Monday, April 12, 2021

April 12: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Here’s the latest in 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, physical condition and medical concerns. 

Even if there are not many organized events, almost every day is a good day to go for a ride or walk. Just be safe out there.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Downtown Dash, 1-mile run/walk, in person in downtown Fort Myers Friday, April 16
  • Head & Neck Cancer A Hard Thing to Swallow 5K Run & 2-Mile Walk (in-person and virtual), Saturday, April 24

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Tropicool 5K, May 8 
  • SNIP Collier 5K, May 31

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 St. Anthony’s Triathlon, April 25, St. Petersburg. Olympic and sprint event
  • 2021 Fitness Challenge Triathlon, May 2, Naples. Reverse sprint event
  • 2021 Heartland Triathlon, June 12-13, Sebring. Kid’s event Saturday, adult Olympic and sprint triathlon, duathlon and aquabike Sunday.

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, April 8, 2021

BikeWalkLee: The view is better on a bike

BikeWalkLee Column ‘Go Coastal’
The News-Press, April 8, 2021
by Ken Gooderham

If you really want to see what a place is like, see it from a bicycle.

A bike lets you go slow enough to really take in the sights and sounds, but cover enough ground to get a larger sense of whatever you are covering – a neighborhood, a community, even the better part of a state.

That’s one of the allures of bicycle touring, a method of travel that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. From a few hours to a few days to a few weeks, and from guided and gilded to self-directed and self-contained, there are plenty of ways to put some pedaling into your travel routine.

The simplest, of course, is to rent a bike, grab a map and hit the streets (or bike paths) to explore on your own. You can pick your own pace and places, pedaling as long and as far as you wish. This is bike touring at its most basic – and, for many, most enjoyable (and certainly accessible).

A map isn’t essential, but can give you a sense of where to head and what to see – as well as a way to keep rides from going on beyond purpose. There are plenty of local options – Sanibel, of course, and Cape Coral, both with miles of connected paths and lanes. Lee County has plenty of choices as well, depending on where you live and what you want to do or see.

The next level is an organized and guided ride to help you learn some local lore and lessons. You’ll find these in most major cities (Fort Myers being the exception, although both Naples and Sarasota have tour companies at least online). These can be a great way to orient yourself to an area, learn about it from a local and break up your routine (whether on vacation or not).

These tours tend to be low (miles) and slow (speed), making them suitable for even the inexperienced rider. The rise of e-bikes is making these even more accessible for the cycling-challenged.

Then there are the multi-day tours, usually covering sights that are manageable in terms of distance and more bike-friendly in terms of traffic. Usually guided and supported, there are typically a few mileage options in the daily routes, making these more attractive to a range of cycling skills.

You’ll probably stay in unique venues and have some special experiences built in to the daily schedule. Even better for most riders, all you have to do is ride – luggage is transported from place to place by van, and those who don’t want to bike as much can shun the saddle and hitch a ride.

These tours include full support, meaning food, drink and repairs are usually someone else’s concern. (of course, they also provide the bikes.) And the offerings cover a full range of experiences (and even countries), making these a unique way to see the world.

But not Southwest Florida… you’ll have to look north, east and south to find multi-day rides, but nothing that includes our area. Maybe some day, once intra-state paths start making their way into our region – and once we have more bike-friendly roads (and drivers) that can make bike tourers feel more welcomed (or at least less threatened).

Finally, you have the long-haul tourers, self-sufficient and self-motivated, who pack all their needs on their bikes and head off to points unknown (except to them). These excursions are for the seasoned and skilled riders, and require a fair amount of planning and preparation to pull off well. You’re carrying everything you need on your bike, and you’re responsible for any repairs along the way… so clearly not a ride for novices.

However, the chance to see the countryside literally on your own as well as up close and personal can be a compelling experience offering unique memories and a strong feeling of self-reliance.

What each of these tour options offers is a chance to slow down and take it all in. Whether it’s a few hours pedaling around a tropical paradise or a few days cruising through a unique region, bicycle touring can be a great way to get out, get around and get in touch with an area. 

EVENTS: Here’s the latest in 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, physical condition and medical concerns.

