Messenger Archive: Fall 2004
Adventure race puts cross-training to the ultimate test
by Mandi Hall
Exhilarating, fun, challenging, and exciting are a few descriptive words that come to mind when I think back on the WeCeFAR* Croom Crusher 4-6 hour sprint adventure race.
It took place in Brooksville, Florida at the Withlacoochee State Forest on August 29, 2004.
The series is sponsored by Jeep.
It all started when Tampa's Micheal Moule, LCI, avid bike racer, adventure racer, cyclo-cross racer, and entrepreneur of "Livable Streets, Inc." called me late Friday night, August 27 wondering if I wanted to do an adventure race.
“Sure!” I replied. I was eager to see what this adventure sprint race would entail.
I was a little apprehensive about equipment needs and possible navigational skills that were required in such a race.
“Not to worry,” Mike confidently assured me.
So I committed to doing the race and Team M&M (Mike and Mandi) was born.
Little did I know what was to come.
Adventure racing is just that…Adventure! It involves using a compass, determining bearings, reading maps, orienteering, dealing with capricious situations, finding original solutions to problems, following clues, and completing special events (such as playing bike polo) or finding oneself in the middle of a scavenger hunt, and solving riddles to get to the next check point.
While rational toughness and wit are the mental demands, the race also requires physical stamina. We ran (on road and trail), mountain biked, swam, rappelled orienteered and paddled.
Some adventure races throw in a leg of in-line skating, just to see if you’ve been paying attention.
Combating the wild environment could entail meetings with snakes, spiders, alligators, wild hogs, and mosquitoes, while enduring the heat, humidity, and sharp saw palmettos.
Adventure racing can be done alone but having a teammate can be much more fun. Teammates can help one another and aid in reminding each other to stay hydrated and keeping up with nutritional needs.
Team M&M won the "WeCeFAR" Croom Crusher sprint race in 4 hours after completing, enduring, solving and sweating through the challenges mentioned above. It was a great experience and I look forward to competing in many more.
Thanks, Micheal Moule, for getting me out there and pushing me to my limits!!! And an even bigger "Thanks" goes out to the Jeep Adventure Racing Series Event staff for putting on a great race!
Editor’s note: Go to www.wecefar.com for more information about the club and adventure racing.
Other adventure racing organizations are active throughout Florida. You can find them by typing “adventure race”in your search engine.
*West Central Florida Adventure Racing Club
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2004 FBA Annual Awards presented at the CycleFest/Share the Road Rally & Summit
FBA presented its 2004 annual awards to 17 worthy recipients for their contributions to bicycling. The purpose of the awards is to bring attention to the efforts and achievements of groups, organizations and individuals that help deliver our mission to inspire and support people and communities to enjoy greater freedom and well being through bicycling.
The West Palm Beach Library was the setting for the awards presentation held at FBA's annual meeting on October 2 in conjunction with CycleFest/Share the Road Rally & Summit.
Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC)
Metroplan Orlando Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Marty Sullivan, Chair
Metroplan Orlando has had a bicycle and pedestrian program in place for over 15 years, they set aside funding for bicycle and pedestrian issues each year, they are responsible for getting bike racks on LYNX buses and they recently hired a bicycle and pedestrian education outreach coordinator. This committee meets monthly and has tremendous partnerships between the municipalities to make Orange, Osceola and Seminole County connections a reality. Metroplan Orlando is the transportation planning organization for these three Central Florida counties.
Boca Raton Bicycle Club
John Doyle, President - accepted by Roy Levow, Jill Smithson, Don Braverman
The Boca Raton Bicycle Club was formed in 1986 to promote safe and healthy bicycling for all age groups. Today, the club has over 300 members and caters to a wide range of road cycling interests from casual recreational riding to racing.
The club also maintains regular programs of community service, bicycle safety, bicycle advocacy, and social events. The club plays an active role in bicycle advocacy in the City of Boca Raton and in Palm Beach County. A member appointed to the Bicycle/Pedestrian/Greenways Advisory Committee of the Palm Beach County MPO, gives the club an active voice in planning decisions of concern to cyclists.
