Monday, January 20, 2020

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

Upcoming events


  • Monday, Jan. 20: 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 ( 
  • Tuesday, Jan. 21: 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 (
  • Saturday, Jan. 25: Saturday Morning Slow Roll, meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction. Details and start times at (
  • Sunday, Jan. 26: 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 ( for details.
  • Friday, Jan. 31: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape. Lights required, helmets recommended.  Details and start times at (
  • Friday, Feb. 7: SW Florida Critical Mass ride. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in the Publix side lot at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd Details and start times at (
  • Saturday, Feb. 8: Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended. Details and start times at (
  • Saturday, Feb. 8: Ride for Tiny Town, 10-, 30- and 60-mile rides, around Arcadia to benefit Desoto Cares; helmets required (
  • Sunday, Feb 23: 10th annual Tour de Marco, 15- and 30-mile rides, to benefit Marco YMCA (
  • 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
  • For more Lee County cycling and tri events, visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (; Florida Mudcutters (; and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (

  • Saturday, March 28: Escape from Fort Desoto Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon, plus Aqua Bike (
  • Sunday, April 26: St. Anthony’s Triathlon, sprint and Olympic distances, St. Petersburg (
  • Saturday, May 30: Sarasota Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon, Siesta Key (
  • Sunday, June 7: Naples Fitness Challenge reverse triathlon, Naples (
  • Saturday, June 13: Heartland Triathlon, sprint and Olympic triathlon, duathlon and Aqua Bike, Sebring (
  • Check and to find more regional and state tris.


Thursday, January 16, 2020

BikeWalkLee: Do you know the rules of the road?

BikeWalkLee Column
The News-Press, January 16, 2020
by Ken Gooderham

For many, riding a bike is a natural thing, something they learned as a child and have maintained as a lifelong skill. But the smart cyclist knows a lot has changed since they were kids – particularly when it comes to the rules of the road.

Think you know the laws when it comes to bicycling in Florida? Test your knowledge:
  1. What’s the minimum distance a motor vehicle must maintain when passing a cyclist?
  2. Bicycle helmets are required for which riders?
  3. If a cyclist is riding on the road, what rights do they have?
  4. If a cyclist is riding on a sidewalk, what rights do they have?
  5. Can a cyclist wear a headset or headphones while riding?
  6. Is a cyclist required to have lights on their bikes if riding between sunset and sunrise?
  7. Is a cyclist safer riding with traffic or facing it?
  8. Are cyclists bound by traffic control signals meant for vehicles (traffic lights, stop signs, etc.)?
  9. Are cyclists allowed to ride side by side on a roadway?
  10. If cyclists are riding with pedestrians (on a sidewalk or shared-use path), are they required to warn pedestrians when passing them?

  1. Three feet (but that’s still too close when travelling at speeds over 25MPH).
  2. Any cyclists under age 16 is required to wear a helmet (and it’s smart for every cyclist to do so).
  3. Cyclists have the same rights as vehicles when riding on the road, as well some special bike-only regulations.
  4. On sidewalks, cyclists have the same rights (and duties) as pedestrians – except they must yield rights of way to pedestrians and must provide an audible warning prior to passing).
  5. No, except for hearing aids.
  6. Yes, white lights front and red lights rear (this is required anywhere you’re riding other than private property without public access).
  7. Much safer riding with traffic (and it’s the law, just as is the case for motorists to drive with traffic).
  8. Yes (although many of them don’t always do so, it’s still the law).
  9. Yes, if in a single lane and not impeding other traffic.
  10. Yes (again, not always complied with but it’s required by law).
How’d you do? Not so good? You might want to consider downloading a copy of the Florida Bicycle Law Enforcement Guide from the Florida Bicycle Association ( and maybe sign up as a member while you you’re at it.

Ride class ahead

The Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (CRBC) is hosting a Florida Bicycle Association (FBA) Ride Marshal/Ride Leader class on Saturday Jan. 25, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The class will be held at the United Way building, 7273 Concourse Drive, Fort Myers. It’s a great opportunity to take your group riding experience to the next level!

The workshop includes:
  • Bike safety and Florida Bicycle and Pedestrian laws and cyclist rights on the road.
  • Preparation from bodies to bikes, helmet fitting, and nutrition.
  • Communication from hand signals to how to give great pre-ride tutorials, on the ride coaching and how to brand your club or organization through cycling professionalism.
  • Coaching and Mentoring skills to develop stronger, safer cyclist in your club or organization.
  • Advanced cycling skills for 17+ mph group rides like paceline etiquette and how to control speed with skill.
  • Accident and rider down tips and preparation.
  • Community and family ride leader skills (if applicable).
  • Written test for certification.
Current ride leaders will be given priority, but anyone interested in improving their skills and expanding their knowledge should attend. This class is free to CRBC members; you must, however, also be an FBA member. Individual membership is $25, and that payment can be donated or the participant may request to have their fee amount be credited toward their 2021 CRBC membership upon completion of the class.

