There are plenty of activities underway to encourage and promote bicycling in and around Winter Park. On March 8, the 3rd annual Winter Park Bike to Work event drew hundreds of participants, some riding to and from work in Winter Park, and others to and from residences in Winter Park to offices all over Central Florida. Later that afternoon, approximately 150 biking enthusiasts came together for a police-escorted Group Ride through Winter Park neighborhoods. Following the ride, many stayed for a healthy happy hour at the Park Social to talk about the joys and challenges of biking in Central Florida.
“We are thrilled with the turnout both for the afternoon ride and more importantly with the number of folks who also biked to work – close to 200 in all,” said Jill Hamilton Buss, executive director of Healthy Central Florida. “We heard stories of riders coming from as far away as Apopka and Orlando. And for many, this is not a one-day event but how they regularly commute to work. It’s a growing movement.”
Rollins College professor and well-known scholar on urban planning, Bruce Stephenson, recently returned from Portland, Oregon. He won the prize for coming the furthest to participate. Dr. Stephenson no longer owns a car and always commutes by bike to work from his home in Baldwin Park.
Special thanks to the City of Winter Park, which operated a free bike valet so riders could enjoy dining and shopping along Park Avenue after the festivities ended.
This annual event was co-sponsored by Healthy Central Florida and the Winter Park Transportation Advisory Board (TAB). The Chairman of the TAB, David Erne, works for Bonnier Corporation, located in Winter Park Village. The magazine publishing company took the top prize for having the most riders and was crowned the most bike-friendly company. They will be featured in an ad in the Winter Park Maitland Observer and will receive a free breakfast for 30, along with chair massages and goodies for all – courtesy of Healthy Central Florida. The event also received support from the Winter Park Health Foundation, Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, Florida Blue and Florida Hospital.