Most recently, the Boca club committed to donate $500 for a bicycle friendly community workshop for Palm Beach County officials.
The club has been actively involved in promoting inclusion of bike lanes in the planned repaving of State Road A1A and has encouraged advocacy by its members in every possible way including communication with public officials and letters to local newspapers.
In 2003-2004, the club donated more than $15,000 to a variety of community service and charitable organizations.
Bob Michaels has been an active voice for off-road issues from developing and maintaining trails to promoting off-road events through the Tampa Bay Area SWAMP Club, Suwannee Bicycle Association, Ocala Mountain Bike Club and other off-road clubs. As a former member of the FBA board, he was the catalyst behind the association's efforts to search for more ways to serve the off-road community and to encourage more people to enjoy the off-road riding. Bob has been very generous to the organization with his time, talents, energies and even his Rainbow Springs vacation home for FBA’s annual program planning retreat.
Walt Disney World Security Operations
Caryl Brigance and Bryan Steen
One of Disney's best kept secrets is their security patrol on bikes program in addition to security officers on foot. Every division of the Walt Disney World Resort area, from theme parks and resorts to retail areas like Downtown Disney, has a separate security operations on bikes program.
In the past, security personnel received some level of bicycle safety education but this past summer, they initiated a new policy requiring all personnel to take the League or American Bicyclists bicycle safety Road I workshop.
FBA organizes and administers these workshops using League Cycling Instructors. Two classes were held this summer educating nearly 30 of their staff. The company plans to eventually train all its bike patrol officers and several security personnel plan to become League Cycling Instructors.
Plans are also underway to offer training to other Disney cast members and their families.
As a volunteer, Lyndy Moore has made bicycle safety education a priority in Central Florida and other areas of the state.
During 2004, she trained over 300 students, adults and children, in a wide variety of courses from community training, bike rodeos, Safe Cycling for Adults, and LAB's Road 1 workshops.
She also made presentations at Community Traffic Safety Team meetings at the county and state coalition level. She was the brainchild behind introducing the concept of a Rolling Road I workshop where participants of Bike Florida's week long bike/camping tour had the opportunity to take the class after their daily mileage.
Lyndy delivers her safety message with passion and enthusiasm. Known as the gadget queen for her wide variety of lights, clothing items and other gadgets, she is a favorite among League Cycling Instructors for her fresh and honest approach toward safety education.
Sgt. Marc Tochterman
Bay County Sheriff's Office
Sgt. Marc Tochterman is with the Bay County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) in Panama City. He has been with the S.O. for almost six years and with the Community Services Division for a little over two years.
Sgt. Tochterman's duties as the Community Policing Officer include all aspects of community safety, from bicycle helmets for children to identity theft lectures for senior citizens. Marc provides bicycle safety classes to first through fifth graders at 8 elementary schools as well as for clubs or organizations such as Boy and Girl Scouts. Also, the SO does bicycle maintenance and helmet giveaways at numerous kid safety events throughout the year.
In his "free" time, Tochterman also serves on the Panama City Urbanized Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Southeast Air Coalition for Outreach
SEACO has been working diligently on increasing the use of alternative transportation in the Southeast Florida region. With regular meetings to discuss ways to improve air quality, SEACO is always promoting the use of bicycles as transportation through press releases, media information, print media and during Clean Air Month each May.
For the past two years, SEACO has helped promote Bike to Work Day in Palm Beach County. This year, they also organized and partnered with many other organizations including the Palm Beach MPO, South Florida Commuter Services, and the Safe Bicycling Coalition to promote National Bike to Work Day.
SEACO provided volunteers and in-kind services to promote the event and played a vital role in its success.
For the past five years, CycleFest has provided top caliber racing, touring rides of various distances, family bike rides, vendors, a bicycle safety rodeo and entertainment rolled into one festive weekend.
