Thursday, December 3, 2020

BikeWalkLee: Pandemic fatigue? Go for a ride or run!

BikeWalkLee Column ‘Go Coastal’
The News-Press, December 3, 2020
by Ken Gooderham

If this was a race, coronavirus would be way out in front… and we have a long way to go to the finish line.

The good news? Vaccines are getting closer to reality. The bad news? Getting enough people vaccinated to turn the corner on this thing is a massive task that will take months of work and coordination.

The good news? We have a handle on what it takes to keep Covid at bay until the vaccines arrive. The bad news? A lot of people don’t want to do what it takes to keep us safe… yet.

The good news? We live in a place where getting and staying outside is way easier than elsewhere in the country. The bad news? Well, for a change, there really isn’t any.

Yes, if you’re a fan of organized biking, running or walking events, you’re still going to be more virtual than in-person. But if you just want to get outside and move, there are plenty of opportunities and options available to you.

You can grab your bike and go for a ride, pedaling as far and as fast as your legs can take you. Whether a novice or an old pro, there are plenty of places to go where you can ride within your comfort level (or maybe just a little outside of it), and usually enough choices of routes and sights to keep it interesting.

You can put on your running shoes and hit the streets… and it’s even getting comfortable enough to do so in the middle of the day, if that’s your preference. Whether you want to run 5K, five miles or until your legs give out, this is the time of year to do it. (It’s also a good time of year to try out running if you’ve avoided it so far, since the heat and humidity won’t be the obstacle they usually are in subtropical SWF.)

And, of course, you can just go for a walk… not that there’s anything “just” about it. It’s good exercise for anyone whatever your age or ability, and it’s takes nothing more than putting one foot in front of the other.

The best part in this Covid-crazed times? You can do all of the above outside and with other people (while keeping your social distance and masking as needed). It might be one of the few things that hasn’t really had to change with the rise of coronavirus, as even group riding, running or walking never required close contact with your fellow exercisers (particularly in our hotter months, when closeness often was something to be avoided).

We’re all tired of the changes this pandemic has wrought on our lives… even those changes that help keep us healthy and safe. But we’re starting to see the first glimmers of light at the end of this long tunnel, and this is not the time to let pandemic fatigue and the virus itself win. Instead, it’s the time to be patient a little longer and let science and common sense win out in the end.

The good news is hope and help is on the way. The better news is that, until it arrives, we have something we can do to keep us sane and safe: Grab your gear, get outside and go for a ride, run or walk.

EVENTS

Here’s what is scheduled for organized running and biking events locally… but confirm with the organizers and be flexible in case conditions change and large-group activities are limited. Of course, wear a mask and act appropriate to your age, condition and concerns.

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
  • Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual)
  • Strides for Education 5K, Feb. 6, 2021 (in-person and virtual)

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual) 

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6
  • Sarasota West Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Sunday, Dec. 20
  • Venice Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021
  • Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 27, 2021

OTHER RUNS:

CYCLING:

The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.

SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.

  • SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers. 
  • Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
  • Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.

If racing is not your thing but you’d like to support their return nonetheless, consider volunteering to help out at the few in-person offerings ahead. With Covid concerns still corralling some of the club’s usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed. 

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.
 
 


Monday, November 30, 2020

November 30: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Welcome to your organized events update. With cooler weather in place, this is a great time of the year to enjoy outdoor activities - individually or in a group setting (with proper precautions).

Below is what’s scheduled for organized running and biking events locally… but confirm with the organizers and be flexible in case conditions change and large-group activities are limited. Of course, wear a mask and act appropriate to your age, condition and concerns.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
  • Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual)
  • Strides for Education 5K, Feb. 6, 2021 (in-person and virtual)

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual) 

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6 
  • Sarasota West Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Sunday, Dec. 20
  • Venice Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021
  • Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 27, 2021

Other runs:

  • Publix Run to the Arts 5K run/walk – in person on Feb. 7, 2021, or virtual Jan. 30-Feb. 7

CYCLING

The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.

SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.

  • SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers. 
  • Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
  • Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.
If racing is not your thing but you’d like to support their return nonetheless, consider volunteering to help out at the few in-person offerings ahead. With Covid concerns still corralling some of the club’s usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed. 

For the very latest, go to Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com), Gulf Coast Runners (gcrunner.org), Caloosa Riders (caloosariders.org), and South West Florida Critical Mass (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). 









