Last Thursday, Neil Dimacali and I (Joseph Petty) attended the annual Speed Date Your Local Leaders event at The Village Square. We met with City and County Commissioners, the Mayor, LCSO Sheriff Wood, several school board members, and a few others, in a speed dating format where we had seven minutes speak with each leader. We covered a lot of ground in a short time and opened several new lines of communication that will hopefully lead to great things for cycling in Tallahassee. Most of the representatives seemed genuinely interested in improving our trail system and roadways for cycling, and they were very receptive to our suggestions.

A few highlights worth noting include:

Sheriff Wood – Discussed forming a local chapter of the National Mountain Bike Patrol. Woods loved the idea and is interested in helping us get it started. Want to volunteer and help us form a new chapter? Check out http://tmba.bike/nmbp/

City & County Commissioners – Unifying our trail system through consistent and more prominent signage, connecting trails via power & gas easements, marketing Tallahassee’s trail system as a tourist attraction, and possibly building a new trail around Innovation Park.

Parks & Recs – Working with city to apply for grants for trail development. They suggested that the city may be eligible for certain grants that TMBA could not apply for on their own.

KCCI (Besty Couch) – Promoting Tallahassee as a place to live, work and play. Values “Sense of Place”, mentioned “wayfinding” by bicycle, and improving the city for bike commuters.

Neil also met a gentleman named Richard Fetchick, who is working on a project which has many common goals with TMBA. Mr. Fetchick is very passionate about bicycle riding and how bicycling can improve our city’s quality of life. He is working on a phone app and website (still under construction) to help new riders explore the city.

Overall, this meeting provided some great exposure for TMBA and a chance to meet the people involved in managing and funding our city’s awesome trail system.

Want to get more involved with one of the above projects? Send us a message and let us know how you would like to help. And if you’re not currently a member, please consider joining at http://tmba.bike/join-tmba/