Monday, September 16, 2019

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

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Friday, Sept. 20: Downtown Dash 1-mile run/walk. This is Southwest Florida’s only timed mile run/walk event for all ages. This run/walk is the first of its kind, offering participants the option to test themselves in a mile run or simply enjoy jogging or walking a mile in beautiful downtown Fort Myers. 6 p.m., Lee county regional Library, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 3: GCR Corporate Run, non-timed 5K, Gordon River Greenway, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Oct. 5: Busey Bank Run for Prevention 5K, Centennial Park, Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  • Sunday, Oct. 6: Rocktoberfest 5K/10K, North Collier Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 12: Fort Myers Cops and Joggers 5K, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 19: Gulf to Gulf 80 Mile Relay, downtown Naples to the Sanibel Causeway and back for 6-person relay teams (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: FISH 10K, Sanibel (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: Eighth annual LCEC Goblin Gallop 5K, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: Halloween Monster 5K, Fleischmann Park, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Nov. 2: St. Andrew Catholic School Run for the Stars 5K, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Nov. 9: Olde Naples 10K, 7:30 a.m. (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Nov. 9: Run 4 Your Lungs 5K Run/Walk, Lakes Regional Park, Fort Myers (runsignup.com)
  • Monday, Nov. 11: Midpoint Madness 5K run/walk, Midpoint Bridge, Fort Myers, 7 p.m. (ftmyerstrackclub.com
  • Saturday, Nov. 16: CCPS 5K, competitive run, fun run and walk, Barron Collier High School, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Nov. 16: Sprint for Students 5K run/walk, FGCU campus (runsignup.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 26: Fall Classic Half Marathon, Naples (runeliteevents.com)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; eliteevents.org and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:

  • Monday, Sep. 16: Monday Minions Ride. This is a weekly ride that rolls in the 13-15 mph range. Total distance around 15 miles. After the ride most go over to Square 1 restaurant for the $5 burger and fries deal. If you are looking to get into cycling beyond the casual roll, this is an ideal ride for you. 6 p.m., Fort Myers Cyclery, 3630 Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) 
  • Tuesday, Sep. 17: Taco Tuesday Ride. Every Tuesday night, We Ride For Tacos! After a 21 mile ride on Treeline/Old Airport/Daniels/6 Mile Cypress roads and paths, we'll finish at Tijuana Flats for Taco Tuesday. B RIDERS: 16 to 18 mph for the basic group. A RIDERS: The faster group rides at 20mph plus. We finish well after dark, so Front And Rear Lights are Required. 6:30 p.m., Trek Bicycle Store of Fort Myers, 8291 Dani Drive, Fort Myers (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Friday, Sept. 20: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended.  (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Sunday, Sep. 22: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. This is a weekly ride for riders of most skill levels and most types of bicycles (hybrids, fitness, and road). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, thus helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. 7.30 a.m., location varies, visit (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) for details. 
  • Friday, Sept. 27: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at 7:30 p.m., start at 8 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, Sept. 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)
  • Friday, Oct. 4: SW Florida Critical Mass ride. A family-friendly slow ride through Fort Myers gathering at 7:15 p.m. and starting at 8 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, Oct. 20: 10th annual Tour de Northport, distances of 15, 35 and 65 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:

  • Saturday, Sept. 21: The Original Siesta Key Tri, sprint (runsignup.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 17: Longboat Key Sprint/Olympic Triathlon and Duathlon and 5K (imathlete.com)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.









Thursday, September 12, 2019

BikeWalkLee: Races are here, even if cooler weather isn’t

BikeWalkLee Column
The News-Press, September 12, 2019
by Ken Gooderham


Are you ready to run? Well, the races are ready for you.

The calendar says September even while the thermometer says it’s still summer. Nevertheless, the fall racing season kicks off this weekend with three event that seemingly cater to your level of run readiness:
  • If you’ve been putting in the miles all summer (for which I doff my sweat-soaked cap to you), there’s the Venice half marathon (with a 5K as well, if you’re not quite ready for 13.1 miles of steamy fun).
  • Haven’t laced up the running shoes in a while? Consider the Average Joe 5K in Naples, where the pitch is: “Welcome to ‘The World’s Easiest 5K’ where the person who finishes in the middle is the winner!”
  • Somewhere between the two you’ll find the Tunnel to Towers 5K run/walk at Lakes Park, organized to honor FDNY firefighter Steven Siller (a victim of 9/11) as well as first responders and the military overall.
After this launch, you’ll find almost every weekend through Thanksgiving hosting a running event of some ilk, from the typical 5Ks to the next-step 10Ks, then to a half-marathon and finally reaching an 80-mile relay from downtown Naples to the Sanibel Causeway and back. And that’s just this year!

So what do you need to do if you want to join the race? The first question may be what have you been doing already?

If you’re a regular runner used to the still-sultry temps, pick a distance you feel comfortable doing (or have the time to train for) and go. You’ve likely gotten the acclimatization thing down cold (or warm), and you know what you need to do to stay hydrated and happy for an early-morning race (which most of these will be until we shave a few more degrees off the thermometer).

Not used to the heat or distance, but still used to running? Pick a short and simple event and watch the weather for a break in the humidity (we got a little taste of that with Dorian’s passage to the east, short-lived as it was). And if the going gets too tough, stop going (or at least walk it off). How well you are able to handle the heat may determine how long you will be able to run in it… and living to run another day is smarter than making yourself sick (or worse).

