Pinkbike spotlights Santos Trails in Ocala

If you haven’t already, definitely check out this excellent, in-depth article on Santos Trails in Ocala recently posted on Pinkbike. Santos Trails are indeed the jewel in Florida’s off-road riding crown that deserves a wider national attention, and the article does an outstanding job of showcasing this award-wining trail system and people responsible for making it one the most fun and beautiful trails you’ll ever set your knobby tires in. Kudos to everyone at Ocala Mountain Bike Association (OMBA) for creating and maintaining the trails and hopefully we see more of these types of articles in the future. If you live in Florida and haven’t experienced Santos yet, what are you waiting for!? Whatever your skill level – chill beginner, solid intermediate, or super-awesome-woah-bro challenging – Santos has it all and good times are guaranteed. Go do it!

Santos2Santos

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Tweed Ride 2016 – ’twas the best one yet!

How much fun was that! Gorgeous and sunny Florida winter weather, outstanding tweed fashions, abundance of red lipstick and waxed moustaches, and some truly unique vintage bicycles all came together at world famous St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club for yet another Tweed Ride through our beloved downtown St. Pete.

Approaching almost 400 participants, this year’s event was definitely one for the books and by many accounts the best one yet! We started by munching on a plethora of delicious scones lovingly prepared by chef Dan Schmidt of Eat This! fame, washed them down with hot tea, and headed out for a ride through downtown ringing our bicycle bells and waving at many smiling pedestrians. As always, a group photo was taken at the waterfront park, and we headed back to Shuffleboard Club for some delicious bourbon cupcakes and a tweed cake by Kimberly Wetherell of the Friday Shuffle Snack Bar, refreshments generously provided by brewers extraordinaire at Cycle Brewery, and jazz music by legendary Buster Cooper and his band.

Below are a few photos from the event, and you can see the entire album on our Flickr here.

If you never participated in this event, you really should – it truly is one of the great ones that make this city such a cool place to live! You’ll end up counting the days until the next one – we know we are!

 

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Localtopia 2016

We didn’t let the rain stop us from having fun and parking a bunch of bikes at this year’s Localtopia! A giant, galaxy-sized THANK YOU to all the volunteers that braved non-stop wind and chilly temps to help spread the good word about the co-op and cycling in our beautiful city. Although not as great as we expected, the turnout was still pretty awesome and we met and talked to so many cool people. Hopefully, we’ll see some of them at the co-op this week wrenching on their bikes and getting them all spic and span for Tweed Ride this Saturday!

Photo Feb 06, 9 04 52 AMCarrie and Lucas all ready to answer your questions and park some bikes.

 

Photo Feb 06, 2 13 58 PMMatt explaining the cool factor of pins to a young visitor interested in bikes.

Tour de Shine

Amazing turnout, beautiful weather, hard-working volunteers, and jaw-dropping art made Tour de Shine a phenomenal success! Two sold-out tours (160 riders in total) pedaled around downtown area visiting murals recently completed during the Shine St. Pete Mural Festival. Co-op’s own Margaret Murray did a great job talking about each of the artists and sharing some insights about inspirations behind their murals. The interest in the ride was definitely high and we just might have to organize another one soon! In the meantime, if you missed it, you can check out the the full photo album here taken, as usual, by our very own team of excellent iPhone on-bike photographers. Big thank you to everyone that volunteered and everyone that signed up for the ride!

Tour de Shine

Tour de Shine

Tour de Shine

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Tour de Shine

BP FOR BIKE SHARE!!

Your action is needed to make Bike Share a reality in St. Pete! Email City Council today to show your support!

**** COUNCIL@STPETE.ORG*****
Haven’t had a chance to email St. Pete City Council in support of using BP settlement money for Bike Share yet? We’ll we made it easy! Just cut and paste the text below. Use as much or as little of it as you want. and personalize at will. Just be sure to leave your name and address so council knows that Bike Share is important to living, working, and playing in our great city!
————————————

BP FOR BIKE SHARE

City Council members,

I am writing to express my support for Mayor Kriseman’s proposal to use $1M of the BP Oil lawsuit settlement to help fund a Bike Share program for our city.  This modest investment would provide economical, emissions free, healthy transportation options for our residents.   Additionally, Bike Share will provide an easy system of transportation for tourists to experience all our great city has to offer – from our local businesses and restaurants, to our arts districts and museums, historic neighborhoods, and the miles of waterfront parks along our beautiful bay – all while reducing automobile traffic and parking demands.  

As a resident of St. Pete, I also believe Bike Share is important because… [insert personal message, optional]

As councilmembers, you have the opportunity to invest in a program that will benefit our city economically, make us healthier, less oil dependent, and increase our resiliency as a city and community.  This is why I ask you to support the allocation of $1M of the BP Oil settlement for use on the proposed Bike Share program.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Name
Address

Tampa goes from 0 to 11!

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The League of American Bicyclists recently recognized 11 Tampa businesses in their 2015 Bicycle Friendly Businesses roundup. You can read the full story on League’s website here.

Congrats and big kudos to the business owners and all the bicycle friendly people in Tampa that made this possible! Way to go everyone!

Shift St. Pete’s Block by Block ride was super fun!

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On Saturday, July 11, we joined our friends from Shift St. Pete for their very first event – Block by Block –  a casual bike ride highlighting the ease of bike and pedestrian commuting between St. Petersburg’s historic and wonderful Kenwood neighborhood to the Deuces Live second Saturday market on recently revitalized stretch of 22nd Street South. At the beginning of our ride, Andy and Alec from Shift St. Pete welcomed a few dozen cyclists that showed up for the event and said a few words about their organization and the general purpose of the event. They also informed us about some new and exciting cycling-specific signs and infrastructure that apparently appeared overnight on the streets and in the neighborhoods we were about to ride through. Whaaaaaat, we said!? How exciting!

