Q: You’re currently training to compete in cycling at the Paralympics [Editor’s note: Rodgers lost his left leg in a motorcycle accident in 2007]. What has that been like? What is your typical training day?
A: Training for the Paralympics has been good. It’s been so good that it has gotten me into other types of cycling, like gravel riding. I go to the gym about twice a week, and I do a lot of intervals on my commute to work [riding my bike from my home in St. Petersburg]. My commute to work is about 25 miles each way, so I get a fair amount of cycling in that way. Rest is the biggest part of my training.
Q: Besides working at City Bike, you’re a big advocate for bicycling in the Tampa community. Why is sharing your passion for cycling with others so important to you?
A: Sharing my passion for cycling has probably been the biggest part of my life. I get to hear how cycling has changed others’ lives for the better. Hearing other people’s stories motivates me to push harder as well.
Q: What changes or improvements would you like to see made around Tampa to benefit cyclists and pedestrians?
A: I can see Tampa benefiting from a rail system to help cyclists and pedestrians commute further and faster. I’m a fan of public transportation.
Q:What are some of your favorite bike-friendly businesses around downtown?
A: My favorite bike-friendly spot is, hands down, The Hub bar! It’s literally the hub for everything. There are all kinds of bikes that roll through there. Whatever your style is, you can find it there.
Q: Where is the best place in town for a long bike ride?
A: Bayshore Boulevard is always a go-to. You can do a nice hour stroll there and back [to downtown], or add on some extra miles by doing a Davis Islands loop. Bayshore is always beautiful. Catch it at the right time, and you can see the dolphins jump with a view of downtown in the background.
Q: I see from your Instagram (@slimone1000) that you have an adorable young son. Where do the two of you like to spend time together in Downtown Tampa?
A: My little man, Junior! He loves riding on the Tampa Riverwalk, so we spend most of our time racing up and down there until he gets tired. Thanks to the wonderful bike community we have here in the Bay area, he has become quite the rider. I had him doing group rides during the summer, and he’s riding longer and going faster!
Q: Where is your favorite place in town for a special occasion?
A: My favorite place for special occasions would be The Hall on Franklin. I love the chill vibe there. What I love most is you can sit down anywhere inside and order anything you want from the menus of the multiple restaurants inside.
Q: Where is your favorite place(s) to take guests who are visiting Tampa from out of town?
A: My favorite place to take guests is Ybor City. It’s a great experience. There’s a little bit of everything there, and some really cool history to create conversation. The part I love most about Ybor is the nightlife. There’s lots of clubs and bars to choose from.
Q: Where is your favorite place to eat healthy in town?
A: [That’s] a tough one. We have a lot of really good food spots, but my go-to healthy spot is SoFresh. I believe I’ve tried everything on the menu, and it’s all good. The staff there are down to earth.
Q:What is your favorite Tampa hidden gem?
A: Seminole Heights is Tampa’s new hidden gem, in my opinion. I’m always finding cool stores and hidden spots you can only see by bike. If you love beer, there are some awesome breweries in that area.