Monday, August 2, 2021

August 2: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Summertime has shut down most local running and biking events, with Labor Day (maybe) the next opportunity for an organized event.  


RUNNING

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Cops & Joggers 5K, Saturday, Oct. 9, 7:45 p.m., downtown Fort Myers
  • 10K Race for F.I.S.H., Saturday, Oct. 23, Sanibel Island. In-person and virtual.

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • Friends of Foster Children Forever Labor Day 5K, Monday, Sept. 6, 7:30 a.m. Lowdermilk Park, Naples and virtual.
  • 2021 GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 25, 7:30 a.m. Cambier Park, Naples and virtual.

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • Venice Half Marathon & 5K, Saturday, Oct. 9, 6:30 a.m., Maxine Barritt Park, Venice.
  • Naples Rocktoberfest 10K & 5K, October (date TBD), North Collier Regional Park, Naples.
  • Fort Myers City of Palms Half Marathon & 5K, date TBD, FGCU.
  • Naples Distance Classic Half Marathon, 18K & 5K, date TBD, Eagle Lakes Park, Naples.
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K (two races), Thursday, Oct. 25, Hertz Arena in Estero and The Village Shops on Venetian Bay, Naples. 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. respectively.

OTHER RUNS

  • Run 3 for Joey D 5K, Saturday, Sept. 18, North Collier Regional Park (active.com).
  • Average Joe 5K Run (where the person who finishes in the middle wins, along with overall and age group winners), Saturday, Oct. 9, North Collier Regional Park (active.com).
  • LRC Hams & Gams 5K Turkey Trot, Saturday Nov. 13, Hendry Complex, LaBelle (active.com)
  • Publix Run to the Arts 5K run/walk, Nov. 20, runsignup.com or runtothearts.com

OTHER RIDES

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. Check out their line-up online (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times (and to make sure the ride is still rolling).

  • 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 Saturday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • NE Lee Critical Mass ride, third Friday of the month. Gather in the Winn Dixie parking lot on Palm Beach Blvd. about five miles east of the Interstate; gather at 7 p.m. and roll at 7:30 p.m. for a slow ride through Fort Myers Shores.
  • 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 confining some of the usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed.

TRIATHLONS

  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Aug. 14, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Sept. 11, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • St. Anthony’s Triathlon (St. Petersburg) rescheduled to Oct. 1-3, 2021
  • City Island Triathlon, Oct. 10, Sarasota

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, July 29, 2021

BikeWalkLee: Running & riding in the rain

BikeWalkLee Column ‘Go Coastal’
The News-Press, July 29, 2021
by Ken Gooderham

 


If you ride or run regularly in this region, you’re bound to get caught in the rain. So what should you do when the skies open up?

First, try to avoid being caught outside when the rains roll in, if that’s feasible. The usual rain routine is for mid- and late-afternoon showers, so if you get your ride or run in early (when it’s cooler to boot), you can dramatically lessen your chances of getting drenched.

However, some days that doesn’t work out – and some days rain can erupt at any hour without warning. Then what?

Whether you ride or run, the first rule should be to take cover if it’s a strong storm – especially a thunderstorm replete with lightning. Don’t be the tallest thing around (or be next to the tallest thing around) when lightning bolts start blasting. Instead, find somewhere that’s dry and grounded, and wait out the storm.

Second, get out of traffic if you’re running or riding anywhere next motor vehicles. You’re less visible to drivers (and other riders or runners), putting you at greater risk. Wet roadways (especially road markings) become slippery fast, a danger both to you as you try to move forward and to you as motor vehicles have their own traction troubles. And flooded roads hide a multitude of problems that can imperil you… as well as being a great way to get soaked when vehicles plow through puddles and throw up a considerable wake.

Cyclists, getting caught in a storm may be a good lesson on why you want to have lights front and back (visibility), good tires (traction on wet pavement) and fenders or rain guards (at least on the back tire). If you rely on your bike for transportation whatever the weather, consider adding some rain-specific gear to stay dry – or (to do it on the cheap) at least some plastic bags (for your feet and hands) and at oversized shower cap (for your helmet).

Rain is also the time when you realize exactly why wearing quick-dry fabrics is such a good idea, wicking away moisture and drying out fast once the rains end. However, even the best fabrics fail in a deluge, and if you’ve ever run or ridden in rain-soaked clothes, you know how uncomfortable that can get – fast. (It’s also why you want to wear something bright , to boost visibility during the deluge.)

It’s not feasible for a run (at least when it’s hot), but for many summer rides where the weather looked wonky I’ve thrown a packable water-resistant jacket on the back of the bike to ward off water. They won’t keep you perfectly dry (although you can get jackets that will, if you can live with the bulkiness), but they will make a wet ride more bearable and cut down on chafing, etc. However, you will want to wear said jacket as little as possible, since another layer of clothing (non-breathable, no less) may end up making you as moist as the rain will due to prolific perspiration.

OK, your run or ride is over and you’ve squished your way back home. Now what?

