Featured / People On Bikes

Bike-to-Work Fridays to launch Dec. 18

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Need a cheaper commuting option to get to work? Sick and tired of driving to the office or school everyday?  Looking to get more exercise? Bike-to-Work Fridays might be right up your alley.

Beginning Dec. 18, Healthy Central Florida and reThink Your Commute are challenging Central Floridians to ditch their cars and ride a bike to work at least once a week.  Many people already bike to work, to school, to run errands, etc. several days a week. Some like Travis Martin are way ahead of the game.  For the past 6 years, Martin has ridden his bike 32 miles round-trip every day to work! Commuting via bike can be a ton of fun but also a challenge finding streets, bike lanes and/or trails that you feel comfortable riding on.

reThinkCoffeeandCommuteFlyerTo help people figure out what bike routes might work best for them, reThink Your Commute is hosting a special “Coffee and Commuting” event on Dec. 17 from 7-10AM in front of Winter Park City Hall (click the flyer image  to view reThink’s Facebook invite for the event).  Transportation experts will be on hand to provide tips and resources for commuters to plan their trips to work via walking, biking and/or riding transit. You can even request a personal bike escort to accompany you on your ride!  Visit reThinkyourcommute.com or email intern@healthycf.org and Healthy Central Florida will connect you.

Whether you are a new or seasoned bike commuter, join the Bike Friday movement and be sure to share your stories on social media using the hashtags #TGIBF (Thank God It’s Bike Friday) and #bikefridayCFL.

Check out more details directly from the Healthy Central Florida blog on Bike-to-Work Fridays and Travis Martin’s story below.

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Bike-to-Work Friday via Healthy Central Florida blog

BikingWorks00031Friday’s just got better! Hopefully your workplace already observes “casual Friday”. If not, this is a great time
to join the healthy, green movement by biking to work. Biking could also save you time by forfeiting those early morning and late night gym sessions. In fact, 60 minutes of biking at a leisurely pace can burn up to 300 calories.

Try a Personal Bike Escort – If you have been wanting to bike to work but aren’t sure of safest or best route…or, you’ve considered riding your bike to a SunRail station and riding a train part of the way but aren’t sure how to navigate, reThink can help. They have people who will literally ride with you to show you how to get safely where you’re going. Visit reThinkyourcommute.com or email intern@healthycf.org and Healthy Central Florida will connect you. Or, you could always find a friend or coworker and arrange to ride together. There is certainly more safety in numbers and it just makes the ride more fun.

Let us know how it goes. We’ll be sharing stories of bike commuters and if you share your story on our Facebook page, we’ll give you a handsome orange “Bike to Work” day shirt while supplies last. (Super soft Next Level shirt – safety orange from Winter Park’s Bike to Work Day – you’ll love this shirt).

Click here to read a helpful primer for new bike commuters or pointers for those who are out of practice.

Join the bike to work movement by pedaling to work on Fridays. It’s already casual – now make it fun! Join us starting Fridays, Nov. 20th!


 

Meet a Man Who Bikes 32 Miles to/from Work Daily & LOVES It via Healthy Central Florida blog

Driving a car 16 miles to work, especially from the Dr. Phillips area, to Winter Park, would be challenging for car commuters.  Imagine riding your bike from Dr. Phillips to Winter Park – every day, twice a day, rain or shine, heat or cold, to get to and from work.  That’s what Travis Martin does.

Travis is the Associate Team Leader of Prepared Foods at Winter Park Whole Foods Market, where he has now worked for five years.  Before that, he opened and worked at the Dr. Phillips store.  “I wanted to do something different with my life”, Travis said, referring to his shift from a car-centric life to one of a commuter and recreational cyclist.  He sold his car over five years ago and hasn’t looked back.  “When I finish my ride, it makes me feel good.  I have a smile on my face.”
travis close up

For the last five (almost six) years, Travis has been trekking the 32-mile round-trip to work, every day.  During his first year of biking, the trip took well over an hour, but after learning his way around Orlando traffic (and updating from a cruiser to a Specialized Allez road bike), Travis has reduced his commute time by more than 30 minutes.  As his time improved, so did his health.  His resting heart rate is low 60’s and he always gets great reports during his annual physicals.

His coworkers may think of him as a big teddy bear but once they see him in his biking gear, they know he’s not someone to mess with.  Built like a line-backer, the only thing that stops him is lightning – and the occasional flat tire (which he can fix in three minutes).  He’s also had a broken rim or the rare encounter with a car, none serious, thankfully.  Even when mishaps make him late, Travis’ coworkers can count on him to be there, full of energy, with a ready-to-go attitude.

Associate Store Team Leader of Winter Park Whole Foods, DJ Johnson, said, “Travis is a role model for all of us.  He’s the ‘team’s inspiration’ for staying active and being positive.”  He added, “His riding is never an excuse for being late or missing work.  He is here every day.”

Travis has worked at Whole Foods for the last 13 years and during that time has climbed the ladder from a grocery bagger to Associate Team Leader.  DJ also said that Travis is very involved in Green Trek, a store-wide challenge for Whole Foods employees that promotes healthy lifestyles in a fun way.

Travis might have a long commute to work, but the biking doesn’t stop there.  Over the last few years, he has participated in three 200-mile bike events for Bike MS- a fundraising cycling series that supports MS research.  On the weekends, you can find Travis hitting bike trails anywhere from Orlando to Tampa, his favorite one is in Minneola.

“Biking is therapeutic.  It’s the best part of my day,” Travis said.  At Healthy Central Florida, we agree.  We salute Travis and his company for supporting walking the talk – or riding the bike towards health.  Please look out for Travis and all cyclists.  As you consider biking to work, below are some great tips from Travis and an awesome resource from our community partner, ReThink Your Commute.

Interested in biking to work? Here are a few tips from Travis: Learn your routes, do a safety run, hydrate with water and most importantly, invest in a good quality helmet.  Although a $20 helmet might look the same as one for $60, there is a significant difference in the strength and durability.  When riding at night, he recommends wearing a reflective ankle tag.  Some also include ID strips and come in the form of a wristband or necklace.

Drivers, here is Travis’ advice for sharing the road with cyclists (which is permitted by law): Always obey STOP signs and stay behind the white line. Neglecting to do this is a common cause of accidents, and the reason for one of Travis’s.  He also says, “Don’t be quickly inclined to blow your horn at someone on a bike” and learn the rules and regulations for cycling. You may think a biker is doing something wrong, but they are actually abiding by the law.

Personal Bike Escort – If you have been wanting to try this and aren’t sure of the best or safest route…or, you’ve considered riding your bike to a SunRail station and riding a train part of the way but aren’t sure how to navigate, reThink can help.  They have people who will literally ride with you to show you how to get safely where you’re going. Visit reThinkyourcommute.com or email intern@healthycf.org and Healthy Central Florida will connect you.

Here are links to the original Healthy Central Florida blog posts: Bike-to-Work Fridays and Meet a Man Who Bikes 32 Miles to/from Work Daily & LOVES It.

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