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First-ever Bike 5 Cities ride is talk of the town

The inaugural Bike 5 Cities ride was a hit with media around town! Check out some of the great coverage below.

Community ride helps residents ‘take off the training wheels’ to practice safe biking
Orlando Sentinel
Caitlin Doornbos
May 6, 2017

The shiny, silver streamers on 8-year-old Isla Santos’ hot pink bicycle blew in the breeze as she set off on a guided ride through Winter Park on Saturday morning.

Her parents, Renata and Andre Santos, brought her to Cady Way Park about 9 a.m. for the Bike Winter Park Event and Ride, which was part of the Bike 5 Cities Ride hosted by the Bike/Walk Central Florida and Healthy Central Florida organizations.

Showing off her bike’s two bells, two flashing lights and the novelty license plate personalized with her name on the back, Isla said she couldn’t wait to take off on the trail.

“I’m really excited because [bicyling] is my favorite thing to do, and I get to do it with my family,” Isla said.

Bike/Walk Central Florida Executive Director Amanda Day said the two-wheeling fun for families aimed to show Orange County residents safe paths to take while biking.

“One thing we have heard a lot from families and people who just want to get on their bike, is ‘What’s safe? Where can I ride my bike?’” Day said. “Even with bike lanes, a lot of people don’t feel safe.” Click here to read the full article.


Bike 5 Cities this weekend!
Winter Park/Maitland Observer
Isaac Babcock
May 4, 2017

It’s time to grease up the chain and air up the tires: A 28-mile Bike 5 Cities ride is coming up Saturday.

Bike/Walk Central Florida is partnering with Winter Park, Orlando, Casselberry, Maitland and Eatonville to give a free tour of safe cycling routes to help familiarize would-be cyclists. It’s a guided family-friendly ride on scenic bike trails and some residential roads.

“It’s the power of a great idea,” said Lisa Portelli, a board member with Bike/Walk Central Florida. “What Bike/Walk wanted was two objectives: One, to show where we can ride, and the second was to develop a regional, bike-friendly route map. The ride was really about promoting the map.”

The point is to get more cyclists comfortable with riding around Central Florida.

“We took information from all five cities, with individual single-city maps, and they all have maps hanging in their cities now,” Portelli said. “And we’re looking for feedback on it. We want to know people’s complaints. We’ll then develop the regional map and create these big regional maps.”

The introduction of the map system this weekend will wind throughout the north Orlando area. The long ride starts at 8 a.m. in Winter Park’s Mead Garden, looping south past Lake Ivanhoe, into Orlando’s Mills/50 district, curving north through Baldwin Park, then all the way up to Red Bug Lake Road in Casselberry before heading west then south through Maitland, passing Lake Sybelia on the way back toward Mead Garden. This isn’t a hillclimb; total elevation change is 333 feet over 28 miles. The ride will stop at each city event to give riders a break. Click here to read the full article.


Extra on Getting There: 200 riders signed up for Orlando bike safety ride
News 13
Ryan Harper
May 3, 2017

Have a bike, but not sure what roads or areas are the safest to deal with cars? Lisa Portelli, an avid bicyclist throughout Central Florida, is looking to change that.

Portelli says she is encouraged with the improvement in the past few years in the way that cars and bicycles interact with each other.

“I ride a lot,” Portelli said. “And 99 percent of the time, a million cars go by me with no interactions whatsoever. So I really believe that the majority of vehicles are sharing the roadway comfortably with us.”

However, Portelli, a board member for Bike/Walk Central Florida, a nonprofit group that promotes bikeable and walkable communities, also thinks there’s room for improvement.

“There’s always that one person out there, though, who’s always in a hurry or not happy to see me there, or doesn’t have that minute to get around us,” Portelli said.

That is one of the reasons why she helped organize the “Bike 5 Cities Ride” event on Saturday, May 6. It’s a 28-mile bike ride through Orlando, Winter Park, Eatonville, Casselberry and Maitland. Click here to read the full article.


The District | Bike 5 Cities, National Bike Month
Studio 17 Television/Bungalower
Brendan O’Connor
April 25, 2017

Discover safe bike routes and trails through Winter Park, Orlando, Casselberry, Maitland and Eatonville on a free, guided ride-along. Ride the entire 28-mile loop or join shorter rides at event sites that offer family activities, snacks and refreshments. Aid stations will be located along the route, and Ride Ambassadors will provide rider assistance while acting as escorts. Bike helmets are mandatory.

Presented by Bike/Walk Central Florida, Healthy Central Florida, and the cities of Winter Park, Casselberry, Maitland, Eatonville and Orlando.


Bike 5 Cities Event To Showcase Central Florida Trails
West Orlando News
April 22, 2017

Bike 5 Cities – Discover safe bike routes and trails through Winter Park, Orlando, Casselberry, Maitland and Eatonville on a free, guided ridealong.

Bumby Avenue recently reopened, and with that also came a major trail expansion for Orlando. Orlando and its neighboring communities are working hard to make Central Florida an ideal location for people to get out and bike, yet many people are still unaware of where trails are located and how to access them.

‘Bike 5 Cities,’ a free event put on by Bike/Walk Central Florida and Healthy Central Florida on Saturday, May 6th, is aiming to change that. This 28-mile guided ride through five cities (Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Casselberry and Eatonville) will expose riders to trails throughout the area, allowing them to utilize them for both shorter, family friendly stints or longer rides for serious bikers. Riders can go on guided 28-mile tour or choose short jaunts. See all the details below, including event locations and times. Click here to read the full article.

Celebrate National Bike Month by pedaling through 5 cities
Brendan O’Connor
April 18, 2017

Bike/Walk Central Florida and Healthy Central Florida will be hosting an event on May 6 called Bike 5 Cities, where participants will be guided on a 28-mile route that takes them through five cities; Winter Park, Orlando, Casselberry, Maitland, and Eatonville. Hence the name.

The ride begins at 8 a.m. in the Mead Botanical Garden with rest stops in each of the aforementioned cities. Mechanical support, food, and drinks are provided. Helmets are mandatory.

Each City will also be hosting their own shorter rides with family-friendly activities.

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