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Downtown Dash, 1-mile run/walk, in person in downtown Fort Myers Friday, April 16
  • Head & Neck Cancer A Hard Thing to Swallow 5K Run & 2-Mile Walk (in-person and virtual), Saturday, April 24

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • Run for the Music 10K, Saturday, April 10
  • Tropicool 5K, May 8
  • SNIP Collier 5K, May 31

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • Naples Distance Classic, 5K/10K/half marathon, Saturday, April 10

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 St. Anthony’s Triathlon, April 25, St. Petersburg. Olympic and sprint event
  • 2021 Fitness Challenge Triathlon, May 2, Naples. Reverse sprint event
  • 2021 Heartland Triathlon, June 12-13, Sebring. Kid’s event Saturday, adult Olympic and sprint triathlon, duathlon and aquabike Sunday.

 

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, April 5, 2021

April 5: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Here’s the latest in 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, physical condition and medical concerns. Be safe out there.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Downtown Dash, 1-mile run/walk, in person in downtown Fort Myers Friday, April 16
  • Head & Neck Cancer A Hard Thing to Swallow 5K Run & 2-Mile Walk (in-person and virtual), Saturday, April 24

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Run for the Music 10K, Saturday, April 10
  • Tropicool 5K, May 8 
  • SNIP Collier 5K, May 31

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Naples Distance Classic Half Marathon, 10K & 5K, Saturday, April 10

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 St. Anthony’s Triathlon, April 25, St. Petersburg. Olympic and sprint event
  • 2021 Fitness Challenge Triathlon, May 2, Naples. Reverse sprint event
  • 2021 Heartland Triathlon, June 12-13, Sebring. Kid’s event Saturday, adult Olympic and sprint triathlon, duathlon and aquabike Sunday.

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, March 29, 2021

March 29: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Here’s the latest in 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, physical condition and medical concerns. Be safe out there.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Downtown Dash, 1-mile run/walk, in person in downtown Fort Myers Friday, April 16
  • Head & Neck Cancer A Hard Thing to Swallow 5K Run & 2-Mile Walk (in-person and virtual), Saturday, April 24

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Run for the Music 10K, Saturday, April 10
  • Tropicool 5K, May 8 
  • SNIP Collier 5K, May 31

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Naples Distance Classic Half Marathon, 10K & 5K, Saturday, April 10

Other runs:

  • Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation Virtual 5K fun run/walk, March 27 - April 3 (virtual, runsignup.com)
  • Publix Run to the Arts 5K run/walk – in-person is now delayed to Nov. 20, runsignup.com or runtothearts.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. 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 St. Anthony’s Triathlon, April 25, St. Petersburg. Olympic and sprint event
  • 2021 Fitness Challenge Triathlon, May 2, Naples. Reverse sprint event
  • 2021 Heartland Triathlon, June 12-13, Sebring. Kid’s event Saturday, adult Olympic and sprint triathlon, duathlon and aquabike Sunday.

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, March 25, 2021

BikeWalkLee: Street safety a matter of design

BikeWalkLee Column ‘Go Coastal’
The News-Press, March 25, 2021
by Ken Gooderham

Dangerous by design
Image courtesy: 1stbikes.org
The most recent “Dangerous by Design” study of pedestrian deaths arrived recently, with Florida still leading as the most dangerous state for pedestrians. In an unexpected bit of “good” news, the Fort Myers-Cape Coral area’s ranking went down slightly since 2019, pushing us out of the Top 10 most dangerous areas (although the state overall was still well represented there).

Any positive feelings this news might have engendered were quickly dashed in the wake of a hit-and-run on a quiet Alva road that left one cyclist dead and another injured… as this still-anonymous driver took it upon him or herself to drag us back to being the best of the worst. Our condolences to the family and friends on a senseless loss.