The promotion of cycling as a healthy, safe, environmentally intelligent activity takes center stage. Staged all through downtown West Palm Beach, there is, essentially, something for everyone.
This year, CycleFest partnered with FBA, Bike Florida and the Florida Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education Program to host the Share the Road Rally & Summit offering two days of educational workshops for bicycle safety professionals and the general public.
CycleFest regularly attracts participants from all over the nation including a strong contingency of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team In Training program.
This event has achieved what all cycling events should strive toward—promoting the use of bicycles in all areas, not just as fun or for sport.
Palm Beach County MPO
With his arrival in March 2003, the BiGPAC has become an effective force in the county. Raphael's enthusiasm, knowledge and ability to foster effective teamwork have generated optimism and an advocacy role in the group.
Raphael is the point man for a Greenways Plan now in its formative stages. When the plan is complete, the county will be interconnected by a system of safe multi-use pathways that will provide access to public lands and ecological areas.
Raphael is the leader in the campaign to improve the roadway facilities for cycling, including bike lanes and education for all users.
He arranged the first educational "Bicycle Friendly Community" workshop for county executives and officials to introduce the design and planning concepts that will encourage their participation in the bike/ped wave of the future.
He also encouraged the development of a new advocacy organization to serve the interests of all cyclists and others having some connection with cyclists.
Raphael is very active with Cyclefest in West Palm Beach. He is actively and positively encouraging the racing community of cyclists to change their behavior through education and stresses the impact unlawful cyclist behavior has on the rest of the cycling community.
He is an integral part of the law enforcement training program under development throughout Palm Beach County that will ultimately result in the consistent and effective education and enforcement of bicycle laws and other laws that affect the safety and cooperation of motorists and cyclists.
Citizen Bike Advocate
Jim Smith is THE voice behind pedestrian and bicycle advocacy in South Florida. Through internet technology, he has been the Pied Piper to encourage citizens to get involved with advocacy to make South Florida a better place to live through the improvement of pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
The recent issue regarding the road improvement project along A1A throughout Palm Beach County has made Jim Smith a household name. His letters to the editor of various newspapers, letters to city, county and state officials, and presentations at public official meetings have generated publicity to promote public awareness regarding the lack of places to walk and bicycle.
By Miller has taken a leadership role in promoting effective solutions to the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians. This has been exemplified by his service to MetroPlan Orlando's Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Osceola County Greenways and Trails Planning Team. By has served several terms as the Florida Freewheelers' President and Safari Director. An avid road rider, he also enjoys off-road riding and has experienced several cross country cycling trips.
Pinellas County Trail Supervisor
Jerry joined the Pinellas County Parks Department in 1976. His first post was at Campground Ft. DeSoto and since that time, he has held a variety of positions from park patrol officer, craftworker, park supervisor, campground ranger and trail supervisor.
Jerry was very involved with the development of the Pinellas Trail, Florida's first rails to trail program.
Beginning with a mere six miles of trail right of way, Jerry worked with contractors, placed trail amenities, provided trail tours, and supervised the trail with the help of seven employees.
Ultimately, the Pinellas Trail was expanded to 37 miles from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg. This unique trail combines transportation, beauty and recreation through an urban setting. Businesses have flourished along the trail corridor and users have the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of retail opportunities from bike rentals and repairs, restaurants and shopping.
Jerry recently celebrated 29 years with Pinellas County, the last 14 of which have been spent at the Pinellas Trail. He is also involved with the Pinellas County Bicycle Advisory Committee, Trail Security Task Force and monthly engineering meetings.
Share the Road Tag Sales
Doug Beldon, Hillsborough County Tax Collector
Share the Road Tag Promotions
Ray Valdes, Seminole County Tax Collector
If you ask the elected officials whom they think of for advice on trails issues, they most likely will say long-time trails advocate Grey Wilson.
