April 2018 - Brad Larino
Brad Larino is the Director of Customer Engagement at CycleHop, the North American bike share operator responsible for bringing Coast Bike Share to Tampa and St. Petersburg. Brad, along with his girlfriend, Katelyn Edwards, also co-owns Florida Bike Tours, whose monthly social ride, The Urban Restaurant Tour, has been recognized by Bicycling Magazine as helping Tampa make their 2016 "50 Best Bike Cities" list. "My bicycle has always been my source of adventure and a connection to my community,” shared Brad. As a child, he would pedal the 30-plus miles from Hanscom Air Force Base to Downtown Boston alongside his mom on his single-speed Haro BMX bike. Brad continues his adventures in the saddle today. "I use Strava to create new and build off existing routes that other Strava members have ridden or uploaded. This comes especially handy for exploring gravel routes where Google Maps' Street Finder dares not go," he said. When he’s not riding the streets of Tampa, you can find him exploring trails in places like Flatwoods Park and Alafia State Park. He even coordinated a 450-mile self-supported tandem bicycle tour in Southern England and is planning another cycling trip this year, this time to Nova Scotia. He moved to Tampa with his family in 2004 and fell in love with the city as an undergrad at the University of Tampa. He now resides in Ybor City and bicycles to work everyday, rain or shine.
March 2018 - Brentin Mosher
Brentin is a Program Support Specialist at the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida, where he frequently commutes to work by bicycle. He is also a League Cycling Instructor, teaching BikeSmart classes and helping out with on-bike drills. A native of Tampa, he is excited by all the changes his city has gone through to become more bicycle friendly, and enjoys working with the Bike/Walk Tampa Bay Coalition to be a part of that change. "I use Strava to keep up with where my friends are riding, to check out new routes, but mainly to challenge myself. 'How many miles did I do this month? How far has my longest ride been?' and then try to push myself to do better" His favorite place to ride are through the various neighborhoods of Tampa, along the side streets. "You notice so much more than when you are just driving through." His favorite charity ride is Interbay Rotary's Cycling For Autism, which he will be participating in for the third year in a row on April 7, 2018.
Feb 2018 - Lucy Gonzalez
Lucy serves as the Safe Routes to School Coordinator for Lake, Marion, and Sumter Counties, in Florida, so safety is paramount to her. Lucy shared that she believes bike lights are the most important safety device a rider can have. She also wants to convey a gentle reminder to drivers to “Share the Road” and help keep bicyclists safe by leaving at least three feet between their car and riders when passing riders on roadways. Lucy, as part of the Safe Routes to School program, goes out of her way to inspire girls and young women to bicycle. “Girls may feel that they are overshadowed by the boys. I work to encourage and empower them to cycle and not to worry about their male peers,” said Lucy. “Seeing other women cyclists empowers these girls to know that women cyclists are out there in all shapes, sizes, and ages.” Lucy is currently working with volunteer women riders that serve as mentors to ride with girls ages 6 through 16. The groups go out and ride together and develop cycling skills in a safe, judgement-free environment. Though bikes are a big part of her professional life, Lucy’s love affair with bicycles began much earlier. “The radio flyer red tricycle was my first introduction to bicycling and that was it for me!” she exclaimed. “From that day on, I always had a bicycle.” Bicycling has represented freedom and independence to Lucy ever since and it shows as she helps others share the experience.
Jan 2018 - Jonathan Forbes
Jonathan Forbes is currently the City of Temple Terrace's representative on Hillsborough County's Metropolitan Planning Organization Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. His participation on this committee has focused on overall safety of the riders and pedestrians through programs affecting those in the Temple Terrace and Tampa Bay area. This role also includes being part of the Speakers Bureau regarding Hillsborough County's plan of VisionZero, an area action plan focused on reducing the number of bicycle and pedestrian injuries and traffic fatalities in the Tampa Bay community. He has lived in Florida of most of his life and relocated with his family to Temple Terrace in 2014. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and is currently employed as a large loss injury claim manager for a property and casualty insurance company in Tampa. He is also a recent League of Cycling Instructor (LCI) graduate, certified through the League of American Bicyclists organization. Jonathan started bicycle riding on a 3-speed Ross bicycle delivering newspapers, competed in criterium road races in the early 80's on road bikes and has most recently completed several supported and self-supported bicycle tours. Jonathan enjoys riding a bicycle with a variety of purposes. "I appreciate the diversity of riders and riding styles, but bicycling itself is an inclusive community. It is an activity in which anyone can participate and at any desired level, fit or function. Using a bicycle as a commuter, as a recreational experience, participating in a tour or exploring an area, it all appeals to me." Jonathan's future plans include more self supported tours, continuing charity event rides and group riding with a number of active groups in the community.
