Friday, November 11, 2011
Dan Moser's Florida Weekly Column:For something different, run or walk the Midpoint Bridge
A small consolation to what remains a very sore subject with me is that once each year runners and walkers who are otherwise prohibited from using the Midpoint Bridge completely displace motor vehicles so we can participate in the annual Veterans Day 5K. This unique event is managed by and benefits Lee County Y and takes place on the evening of Friday, Nov. 11. It’s sure to be a great alternative to your usual Friday night.
One other distinctive aspect of this year’s event is the date itself: 11/11/11. The exclusivity of this date has caused many people to plan special events such as weddings on that day, so perhaps it has some kind of significance for those taking part in the bridge crossing that evening. Maybe running a personal record, viewing a double rainbow or falling star, or reconnecting with a long-lost friend is in the cards. I’m not one to believe in the significance of these numbers (after all, the real date is 11/11/2011) but for those who see value in such things, the Veterans Day 5K is an occasion to be part of lest one miss out on something special happening.
Another undertaking that might be considered somewhat atypical is also happening in Southwest Florida, although this one happens twice a week and will go on as long as there’s interest. Striders Club, an effort to help folks recover from addiction by walking and running on a regular basis, recently kicked off with more than 40 participants taking part. Masterminded by United Way’s Roger Mercado, two agencies with residential substance abuse treatment programs that are located near each other have taken us up on our offer to help their clients replace their destructive addiction with a beneficial one.
Aided by Lee County Human Services, Lee County EMS, Lee Memorial Health System, Grace Church and local college nursing students, the residents of Southwest Florida Addictions Services and Salvation Army are taking part in organized training sessions on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings. We’ve developed routes around downtown Fort Myers, with a crossing of the Edison Bridge part of the more ambitious ones. And running (or walking) the Edison Fest 5K in February is one of the mid-term goals set. We’d appreciate any coaching or other expertise or resources anyone can provide. Contact me if you’d like to be part of this interesting undertaking or with your questions and suggestions.
There are so many bike/ped and complete streets matters happening right now that it would be a mistake to try to squeeze them into this column, so visit BikeWalkLee's blog for more information. But one thing is worth mentioning: the appointment of Billy Hattaway as Florida Department of Transportation District 1 secretary. He’ll also have a role in bike/ped matters that affect the entire state.
Mr. Hattaway, a certified planner and professional engineer, is returning to FDOT after a successful stint in the private sector with a firm that’s well known for the fine work it does in terms of multi-modal transportation planning. Over the years he’s provided Florida Bicycle Association and BikeWalkLee with invaluable insight, something we hope will continue. Billy’s also an avid cyclist and cycling instructor, so he practices what he preaches. We look forward to Billy Hattaway’s leadership in our home FDOT district and statewide.
Until next time, I’ll look for you on the roads and trails. ¦
— Dan Moser is a league cycling and CyclingSavvy instructor and programs director for the Florida Bicycle Association who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. He can be contacted at email@example.com or 334- 6417
in the know
>> Veterans Day Midpoint Bridge 5K, 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, Royal Palm Square, Fort Myers (www.ftmyerstrackclub.com) >> Turkey Trot 5K, Thursday, Nov. 24, Cape Coral Hospital (www.ftmyerstrackclub.com) River Run 10K , Saturday, Dec. 3, downtown Fort Myers (www.ftmyerstrackclub.com) >> FGCU Fly-by-Night 50-Mile Team Relay, 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, FGCU Campus (www.3dracinginc.com) For more Lee County running events, visit Fort Myers Track Club (www.ftmyerstrackclub.com) and 3-D Racing (www.3dracinginc.com). For Naples/Collier running info, it’s the Gulf Coast Runners (www.gcrunner.org). Charlotte County running information is at www.zoomersrun.com. Walkers can visit www.meetup.com/Walking- SWFL.
Cycling & Other Events:
>>CyclingSavvy, Wednesday, Nov. 9; Saturday, Nov. 12, Fort Myers (cyclingsavvy.org) >> Visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club at www.caloosariders.com; Florida Mudcutters at www.mudcutters.org; Naples Pathways Coalition at www.naplespathways.org; Naples Velo at www.naplesvelo.com; Peace River Riders at www.peaceriverriders.com; and Coastal Cruisers Bicycle Club at www.coastalcruisers.net for more information on local bicycling activities, including weekly rides. The Florida Bicycle Association (www.floridabicycle.org) is your source for statewide happenings.