 

 

Monday, November 23, 2020

November 23: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Below is what’s scheduled for organized running and biking events locally… but confirm with the organizers and be flexible in case conditions change and large-group activities are limited. Of course, wear a mask and act appropriate to your age, condition and concerns.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Cape Coral Turkey Trot 5K, Sept. 17-Nov. 26 (virtual)
  • City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
  • Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual)
  • Strides for Education 5K, Feb. 6, 2021 (in-person and virtual)

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 26 (in-person & virtual)
  • Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual) 

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Walk, Estero, Thursday, Nov. 26
  • Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6 
  • Sarasota West Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Sunday, Dec. 20
  • Venice Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021
  • Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 27, 2021

Other runs:

  • FGCU 10th-Annual Gobbler 5K, up to Nov. 26 (virtual) – runsignup.com or runtothearts.com
  • Publix Run to the Arts 5K run/walk – in person on Feb. 7, 2021, or virtual Jan. 30-Feb. 7

CYCLING

The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.

SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.

  • SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers. 
  • Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
  • Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.
If racing is not your thing but you’d like to support their return nonetheless, consider volunteering to help out at the few in-person offerings ahead. With Covid concerns still corralling some of the club’s usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed. 

For the very latest, go to Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com), Gulf Coast Runners (gcrunner.org), Caloosa Riders (caloosariders.org), and South West Florida Critical Mass (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). 









 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

BikeWalkLee: Rail right-of-way a path to success

BikeWalkLee Column ‘Go Coastal’
The News-Press, November 19, 2020
by Ken Gooderham

Collier County and the cities of Bonita Springs and Estero are studying the possibilities of acquiring miles of railroad rights of way connecting all three, for eventual re-use as multi-use pathways and public transit.

So why is this a good opportunity and a great idea?

Simple… it’s a unique possibility to capture a swath of property adjacent to already developed (or developing) areas, guaranteeing a lot of potential users right next door.

It would give these governments the opportunity to create a multi-use and multimodal transportation corridor from the ground up, where designs and needs could be planned and integrated, instead of retrofitted and accommodated.

It could create a higher-speed public transit option away from the congestion and confusion of U.S. 41 and Interstate 75 – and close to homes, shops, businesses and government offices.

And it could be a building block to expand a similar multi-use corridor northward along the same corridor, creating a potential bike/ped/transit pathway that could stretch from northern Collier County to Charlotte County and beyond.

The Elliot Bay Trail in Seattle, Washington (wikipedia.org)

Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t – but it will take commitment, courage and (of course) cash to become reality.

The three governments are working with the nonprofit Trust for Public Lands on the acquisition, which is still in the study-and-negotiation stage… so a long way from reality. Still, you have to start somewhere.

Also, right now Collier is more focused on public transit, while Estero and Bonita are looking at the bike/ped options more seriously. Both are needed, and we can hope that, if this idea comes to fruition, both bike/ped and transit stay on the table.

The idea itself is not new, having been thoroughly explored in a 2013 study of the Seminole Gulf Railway corridor sponsored by the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT). A number of options for the right-of-way were discussed, along with the opportunities and obstacles in each.

Would it be easy? No. Would it be worth it? Absolutely.

Creating a convenient and uncongested public transit corridor would be a real asset for our area, giving people a real alternative to automobiles at a considerably reduced cost (because you’re building from scratch and working with clear right-of-way). You could even consider multiple transit options… starting with bus rapid transit (just like it sounds, buses making fewer stops and covering more distance) to light rail and even commuter rail as the population (and potential users) grew.

You would still have sufficient space to create a safe and convenient bike/ped path system that could allow people to bike north and south in relative security – another great asset as well as a valuable amenity for nearby neighborhood.

Let’s face it: This area is going to continue to grow, and we’ll never be able to build enough roads if everyone has to rely solely on cars to get around. As roadways get more and more congested, viable mass transit is going to become more attractive to users – and more crucial to maintaining our quality of life.

Similarly, recreation and transportation focused on bike and pedestrian facilities will also continue to grow, so providing a safe and functional network of paths will be another quality-of-life asset. And, as anyone who has watched bile/ped facility in this area knows, if you build it they will come.

So kudos to these three government entities for pursuing this very prudent possibility. We hope the studies and discussions end up make this plan a reality. If that happens, we also hope that Lee County and the City of Fort Myers build on this momentum by launching their own look into expanding this transportation corridor northward.

It’s a great idea that could be a game-changer for our area. Let’s hope the pieces come together.

Turkey Trot? Not!

Another victim of the coronavirus is the traditional Thanksgiving Turkey Trots… at least some of the in-person events. The venerable Cape Coral Turkey Trot (celebrating its 41st year) is virtual only, as is the FGCU Gobbler 5K. The Gulf Coast Runners’ Trot has been shortened to 2 miles (from the usual 5K) – but it’s both virtual and in-person (at Naples’ Cambier Park). If it just won’t be Turkey Day without your 5K Trot, head to Hertz Arena in Estero for the Elite Events’ run at 7 a.m. on Nov. 26. Just don’t forget your mask! 

