Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Moser's Florida Weekly Column; Fall bike events around the state

This week's column focuses on upcoming Florida rides, with advocacy highlights on Whiskey Creek safety concerns and county's proposed transit cuts.

sept. 4, 2013

Florida’s hot and wet summer pattern is almost guaranteed to break by mid-October, so bike events begin in earnest at that time. There are many to choose from, some very close to home, others requiring overnight stays. Here’s a sampling of some great cycling events throughout the state.

One of the first to consider is being held in DeLand, (the location of Florida Bicycle Association’s headquarters) just north of Orlando, from Friday through Sunday, Oct. 25-27. Share the Road Celebration of Cycling, presented by Bike Florida, Share the Road and the Florida Bicycle Association, is a multi-day event focused on advocacy, education, networking and riding. Presentations on Friday and Saturday include a program to help you and your local government take steps to become a League of American Bicyclists “Bicycle Friendly Community.” There’ll also be a basic bicycle repair clinic, CyclingSavvy class, information on the Florida Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education Program (a school-based bicycle education program), a bicycle art contest, and a bike parade. Saturday’s programs will conclude with an industry appreciation banquet. Low-mileage rides will be available on Saturday with longer ridesr vs on Sunday, including distances that vary from 40 to 100 miles. Visit www.sharetheroad.orgfor more information.

A week prior to that, the annual GainesvilleG Cycling

HO Festival and Horse Farm Hundred take place on Oct. 19 and 20. Closer to home, also on Oct. 20, is Tour de North Port. The first weekend in November is packed with options: the Tampa Bicycle Bash is Sunday, Nov. 3. For something really different and challenging, 72 Hours to Key West leaves Fort Myers on Friday, Nov. 1 and reaches Key West on Sunday, Nov. 3. The Gulf Coast Cyclefest takes place in Lakewood Ranch on Sunday, Nov. 3. Later in the month, one of the state’s most established rides that includes many hills is Clermont’s Horrible Hundred, this year being conducted on Sunday, Nov. 17.

For details on these and many other cycling events you can check the extensive listing on Florida Bicycle Association’s Touring pages at But don’t schedule anything out of town on Sunday, Nov. 10, because that’s the date ofStreets Alive!, an event you surely want to take part in. Find out more

Advocacy update

Anyone who lives in Whiskey Creek or uses the main public road entrance road there knows there’s a major problem accessing McGregor Boulevard’s sidewalk due to lack of curb ramp or even a nearby driveway (McGregor has a concrete curb). For as long as residents and advocates have been seeking reasonable access, the Florida Department of Transportation has been resistant to providing the necessary features to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, folks pushing baby strollers, skaters and anyone in a wheelchair or other assistive device. Meanwhile, the Lee County Department of Transportation, the owner of intersecting Whiskey Creek Drive, seems to have been of no help whatsoever. Come on, FDOT and LCDOT, get your acts together and come up with a plan that takes care of this lingering access and safety problem. Doesn’t this pedestrian/ bicycle/ADA matter deserve as much attention and effort as moving cars?

Finally, Lee County’s plan to cut transit services is as penny-wise and poundfoolish as it gets. LeeTran announced another increase in ridership this week, a trend that’s been the case for a number of years now. Not only will workers and students in the San Carlos Park area who catch a bus at regular bus stops be affected by this proposed cut, but those with disabilities who use Passport, a related service, will lose access to their rides. More than 7,000 folks who depend on Passport will be out of luck if Lee County commissioners approve the cut.

If this happens, Florida Gulf Coast University, with its drive-to-campus mindset and withdrawal of its financial agreement, shoulders as much blame as are Lee County Board of Commissioners. (So far, FGCU hasn’t changed its decision not to share the cost of a route that was developed to serve the campus students and staff, a decision that effectively kills the route, thus the Passport service as well). Let’s hope they both come to their senses before the budget is approved. Check BikeWalkLee’s blog for more on this matter.

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 or 334- 6417.

Upcoming Events


Cops & Joggers 5K, Saturday, Sept. 28,
downtown Fort Myers
Lexington Cares 5K, Saturday, Oct. 5,
South Fort Myers (

Cycling & Other Events:

Galloway Captiva Triathlon, Saturday and
Sunday, Sept. 14-15, South Seas Resort,
Streets Alive!, Sunday, Nov. 10, downtown Fort
Myers River District (

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