A better compromise? Look at the upcoming events and distances, and pick one to set for a goal. That will give you the time you need – and the drop in temperature you want – to help you have a great race.

There could just be a 10K or half marathon out there with your name on it.

ERRATA: Checking the event calendar for Critical Mass (the street party where a bike ride break outs), it appears the group shifted both the date and location for its sixth anniversary party. Now it’s planned for this Saturday (Sept. 14) beginning around 5 p.m. at Millennial Brewing Company in downtown Fort Myers. Details online at http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/.

Ready to ride or run? 

Run? As mentioned above, things really pick up on Sept. 14, with the Tunnel to Towers 5K run/walk in Lakes Park, the Average Joe 5K in North Collier Regional Park, and a half-marathon in Venice. Details at gcrunner.org, ftmyerstrackclub.com, active.com and venicehalf.com. This is followed by the Downtown Dash 1-mile run/walk on Friday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m., Lee County Regional Library, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com).

Ride? Besides the anniversary celebration Saturday at Millennial Brewing, Critical Mass has the regularly scheduled rides on tap as well:
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Sanibel Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:30 p.m. at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel.
  • Friday, Sept. 20: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd.
  • Friday, Sept. 27: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at 7:30 p.m., start at 8 p.m. at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street.
  • Saturday, Sept. 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.
Lights required for night rides, helmets recommended for all, details at meetup.com.

Both? Upcoming events include:
  • Saturday, Sept. 21: The Original Siesta Key Tri, sprint (runsignup.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 17: Longboat Key Triathlon/Duathlon, Olympic and sprint distances (trifind.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, September 11, 2019

Pedestrian, bicycle improvement projects moving along


Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, September 11, 2019
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com

A rending of the temporary improvement on Fowler Street looking south toward Hanson Street. COURTESY IMAGE

As Lee County and all of Southwest Florida continues to grow at a breakneck pace many transportation projects are taking place as well. While most road improvement projects or new road development include sidewalks or shared-use paths and sometimes even bike lanes, the fact is that what generally continues to be designed and built are facilities intended to move motor traffic as quickly and efficiently as possible with non-motorists being treated as secondary users.

This approach means pedestrians and those on bicycles continue to face dangers and difficulties when navigating our public rights of way. In fact, many of the improvement projects turn our streets and roads into full-fledged highways with design speeds increased by 10 mph or higher than the posted speed limit (usually 40 mph higher), making using them a challenging and largely unpleasant task for non-motorists.

Here are a few project updates.

¦ Fowler Street from Hanson Street to MLK/SR-82 is the last segment of the Metro corridor stretching from Alico Road in south Fort Myers to just north of the Shell Factory in North Fort Myers. It’s been left unimproved for decades and is the definition of a dysfunctional road segment. Although it’s under the jurisdiction of FDOT, the city of Fort Myers has held up any kind of improvement since the late 1980s, all at the expense of pedestrians and cyclists. There are no sidewalks or even usable shoulders, not to mention driver safety is compromised, as it’s a four-lane road with no median or left- turn lanes. FDOT and Fort Myers have finally come to a tentative agreement on at least an interim plan that provides accommodation for pedestrians (bicycle users will be accommodated on parallel Evans Avenue with the addition of an on-road, two-way cycle track; the existing sidewalk will remain on Evans). As part of the plan, Evans will turn one of its three northbound lanes into a southbound one; Fowler will have two southbound lanes and one northbound.

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 239-334-6417.
The fact that FDOT is willing to take this temporary approach after almost 40 years of taking no action tells me there’s really no satisfying the city of Fort Myers, so what a final plan might be remains to be seen. This segment is appropriate for a one-way pair as there are a number of perpendicular streets running between Evans and Fowler, allowing for easy access to locations on both streets. But because the city has dug in against a one-way pair (even though that’s what exists from MLK to both spans of the Edison Bridge) we’re stuck with this temporary solution which may last for another few decades.

¦ The spine of Lee County’s trail network runs adjacent to the rail line between U.S. 41 and Metro Parkway and includes John Yarbrough Park Trail (JY Trail), which currently exists from Six Mile Cypress Parkway to Colonial Boulevard. The next phase continues north to Hanson. This is indeed welcome news. But there’s really no plan to extend it as a pathway that’s not along a highway from Hanson (it’ll run along Metro/Evans from there and the path is a sidewalk not a shared-use path). Additionally, one of the key features that was supposed to be part of this extension will not come to be: there will be no direct connection between JY Trail and North Colonial Linear Trail. FTOD even redesigned the Metro overpass just north of Winkler Avenue to accommodate this planned connection.

¦ On the southern end of JY Trail a long-overdue trailhead parking lot is in the works. Lee County purchased property west of Metro and the railroad tracks and east of Independence Circle and is currently designing the trailhead facility, which is slated to be constructed in 2020.

¦ The SUNTrail statewide trail system segment in Cape Coral is making progress. This 12-foot wide, 6.5-mile project runs from Burnt Store Road to the east along Van Buren Parkway, El Dorado Boulevard and Kismet Parkway, terminating at Del Prado Boulevard. It’s broken into two phases with design of phase 1 — from Burnt Store to Nelson Road — about complete and construction slated to begin next year. What should be interesting is how a segment east of Del Prado that’s necessary to meet up with the north-south SUNTrail corridor in North Fort Myers along 41 will be dealt with. Lee County is currently designing a realignment to directly connect Littleton Road to Kismet, but it does not appear to be including a shared-use path facility along it in the plan.

