Biking is a way of life for Kerry Bailey, who works for Coast Bike Share, the bike share network for both St. Petersburg and Tampa.
The cycling advocate believes two upcoming "Bike to Work' days in both cities provide an opportunity for others to discover what she calls a vibrant cycling community.
Bailey points to the League of American Bicyclists giving St. Petersburg silver status as a bike-friendly city in 2017.
"And that's just a great testament to the hard work the city is doing," she said, pointing also to the work of numerous bike groups and the availability of bike-share resources, such as the ones provided by the company she works for.
Bailey said during St. Petersburg's Bike to Work Day, people will have a number of routes to choose from and the riders will convene at 7:30 a.m. at Williams Park in downtown to hear from Mayor Rick Kriseman. Free coffee and donuts also will be offered.
The events coincide with March being Florida Bike Month. While activities celebrating cycling are being held, police agencies such as Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office are focusing on traffic safety. Sheriff's Corporal Kristy Udagawa said deputies will be rotating through the most active and dangerous areas for bicyclists. They include:
- Fletcher Avenue between Nebraska and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard
- Waters Avenue between Himes Avenue and Sheldon Road
- Hillsborough Avenue between George Road and Sheldon Road
- and Sheldon Road between Linebaugh Avenue and Hillsborough Avenue.
Udagawa said she's seen some obvious infractions while trying to educate cyclists and drivers.
"When they get to a light, they'll stop their vehicles on the crosswalk itself, which makes it difficult for pedestrians and bicyclists to use properly. I've seen motorcyclists use the bike lanes to get through traffic," Udagawa said.
Udagawa said deputies are handing out information on Florida bike laws, and providing Chik-fil-A coupons to people who are observed following the law. They're also handing out high-visibility bike lights and bike locks.