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A full to 2 months ahead of the rest of the country. March has been declared the month of the bike. We (Florida Cyclists) even have a very official letter from the Governor.
While no city in Florida can come close to to being as bike friendly as Portland, OR. Some are working hard and making strides in that direction. Below is an excerpt from an article by Terry Tomalin, the St. Petersburg Times outdoor editor.
"We had started our conversation talking about Baker's City Trails program. When completed, it will add 150 miles of urban trails, making St. Petersburg one of the most cyclist-friendly cities in the United States.
If you don't ride a bike, you may not notice the new bike lanes all across St. Petersburg. This is great news for two reasons. First, it keeps people safe. Second, the safer the streets, the more people will consider riding to work, which will also make St. Petersburg a carbon-neutral city.
It's too bad more local governments aren't as progressive. It seems like safe streets for kids to ride bicycles should be an unalienable right guaranteed under the Constitution."
Yes Terry, it is too bad more local governments (read Jacksonville) are not as progressive as Tampa/St. Pete.
While Jacksonville has no City sanctioned Bike Plan. There is a vibrant bike culture here. Within the city and an hour drive outside of it are well over a hundred miles are some of the best mountain biking trails in the Southeast.
Jacksonville has some of the fastest & strongest Road racers and Triathletes in the State. The single speed scene (aka Fixie) has continued growth.
Due to gas prices and traffic congestion. More people in Jacksonville are turning to cycling as their main source of transportation.
We have quite a few exciting projects starting to happen. Two different bike co-ops are in the beginning stages of making their mark on the community. (What's a Co-op?)
A new bike shop specializing in fixed gear bikes is opening in San Marco.
Critical Mass will soon be making is presents felt in Jacksonville's Streets.
Bike Jax along with many other individuals & groups are working hard to make a more progressive city for cycling. Will we ever be on equal ground with the likes of Portland. Most likely not. But we can make plans to catch and surpass the likes of Tampa, St Pete and Miami.
In the mean time. What is the best thing you can do help the cause this Bike Month and beyond? The answer is simple. Get out and ride.