To learn about this topic and more, visit bikewalklee.blogspot.com and www.streetsaliveswfl.org



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, September 9, 2019

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

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Tunnel to Towers 5K Run/Walk, Lakes Park, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Average Joe Run 5K. Welcome to "The World's Easiest 5k" where the person who finishes in the middle is the winner. The First 3 Finishers are also awarded. Our goal is to remake the 5k experience by making average special and breaking the traditional idea of what it means to be physically fit. North Collier Regional Park, Naples (active.com)
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Venice Half Marathon & 5K, Venice (venicehalf.com
  • Friday, Sept. 20: Downtown Dash 1-mile run/walk, 6 p.m., Lee county regional Library, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 3: GCR Corporate Run, non-timed 5K, Gordon River Greenway, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Oct. 5: Busey Bank Run for Prevention 5K, Centennial Park, Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  • Sunday, Oct. 6: Rocktoberfest 5K/10K, North Collier Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 12: Fort Myers Cops and Joggers 5K, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 19: Gulf to Gulf 80 Mile Relay, downtown Naples to the Sanibel Causeway and back for 6-person relay teams (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: FISH 10K, Sanibel (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: Eighth annual LCEC Goblin Gallop 5K, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: Halloween Monster 5K, Fleischmann Park, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Nov. 9: Olde Naples 10K, 7:30 a.m. (gcrunner.org)
  • Monday, Nov. 11: Midpoint Madness 5K run/walk, Midpoint Bridge, Fort Myers, 7 p.m. (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; eliteevents.org and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:
  • Monday, Sep. 9: Monday Minions Ride. This is a weekly ride that rolls in the 13-15 mph range. Total distance around 15 miles. After the ride most go over to Square 1 restaurant for the $5 burger and fries deal. If you are looking to get into cycling beyond the casual roll, this is an ideal ride for you. 6 p.m., Fort Myers Cyclery, 3630 Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) 
  • Tuesday, Sep. 10: Taco Tuesday Ride. Every Tuesday night, We Ride For Tacos! After a 21 mile ride on Treeline/Old Airport/Daniels/6 Mile Cypress roads and paths, we'll finish at Tijuana Flats for Taco Tuesday. B RIDERS: 16 to 18 mph for the basic group. A RIDERS: The faster group rides at 20mph plus. We finish well after dark, so Front And Rear Lights are Required. 6:30 p.m., Trek Bicycle Store of Fort Myers, 8291 Dani Drive, Fort Myers (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Critical Mass 6th annual Anniversary Beach Party: Food, fun, costume and bike contest… oh, and a ride as well. Pre-ride fun starts at 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Millennial Brewing Company, 1811 Royal Palm Ave, Fort Myers (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Saturday, Sept. 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, Sep. 15: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. This is a weekly ride for riders of most skill levels and most types of bicycles (hybrids, fitness, and road). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, thus helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. 7.30 a.m., location varies, visit (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) for details. 
  • Friday, Sept. 20: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended.  (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20: 10th annual Tour de Northport, distances of 15, 35 and 65 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:

  • Saturday, Sept. 21: The Original Siesta Key Tri, sprint (runsignup.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 17: Longboat Key Sprint/Olympic Triathlon and Duathlon and 5K (imathlete.com)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.









Sunday, September 1, 2019

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

Upcoming events

Running/walking:

  • Monday, Sept. 2: Labor Day 5K, Lowdermilk Park, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Tunnel to Towers 5K Run/Walk, Lakes Park, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Average Joe Run 5K, North Collier Regional Park, Naples (active.com)
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Venice Half Marathon & 5K, Venice (venicehalf.com
  • Friday, Sept. 20: Downtown Dash 1-mile run/walk, 6 p.m., Lee county regional Library, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 3: GCR Corporate Run, non-timed 5K, Gordon River Greenway, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Oct. 5: Busey Bank Run for Prevention 5K, Centennial Park, Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  • Sunday, Oct. 6: Rocktoberfest 5K/10K, North Collier Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 12: Fort Myers Cops and Joggers 5K, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 19: Gulf to Gulf 80 Mile Relay, downtown Naples to the Sanibel Causeway and back for 6-person relay teams (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: FISH 10K, Sanibel (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: Eighth annual LCEC Goblin Gallop 5K, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: Halloween Monster 5K, Fleischmann Park, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Nov. 9: Olde Naples 10K, 7:30 a.m. (gcrunner.org)
  • Monday, Nov. 11: Midpoint Madness 5K run/walk, Midpoint Bridge, Fort Myers, 7 p.m. (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; eliteevents.org and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:

