2009 Bike Bash by the Bay

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Yesterday afternoon, South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers (SWFBUD), held their 4th annual Bike Bash at Straub Park in St. Petersburg. The event was intended to encourage an expansion of bicycling in the region, while raising awareness about safety and the benefits of cycling.

Rachel Van Slyke rode her bicycle to Tampa from Gainesville to perform at the SWFBUD Bike Bash this year. SWFBUD is a Tampa Bay coalition of eight bicycle stores and a legal team that are dedicated towards creating a more bike-friendly community. Nika Stearly with SWFBUD discussed some of her dreams for community transportation transformation.

The event was hosted by Cure on Wheels, which raises money to help individuals and families in the Tampa Bay area cope with a diagnosis of cancer through an annual bike-a-thon just north of Tampa. They were just one of many organizations that is using bicycling as a means to get people active not only on their bikes, but also in more meaningful ways. Metropolitan Charities, an HIV Service organization, is having a Smartride January 8-9 that will traverse 165 miles from Miami to Key West. Lynne Mullen talked about how they will use biking as a vehicle for change.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharp received a “SWFBUDDY” award for his commitment to supporting bicycle infrastructure.

Alan Snel is in charge of SWFBUD, and organized Sunday’s event. He talked about the main goals of SWFBUD, and how they relate to community action.

You can find out more information about SWFBUD at http://swfbud.blogspot.com and you can also check out http://bicyclebash.com to find out ways how you can make your community better for biking.