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News / Articles

SPBC Newsletter -- 2023-10

Dave Zornow | Published on 10/1/2023

SPBC Newsletter Masthead (2022)

October 2023

What's a CRIT? Read all about it this month. Find out Who's Riding The Pinellas Trail. Browse an updated list of upcoming cycling-related area events. And get the latest SPBC board news.

THIS JUST IN: SPBC members are invited to watch the CRIT Championship Tour as it races through downtown St Pete on Oct 21. 

The club will have four VIP tents at the finish line. We've also been invited to ride the course in the FUNDO ride for free (normally a $150 value).

Remember to wear your club jerseys on race day when you come to the course in the Edge District on Central Ave and 1st Ave N between 11th and 15th St N. Look for details on Facebook and upcoming emails.

Upcoming Events

  • The October St Pete Mural Tour By Bicycle with Kris Woodcock is SOLD OUT. Watch the SPBC Facebook page for info on the next SPBC members only tour sometime in November.

  • Mount Dora Bicycle Festival, Oct 13-14: The 49th annual event in Lake County, FL offers a metric century, hilly routes and a 13 mile family fun ride.

  • LAGBRAI, Oct 14-15: The"LAGS ANNUAL GREAT BIKE RIDE ACROSS I-4" is an 80 mile out and back, two day fundraising event through the scenic farmlands of Central Florida. The route starts at the Hooters Restaurant in Brandon, Florida and runs parallel to Interstate 4 to end up in Orlando at the Red Lion Hotel. Three water stops, SAG, and medical support will be provided. All proceeds will be donated to Prostate Cancer Research. Register at

  • CRIT Championship tour in downtown St Pete, Oct 21: Come watch CRIT Championship races from 9a-7p in the Edge District at Central Ave in DTSP. Start/Finish Line: 1118 Central Ave. Criteriums, also known as “crits,” are where cyclists race a course through downtown streets, taking tight turns at 30mph among as many as 100 racers. A race on a closed-circuit route, laps are usually a half-mile to 1.5 miles long with four or more turns.

  • Fall Edition Sunflower Tour -- Women Only,  Oct 26-29. Bike Florida's ultimate girls weekend is a 250 mile route from Titusville to St. Pete. Registration restricted to women only.  $750 Registration Fee covers three hotel nights at double occupancy, SAG, insurance, support, staff, event jersey, maps, and a daily happy hour.

  • Gulf Coast Cyclefest, Nov 5: Hosted by the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club, this event features four cycling routes from 16-100 miles through Manatee and Sarasota counties.

  • Bike Florida Fall Coast to Coast Tour, Nov 9: A challenging three day 250+ mile trail ride between St. Pete and Titusville.

  • Veterans Day Bike Ride, Nov 11: Benefiting the Long Walk Home, this event offers 10-, 32- and 55-mile loops that start at Ft DeSoto County Park. Registration fee includes a T-shirt and a full steak lunch at the end of the ride. The Veterans Day Bike Ride supports vets as they make the transition from military life to civilian life.

  • Volunteer of the Year Party, Nov 12: 4p at PAWS (Pinellas Ale Works), St Petersburg.

  • SPBC Holiday Party, Dec 3: St Pete Yacht Club.

Who Is Riding The Pinellas Trail?

by Dave Zornow

What’s fast and slow, ridden by young and old, lets you plug’n play, and a form of transportation about which everyone seems to have an opinion? Last Spring, Forward Pinellas and the Friends of the Pinellas Trail conducted an online survey of trail users, and the impact of E-Bikes was one of the significant findings of the study.

The four week online survey in March-April included 2,288 respondents, 1,836 of which were used for this analysis of cyclists’ trail usage. Although not statistically representative of all trail users, the Pinellas Trail self-selected survey is still a useful tool to understand the behaviors and concerns of trail users.

The 2023 survey showed E-Bikes as a growing segment of users — and of concern among other trail users in comments about perceived safety of the trail. 

The survey found that the median age for all cyclists on the trail is 57.3 years old with E-Bike users trending slightly older (58.5). Nearly half of all E-Bikes riders are between the ages of 50 and 64. Almost 7 of 10 E-Bike riders 35-49 are female. 

Other key findings included:

  • Survey respondents who typically ride bikes on the trail tend to be older: Adults 50 and older account for 78% of all cyclists.
  • Eight of ten respondents (81%) who live in St Pete typically ride a bike when they use the trail. Outside of St Pete – principally Dunedin – there’s a higher percentage of walkers/joggers (36%) than in the city limits.

The survey included a question about respondents perception of safety. In response to “Do you feel safe on the Pinellas Trail,” a clear majority (75%) said Yes. However, 450 respondents said they did not and cited a variety of reasons for their concern.