The report found a number of issues including:

  • Nationwide, it’s getting more dangerous each year for pedestrians and non-motorized traffic, with deaths up 45% from 2010 to 2019.
  • As with many other areas of life, danger is driven by racial and economic factors – with more people of color plus older and poorer populations at greater risk.
  • The current methods to combat this danger – enforcement and education – don’t seem to be moving the needle.
  • Design matters – not just of roadways and bike-ped facilities, but of motor vehicles themselves. The report cites the rise in trucks and SUVs overall – and the increase in the size of both types of vehicles – as factors making our streets more deadly.
  • Design can even ameliorate other driver mistakes – such as driving too fast or distracted driving – by increasing the chance of survival while making drivers’ dangerous behavior more difficult.
  • Unfortunately, much roadway design still prioritizes speed over safety, while pitting motorized vs. non-motorized traffic against one another for visibility and safety.
  • While the data is incomplete, it appears that the drop in driving due to the pandemic has not resulted in a concurrent drop in pedestrian deaths… as a lack of congestion brought on an increase in speeding.
  • Geography also matters: Nine of the Top 10 worst places for safety are Sunbelt states (Delaware being the outlier). It’s not because the weather encourages more walking and biking but, say the report’s authors, because the development patterns that encourage driving and create more distances to get from one place to another.
  • As mentioned above, our area saw the biggest drop in the danger index… a sign that some of the local efforts to make our streets safer are working, as well as an indication of how high our danger level was to begin with (since this big drop still left us just outside the Top 10 most dangerous). 

A word to the wary: This index is focused mainly on policymakers, a way to point out their failings and successes by measuring the human toll that bad design and incomplete streets wreak on a community. The ability to pit one area against another as well as show the causal relationship between better design and better safety can get official attention more effectively than a dry recitation of safety statistics.

The secondary audience is the bike/ped participant… not to scare you off the streets altogether, but to help you understand why the design of those streets can really matter to you.

Case in point: A new bike/ped facility such as a bike path or lane is rightly lauded for enhancing safety (as compared to what existed before). But if users still have to navigate a narrow and shoulder-less road to get to that path or lane, overall safety has not been reduced for those walkers or riders. 

Better facilities matter, but so does a better network of facilities that allows walkers and riders the ability to go further safer.

It’s also important not to allow this discussion to devolve into a driver vs. walker or rider argument. Better designed roadways are better for all users, giving everyone on that road a safe path to move from Point A to Point B even in the busiest times. Better designed roadways also make it easier for everyone to be safe, by including elements that enhance visibility, control speed, smooth transitions and allow for a variety of skills.

None of us are confined to just one role in roadway use, likely moving from driver to walker to rider through the course of a day. So wouldn’t it be better for all to know our roadways are designed to be safer, no matter the role we’re playing?

 

EVENTS: Here’s the latest in 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, physical condition and medical concerns.

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Run for the Youth 5K, March 27, LCSO Central District
  • Downtown Dash, 1-mile run/walk, in person in downtown Fort Myers Friday, April 16
  • Head & Neck Cancer A Hard Thing to Swallow 5K Run & 2-Mile Walk (in-person and virtual), Saturday, April 24

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • Baker Park 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Run for the Music 10K, Saturday, April 10
  • Tropicool 5K, May 8
  • SNIP Collier 5K, May 31

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • Naples Distance Classic, 5K/10K/half marathon, Saturday, April 10

OTHER RUNS

  • Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation Virtual 5K fun run/walk, March 27 - April 3 (virtual, runsignup.com)
  • Publix Run to the Arts 5K run/walk – in-person is now delayed to 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:

  • 2021 St. Anthony’s Triathlon, April 25, St. Petersburg. Olympic and sprint event
  • 2021 Fitness Challenge Triathlon, May 2, Naples. Reverse sprint event
  • 2021 Heartland Triathlon, June 12-13, Sebring. Kid’s event Saturday, adult Olympic and sprint triathlon, duathlon and aquabike Sunday.

