friendly slow ride through Fort Myers starting at a special time: 7:15 p.m. Front and rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in the open field next to Publix at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Sunday, Aug. 5: 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, Aug. 10: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:30 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Saturday, Aug. 11: Sanibel Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:30 p.m. at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Saturday-Monday, Sept. 1-3: Tour de Sebring, three days of riding in and around Sebring. Ride of varying lengths and skills (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, Aug. 11: Naples Junior Tri, 8 a.m., North Collier Regional Park (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Sept. 8: Venice Sprint Triathlon, Sharkey’s on the Pier, Venice
  • Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 15-16: Galloway Captiva Tri. Kids’ events Saturday morning (three age groups), sprint tri Sunday morning (captivatri.org
  • Saturday, Sept. 22: (“The Original”) Siesta Key Sprint Triathlon, Siesta Key (trifind.com)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.

Monday, July 9, 2018

July 9: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events


Running/walking:


Cycling:

  • Friday, July 13: 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, July 14: 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, July 15: 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, July 27: 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)
  • Saturday, July 28: 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)
  • Sunday, July 29: 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, Aug 3: SW Florida Critical Mass ride. A family-friendly slow ride through Fort Myers starting at a special time: 7:15 p.m. Front and rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in the open field next to Publix at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Sunday, Aug. 5: 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, Aug. 10: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:30 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Saturday, Aug. 11: Sanibel Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:30 p.m. at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Saturday-Monday, Sept. 1-3: Tour de Sebring, three days of riding in and around Sebring. Ride of varying lengths and skills (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, July 14: Englewood YMCA Sprint Tri, Englewood. (active.com
  • Saturday, Aug. 11: Naples Junior Tri, 8 a.m., North Collier Regional Park (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Sept. 8: Venice Sprint Triathlon, Sharkey’s on the Pier, Venice
  • Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 15-16: Galloway Captiva Tri. Kids’ events Saturday morning (three age groups), sprint tri Sunday morning (captivatri.org
  • Saturday, Sept. 22: (“The Original”) Siesta Key Sprint Triathlon, Siesta Key (trifind.com)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Pedal your way through history


BikeWalkLee Column
The News-Press, 7/5/2018
by Ken Gooderham


Sanibel is certainly known for its bike-friendly facilities. But did you know about its extensive history?

Now you can combine those two pleasures into a cruise around the new Sanibel Heritage Trail.

The trail is a series of 22 panels located throughout the island describing some aspect of Sanibel’s historic past – and the island has quite a history to look back upon, including:

  • Commercial farming was widespread on the island from the late 1860s until the 1920s, when successive hurricanes ended that enterprise.
  • The Sanibel School was the first racially integrated school in the county, beginning in 1964. (The first school on the island was built in 1892.) In 1962, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church was the first church in the region to be racially integrated.
  • The Sanibel Lighthouse has been a beacon for navigators since 1884. And the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge – created in 1945 and renamed in 1967 for the renowned conservationist who fought for its creation – comprises more than 6,400 acres of uplands, wetlands and forests.
  • The opening of the Sanibel Causeway in 1963 brought a boom to the island, which to that point had been accessible only by ferry. That, among other reasons, inspired the island to incorporate as a city in 1974, as a means to preserve and protect the island.
  • The community came together to build the first church – the Sanibel Community Church in 1917 – and the Sanibel Community House in the late 1920s.


Sanibel Heritage Trail (click for larger version)

The trail is an easy ride for most, concentrated on the east end and middle of the island. There’s no start or finish, unless you want to use the Sanibel Historical Museum & Village (https://sanibelmuseum.org/) as a beginning or ending point. It’s located at 950 Dunlop Road (near the library and City Hall), and is open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with special events often scheduled outside those hours in season.

If you can stand the heat, the paths are quieter this time of year. Plus, there’s a rumored app on the way to make traversing the trail a little easier (not an essential issue, however).

So why not mix a little education with your recreation (or vice versa), and take ride back in island history soon?

 

Ready to ride or run?

Run? After you recover from the plethora of 5Ks to celebrate July 4, two runs upcoming: Fort Myers Track Club Summer Social, July 10 at 7 p.m. at Lazy Flamingo, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com); and Beat the Heat 5K, July 14 at 7 a.m., Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com).
 
Ride? Critical Mass rides ahead include the original (and still undefeated) downtown Fort Myers ride Friday night, the NE Lee ride July 13 and the Sanibel ride July 14. Lights required for night rides, helmets recommended for all; details atmeetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/. On Sunday, July 8, Wheels & Wings offers four different rides (plus an off-road option) based at Beef O’Brady’s in Punta Gorda (peaceriverridersbicycleclub.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:

  • Saturday, July 14: Englewood YMCA Sprint Triathlon, Englewood (active.com)
  • Saturday, Aug. 11: Naples Junior Tri, 8 a.m., North Collier Regional Park (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Sept. 8: Venice Sprint Triathlon, Sharkey’s on the Pier, Venice
  • Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 15-16: Galloway Captiva Tri, with the kids’ events (three age groups) Saturday and the sprint tri Sunday.
  • Saturday, Sept. 22: (“The Original”) Siesta Key Sprint Triathlon, Siesta Key (trifind.com)

 

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, July 4, 2018

Educational courses make roads safer

Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 7/4/18
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com

Physical education teachers participate in a
training class on bicycling safety
COURTESY PHOTO
In a perfect world we would all follow the rules, laws and mores we’ve set up for ourselves as a society. But we’re all human so mistakes and missteps are inevitable and to be expected. That fact goes for the things we do on our roads and pathways as much as anything.