Dec 2017 - Dr. Eric Lenz
Dr. Eric Lenz, a father of two and resident of South Tampa, relies upon bicycling as his primary form of exercise. His occupation as a radiologist in St. Petersburg, Florida, is mostly sedentary. Eric enjoys cycling because it has a lot of variability; some days he enjoys riding with groups, while other days it’s a solo effort. He also shares his love for bicycling with his two children. Fortunately for Eric, he has been able to take advantage of ample opportunities for great organized group rides in the Tampa Bay area. Eric has logged over 10,000 miles on Strava averaging over 150 miles per week.
Nov 2017 - Dajana Gibson
Originally from Bosnia, Dajana Gibson has been living and bicycling in the Tampa Bay Area since 1998. Dajana is married with one 6-year old high energy boy, and received her BSCE and MSCE in Civil Engineering from University South Florida. She is currently working with AIM Engineering & Surveying, Inc., as a professional engineer (PE) who looks at transportation design both from an engineering and cyclist perspective. Dajana is also League Cycling Instructor (LCI), certified by the League of American Bicyclists. She is a self-described "weekend warrior," but still somehow managed to log 4,000 Strava miles on her bicycle this year between her family and work commitments.
October 2017 - Philip Schuster
“Growing up I was always on a bike,” says Phil Schuster. When he was just 10 years old, Phil began racing BMX bikes. He was always “either riding around the neighborhood, visiting the local bike shop, or riding to the BMX track, always tinkering with the bike or riding it.” About 28 years ago, Phil moved from a little New England town to Tampa and bought his first road bike, which he rode for a few years before moving on to a mountain bike. “I used to ride the Flatwoods trails back in the mid 90’s. Right around the ‘Lance’ era, I got back into road bikes and haven’t looked back,” he says. For the last four years Phil has ridden with a Charity called, “Cure on Wheels,” that rides from the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa to Tallahassee over three days. The ride ends at the stairs of the Capitol building in Tallahassee, “and is an incredible journey for a great cause,” Schuster says. A few other events around the Southeast that Phil has enjoyed taking part in are: Cross Florida, Six Gap, Horrible Hundred, Hilly Hundred, Ironman Florida, and the Clean Air Century Ride. “Many thanks to all my training partners over the years, family included for allowing me to spend so much time on the bike, and to Amanda Coker, the National Bike Challenge Champion, for so much inspiration to get out and RIDE. There are so many nice roads to ride around Central Florida,” Phil says. “We all need to work together to make them safer for cyclists!”
Sept 2017 - David Guttenplan
David Guttenplan is the Team Director and Coach of Guttenplan Coaching LLC, a company he launched nearly 11 years ago at the age of 21. David began racing bikes in 2001 when he was sixteen years old. Guttenplan placed first in his earliest professional competition in Jacksonville, Florida, on June 1st, 2003 at the age of 18. He has competed at a professional level both nationally and internationally ever since, earning a widespread reputation as a distinguished coach and bicyclist. David earned his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 2009 from the University of Florida, and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering in 2013. In early 2016, David placed first in three professional races before he was hit by a car, almost fatally, during a training session in Clearwater, where he continues to live and coach today, albiet miraculously. The horrific and debhilitating crash required Guttenplan to spend some time recovering, but he was back on his bicycle by the end of the 2016 season, going on to place 15th in the Professional Critirium National Championships in 2017. Guttenplan continues to coach and ride competitively after the crash, and is on a self-described “notorious, inspirational, odds-breaking comeback.”