 

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, March 22, 2021

March 22: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Here’s the latest in 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, physical condition and medical concerns. Be safe out there.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Run for the Youth 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Downtown Dash, 1-mile run/walk, in person in downtown Fort Myers Friday, April 16
  • Head & Neck Cancer A Hard Thing to Swallow 5K Run & 2-Mile Walk (in-person and virtual), Saturday, April 24

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Baker Park 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Run for the Music 10K, Saturday, April 10
  • SNIP Collier 5K, May 31

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Venice Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Naples Distance Classic Half Marathon, 10K & 5K, Saturday, April 10
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, TBD

Other runs:

  • Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation Virtual 5K fun run/walk, March 27 - April 3 (virtual, runsignup.com)
  • Publix Run to the Arts 5K run/walk – iin-person is now delayed to April 18 runsignup.com or runtothearts.com

CYCLING

March: CSW Florida Bike Challenge. Individuals, workplaces and bike clubs can sign up to see how many miles they ride and how many people they can encourage to get out on their bikes. Miles add up to points, which add up to prizes. The challenge covers Central Southwest Florida (hence the CSW), from Polk County to Collier County, and kicks off March 1. Details are online at www.lovetoride.net/csw

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.

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, March 15, 2021

March 15: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Here’s the latest in 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, physical condition and medical concerns.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Run for the Youth 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Downtown Dash, 1-mile run/walk, in person in downtown Fort Myers Friday, April 16
  • Head & Neck Cancer A Hard Thing to Swallow 5K Run & 2-Mile Walk (in-person and virtual), Saturday, April 24

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Baker Park 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Run for the Music 10K, Saturday, April 10
  • SNIP Collier 5K, May 31

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Venice Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Naples Distance Classic Half Marathon, 10K & 5K, Saturday, April 10
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, TBD

Other runs:

  • Cape Coral Animal Shelter Rescue Run 5K (dogs welcome), Saturday, March 20, 3dracinginc.com.
  • Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation Virtual 5K fun run/walk, March 27 - April 3 (virtual, runsignup.com)
  • Publix Run to the Arts 5K run/walk – iin-person is now delayed to April 18 runsignup.com or runtothearts.com

CYCLING

March: CSW Florida Bike Challenge. Individuals, workplaces and bike clubs can sign up to see how many miles they ride and how many people they can encourage to get out on their bikes. Miles add up to points, which add up to prizes. The challenge covers Central Southwest Florida (hence the CSW), from Polk County to Collier County, and kicks off March 1. Details are online at www.lovetoride.net/csw

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.

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, March 11, 2021

BikeWalkLee: Helmets: For all ages, at all times

BikeWalkLee Column ‘Go Coastal’
The News-Press, March 11, 2021
by Jody Van Cooney, Special to the News-Press

The Pilot Club of Fort Myers participates in
the Children's Network of Southwest Florida
annual "Walk." At a recent "Walk," Pilot Club
member Patsy Tortora is with a child who
has just been fitted properly with a bicycle helmet.
Bicycling has become an important means of transportation for both adults and children in Lee County. Helmets are an essential part of being on a bicycle (or any kind of wheels, such as skates, skateboards and scooters); it has been documented that wearing a helmet can save a life.

But, you say, “I don’t need to wear a bicycle helmet; I’m only riding in my community.” Would you rather have a messed-up hairdo or brain damage? Many bicyclists think that just because they’re biking in their own community, it’s not necessary to wear a helmet – they feel they’re invincible.

But crashes happen when least expected, and can occur riding around your home just as often as if you were on a long ride or going to work. There are bumps in the streets (or sidewalks) and an individual, no matter how experienced he or she is, can take a bad tumble! That helmet that wasn’t needed might be the reason the person survives the tumble.

Pilot Club member Diane Jensen fits a
bicycle helmet on a young boy during
a recent "End of School, Stop the
Violence" event. A state trooper is
observing the proper fitting technique.
Helmets should not be purchased or obtained just because the adult or child likes the color or shape! They must be fitted to the individual who will be wearing it. It’s also important that the helmet is worn properly; an improperly fitted or worn helmet is like no helmet at all.

Helmets need to be replaced periodically, especially for children as they grow and their heads increase in size. Bicycle helmets have an expiration date, typically five years after date of manufacture, tied to how the materials used in making the helmet can break down over time. Also, be careful in accepting a used helmet – and never purchase a helmet that’s been involved in a crash.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital recommends the following five steps in the proper procedure for fitting and wearing a bicycle helmet:

  • The helmet should be level on the head.
  • You should be able to place one or two fingers on the forehead between the bottom of the helmet and the eyebrow.
  • The front and back straps should be equally tight and meet a “V” just below the ears.
  • You should be able to fit one or two fingers between the chin and the chin strap.
  • A proper fitting helmet will not move on your head.
Each year the Heights Foundation presents new bicycles
to selected students during the Christmas holiday
season. The Pilot Club coordinates fitting bicycle
helmets for those students. Here, Pilot Club member
Joy Augustine fits a helmet on a young student who
just received his bicycle.