The reason is that even after many years out of the trails spotlight, Grey still picks up the phone and lets them know what is really going on. He has moved twice and lives many miles away from his original home, but Grey is still there on the issues, plugging away.
He still champions the need for natural trails and the role they would play for all user groups, including off-road bicyclist. He still watches over the Cross Seminole Trail as it grows, stepping into the fray when he thinks he can help.
This is what makes Grey special, his respect for all of us, no matter how diverse we may be. Grey Wilson's contribution to the trail system has helped bicyclists realize long term goals.
Rich always looks at the large picture when it comes to trails and bikeways. His philosophy is "the more the better."
He excels in working with local elected officials. His ingenuity on obtaining miles and miles of trails for all people is refreshing. He knows the in's and out's of handling the politics of counties—especially the significance of not being swept up in who gets credit for his efforts.
If not for his efforts in Orange County, the rapid progress of trail acceptance and getting these into the funding process of the budgets would not have occurred.
Furthermore, without his early efforts in Seminole County, just a few people would be talking about "what if's" and the rest of the county would not know what trails are.
Currently, Lake County is lucky enough to have his presence felt with his effective county-wide vision that led to initiation of a voter referendum on allocation of property tax to increase funding $25 million for trail construction.
The referendum passed overwhelmingly (70% in favor).
Rich is a Lake County activist for the Lake Apopka Trail Loop and Voter Referendum concerning $35 million for trails, a former Mt. Dora Bicycle Festival coordinator and member of the Florida Greenways and Trails Committee on corporate sponsorship.
Dwight Kingsbury has been a board member of FBA since it was incorporated in 1997 and took the office of secretary in 1998.
As the assistant bicycle/pedestrian coordinator for the Florida Department of Transportation Safety Office, Dwight is an encyclopedia of knowledge. He is regularly called upon, professionally and personally, for his wealth of knowledge of bicycle and pedestrian policies.
An avid bicycle commuter, when he isn't traveling by bike, he arrives by bus or train with his "Bike Friday" and BOB trailer in tow.
Though he broke down last year end purchased a motorcycle, he still uses his bicycle for most transportation needs.
Dwight recently stepped down from the Board but will remain active as an advisory director. We won't let him "get away" that easy.
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The world comes knocking
by Mighk Wilson
On the TV news I see a story about an oil pipeline blown up by Iraqi rebels. Two weeks later I watch a news helicopter shot of a long line of motorists waiting to get gas.
It stretches down the road for a hundred yards. Next comes a shot of a gasoline tanker being escorted by police. I think of these scenes as previews of our future.
Of course, the two latter scenes have no real relationship to the first one; they are the result of Hurricane Frances.
The past few weeks have brought home to me the reality of how the global affects the personal.
Charley brought Carol and me not only anxiety and a mess to clean up (but no real damage, thankfully), but also a Category IV head cold and respiratory infection for me which lingered all the way through Frances. This triple whammy pulled the plug on my plans for a five-day bike tour and attendance at the Thunderhead Alliance Retreat and the ProBike Conference in Victoria, British Columbia.
For the past few weeks, the effects of global forces on our home took precedence over bicycling. The aftermath also brought home, in a unique way, how our community still thinks of cycling and walking as minor concerns as bike lanes and sidewalks became convenient places to store storm debris.
I wondered how motorists would treat me when I biked after the storm. They were exceptionally courteous for the first few days after September 11.
Not so after Charley.
Implicit in the bigger "Why?" of getting hit by four hurricanes in less than two months is the question, "Can we blame this on global warming?" Who knows?
More and stronger hurricanes; more and stronger viruses…
Veteran Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens recently said on NPR, "The world is producing 82 million barrels of oil a day. I think that's all we'll ever have.
“So you have a supply situation that isn't getting any better and a demand situation that is going up … I think [we're] peaking now."
Pickens is as traditional a capitalist as you can find, not some "goofy tree hugger." He also told Fortune Magazine, "I know one thing: I don't think we'll have to worry about global warming after 2100.