Runners: Get out of your wet gear and into something dry (particularly if the A/C is on), then hang everything up to dry before it goes into the laundry hamper. Many folks stuff newspapers in their running shows to expedite drying if you wish, but don’t use heat – clothes dryers, ovens, etc. – to speed up drying unless you really don’t care if you ever wear those shoes again.

Riders: You should be doing everything that runners do in terms of clothing, etc., so you can then turn your attention to making your ride ready for the next adventure.

Needless to say that water is not a bike’s friend… so you’ll want to wipe everything down, or rinse it off and then wipe it down (easier to remove grime when it’s wet). In particular, wipe down and lubricate your chain (using the appropriate chain-friendly materials) and spray crucial metal parts – pedals, brake linkage, derailleurs, etc. – with something that will drive out moisture as it lubricates. (The ubiquitous WD-40 spray is not usually recommended as it is a solvent more than a lubricant… good for getting things unstuck, not so much for preventing friction).

Take these steps immediately (or as close to that as possible), both to beat back rust and rot, and to have your bike ready for the next time.

 ●●●


EVENTS
 

Summertime has shut down most local running and biking events, with Labor Day (maybe) the next opportunity for an organized event.

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Cops & Joggers 5K, Saturday, Oct. 9, 7:45 p.m., downtown Fort Myers
  • 10K Race for F.I.S.H., Saturday, Oct. 23, Sanibel Island. In-person and virtual.

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • Friends of Foster Children Forever Labor Day 5K, Monday, Sept. 6, 7:30 a.m. Lowdermilk Park, Naples and virtual.
  • 2021 GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 25, 7:30 a.m. Cambier Park, Naples and virtual.

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • Venice Half Marathon & 5K, Saturday, Oct. 9, 6:30 a.m., Maxine Barritt Park, Venice.
  • Naples Rocktoberfest 10K & 5K, October (date TBD), North Collier Regional Park, Naples.
  • Fort Myers City of Palms Half Marathon & 5K, date TBD, FGCU.
  • Naples Distance Classic Half Marathon, 18K & 5K, date TBD, Eagle Lakes Park, Naples.
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K (two races), Thursday, Oct. 25, Hertz Arena in Estero and The Village Shops on Venetian Bay, Naples. 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. respectively.

OTHER RUNS

  • Run 3 for Joey D 5K, Saturday, Sept. 18, North Collier Regional Park (active.com).
  • Average Joe 5K Run (where the person who finishes in the middle wins, along with overall and age group winners), Saturday, Oct. 9, North Collier Regional Park (active.com).
  • LRC Hams & Gams 5K Turkey Trot, Saturday Nov. 13, Hendry Complex, LaBelle (active.com)
  • Publix Run to the Arts 5K run/walk, Nov. 20, runsignup.com or runtothearts.com

OTHER RIDES

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. Check out their line-up online (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times (and to make sure the ride is still rolling).

  • 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 Saturday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • NE Lee Critical Mass ride, third Friday of the month. Gather in the Winn Dixie parking lot on Palm Beach Blvd. about five miles east of the Interstate; gather at 7 p.m. and roll at 7:30 p.m. for a slow ride through Fort Myers Shores.
  • 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 confining some of the usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed.

TRIATHLONS:

  • Top Gun Triathlon, July 17, St. Petersburg
  • Siesta Sprint Triathlon, Aug. 1, Siesta Key
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Aug. 14, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Sept. 11, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • St. Anthony’s Triathlon (St. Petersburg) rescheduled to Oct. 1-3, 2021
  • City Island Triathlon, Oct. 10, Sarasota

 

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 bikewalklee.blogspot.com.








Monday, July 26, 2021

July 26: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Summertime has shut down most local running and biking events, with Labor Day (maybe) the next opportunity for an organized event.  

Of course, every day is a good day for a solo run or ride. Just be safe and stay hydrated. Avoid thunderstorms, be visible in traffic, keep your eyes and ears open, and obey the rules of the road.

RUNNING

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Cops & Joggers 5K, Saturday, Oct. 9, 7:45 p.m., downtown Fort Myers
  • 10K Race for F.I.S.H., Saturday, Oct. 23, Sanibel Island. In-person and virtual.

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • Friends of Foster Children Forever Labor Day 5K, Monday, Sept. 6, 7:30 a.m. Lowdermilk Park, Naples and virtual.
  • 2021 GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 25, 7:30 a.m. Cambier Park, Naples and virtual.

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • Venice Half Marathon & 5K, Saturday, Oct. 9, 6:30 a.m., Maxine Barritt Park, Venice.
  • Naples Rocktoberfest 10K & 5K, October (date TBD), North Collier Regional Park, Naples.
  • Fort Myers City of Palms Half Marathon & 5K, date TBD, FGCU.
  • Naples Distance Classic Half Marathon, 18K & 5K, date TBD, Eagle Lakes Park, Naples.
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K (two races), Thursday, Oct. 25, Hertz Arena in Estero and The Village Shops on Venetian Bay, Naples. 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. respectively.

OTHER RUNS

OTHER RIDES

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. Check out their line-up online (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times (and to make sure the ride is still rolling).