  • Monday, Sep. 2: Monday Minions Ride. This is a weekly ride that rolls in the 13-15 mph range. Total distance around 15 miles. After the ride most go over to Square 1 restaurant for the $5 burger and fries deal. If you are looking to get into cycling beyond the casual roll, this is an ideal ride for you. 6 p.m., Fort Myers Cyclery, 3630 Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) 
  • Tuesday, Sep. 3: Taco Tuesday Ride. Every Tuesday night, We Ride For Tacos! After a 21 mile ride on Treeline/Old Airport/Daniels/6 Mile Cypress roads and paths, we'll finish at Tijuana Flats for Taco Tuesday. B RIDERS: 16 to 18 mph for the basic group. A RIDERS: The faster group rides at 20mph plus. We finish well after dark, so Front And Rear Lights are Required. 6:30 p.m., Trek Bicycle Store of Fort Myers, 8291 Dani Drive, Fort Myers (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) 
  • Friday, Sep. 6: SWFL Critical Mass (the MASSIVE monthly evening ride). Come out and enjoy a large group slow ride with SWFL Critical Mass! We'll first meet up at the Publix side lot, then ride through Artwalk in town, then through all the beautiful neighborhoods surrounding the Edison home. Halfway point for a 10 minute break and onto the next 5.5 miles. Nice easy pace of 8-10mph. Tailgate starts at 7:30 p.m, (though many arrive earlier). We roll at 8:00 p.m. Side lot next to the downtown Publix, 2160 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Sunday, Sep. 8: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. This is a weekly ride for riders of most skill levels and most types of bicycles (hybrids, fitness, and road). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, thus helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. 7.30 a.m., location varies, visit (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) for details. 
  • Saturday, Sept. 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)
  • Friday, Sept. 20: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended.  (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20: 10th annual Tour de Northport, distances of 15, 35 and 65 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:

  • Monday, Sept. 2: Venice Sprint Tri, Sharky’s on the Pier, Venice (trifind.com)
  • Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 7-8: Galloway Captiva Tri. Sprint on Saturday, kids’ events Sunday (www.gearedup.biz)
  • Saturday, Sept. 21: The Original Siesta Key Tri, sprint (runsignup.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 17: Longboat Key Sprint/Olympic Triathlon and Duathlon and 5K (imathlete.com)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.









Thursday, August 29, 2019

BikeWalkLee: To e- or not to e-

BikeWalkLee Column
The News-Press, August 29, 2019
by Ken Gooderham


If you’ve been on a bike path lately and have been passed by another cyclist who’s moving right along without doing much pedaling – welcome to e-bicycling!

E-bikes are a hot-selling new wave in cycling, cranking up an increased share of sales in the past few years as more manufacturers have joined the fray. They’ve also become a semi-hot item legislatively, with some governments taking action to limit or prohibit their use.

So what is an e-bike?

Simply put, it’s a bicycle that has an electric motor to boost pedaling (or eliminate it altogether). Pedal-assisted bikes augment your own pedal power (so you do some of the work), while throttle-operated bikes run on the motor alone (so you can do none of the work if you wish). Either way, to be considered a bicycle they must not be able to exceed 20 mph (per state law), and they can (mostly) legally be ridden anywhere a regular bicycle can go (exceptions to be discussed in a minute).

A little online searching reveals a number of places locally that sell and/or rent e-bikes, if you decide to give one a try.

But should you?

If your goal with bicycling is to get some exercise, probably not. If your goal is transportation, maybe so.

As far as exercise, pedal-assist does mean you have to do some of the work… so not a complete loss. However, in flat-as-a-pancake Florida making a case that you need help riding is a little more difficult – unless this about distance rather than elevation. And if you as a Florida cyclist ever find yourself somewhere with actual hills… well, an e-bike could be a good bet there.


A pedal-assisted e-bike. Source: wikimedia

The benefits of e-bikes:
  • They can be a good way to get (or keep) people on bikes… by making it easier to get started in riding or stay on a bike longer.
  • They can be a good equalizer… making slow riders faster and weak climbers better.
  • They can be a great short-trip mode of transportation… again, easier to ride and haul things when there’s a little help.
The negatives of e-bikes:
  • They’re heavy and more expensive… because you’ve added a motor and batteries on board.
  • They take some getting used to compared to a regular bike… they may start faster, brake slower and ride differently due to the extra weight and oomph.
  • They may not be allowed where you want to ride… Fort Myers Beach banned them on sand, sidewalks and paths last year, and Sanibel is considering a similar prohibition (next hearing will be Sept. 9). There may be other prohibitions in parks and other restricted-riding places, so check that out before you plan to e-bike there… and be aware of the legal issues in the paragraph after next.

Of course, a big concern with e-bikes is speed (theirs) and safety (everyone else’s). Mixing bicycles that can easily do 20 mph on a shared-use path with much slower walkers, runners and riders is asking for trouble if the e-cyclist isn’t used to navigating a bigger and faster bike amidst the other path users. Riding a bike where the amount of assistance can be controlled would be a plus here, as the e-cyclist could ride like a normal cyclist in traffic then open it up again once (and if) the other slower users thinned out. (If you regularly ride on the road with other motorized traffic, the boost that pedal-assist brings could be a welcome benefit.)

This brings up an even more pressing issue: Per Florida Statutes, e-bikes aren’t actually legal to ride on a bike path or sidewalk unless specifically allowed by local ordinance – something that hasn’t occurred locally, except in the instances cited above where their use is explicitly banned. (Devices used by people with mobility issues are not banned under this statute.) This e-bike prohibition isn’t rigorously (or even lackadaisically) enforced, but it does exist… so if you’re looking at an e-bike, also look at where you can legally ride it so there aren’t any surprises (or potential liability) down the road.

Any development that could convince more people to try cycling – and enable cyclists to stay riding longer – is certainly worth considering. But those e-cyclists must be ready to ride responsibly rather than recklessly, recognizing their size and speed could bring risk to others even as they bring a boost to the person behind the handlebars.

NOTE: Remember that school is back in session, which means kids are back at bus stops… so slow down and watch out for students.

Ready to ride or run? 