Just to cite a few examples: We’re all familiar with pedestrians who unexpectedly dart into traffic from between parked cars, people on bikes riding against traffic and drivers failing to stop behind a stop sign or red traffic signal and encroach into the crosswalk (marked or unmarked). Those actions may be isolated poor decisions, entrenched bad habits or deliberate actions based on self-serving reasons or incorrect information. When dangerous behaviors become ongoing and frequent — as appears to be the case in our part of the world, at least based on traffic crash statistics — education can make a difference.

For some time, online education courses on almost any topic have been readily available and often the preferred option. But based on my experience, learning online about how to behave in traffic is not as effective or impactful as training conducted in person.

Over the years I’ve provided many bicycle and pedestrian education sessions and programs, including training others to be instructors. Most of my efforts are now focused on the latter, mainly because I realize it’s much more productive to deal with those who know their audience as teachers and also because it has a multiplier effect once individuals have been trained as instructors.

Recently I trained members of Streets Alive SWF (streetsaliveswfl.org), University of Florida Extension Service staff (sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu), and interested local residents to do just that. These folks were eager to learn how to teach pedestrian and bicycle safety through bicycle skills clinics/bike rodeos, community presentations and other events. Now they have a better understanding of relevant laws, behaviors and practices — knowledge that will benefit them as individuals as well as teachers of others. It’s always rewarding working with motivated individuals and the organizations they represent.

Admittedly, it’s not easy to attract participants to take part in the various in-person opportunities to learn how to behave in traffic as vulnerable road users, except perhaps for school students (assuming it’s offered). For potential drivers who are just learning or who are very new to being behind the wheel, it’s a little easier to get them to undertake formal education for practical purposes.

But that’s not the case for established drivers. From my perspective, educating drivers — or at least getting key messages and concepts to them — would have the biggest impact on reducing all traffic-related injuries and fatalities, meaning those involving vulnerable road users would likely also be positively impacted.

For those learning to drive as teenagers, the limited offerings in the way of school-based education means only some of those needing it receive it and even then, it’s not nearly as comprehensive and effective as it needs to be. For established drivers, continuing education usually comes only when the courts require it, there is a need to reduce accumulated points against one’s driver license or the driver seeks a discount on insurance. Seldom, if ever, does anyone take a driving “refresher” just to ensure he or she is operating at as high a level as possible.

I’ve compiled a list of educational opportunities available in our area. It’s not comprehensive — the list doesn’t include those that are specific to traffic law offenders or anything available online. The list includes nonprofits or government agencies. Local commercial driving schools can be found at https://www.flhsmv.gov/driver-licenses-id-cards/behind-wheel-training/#lee. ¦

BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN

CyclingSavvy, American Bicycling Education Association, abea.bike.

Smart Cycling, League of American Bicyclists, bikeleague.org.

Ride Leader / Ride Marshall Certification, FBA, floridabicycle.org.

Florida Traffic & Bicycle Safety Education Program, hhp.ufl.edu/safety.

Safe Routes to School, floridasrts.com.

SafeKids at Golisano Children’s Hospital, safekidsleecollier.org.

BikeWalkLee, bikewalklee.org.

Streets Alive SWF, streetsaliveswfl.org.

DRIVING

Stay Alive … Just Drive!, sajd.org.

Smart Driver Course, AARP, aarp.org/auto/driver-safety.

Young Driver Program, Lee Health, leehealthynews.org/articles/lee-health-calendar.

Teen Driver Challenge, Sheriff’s Youth Activity League, leecountysheriffsyouthactivitiesleague.com/teen-driver-challenge.

D.A.T.E, required to obtain driving permits and other driving courses, SWF Safety Council, swflsc.com/driving-school.

For more information, see 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, July 2, 2018

July 2: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events


Running/walking:

Cycling:

  • Friday, July 6: 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, July 8: Wheels & Wings with four different rides of 15, 32, 50 and 62 miles plus a 40 mile Gravel Grinder. 7 a.m. at Beef O’Brady’s, Punta Gorda
  • Sunday, July 8: 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, July 13: 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, July 14: 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)
  • 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, July 14: Englewood YMCA Sprint Tri, Englewood. (active.com
  • Saturday, Aug. 11: Naples Junior Tri, 8 a.m., North Collier Regional Park (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 15-16: Galloway Captiva Tri. Kids’ events Saturday morning (three age groups), sprint tri Sunday morning. (captivatri.org)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.