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Pedal in Paradise

Light the Way


PEDAL IN PARADISE By Matt Walthour It seems now-a-days with so many new products for bicycles, like Go-Pro cameras and Garmin computers, you seem to run out of space on your handlebars pretty quickly, thus leaving out room for one of the most important accessories needed for this time of year: lights. Light sets are especially useful for early morning riding and late evening riding. Not only do they make you visible and feel somewhat safe, they are required by Florida law. (Section 316.2065, F.S.): A bicycle operated between sunset and sunrise must be equipped with a lamp on the ... Read More »

Never Too Cool to be Schooled


PEDAL IN PARADISE By Matt Walthour Is this the favorite time of year for parents? For most kids, it’s not theirs because it’s time to head back to the classroom! There are a lot of things to think about before getting the kids ready for school. Kids have lists now of what they need. I sure don’t remember a list? We just had a back pack (maybe), a three ring binder or 5 subject spiral notebook, and off we went. Some kids did have all the goodies though: pencil boxes, pocket protectors, high tech calculators. But, that seemed to cover ... Read More »

Tour de Marco Rides Again!


PEDAL IN PARADISE By Matt Walthour Have you been enjoying all the new bike lanes around the island and the wider multi-use bike paths? How about the new multi-use path that goes from the Marco racquet center to Mackle Park parallel to South Heathwood? Well, if you haven’t yet had the chance to ride on some of these new paths or lanes, your time may soon be arriving. So get your bike ready for the upcoming Tour de Marco. The Marco Island Bike Pathways Committee began sponsoring the Tour de Marco four years ago in hopes of educating the public ... Read More »

Bike Safety Tips


Nearly every year I write more or less the same article, but I believe it is the most important one of them all. It’s about bicycle safety and knowledge. Safety goes for both motorists and bicyclists as we need to be aware of our surroundings; we need to watch for both vehicles and other bicycles; we must think ahead at times and even possibly anticipate what the other person may be doing. Whether it be a motorist or another bicyclist, safety for ourselves and others should always be on your mind. Be courteous as well! We also need to be ... Read More »

Two wheeled human power!


PEDAL IN PARADISE By Matt Walthour It’s that time again, are you ready this year? Have you been looking for a reason to dust off your bicycle? Well, time to get air in those tires, but be sure to do a safety check on your bicycle before you hop on. Check to see if the brakes work, check to see if the chain is lubed and is moving freely, is the seat the right height? Your bicycle can be your new source of freedom, not to mention all the health benefits. Why am I making all kinds of hype about ... Read More »

To be… or not to be (a hero)


By Matt Walthour I am sure we all have heroes in our lives, but what really is a hero? As Webster defines it: A man admired for his achievements and noble qualities, one who shows great courage. You think of all the people you have looked up to as heroes in your life, do they fit the definition? I remember reading American astronaut Michael Collins’ book, “Carrying the Fire, an Astronaut’s Journey.” In it, he mentions he doesn’t understand why people look up to Hollywood stars and famous people as heroes. He goes on to say that he is often ... Read More »

Gimme 3 feet… Gimme 3 feet Mister


PEDAL IN PARADISE By Matt Walthour Two articles in a row with some great musical references and I haven’t even mentioned “Bicycle Race” by Queen. Not sure how long I can keep this up. This reference, however, may be the most important I will refer to in any article because it pertains to safety and the law. When you think of 3 feet it really doesn’t seem that much, especially when you see some athletes and even young kids nowadays that are 6 feet tall at 12 years old, but to those of us who bicycle on the roadways (where ... Read More »

Buffalo Soldier…


The sun is beaming down on you, you smell the ocean breeze as it whirls around your body, you feel the sand around your toes, and you are now lost in your own little paradise. You pick up your cold beverage, take a long refreshing sip and then your feet start tapping in the sand as you hear the mellow lead-in to Bob Marley’s tune “Buffalo Soldier” as it starts playing on your radio or iPod You sing along; “Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock rasta, it was a buffalo soldier………” And you drift off. We all know a lot of songs and ... Read More »

Wheeling into 2013


PEDAL IN PARADISE By Matt Walthour If you are reading this, either the world didn’t end, or you snuck out of your bunker and hopefully pedaled your bike to the closest newsstand and grabbed this issue of Coastal Breeze. Whatever the reason, I am happy we are all still alive and you have found the time in your renewed life to read my article. As I look towards 2013, and reflect on 2012, I think about all the bicycles I see, whether on the back of cars, in bike racks, at stores or schools, and the hundreds of people I ... Read More »

Local priest rides for camp

PEDAL IN PARADISE By Matt Walthour Father Kyle Bennett is back on his bicycle. An injury suffered last August while hiking in Maine on the Appalachian Trail had sidelined the rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. After being relieved of an orthopedic boot, Father Bennett immediately got back on his bike to begin training for a 115 mile solo ride around Lake Okeechobee. Father Bennett rides for Camp Able, a summer camp he created and continues to help direct in Parish, Florida. Each year the camp for persons with disabilities has seen growth in campers and staff, which also has ... Read More »

