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Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in FBA | 0 comments

Positive Spin People

I was warned when taking this job that there wouldn’t be much time for bicycling.  Thankfully, it was also brought to my attention that I can bicycle as much as I want if I’m smart about making the time to do so.  Suffice to say, there’s a bicycle in the Honda Element when I travel and plenty of roads and trails to ride wherever I am in the state.

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The Dahon Espresso folding bike fits perfectly between the front and rear seats.

As for the virtual office when I’m working from the house in Oldsmar, I “commute” to work by riding the neighborhood for 25 minutes in the morning before facing the computer upstairs.  So far, so good, although there are times I skip the “commute” home and go right to what I like to call “Becky Time”.

But enough about me, what I really wish to blog about today is people; the people I’ve been presenting our annual FBA awards.  To date, I’ve presented half of our 16 awards.  The presentations started in February with Bike Walk Coral Gables, our 2014 Bike Business of the year recipient.  What caught my attention when I first met John and Debbie Swain was their passion for cycling.  They have partnered with the Coral Gables Museum to develop bicycle tours as a means to learn history during a healthy activity.  They also offer bicycle camps for children that keep the joy of riding FUN.

In March I drove the Honda to attend a bicycle summit in Clermont and to present the South Lake County Chamber of Commerce two awards for their dedication to becoming a Bicycle Friendly Community.  The knowing Ray San Fratello and Shannon Schmidt-Hidalgo share for Clermont and cycling to live up to the self-proclaimed “City of Champions” is just that, a knowing.  They know it and soon enough, everyone else will know it because I assure you, there is no stopping that kind of energy and commitment.

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The folks behind Bicycle Friendly South Lake County

Julius Tobin and Drew Weatherford of OnBikes, Inc., Chris Burns of the Jacksonville Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Trenda McPherson of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), DeWayne Carver of FDOT and Lisa Indovino of Safe Routes to School, these are the amazing people I have met that work every day to create the positive spin of cycling that is not talked up enough.  As I said just this past Sunday when presenting Julius and Drew their award at the New Belgium Slow Ride Session in St. Petersburg – LET’S TALK IT UP!

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Drew and Julius with myself and Jenine Moorehouse who nominated OnBikes as the 2014 Program of the Year.

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Jacksonville BPAC chair Chris Burns

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The “Bicycle Trinity” of FDOT: Billy Hattaway, DeWayne Carver and Trenda McPherson

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Safe Routes to School Educator Lisa Indovino

I’m only halfway through these award presentations and I find myself in awe of the people behind what is being done around the state for bicycling good.  Yes, bicycling GOOD, the roll up your sleeves and get to work because there is so much to do for the sake of bicycling GOOD.

Sure, it can be hair-pulling aggravation to face obstacles and set backs, I know that, but I can’t help but feel I am meeting people who are in it to change things, to live that higher purpose, to work past the BS and make a difference not for themselves, but for all Floridians.  I have left every award presentation feeling the same way, that I have been in the presence of greatness and a better person for meeting our recipients, the very people leading the charge to build a bicycle-friendly Florida.

I have eight more awards to go and will present the 2014 Club of the Year award to the North Florida Bicycle Club this evening at their monthly club meeting.  I have met NFBC president Mark Atkins and have nothing but respect for him and NFBC for their passion and perseverance to launch an awareness campaign called “One Road” for the benefit of the Jacksonville community.  The remaining presentations are scheduled through June and I’ll be sure to blog about the remaining eight when the presentations are completed.

Meanwhile, I encourage everyone to read up on the FBA 2014 award recipients if only for the inspiration.  Although nominations for 2015 won’t open until October, please use our Positive Spin link to submit the good stuff that is going on right now in your community.   I feel it is my duty to take every  bicycling positive spin I hear about and TALK IT UP!  I also realize I can’t be everywhere in the state, so please, share your Positive Spin story.  

Building a bicycle-friendly takes more than riding a bicycle, it takes people.  Let’s start telling our story – Let’s Talk it up!

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