EVENTS

Here’s what is scheduled for organized running and biking events locally… but confirm with the organizers and be flexible in case conditions change and large-group activities are limited. Of course, wear a mask and act appropriate to your age, condition and concerns.

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Cape Coral Turkey Trot 5K, Sept. 17-Nov. 26 (virtual)
  • City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
  • Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual)
  • Strides for Education 5K, Feb. 6, 2021 (in-person and virtual)

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 26 (in-person & virtual)
  • Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual) 

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Nov. 21
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Walk, Estero, Thursday, Nov. 26
  • Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6
  • Sarasota West Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Sunday, Dec. 20
  • Venice Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021
  • Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 27, 2021

OTHER RUNS:

CYCLING:

The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.

SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.

  • SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers. 
  • Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
  • Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.

If racing is not your thing but you’d like to support their return nonetheless, consider volunteering to help out at the few in-person offerings ahead. With Covid concerns still corralling some of the club’s usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed. 

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.
 
 


Monday, November 16, 2020

November 16: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Below is what’s scheduled for organized running and biking events locally… but confirm with the organizers and be flexible in case conditions change and large-group activities are limited. Of course, wear a mask and act appropriate to your age, condition and concerns.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Midpoint Madness Veteran’s Day 5K, Sept. 28 – Nov. 14 (virtual)
  • Cape Coral Turkey Trot 5K, Sept. 17-Nov. 26 (virtual)
  • City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
  • Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual)
  • Strides for Education 5K, Feb. 6, 2021 (in-person and virtual)

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 26 (in-person & virtual)
  • Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual) 

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Nov. 21
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Walk, Estero, Thursday, Nov. 26
  • Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6 
  • Sarasota West Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Sunday, Dec. 20
  • Venice Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021
  • Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 27, 2021

Other runs:

  • FGCU 10th-Annual Gobbler 5K, up to Nov. 26 (virtual) – runsignup.com or runtothearts.com
  • Publix Run to the Arts 5K run/walk – in person on Feb. 7, 2021, or virtual Jan. 30-Feb. 7

CYCLING

The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.

SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.

  • SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers. 
  • Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
  • Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.
If racing is not your thing but you’d like to support their return nonetheless, consider volunteering to help out at the few in-person offerings ahead. With Covid concerns still corralling some of the club’s usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed. 

For the very latest, go to Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com), Gulf Coast Runners (gcrunner.org), Caloosa Riders (caloosariders.org), and South West Florida Critical Mass (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). 








Monday, November 9, 2020

November 9: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Welcome to your organized events update on this windy Monday morning. If you're thinking of signing up for a run or ride, you may want to have a look at last week's BikeWalkLee Blog Getting ready for riding and running.

Below is what’s scheduled for organized running and biking events locally… but confirm with the organizers and be flexible in case conditions change and large-group activities are limited. Of course, wear a mask and act appropriate to your age, condition and concerns.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Midpoint Madness Veteran’s Day 5K, Sept. 28 – Nov. 14 (virtual)
  • Cape Coral Turkey Trot 5K, Sept. 17-Nov. 26 (virtual)
  • City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
  • Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual)
  • Strides for Education 5K, Feb. 6, 2021 (in-person and virtual)

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Old Naples 10K, Saturday, Nov. 7 (in-person & virtual)
  • GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 26 (in-person & virtual)
  • Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual) 

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Nov. 21
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Walk, Estero, Thursday, Nov. 26
  • Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6 
  • Sarasota West Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Sunday, Dec. 20
  • Venice Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021
  • Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 27, 2021

Other runs:

  • FGCU 10th-Annual Gobbler 5K, up to Nov. 26 (virtual) – runsignup.com or runtothearts.com
  • Publix Run to the Arts 5K run/walk – in person on Feb. 7, 2021, or virtual Jan. 30-Feb. 7

CYCLING

The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.

SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.

  • SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers. 
  • Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
  • Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.

Other rides:

  • Hungry Harry’s 100, Sunday, Nov. 8: Ride 100 miles along the island from Captiva to Bonita Beach to benefit the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Starts and ends at the Bike Bistro, details at caloosariders.org.
If racing is not your thing but you’d like to support their return nonetheless, consider volunteering to help out at the few in-person offerings ahead. With Covid concerns still corralling some of the club’s usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed. 

For the very latest, go to Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com), Gulf Coast Runners (gcrunner.org), Caloosa Riders (caloosariders.org), and South West Florida Critical Mass (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). 







Thursday, November 5, 2020

BikeWalkLee: Getting ready for riding and running

BikeWalkLee Column ‘Go Coastal’
The News-Press, November 5, 2020
by Ken Gooderham

Last weekend’s first caress of cooler weather may inspire you to dig out the running shoes or dust off the bike. But before you hit the trails, be sure to run through the checklist of maintenance reminders to be certain your equipment is as ready to go as your intentions.

