Coast member and St. Pete resident Ian joins us today, to explain how he uses bike share day-to-day.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a merchant mariner by trade, so traveling around the world is pretty much part of my job description. Working on ships allows for a fairly unique schedule – normally three to four months ‘on’ and the same amount of time ‘off’. The past few years I have spent this off time traveling around on my own, mostly sailing around the Caribbean or road tripping down the Americas; however, now I am starting to enjoy spending time at home more and more. Between the climbing gym, sailing scene, friends, and house projects, there is no shortage of activities to keep me busy.
How long have you lived in St. Pete?
I’m proud to call St. Pete my hometown. I grew up down in Tierra Verde until I was 11, at which point my family moved aboard a sailboat and called downtown’s great municipal marina home. After a few years of that we set off for the Florida Keys, ultimately ending up in New York for college, and coming full circle back to The Burg eight years later. A lot has changed since the days of the Atlanta Bread Company at Baywalk!
How do you integrate Coast into your daily routine?
The bike share is integral to my daily routine. I start my day off with a ride down to the 3rd and 3rd hub where I meet my mom for a sunrise jog along the waterfront. After riding back to Grand Central, I normally knock some work out from home before a quick hop to one of my favorite coffee shops (Bandit and Intermezzo at the moment). Occasionally I ride back downtown for a meeting at the Station House, otherwise I may find myself Coasting down to Publix for groceries or the Sailing Center for a Tuesday night race. I own a car, but it sits idle except for the necessary trips up-county or across to Tampa (of course there has been a ferry for that too lately!).
What’s your favorite place to ride?
Walking out my front door, I only have a 50 foot walk to the nearest hub. This makes riding anywhere enjoyable! I ride to the hub on 8th street quite often to meet friends who live in the EDGE district. I also love to explore areas a little off the main drag; places like Mirror Lake and the Warehouse Arts District.
What would you tell someone thinking about joining Coast Bike Share?
Get the annual pass. If you live anywhere near a hub it will become your best friend for maintaining an active lifestyle here in St. Pete. Once you pay for the year, you no longer associate each ride with a dollar sign. Instead the bike share becomes an ace up the sleeve whenever you need to get anywhere downtown.
It’s okay to ride Coast bike share even if you have your own bike; the two aren’t mutually exclusive. I love the flexibility of riding somewhere and not having to worry about my bike. With Coast I’m able to bike somewhere and change my plans on the fly, without having to worry about the logistics of getting my own bike back home. As for my own bike, it still gets plenty of miles when I go for extended rides for exercise or longer rides around the neighborhood.
Are you interested in sharing your Coast Bike Share story and local recommendations? We want to hear from you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.