Run? Labor Day kicks off the fall running schedule, with a Naples 5K on Monday. Things really pick up on Sept. 14, with the Tunnel to Towers 5K run/walk in Lakes Park, the Average Joe 5K in North Collier Regional Park, and a half-marathon in Venice. Details at gcrunner.org, ftmyerstrackclub.com, active.com and venicehalf.com.

Ride? A big weekend for Critical Mass, with the Cape ride Friday night, the Slow Roll in downtown Fort Myers Saturday morning, and an anniversary party Saturday afternoon that morphs into a night ride. Then the regular downtown ride happens on Sept. 6. Lights required for the night rides and helmets recommended for all rides; details at meetup.com.

Both? Upcoming events include:

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, August 28, 2019

Hazards for cyclists, walkers include behavior of others


Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, August 28, 2019
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com

It’s no surprise that bikes are never seen parked at this rack near downtown Fort Myers. DAN MOSER / FLORIDA WEEKLY


I regularly hear from folks complaining about behavior from others on our roads and pathways.

In particular, cyclists passing on narrow sidewalks without warning and pedestrians not hearing or acknowledging warnings and obstructing the path. The latter is especially problematic when pedestrians walk dogs and the leash becomes a hazard. The former — cyclists not warning when passing — is much too common as so many people ride bikes on narrow sidewalks. The obvious solutions to each of these problems is to remain aware of one’s surroundings and to always have consideration for others.

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 239-334-6417.
With the new school year comes the usual problems created by parents and other adults who drive their kids to school or wait with them at the bus stop — parking on or otherwise blocking sidewalks and bike lanes. Unfortunately, based on reactions of those who are guilty of this when it’s pointed out, all that matters is their own convenience. There’s no way to really measure the frequency of this behavior but based on my observations it’s extremely common and rarely addressed by either law enforcement or school officials.

Leaf blowers, mowers and weed eaters can be quite daunting when the operator is unaware of those who must pass by them. The dirt and dust from leaf blowers are especially problematic. In general, professional landscapers are very courteous but because there are so many of them it can be like playing whack-a-mole this time of year. Lawn sprinklers are another pesky element of a daily walk, run or bike ride. Although they shouldn’t be on during daylight hours, they often are. Often, they are misadjusted so are watering the sidewalk and roadway more than the grass, causing folks to avoid them by sometimes making erratic and risky detours. Just recently the sprinklers came alive in the park in front of Lee Memorial Hospital at 3:30 in the afternoon, scrambling folks sitting on park benches. I saw one hospital worker leave behind her shoes as she hastily abandoned her seat. Why there’s any need to water at all this time of year is beyond my understanding.

Uneven, broken or missing segments of sidewalks; road hazards like potholes, open storm drains, spilled and hardened concrete; shoulder drop-offs; and construction taking place in the right of way are hazards we face on a daily basis. Sidewalks along U.S. 41 are frequently closed or restricted due to utility construction beneath them, sometimes resulting in both sides being impassible. The contractor reworking 41 between Winkler Avenue and downtown Fort Myers is actually doing a good job of ensuring pedestrian (and bicycle) access, but the same can’t be said of those doing work along 41 from College Parkway to points south, work that seems to be in a perpetual state.

I think anyone who uses his bike on a regular basis will agree that adequate bike parking is something our part of the world is sorely lacking. Even our most urbanized and updated areas, (Fort Myers River District, Fort Myers Beach, South Cape Coral) do not provide it to the degree necessary and surely not enough to attract others who might ride a bike to the destination rather than drive there. Even where it is provided it’s usually spartan and hardly enticing. Locating them under cover and close to obvious destinations would be nice but it’s a rarity here. Utility poles, signposts and landscaping features are where you’ll see most bikes parked and locked. But thanks to them being designated Bike Friendly Communities, Sanibel is somewhat of an exception and Cape Coral is making strides.

To learn about this topic and more, visit bikewalklee.blogspot.com and www.streetsaliveswfl.org



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, August 26, 2019

August 26: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Monday, Sept. 2: Labor Day 5K, Lowdermilk Park, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Tunnel to Towers 5K Run/Walk, Lakes Park, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Average Joe Run 5K, North Collier Regional Park, Naples (active.com)
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Venice Half Marathon & 5K, Venice (venicehalf.com
  • Friday, Sept. 20: Downtown Dash 1-mile run/walk, 6 p.m., Lee county regional Library, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 3: GCR Corporate Run, non-timed 5K, Gordon River Greenway, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Oct. 5: Busey Bank Run for Prevention 5K, Centennial Park, Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  • Sunday, Oct. 6: Rocktoberfest 5K/10K, North Collier Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 12: Fort Myers Cops and Joggers 5K, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 19: Gulf to Gulf 80 Mile Relay, downtown Naples to the Sanibel Causeway and back for 6-person relay teams (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: FISH 10K, Sanibel (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: Eighth annual LCEC Goblin Gallop 5K, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: Halloween Monster 5K, Fleischmann Park, Naples (gcrunner.org
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; eliteevents.org and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:
  • Monday, Aug. 26: Monday Minions Ride. This is a weekly ride that rolls in the 13-15 mph range. Total distance around 15 miles. After the ride most go over to Square 1 restaurant for the $5 burger and fries deal. If you are looking to get into cycling beyond the casual roll, this is an ideal ride for you. 6 p.m., Fort Myers Cyclery, 3630 Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) 
  • Tuesday, Aug. 27: Taco Tuesday Ride. Every Tuesday night, We Ride For Tacos! After a 21 mile ride on Treeline/Old Airport/Daniels/6 Mile Cypress roads and paths, we'll finish at Tijuana Flats for Taco Tuesday. B RIDERS: 16 to 18 mph for the basic group. A RIDERS: The faster group rides at 20mph plus. We finish well after dark, so Front And Rear Lights are Required. 6:30 p.m., Trek Bicycle Store of Fort Myers, 8291 Dani Drive, Fort Myers (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) 
  • Friday, Aug. 30: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at 7:30 p.m., start at 8 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, Aug. 31: 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, Aug. 31: Critical Mass 6th annual Anniversary Beach Party: Food, fun, costume and bike contest… oh, and a ride as well. Pre-ride fun starts at 5 p.m., ride kicks off at 8 p.m., all from Centennial Park, downtown Fort Myers. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Sunday, Sep. 1: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. This is a weekly ride for riders of most skill levels and most types of bicycles (hybrids, fitness, and road). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, thus helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. 7.30 a.m., location varies, visit (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) for details. 
  • Ongoing: Join the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club on one of their many weekly rides for members and potential members, with an array of paces and routes to choose from. Check them out online at www.caloosariders.org.
  • For more Lee County cycling and tri events, visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (caloosariders.org); Florida Mudcutters (mudcutters.org); and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL).