“We're going to have to transition out of hydrocarbons pretty quickly within the next 20 to 30 years. You won't go out of them, but transition into something else."
In spite of record gas consumption and shortages, there are no new refineries planned in the U.S. Why? Partly because environmental regulations help make them multi-billion dollar investments, but also, why invest billions on a 50-year lifespan facility when the resource it uses is diminishing in supply? Discoveries of new oilfields peaked in the 1960s and no major new fields have been found since the late ’70s.
China's economy is growing at 9% a year and their car buying is growing exponentially; India is not far behind. Global oil consumption is increasing at nearly 3% a year, but global oil production is likely at its peak. As with any commodity, if supply stays flat or drops while demand increases, prices go up.
Energy analysts speak of "energy return on energy invested," or EROEI. Oil today gives a very high return on energy investment. That's why we don't shift to alternatives and why we can waste it so flagrantly. After you've pulled half the oil out of an oilfield, it gets progressively harder to extract the remainder. Eventually it will take more energy to get the last barrels of oil from the ground than the oil produces.
Oil will become more and more expensive, and then it will cease to be economically viable as an energy source. Every thing we buy to fill the needs and desires of our lives—food, clothes, furniture, what-have-you—comes to us in some part by oil. The cost of most everything will rise with the price of oil.
In such an economic climate, SUVs will lose value and hybrid cars will gain value. But who will be able to afford taking a $2,000 hit when selling the old gas hog, then also paying an extra two to three grand for a hybrid? A bicycle provides a far better return on investment. At only $2.00 a gallon, you could "pay off" a $500 bike in about 5,000 miles.
Perhaps it won't happen in the next few years. Maybe the "voices of reason" are right and we've got a decade or so to go. But it is inevitable. With that inevitability, bicycling will become much more important to our culture; from nuisance or toy to necessity. The individuals, families, cities, states and nations that invest in cycling the soonest will be the ones best positioned for the future.
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Remembering the Velo Nut
by Dwight Kingsbury
The person with experience has little to learn from the person with theory.
So I read in every email I received from Dale Lally's home account; the line was included in his email signature. There was no doubt as to which person Dale identified with. At an age when many cyclists lead lives of quiet respiration, Dale was hungry for more experience.
From out of the blue, I would get a call or an email, describing an ingenious cross-state touring route he had just discovered. Fort Myers to Lake Okeechobee to Fort Lauderdale. Panhandle through Tallahassee.
Except that I never got the full descriptions; these required a software application I didn't have, and whenever we spoke with each other, Dale would interrupt himself to review some of the oversights that he had just remembered needed to be corrected to bring the state up to snuff...
* Provide more "hiker-biker campsites" in the state parks.
* Put up "Share the Road" signs on key touring routes.
* Look out better for cyclists in work zones.
* Don't mill rumble strips on rural highway shoulders where they leave no reasonable shoulder space for cyclists.
* Pave shoulders on Card Sound Road on the route to the Keys.
* Stop prohibiting cyclists from using the Pineda Causeway to cross the Indian River in Brevard County.
* Stop requiring cyclists to have a permit to use the bike racks on certain transit systems' buses.
Dale didn't just vent about his issues. He took the time to vent to the appropriate staff. Explaining that something was not done in Florida cut no ice with Dale; he could always mention a place, in the US or Europe, where it was done.
When the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) began channeling millions of dollars to local "Transportation Enhancements" in the early 1990s, Dale was working at the language center of St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY.
As a member of the steering committee of the LAB's GEAR '92, he prepared the final report on the rally, which concluded that over $300,000 had been pumped into the local economy by the 1,378 participants.
When Jeff Olson, the New York State Bicycle & Pedestrian Program Manager, stopped by one day to explain that federal transportation funds were now available to build multi-use trails, Dale was ready. He told me once that the resulting Canton path project didn't benefit only path users. Many of new users were motorists who previously had little confidence in road cyclists' abilities because they had so little confidence in their own. After they began cycling on the path, Dale asserted, they became more courteous on the road.
