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Newsletter / People On Bikes

Help Make Bicycling Better in Florida – Just by (Logging Your) Bicycling

by Kelly Morphy, community engagement manager for Love to Ride Florida. 

Kelly and her two sons, who love to ride as well.

Those of us who bicycle in Florida already know that the benefits of people being able to hop on bikes for recreation or transportation include improving physical and mental health, reducing environmental impacts, supporting transportation equity, combatting the effects of pandemic-induced isolation and creating healthy connections with others.

We also know what the Smart Growth America report “Dangerous by Design” tells us every year: that despite our great weather and commitment to active lifestyles, Florida can be one of the toughest places to get around by bicycle.

Starting this month, we have a new opportunity to make bicycling in the Sunshine State even better. Love to Ride Florida is a bicycling encouragement and reward program that aims to increase bicycling while also collecting data to demonstrate that there is interest in bikeability throughout the state. The program engages veteran riders to capture their miles, encourages new riders to try out bicycling, and provides employers with a wellness tool to help employees stay active, healthy and connected.

Love to Ride Florida is free to users and launches with a statewide “challenge” funded by the Florida Department of Transportation to celebrate their statewide Mobility Week. The goal of the challenge, which runs October 30 to November 30, is  to get as many cyclists, bike clubs, advocates, organizations and businesses signed up as possible, to demonstrate that yes, we do ride bicycles in Florida and yes, we do support making places bikeable. 

As an experienced cyclist in the program, you’ll be asked to log your rides through the Love to Ride Florida online portal; you can sync your Love to Ride account to your tracking app such as Strava or MapMyRide for automatic logging. You also will be asked to encourage new riders to try out bicycling. Riding even a small amount and encouraging new riders to give it a shot will make you eligible to win prizes and incentives. But most importantly, you will be contributing to a more bikeable Florida.

Please take five minutes to register online at www.LoveToRide.net/Florida. Also, add your company to the list of organizations participating, invite your colleagues and friends to take part, and consider creating or joining a group. Then, log your rides, get others cycling and have fun with it.

Keep an eye out for upcoming blogs, posted on the Florida Bicycle Association’s website, where FBA will share more ways to support bicycling in Florida, tips for creating friendly competitions through Love to Ride Florida, profiles of people making a difference and updates on the successes (and challenges!) of this new program.

Originally published in Florida Bicycle Association newsletter.