Actually, this isn’t a bad idea for everyone to consider, whether it’s your first time out this year (or ever) or if you’ve been riding and running all through the steamy summer. Either way, taking a look at your equipment’s condition on a regular basis is prudent and a smart way to keep moving (vs. being stranded out in the middle of nowhere… or worse).

In looking this over, let’s break it into three segments:

  • The equipment – the stuff you ride or run on.
  • The attire – the stuff you wear when you ride or run.
  • The engine – you.

Depending on your activity, the focus may shift… more attention is paid to equipment if you cycle, to attire if you run, and about the same engine-wise (although the demands of each activity changes what you should focus on physically).

The equipment maintenance for cycling is long, and each part is crucial in its own way. Some things (tire pressure and chain lube) you may want to do every week, while others can safely stretch out to once a season.

Running through the major parts:

  • Tires: Check air pressure weekly, look at tread and sidewalls every few months. If they’re getting threadbare or looking dried out, replace them… and replace the tubes when you change tires, at least for peace of mind (and especially if you like long remote rides).
  • Chains: Lube weekly, clean regularly (how regularly may depend on your riding conditions). Adjust tension as needed (or when the chain jumps under duress).
  • Cassette: The sprockets on your rear wheel, which will be lubed when you do the chain. Be sure to clean them when you degrease the chain, and watch for worn cogs (which can necessitate replacement).
  • Brakes: A two-part effort… check pads for wear and alignment, check cables for tension and wear. If you are the rare person with disc brakes, learn how to clean them.
  • Nuts and bolts: If it rattles, fix it. If it squeaks, lube it. If it’s loose, tighten it.
  • Miscellany: Once a year, look at your pedals (and lube them), seat (and check adjustments) and handlebars (same) to see how they are holding up. If you use head- or tail lights, make sure they still hold a charge or haven’t lost their illumination.
  • Spares: If you carry a spare tube, swap it out every year or so before it loses its elasticity. If you carry tools, make sure they’re in working order – and the same with tire inflators. And if you decide to ride more (or just want to learn new skills), check with your bike store to see if they offer classes on bike repair. This is especially valuable if you decide to up your mileage, as you will want to become more self-reliant – especially if you ride places where someone can’t easily come pick you up.

Running equipment is essentially running attire, which means looking at your run gear (especially shoes) to see how it’s holding up, replacing it if it’s worn, and looking at what else you might need – such as lights if you run at dusk or dawn, jackets and hats if it’s getting cooler, even new earphones if you just can’t run without your tunes.

Shoes are the most crucial, because they protect your feet, joints and legs from undue wear-and-tear. In fact, a sure sign that shoes are wearing out (aside from the visual clues) often is a rise in aches and pains post-run. When in doubt, move them out and start on a new pair.

Cycling attire is also driven by wear and want – and, sometimes, by changes in your ride routines, such as longer rides making the case for better bike shorts or a more streamlined kit. The ability to layer become more essential as temperature drop, and you may even want to consider warmer attire and full-finger gloves if the winter winds chill your SW Florida-adjusted body.

Also crucial: If you wear a helmet (and you should), check the date inside – it’s should be on one of the numerous stickers there (and if the date is worn off, that may be an indicator it’s time). Bike safety experts recommend replacing helmets every 5-10 years – and immediately if you have a crash where the helmet does its job and takes the impact (so your head doesn’t).

As far as getting you ready to run or ride, that’s a discussion for another day (and hopefully involved a medical professional). Suffice it to say that the lightest bike or the best shoes can’t overcome your body’s ability (and capacity) to move… and any pre-season routine that doesn’t include a physical once-over might doom you to frustration, injury… or worse.

EVENTS

Here’s what is scheduled for organized running and biking events locally… but confirm with the organizers and be flexible in case conditions change and large-group activities are limited. Of course, wear a mask and act appropriate to your age, condition and concerns.

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Midpoint Madness Veteran’s Day 5K, Sept. 28 – Nov. 14 (virtual)
  • Cape Coral Turkey Trot 5K, Sept. 17-Nov. 26 (virtual)
  • City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
  • Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual)
  • Strides for Education 5K, Feb. 6, 2021 (in-person and virtual)

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • Old Naples 10K, Saturday, Nov. 7 (in-person & virtual)
  • GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 26 (in-person & virtual)
  • Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual) 

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Nov. 21
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Walk, Estero, Thursday, Nov. 26
  • Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6
  • Sarasota West Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Sunday, Dec. 20
  • Venice Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021
  • Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 27, 2021

OTHER RUNS:

  • FGCU 10th-Annual Gobbler 5K, up to Nov. 26 (virtual) – runsignup.com or runtothearts.com
  • Publix Run to the Arts 5K run/walk – in person on Feb. 7, 2021, or virtual Jan. 30-Feb. 7

OTHER RIDES:

  • Hungry Harry’s 100, Sunday, Nov. 8: Ride 100 miles along the island from Captiva to Bonita Beach to benefit the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Starts and ends at the Bike Bistro, details at caloosariders.org.