August 2017 - Theo Mellis
Theodore (Theo) Mellis is a long time Safety Harbor resident, veteran, dad, and a self-described "big bike advocate." Theo works for the City of Clearwater as an engineering technician, managing the field side of traffic engineering for the city's Department of Traffic Operations. He has worked for the city for the past 14 years, and bikes to work as often as he can, typically all five days of the work week. "I chose to live in Clearwater knowing I could do most things without using a car," he says.
July 2017 - Margaret Lillian
Margaret Lillian rides her bicycle to work. In fact, during May she biked every single day of the month. She not only rides her bicycle to work, but she rides it for most trips including errands, recreation and of course to visit friends and family. She has ridden over 1,000 miles this year alone and logs them on STRAVA. She is participating in the National Bike Challenge, and is currently ranked in the top 10 riders for the Bike/Walk Tampa Bay team "I taught myself how to ride a bike at age 10, and have loved riding ever since. It's by far and away my favorite form of exercise, and I love that I'm able to bike to work. There's the endorphin rush from exercising, but there's also the appeal of exploring my surroundings involved for me too. Plus there's the sense of accomplishment in increasing distance and speed. Florida doesn't make it easy, but I always like trying to figure out the quietest, lowest traffic route to get to a place. I also support any and all attempts to turn the state into a giant bike trail."
June 2017 - Sharon Monahan
Sharon has been riding bikes since she was a kid. She grew up with a cohesive group of neighborhood children who were active and used their bikes to go everywhere. Sharon got her first "10 speed" for her high school graduation. She got her first racing bike in 1985 and started commuting by bicycle to get to and from class while attending college at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. She began racing in 1986. Sharon is a certified League Cycling Instructor with the League of American Bicyclists and teaches Traffic Skills 101 classes, working with bicyclists both in class and on the road.
May 2017 - Jeff Haynes
"I've ridden bikes my whole life, mostly for recreation--but as a diabetic in my mid 50s--my love of biking has proven an amazing way to control it. To that end, but as much for the Zen, you'll spot me pedaling all over Tampa. You're welcome to follow me on Strava (because, well, otherwise, it didn't happen)." Jeff Haynes says his love for cycling is what keeps him alive. Jeff merges his need to ride with finding a cure for diabetes by bicycling with Team Red in the Tour de Cure for diabetes research, sponsored by his friends who “raise a big pile of money every year,” for which he is deeply grateful. For Jeff, bicycling in groups has proved an incredible way to make friends. Each month, Haynes hosts Critical Mass Tampa and Second Sunday rides, and is honored to do so. Jeff is also a regular at MacDill Freewheeler's rides, including the annual trek from Tampa to Treasure Island to participate in Hands Across the Sand, Tampa's Ride of Silence, Ride for the Animals, History Bike Tampa, Full Moon Skate/Bikes, Urban Restaurant Tours, Pedals & Pints, Winter Wonder Rides, Build Bikes for (disadvantaged) Kids, CranksGiving, and local Cyclovia events.
April 2017 - Leo Rodgers
"For as long as I can remember, I have rode and fixed bicycles. My dad always had me on a bike. But on December 1, 2007, I was in a motorcycle crash that cost me my leg. It was a huge turning point in my life. It humbled me, took me off my pedestal and made me look at life differently. I ride because it's an outlet for me, and my health and exercise are very important, Combine these reasons with the fact that it gives me peace of mind and is good for the environment, and you can definitely say riding is my life."
March 2017 - Mike Lamarca
"I ride with Strava to track my progress, compete against friends, and find new places to explore. I ride to wind down after work, and enjoy the outdoors. I prefer to ride on dirt, out in the woods, but don't mind riding on the road to get there. Being that work is only a few miles from home, bike commuting makes sense, when the weather cooperates."
The Bike/Walk Tampa Bay Strava Club is for bicyclists of all abilities. Join others bicycling in the Tampa Bay area (Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough Counties). Let’s show the community that getting around by bicycle is a viable and safe way to get around plus for exercise and recreation in the Tampa Bay area!