  • 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 Saturday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • NE Lee Critical Mass ride, third Friday of the month. Gather in the Winn Dixie parking lot on Palm Beach Blvd. about five miles east of the Interstate; gather at 7 p.m. and roll at 7:30 p.m. for a slow ride through Fort Myers Shores.
  • 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 confining some of the usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed.

TRIATHLONS

  • Siesta Sprint Triathlon, Aug. 1, Siesta Key
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Aug. 14, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Sept. 11, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • St. Anthony’s Triathlon (St. Petersburg) rescheduled to Oct. 1-3, 2021
  • City Island Triathlon, Oct. 10, Sarasota

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, July 19, 2021

July 19: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Summertime has shut down most local running and biking events, with Labor Day (maybe) the next opportunity for an organized event.  

Of course, every day is a good day for a solo run or ride. Just be safe. Avoid thunderstorms, be visible in traffic, keep your eyes and ears open, and obey the rules of the road.

RUNNING

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Cops & Joggers 5K, Saturday, Oct. 9, 7:45 p.m., downtown Fort Myers
  • 10K Race for F.I.S.H., Saturday, Oct. 23, Sanibel Island. In-person and virtual.

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • Friends of Foster Children Forever Labor Day 5K, Monday, Sept. 6, 7:30 a.m. Lowdermilk Park, Naples and virtual.
  • 2021 GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 25, 7:30 a.m. Cambier Park, Naples and virtual.

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • Venice Half Marathon & 5K, Saturday, Oct. 9, 6:30 a.m., Maxine Barritt Park, Venice.
  • Naples Rocktoberfest 10K & 5K, October (date TBD), North Collier Regional Park, Naples.
  • Fort Myers City of Palms Half Marathon & 5K, date TBD, FGCU.
  • Naples Distance Classic Half Marathon, 18K & 5K, date TBD, Eagle Lakes Park, Naples.
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K (two races), Thursday, Oct. 25, Hertz Arena in Estero and The Village Shops on Venetian Bay, Naples. 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. respectively.

OTHER RUNS

OTHER RIDES

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. Check out their line-up online (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times (and to make sure the ride is still rolling).

  • 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 Saturday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • NE Lee Critical Mass ride, third Friday of the month. Gather in the Winn Dixie parking lot on Palm Beach Blvd. about five miles east of the Interstate; gather at 7 p.m. and roll at 7:30 p.m. for a slow ride through Fort Myers Shores.
  • 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 confining some of the usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed.

TRIATHLONS

  • Siesta Sprint Triathlon, Aug. 1, Siesta Key
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Aug. 14, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Sept. 11, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • St. Anthony’s Triathlon (St. Petersburg) rescheduled to Oct. 1-3, 2021
  • City Island Triathlon, Oct. 10, Sarasota

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, July 15, 2021

BikeWalkLee: Do you Peloton?

BikeWalkLee Column ‘Go Coastal’
The News-Press, July 15, 2021
by Ken Gooderham

© James F. Perry (CC BY-SA 3.0)

During the pandemic, Peloton rode to the rescue for many isolated exercisers. But as the fitness world opens up again, will the brand continue to lead the pack?

Peloton, for the uninitiated, is the fitness brand that rode to success by offering at-home exercise by combing an indoor bicycle and a computer to create classes, camaraderie and competition in the comfort of your own home. Since so many of us spent a lot of time in those homes over the past 15 months, the opportunity offered by Peloton to create a virtual gym experience held a lot of allure.

The allure wasn’t cheap, of course, with the cycles themselves costing almost $2,000 combined with a monthly subscription (to access the workouts, etc.) of almost $40… plus giving up some space in your home on a permanent basis.

Nevertheless, many found the experience worth the expense. With gyms shuttered and group activities shunned, Peloton became a vital (and lucrative) fitness option.

Was that a good thing? Overall, yes. 

Anything that got people moving through the pandemic was beneficial, and if you needed group activities and a high-energy instructor to get motivated Peloton was a good option. So good, in fact, that other fitness firms followed its lead to offering similar machines and classes to what they viewed was a growing market.

Peloton is credited with spearheading the rise of “connected fitness,” all the benefits of group activities done virtually from your own space… a studio class experience without having to go to the gym and on your schedule instead of theirs. The pandemic inspired a number of group exercise options to flourish online, yoga being perhaps the most notable after cycling.

Fitness-wise, spinning (what Peloton offers is an at-home spinning cycle that uses a flywheel and resistance to emulate riding and encourage exercise) is a solid aerobic activity weighted heavily to working the lower body, although Peloton classes (and others) will include some weight work for the arms and shoulders. With a range of class styles and instructors, it’s pretty easy to find something you like (and will keep doing) with enough variety to make it interesting over the long haul.

The test of how interesting will come soon, however, as in-person options expand and schedules start getting crowded doing all those things we weren’t able to do thanks to Covid-19. There’s also the cost factor, as even just the monthly subscription (crucial if you want to access the full range of class content) will run you almost $500 a year… comparable to a gym membership without the extra options for exercise that offers.

Don’t forget the real-world competition… as in “I want to get out in the real world for a change!” Riding an actual bicycle on actual roads and paths may mean dealing with weather, traffic and more, but it also can be a more interesting (and even functional) experience than pedaling away in a room somewhere watching fellow riders on a video screen.

