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Alert Today Florida Presents Bike 5 Cities

In just a few days, more than 400 people will jump on their bicycles and ride 28 miles through 5 Central Florida cities. But Bike 5 Cities is so much more than one ride. It’s about giving everyday people the tools to be able to ride safely and comfortably, whenever they want to. It’s about raising awareness and advocating for a more bike-friendly region. It’s about coming together as a community to celebrate bicycling during National Bike Month.

Bike 5 Cities is presented by FDOT Alert Today Florida. Before the ride, we spoke with Trenda McPherson, State Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Program Manager for Alert Today Florida, about what this partnership means.

Q: It’s your second year as presenting sponsor. What are you excited about this year?

A: What many people don’t realize is that biking is a primary mode of transportation. We’re excited for people to learn more about the trails, and where they can bike safely. You don’t have to be a road warrior or a semi-professional cyclist to enjoy a good ride on a Saturday afternoon or a trip to dinner or the movies. Whatever your ability level is—biking is an option, and we’re excited for Bike 5 Cities to help teach people there are safe and easy ways to do it.

Q: How is Bike 5 Cities different than other rides?

A: Bike 5 Cities is an opportunity for families or individuals to come out and learn about the great connector trails and facilities that are in and around the Orlando area. It’s important for people to feel confident where you’re riding, because when you’re confident, you’re a safer cyclist. Knowing your surroundings is one key to safety.

Q: How do you feel Bike/Walk Central Florida and Bike 5 Cities fits with the larger mission of Alert Today Florida?

A: Our mission is to increase awareness about traffic laws put into place to protect the safety of people who are walking and biking. Our goal is zero traffic crashes resulting in serious and fatal injuries to people who walk and bike. We couldn’t accomplish this goal without the local interactions. We work together and partner with local groups to help spread the word. Florida has beautiful beaches, great bike trails, and wonderful weather year-round, and we encourage everyone to take a walk, or hop on a bike and experience everything Florida has to offer —regardless of your age or ability. That’s where groups like Bike/Walk Central Florida come in.

Q; What tips would you give cyclists—both newbies and experiences bikers?

A:     1. Always wear a properly fitted helmet.
2. Use bike lights day and night. It’s important to be visible to drivers.
3. Obey traffic signs and signals. And if you’re on a multi-use trail, watch out for pedestrians, and be sure to pass them safely.

More than 250 cyclists will take off from Mead Garden in Winter Park at 8 am on Saturday, May 4. They’ll ride 28 miles, stopping in Orlando, Casselberry, Maitland and Eatonville, before returning to Winter Park. Another 100 or so bicyclists will be launching out on their own, from each of the 5 cities, to ride the route. Follow Bike/Walk Central Florida on Facebook and Twitter for live updates, and visit our website for more information on our mission and advocacy efforts.

For more information about bicycle safety, visit www.AlertTodayFlorida.com

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