March is Florida Bike Month and for the 7th year, it is being observed in the Tampa Bay area with 17 events/programs scheduled throughout the month. While most states celebrate Bike Month in May, Florida has been celebrating it in March for a number of years due of our warmer weather. Aiming to promote cycling instead of driving to work, to school, for running errands or making trips for recreational activities, the campaign intends to bring people together to reinforce the benefits of bike riding for both you and the community."Through Tampa Bay Cycle, we want to offer a variety of opportunities for people to get on their bikes. From bike valet at the Tampa Downtown Market and Gasparilla festivals, bike safety classes, to promoting Bicycle Friendly Business designation; we are offering something for everyone throughout the month" said Karen Kress, director of transportation and planning, Tampa Downtown Partnership, and a "bikes on bus" commuter. "Fifteen percent of trips are within one mile of home and could easily be taken by bicycle instead of car. With a helmet, proper safety skills and careful route choice, biking becomes a much more feasible and healthier way to get around."
This month’s activities will be launched this Sunday, March 2, at the Tampa Downtown Market. Mechanics from the Tampa Bay Co-op will be offering FREE safety checks to attendees with bicycles. Over the next four weeks, the market will give prominence to a new bike activity, such as themed group rides, bike light giveaways, events and more. Downtown Tampa also has comparable activities scheduled for May.
Readying the launch of this spring’s Coast Bikeshare program in Tampa, the Tampa Downtown Partnership will also be adding more bike parking options, bringing the total number of places to park your bike downtown to about 250.
If you’re attending the third annual Gasparilla Music Festival at Curtis Hixon Park March 8th-9th, there will be a complimentary bike valet service provided by Coast Bike Share, Tampa’s new bike share program set to launch at the beginning of April. Last year 450 guests used this service and this year there will be accommodations for 600 bicycle riders. Free bike parking will also be available at this weekends Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, March 1st-2nd, at The Gasparilla Criterium and Cycling Festival March 29th, as well as SWFBUD’s Bicycle Bash April 4th.
For a complete schedule of events, click here.