However, for those people who find studio classes motivating, like the flexibility of fitness on their schedule rather than a gym’s and have the space (in both their homes and wallets) to accommodate the accoutrements of a Peloton, this kind of fitness option will continued to appeal. Being able to avoid our area’s heat and humidity in the summer (or traffic and turmoil in the winter) could be a selling point.

But it’s a big investment with a considerable downside should it fail to enthrall you over time… so ponder before you pedal.

A shameless plug: For many bicycle-related purchasing decisions (far beyond Peloton, etc.), take a look at Wirecuttter, part of the New York Times online presence. The site’s reviews and explanations are thorough and thoughtful, updated regularly and researched rigorously. The site covers both bicycles and equipment, including preparing for cycling activities (such as commuting) and with a commendable focus on safety. Worth a look if you’re looking for guidance.

 ●●●


EVENTS
 

Summertime has shut down most local running and biking events, with Labor Day (maybe) the next opportunity for an organized event.

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Cops & Joggers 5K, Saturday, Oct. 9, 7:45 p.m., downtown Fort Myers
  • 10K Race for F.I.S.H., Saturday, Oct. 23, Sanibel Island. In-person and virtual.

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • Friends of Foster Children Forever Labor Day 5K, Monday, Sept. 6, 7:30 a.m. Lowdermilk Park, Naples and virtual.
  • 2021 GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 25, 7:30 a.m. Cambier Park, Naples and virtual.

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • Venice Half Marathon & 5K, Saturday, Oct. 9, 6:30 a.m., Maxine Barritt Park, Venice.
  • Naples Rocktoberfest 10K & 5K, October (date TBD), North Collier Regional Park, Naples.
  • Fort Myers City of Palms Half Marathon & 5K, date TBD, FGCU.
  • Naples Distance Classic Half Marathon, 18K & 5K, date TBD, Eagle Lakes Park, Naples.
  • Thanksgiving Day 5K (two races), Thursday, Oct. 25, Hertz Arena in Estero and The Village Shops on Venetian Bay, Naples. 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. respectively.

OTHER RUNS

OTHER RIDES

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. Check out their line-up online (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times (and to make sure the ride is still rolling).

  • 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 Saturday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • NE Lee Critical Mass ride, third Friday of the month. Gather in the Winn Dixie parking lot on Palm Beach Blvd. about five miles east of the Interstate; gather at 7 p.m. and roll at 7:30 p.m. for a slow ride through Fort Myers Shores.
  • 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 confining some of the usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed.

TRIATHLONS:

  • Top Gun Triathlon, July 17, St. Petersburg
  • Siesta Sprint Triathlon, Aug. 1, Siesta Key
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Aug. 14, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Sept. 11, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • St. Anthony’s Triathlon (St. Petersburg) rescheduled to Oct. 1-3, 2021
  • City Island Triathlon, Oct. 10, Sarasota

 

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 bikewalklee.blogspot.com.







Monday, July 12, 2021

July 12: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Here's the weekly overview of organized running and cycling events. With rainy season around, running events are few and far between. Check with the organizers as schedules may change. When going for a solo run or ride, keep an eye on the skies and avoid staying out when a thunderstorm is nearby.

RUNNING

 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. Check out their line-up online (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times (and to make sure the ride is still rolling).

  • 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 Saturday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • NE Lee Critical Mass ride, third Friday of the month. Gather in the Winn Dixie parking lot on Palm Beach Blvd. about five miles east of the Interstate; gather at 7 p.m. and roll at 7:30 p.m. for a slow ride through Fort Myers Shores.
  • 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 confining some of the usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed.

TRIATHLONS

  • Top Gun Triathlon, July 17, St. Petersburg
  • Siesta Sprint Triathlon, Aug. 1, Siesta Key
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Aug. 14, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Sept. 11, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • St. Anthony’s Triathlon (St. Petersburg) rescheduled to Oct. 1-3, 2021
  • City Island Triathlon, Oct. 10, Sarasota

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). 











Saturday, July 3, 2021

July 3: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Here's the final overview of organized events for the 4th of July weekend. Check with the organizers as conditions may change. Happy 4th.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Priority Business Solutions Freedom 5K Run/Walk & Gunterberg Charitable Foundation Kid's Fun Run, Sunday, July 4, 7 a.m., Cape Coral Bridge

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • GCR Firecracker 5K, July 3-5, in-person (July 3) and virtual, Naples

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • USA Independence Day 5K, Sunday, July 4, 7 a.m., Hertz Arena, Estero

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. Check out their line-up online (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times (and to make sure the ride is still rolling).

  • 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 Saturday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • NE Lee Critical Mass ride, third Friday of the month. Gather in the Winn Dixie parking lot on Palm Beach Blvd. about five miles east of the Interstate; gather at 7 p.m. and roll at 7:30 p.m. for a slow ride through Fort Myers Shores.
  • 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 confining some of the usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed.

