Staff Report

It has long been documented that biking makes people happier, that it elevates mood and can be an incredible way to alleviate stress. There is something special about the freedom of getting on your bike in the fresh air and escaping the news, cell phones and emails of the day. But for biking to make us happy, we have to feel safe.

According to the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority, there are organizations and companies all over downtown Tampa, along with city planners that are attempting to make our urban experience one where we can safely and easily hop on bikes and explore the downtown.

Florida Bike Tours offers an Urban Restaurant Bike Tour once a month through downtown Tampa. For $15, you can meet with other bikers and enjoy small food samples at selected restaurant destinations in downtown Tampa.

History Bike Tampa offers a free tour on the first Saturday of each month with knowledgeable tour guides taking you to a variety of destinations. Each tour begins at 10 a.m. and is two hours long. Meet at the Kahwa Coffee location on the corner of N. Tampa St. and E. Polk St. There is a $5 suggested donation.

With the Selmon Greenway, the Riverwalk, the Convention Center area, the backside of the Waterside Marriott, and the bike lanes on Cass St., downtown Tampa bikers have plenty of routes that are free and clear of car traffic. These routes are scenic with opportunities to stop and play at green spaces, to watch University rowing crews and to drool over the docked yachts.

Coast Bike Share is a convenient way to get out on a bicycle without having to cart your own bike in your car. Simply find one of the 300 blue bikes scattered among 30 hubs and reserve using a mobile app, or at the bike using its keypad.
The Tampa Downtown Partnership has over 250 places to park your bike throughout downtown Tampa with three self-repair stations in high traffic areas.

Another idea for biking in downtown Tampa is to skip the standard concrete routes and take your biking to the water. Tampa Water Bikes is great exercise and a fun and unique way to bike the “waterway” of downtown Tampa.

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