Triathlons:

  • Monday, Sept. 2: Venice Sprint Tri, Sharky’s on the Pier, Venice (trifind.com)
  • Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 7-8: Galloway Captiva Tri. Sprint on Saturday, kids’ events Sunday (www.gearedup.biz)
  • Saturday, Sept. 21: The Original Siesta Key Tri, sprint (runsignup.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 17: Longboat Key Sprint/Olympic Triathlon and Duathlon and 5K (imathlete.com)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.









Monday, August 19, 2019

August 19: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, Aug. 24: Rampage 5K, North Collier Regional Park, Naples (runeliteevents.com)
  • Monday, Sept. 2: Labor Day 5K, Lowdermilk Park, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Tunnel to Towers 5K Run/Walk, Lakes Park, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Average Joe Run 5K, North Collier Regional Park, Naples (active.com)
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Venice Half Marathon & 5K, Venice (venicehalf.com
  • Friday, Sept. 20: Downtown Dash 1-mile run/walk, 6 p.m., Lee county regional Library, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 3: GCR Corporate Run, non-timed 5K, Gordon River Greenway, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Oct. 5: Busey Bank Run for Prevention 5K, Centennial Park, Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  • Sunday, Oct. 6: Rocktoberfest 5K/10K, North Collier Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 12: Fort Myers Cops and Joggers 5K, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 19: Gulf to Gulf 80 Mile Relay, downtown Naples to the Sanibel Causeway and back for 6-person relay teams (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: FISH 10K, Sanibel (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: Eighth annual LCEC Goblin Gallop 5K, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: Halloween Monster 5K, Fleischmann Park, Naples (gcrunner.org
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; eliteevents.org and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:
  • Monday, Aug. 19: Monday Minions Ride. This is a weekly ride that rolls in the 13-15 mph range. Total distance around 15 miles. After the ride most go over to Square 1 restaurant for the $5 burger and fries deal. If you are looking to get into cycling beyond the casual roll, this is an ideal ride for you. 6 p.m., Fort Myers Cyclery, 3630 Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) 
  • Tuesday, Aug. 20: Taco Tuesday Ride. Every Tuesday night, We Ride For Tacos! After a 21 mile ride on Treeline/Old Airport/Daniels/6 Mile Cypress roads and paths, we'll finish at Tijuana Flats for Taco Tuesday. B RIDERS: 16 to 18 mph for the basic group. A RIDERS: The faster group rides at 20mph plus. We finish well after dark, so Front And Rear Lights are Required. 6:30 p.m., Trek Bicycle Store of Fort Myers, 8291 Dani Drive, Fort Myers (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) 
  • Sunday, Aug. 25: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. This is a weekly ride for riders of most skill levels and most types of bicycles (hybrids, fitness, and road). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, thus helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. 7.30 a.m., location varies, visit (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) for details. 
  • Friday, Aug. 30: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at 7:30 p.m., start at 8 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, Aug. 31: 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, Aug. 31: Critical Mass 6th annual Anniversary Beach Party: Food, fun, costume and bike contest… oh, and a ride as well. Pre-ride fun starts at 5 p.m., ride kicks off at 8 p.m., all from Centennial Park, downtown Fort Myers. (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:

  • Monday, Sept. 2: Venice Sprint Tri, Sharky’s on the Pier, Venice (trifind.com)
  • Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 7-8: Galloway Captiva Tri. Sprint on Saturday, kids’ events Sunday (www.gearedup.biz)
  • Saturday, Sept. 21: The Original Siesta Key Tri, sprint (runsignup.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 17: Longboat Key Sprint/Olympic Triathlon and Duathlon and 5K (imathlete.com)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.









Thursday, August 15, 2019

Florida Weekly on Bicycling clubs: All cycled UP

Florida Weekly's August 14 edition has a write-up about organized group riding: All cycled UP.

'Bicycling clubs offer camaraderie, safety in numbers and a way to keep fit for South Florida riders.'