TRIATHLONS

  • Top Gun Triathlon, July 17, St. Petersburg
  • Siesta Sprint Triathlon, Aug. 1, Siesta Key
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Aug. 14, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Sept. 11, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • St. Anthony’s Triathlon (St. Petersburg) rescheduled to Oct. 1-3, 2021
  • City Island Triathlon, Oct. 10, Sarasota

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, July 1, 2021

BikeWalkLee: How to beat the heat

BikeWalkLee Column ‘Go Coastal’
The News-Press, July 1, 2021
by Ken Gooderham

Humidity so thick it’s hard to draw a breath. Surfaces too hot to touch. Breaking into a sweat from just stepping outside your front door in the morning. And a regularly scheduled afternoon thunderstorm you can almost set your watch to.

Welcome to summer in Southwest Florida.

Those of you who have already exercised through a steamy SWF summer can skip ahead. This is really focused on any newcomers to our soggy shores from more temperate climes, who will be in for a shock (if they haven’t gotten one already) when they get hit in the face with full-on summer.

(Judging by the overheated local real estate market and the preponderance of moving vans pulling into town, we’re probably looking at a sizeable contingent of northern newcomers, at least some of whom may be braving their first blast of subtropical heat and humidity… quite unexpected, unless you moved here from New Orleans.)

So, if you’re new to town and inclined towards regular exercise, here’s a few suggestions.

Stay hydrated, and as cool as possible. This is paramount to protect your health from the hazards of humidity. Be sure to drink before, during and after outdoor exertion, in proportion to your perspiration if nothing else. Know the signs of heat exhaustion, and plan on breaks if you have to be out in the hottest part of the day.

Dress light, in both fabric and color. By light fabrics, we mean materials that wick moisture away from your skin and can dry quickly (so… not cotton). By light colors, we mean shades that help reflect the heat rather than absorbing it. (They also help you to be seen as well.)

Lower your exercise expectations. If you’re used to running in 65 degrees, trying to do that when it’s 85 degrees or worse takes some getting used to… and the biggest adjustment may simply be you can’t go as fast or as hard when it’s hot as when it’s not. If you’re going to exert outside, build up to it (although it may be too late for that now) or, at least, shorten your workouts and back off  on your intensity until your body can adjust (which may take until it starts cooling off again, alas). Recognize you’re going to be slower than you were when it was cooler, but take solace in the fact that you’ll be able to run and ride all year long (once you survive the summer).

Time your outdoor activities accordingly. Think early morning or early evening, when temperatures are lower (in relative terms). Sometimes a post-thunderstorm cooldown might allow you to get outside more comfortably. Just remember to check the radar to make sure there’s not another storm coming in behind the one just leaving, and (particularly if biking) be careful on wet streets and bike paths for hazards hiding in puddles and road markings  that become as slippery as ice when wet.

Look at cooler activity options. Like to run? Try it in a pool. It’s cooler and offers more resistance… and maybe you can even try a few laps while you’re there to see if swimming is a viable exercise option for you. Perhaps other water sports (kayaking, paddloeboards, etc.) could be worth a look as a warm-weather option, as well as a way to take advantage of our area’s abundant water resources. Of course, there’s always the choice to move inside, taking your run or ride to where it’s air-conditioned. It may not be as interesting, but it’s a way to maintain fitness in the face of hotness.

With a little planning and prudence, you can maintain the necessary level of movement even when the thermometer soars… and keep counting the days until the temperatures stay coming back to earth.

 ●●●

For those of you who like organized events, your next best shot is the July 4 weekend. For runners, there are the traditional holiday 5Ks (see list), all either early or virtual (or both)… your last chance at racing until Labor Day.

For those of you who want to get your kids off on the right foot (or pedal) with their biking skills, Wheel Lee Fun is back – but only for one week, instead of the usual multi-week run. It’s for kids of many ages and skill levels, 8-11:30 a.m. Monday-Friday July 12-16. Go to www.caloosariders.org/wheelleefun for details and to register.

And if you want to try something new, there are still some regional sprint triathlons to be found, although nothing locally on the horizon. But if you start training now, you could be ready when one returns.


EVENTS
 

Summertime has shut down most local running and biking events, with July 4 the lone bright spot on the calendar. It’s still smart to confirm events with the organizers and stay flexible in case conditions (and Covid guidelines) change.

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Priority Business Solutions Freedom 5K Run/Walk & Gunterberg Charitable Foundation Kid's Fun Run, Sunday, July 4, 7 a.m., Cape Coral Bridge

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • GCR Firecracker 5K, July 3-5, in-person (July 3) and virtual

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • USA Independence Day 5K, Sunday, July 4, Estero

OTHER RUNS

OTHER RIDES

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. Check out their line-up online (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times (and to make sure the ride is still rolling).

  • 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 Saturday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • NE Lee Critical Mass ride, third Friday of the month. Gather in the Winn Dixie parking lot on Palm Beach Blvd. about five miles east of the Interstate; gather at 7 p.m. and roll at 7:30 p.m. for a slow ride through Fort Myers Shores.
  • 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 confining some of the usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed.

TRIATHLONS:

  • Top Gun Triathlon, July 17, St. Petersburg
  • Siesta Sprint Triathlon, Aug. 1, Siesta Key
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Aug. 14, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Sept. 11, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • St. Anthony’s Triathlon (St. Petersburg) rescheduled to Oct. 1-3, 2021
  • City Island Triathlon, Oct. 10, Sarasota

 

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 bikewalklee.blogspot.com.
 