A helmet worn at the back of the head won’t protect the bicyclist’s head (and brain); it must cover the front part of the forehead. Also the helmet should not be worn over something else (such as a baseball cap).

NOTE: Motorcyclists in Florida are especially vulnerable to traffic mishaps. That’s why they are required to wear helmets unless they have proof of $10,000 insurance in medical benefits, and they must be 21 years of age, to legally not wear a helmet.

The Injury Prevention Coalition of Lee County, in partnership with other nonprofit organizations, promotes safety in all walks of life. The Pilot Club of Fort Myers distributes (and fits) about 1,000 helmets at various children’s safety events each year under normal circumstances; these are provided at no charge. 

Jody Van Cooney serves as secretary for both the Injury Prevention Coalition of Lee County and the Pilot Club of Fort Myers.


EVENTS: Here’s the latest in 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, physical condition and medical concerns.

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Run for the Youth 5K, March 27, LCSO Central District
  • Downtown Dash, 1-mile run/walk, in person in downtown Fort Myers Friday, April 16
  • Head & Neck Cancer A Hard Thing to Swallow 5K Run & 2-Mile Walk (in-person and virtual), Saturday, April 24

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • Baker Park 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Run for the Music 10K, Saturday, April 10
  • SNIP Collier 5K, May 31

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 13
  • Naples Distance Classic, 5K/10K/half marathon, Saturday, April 10
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, TBD

OTHER RUNS

  • Cape Coral Animal Shelter Rescue Run 5K (dogs welcome), Saturday, March 20, 3dracinginc.com.
  • Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation Virtual 5K fun run/walk, March 27 - April 3 (virtual, runsignup.com)
  • Publix Run to the Arts 5K run/walk – iin-person is now delayed to April 18 runsignup.com or runtothearts.com

OTHER RIDES

March: CSW Florida Bike Challenge. Individuals, workplaces and bike clubs can sign up to see how many miles they ride and how many people they can encourage to get out on their bikes. Miles add up to points, which add up to prizes. The challenge covers Central Southwest Florida (hence the CSW), from Polk County to Collier County, and kicks off March 1. Details are online at www.lovetoride.net/csw

March 14: CRBC-Trek-Member Appreciation Day/Royal Palm Challenge Ride. Caloosa Riders members only, limited to 100 riders (they may open it up to the public if they don’t hit the cap, but don’t count on it). Caloosahatchee Regional Park, Alva; 33, 45 and 60 mile rides, no support. 

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.

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, March 8, 2021

March 8: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Organized activities are coming back, so take advantage of our gorgeous weather and enjoy the outdoors. 

Here’s the latest in 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, physical condition and medical concerns.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Run for the Youth 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Downtown Dash, 1-mile run/walk, in person in downtown Fort Myers Friday, April 16
  • Head & Neck Cancer A Hard Thing to Swallow 5K Run & 2-Mile Walk (in-person and virtual), Saturday, April 24

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Baker Park 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Run for the Music 10K, Saturday, April 10

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 13 
  • Venice Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Naples Distance Classic Half Marathon, 10K & 5K, Saturday, April 10
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, TBD

Other runs:


CYCLING

March: CSW Florida Bike Challenge. Individuals, workplaces and bike clubs can sign up to see how many miles they ride and how many people they can encourage to get out on their bikes. Miles add up to points, which add up to prizes. The challenge covers Central Southwest Florida (hence the CSW), from Polk County to Collier County, and kicks off March 1. Details are online at www.lovetoride.net/csw

March 14: CRBC-Trek-Member Appreciation Day/Royal Palm Challenge Ride. Caloosa Riders members only, limited to 100 riders (they may open it up to the public if they don’t hit the cap, but don’t count on it). Caloosahatchee Regional Park, Alva; 33, 45 and 60 mile rides, no support. 