CYCLING:

The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.

SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.

  • SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers. 
  • Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
  • Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.

If racing is not your thing but you’d like to support their return nonetheless, consider volunteering to help out at the few in-person offerings ahead. With Covid concerns still corralling some of the club’s usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed. 

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.
 
 


Monday, November 2, 2020

November 2: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Welcome to your Monday morning organized events update. The weather this week is going to be appreciably more conducive for outdoor activities. Still, caution is advised when engaging in group activities, as the number of cases of Covid-19 is in an upward trajectory. If you need to limit your risk exposure, exercising individually or in small groups may be preferable.

Below is what’s scheduled for organized running and biking events locally… but confirm with the organizers and be flexible in case conditions change and large-group activities are limited. Of course, wear a mask and act appropriate to your age, condition and concerns.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Cape Coral Turkey Trot 5K, Sept. 17-Nov. 26 (virtual)
  • City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
  • Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual) 

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Old Naples 10K, Saturday, Nov. 7 (in-person & virtual)
  • GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 26 (in-person & virtual)
  • Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual) 

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Nov. 21
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Walk, Estero, Thursday, Nov. 26
  • Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6 


CYCLING

The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.

SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.

  • SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers. 
  • Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
  • Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.

If racing is not your thing but you’d like to support their return nonetheless, consider volunteering to help out at the few in-person offerings ahead. With Covid concerns still corralling some of the club’s usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed. 

For the very latest, go to Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com), Gulf Coast Runners (gcrunner.org), Caloosa Riders (caloosariders.org), and South West Florida Critical Mass (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). 






Monday, October 26, 2020

October 26: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Below is what’s scheduled for organized running and biking events locally… but confirm with the organizers and be flexible in case conditions change and large-group activities are limited. Of course, wear a mask and act appropriate to your age, condition and concerns.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Sanibel Island 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H., Aug. 18-Oct. 31 (virtual)
  • Cape Coral Turkey Trot 5K, Sept. 17-Nov. 26 (virtual)
  • City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
  • Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual) 

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Halloween Monster 5K (Naples), Saturday, Oct. 31 (virtual)
  • Old Naples 10K, Saturday, Nov. 7 (in-person & virtual)
  • GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 26 (in-person & virtual)
  • Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual) 

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Nov. 21
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Walk, Estero, Thursday, Nov. 26
  • Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6 

Other runs:

  • 2020 LCEC Goblin Gallop 5K, Oct. 31, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (in-person) (active.com)
  • Run for Foster Kids, Oct. 1-31 (virtual) (runsignup.com)

CYCLING

The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.

SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.

  • SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers. 
  • Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
  • Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.

If racing is not your thing but you’d like to support their return nonetheless, consider volunteering to help out at the few in-person offerings ahead. With Covid concerns still corralling some of the club’s usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed. 

For the very latest, go to Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com), Gulf Coast Runners (gcrunner.org), Caloosa Riders (caloosariders.org), and South West Florida Critical Mass (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). 





Thursday, October 22, 2020

BikeWalkLee: A good time to invest in bikes

BikeWalkLee Column ‘Go Coastal’
The News-Press, October 22, 2020
by Ken Gooderham

Government revenue is down. There’s no clear end to the pandemic. Uncertainty reigns, with confusion close by its side.

So why is it a good time to invest in bike/ped infrastructure? Let me tell you why.

  • Demand is high, and the need should continue to grow.

The pandemic pushed people outside as a safe place to meet and move. That pushed bike sales to record highs, as well as getting people out walking and running in growing numbers. And now, even as governments strive to force open the economy by relaxing Covid clampdowns, a lot of people are keeping up their open-air exercise routines… both out of habit, enjoyment and health concerns.

More users need more paths and lanes on which to safely ride, run and walk. That can accommodate them today and encourage them tomorrow to turn something healthy into a habit even when the pandemic panic subsides for real.

  • It’s a good economic jolt, growing jobs by building something that adds value to communities.

There are a lot of people out of work, a lot of companies struggling. An influx of infrastructure spending could counter that at a time when the economy needs a lot of encouragement… and too many parts of our local, state and national infrastructure is aging and in need to repair or replacement.

So let’s make some of that infrastructure bike/ped focused. Why? Because people will use it, which creates value in the neighborhoods it serves, which boost home values, which increases property taxes, which helps to fund local government and build local businesses. There aren’t a lot of investments that can claim that.