 
















Monday, June 21, 2021

June 21 : Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Summertime has squeezed local running and biking events, with July 4 the biggest bump on the horizon. It’s still smart to confirm events with the organizers and stay flexible in case conditions (and pandemic guidelines) change.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Priority Business Solutions Freedom 5K Run/Walk & Gunterberg Charitable Foundation Kid's Fun Run, Sunday, July 4, Cape Coral Bridge

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • GCR Firecracker 5K, July 3-5, virtual

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • USA Independence Day 5K, Sunday, July 4, Estero

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. Check out their line-up online (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times (and to make sure the ride is still rolling).

  • 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 Saturday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • NE Lee Critical Mass ride, third Friday of the month. Gather in the Winn Dixie parking lot on Palm Beach Blvd. about five miles east of the Interstate; gather at 7 p.m. and roll at 7:30 p.m. for a slow ride through Fort Myers Shores.
  • 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 confining some of the usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed.

TRIATHLONS

  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, June 26, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Sirens & Merman Triathlon & Duathlon, June 27, Sarasota
  • Top Gun Triathlon, July 17, St. Petersburg
  • Siesta Sprint Triathlon, Aug. 1, Siesta Key
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Aug. 14, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Sept. 11, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • St. Anthony’s Triathlon (St. Petersburg) rescheduled to Oct. 1-3, 2021
  • City Island Triathlon, Oct. 10, Sarasota

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, June 17, 2021

BikeWalkLee: ‘Move Over’ bill good for bikers, walkers

BikeWalkLee Column ‘Go Coastal’
The News-Press, June 17, 2021
by Ken Gooderham

Too often, the Florida Legislature is where good ideas go to die… particularly those related to biking and walking safety.

So it is welcome news that the session just completed included approval of a significant piece of legislation that can have a positive impact on a number of bike/ped issues. The “Move Over for People” act handily cleared both the House and Senate, and is awaiting Gov. DeSantis’ signature.

As is often the case with this kind of legislation, the bill adds fixes or clarity to existing Florida Statutes rather than enacting sweeping new initiatives. Nonetheless, many of these updates will benefit both bikers/walkers and drivers by making the intent of existing safety efforts clearer and easier to grasp… or, sometimes, just making drivers more aware of them in general.

Some of the bill’s features:

  • Provides requirements for a vehicle overtaking a bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle, an electric bicycle, or a pedestrian occupying the same travel lane.

What it means: Tighten up and clarifies the “3 foot” rule for passing bikes and pedestrians. The bill also defines “bike lane” and “separated bike lane” (which was not in place already), which also clarifies the passing requirements.

  • Requires the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to provide an awareness campaign regarding vehicles overtaking a bicycle, other nonmotorized vehicle, an electric bicycle, or a pedestrian. Also requires at least 25 questions in the test bank for the driver license test to address bicycle and pedestrian safety.

What it means: It boosts awareness of bike/ped rules in general and as part of licensing – which matters since all the laws in the world won’t help if nobody know they exist.

  • Provides that no-passing zones do not apply to drivers who safely and briefly drive to the left of center of the roadway to overtake a bicycle, other nonmotorized vehicle, an electric bicycle, or a pedestrian.

What it means: Drivers moving over for cyclists in a no-passing zone now won’t face a penalty for doing that.

  • Requires a vehicle making a right turn while overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction, to do so only if the bicycle is at least 20 feet from the intersection.

What it means: Hopefully, no more cutting cyclists off without warning when a motorist makes a right turn. By adding a distance requirement (20 feet), it should make conditions a little safer for cyclists on the road.

  • Authorizes bicyclists riding in groups, after coming to a full stop, to go through an intersection in groups of 10 or fewer.

What it means: Clarifies how groups of cyclists work with motorists to get through intersections. Drivers have to let groups of cyclists go through, but cyclists have to do so in groups (rather than a long single line).

  • Provides guidelines for riding a bicycle in a substandard-width lane and authorizes riders to ride two abreast if certain conditions exit.

What it means: Again, clarifies the existing rules to allow cyclists to “take the lane” (even a too-narrow lane) to avoid a hazardous situation. Also lets cyclists to ride side-by-side temporarily on a narrow road if conditions demand it for safety.

If the governor signs the law (or lets it become law without action), the new rules would take effect July 1. Let’s hope that happens. 


EVENTS
 

Summertime has squeezed local running and biking events, with July 4 the biggest bump on the horizon. It’s still smart to confirm events with the organizers and stay flexible in case conditions (and pandemic guidelines) change.

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Priority Business Solutions Freedom 5K Run/Walk & Gunterberg Charitable Foundation Kid's Fun Run, Sunday, July 4, Cape Coral Bridge

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • GCR Firecracker 5K, July 3-5, virtual

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • USA Independence Day 5K, Sunday, July 4, Estero

OTHER RUNS

OTHER RIDES

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. Check out their line-up online (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times (and to make sure the ride is still rolling).

