Bike/Walk Tampa Bay (BWTB) celebrated community members for their contributions to local bike/walk culture at its second annual awards ceremony on July 19, 2018. The awards ceremony was the finale for the BWTB Summer Summit, held at the University Mall in Uptown Tampa.
This year, there were two award categories: Social Bicycle Ride of the Year and Advocate of the Year; awards were given to representatives from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Residents and stakeholders responded to a call for nominations that went out a month before the event. The submissions were evaluated and the winners determined by the BWTB Advisory Board and staff. “The Bike/Walk Tampa Bay Awards are Bike/Walk Tampa Bay’s way of celebrating the people who walk and bicycle and the organizations that support them,” said Julie Bond, BWTB Program Director. Presenting the awards were Gena Torres from the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization and Whit Blanton, Executive Director of Forward Pinellas.
The Social Bicycle Ride of the Year for Hillsborough County was awarded to Critical Mass Temple Terrace. The ride was founded by Sam Lougheed of Sam’s Bike Worx, who recently passed away. Sam had frequently rode with Critical Mass Tampa and wanted to bring the same kind of excitement he experienced in that ride to his local community. Critical Mass Temple Terrace, which goes through Temple Terrace neighborhoods, has grown in popularity since being founded in October 2016. Accepting the award on his behalf was his mother, Vicki, and his sister, Grace, along with Jonathan Forbes, a Critical Mass participant (pictured above). Jonathan encouraged everyone to participate in Critical Mass Temple Terrace, which is held on the last Wednesday of each month.
The Social Bicycle Ride of the Year for Pinellas County was awarded to Coast Bike Share for their contributions to supporting rides throughout the county. Eric Trull, regional manager for Coast’s parent company, CycleHop, enthusiastically accepted the award.
Advocate of the Year for Hillsborough County was presented to Jim Shirk, co-founder of the City Bike Tampa shop in downtown Tampa. He sits on the Hillsborough County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee as a citizen at large and is a certified League of American Bicyclists League Cycling Instructor, helping with Traffic Skills 101 courses in the area.
The Advocate of the Year for Pinellas County was presented to Chip Haynes. Chip wrote The Practical Cyclist, a book on bicycling, and also leads the “Coaster Brake Club” group ride every Tuesday at 9 a.m. for riders of all abilities. Incidentally, Chip was speaking at the Safety Harbor Library about bicycling and was unable to accept the award in person.