In July 2002, Dale came through Tallahassee while researching Panhandle touring routes for a book he was writing. We met one Saturday afternoon in Dale's climatically challenged RV and rode together on the St. Marks Trail. At a fish bar on the St. Marks River, Dale ordered onion rings, beer and a carbonated drink for us, and demonstrated how to make "shandies."
This is a drink popular among touring cyclists in central Europe, he explained. He poured half beer and half carbonated beverage into each of our two glasses.
Dale's touring bike was a Specialized, fitted with front and rear racks he acquired in 1985. It had been his only road bike since a $1500 model he won at the InterBike trade show was stolen from the reception room of a doctor's office in south Florida.
Dale's idea for his latest book was that cycle tourists could stay at B&B inns at most stops. B&B's have been major players in promoting cycle touring in other states, but Dale was having trouble finding enough B&B's in Florida; there wasn't a single B&B open year-round in Tallahassee. Still, more B&B's were opening, many of them welcomed touring cyclists, and Dale was confident that campgrounds could fill in the gaps.
Dale finished the book, but spent a year obtaining maps that could legally be reproduced in a published work. He often suggested rides we could do together; I should also speak to the South Broward Wheelers, Dale said.
Finally, the map problem was resolved, and Dale made plans to cycle with relatives in Germany and join a group to watch stages of the Tour de France in the Alps. For several days, I followed Dale's emailed "Eurojournal" updates. There was a military transport plane to Spain. One-lane country roads and paths in the countryside outside Stuttgart. Courtesy of German motorists—a sustaining theme in Dale's chronicles. Kaffee und Kuchen in the afternoon.
In mid-July, the reports stopped for a few days; Dale was headed to France. Then we learned that he had passed away suddenly while attending the Tour on 21 July. That was the day an individual time trial finished in l'Alpe d'Huez.
Dale Lally's book, Bed, Breakfast & Bike Florida, is scheduled for publication late this year.
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Video’s producers hope program will aid bike law enforcement
by Aloura Charles, Seidler Productions
Floridians take pride in the fact that our university football programs often lead the nation's teams.
We take for granted the fact that we are the nation's largest producer of citrus and the leading draw for international tourism.
However, most Floridians are completely unaware that our state presently leads the nation in pedestrian and bicycle related fatalities.
This horrible statistic is not something to be proud of and presently there is a push to correct it.
FBA and the Florida Department of Transportation hope their new video, FLORIDA BICYCLE LAW ENFORCEMENT, will help.
Made possible by funding through the Florida Department of Transportation Safety Office, the 20-minute video will serve as a teaching tool for law enforcement officials and be distributed statewide to sheriff and police departments.
This program will inform officers of statutes governing the use of bicycles on our roads as well as the laws motorists must respect when interacting with bicycles. Additionally, and most importantly, the program will offer guidance and instruction to help officers enforce important laws that are too often misunderstood.
Recently, the Florida Bicycle Association and Palm Beach and Wakulla counties teamed up with veteran film and television producer, Robert Seidler, to create a short program entitled RIDE ON BY 2. This program helped awaken officers in the state to problems existing due to lack of knowledge or adherence to laws of bicycle operation. But it was only a start.
FBA once again has teamed up with Seidler Productions to created this new program. With the lives of child and adult cyclists at risk, these laws are too important to ignore. To tackle the problem, we must start from the top, by informing those who can teach and enforce. By developing a better understanding of bicycle laws and bicycle behavior as related to vehicular traffic, Florida becomes a safer place to cycle and enjoy the beautiful sunshine.
Production of FLORIDA BICYCLE LAW ENFORCEMENT was delayed several times due to hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne, but, thanks to the assistance of law enforcement and fire and rescue departments, taping was completed in late September to meet the 2004 FDOT safety grant deadline.
Copies of both videos are available from FBA at 352-468-3430 or email@example.com.
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