Thursday, June 21, 2018
  • Bay Buzz
  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

That time when you rode a Coast bike for more than 28 miles…

When the Coast bikes first started popping up in St. Petersburg last year, the idea was for residents to use them for short hops around town.

But some users had more ambitious plans.

At the request of the Tampa Bay Times, CycleHop, which partners with the city to provide the bike share service, did some data-mining to come up with the five longest rides taken so far around the Sunshine City.

Not surprisingly, most of those rides ended up at water's edge–either Boca Ciega Bay, St. Pete Beach or the Sunshine Skyway.

The longest? A 28.51 mile trek from the bike share stand at Bay Shore Drive and 5th Avenue North to War Memorial Veterans Park across Boca Ciega Bay from Madeira Beach.

It appears two bikers cycled that route (shown in red) for a little over five hours on May 2.

Other meanderings:

Sunshine Skyway (Green) 24.33 miles, 3 hrs 49 minutes on Oct. 6

St. Pete Beach (Blue), 22.95 miles, 2 hrs on Aug. 18

Edge District, Crescent Lake, Historic Uptown, Old Northeast and Fourth Street area, 22. 48 miles, 6 hours and 9 minutes on Oct. 14.

Bike Share started out with some grumbling from City Council members and others that preferred BP settlement money be spent on sewer repairs. Eventually, just $250,000 of the BP funds were spent on the program instead of Mayor Rick Kriseman's initial plan to spend $1 million.

But the service has grown in popularity. So far, 38,575 rides have been taken for 78,379 miles in St. Petersburg, said Evan Mory, the city's transportation director.

Coast bikes are designed for one to three mile jaunts, said Eric Trull, CycleHop's regional director-Florida. One of the most popular routes is less than .3 mile trip between Urban Style Flats near Tropicana Field and the new Publix at 1st Avenue S and 8th Street S, he said.

Only 8 percent of trips are longer than five miles. A miniscule percentage—less than .5 percent—longer than 10 miles, Trull said.

"Typically, we recommend users rent a bike better suited for these longer trips from one of our local shops," Trull said.

It's heady days for biking in St. Pete.

The city is currently finishing its "Complete Streets" plan, which will provide more bike lanes.

And last month, St .Petersburg became the first major Florida city to attain "Silver-Level" bicycle friendly community status from the League of American Bicyclists. The organization recognized the city's commitment to improving conditions for bicycling.

Wednesday also marks the third anniversary of Coast's operations in Tampa Bay. Originally, launched in Tampa and on the University of South Florida campus, bicyclists have pedaled more than 500,000 since 2014.

Comments
Hillsborough County commissioners on board for return of ferry service

Hillsborough County commissioners on board for return of ferry service

TAMPA – St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman cleared another hurdle in his bid to bring back a seasonal ferry service between his city and Tampa when Hillsborough County commissioners agreed to back the project.Kriseman is asking the  C...
Published: 06/20/18
Bay to Bay businesses ask Bob Buckhorn to reconsider scrapped street plan

Bay to Bay businesses ask Bob Buckhorn to reconsider scrapped street plan

A group of 18 businesses along Bay to Bay Boulevard, the South Tampa artery that has been at the center of a raging debate over safe streets, asked Mayor Bob Buckhorn Wednesday to reconsider his decision to squash a plan to make the busy street safer...
Published: 06/20/18
Candidates rush to fill void left by Murman’s withdrawal from District 7

Candidates rush to fill void left by Murman’s withdrawal from District 7

TAMPA – The chance to run for an open seat on the Hillsborough County Commission doesn't come along often.That might explain why there are now 10 wannabe commissioners vying for the countywide District 7 seat.Democrat Mark Nash became the ...
Published: 06/19/18
Pinellas, Hillsborough sheriffs weigh in on ‘devastating’ family separation at border

Pinellas, Hillsborough sheriffs weigh in on ‘devastating’ family separation at border

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri this week denounced the federal government's practice of separating children from their families at the border as "devastating" while calling on Congress to pass laws to slow the flow of undocumented immigrants e...
Published: 06/19/18
Democrat who hopes to challenge Gus Bilirakis put on New Democrat Coalition Watch List

Democrat who hopes to challenge Gus Bilirakis put on New Democrat Coalition Watch List

A major Democratic group just put one of Gus Bilirakis' potential challengers on its list of candidates to watch.The New Democrat Coalition, 68 congressional Democrats who emphasize economic issues and "finding pragmatic solutions to policy challenge...
Published: 06/15/18
Updated: 06/16/18
Valdes fires back, and draws a blistering response from Alvarez

Valdes fires back, and draws a blistering response from Alvarez

[SEE UPDATE AT THE END FOR FIGHTING WORDS FROM ALVAREZ]Victor DiMaio on Thursday released this announcement on behalf of Florida State House hopeful and Hillsborough County School Board member Susan Valdes:"Susan Valdes hoped the race between Democra...
Published: 06/14/18
Tampa City Council hears cautious optimism in Buckhorn’s modest last budget

Tampa City Council hears cautious optimism in Buckhorn’s modest last budget

Tampa City Council members reacted to Mayor Bob Buckhorn's cautious last budget Thursday with their own hedge, saying the city's economic forecast could change on a dime if the national and regional economy goes south in the next few months.Buckhorn ...
Published: 06/14/18
Hillsborough School Board member Susan Valdes’ resignation letter raises objections

Hillsborough School Board member Susan Valdes’ resignation letter raises objections

Hillsborough County School Board member Susan Valdes, who is running for the Florida House District 62 seat, sent in her legally required resignation letter hours before last Friday's deadline. On Monday, Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer announ...
Published: 06/13/18
Jane Castor takes early fundraising lead in Tampa mayor’s race

Jane Castor takes early fundraising lead in Tampa mayor’s race

Election Day is still more than eight months away, but former police chief Jane Castor, who dominated the field in a recent local poll, is also breaking ahead in the money race.And Castor has much more money remaining in the bank than her opponents f...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18
What quorum? Pat Kemp left TBARTA meeting, scuttling planned vote

What quorum? Pat Kemp left TBARTA meeting, scuttling planned vote

TAMPA — The regional transit authority will schedule an emergency board meeting after a member, Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp, said she fell ill and abruptly left Friday’s meeting.The problem with that is Kemp’s sudden&#...
Published: 06/12/18