Michael R. Schwaid Bicyclist of the Year: David Guttenplan

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Michael R. Schwaid Bicyclist of the Year: David Guttenplan

From left: 2018 Michael R. Schwaid Bicyclist of the Year award recipient Steve Brown, 2019 recipient David Guttenplan, Dr. Gregory Schwaid, son of Michael R. Schwaid, and FDOT D7 Secretary David Gwynn

Tampa Bay is filled with bicycling champions who excel in both their sport and their advocacy, but none quite compare to David Guttenplan. While working as a professional bicycle racer running his own racing team and coaching business, David earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering, with honors, from the University of Florida.

In 2016, through no fault of his own, David was struck by a driver turning on Gulf-to-Bay Blvd. and nearly died. He faced his difficult recovery straight on and with the help of friends and family returned to cycling. He went on to win the 2018 USA CRITS Series, a premier cycling series in the United States. It is his journey through recovery and the many miles spent on roadways all over the world that have shaped his perspective and inspired within him a need to help make the streets safer for everyone. David worked with CUTR during 2018 to assist with pedestrian and bicycle safety presentations, on-the-street education, and research. He has since joined the Professional Engineer (P.E.) Training Program at the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). His vision is to work at FDOT as an engineer to make bicycling better through his unique perspective.

About the Michael R. Schwaid Bicyclist of the Year Award

In early 2017, BWTB presented its first Bicyclist of the Year award to Michael R. Schwaid, who was known by many as “Michael on Bicycle.” Michael was honored for his passion for bicycling, and his courage and resilience in getting back on his bicycle after being rear-ended by a motorist with a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit. Later in 2017, Michael passed away of natural causes. The BWTB Board of Directors, with the support of the Schwaid family, named the award “Michael R. Schwaid Bicyclist of the Year” in his honor. Steve Brown, a local advocate and group ride leader, was the 2018 award recipient.

Very special thanks to the Schwaid family for their support of this award. Each year, new recipients will be added to a perpetual bronze plaque which will be on display at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida.

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