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.

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, March 1, 2021

March 1: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Here’s the latest in 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, physical condition and medical concerns.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Hooters River, Roots & Ruts Trail Run, Sunday, March 7
  • Downtown Dash, 1-mile run/walk, in person in downtown Fort Myers Friday, April 16
  • Head & Neck Cancer A Hard Thing to Swallow 5K Run & 2-Mile Walk (in-person and virtual), Saturday, April 24

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Baker Park 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Run for the Music 10K, Saturday, April 10

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 13 
  • Venice Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, TBD

Other runs:


CYCLING

Sunday, March 7: Naples Bike Brunch rolls out with five different distances (all mapped for your convenience) starting from Lowdermilk Park in Naples (or from your own home, if you prefer). Serious cyclists can tackle a century (100 miles) or a metric century (62 miles), while those looking for a more reasonable ride can pick from 40 or 20 miles or a 5-mile family fun ride. Proceeds support the Naples Pathway Coalition’s effort to promote safe biking and walking. Details are at www.naplespathways.org/event-3028591

March: CSW Florida Bike Challenge. Individuals, workplaces and bike clubs can sign up to see how many miles they ride and how many people they can encourage to get out on their bikes. Miles add up to points, which add up to prizes. The challenge covers Central Southwest Florida (hence the CSW), from Polk County to Collier County, and kicks off March 1. Details are online at www.lovetoride.net/csw

March 14: CRBC-Trek-Member Appreciation Day/Royal Palm Challenge Ride. Caloosa Riders members only, limited to 100 riders (they may open it up to the public if they don’t hit the cap, but don’t count on it). Caloosahatchee Regional Park, Alva; 33, 45 and 60 mile rides, no support. 

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.

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, February 25, 2021

BikeWalkLee: Bike me out to the ball game

BikeWalkLee Column ‘Go Coastal’
The News-Press, February 25, 2021
by Ken Gooderham

As February continues its march into March, naturally one’s thoughts turn to… the Florida Legislature?

Perhaps not the answer you were expecting, but bear with me.

First, March is Florida Bicycle Month, auspicious enough on its own. To celebrate (among other efforts), the Florida Bicycle Association is offering a Virtual Ride Leader/Ride Marshal Certification. This course teaches you the basics of leading bike rides or events, in the expectation we’ll all be able to participate in them again some day soon.

Offered online (of course) over four Saturdays in March, the skills-and-smarts course has limited availabilities. Find out more at floridabicycle.org/fba-virtual-ride-leader-ride-marshal-certification/.

March also marks the start of this year’s legislative session, 60 days of semi-controlled mayhem that ultimately generates a whole host of new laws (sometimes old grudges).

For those of us who bike and walk, there’s something to cheer… proposed changes in the state’s Move Over law that helps define how motor vehicles and bike/ped traffic interacts. It includes:

  • Cleans up definitions of bike/ped infrastructure.
  • Specifies how vehicles overtaking and turning in front of cyclists must signal and how much space they need to allow.
  • Specifies how cyclists should make turns while in traffic.
  • Encouraging more education and awareness of bike/ped safety issue for drivers, including as part of earning or renewing a license.


Hardly scintillating stuff, but how many laws keep you on the edge of your seat, after all. It’s still important, not least of which because until things are codified in laws they can’t be enforced… and clarifying rules and rights is usually beneficial for all concerned – but especially for the more vulnerable parties (which means those on bikes and on foot here).

With sponsors in both chambers, the chances of this bill moving forward is good. You can find out more by looking up the bills – HB 605 and SB 950 – or getting more details at floridabicycle.org.

For those of you with a more federal orientation to your lawmaking, the annual National Bike Summit is (like so much else in our lives) virtual this year, running Feb. 28 to March 3 and organized by the League of American Bicyclists. Find out more at bikeleague.org/summit or floridabicycle.org/fba-legislative-platform/team-florida

Finally, for many this time of year brings thoughts of baseball… specifically spring training, which returns to our area this year with a new look courtesy of the coronavirus.

