Newsletter

Bike/Walk Central Florida Newsletter #68 — June 1, 2012

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Bike/Walk Central Florida

News

Operation Best Foot Forward

It’s official! On May 30, civic leaders, law enforcement, trauma doctors and transportation professionals turned out, more than 100-strong, to help kick off Best Foot Forward, our five-year campaign to cut pedestrian deaths and injuries in Metro Orlando in half. We got everything on our wish list – including a pedestrian-safety themed bus from Lynx, designed by the Florida Department of Transportation District Five, and bearing our iYield4peds logo. Law enforcement arrived in style – providing a phalanx of fresh-washed Harley Davidsons to emphasize their commitment to the cause. Anabel Anon and Katie McInvale, of WalkSafe, even drove from Miami to be with us. Look for more details of the project at www.iYield4Peds.org, and be sure to visit our project fan page on facebook, where you will find the latest updates and links to media coverage.

After the event, as the picture shows, Orlando Police Chief Paul Rooney, presented Bike/Walk Central Florida with a check for $8,000, proceeds from the sale of assets confiscated by the hardworking men and women of OPD in the course of their police work.

Media coverage exceeded expectation, with The Orlando Sentinel leading the paper and featuring a video online on the morning of the event, and following up with another story online, plus an editorial and feature column. All television stations and news radio were represented, including Univision and Fox Latino. The event also created several follow-up opportunities, including a pending appearance before the Orlando City Council.

Speaking of council meetings: The City of Apopka is scheduled to vote on a resolution of support at its next meeting, June 6th.

State law requires drivers to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and pedestrians to yield to cars when crossing outside of a crosswalk. In Orange County, the fine for failure to yield is $164 and 3 points on your drivers license. And yet, our baseline data shows that, on average, only about five percent of drivers obey this law.

The five-year initiative will start in Orange County and expand into Seminole and Osceola counties as resources permit. Four cities, two towns, and Orange County are working on resolutions supporting the initiative. Orlando Police Department has trained 24 officers. Orange County Sheriff’s office plans to train 40 more. Police agencies in Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville, and police chiefs from throughout Orange County, have pledged their support to the initiative, launched by Bike/Walk Central Florida with financial support from the Winter Park Health Foundation and MetroPlan Orlando.

We have met with representatives of Orange County Public Schools. Outgoing Superintendent Ronald Blocker spoke at our kickoff. And we hope to be able to negotiate the addition of pedestrian safety curriculum grades K-5 as early as this fall.

When was the last time you saved a life?  Your contributions of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, or more, can make a big difference. Checks should be made out to the Florida Bicycle Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and mailed to: Betsy Holl at: P.O. Box 916715, Longwood, FL  32793-6715. Please specify that you are donating to Best Foot Forward.

Biking with Buddy

photo by Jason BucknerMay was National Bike Month and Bike/Walk Central Florida joined with CyclingSavvy and Retro City Cycles to field the biggest team on Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s annual Bike to Work day. The event has outgrown its old mustering spot in the parking lot of Infusion Tea and this year moved to Dartmouth Park — a nice change – with shade and Starbucks coffee. The folks with 5-hour energy drink were handing out their high-octane chasers – along with tire-changing tools. Can’t beat that. Keri Caffrey and I even managed to be strategically positioned, Forrest Gump style, when Mayor Buddy took to the mike to make his announcements. In this candid shot, taken moments before the announcements, we’re discussing the finer points of bike and pedestrian safety.

First Friday Ride 

No rain, nor sleet, nor dark of night shall keep these civility warriors from their appointed rounds. After a full day of rain, more than a dozen stalwarts turned out for our monthly First Friday ride for civility. The purpose of this 8-mile, slow (10 mph) drive-time ride in downtown traffic is to demonstrate how bikes and cars can share the road – if cyclists assume the responsibilities as well as the rights of vehicle operators. This is a great ride, usually followed by dinner. Bring headlight, taillight, and helmet — got to protect the brain (you never know when to expect a Zombie Apocalypse). Next ride: July 6th.

“You Can’t Bring that Bike in Here!”

He came. He saw. He took pictures. Tom Snyders, calls himself “The Bicycling Comedian.” He does have a schtick and a nervous nervous habit of pacing the stage bent over like Groucho Marx. But mostly he has a portable projector, a tripod, and a thumb drive full of funny pictures he has accumulated over the last 20 years, logging over 150,000 miles by bicycle. He even pedaled to Hawaii – teaming with Carnival Cruises to set up a trainer on deck, to let him put in 8-hour days as the ship crossed the Pacific. He’s been in a near fatal crash and seen just about all there is to see. Like Johnny Cash sang: “I’ve been everywhere, man.” At the end of the day, The Bicycle Comedian wasn’t so much funny as he was interesting. And interesting was good enough for my money. The photos alone were were the investment. You can see some of his photos on his website: www.bikecomedy.com

Win a new commuter bike

http://www.terrybicycles.com/RIF Terry Bicycles is looking for the most deserving female to award a brand new bike to! Enter before TOMORROW (June 3rd)!

Events

Community Calendar Link 

  http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/community-calendar/

Recurring Rides

(The next First Friday ride is July 6)

First Fridays: Take it to the streets bike ride to promote civility: 6 p.m. on the First Friday of each month. Check our Facebook Fan page for start locations.

UCF Bike Bus: Downtown Orlando to UCF, then UCF to Downtown Orlando. Follow bike bus in real time via GPS at http://commuteorlando.com/bikebus/

Ride With Steve: Beginner ride. Meet at Winter Garden Wheel Works in Downtown Winter Garden, 8 a.m., Saturdays. – Sponsored by Winter Garden Wheel Works  .

See our Calendar for other family rides:

www.bikewalkcentralflorida.org

 

S-Cargo farmers market rides featuring utility bikes and trailers

Ice Cream Socials: night rides through Downtown Orlando

 

Unless specifically designated as a trail ride, our rides take place on public streets. Headlights and red rear flashers are required for night rides. Helmets are encouraged, and are required for children under 16.

We observe all traffic laws and traffic signals.

Our rides are typically 10 to 15 miles, roundtrip, and average 10 miles an hour, a comfortable pace for most adults and teens. May be too fast for younger children and adults with health issues.

 

These rides are social in nature.

For longer, more aggressive group rides, subscribe to Hal Downing’s group ride newsletter by emailing hdowning@whww.com .

If you have a social ride you would like us to help promote, please email me at the address below.

Brad

Brad Kuhn

Executive Director

brad@floridabicycle.org

Bike/Walk Central Florida Would like to thank our sponsors:

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