Rick Slako, Team StormRiders captain, leads a grueling run at speed up Rickenbacker Bridge near Miami. COURTESY PHOTO


HOW COULD YOU GO WRONG? YOU LIVE IN a state that sees at least a few hours of sunshine roughly 250 days each year. This isn’t Ohio or Michigan.

You’re surrounded by marked roadways, park trails, community sidewalks and specified bicycle paths from east to west and north to south.

So you clip into the growing sport of bicycling, as good a fitness and fun endeavor as any on the planet, especially for aging bodies — one that offers a great deal else, as well. Bicycle riding clubs offer experienced advice that might help the rest of us, from beginners to talented competitors. Don’t claim it’s too flat to have fun, here.

Though Florida has no mountains, that doesn’t stop riders like Leigh Masimore of Naples Velo from finding a mountain occasionally.

Now in his 60s, Mr. Masimore was riding the flat country and the mountains around Dillon, Colo., elevation 9,000 feet and up, just last week, coming into those rides from his several-day-per-week riding regimen in Naples.

“When I got to Florida (from Nashville) I connected with Naples Velo,” he says. “It has fast rides for experienced riders, but part of the mission is to be a club for a lot of different riders.”

At Naples Velo, rides through different parts of Collier County may be “moderate” — 20 to 22 miles per hour for 30 miles, say — or they may be more demanding: For those who can ride at 25 to 30 mph, or faster.

“One of my friends described being dropped off the back of a (group) ride at 36 miles per hour,” he recalls. Those rugged rides may be 50 miles or longer.

For Rick Slako, captain of Team StormRiders in Miami-Dade County, hill training requires bridges, but the joy is simply in the discipline — four days a week averaging 30 to 60 miles — and the dynamic camaraderie of the team, where he’s even seen romances and marriages form, or dissolve, he says.

Mr. Slako started riding in the 1980s when he lived in West Kendall. He was racing then, but without much success.

Read more at Florida Weekly



BikeWalkLee: How to get ready for rain

BikeWalkLee Column
The News-Press, August 15, 2019
by Ken Gooderham


When it’s raining all the time or any time of day, cyclists have two choices: Stay home or get wet.

Nobody wants to do the former, so you should be prepared for the latter.

With the weather patterns lately, cyclists don’t even need to intend to get caught in the rain. Sometime, rain just happens… as in when a partly cloudy morning at 8:30 a.m. suddenly turns stormy by 9 a.m. So you either take shelter (if there’s any to be had) or dance with the raindrops.

When it comes to pedaling in the precipitation, you have two approaches: What to do before it rains, and what to do afterwards.

Beforehand, about all you can do (besides checking your weather app for forecasts and radar) is do your usual pre-ride bike prep (so everything is at least ready to ride dry), throw in a rain jacket (find something that packs into itself for ease of handling), and consider your route (if that’s an option) for places where you could get out of the weather if necessary.

Image: wikimedia.org

What should you do if you get caught in the rain?

  • Get out of it if possible, particularly if it’s heavy and there’s lightning involved (particularly if there’s lightning involved). Look for a structure where you can wait it out.
  • If it’s bearable to ride, work on being visible (especially if you’re in traffic) and avoid flooded areas (since you don’t know what’s under that water). Similarly, avoid painted areas on the roadway, since rain makes them as slippery as ice.
  • If you have a rain jacket, put it on – including the hood (keeps the water from running down your back). If you don’t have a jacket, improvise (think trash bags) or get soaked. Why avoid the saturation? Because wet fabric can get uncomfortable fast.

When the rain stops and you get back home, there’s a few things you should do NOW to make your bike and your next ride better:

  • Wipe down and dry off your bike – thoroughly. If you really got soaked, turn your bike upside down to let the frame drain… some people even suggest a leaf blower to remove moisture (assuming you have one and can stand the noise).
  • Clean and lube everything you can. Your chain is crucial, so if you can give it a thorough degreasing and lube, great. If not, at least wipe it down to get dry and put something on to re-lubricate it. Also, wipe your frame, wheels, brakes and pedals, and lubricate all the moving parts on them as well. Not only will the process help drive the excess moisture out, but your ride will be ready for the next outing as well.
  • Now dry yourself out… clothes, shoes, gloves and helmet. If they’re grimy as well as wet, throw them in the laundry. If it’s just moisture without mud, dry them out and see if they can be used again without washing (at least the stuff that doesn’t directly touch your skin).

If you find yourself getting caught in the rain a lot (hopefully a sign you’re riding a lot), investing in some rain gear might be prudent (or at least more comfortable). Same thing for the tools and chemicals to take care of your bike… particularly smart if you have some serious money invested in your ride. (If it’s really serious money, maybe consider getting a rain bike and leave the good wheels at home.)

You live in the semi-tropics, so cycling in the summer inevitably means getting wet. Be prepared, and you won’t be stuck at home watching your bike slowly rust away. And remember, the rainy season will be over soon.


Ready to ride or run? 

Run? Still slow in organized races, with the Omega Youth Race in Cape Coral this weekend (3dracinginc.com) and the Rampage 5K on Aug. 24 at North Collier Regional Park (runelitevents.com). Once we get to September, your race schedule starts ramping up again – kicking off with a Labor Day 5K in Naples (gcrunner.org).

