Florida Weekly, March 13, 2013
Runners are undoubtedly a hearty lot: like February’s Edison Festival 5K and last year’s Hooters-to-Hooters Half Marathon, cool and windy weather was what runners faced for this year’s early Sunday morning 13.1-mile run. But it appeared few rolled over and stayed in bed, as evidenced by more than 1,200 runners taking part. Perhaps it had something to do with the post-race activities — there were few no-shows — and all were rewarded accordingly, as were the many volunteers who helped make this sixth annual event a success, just as was the case for the prior five. Even more significant to the event and the wonderful post-race activities is the fact that almost $150,000 has been raised for cancer research and other local causes. For official results and photos, visit www.hootershalfmarathon.com.
Switching activities from running to cycling, on Sunday, March 17, the Caloosa Riders hold their annual Royal Palm Ride from Buckingham Community Park (www.caloosariders.org). With distances ranging from a 15-mile, no one-left-behind ride to a 100-mile century, there’s something for everyone. Although still staged out of Buckingham Park, the routes have been updated to include Treeline to Coconut Point and through Gateway. CRBC President Steve Rodgers and the rest of the organizers are excited about the “new look” to their 15th annual Royal Palm Classic.
Changing gears yet again to an event that’s neither a run, walk, nor ride, upcoming on Saturday, April 27, is this year’s annual Fight for Air Stair Climb (www.lung.org). While it may seem unrealistic, intimidating or downright silly to climb 30 flights to the top of High Point Place, the fact is that people of all ages and fitness levels take part in our local climb as well as many other similar ones that take place around the country. And just like some of the choice events I write about, the post-climb activities at poolside overlooking the Caloosahatchee River make the hard work worth it.
I recently had the opportunity to work with some of our country’s most longstanding and accomplished bicycle advocates at a gathering in Orlando called “I Am Traffic.” Participating along with these seasoned veterans were a number of up-andcomers, most of whom are CyclingSavvy instructors and advocates in their own communities. Those who took part came from as far away as California, Missouri, Texas, Illinois and Maine.
The intent of this gathering was to determine if the time and energy is right to get off the ground a national movement to raise awareness of fact that cyclists have the same rights to the road as other vehicle operators. Of course, having this right means exercising the same responsibility as required of others. An undertaking of this type in the world of bicycle advocacy isn’t new, but the approach being considered is. You’ll find more about this effort at www.iamtraffic.org.
Locally, the debate continues as to whether impact fees will be left in place, reduced or removed (via moratorium) altogether. From my perspective, it’s hard to justify shooting ourselves in the foot by throwing away a vital source of funding, especially when doing so will have other negative consequences, such as adding to sprawl when builders scramble to slap together homes in areas of cheap land away from adequate infrastructure and services. Perhaps it’s time to transition this necessary resource from what it is today to a broader “mobility fee” that would include funding for transit, one of our best bets for reducing the need for more and bigger roads due to increased growth. For more on this matter, visit http://bikewalklee.blogspot.com.
Until next time, I’ll look for you on the roads and trails.
— Dan Moser is a league cycling and CyclingSavvy instructor/ trainer and programs director for the Florida Bicycle Association who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 334- 6417.