Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dan Moser Column: Athletic events abound as autumn rolls into town

Anyone who’s wondering what it’s like to travel across the Caloosahatchee River between Fort Myers and Cape Coral by foot will have a once-a-year opportunity to find out on Wednesday evening, Nov. 11. That’s when the annual Veteran’s Day 5K to benefit the YMCA’s youth programs takes place. As most runners, walkers, wheelchair /assistive scooter users and skaters are well aware, “you can’t get there from here” via our bridges. At least not as a pedestrian. The reason, as I’ve frequently reminded anyone who will listen, is because there are, by design, no sidepaths or separated spaces for pedestrian traffic on either of the two bridges between Fort Myers and Cape Coral. Thus, it’s illegal to do so. While that’s a sad fact of life here in Lee County, at least participants can enjoy the experience during this once-a-year evening run, which begins at 7 p.m. Post-event activities are also part of the fun, whether one competed hard or merely took a nice run or walk over the river. Details can be found at

For cyclists of any level, Caloosa Rider's Bicycle Club Member Appreciation Ride to Sanibel is happening on Sunday, Nov. 15. One need not be a Caloosa Rider member to take part in this free event. It stages from The Bike Bistro in Fort Myers with coffee and pre-ride snacks. The longest ride is 40 miles with an expected speed of 22 mph and above. The others are all no-drop rides: 35 miles with speeds of 20-22 mph; 30 miles at 18-20 mph; and 20 miles at 15 mph. After the ride, everyone will enjoy a light lunch, prizes and more. Club members will have an opportunity during the event to renew membership for 2016, and guests will be able to join the club that includes of a wide range of riders from various ages and backgrounds, all who share a common enthusiasm and love of cycling. There are weekly rides throughout Lee County, road races, and charity bike rides. Details can be found at

Hundreds enjoy our area’s excellent Southwest Florida Critical Mass Ride on the first Friday evening of each month, and now organizers have added a daytime option. Join the ride on the last Saturday of the month from the same location — next to Publix on McGregor and Victoria at 9 a.m. for a 5-6 mile, slow ride (8-10 mph). It is planned to be a very family-friendly outing with a bike safety review and group ride instructions before each ride. There’s also some buzz that Cape Coral may get its own CM Ride sometime soon. Info on all this can be found at and

Another bike ride that’s upcoming is Go-Girl Cycling’s monthly outing, with their Sunday, Nov. 29, ride being a celebration of the store’s first birthday. It begins at 7:30 a.m. in front of the store on Six Mile Cypress just south of Colonial. There will be three different distance options. Details are posted on their Facebook page, which can be found at After the ride there will be a “grand party” in honor of the first year of focusing on women cyclists of all skill and experience levels.

There are a number of Turkey Trot runs and walks happening on and around Thanksgiving. Visit Fort Myers Track Club (, Endurance Sports Timing (, 3-D Racing (, Gulf Coast Runners ( and Zoomers ( to find out what’s happening around Southwest Florida.

Finally, is not too late to join the Million Mile Movement, an initiative of Healthy Lee. Any sustained physical activity can be converted into walking miles and counted towards the goal of amassing one million miles. There are many teams to join but participating as an individual or starting a new team of any size is encouraged as well. Visit Healthy Lee’s website (, Facebook ( or Twitter ( for all the details and to register. There’s no fee or other charges involved.

These are but a few of the running, walking, cycling, and other active events happening as we get into the holiday season so get out there and enjoy the end of our rainy season.

Until next time, I’ll look for you on the roads and pathways. ¦

— 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 334- 6417.

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