  • 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 Saturday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • NE Lee Critical Mass ride, third Friday of the month. Gather in the Winn Dixie parking lot on Palm Beach Blvd. about five miles east of the Interstate; gather at 7 p.m. and roll at 7:30 p.m. for a slow ride through Fort Myers Shores.
  • 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 confining some of the usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed.

TRIATHLONS:

  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, June 26, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Sirens & Merman Triathlon & Duathlon, June 27, Sarasota
  • Top Gun Triathlon, July 17, St. Petersburg
  • Siesta Sprint Triathlon, Aug. 1, Siesta Key
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Aug. 14, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Sept. 11, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • St. Anthony’s Triathlon (St. Petersburg) rescheduled to Oct. 1-3, 2021
  • City Island Triathlon, Oct. 10, Sarasota

 

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 bikewalklee.blogspot.com.
 
 















Monday, June 14, 2021

June 14 : Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Summertime has squeezed local running and biking events, with July 4 the biggest bump on the horizon. It’s still smart to confirm events with the organizers and stay flexible in case conditions (and pandemic guidelines) change.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Priority Business Solutions Freedom 5K Run/Walk & Gunterberg Charitable Foundation Kid's Fun Run, Sunday, July 4, Cape Coral Bridge

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • GCR Firecracker 5K, July 3-5, virtual

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • USA Independence Day 5K, Sunday, July 4, Estero

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. Check out their line-up online (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times (and to make sure the ride is still rolling).

  • 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 Saturday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • NE Lee Critical Mass ride, third Friday of the month. Gather in the Winn Dixie parking lot on Palm Beach Blvd. about five miles east of the Interstate; gather at 7 p.m. and roll at 7:30 p.m. for a slow ride through Fort Myers Shores.
  • 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 confining some of the usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed.

TRIATHLONS

  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, June 26, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Sirens & Merman Triathlon & Duathlon, June 27, Sarasota
  • Top Gun Triathlon, July 17, St. Petersburg
  • Siesta Sprint Triathlon, Aug. 1, Siesta Key
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Aug. 14, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Sept. 11, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • St. Anthony’s Triathlon (St. Petersburg) rescheduled to Oct. 1-3, 2021
  • City Island Triathlon, Oct. 10, Sarasota

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, June 7, 2021

June 7 : Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Summertime has squeezed local running and biking events, with July 4 the biggest bump on the horizon. It’s still smart to confirm events with the organizers and stay flexible in case conditions (and pandemic guidelines) change.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Membership 5K Fun Run (untimed) & Annual Meeting, Sunday, June 13, 5 p.m., Eastwood Golf Course, Fort Myers. 
  • Priority Business Solutions Freedom 5K Run/Walk & Gunterberg Charitable Foundation Kid's Fun Run, Sunday, July 4, Cape Coral Bridge

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • GCR Firecracker 5K, July 3-5, virtual

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • USA Independence Day 5K, Sunday, July 4, Estero

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. Check out their line-up online (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times (and to make sure the ride is still rolling).

  • 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 Saturday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • NE Lee Critical Mass ride, third Friday of the month. Gather in the Winn Dixie parking lot on Palm Beach Blvd. about five miles east of the Interstate; gather at 7 p.m. and roll at 7:30 p.m. for a slow ride through Fort Myers Shores.
  • 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 confining some of the usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed.

TRIATHLONS

  • 2021 Heartland Triathlon, June 12-13, Sebring. Kid’s event Saturday, adult Olympic and sprint triathlon, duathlon and aquabike Sunday. 
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, June 26, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Sirens & Merman Triathlon & Duathlon, June 27, Sarasota
  • Top Gun Triathlon, July 17, St. Petersburg
  • Siesta Sprint Triathlon, Aug. 1, Siesta Key
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Aug. 14, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Sept. 11, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • St. Anthony’s Triathlon (St. Petersburg) rescheduled to Oct. 1-3, 2021
  • City Island Triathlon, Oct. 10, Sarasota

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, June 3, 2021

BikeWalkLee: Walk (not) on the wild side

BikeWalkLee Column ‘Go Coastal’
The News-Press, June 3, 2021
by Ken Gooderham

If you read the recent article concerning a rise in pedestrian fatalities nationally in 2020 and thought that was counter-intuitive… you’re right.

But if you think a little more about road design and exercise changes wrought by the pandemic, it starts to make more sense.

With rare exceptions, road design in the U.S. is driven by one main goal: To move motor vehicles as expeditiously as possible. Any other road user – especially pedestrians and cyclists – are an afterthought to the overarching function.

True, pedestrians and cyclists are sometimes accommodated in road planning. Sidewalks and bike lanes are often included (albeit often after the fact), and many busy intersections have some level of signaling to boost pedestrian safety (again, often after the initial construction).

But, in general, the vast majority of roads are meant for motor vehicles alone, designed to make driving as easy as possible.

That’s why, even when the pandemic pushed many vehicles off the road, the ones that remained were driving faster than ever. Less traffic and wide open roadways equals the need to speed.

And vehicle speed is the key to killing pedestrians, the difference between injury and fatality.