Ride? You can always count on Critical Mass for rides, even in the midst of summer. You’ll find the NE Lee ride this Friday and the Cape Coral ride Aug. 30. Planning ahead? Plan on the Anniversary Beach Party Aug. 31. Food, fun, costume and bike contest… oh, and a ride as well. Pre-ride fun starts at 5 p.m., ride kicks off at 8 p.m., all from Centennial Park, downtown Fort Myers. All are night rides, so lights required and helmets recommended  (meetup.com).

Both? Upcoming events include:

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, August 14, 2019

Cyclists, pedestrians must be aware of living hazards


Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, August 14, 2019
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com

On Captiva Island, cactus and Spanish bayonets intrude into the paved shoulder that serves as an unmarked bike lane. DAN MOSER / FLORIDA WEEKLY

Biking to the store recently and getting drenched by a downpour, I was reminded that while it’s great to get outside to and use our own power to get around, our natural and built environment is fraught with its own challenges. Weather is one obvious example. But there are many things that present hazards other than Mother Nature.

I’m an animal lover but dogs can be a problem. A leashed dog whose owner isn’t paying attention or is oblivious to the hazard they can create can easily take a person on a bike down by entangling them or causing an evasive maneuver that goes awry. The dog itself usually isn’t the problem when this occurs but rather the owner. Dogs behind fences have startled me many times when running or walking along a fence. Worse is when they’re behind an unmarked invisible fence and come dashing toward you. In fact, my wife, Maria, was bitten by a dog that breeched its invisible fence so those devices do not always perform as they claim.

Aggressive dogs allowed to run loose or who “get out” are another story altogether. I’ve been chased by packs of dogs when bike riding and running in rural areas.

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 239-334-6417.
Wild animals can also create challenges.

Squirrels, in particular, can cause bicyclists to have to brake hard or make a quick evasive maneuver that may result in a crash. I’ve experienced their antics a number of times. Fortunately, I never crashed or flew over my handlebars as a result (it helps that my top speed is 15 mph). Certain bird species that nest in trees near sidewalks and other pathways can get quite aggressive during breeding season. More than once I’ve been dive-bombed when running or walking by trees in which their eggs must be. And I’ve seen signs posted warning of such activity. Snakes are more common on unpaved surfaces versus paved ones and they usually aren’t a threat but I’ve had to make a U-turn or change my route on two occasions when I encountered rattlesnakes that blocked the way. Both incidents were on unpaved trails but one was in an urban setting.

Landscaping can be quite daunting as well. It can physically block the way and be a visual obstacle. But it can injure as well. Spanish bayonets, bougainvillea and similar thorny plants have no place being planted adjacent to where people walk, run or ride. One example is the Whiskey Creek wall along Summerlin’s pathway that frequently has thorny bougainvillea overflowing the wall into pathway users’ space. Another is on Captiva where Spanish bayonets and other cacti in the county right of way intrude into the paved shoulder that serves as an unmarked bike lane.

McGregor Boulevard’s royal palms are indeed beautiful but they act as problematic visual obstacles for drivers and nonmotorists alike. Falling palm fronds from them could easily cause serious injury if they land on a sidewalk user. Coconuts from coconut palms overhanging pathways can be just as dangerous. I’ve seen many fronds and coconuts crash onto the sidewalk over the years, and not just on McGregor. Stay alert and don’t wear headphones or earbuds because hearing them as they break loose is sometimes the only warning you’ll get.

To learn about this topic and more, visit bikewalklee.blogspot.com and www.streetsaliveswfl.org



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, August 12, 2019

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

Upcoming events

Running/walking:


Cycling:

  • Monday, Aug. 12: Monday Minions Ride. This is a weekly ride that rolls in the 13-15 mph range. Total distance around 15 miles. After the ride most go over to Square 1 restaurant for the $5 burger and fries deal. If you are looking to get into cycling beyond the casual roll, this is an ideal ride for you. 6 p.m., Fort Myers Cyclery, 3630 Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) 
  • Tuesday, Aug. 13: Taco Tuesday Ride. Every Tuesday night, We Ride For Tacos! After a 21 mile ride on Treeline/Old Airport/Daniels/6 Mile Cypress roads and paths, we'll finish at Tijuana Flats for Taco Tuesday. B RIDERS: 16 to 18 mph for the basic group. A RIDERS: The faster group rides at 20mph plus. We finish well after dark, so Front And Rear Lights are Required. 6:30 p.m., Trek Bicycle Store of Fort Myers, 8291 Dani Drive, Fort Myers (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) 
  • Friday, Aug 16: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL)
  • Sunday, Aug. 18: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. This is a weekly ride for riders of most skill levels and most types of bicycles (hybrids, fitness, and road). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, thus helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. 7.30 a.m., location varies, visit (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL) for details. 
  • Friday, Aug. 30: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at 7:30 p.m., start at 8 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, Aug. 31: 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, Aug. 31: Critical Mass 6th annual Anniversary Beach Party: Food, fun, costume and bike contest… oh, and a ride as well. Pre-ride fun starts at 5 p.m., ride kicks off at 8 p.m., all from Centennial Park, downtown Fort Myers. (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:
  • Monday, Sept. 2: Venice Sprint Tri, Sharky’s on the Pier, Venice (trifind.com)
  • Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 7-8: Galloway Captiva Tri. Sprint on Saturday, kids’ events Sunday (www.gearedup.biz)
  • Saturday, Sept. 21: The Original Siesta Key Tri, sprint (runsignup.com)
  • Sunday, Nov. 17: Longboat Key Sprint/Olympic Triathlon and Duathlon and 5K (imathlete.com)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.