  • People are rethinking how they live, increasing the focus on fitness and family. Bike/ped suits this new normal.

The pandemic has shown some people which community amenities are necessities vs. extravagances. At a time when people are spending more time together (families) and apart (friends), amenities that won’t close but will allow distancing (and which can get you from Point A to Point B to boot) and which are nearby and accessible become more attractive – and more essential.

  • Money is as cheap as it will ever get… so use it, don’t hoard it.

Investing in infrastructure usually means borrowing the funds you need now to build now, and paying it back by creating value that generates revenue (see above). This equation works best with the cost of borrowing is lower rather than higher… and right now, interest rates are as low as they can go (perhaps). So investing in things a community needs and which enhance values makes a lot of sense.

  • This is a great time to make this area into a place that draws people, not just tourists... that creates assets, not just attractions.

Southwest Florida has a number of things working in its favor… beaches and boating, natural beauty and world-class weather (if you like it on the warm side). It’s a natural fit for bike/ped as well, with the terrain and climate that should draw people from around the globe. But those people need more than just flat land and sunny skies – they need places to safely ride, run and walk. And those have been hard to find over the year in Southwest Florida.

A positive note: When communities have invested in bike/ped facilities that are safe and functional, people have come to use them. Sanibel Island is a prime example, of course, but the growth of bike/ped facilities in Cape Coral and Estero (among others) and the investment in networks that connect paths and lanes into a viable recreation/transportation system throughout Lee County is an asset in attracting visitors and residents who want to be more active and less tied to motor vehicles.

Are we there yet to make this a cycling/walking destination? No, but at least you could argue that we can see that off in the distance now, as opposed to it being a speck on the horizon 20 years ago. A serious and focused investment in bike/ped infrastructure that builds on the current improvements to enhance access, safety and function, could give this area an asset that would build on its outdoor attributes in a very positive way.

There may be an opportunity to do something special here. Let’s give it some thought..

EVENTS

Below is what’s scheduled for organized running and biking events locally… but confirm with the organizers and be flexible in case conditions change and large-group activities are limited. Of course, wear a mask and act appropriate to your age, condition and concerns.

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Sanibel Island 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H., Aug. 18-Oct. 31 (virtual)
  • Cape Coral Turkey Trot 5K, Sept. 17-Nov. 26 (virtual)
  • City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
  • Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual) 

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • Halloween Monster 5K (Naples), Saturday, Oct. 31 (virtual)
  • Old Naples 10K, Saturday, Nov. 7 (in-person & virtual)
  • GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 26 (in-person & virtual)
  • Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual) 

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Nov. 21
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Walk, Estero, Thursday, Nov. 26
  • Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6 

OTHER RUNS:

  • 2020 LCEC Goblin Gallop 5K, Oct. 31, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (in-person) (active.com)
  • Run for Foster Kids, Oct. 1-31 (virtual) (runsignup.com)

CYCLING:

The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.

SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.

  • SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers. 
  • Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
  • Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.

If racing is not your thing but you’d like to support their return nonetheless, consider volunteering to help out at the few in-person offerings ahead. With Covid concerns still corralling some of the club’s usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed. 

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.
 
 


Monday, October 19, 2020

October 19: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Below is what’s scheduled for organized running and biking events locally… but confirm with the organizers and be flexible in case conditions change and large-group activities are limited. Of course, wear a mask and act appropriate to your age, condition and concerns.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Sanibel Island 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H., Aug. 18-Oct. 31 (virtual)
  • Cape Coral Turkey Trot 5K, Sept. 17-Nov. 26 (virtual)
  • City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
  • Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual) 

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Halloween Monster 5K (Naples), Saturday, Oct. 31 (virtual)
  • Old Naples 10K, Saturday, Nov. 7 (in-person & virtual)
  • GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 26 (in-person & virtual)
  • Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual) 

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Nov. 21
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Walk, Estero, Thursday, Nov. 26
  • Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6 

Other runs:

  • 2020 LCEC Goblin Gallop 5K, Oct. 31, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (in-person) (active.com)
  • Run for Foster Kids, Oct. 1-31 (virtual) (runsignup.com)

CYCLING

The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.

SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.

  • SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers. 
  • Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
  • Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.

If racing is not your thing but you’d like to support their return nonetheless, consider volunteering to help out at the few in-person offerings ahead. With Covid concerns still corralling some of the club’s usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed. 

For the very latest, go to Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com), Gulf Coast Runners (gcrunner.org), Caloosa Riders (caloosariders.org), and South West Florida Critical Mass (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). 




Monday, October 12, 2020

October 12: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

 

Upcoming events

Welcome to your Monday morning organized events resource.

