Wednesday, August 05, 2009

SWFBUD meets with Commissioner Mark Sharpe

Yesterday SWFBUD (South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers ) director Alan Snel, and shop owners Brian Eckman - CBE and Randy Myhre - Oliver's met with County Commissioner Mark Sharpe on the subject of keeping our Hills. County parks open 7 days per week. As noted in earlier posts, the County was previously proposing budget cuts that would close the parks 2 days per week. The county has also already layed off many of the rangers that keep these parks running.

After the meeting we were very hopeful that our voices have been heard and that the Commissioners are mostly on our side. Commissioner Sharpe in particular has been very vocal in his support of not only keeping the parks open, but has stated that he wants to try to make the Tampa Bay area a destination spot where cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts will want to be.
This is an ongoing process that will take time, but I am feeling mostly optimistic that we are making very good headway!
Here's the story from Alan's blog
This is another great example of the fact that your local bike shops aren't just here to make money. We're also here to grow and protect the sport of cycling and to advocate on your behalf!
If you'd like to support our efforts, contact me @ or send messages directly to your commissioners. Let your voice be heard!
Here's how to contact them: Commissioner's webpage

Monday, July 06, 2009

Help Save our Trails!!!

This information provided by Alan Snel, director of SWFBUD which is our local Cycling Advocacy organization made up of CBE plus 6 other bay-area bike shops working together for YOU!

Please read, forward to your friends, respond to your representatives as requested, and HELP SAVE OUR TRAILS!

If you haven't heard already, the Flatwoods, Trout Creak, Morris Bridge parks are currently facing huge budget cuts. They are already closing Mondays and Tuesdays, with limited hours the rest of the week. Most of the Rangers are in line to be downsized, and access in general is in jeopardy!
On July 16, SWFBUD is leading a bike ride to the county center in Tampa to participate in a budget hearing regarding Flatwoods county park.
SWFBUD is announcing a "Keep Flatwoods Park Open 7 Days a Week" Bike Ride from the Seminole Heights Garden Center at 5800 Central Avenue to the County Government Center for the first Budget Hearing on July 16. Email your contacts and tell others.
5PM: Meet in front of garden center on Central Avenue, a half-mile north of Hillsborough Avenue. Lots of space to park if necessary.
5:30PM: Reach county government building in downtown Tampa and sign up to speak.
6PM: Hearing begins.

Also, make your voice heard! :Call the budget hotline at 813-307-8337 at tell the county to keep Flatwoods open 7 Days a week.Send an email to hcbudget@hillsboroughcounty

Friendship Trail Bridge

Hillsborough and Pinellas counties are seeking input on alternatives for the future of the Friendship TrailBridge. The counties received a follow-up inspection report for the Friendship TrailBridge in May. The inspection and tests confirmed the initial reports that girders of the bridge were heavily corroded and broken. Several options and their cost were provided in the report that included repair, replacement and/or demolition of all or portions of the bridge. The full report, along with graphics of proposed options, is available on the Friendship TrailBridge Oversight Committee website.
Two public meetings will be held, one in Pinellas County and one in Hillsborough County. Following the Hillsborough County meeting, the Friendship TrailBridge Oversight Committee will make its recommendation to the two County Commissions.

The dates, times and locations of the meetings will be:
Tuesday, July 144 p.m.Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center 1800 Weedon Drive N.E., St. Petersburg.
Wednesday, July 15th 7 p.m. Presentation and decision on recommendation. Jan Platt Regional Library3910 S. Manhattan Ave.
All meeting facilities are ADA compliant.
For additional assistance, call Steve Valdez at (813) 307-8384 (TTY: (813) 301-7173).
Residents can submit a comment through July 14 at the Friendship TrailBridge Oversight Committee website or by mailing it to: Pinellas County Planning Department, Attn: Friendship TrailBridge, 600 Cleveland St., Suite 750, Clearwater, FL 33755.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One town in Germany gets it....

Very cool article from the NY Times forwarded to me by Gena Torres from the Hillsborough County MPO - Transportation Planning office.

I'm not saying that this would work everywhere, but it's nice to see a community that's purposely-planned to NOT revolve around cars. I like it.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

CBE SWAP MEET - SAT March 3rd 10-4

When: Saturday, March 7th from 10 AM to 4 PM
Where: Back Parking Lot behind CBE in the Grand Plaza on North Dale Mabry Highway
What: Bring a table or a blanket and sell your used bicycle gear, clothing and equipment. A Swap Meet is like a bicycle flea market, with great bargains and buys galore. Dozens of CBE customers have enjoyed previous CBE Swap Meets so we’re making it a yearly event!
We’ll also have selected bikes and accessories on sale inside the store!

See you there!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cool Bike of the Month

Meet the Surly Big Dummy. This is Surly's latest innovation, meant to be a Sport Utility Bicycle. It has a super long wheelbase, and a "FreeRadical" kit that's made by a company called XtraCycle
This bike will allow you to transport of large and heavy loads while handling like a normal bike. We got this as a "Shop bike" to run errands, etc. and so far it's hauled gallons of water, beer (of course), and a load of supplies from Home Depot. I've also made a bike delivery to a friend of mine who drives a convertible and didn't have a way to pick it up. I strapped her bike frame on the top board, put one wheel in each side "saddle bag" and rode it out to her with no problem at all. Total weight of that load with her bike, the Big Dummy and me all together was around 270lbs, and it rode great!
This particular bike custom built, but one just like it would be available for purchase for $2499.99 with parts like you see here. Other add-on parts include side racks for larger loads (I've seen pictures of people hauling lumber and kayaks!) foot pegs for rear passengers, etc.
This is one COOL bike!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New website!

