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People On Bikes

BWCF Board, what’s your #Reason2Ride?

BWCF Board Members at 2018 Bike 5 Cities

May is National Bike Month—a time we get to celebrate our warriors on two wheels. As a bicyclist will tell you, there’s nothing like breathing fresh air, feeling the wind in your face, and experiencing your home city on a bike. Not to mention the benefits—everything from personal health benefits, to reducing carbon emissions your car would otherwise be belching into the atmosphere.

Here at Bike/Walk Central Florida, we have worked hard to build a Board of Directors filled with people who are passionate about biking and building a bike-friendly Central Florida. So we asked the board, “What’s your #Reason2Ride?”

Billy Hattaway, BWCF Board Chair

The reason I ride is because I commute to work whenever I can, but I’m also a recreational rider. And I’ve taken the cycling savvy course so that I could learn how to ride safely. I’ve also been advocating for bike and ped safety for over 10 years between my job at the city and with the Florida Department of Transportation.







Lisa Portelli

Only a cyclist understands why a dog sticks his head out the window. I ride to be outdoors…did you know most Americans spend less than one hour a day outside? I ride to be with my friends…I call it a rolling cocktail party with endorphins as the drink.  I ride to stay fit and be able to enjoy food without constant worry of gaining weight.   But mostly it’s all about the people – so many of whom I never would have met since the only thing we have in common is our love of the bike.  It’s an incredibly diverse group of individuals, and I am grateful for all I have learned from them.


Rick Geller

My Great Uncle Bert Menachof exercised well into his 90’s and lived past 100.  One day while at the gym, a new employee interrupted his workout, stammering, “You—you—you can’t be here.  You need a doctor’s note.”  Uncle Bert glared at him.  “Doctors?  What doctors?  They’re all dead!”  (He had outlived them all.)

My Mom, in contrast, lived a mostly sedentary life, overweight and in increasingly poor health.  She died last year at age 75.

We don’t need to read medical and academic studies (although there are plenty) to grasp the strong association between exercise, physical strength, mental acuity, and a high quality, long life.  It’s often not too late to start, but forming good habits at an early age is even better.

That’s why we need to plan, build, and retrofit our cities and suburbs in ways that make walking and riding bicycles to school safe and inviting.  That’s why we need trails, cycle tracks, bike lanes, and slow, on-street bicycle boulevards for people of all ages and abilities.  That’s why organizations like Bike Walk Central Florida are so vital.

I ride for health, but also because it’s fun, enjoyable, and I feel great afterwards.   May we all live our lives like Uncle Bert.

Frank Gilbert

I would like to claim that I ride my bike for noble reasons. I would like to claim that my decision was based on a moral imperative and that everyone should be riding a bicycle most of the time. The list of plausible reasons is long: fossil fuels, climate, air pollution not specific to climate, natural resources, traffic congestion, land use, sustainability, sedentary lifestyle and community engagement. These are things people talk about being important, and I believe bicycling helps all of them.

But the truth is—even if it didn’t help, I would ride anyway.

I believe I get some health benefits from riding regularly. Because I am a bicycle commuter, I generally ride more slowly than I would if I were doing it just for exercise. Even if I could get my exercise more efficiently in another way, I would ride anyway.

When I started riding as a kid, I enjoyed mastering the skill and the independence of being able to ride around my little town. I still like the independence. While it may sound contradictory, I also like feeling more connected to my surroundings. I like the connections with the weather, the terrain the people the structure of the city. I feel more acquainted with places that I bicycle.

While I believe bicycling is and good for me and good for the world. Even if I’m wrong, I would ride anyway.

Eliza Harris Juliano

I started riding because it was faster than walking in grad school. I kept riding because it got me in the best shape of my life. I still ride because I feel like I’m doing my part to make the city a better place… and I usually get the best parking space.







Jamie Krzeminski

I ride my bike for many reasons.  First and foremost, I just really enjoy it!  Secondly, as a transportation engineer that spends a considerable amount of my time planning and designing for bicyclists, I like to “walk the walk” (or ride the ride). The time I spend on my bike helps me to be a more effective planner and engineer that understands issues and concerns that bicyclists have and the everyday situations that bicyclists face.

I’m a near-everyday-bike commuter, and my son rides with me most days on his way to school. We enjoy the time we get to ride together. Finally, riding home after work is a great stress reliever!

David Overfield

I don’t get to ride as much as I would like, but when I do, I feel much the same as I did when my bike was my only mode of transportation other than walking. Biking for me is a bit like the way people feel that create “go kits” or live off the grid. I feel independent of the normal necessities of life, since it is powered by my efforts.

It is independence.

It is also very nostalgic. My wife and I used to ride with our three kids as soon as they were old enough to ride on their own. I learned to drag a wagon along behind my bike as inevitably, the kids would need to drop out of the ride, first the youngest and then all the way up through the oldest and the dog as well. I would have three kids, three small bikes and our dog in the wagon I was pulling behind my bike, much like a really bad parade float. But honestly, I wouldn’t trade those family bicycling trips and my bike memories for anything.

Brenda Young

Oh my goodness, every reason I have to ride. I like to ride for transportation, recreation and exercise. I like to run errands on my bike. I like to bike to work. I just love having transportation options other than the private automobile.

Having choices is very important to the Department of Transportation and our Florida Transportation Plan. We’re trying to create more choices for people in Florida.



P.J. Smith

I ride because biking is a convenient, fun and healthy alternative to driving, in addition to being a more personal way to experience the City.

While biking can be challenging at times in the Orlando Metro area, we do have a number of scenic trails and wide sidewalks that allow for a great user experience.

Taking into account the entire region, I prefer the West Orange Trail due to its natural setting and convenient connection to downtown Winter Garden. Within the City of Orlando, I prefer biking through the Delaney Park, Thornton Park and Lake Eola Heights neighborhoods, or along any safe pathway in close proximity to our lakes.

So tell us, what’s your #Reason2Ride?

BWCF Board members at 2019 Bike 5 Cities


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