  • E-Bikes topped the list of "don't feel safe" concerns for both walkers/joggers who said they didn’t feel safe (44% of comments) and among bike/E-Bikers (37%).
  • Lack of courtesy was mentioned ("share the path" etiquette) was twice as high among those who don't typically bike (16% vs 9%)
  • 10% of the comments cited "fear/harassment" as a concern.
Respondents were invited to take the survey via signs placed along the trail with a QR code which they could scan to complete the online questionnaire.  This approach tends to over represent popular parts of the trail and under represent some demographics. For example, Dunedin and St Petersburg respondents were over represented by 84% and 29% respectively when compared to trail counters during the survey period; Palm Harbor was under represented by 46%. Also, only a handful of respondents less than 18 completed the survey although observation shows that teens and tweens are frequent users of the trail.


We're looking for volunteers to help produce this newsletter. If you can write, help to curate and post new cycling events, edit, or take photos, your HELP (is) WANTED! Write to to learn more.

Board Business -- Highlights of Aug/Sept SPBC Board Meetings

  • July Trail Pinellas "Adopt A Trail" Clean-up and Watermelon Stop was a big success with 22 volunteers showing up to help.

  • Volunteer of the Year Party Nov 12 at PAW: We will use Urban Bar B Q as our caterer for the event.  The VOY recipient will receive a $100 gift card and a trophy.

  • Brat Blast Social—The Exchange Club is holding their annual Brat Blast at 3 Daughters Brewing on Saturday, Nov 4. Club member Ken Moody has invited the SPBC to tie into that event. We would set up our tent for a VIP experience from 2-4p at no cost to us and invite members to join us. The event benefits many charities including Honor Flights, US Institute for Human Trafficking and others.

  • Holiday Party—Sunday, Dec 3: Kris has been working with the Yacht Club on the menu and pricing. Food prices have increased the cost of the buffets, but the board decided to go with the same buffet we had last year at $56/per person including tax and service. The club will pick up the extra $6, approx a $600 expense. We will also cover the cost of parking in the yacht club garage.

  • Database reconciliation—There are a number of emails which ClubExpress, our website application, sends to members that never get opened. Dave, Bruce and John S are working to see if these are going to SPAM or are being blocked for some other reason.

  • The Crit Championship Tour and Gran Fondo--John S discussed the upcoming Orange Belt Crit Championship criterium race and Gran Fondo. The race will take place around downtown Trop/Central Ave area  The club has been invited to participate at no cost. We would set up our SPBC tent and be given VIP access to the event. We’ve also been asked to participate in the scheduled Gran Fondo by providing road marshals.

  • Next Board Meeting will be Monday, Oct 16 at 6:30p via ZOOM. To join this meeting via ZOOM, please contact John Sinibaldi for the login info. 

Picture This!

Great rides with great friends deserve epic photography! Here are a few photos of recent club events and member rides. Want to help us capture the moment for future issues of the SPBC Newsletter? Write to to volunteer to take photos and curate future rides and events!
Niagara On The Lake, Scott and Joyce Stephens on Discovery Tours
Scott and Joyce Stephens joined Discovery Bike Tours' Tour of the Niagara Wine Region last summer.  "On this day we road along the Welland Canal which takes ships from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.  This tour took us to both sides of Niagara Falls (US/Canada) and various wineries around the beautiful town of Niagara on the Lake," said Scott.
The SPBC "Cycle Paths" take 2nd place at Hollander Hotel Trivia Night on 9/17/2023
The SPBC Trivia team debuted and took 2nd place at The Hollander Hotel Trivia Night on Sept 17! The "Cycle Paths" were lead by Captain Mark Franchetti and included Mark's wife Sue, Brian Webb, Jacques Middleton, Kris Woodcock, and Gordon Brown and his wife Diana.

The SPBC "Adopt A Trail" cleanup of the Pinellas Trail on 7/30/2023 offered free watermelon to volunteers and passer-bys!
Dave Brenda Merchberger, Slovenia 2023-05
"Slovenia prides itself on its eco sustainability, hence the 'green' label," say Brenda and Dave Merchberger, who visited there last May as part of an organized tour.

"Each night we stopped at a gourmet restaurant. Some of the places we stayed were just large houses made into hotels." Their group rode about 450 miles with close to 12,000 ft of climbing over 10 days of riding. "Slovenia is the place to visit for Green cycling and culinary delights!" they said.

Welcome New Members

Garen Arisian
Tony Bardales
Sebastian Brannstrom
Jonas Cohen
Robert Geller
Hunter A Hise
Meggan A Johnson Keller
Nat Lacour
Mary Montgomery
Thomas A Munkittrick
Donald E Payerle
Alec Timpe

The St. Petersburg Bicycle Club Board of Directors

John A Sinibaldi Jr, President
Mark Franchetti, Vice President
Kris Woodcock, Secretary
Daniel Bode, Treasurer
Rafael Rivera, Membership
Dave Zornow, Newsletter/Communications
John Byrd
Dave Joffe
Peter E Wray
Bruce Sobut, Webmaster

St. Petersburg Bicycle Club, Inc.

PO Box 76023

St. Petersburg, FL 33734


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.

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