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The St. Petersburg Bicycle Club

Florida's #1 bicycle club was established in 1968. The St. Petersburg Bicycle Club, Inc. is a non-profit, social and recreational club that exists to promote safe, satisfying bicycling opportunities to both club members and the general public of all ages and skill levels, through planned activities and events.

ALL SPBC GROUP RIDES AND EVENTS POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)


Updated April 20, 2020

In light of the decision by USA Cycling to suspend all event permits and its recommendation to cancel all events including group rides (see image below for USA Cycling's full statement), the SPBC Board of Directors has decided to postpone the Club's participation in the Saturday morning rides and other events until further notice. The board also recommends that all other "Show 'N Go" rides be discontinued.

While the board does not recommend continuing any form of group rides, your decision to participate in any rides other than solo rides should depend on your overall health, age and comfort level with the situation. Don’t let anyone pressure you into a decision you are not comfortable with. If you should make the personal decision to continue riding with others, please follow the precautions below.
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

Safety Tips

With more bicyclists out, getting exercise and a respite from sheltering in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, the St. Pete Bike Club offers these safety tips. Check back frequently as we’ll cover a number of issues, including:

 

 

Today's topic: Take Charge

As a bicyclist you have virtually all the rights and responsibilities of motorists. You belong on the road.

 

But you have certain disadvantages, chiefly that if you collide with a car, you will likely be injured. In fact, in a crash where the car is going 40+ mph, you have only a 20% chance of surviving.

 

Communicate

So you need to take charge. Put another way, you need to communicate what you are planning to do and what you would like motorists to do.

 

We’ve all seen motorists stopped at stop signs as a bike approaches. Although the motorist might have the right of way, he will not move. Bicyclists too often take this as a sign that “the driver is letting us go.” No, it’s more likely that the driver doesn’t know if you’re one of those cyclists who ignore stop signs. They may not want your blood and guts spattered across their windshield. So you need to communicate to them what you want them to do.

 

Nothing will get you more consideration (and consideration for all cyclists, in our opinion) than to wave your arm to tell the motorist at the stop sign to proceed. You are yielding the right of way. If you were last to the stop sign, it is your duty to yield. But often, two vehicles arrive at about the same time. It’s a kind act to yield the right of way and to let them know you are by waving them through.

 

The same is true in similar instances:

  • At a stop sign or even a green light where it might be safe to wave an oncoming car waiting to turn left to proceed.
  • At a driveway, when a motorist wants to enter the road.
  • Always use your arms as turn signals to indicate your intention to turn.

 

Control Cars Behind You

While you can’t prevent a careless, thoughtless or distracted driver from doing something stupid, you can help them know what you are doing and what you expect of them.

 

Motorists often react reflexively. The best example is the hand stop sign, where you put you hand by your side with the palm facing to the rear. This is often necessary when a motorist thinks she can get around you, but you see a reason she shouldn’t. For example, once a rider climbing a mountain road had a motorist behind him looking for an opportunity to pass. But the bike rider saw around the curve that another car was coming in the opposite direction. The cyclist put his hand down using the “stop” sign and the driver abandoned temporarily his effort to pass. A few yards down the road after passing the cyclist, the motorist pulled over. As he exited the car, the cyclist was passing. The driver called out, “Thanks” for letting him know about the oncoming car.

 

This same “stop” sign can be useful approaching intersections where the cyclist is going straight. A motorist passing at an intersection may then turn right. As a cyclist, you don’t know what the motorist’s intention is. Better you stop him from passing and executing a “right hook” in front of you, where you crash into the turning car.

 

 

Ride Big

By ride big, we mean in the middle of the lane where possible and legal. (It is legal on most roads without a bike lane.) Motorists are looking for big chunks of metal in the middle of the road. You can’t mimic a car on your 20 lb. bike. But you can ride where motorists expect to see traffic—in the middle of the lane.

 

In Florida, a cyclist is allowed to ride in the middle of the lane when it is too narrow to share. Unfortunately, too narrow is not defined in the statute. But the Florida Department of Transportation, in its “Greenbook” or road design manual, strongly suggests than any lane less than 14-feet wide is too narrow to share. So take the lane unless there is a safe bike lane on the road.

 

When you ride big, you signal to cars behind you that they must change lanes to pass. And studies show that when you ride in the middle of the lane, motorists tend to see you more as a car and most often will change lanes completely to pass you. When you cower on the extreme right-hand side of the road, motorists tend to give you less clearance when passing. They will attempt to pass even if there is traffic in the adjacent lane. And if that car comes close to the car passing a cyclist, the motorist will swerve into the cyclist rather than risk a head-on collision with another car.

