The Tampa Downtown Partnership and the New North Transportation Alliance, co-organizers of Tampa BayCycle, announce the success of the third annual Tampa BayCycle. Once again, the initiative encouraged people to try bicycling to work, school, or play in lieu of driving their cars at least once during the month of March, Florida Bike Month.
“During Tampa BayCycle month, the weather is ideal for people to rethink how they could use their bicycle as a mode of transportation,” said Karen Kress, director of transportation and planning, Tampa Downtown Partnership, and the chairperson of the Tampa BayCycle campaign.
Since its inception in 2007, more than 1,500 bicyclists – from novices to experienced riders – have taken part in Tampa BayCycle. Throughout March, BayCycle offered street skills courses, provided bike racks to businesses throughout the Bay area community, introduced Safe Routes to School bike trains for elementary school-aged children and hosted Tampa’s first ever Criterium high speed bike race event. The Clearwater Sunday Ciclovía, originally scheduled for March 1 and postponed due to weather, will be held April 26, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
A Commuter Challenge was held throughout Florida Bike Month, encouraging bicyclists to compete for prizes. Winners of the Commuter Challenge include Bob Wise, 835 miles logged; Michael Schwaid, 746 miles logged; Joe Mustion, 672 miles logged; and Tom Krumreich, 611 miles logged. Each of these cyclists logged an average over 20 miles a day.
In addition, prizes were awarded for most trips taken via bicycle. Winners in this challenge were Bob Wise, 56 trips logged; Tom Krumreich, 54 trips logged; Kimberly Cooper, 49 trips logged; and Dave Lubitz, 44 trips logged.
The winning individuals logged a total of more than 2,800 miles throughout the month, and more than 200 trips via bicycle. The total miles logged during the month by all participants in both challenges was nearly 6,500 miles, and the number of trips totaled more than 600.
Participants in the Commuter Challenges tracked their weekly miles using the GoLog® on www.TampaBayCycle.com. The GoLog is still available, and cyclists are encouraged to continue to track their miles throughout the year.
Again this year, Tampa BayCycle sponsored “˜Words for Wheels,” an essay-based bike giveaway contest. To enter, participants submitted a 100-word essay detailing how winning a bike would change their lives. Michelle Crabtree of Tampa and 13-year-old Aleyah C. of St. Petersburg were selected by a panel of judges as the two winners; each received a bike, helmet, lock and light. An honorable mention was awarded to Pasco County second-grader Andrew Arnold III, who received a new pedal to replace the stick he was using to improvise.
Kimberly Cooper, an avid bicyclist and winner of most trips taken via bicycle, was awarded the 2009 Tampa BayCycle Advocate of the Year Award for her dedication to and advocating for the bicycling community. In 2009 alone, Cooper recruited more than 200 people to the Tampa BayCycle campaign.
“Bicycles are one of the most affordable modes of transportation,” said Cooper. “You start out going short distances, but in no time, you ride further and just feel great.”
“Though Florida Bike Month has come to an end, we hope that people will continue to look for opportunities to ride their bikes instead of drive, and we look forward to continuing to grow Tampa BayCycle in 2010,” said Kress. She went on to reiterate that www.TampaBayCycle.com is available as a resource year-round, and that bicycling events are scheduled throughout the year.
Tampa BayCycle is made possible through a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation and the following sponsors: Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium, Splitsville at Channelside and Dave’s Restaurant in St. Petersburg.
For additional information regarding Tampa BayCycle and a complete schedule of events throughout