I know its been a long time since I last posted. I really need to get better about that. Anyway, I just recently moved from Brandon, Fl to Harbour Island in Tampa. I grew up in Brandon since 1995 and towards the end I began to really dislike the idea of continuing to live in Brandon. So as of March Kristen, and I decided to move closer to Downtown Tampa. Now with our current apartment she is able to bike to work at Tampa General Hospital (which is right next door) and I am able to bike to Marion Transit Center and take a bus to work and vice versa on the way home. To be honest I almost forget where I parked my car due to this fact lol. This experience has also allowed us to discover an activity that we both enjoy and is good for our overall health as well as the community that we know call home.
Kristen bought a Jamis Explorer 2 Step Through that allows her to be comfortable and mobile without needing her car. This is the first “real” bike she has ever owned and she is loving it. I say “real” because its a reputable brand purchased from a local bike store, not some third rate POS from a large container store. I chose the Jamis Exile Sport. I used to own a Giant Boulder SE, but it had been sitting in my parents garage for a few years and I had gained a considerable amount of weight since it went into storage. So I decided to go with a much meatier bike and I can tell you that this bike is AMAZING! I cannot wait to get into better shape and head out on the trails again. BTW if you are an off road bike enthusiast, you HAVE to come to Florida and try our trails; we may not have mountains, but we certainly make up for our “short” comings. Anyway, now with our bikes we have discovered a new found hobby that allows us to get out and explore our new home. Not only have these bikes allowed us some added mobility and a healthy activity, mine has personally netted me a gift card from work just for riding my bike to work!
Tampa also is getting much more bike friendly than it was in the past. Just recently Secretary of Transportation Ray La Hood held a bike summit right here in Tampa! We were only one of two cities chosen for such a summit. In the fall Tampa will also be getting its very own BikeShare. There is also work being down to build Tampa’s Green Artery which will connect Tampa in ways that cars cannot. All of this coupled with the work that Connect TampaBay is doing to bring a 21st century transit system to Tampa is all very exciting.
It’s bad enough to drive in the dark when bus stops are barely visible, it’s even worse when there is fog so thick you have to struggle to see 200ft in front of yourself. Thankfully the stops that did have passengers waiting at them were either well lit from above or were backlit by storefront lights. With the sun starting to rise hopefully most of it will burn off within the next hour.
If you are reading this and you catch a bus early in the morning or late at night, please break out your cell phone when you see the bus approaching. You have no idea how much more visible you become. If you carry a flashlight that’s even better.
The fog has cleared up, but it’s not completely gone. And for those of you who are driving, turning your brights on during any kind of precipitation will only make visibility worse.
July last year the state of Florida passed a law requiring state employees to contribute 3% of their paychecks towards the state pension system. This amounted to a 3% cut in pay. Most people say that we should contribute directly to the system since its OUR retirement. Bare in mind that an employee must “survive” 6 years of public service before a dime of that money becomes ours again and then we have to wait until we turn 60. With a high turn over rate the majority of those employees will never see that money again. Some state agencies gave their employees a 3% pay increase to offset that pay-cut. Earlier this week a Florida judge ruled that the law is unconstitutional! This doesn’t necessarily mean that all that money will come flooding back to the employees just yet but it is a start in the right direction. Continue reading →
This Saturday October 8, 2011 RedBull will be gracing Tampa with its presence again. For those of you who are not familiar with this wacky and fun event you can check out RedBull’s official website.
What I really want to get to is that, for this awesome event HART will be running an altered schedule and service to meet the demand of 100,000+ visitors that are expected to attend. Park anywhere downtown, in Ybor, or at Channelside and you can avoid the traffic nightmare that will be ensuing.
What is one of the best ways you can think of to explore the places where we live in and work? You could walk, but you can only see so much in a given time. What about your bike? It’s a nice idea, but you only get a little bit further than your feet can carry you alone. My car, that’s how! Well you could use your car, but you have two issues there. One, you can’t really take in whats around you or you might get into an accident. Two, in our economic climate you won’t want to go far because of the price of gas. There is one other option that most never EVER consider, THE BUS! Continue reading →