 

When approaching an intersection where you have the right of way but a motorist is waiting to enter the road you’re on from a side road or parking lot, wave your hand high above your head. The motion might help them see you. If necessary, put your hand out in the universal stop signal, letting them know they should not enter the roadway.

 

When you sense a car behind you wants to pass, wave them around you when it is safe to do so. You might even pull towards the right-hand side of the lane, if it’s safe to do so, meaning no cars are coming in the opposite direction or are in the lane to your left. Never jeopardize your safety, but be thoughtful when you can.

 

Taking control is not done out of arrogance or aggression. It’s assertive and communicative. There’s no need to be passive with your safety.

Untitled Document
ALL SPBC GROUP RIDES AND EVENTS POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

Updated March 15, 2020, 12:30 PM

In light of the recent decision by USA Cycling to suspend all event permits and its recommendation to cancel all events including group rides (see image below for USA Cycling's full statement), the SPBC Board of Directors has decided to postpone the Club's participation in the Saturday morning rides and other events until further notice. The board also recommends that all other "Show 'N Go" rides be discontinued.

I believe I speak for the entire board when I say this decision was easily the most difficult decision we have ever made for the Club and we hope everyone understands that we are now in uncharted territory. We will continue to monitor the situation and will restore the Saturday morning rides as soon as it is prudent to do so.

While the board does not recommend continuing any form of group rides, your decision to participate in any rides other than solo rides should depend on your overall health, age and comfort level with the situation. Don’t let anyone pressure you into a decision you are not comfortable with. If you should make the personal decision to continue riding with others, please follow the precautions below.

There is no need to list the standard precautions (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html), but we want to emphasize the do's and don't's during rides with others.

RIDE PRECAUTIONS

If you are not feeling well, even if you think it is allergies, please ride solo or stay home. Just regular coughing may alarm the other riders.

Please refrain from shaking hands and hugging or touching your friends or their equipment.

Leave a little larger gap to the rider in front of you if possible.

If you need to spit, blow your nose, sneeze or cough, please check to be sure you are clear, signal, and move out of the pace line (left whenever possible). This may require asking a rider along side you to give you room. Most of all, make sure there is no one behind you. We realize it is allergy season, but please do your best. Cough into your elbow if you can’t get out of line in time.

Wash your kit including gloves and helmet pads after every ride. Wipe with alcohol or spray with a disinfectant for items that can’t go in the washer. Disinfect your handlebars and saddle often.

Many rides and events are being cancelled. We will create a list and try to keep it up to date.

As shown the constantly changing sport and event schedules, this is a very dynamic situation and may change on short notice. Please check the club website and Facebook page for the latest updates .

May you and your family stay safe and healthy during these trying times.

For the SPBC Board of Directors,

Bruce Sobut
St. Petersburg Bicycle Club
Club President

USA Cycling Covid Statement

 


Congratulations to Gina Hubany & Bryan Schmick,
the St. Petersburg Bicycle Club 2019
Volunteers of the Year
with Peter Wray, whose life they saved.
Gina also donated a kidney. Quite a year!
2019 Volunteers of the Year

 

Looking to get started cycling--safely?
Here are the basics


Watch this video for lane positioning

New to Group Riding? Here's how
and specifically about our group rides

 

Why become a member?

It's about quality of life, and these words from one SPBC member express the quality we share as a family of riders.

 

After nearly 40 years of riding in other parts of the country I never had ridden with groups much. I guess those few times I had I did not feel particularly welcomed.

 

When I first moved to Florida a couple of years ago, I joined the St. Pete Bike Club not so much to ride but to meet people. The best way to do that was to join the daily group rides and the coffee klatch afterwards. But I fully intended to return to solo riding once I met some folks.

 

I was not a particularly strong rider, but that didn't concern those I rode with. They were helpful, supportive and non-judgmental. I learned a lot. And there were plenty of opportunities to push myself. I also found that group riding seemed safer. It's hard for motorists not to notice anywhere from five to 50 cyclists riding together.

 

SPBC also was welcoming to new ideas and passionate about safety and advocating for riders, so I know with my small membership dues I'd have a chance to contribute as well as benefit.

Soon the idea of returning to solo riding was behind me. I enjoy the camaraderie both during and after the rides. That coffee klatch is now part of my daily routine (and isn't it great that this can be done outdoors year around!)


Why wouldn't YOU want to be a part of such a great group?


St. Petersburg Bicycle Club, Inc.

PO Box 76023

St. Petersburg, FL 33734

USA


The St. Petersburg Bicycle Club, Inc. (SPBC) is a non-profit, social and recreational club that exists to promote safe, satisfying bicycling opportunities to both club members and the general public of all ages and skill levels, through planned activities and events.


© Copyright 2019 St. Petersburg Bicycle Club