If you are a driver, a runner, or a cyclist, you will want to read last week's BikeWalkLee blog

Below is what’s scheduled for organized running and biking events locally… but confirm with the organizers and be flexible in case conditions change and large-group activities are limited. Of course, wear a mask and act appropriate to your age, condition and concerns.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Sanibel Island 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H., Aug. 18-Oct. 31 (virtual)
  • Cape Coral Turkey Trot 5K, Sept. 17-Nov. 26 (virtual)
  • City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
  • Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual) 

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Gulf to Gulf 80 Mile Relay, Saturday, Oct. 17 (in-person)
  • Halloween Monster 5K (Naples), Saturday, Oct. 31 (virtual)
  • Old Naples 10K, Saturday, Nov. 7 (in-person & virtual)
  • GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 26 (in-person & virtual)
  • Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual) 

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Nov. 21
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Walk, Estero, Thursday, Nov. 26
  • Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6 

Other runs:

  • 2020 LCEC Goblin Gallop 5K, Oct. 31, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (in-person) (active.com)
  • Run for Foster Kids, Oct. 1-31 (virtual) (runsignup.com)

CYCLING

The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.

SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.

  • SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers. 
  • Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
  • Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.

If racing is not your thing but you’d like to support their return nonetheless, consider volunteering to help out at the few in-person offerings ahead. With Covid concerns still corralling some of the club’s usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed. 

For the very latest, go to Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com), Gulf Coast Runners (gcrunner.org), Caloosa Riders (caloosariders.org), and South West Florida Critical Mass (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). 



Thursday, October 8, 2020

BikeWalkLee: Are pedestrians in peril?

BikeWalkLee Column ‘Go Coastal’
The News-Press, October 8, 2020
by Ken Gooderham

Are pedestrians in peril?

A new book asserts our country is in the midst of a pedestrian public health crisis, with the number of pedestrian deaths climbing every year.

So how are we doing locally?

First, a little more about the research. The book -- “Right of Way: Race, Class and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America” by Angie Schmitt – arrives at a time when pedestrians deaths nationwide hit a 30-year high in 2019 of 6,590 (or about 18 deaths a day).

What’s behind this rise? Among the issues Schmitt cites are our roads and our vehicles, driving too fast and driving while distracted.

  • Our roads: Inadequate bike/ped facilities and roads built to move traffic faster and faster… and even something as simple as pedestrian crossing lights that don’t give older/slower walkers enough time to safely traverse the traffic.
  • Our vehicles: The move to SUVs and pickups puts more pedestrians at risk, with vehicles that are bigger and bulkier more likely to result in a pedestrian’s death if they are hit by one.
  • Our speed: In a vehicle-pedestrian collision, the faster the vehicle is moving the more damage it will do to the pedestrian. If a vehicle is moving at less than 20 mph, the fatality rate is 5%... at more than 40 mph, the rate jumps to 65%.
  • Our phones: Drivers distracted by their devices have slower reaction times and are more likely to drift and otherwise drive erratically… all of which spells trouble for nearby pedestrians. (To be fair, distracted walking is also a factor in some collisions.)

Schmitt also notes that people of color are more at risk, both because they more often rely on walking in their transportation mix and because they often have to do so in places where the pedestrian infrastructure is inadequate or incomplete (if not missing altogether).

Getting back to our local conditions, are pedestrians at risk here?

Yes, although our local numbers may not be rising as dramatically as the national count. Nonetheless, Fort Myers-Cape Coral was ranked the eighth most dangerous metro area by the 2019 “Dangerous by Design” report from Smart Growth America. That’s a slight improvement in ranking from prior years, -- not because our area is doing better, but because other areas are doing worse.

Florida continues to rank as the most dangerous state for pedestrians by a considerable level – which is what you’d expect when eight of the Top 10 worst metro areas are all in Florida.

Remember as well that these are 2019 statistics – meaning pre-Covid. The pandemic pushed a lot of activity outdoors, increasing the chances for pedestrian peril. The only saving grace may be that, while there may have been more pedestrians, there also were fewer vehicles.

Our areas checks off all the elements Schmitt cites as drivers for the national risk:

Our roads, while improving (particularly in some municipalities), still are incomplete or inadequate when it comes to safe spaces for pedestrians – especially in communities that rely on their feet to get around.

Our vehicles keep getting bigger and bulkier, at least looking around on almost every road.

Our driving speeds seem unencumbered by either enforcement or design… although the rise in riding and walking with the pandemic has made drivers more aware of cyclists and pedestrians, at least from anecdotal experience.

Our distractions are still diverting our attention, although we can hope that the new texting laws that took effect last October will help. Again, with the pandemic, it’s too soon to tell.

So should you be afraid to walk along our roadways? No, but you should be very aware. Follow the rules of the road (such as walking facing traffic), be on the defensive for bad drivers, be visible and predictable… and pay attention!

