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Posted by on Aug 18, 2020 in FBA | 0 comments

A Life of Bicycle Journeys

Today we welcome guest blogger Alan Snel. Alan is a former member of Florida Bicycle Association and a cycling advocate wherever he resides.  Alan recently published a book and when FBA learned of this publication, we asked him to share the story of his bicycle stories.

For 20 years, I have been plotting to put together a book on a lifetime of bicycle travel stories and adventures.  When the coronavirus pandemic hit and the U.S. was locked down in March, I knew it was time to compile 37 years’ worth of bicycle stories into one edition.  

Cycling collage cover

The bicycle stories book is based on my mantra first articulated by famed author John Steinbeck, my favorite writer. He said you don’t take trips; trips take you.  I followed that advice whenever I biked across the country (twice solo) or biked along the Withlacoochee Trail or around Lake Okeechobee on day trips.

Floridians should know that I have one complete section on Florida bicycle travel stories and another section of stories from my work with retail bicycle shops in the metro Tampa Bay area. Our group was called SWFBUD (South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers) and we used to put on an annual Bicycle Bash festival every year in the fall.  Our goal was to grow the profile of bicycling in the Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.  Festival posters from 2006-2012 are featured in the book that Tampa Bay bicyclists will enjoy.

Alan pedaling to promote the Bicycle Bash festival

Writing the book during the pandemic was like an ultra-distance bike ride where it’s impossible to think about crossing the finish line when you start the endeavor.  But when I figured out how to organize the book, it was the equivalent of mapping out the route to a monster bike ride.

In much the same what you break up long rides into smaller sections, I focused on fashioning chapters that addressed specific topics. In some cases, I had hard copies of long-lost bicycle stories that I typed into my Google docs. In other cases, I re-edited and re-wrote bicycle adventure pieces that were tucked away deep inside the digital vault.

The one common denominator that links all the stories is my perspective that life is so much richer when experienced from the perch of a human-powered wheeled machine.

The bicycle has emerged as an even more powerful transportation tool in this age of physically distancing ourselves to slow the spread of COVID-19. It’s also an activity that can help us cope better with the novel coronavirus because as we know bicycling is mentally and emotionally therapeutic as it is a physical action.

Reading books and riding bicycles — you get the sense that if we did more of both our world would be a more pleasant place.

Stay well and safe out there!

For a book preview, go to: To purchase Bicycle Man, contact Alan at his email,

Do you enjoy bicycle stories? Our quarterly Messenger newsletter is available online for your internet reading pleasure, just visit the FBA website Home page .  Want a hard copy of our Messenger? FBA members have the Messenger delivered to their door every quarter.  Join Florida Bicycle Association or visit one of our bicycle shop members to pick up a copy and use the membership form inside to join!

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