You can find more detail in the sports pages, of course, but expect smaller crowds, limited teams (to create a regional bubble), social distancing and contactless interactions… and no interactions between fans and players.

What does this have to do with cycling? Well, if you’re headed out to the ball game, you might want to grab your bike rather than your car keys.

Lee County’s two spring training teams play in stadiums about five miles apart along Daniels Parkway – which, this time of year, is already struggling to handle the seasonal traffic load. Each of those stadiums are right next to sites tied to the coronavirus… either testing (at the CenturyLink Sports Complex right next to the Twins site) or vaccination (at the old airport facility just south of Fenway South Park).

Add in the game-day traffic once the season starts on Feb. 28, and you may decide you’ll make better time getting to the game by bike than by car. Fortunately, Daniels has both bike paths and lanes between the two sites and is well connected to other bike paths, making it an easy ride for fans from south Fort Myers to Gateway and Lehigh.

Also fortunate is that the only day both teams have a home game (meaning both stadiums will see action) is the last day of spring training on March 30.

So, come game day, if the sun is shining and the breezes are balmy, maybe it’s smart to bike on out to the ball game for a change..

EVENTS: Here’s the latest in 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, physical condition and medical concerns.

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Hooters River, Roots & Ruts Trail Run, Sunday, March 7
  • Downtown Dash, 1-mile run/walk, in person in downtown Fort Myers Friday, April 16
  • Head & Neck Cancer A Hard Thing to Swallow 5K Run & 2-Mile Walk (in-person and virtual), Saturday, April 24

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • Baker Park 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Run for the Music 10K, Saturday, April 10

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 13 
  • Venice Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, TBD

OTHER RUNS

OTHER RIDES

Sunday, March 7: Naples Bike Brunch rolls out with five different distances (all mapped for your convenience) starting from Lowdermilk Park in Naples (or from your own home, if you prefer). Serious cyclists can tackle a century (100 miles) or a metric century (62 miles), while those looking for a more reasonable ride can pick from 40 or 20 miles or a 5-mile family fun ride. Proceeds support the Naples Pathway Coalition’s effort to promote safe biking and walking. Details are at www.naplespathways.org/event-3028591

March: CSW Florida Bike Challenge. Individuals, workplaces and bike clubs can sign up to see how many miles they ride and how many people they can encourage to get out on their bikes. Miles add up to points, which add up to prizes. The challenge covers Central Southwest Florida (hence the CSW), from Polk County to Collier County, and kicks off March 1. Details are online at www.lovetoride.net/csw

March 14: CRBC-Trek-Member Appreciation Day/Royal Palm Challenge Ride. Caloosa Riders members only, limited to 100 riders (they may open it up to the public if they don’t hit the cap, but don’t count on it). Caloosahatchee Regional Park, Alva; 33, 45 and 60 mile rides, no support. 

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.

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, February 22, 2021

February 22: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Here’s the latest in 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, physical condition and medical concerns.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Hooters River, Roots & Ruts Trail Run, Sunday, March 7
  • Downtown Dash, 1-mile run/walk, in person in downtown Fort Myers Friday, April 16
  • Head & Neck Cancer A Hard Thing to Swallow 5K Run & 2-Mile Walk (in-person and virtual), Saturday, April 24

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Baker Park 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Run for the Music 10K, Saturday, April 10

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 13 
  • Venice Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, TBD

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.

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, February 15, 2021

February 15: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling events

Upcoming events

Here’s the latest in 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, physical condition and medical concerns.

RUNNING

Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Edison Festival of Light 5K, Saturday, Feb. 20
  • Edison Festival of Light Junior Run, Saturday, Feb. 20, 4 p.m.
  • Hooters River, Roots & Ruts Trail Run, Sunday, March 7
  • Downtown Dash, 1-mile run/walk, in person in downtown Fort Myers Friday, April 16
  • Head & Neck Cancer A Hard Thing to Swallow 5K Run & 2-Mile Walk (in-person and virtual), Saturday, April 24

GC Runners (gcrunner.org):

  • Baker Park 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Run for the Music 10K, Saturday, April 10

Elite Events (runeliteevents.com):

  • Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 13 
  • Venice Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, TBD

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.