When you’re not being a pedestrian, you can also help by being a better driver. It not only makes the streets safer, it sets a good example for others… which you’ll appreciate when you’re not on the street surrounded by two tons of metal.

With a little caution, you can be a safe pedestrian… and you can avoid becoming a statistic.

EVENTS

Below is what’s scheduled for organized running and biking events locally… but confirm with the organizers and be flexible in case conditions change and large-group activities are limited. Of course, wear a mask and act appropriate to your age, condition and concerns.

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Cops & Joggers Virtual 5K, July 10-Oct. 10 (virtual)
  • Sanibel Island 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H., Aug. 18-Oct. 31 (virtual)
  • Cape Coral Turkey Trot 5K, Sept. 17-Nov. 26 (virtual)
  • City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
  • Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual) 

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • Gulf to Gulf 80 Mile Relay, Saturday, Oct. 17 (in-person)
  • Halloween Monster 5K (Naples), Saturday, Oct. 31 (virtual)
  • Old Naples 10K, Saturday, Nov. 7 (in-person & virtual)
  • GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 26 (in-person & virtual)
  • Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual) 

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • Rocktoberfest 10K and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Oct. 10
  • Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Nov. 21
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Walk, Estero, Thursday, Nov. 26
  • Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6 

OTHER RUNS:

  • 2020 LCEC Goblin Gallop 5K, Oct. 31, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (in-person) (active.com)
  • Run for Foster Kids, Oct. 1-31 (virtual) (runsignup.com)

CYCLING:

The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.

SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.

  • SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers. 
  • Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
  • Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.

If racing is not your thing but you’d like to support their return nonetheless, consider volunteering to help out at the few in-person offerings ahead. With Covid concerns still corralling some of the club’s usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed. 

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. 


Monday, October 5, 2020

October 5: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Welcome to your Monday morning organized events resource. Below is an overview of upcoming virtual and in-person events. Virtual events allow you to run anytime, anywhere. Find a dry moment, and go! Don't forget to check out the latest BikeWalkLee blog.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Cops & Joggers Virtual 5K, July 10-Oct. 10 (virtual)
  • Sanibel Island 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H., Aug. 18-Oct. 31 (virtual)
  • Cape Coral Turkey Trot 5K, Sept. 17-Nov. 26 (virtual)
  • City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
  • Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual)

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Gulf to Gulf 80 Mile Relay, Saturday, Oct. 17 (in-person)
  • Halloween Monster 5K (Naples), Saturday, Oct. 31 (virtual)
  • Old Naples 10K, Saturday, Nov. 7 (in-person & virtual)
  • GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 26 (in-person & virtual)
  • Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual)

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Rocktoberfest 10K and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Oct. 10
  • Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Nov. 21
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Walk, Estero, Thursday, Nov. 26
  • Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6

Other runs

  • 2020 LCEC Goblin Gallop 5K, Oct. 31, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (in-person) (active.com)
  • Run for Foster Kids, Oct. 1-31 (virtual) (runsignup.com)

CYCLING

The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.

SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.

  • SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers.
  • Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
  • Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.

For the latest, go to Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com), Gulf Coast Runners (gcrunner.org), Caloosa Riders (caloosariders.org), and South West Florida Critical Mass (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL).

Monday, September 28, 2020

September 28: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

With the fall racing season starting, race calendars are slowly but surely filling up with virtual and in-person events. For an in-depth look, check the latest BikeWalkLee blog. Here are some upcoming options from now to the new year.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Cops & Joggers Virtual 5K, July 10-Oct. 10 (virtual)
  • Sanibel Island 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H., Aug. 18-Oct. 31 (virtual)
  • Cape Coral Turkey Trot 5K, Sept. 17-Nov. 26 (virtual)
  • City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
  • Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual)

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Snip Collier 5K, Saturday, Oct. 3 (in-person event is full, virtual event still open)
  • Gulf to Gulf 80 Mile Relay, Saturday, Oct. 17 (in-person)
  • Halloween Monster 5K (Naples), Saturday, Oct. 31 (virtual)
  • Old Naples 10K, Saturday, Nov. 7 (in-person & virtual)
  • GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 26 (in-person & virtual)
  • Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual)

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Rocktoberfest 10K and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Oct. 10
  • Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Nov. 21
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Walk, Estero, Thursday, Nov. 26
  • Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6

Other runs

  • 2020 LCEC Goblin Gallop 5K, Oct. 31, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (in-person) (active.com)
  • Run for Foster Kids, Oct. 1-31 (virtual) (runsignup.com)

CYCLING

The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.

SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.

  • SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers.
  • Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
  • Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.

For the latest, go to Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com), Gulf Coast Runners (gcrunner.org), Caloosa Riders (caloosariders.org), and South West Florida Critical Mass (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL).