March is Florida Bicycle Month
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
No, it’s not December. It’s March, Florida Bicycle Month! This is when we celebrate cycling for the simple joy that it is.
Of course, we know our friends at the League of American Bicyclists set aside May as National Bike Month, but Florida prides itself on being different, am I right? So, let’s get the party started now while the weather is better here in the Sunshine State. In fact, let’s just keep on riding now until May and throughout the whole year.
Our FBA website currently features a special Florida Bicycle Month Events page for you to select a cycling challenge, charity ride or just a fun activity to do with your bicycle. From short rides to centuries, March is a great time to ride a bicycle in Florida. Grab a friend and let’s ride together to encourage more folks to give biking a try.
As fun as all that sounds, and it is, we know there’s real work to be done in Florida to make bicycling safe and accepted. Our mission of education and advocacy is a daily, on-going process. The 2020 Florida legislative session is scheduled wrap up in mid-March. We suspect there will be changes in bicycle statutes this year to make room for Electric Bicycle classifications. This initiative is being spearheaded nationally by PeopleForBikes. As much as this initiative seeks to bring consistency to the definition of types of electric bicycles, we know the battle continues throughout Florida for cycling safety and safe places to ride.
As we seek connections in our facilities, be it sidewalks, bicycle lanes, shared use paths or natural surface trails, let us not forget that now, right now, we can connect with each other. Point the finger back at yourself and take responsibility. Communication in the transportation system is easy and doable, be it in a motor vehicle, on a bicycle or simply by walking: make eye contact, use your turn signals (practice if this means taking your hand off the handlebar), give an audible warning when passing as a cyclist and pass at a speed/distance that is non-threatening. We are all human and as humans, we are in this transportation system together, even when mistakes are made. We can do better and all of us can start improving right now by paying attention and acknowledging the other humans sharing the system. You can make the drive/ride/walk enjoyable by practicing civility and something I like to call CPR: Courtesy, Patience and Respect. Give it a try. I bet the connection brings a smile; like riding a bicycle during Florida Bicycle Month and beyond.