Reimagining "Share The Road" - Without Bike Florida, Inc.
Because No Government Agency Exists Exclusively to Monitor Non-Profits...

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Exhibit "A"... Misuse of Funds (alleged or proven?*)

Bike Safety Funds for cut-rate "Luxury" Bike Tours!

Share the Road Florida Bike Florida, Inc. ("BFI") (BikeFlorida.org ) is a non-profit and (current) main income recipient of "Share The Road" (up to 62.5%). Each year, BFI puts on a week-long tour (its "main fundraiser") along with 3 or 4 small, bargain-priced "luxury" tours. In reality, BFI's "fundraisers" raise less than $0 net. BFI's cut-rate bike tourism business is made possible by "Share The Road" grants given for the mission below. Note that "tourism" is not mentioned once in the mission.

#1... “Share The Road” Mission per FL Statute 320.08058(30)

“The annual use fees shall be distributed to Bike Florida, Inc., up to 25 percent of which shall be used for marketing and promotion of the “Share the Road” concept and license plate. The remaining funds shall be divided equally between Bike Florida, Inc. and the Florida Bicycle Association, Inc., to be used for…“

  1. education and awareness programs, for bicycle safety and motorist safety, with emphasis on sharing the roadway for all users,
  2. training, workshops, educational materials, and media events, and
  3. the promotion of safe bicycling.

#2... Failure of the Public Trust (alleged or proven?*)

Note in the mission above how BFI receives extra funding (“up to 25 percent”) for marketing and promotion of the “Share the Road” concept and license plate.” Now see what BFI called its "main fundraiser" (annually raising less than $0 net):

  1. Each year, the “Share the Road” program subsidizes a week-long “celebration and bike tour”…
  2. for the purpose of promoting the “Share the Road” concept and specialty license plate…
  3. to 500 or 600 people -- 60% to 70% from outside of Florida and thus of little or no value in promoting the “Share the Road concept and license plate"

Another example: BFI's "Spring to Spring" bike tour in May, 2019 - "Ride the Trails in Ocala National Forest." Ask yourself; is this legitimately the STR mission as written?

#3... "Share The Road" Annual Donors (10,000+ plate buyers) Subsidize "Luxury" Tours (alleged or proven?*)

During a 2017 interview, in a moment of candor BFI's executive director states; "we try to make our events and tours as inexpensive as possible. You wouldn't think, for example, that a luxury tour at $2,500 dollars is expensive, but if you look at similar touring companies, they're more like $3,500, $5,000, So as a non-profit, we do whatever we can to minimize the expense for the participant." BFI is far less candid in other communications (Exhibit B).

The law of unfair competition will not penalize a business merely for being successful. Nor will the law impose liability simply because a business is aggressively marketing. The law assumes, however, that for every dollar earned by one business, a dollar will be lost by a competitor. Accordingly, the law prohibits a business from unfairly profiting at a competitor's expense. For what public purpose is BFI competing with the free market, and most important, how does it serve the "Share The Road" mission (above)?

More from BFI's executive director during the same 2017 interview: ".... but really the tag is the thing that enables us to be able to put on these tours at such a low cost."

#4... BFI’s Original Operating Premise is Outdated

BFI started in 1994 as a local bike club with a fundraiser for road biking awareness at a time when the sport was in its infancy in Florida. Today, BFI tours are not fundraisers (IRS Forms 990, see for yourself) and BFI exists almost entirely on government grants. For what public purpose?

  • Today, the bike touring market is booming and certainly not “underserved.”
  • Today, bike clubs throughout the State create more biking "awareness" in a week than BFI's government-subsidized tours create in a year.

In conclusion, BFI's mission is "bike tourism," but "bike safety" pays the bills, including some nice salaries it seems. Here's a summary of the numbers:

Bike Florida, Inc. per IRS Forms 990 (see for yourself) Year 2015 Year 2016 Year 2017
Fundraising Programs, dues, fundraising events, campaigns, etc. (Part VIII, lines 1a,b,c,d) all lines blank all lines blank all lines blank
All Other Contributions, misc. not included above $1,333 $12,830 $10,176
All Government Grant Revenue (mostly from STR) $138,989 $130,968 $128,951
Revenue (including Government Grants) less Expenses (Part I, line 19) net operating loss net operating loss net operating loss
BFI Salaries, Compensation, Employee Benefits, Part 1, line 15 $133,302 $122,312 $83,098

A Good Question: how is it possible for a non-profit to operate in such a non-traditional manner for so long? For some answers, see Exhibit B.


*If Proven, then...

The Florida Senate, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, and the FL Department of State will have no choice but to act.

Please take a stand for bike safety...

Send your thoughts to contacts near bottom of home page.

Questions and comments are invited: mail@MyBikeSafetyMission.com

Resources: 
Florida Bicycle Clubs By Region FL has many bike clubs.
Florida Freewheelers (Central Florida) One FL bike club arguably creates more "biking awareness" in one week than BFI creates in one year.
Bike Shops in S.E. Florida Just a sample of bike shops creating awareness in Florida today.
Legal Dictionary, "Unfair Trade Practices"

Disclaimers: Opinions expressed herein are my own. Nothing is presented with malice towards any person. Nothing herein is intended to be false or misleading. All efforts have been made to ensure completeness and accuracy. Financial information has been limited to the latest public IRS Forms 990s, and other public sources.