Monday, May 2, 2016

Ride of Silence on May 18th--Fort Myers and Sanibel



It's May and time to make plans to join one of the two local Ride of Silence events (Fort Myers and Sanibel) on Wed. evening May 18th to honor fallen cyclists and promote road safety.
2014 Ride of Silence, Fort Myers
What began in 2003 in Dallas as a spontaneous outpouring of grief for a friend and fellow rider, struck and killed by the mirror of a passing vehicle, has rolled across the globe to become an international annual event memorializing and honoring cyclists who have been injured and killed while riding. The Ride of Silence is a worldwide event, with almost all USA States participating, along with 22 other countries.

The many hundreds of events share the same goals: "To honor fallen cyclists, to promote road safety, and to make a difference."

Bike safety is not a fleeting issue, especially here in Florida which ranks as the very worst in the nation for cyclist safety, with the highest fatality rate for ten years in a row. In 2014, 8 cyclists were killed in Lee County crashes, in 2015, 4 cyclists were killed, and in 2016 to date, there has been one. (Florida Bike Crashes: News-Press)

The Ride of Silence, in memorializing riders injured and killed, seeks to draw motorist's attention to cyclist's legal rights to full use of the roadways, to inform motorists that we are here, to watch for us--as if our lives depended on it. Please come out to show your support and send the message that we deserve our right to operate on our own roads. We are not just bike riders, but friends and neighbors and we must all Share the Road.
Ghost bike on Sanibel Causeway

Locally there are TWO Rides of Silence planned--downtown Fort Myers and Sanibel.

Fort Myers Ride of Silence: Sponsored by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club
  • Arrive by 6:45, ride begins promptly at 7:00 PM
  • Centennial Park 2000 W First St, Fort Myers (Under the Bridge at Heitman and Bay Streets)
  • Cyclists will ride in a silent, funeral-style procession at 10-12 mph for 8 miles to honor those who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.
  • Riders are requested to wear black arm bands or red if they have personally been injured in a cycling versus motor vehicle accident.
  • Everyone welcome, free of charge. No registration necessary.
  • Helmets are required, no headphones please.
Sanibel Ride of Silence: Sponsored by the Sanibel Bicycle Club in partnership with Matzaluna Restaurant and Billy's Bikes.
  • Riders are encouraged to arrive at 6:15 p.m. at Matzaluna Restaurant (1200 Periwinkle Way) for a short educational program. 
  • At 7:00 p.m. promptly the ride will leave Matzaluna's, down Periwinkle Way to the Sanibel Causeway. The ride will cross over the first 2 bridges of the causeway, do the turnaround under the main span, and return to Matzaluna (approximately 7 miles round trip).
  • Helmets required for all riders and front and tail lights are required if you plan to ride your bike home after dinner.
  • Matzaluna will provide discounted food and drink for all riders.
  • For further details, contact Patti Sousa: 395-1695.


May 2nd: Upcoming running/walking/biking/tri events

It is heating up out here in SWFL and so are the outdoor events! Running, cycling, and triathlons will be held this month of May and more to come this Summer season. Have some fun and run for a good cause, bike to raise awareness, or compete to set your personal best.

Upcoming Events:
Running/walking:

Saturday, May 14: 11th annual Lover Key Turtle Trot 5K. 8 a.m., to support the Friend of Lovers Key. (www.ftmyerstrackclub.com)
Saturday, May 21: Cape Cops 5K run/walk and fun run, starting at 7:30 a.m. to benefit the families of fallen or injured officers. Cape Coral Yacht Club. (www.ftmyerstrackclub.com)
Monday, May 30: Memorial Day 5K. Celebrate Memorial Day with a fun 5k at North Collier Regional Park. Proceeds of the race benefit the Special Olympics. (gcrunner.org)
Saturday, June 18: Sugden Stride 5K, 7 a.m. at Sugden Regional Park in Naples. (eliteevents.org)

Cycling:
Friday, May 6: SW Florida Critical Mass ride. Join a family-friendly slow ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in the open field next to Publix (beginning at 7:15 p.m. for a 8 p.m. roll-out) at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers. (twitter.com/swflcm)
Wednesday, May 18: Ride of Silence, to honor those who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. The Fort Myers ride starts at 7 p.m. at Centennial Park; the Sanibel ride starts at 7 p.m. from Matzaluna, 1200 Periwinkle Way.

Triathlons:
Saturday, May 14: Cape Coral Yacht Club Sprint. (capeparks.com or active.com)
Sunday, June 5: Naples Fitness Challenge Reverse Sprint. Naples Beach Club. (thefitnesschallengetriathlon.com)
Plan ahead: Other upcoming area tris include the American Sprint Triathlon & Duathlon in Naples July 20 (eliteevents.org), the Englewood Sprint tri July 16 (swflymca.org), the Siesta Key Olympic and Sprint Tris and Duathlon June 25 or Aug. 6 (multirace.com), the Venice Sprint Sept. 3 (swflymca.org), the Siesta Kay Sprint Tri Sept. 24 (siestakeytriathlon.org) and the Marco Island Sprint Oct. 2 (thefitnesschallengetriathlon.com). Willing to drive? Check trifind.com for other state tris.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Cape Police bike/ped safety focus shifts from education to enforcement

Kudos to CCPD for their continuing bike/ped safety efforts, supported by a 2nd FDOT grant, and thanks to News-Press for their ongoing coverage.

News-Press, April 29, 2016: Cape Coral PD says bike-ped scofflaws to get tickets not pamphlets

Main objective is to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities involving pedestrians and bicyclists

The Cape Coral police will be targeting areas of the city where bicycle and pedestrian traffic is more active and will issue warnings and/or citations to pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists who commit violations of Florida statutes.

The activity is part of a transition in the department's Bike-Ped Operations to a new phase.

Initially, the department Bike-Ped Operations focused on distributing informational materials to violators, educating them about applicable traffic laws, the importance of wearing a helmet, and other issues regarding bicycle and pedestrian safety.

The main objective of this effort is to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities involving pedestrians and bicyclists through the use of selective traffic enforcement operations.

During May officers will be actively looking to enforce the rules of the road as they relate to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. They will be looking to enforce the bicycle helmet laws in order to keep those cycling in the city safe.

The funding for these operations is provided through a $20,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation for High Visibility Enforcement addressing pedestrian and bicycle safety. This is the second such grant awarded to the Cape Coral Police Department by the Florida Department of Transportation.

Cape Coral police reminders
  • Pedestrians should always walk on the sidewalk and if no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists should not wear headphones or talk on their cell phones.  
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists should cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections when possible and obey traffic signals such as WALK/DON'T WALK signs.
  • Bicyclists should have their bicycle equipped with a white light on the front visible from a distance of 500 feet and a red light visible from a distance of 600 feet, between sunset and sunrise during operation.
  • Bicyclists operating on the roadway are subject to obeying all traffic control devices to include stop signs and lighted traffic signals.
  • Bicyclists operating upon a sidewalk or crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian.
Unsafe driver behaviors
  • Speeding (5 MPH can make the difference between types of injuries)
  •  Failure to stop for red lights or stop signs
  •  Failure to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Distracted driving
  • Blocking crosswalks
  • Turning on permitted light (green signal) but not looking for pedestrian properly crossing in crosswalk- Right and Left turn crashes with pedestrians.