Hear from the Bike 5 Cities architect, Lisa Portelli

Brenda Young and her husband, Todd Long, both Biked 5 Cities.

June 11, 2018

Bike/Walk Central Florida (BWCF) Board member and FDOT staffer Brenda Young cycled her longest distance ever this month – 28 miles – and realized something while doing it.  Brenda believes there is a huge pent up demand of people just like her that want to ride bikes but need someone to show them where the trails and bike friendly roads are located.

Her ride was possible because on Saturday, May 5, 2018, Brenda joined 300+ new friends who had accepted the invitation to the 2nd Annual Bike 5 Cities ride, a free (Thanks FDOT and sponsors!) fully- escorted ride on a bike friendly 28-mile route through Orlando, Winter Park, Casselberry, Maitland and Eatonville.  The people she met conveyed so much gratitude for the guidance and shared stories along the way of numerous people who tried to register but were too late.  The BWCF Board had also decided to cap the ride to avoid too much traffic disruption.  Share the road goes two ways…

The 5 participating cities elected officials, amazing staff and all our volunteers made this event entirely possible for the mostly-beginner crowd by providing 5 well-stocked, FUN rest-stop events along the way.  The cities hosted family-friendly escorted shorter rides from their parks that attracted hundreds of adults and children and allowed communities to show off their bike-friendly routes and trails to those looking for a shorter distance.

The event “sold-out” in two weeks again this year and although it was free, participants willfully donated thousands of dollars to BWCF’s year-round effort to advocate for more comfortable roads for cycling.  Bike/Walk Central Florida was born out of a belief that it is our duty to do what it takes to protect the most vulnerable road users and to make walking and biking in Central Florida safe and the norm and Brenda will continue to work year round on that goal.

Looking forward to next year,

Lisa Portelli