Ready to ride or run?

Run?  Saturday offers two 5Ks – the Run to Home Base at JetBlue Park and the Tour de Cape 5K at Cape Harbour. Sunday is for the distance runners, with the Naples Daily News Half Marathon on tap. The following weekend brings two more 5Ks – the BUG Chase 5K at the Calusa Nature Center in Fort Myers and the Run for the Paw 5K in Naples. Details at, and

Ride?  Critical Mass has these regularly scheduled rides on tap:
  • Friday, Jan. 17: NE-Lee Critical Mass night ride, gathers at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Saturday, Jan. 25: Saturday Morning Slow Roll, meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.
  • Friday, Jan. 31: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape.
Lights required for night rides, helmets recommended for all, details at

Jan. 18-19 is the Tour de Cape weekend, with multiple-length bicycle rides, a 5K run and more, based at Cape Harbour, Cape Coral (

If you’re looking for a good ride and some cycling camaraderie, look no further than the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club. Check out their ride calendar and you see a ride for almost every day of the week (never on a Friday, but even more on weekends), all mapped and planned for your enjoyment. The Riders even tell you how fast (or not) you’ll need to be to keep up… click on the ride of your choice for all the details and even a map. All at

Both?  If you’re planning your tri schedule, here’s what is on tap in the next few months:


Have a favorite route you like to bike, or a unique walk you’d like to share with others? Tell us about it at, 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 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Advent of cars, suburbs led to threatening times for pedestrians

Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, January 15, 2020

Using our feet to get around is the original form of human transportation, at least on land. At some point humans used animals for transporting themselves and goods. Around 3500 B.C. the wheel came onto the scene — initially to serve as a potter’s tool — and it was used for transporting humans in chariots.

But travel by foot remained the primary mode for the masses. It wasn’t until human-powered bicycles and then motorized vehicles came about in the late 1800s that was there any significant change in how the majority of the world’s population got from place to place. Although the first use of the modern train predates bicycles by just a few years, they were few and far between and very limited as to where they could go. Even after the locomotive became commonplace, most personal transport, especially for local and short trips, was still made on foot. Once the motor vehicle proliferated in the early 1900s — because of its affordability, thanks to mass production — the world changed drastically, even in places where cars were rare or non-existent. This change became even more significant after World War II.

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
and 239-334-6417.
Early in the 20th century, roads and streets that were used for centuries became unsafe for those on foot when an automobile was added to the mix. Laws that were purported to manage this new arrival and protect vulnerable users of the public right of way actually relegated the latter to second-class status in that space. For our own protection, of course. That trend continues to this day, regardless of lip service given to laws and road designs intended to allow pedestrians equitable and safe access to our public spaces. But we’re not giving up on making those two concepts reality.

Beginning in the late 1940s, car ownership exploded along with the new suburban model of community building. The growth of automobile ownership was both the reason for and result of our push away from easily accessible places and services to outlying suburban and exurban bedroom communities. One couldn’t/can’t live in those places without a car. Even, perhaps, one car for each adult in the household. When this change happened, an amazing thing occurred: requirements and infrastructure for accommodating pedestrians were nixed, both in the new suburban neighborhoods as well as existing places where walking was still commonplace and necessary.

Look around and you’ll notice gaps in sidewalks that coincide with the date the adjacent homes or businesses were constructed. On a larger scale, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, San Carlos Park and any other place that came up out of the ground after WWII are prime examples of the consequences of automobile becoming the end-all, be-all.

The lack of requirement for developers and governments to include safe accommodations means we have between hundreds of millions to over $1 billion of projects identified (depending on which estimates are used). And that’s just in Lee County. Multiply that by all the suburban model counties and it becomes quite clear that as a society we put way too much emphasis on the automobile at the expense of the general public’s access and safety. The good news is that since we are all pedestrians sometimes, there continue to be efforts to right the wrongs. Even with local governments that build bridges without allowing pedestrians to use them as recently as the 1990s. Even with governments still allowing businesses to be constructed along Pine Island Road without providing sidewalks. And even with governments providing only a pittance of the money needed to put a dent in our backlog.

While those short-sighted policies and actions continue to take place, progress is being made, thanks to the fact that people still need to, want to and love to walk and run. Those who put all their money on the automobile must have never envisioned would be the case.

Local coalitions and organizations like BikeWalkLee, Streets Alive of SWF, LeeFuture, Stay Alive… Just Drive! and Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition, as well as many business, certain government agencies such as Lee MPO and Lee Health continue to work toward getting our primary decision-makers to fully comprehend the public’s wishes and prioritize funding and policies appropriately. As well, local efforts are backed-up by scores of regional, state, national and international efforts and actions taking place to ensure people and not machines are the highest priority.

To learn about this topic and more, visit and

For Lee County cycling and tri events visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (; Florida Mudcutters (; and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group ( The Florida Bicycle Association ( 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.