On March 11th 2016, the City of Temple Terrace held its third annual “Bike with the Mayor” ride in celebration of Florida Bike Month. The event was free and open to all riders. At 7:30 a.m. cyclists, friends, neighbors, colleagues and volunteers enjoyed free coffee, doughnuts, and bagels while chatting with other cyclists before the ride. Bike repairs, helmet fittings, bike lights, commemorative red t-shirts, and safety tips were also provided to attending riders, and when they returned they were greeted with water and free ice cream.
Before the ride, Julie Bond, Bike/Walk Tampa Bay Program Director, welcomed attendees and the audience applauded the city’s efforts to improve the biking conditions in Tampa and encourage cyclists to get out and ride with the mayor. She stated: “The citizens, we really want to welcome you and thank you for coming, you’re what it’s all about. We want to make the roads safe and friendly for you.” FDOT’s Director of Transportation Operations Brian McKishnie also spoke: “There are many things we’ve been working on to focus on our number one priority, which is safety. We are making improvements, we are making a dent.” McKishnie pointed to the buffered bicycle lanes recently installed on Fowler Avenue as one of the many improvements to safety conditions for Tampa cyclists.
Mayor Frank Chillura spoke next to kick off the event and at 8:00 a.m., the wave of red-shirted cyclists took to the city streets for a leisurely 3.9-mile ride. “Sometimes exercising is not fun but bicycling is fun, it’s therapeutic, and Temple Terrace has a really unique character; it’s a cool place with the river, the golf course, the trees, and more importantly the people,” the mayor said. Then he led the group of riders to the street as they applauded, cheered, and took off.
The Bike with the Mayor ride is co-sponsored by Bike/Walk Tampa Bay and the Center for Urban Transportation research and is funded by the Florida Department of Transportation. For more photos check out our Facebook.