fb pixel

BWCF board member Lisa Portelli to bike 2,176 miles in 19 days


BWCF Lisa Portelli (pictured center) is riding with a group of her friends from Maine to Florida. The long-distance trek (2,176 miles in 19 days) by bike kicked off on Saturday, May 28.

We all enjoy a nice little bike ride. You wouldn’t be looking at this website otherwise, right?

Bike/Walk Central Florida board member Lisa Portelli is taking the notion of a Sunday outing to the park or around the block to a whole different level.

Long an avid cyclist, Portelli and eight of her friends kicked off a long-distance ride from Portland, Maine all the way back home to Florida over Memorial Day weekend. That’s 2,176 miles in 19 days, or roughly 114 miles per day.

“I’m over the top excited and nervous,” Portelli said by phone Friday, shortly before boarding her flight to Maine.

An avid cyclist who routinely rides to work, Portelli has been building toward this outing for years, routinely cranking out 100-mile outings with her friends during the weekends. Last year, she was part of a group that rode 745 miles, from Key West to Daytona to Fort Myers, within 86 hours.

That may seem a tad extreme to many, but Portelli said, “I can’t think of anything more fun than being on my bike for two and a half weeks.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 9.21.32 AM

You can follow Lisa and co.’s Maine-to-Florida bike journey on Facebook (click on the map to see the group’s updates) or check out BWCF’s twitter feed.

The route she and the group are following is along back roads — ones considered bike friendly — and will take them through 15 states and an astounding array of terrain and vistas. It was put together by Adventure Cycling.

Portelli and her mates will be relying on Rob Link of Orlando to drive the so-called SAG truck, which will carry all their belongings from stop to stop. Link likely will ride much of route in reverse, going back out to meet the group after driving first to their daily destination.

Others the group are: Ruth and Keith Sherrick, Marion Kusters, MaryLu Williams, Ed Bennett, John Ward Smith and Don Gramling.

Portelli, program director at Winter Park Health Foundation, also has aspirations of one day riding across the entire country.

“This stuff never gets old. I love being on a bike,” she said.

Tags: , , , , , ,