NASCAR Bike/Ped Advocate
Today we are running our Tuesday blog on Monday to welcome guest blogger Scott Lagasse, Jr., NASCAR driver and FBA member:
Hi everyone, I’m Scott Lagasse Jr., a cyclist who drives racecars for a living. Since February of 2014, I’ve had the honor of being a spokesperson for Alert Today Florida, a pedestrian and bicycle safety campaign facilitated by the Florida Department of Transportation. I am also a proud new member of the Florida Bicycle Association.
The other night, Kelley (my wife) and I had a great night out. Dates are few and far between these days since becoming parents to our baby girl, Emelia. On this particular evening we enjoyed a scenic, peaceful bike ride. Unfortunately, not all of my rides are as enjoyable.
Since becoming a part of the Alert Today Florida team, I have realized that the road isn’t always shared with bicyclists or pedestrians. There are countless stories of motorists not giving enough room to bicyclists or pedestrians, and potentially causing serious or even fatal injuries. So I am always alert when I ride, because I worry about motorists buzzing me, cutting me off, or hitting me because they are distracted.
Just last month, I was riding my bike, and noticed that a car was following me too closely, but not trying to pass me. The driver did this for about a ¼ of a mile. As we approached a turn lane, the driver sped up and cut into my lane. Fortunately I saw it coming and was able to slow down to give the driver plenty of room. I was obviously frustrated because I could have been injured, but I decided to stay calm and not be confrontational. The driver realized he was wrong, apologized, and hopefully won’t do the same thing to another cyclist.
In May 2015, I had the privilege of visiting Silver Palms Elementary School, where I rode my bike to school with students for National Bike to School Day. Teaching kids the importance of following traffic laws and cycling safely can make a lasting impression. My hope is for these young children to become bicycle safety ambassadors, helping to spread the importance of safety to their families and friends.
Through this process I’ve had the privilege of participating in many efforts to humanize bicyclists and pedestrians. To remind the public that everyone has their own preference when it comes to transportation, and that just because they may not choose the same option as the next guy doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to have a safe journey. We all deserve to arrive at our destinations safely.
I have traveled all across the state of Florida talking with people of all ages, educating them on safety and the important roles that bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists all play in keeping each other safe. Reminding them that we all walk. Reminding them that they never know who that pedestrian or cyclist is. That it could be a teacher, coach, mentor, or family member. To treat everyone with respect. And most importantly, teaching them to share the road!
On September 3, I will be in Tampa at the University of South Florida. The event, Bulls Walk and Bike Week, promotes pedestrian and bicycle safety on the USF-Tampa campus. There will be speakers talking about pedestrian and bicyclist safety followed by a leisurely three-mile bike ride. It’s a great chance to meet faculty, staff, and students and to make new friends. Please come join us if it fits your schedule. Check out this video for more information on this event: 2015 USF Bulls Walk and Bike Week Promo
As a part of Florida Bicycle Association, my goal is to work together with the cycling community to promote safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, because EVERY LIFE COUNTS!
P.S. Watch for me at Homestead and Daytona where I’ll be sporting a combination of Alert Today Florida and Florida Bicycle Association logos in my safety promotion!
Note from Scotty: I’ve logged many miles, hours, and made lots of memories on my bike over the past year. I like to track my rides using STRAVA to keep pace with other NASCAR drivers, and friends. The application also keeps me honest with what my workouts consist of whether I am on the bike, running or swimming as I train to stay in shape. It’s motivating as well, because other people can see my workouts. STRAVA is my diary. I can see the progress of my workouts over time.
Editor’s note: Our thanks to Scotty for today’s blog and more importantly, for being a bike/ped safety education spokesperson for Alert Today Florida. The Florida Bicycle Association is proud to have Scotty as a member and will ride with him at the USF event this week.
One additional point regarding STRAVA: The Strava GPS Cycling and Running app records your commute data to which Strava shares with the Florida Department of Transportation for analysis. Download and use Strava to make your miles count!
Bike Florida and Florida Bicycle Association share a common cause in bicycle education for residents and visitors to the Sunshine “Bike-Ped” State. Share the Road license plate proceeds benefit Bike Florida and Florida Bicycle Association to further these bicycle educational efforts. What’s on your motor vehicle? Get the Share the Road license plate!
Did you know Rejjee is the only nation-wide multi-product registry and crowd sourced Lost & Found that includes discount product replacement offers on bicycles? Rejjee also supports Florida Bicycle Association and FBA supports Rejjee.
Do you have a bicycle story to tell? Photos to share? Be our guest and be our next guest blogger! Send your story and photos to Becky@floridabicycle.org. Speaking of stories, our quarterly Messenger newsletter is available online for your internet reading pleasure. Visit the FBA website Home page or click here.
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