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Biking – from 8 to 80 years old

BicycleFriendlyCommunityWorkshopLet’s be clear. Organizing a half-day workshop on any topic is tough enough – battling everything from schedule conflicts to reserving room space. When Healthy Central Florida and Bike/Walk Central Florida teamed up to host a workshop on all things bike-friendly, who knew more than 60 people across three counties would turn up at 8 a.m. not just for the great coffee but the greater conversation on what they can do to normalize biking – better yet, become a place where biking is not considered a big deal.

The workshop kicked off with Bill Nesper, Vice President of Programs with the League of American Bicyclists (LAB), explaining the bike-friendly designation requirements. This sparked conversations ranging from bike infrastructure to signage. Someone remarked, “if we want people to see biking as option, then they must feel safe – whether you are eight or 80 years old” Everyone concurred.

The first step: Locate the bike-friendly routes for the 8 to 80 year olds that exist in the cities of Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Casselberry, Longwood and Orange County. This involves forming a working group, dubbed 8-80, to map out those routes.

The workshop served as the first step for Winter Park and Maitland as they seek to begin the application process to become “bicycle-friendly communities” – an official designation from LAB. Orlando currently holds a bronze designation from the LAB and is seeking to move to a higher level.

Thank you to everyone who participated, representing Longwood, Casselberry, the City of Orlando, Osceola County, Lake Mary, Florida Department of Transportation, MetroPlan Orlando, reThink Your Commute, Orange County Public Schools and the statewide Florida Bicycle Association.

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