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, February 11, 2021

BikeWalkLee: Races return, but with new rules

BikeWalkLee Column ‘Go Coastal’
The News-Press, February 11, 2021
by Ken Gooderham

The good news? Races are returning to the run and bike event calendar. The bad news? Things are going to be a little different for a while.

Let’s start with the biggest running event in town – the Edison Festival of Light 5K.

While the Grand Parade has been cancelled this year (details at www.edisonfestival.org), the run goes on… with a new route, new rules and new requirements.

All the details are spelled out on the race website (runsignup.com/Race/FL/FortMyers/EdisonFestivalofLight5K), but some things to note:

  • Online registration closes at midnight on Friday, Feb. 19.
  • There will be NO race day registration – no exceptions.
  • Masks and social distancing required (except when running).
  • Start and finish at Campo Felice in downtown Fort Myers.
  • Plan on a time trial start to keep runners the required distance apart.
  • No awards ceremony, and overall awards have been reduced.


The Junior Run (four different lengths based on age) will be held prior to the 5K, starting at 4 p.m. on Feb. 20. Many of the same restrictions and requirements apply, and you can get all the details at runsignup.com/Race/FL/FortMyers/EdisonFestivalofLightJuniorRun.

This year’s events won’t offer thousands of cheering spectators lining the streets, but at least there’s going to be a race at all. There will be a lot of local runners who are happy just for that.

Trail runners can look forward to the Hooters River, Roots & Ruts Trail Run on Sunday, March 7… also with some new rules:

  • The race is capped at 350 participants.
  • No race-day registration and no spectators.
  • No water stations, but you can bring your own bottle and refill along the course.
  • No awards ceremony.
  • Masks and social distancing required (except when running).


It’s a 10-mile run only this year, with the usual 5K on hold due to pandemic concerns. All the details are at runsignup.com/Race/FL/Alva/HootersRiverRootsRutsTrailRun.

Cyclists looking for an organized ride can mark March 7 on their calendars, as the Naples Bike Brunch rolls out with five different distances (all mapped for your convenience) starting from Lowdermilk Park in Naples (or from your own home, if you prefer).

Serious cyclists can tackle a century (100 miles) or a metric century (62 miles), while those looking for a more reasonable ride can pick from 40 or 20 miles or a 5-mile family fun ride. Proceeds support the Naples Pathway Coalition’s effort to promote safe biking and walking.

Details are at naplespathways.org/event-3028591 or caamevents.com/event/td-bank-naples-bike-brunch/.

Finally, there’s a different take on cycling events: The CSW Florida Bike Challenge.

All through March, individuals, workplaces and bike clubs can sign up to see how many miles they ride and how many people they can encourage to get out on their bikes. Miles add up to points, which add up to prizes.

The challenge covers Central Southwest Florida (hence the CSW), from Polk County to Collier County, and kicks off March 1. Details are online at www.lovetoride.net/csw.

Of course, cyclists can still show up for the myriad Critical Mass rides, covering Cape Coral, Sanibel, Northeast Lee and downtown Fort Myers. And the Caloosa Riders calendar is always full of club rides in a variety of routes, speeds and locales.

EVENTS: Here’s the latest in 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, physical condition and medical concerns.

FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):

  • Edison Festival of Light 5K, Saturday, Feb. 20.
  • Edison Festival of Light Junior Run, Saturday, Feb. 20, 4 p.m.
  • Hooters River, Roots & Ruts Trail Run, Sunday, March 7
  • Downtown Dash, 1-mile run/walk, in person in downtown Fort Myers Friday, April 16
  • Head & Neck Cancer A Hard Thing to Swallow 5K Run & 2-Mile Walk (in-person and virtual), Saturday, April 24

GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):

  • Naples Golden Eagle 5K (in-person and virtual), Saturday, Feb. 13, Lowdermilk Park, Naples.
  • Baker Park 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • Run for the Music 10K, Saturday, April 10

ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):

  • Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 13 
  • Venice Half Marathon and 5K, Saturday, March 27
  • City of Palms Half Marathon and 5K, TBD

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.

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.