SWFBUD Bicycle Bash 2012

November 4, 2012 at 11:26 pm

A couple of weeks ago I saw this banner at the Trek Bicycle Store of St. Petersburg:

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It sounded like a fun event to take the boys to. We are always looking for fun things to do on Sunday mornings, especially now that I’m not so eager to go to the gym. That’s for another post.

So yesterday morning we loaded three bikes into the back of our Mazda 5 which is no small feat, and headed to Tampa for the SWFBUD 2012 Bicycle Bash.

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It was super foggy as we crossed the Howard Frankland Bridge, but I knew that it would burn off quickly.

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We parked in the Tampa Bay Times Forum lot and unloaded the bikes.

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Cotanchobee Park is located on the Hillsborough River right behind The Forum.

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We rode our bikes through the park, stopping to check out a few tables that were still being set up.

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We were kind of early because we wanted to make sure to get to City Hall by 10:30 for a ride being hosted by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. The festival didn’t start until 10:00 and we got there about 9:30. Lots of the vendors were already set up, though, and it was great to be in the midst of so many cycling enthusiasts.

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I was very interested to discover the Pedal America television show, which airs on PBS.

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Apparently they recently did a show from St. Petersburg/Clearwater! I’m going to poke around and see if I can find it online or something.

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I stopped at the Trek St. Pete booth to talk with my friend Anne for a few minutes.

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Then the boys and I headed out through downtown Tampa on our way to City Hall.

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Normally I don’t advocate riding bikes on purely pedestrian sidewalks, but there are no bike lanes and very little shoulder on the streets of downtown Tampa, so we stuck to the sidewalks. This “not bike friendly” status of Tampa is one of the things that SWFBUD (South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers) and Mayor Buckhorn would like to remedy.

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By the time we headed to City Hall all the fog was gone and the day was heating up.

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Along the way we managed to pick up a few other riders headed to City Hall.

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About a mile later we arrived at our destination.

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Cal immediately spied the courtyard between City Hall and the Municipal Office Building and announced it a parkour heaven. Where’s Waldo Cal? He’s there, but pretty well camouflaged.

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He was walking around on the ramp walls when he was chastised by the security guard for the Municipal Offices Building. Sorry Cal. The city doesn’t want to be sued, I guess.

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As we waited for the mayor to arrive more and more cyclists began to show up.

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Cal quickly found two cohorts about his same age and they began using the ramp in the courtyard as a fun obstacle course.

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The security guard shut this down pretty quickly as well.

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Cal later said that it was a very fun day except that security was so tight at City Hall. hahahahahaha

Finally the mayor arrived! I shook his hand and introduced myself and he was gracious enough to pose for a picture with the boys.

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He definitely had plenty of security, including a body guard type which Cal kept referring to as the Secret Service.

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Finally we were off. The boys insisted on being at the front of the pack and stuck close to the Mayor the whole ride.

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I think there were around 50 or so riders in all.

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The mayor took photos with his phone during the entire (leisurely) ride.

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I took photos with my beater camera the entire time as well. I’m just like the mayor!

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Going through the tunnel next to the Tampa Bay Times Forum was really fun. Everybody hooted and hollered (probably including the mayor).

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Once back at the park we took a loop around the river walk.

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There were camera crews everywhere and the boys were right behind the mayor, so they are hoping they will end up on television.

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We left the mayor and the camera crews at this point and chained up our bikes so that we could continue to check out the festival.

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Right next to the playground was the booth for Oliver’s Cycle Sports.

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They had a fun challenge that the boys couldn’t resist.

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Pedaling smoothie success!

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I left the boys on the playground (within sight) and checked out some more booths.

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I want one of these saddles:

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This bike was really interesting:

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I spoke with the designers (from St. Pete!) and they explained all the bells and whistles. Multiple hydraulic suspension, and the seat raises and lowers with the flip of a hand switch while you are seated so you can always be flat-footed at stops.

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We had a really fun morning at the Bike Bash. I love events like this!

Here’s an article by TBO.com (the online presence of the Tampa Tribune) about the event today including a slideshow of photos. The third photo in the slideshow shows the boys right behind the mayor:

Downtown Tampa Welcomes Back Bicycle Event – TBO.com

With that, our weekend fun was pretty much over. Just a low-key afternoon at home. Hope you had a fun weekend too!