Local businesses continue to step up and add to the list of reasons why Tampa is receiving attention for improving its bike friendliness. The League of American Bicyclists (The League) announced in January 2020 that Tampa has maintained its position for having the second most Bicycle Friendly BusinessesSM (BFBs) in the nation.
The following are the latest additions that bring the total number of Tampa awardees to 59. St. Petersburg also maintained its position as the fifth city in the country with 36 total BFBs.
What does it mean to be bicycle friendly? Businesses must demonstrate that they support cyclists as part of a rigorous application with The League and pay an application fee. Examples of bicycle friendliness include hosting events that cater to or support bicyclists, offering incentives to customers and encouraging employees to arrive by bike, and providing facilities that make bicycling to their respective establishments easier, like bike parking and changing rooms. The League evaluates these qualities and more, then ranks the level of bicycle friendliness by Bronze, the lowest designation, Silver, Gold, or Platinum, the very highest designation, or with no award at all. Every applicant also receives feedback on how to be even more bike friendly.
Another trait the League assesses as part of its application is whether or not applicants collaborate with other BFBs. Buddy Brew Coffee, awarded Silver in 2015, has a long-standing tradition of hosting Outspokin Bicycles’ customers after group rides. Following the announcement of the latest BFBs, Buddy Brew owner, Dave Ward, along with Bike/Walk Tampa Bay and Pedal Power Promoters, hosted a special celebration with Rudy Szymanski, manager of the newly-awarded Outspokin Bicycles Tampa location. Rudy and fellow weekly ride participants wrapped up their group ride at Buddy Brew and Buddy Brew Coffee provided free coffee for group riders and other customers who arrived by bike.
For a list of BFBs in the region, check out the Bike League’s interactive map.