Now, add in the rise in pedestrians and cyclists thanks to the pandemic, which closed off many other forms of exercise and got more people to dust off their walking shoes or bicycles as a way to stay fit (and stay sane) in the face of shutdowns and social distancing.

It probably didn’t help that many of these new walkers and bikers weren’t up on their rules of the road, the ways to stay safer when interacting with motor vehicles.

So, more pedestrians and more speed was bound to lead to more deaths, sadly.

Image courtesy: nhteendrivers.com

But this should not deter you from walking or cycling even as the world opens back up and more exercise options are available to you. There are simple steps you can take to help make your walking safer:

  • Be predictable: Follow the rules so drivers know what to expect. Walk facing traffic, sidewalk or not. Cross at intersections if possible, or at places where you can see (and be seen by) traffic.
  • Be visible: Bright (and reflective) colors make it easier to be seen, as does walking on well-lit roadways or carrying a flashlight if you walk at night.
  • Be aware: Don’t be distracted by your devices or shut off any of your senses (especially hearing) that let you know what’s going on around you.
  • Be wary: Don’t assume drivers see you, will yield to you (even when they are supposed to) or will stop in time. Watch for distracted drivers whose attention is diverted by devices, other traffic or the endless quest for that primo parking space.
  • Be smart: As the most vulnerable road user, you have more at stake than anyone else. Act like it.

There’s one more: Be supportive of efforts to make roadways more pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly. Push for sidewalks, bike lanes and complete streets – anything that helps make roadways safe for all users. 

And when you get behind the wheel, remember what it’s like to be a pedestrian in the land of motor vehicles – and drive accordingly. 


EVENTS
 

Summertime has squeezed local running and biking events, with July 4 the biggest bump on the horizon. It’s still smart to confirm events with the organizers and stay flexible in case conditions (and pandemic guidelines) change.

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Membership 5K Fun Run (untimed) & Annual Meeting, Sunday, June 13, 5 p.m., Eastwood Golf Couse, Fort Myers.
  • Priority Business Solutions Freedom 5K Run/Walk & Gunterberg Charitable Foundation Kid's Fun Run, Sunday, July 4, Cape Coral Bridge

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • GCR Firecracker 5K, July 3-5, virtual

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • USA Independence Day 5K, Sunday, July 4, Estero

OTHER RUNS

OTHER RIDES

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. Check out their line-up online (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times (and to make sure the ride is still rolling).

  • 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 Saturday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • NE Lee Critical Mass ride, third Friday of the month. Gather in the Winn Dixie parking lot on Palm Beach Blvd. about five miles east of the Interstate; gather at 7 p.m. and roll at 7:30 p.m. for a slow ride through Fort Myers Shores.
  • 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 confining some of the usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed.

TRIATHLONS:

  • 2021 Heartland Triathlon, June 12-13, Sebring. Kid’s event Saturday, adult Olympic and sprint triathlon, duathlon and aquabike Sunday.
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, June 26, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Sirens & Merman Triathlon & Duathlon, June 27, Sarasota
  • Top Gun Triathlon, July 17, St. Petersburg
  • Siesta Sprint Triathlon, Aug. 1, Siesta Key
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Aug. 14, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Sept. 11, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • St. Anthony’s Triathlon (St. Petersburg) rescheduled to Oct. 1-3, 2021
  • City Island Triathlon, Oct. 10, Sarasota

 

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 bikewalklee.blogspot.com.
 
 














Monday, May 31, 2021

May 31: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Summertime has squeezed local running and biking events, with July 4 the biggest bump on the horizon. It’s still smart to confirm events with the organizers and stay flexible in case conditions (and pandemic guidelines) change.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Priority Business Solutions Freedom 5K Run/Walk & Gunterberg Charitable Foundation Kid's Fun Run, Sunday, July 4, Cape Coral Bridge

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • SNIP Collier 5K, May 31
  • GCR Firecracker 5K, July 3-5, virtual

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • USA Independence Day 5K, Sunday, July 4, Estero

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. Check out their line-up online (www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times (and to make sure the ride is still rolling).

  • 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 Saturday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
  • NE Lee Critical Mass ride, third Friday of the month. Gather in the Winn Dixie parking lot on Palm Beach Blvd. about five miles east of the Interstate; gather at 7 p.m. and roll at 7:30 p.m. for a slow ride through Fort Myers Shores.
  • 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 confining some of the usual volunteers, a few new helping hand would certainly be welcomed.

TRIATHLONS

  • 2021 Heartland Triathlon, June 12-13, Sebring. Kid’s event Saturday, adult Olympic and sprint triathlon, duathlon and aquabike Sunday. 
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, June 26, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Sirens & Merman Triathlon & Duathlon, June 27, Sarasota
  • Top Gun Triathlon, July 17, St. Petersburg
  • Siesta Sprint Triathlon, Aug. 1, Siesta Key
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Aug. 14, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • Fort Desoto Triathlon, Sept. 11, Fort Desoto (St. Petersburg), sprint and Olympic
  • St. Anthony’s Triathlon (St. Petersburg) rescheduled to Oct. 1-3, 2021
  • City Island Triathlon, Oct. 10, Sarasota

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).