On Saturday, May 6, 2017, Bike Walk Central Florida and Healthy Central Florida conducted the first “Bike 5 Cities” ride, a 28-mile regional group bike ride on trails, slow speed residential roads and marked biked routes starting in Winter Park and rolling through Orlando, Maitland, Casselberry and Eatonville. The ride also featured four family-friendly bicycle rides on local trails with starts in Winter Park, Maitland, Eatonville and Casselberry.
The ride was a tremendous success with over 175 riders on the 5 cities route and approximately 250 riding in the family friendly activities. The purpose of the ride was to promote route maps developed by Bike Walk Central Florida (BCWF). BWCF is creating a regional bike friendly road map with two objectives: to show would-be riders where the bike friendly roads can be found and to use the map as an advocacy tool to continue their push for more bicycle friendly infrastructure.
Most of the riders were beginners, according to Amanda Day, Director of BWCF. “Like me, many had never ridden 28 miles before, but they did it together and had a great time. We were pleased to reach our target audience so well.”
The host city staff in Winter Park, Casselberry, Maitland and Eatonville were incredibly supportive of the cause. The elected officials in many cities came out to greet the group. Each community had a distinction. Winter Park offered a great location with a party spot right off their Cady Way Trail (which now connects to a much larger trail system in central Florida). Casselberry has a beautiful trail in a small “hometown baseball park” with a tranquil loop course through the woods. Maitland’s mayor and elected officials/staff welcomed the group as they rode in on the City’s marked bike routes to a blow-out party in the stunning tree canopied Maitland Community Park. Eatonville celebrated the life of a young boy by spending the day teaching children how to ride bikes and to always wear helmets.
On the day after the ride, the Florida Freewheelers, a local cycling club, conducted the ride on the same route. A simple FB post on the club’s website bought out a dozen riders to try this beautiful route on central Florida’s bike friendly roads. The ride is now a regular Florida Freewheeler Ride and is scheduled to occur on the second Sunday of each month at 8 a.m.
For more pictures – https://www.flickr.com/photos/iy4peds/sets/72157680839444392
Bike Walk Central Florida www.bikewalkcentralflorida.org