Filled with excitement and curiosity, we got on our bikes and headed toward the market. Lucky for you, our team of skilled on-bike photographers was along for the ride and through the miracle of internet and hyper-realistic iphone5s photography you get to enjoy the highlights of the ride as well, almost as if you were riding on their handlebars. Below are a few photos and you can view the complete gallery here. Enjoy!

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First of the mysterious signs we were warned about.

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1 car-parking space can fit 20+ bikes. Enough said.

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Taking the lane on Central Avenue.

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Alec points out the fresh signage indicating travel times between neighborhoods by bike and on foot.

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Parking bikes at the Deuces Live market.

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Pete takes care of bikes.

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Yum!

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Our setup at the market.

If you missed the event, have no fear. Shift St. Pete is just getting started and they will not rest until many more events such as this one are organized all over our wonderful city. Judging from this event alone, they are well on their way to fully realizing  their ultimate goal of making St. Pete a cycling and pedestrian paradise it deserves to be. Now that’s something we can all get behind!

Congratulations to Shift St. Pete on organizing such a cool event, and big thanks to everyone that showed up for the ride. Keep pedaling friends!

Love,

Daniel

Urban cyclists paradise

Well, it might be a little too precious, but this is still a great little video about cycling life in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Here at St. Pete Bike Co-op we passionately believe that with some updated bike infrastructure our ‘Burg could get there one day because, in small cities, biking a few blocks for transportation just makes sense. You don’t need an expensive, latest-everything bike and certainly no special clothes if you’re riding a few miles to work or grocery store, or 5 blocks to an ice-cream shop. Any bike and whatever summer clothes you have will do! Just put on some sandals and shades, straddle that dusty bike, and go grab yourself a delicious piña colada or a refreshing gelato. Or pack some tasty snacks and head out for a picnic in the shade of any one of our gorgeous city parks!

On a side note, but still related to the video, Tour de France starts this Saturday. Think of it what you will, but it’s still one of the world’s largest sporting events and there’s nothing like it, so we are naturally excited about it. Our money is on Quintana, but that pesky Froome is not gonna go down without a fight! Either way, there will be some magnificent shots of mountain passes, charming French countryside, and castles. Lot’s of castles.

Swift Campout ride report

Nice and quiet riding through Flatwoods park.

A couple of weeks ago a few of us rode our bikes to beautiful Hillsborough River State Park to do some camping as part of the Swift Campout solstice world-wide bike camping event. We started the ride at sunrise in downtown St. Pete, crossed the bay over Gandy bridge and into Tampa where we attempted, as much as possible, to follow the meandering Hillsborough River all the way to the park. Yes, it was hot and humid, but when all was said and pedaled, we rode about 130 miles, had a ton of fun, gobbled up panniers full of tasty snacks, dipped our toes and cooled our heads in the river at some gorgeous riverside parks, said hi to some deer, and pitched our tents for a well deserved rest at one of the most beautiful green places in all of Tampa Bay.

If you’re looking for a way to break out of your car-work-home-bar routine, rides like these are a great way to have a micro adventure without spending a lot of money on an elaborate vacation. You might discover new roads and gain new perspective about yourself and the place you call home. If that sounds like something you might like to do, then Hillsborough River State park might just be the ticket. We highly recommend it!

Below are some of the photos taken on our ride. We hope you enjoy them and if you feel inspired don’t hesitate to contact the co-op for more information on our route or bike camping in general. We’ll be happy to talk to you!

We're on our way!

We’re on our way!

Sunrise over Gandy bridge.

Sunrise over Gandy bridge.

Did someone say wool and waxed canvas?

Did someone say wool and waxed canvas?

Ben like to keep his snacks where he can see them.

Ben likes to keep his snacks where he can see them.

Brad's bike and Brad.

Brad’s bike and Brad.

Riding a section of the recently completed Tampa Riverwalk.

Riding a section of the recently completed Tampa Riverwalk.

Riverside rest stop at Riverhills park.

Riverside rest stop at Riverhills park.

Pretty.

Pretty.

Admiring the view.

Admiring the view.

Shaddy roads make for happy riders.

Shaddy roads make for happy riders.

A gorgeous gravel road by Flatwoods Park.

A gorgeous gravel road by Flatwoods Park.

The bike will get you there.

The bike will get you there.

Brad in the grass.

Brad in the grass.

Nice and quiet riding through Flatwoods park.

Nice ride through Flatwoods park.

Misty park entrance. We made it!

Misty park entrance. We made it!

Tent-view

Nap time!

Our campsite at first sunlight.

Our campsite at first sunlight.

Pool time!

Pool time!

Gift store bounty. That alligator brass badge is amazing.

Gift store bounty. That alligator brass badge is amazing.

Ready to roll back.

Ready to roll back.

Leaving the park.

Leaving the park.

Miles of pretty country roads around Lake Thonotosassa.

Miles of pretty country roads around Lake Thonotosassa.

Beer time! Almost home.

Beer time! Almost home.

Dinner

Back in St. Pete. Nothing like a good meal after a long day’s ride.

The “Idaho Stop” experiment

Jen Heine of the Bicycle Quarterly recently published an excellent article that should interest anyone concerned with red lights and stop signs as they relate to cyclists. Regardless of where you stand on this issue, Heine’s rational and analytical approach to his “Idaho Stop” experiment and the conclusions he draws from it should provide plenty of food for thought for anyone interested in this hotly discussed topic.