So, many if not all who check back on us regularly, have by now noticed that we have a new website!
I'm pretty excited about it, because it gives us (and you!) SO much more than the old site. You can browse our in-stock inventory, browse through THOUSANDS of special order items that we can order for you, post stuff for sale in our classifieds, all kinds of neat features.
Pretty soon, you'll actually be able to shop online, pay online and pick up at the shop. Hopefully within the next several weeks.
Keep checking back for more updates!
Ride safe

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Great article about cycling

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mountain Ride Sunday 7/13 cancelled

To anyone who's checking in on tomorrow's ride as planned in an earlier post, the ride has to be cancelled. I'm down with some type of virus and can't commit to leading the ride.
The trails are super-easy to navigate, so if you were planning to ride, don't let me stop you! The Trail map is available on our main page, follow the numbers and you'll have a good ride.
Sorry I won't see you! I'll keep you up to date on future planned rides.

-- brian

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

CBE Group Rides!!

Thanks to all who responded to my last post, asking for ideas for our website and blog. I have a list going, and you'll see more updates as a result!

First thing I realized is that we need to get out and ride more!! As a shop in general, we don't ride enough. We used to have "shop rides" pretty regularly and it's been a long time since we've gotten out and pedaled with you all. I mean really, that IS what it's all about, isn't it???

I know there are a few great cycling clubs out there who have scheduled rides and we won't be stepping on anyone's toes, but I'm going to start scheduling regular rides for shop staff, friends of the shop and future friends of the shop to get out and ride together.

The first is going to be a mountain bike ride at the Flatwoods/Morris Bridge/Trout Creek trails, this Sunday morning. We'll roll out of the Trout Creek parking lot @ 9:00am. The ride will be at B - pace, meaning moderate speed and no one gets dropped.

The next scheduled ride will be a long-ish road cruise ride to Safety Harbor, date to be determined. After that, who knows?

If you want to be kept in the loop on our scheduled rides, please shoot me an Email at the shop Carrollwood.Bicycle@Verizon.Net . I'll add you to the "CBE GROUP RIDES" distribution and you'll get updates on upcoming rides, events you may be interested in, and any info we think is interesting to cyclists.

Let's ride!

-- brian

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Been a long time

Wow, things have been super busy and a little crazy here the past several months, and I just realized how long it's been since I posted anything out here.

So, I've got a little idea. I'd like to gauge just how much interest you have in our blog site (or website for that matter) and get a better idea of what kind of information you'd like to see posted. So if you'd like to guide the growth and/or content of this site, take a minute to shoot me an Email @ and let me know what you'd like to see on our site, or our blog. Send me a picture to post, information about a ride or event that I can distribute, or whatever ideas you have.

This way I'll see just how many of you are out there checking in on us, and what you'd like to see!

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a picture of one of the sickest bikes we've built up in a while. This Trek Madone 6.5 Pro belongs to Paul Goegebeur. It weighs in at a modest 16.7lbs with pedals, cages, computer, etc.

Thanks for looking!

-- Brian

Saturday, March 22, 2008

2nd Annual CBE Swap Meet

Last Saturday we held our 2nd annual CBE SWAP MEET. Each year we'll invite anyone who is interested to bring in old (or new) bikes, parts and other bike-related items to sell or trade.

We roped off a section of our back parking lot and let everyone set up tables, blankets or tailgates to show their wares.

The last two years have been alot of fun, and it gives everyone a chance to clear out their closets/garages.

We also took donations for Mike at God's Pedal Power (shown above with the 36" wheel cruiser!). These folks take bike and bike parts donations from several shops around town, and turn them into rideable bikes that are donated to needy families. We're proud to be associated with the the good people at GPP.

We hope to see you at the 3rd annual SWAP MEET next year!


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Squiggy Classic Mountain Bike Race

Here's a few shots from the quiggy Classic 6-hour mountain bike race held a few weeks ago. Manny, Jay Dugan and I raced as a 3-man relay team and had a great time despite the chilly conditions, wind, mud and water. The course disappears into the woods so I couldn't take many action photos. The SWAMP folks had a few guys out on the course taking photos, and those are available on

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tampa's Downtown Guides

We were recently given the opportunity to help out the Tampa Downtown Partnership. These folks had the great idea of an ambassador program downtown (Tampa’s Downtown Guides). They are a group of 10 individuals who patrol the downtown area on foot, bicycle and vehicle. They will provide restaurant suggestions, directions, give parking info and help stranded motorists with flat tires and dead car batteries.

The partnership came to us to outfit some bikes they had procured, and to help out with some training for the guides.

This is a great example of the many ways to utilize man's greatest invention to improve people's lives.

-- Brian

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Alafia Ride 12/9 - Bring the kids!

The CBE/Suncoast Trailside/Olivers gang is hosting a family-friendly mountain bike ride at Alafia River State Park's trails on Sunday, December 9th.

We'll meet at approx 8am - 8:15am and roll out at 8:30am.

This ride will be slightly different than usual in that we're planning to spend the day at the park, and several folks will be bringing their kids. The trailhead at Alafia has picnic area with grills, a kids playground area, and full bathroom facilities. The plan is to have a few folks take turns watching the kiddies while the others ride.

Alafia has trails for all riders from beginner/intermediate to some of the toughest trails in the state. For trail maps and/or directions, go back to the site and click "Other" from the main page.

If you have questions or concerns, please come by the shop, or give us a call!