Bicycling to school

PEDAL IN PARADISE By Matt Walthour Are you ready? It’s that time of year again. The children are heading back to school. By this time, I am sure all the school supplies are purchased and the backpacks are filled with new notebooks, pens, pencils and crayons and ready to go. If you’re prepared to send your children off to another year of learning and adventure and their means of transportation is by way of a bicycle, then I have a few tips that may help ease your mind. Even if you don’t have any kids bicycling to school or you ... Read More »


PEDAL IN PARADISE By Matt Walthour Leave it to the residents of Marco Island to see a neighbor in need and immediately respond! When Steve Zandy’s bike was stolen, Karen Nettles reached out to Steve Stefanides from Christmas Island Style and Tiffany Homuth of Mutual of Omaha Bank. They’ve set up a fund to replace his stolen bike. The group has pledges for half the replacement cost at deadline for this paper. Once the replacement parts are found, the bike can be built and Steve will have a bit of freedom again. If you wish to donate, cash or checks ... Read More »

Hit the trails

PEDAL IN PARADISE By Matt Walthour School will be out soon and you are possibly thinking, what can we do with the kids this summer? Or maybe you are just looking for something to do with a friend or significant other, but then again being alone might sound like fun, too. As a cyclist, many of the trips I take somehow or other a bicycle becomes involved. Call me crazy, but I enjoy bicycle riding, whether it’s a casual cruise around the Keys or a longer ride on the Pinellas Trail in the Tampa Bay area. I just enjoy the ... Read More »

May is bike month 2012

PEDAL IN PARADISE By Matt Walthour MAYbe you should ride? It’s that time of year to celebrate the power of the bicycle, the freedoms, the opportunities to see things you may have never seen, to get healthier, and well, just to plain old ride your bicycle. The reason you may ask? It is because May is considered National Bike Month. Officially, Bike-to-Work Week 2012 is from May 14-18 and Bike-to-Work Day is on Friday, May 18. There is also a Bike to School day for the kids and well, even the adults. That day is May 9. Not only is ... Read More »


PEDAL IN PARADISE  By Matt Walthour  There are a lot of places in the world that one can think of which offer a very spiritual place to ride a bicycle. I suppose for the riders in the Tour de France it could be the Alpe d’Huez. I am sure for people who have ridden in California it could be riding along the Pacific Coast highway. These places give a cyclist a sense of peace and in fact, many places where cyclists go may offer spiritual comfort. What many cyclists may not know is there actually is a spiritual place beyond ... Read More »

Not a grand tour……yet

PEDAL IN PARADISE  By Matt Walthour  A few of the big tours have come and gone already. We have seen some great racing already this year, the Paris – Nice race was packed with some fast speed and great victories. Coming up on April 1st, is the Belgian classic, Tour Des Flanders. If you don’t think you can quite make it over to Belgium on the 1st, or, if your bike isn’t ready to pound the cobblestones, not to worry. Instead, get ready for the best tour around, the second annual Tour de Marco. The second annual Tour de Marco ... Read More »


PEDAL IN PARADISE By Matt Walthor Last year I wrote an in depth article on bicycle safety and bicycle laws and, as a bicyclist, how we must follow them, not only for our own safety but for the safety of others as well. In my years of cycling I have seen a lot of people who don’t follow the laws, and I have ridden with a lot of them who ignore the rules. It is very important as a bicyclist to earn the same rights and share the same roadways with pedestrians and motor vehicles. We do that by following ... Read More »


PEDAL IN PARADISE  By Matt Walthour  In the wake of last week’s cold snap or as I like to refer to it as “freezing”, I had the need to search out my freezing out riding gear. I am not sure about everyone else, but when it gets below 60 degrees outside, I am cold. I guess being born and raised in Boston didn’t stick to my bones too well, or I was a true Floridian all along. Either way, I need to be warm, especially when I am riding my bike on these chilly days. Let me offer a few ... Read More »

Let’s be safe out there!!!

PEDAL IN PARADISE  By Matt Walthour  It’s that time of year when the roads will start to get a bit busier with drivers from all over the world. It is important as a bicyclist that we know the rules of the road as much as the automobile drivers. With all the new bike paths and multi-use sidewalks that have been installed on Marco Island over the past few years, it has become a lot safer to cycle but we still have rules and laws that must be followed. Below are some Florida laws regarding bicycling. First and most important, according ... Read More »

…and Grandfather makes three

PEDAL IN PARADISE By Matt Walthour At the beginning of November, I had the distinct honor of representing my dad’s side of the family as his father, Bobby Walthour Jr., was inducted into the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame, class of 2011. My grandfather’s induction marks three Walthours currently in the Hall of Fame along with his father, Bobby Walthour Sr. (class of 1989), and his cousin, Jimmy Walthour (class of 2000), and hopefully more to come! The weekend’s events were just spectacular. On Friday evening, there was a small meet and greet at the Hall of Fame with ... Read More »