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St. Cloud’s Bikes & Bites Bike Ride Provides Community with a Different View 

Bike/Walk Central Florida Program Director, Patrick Panza, leads the pack during the Bikes & Bites Tour.

On a warm and cloudy Florida day, riders came ready to learn about their neighborhood offerings by taking part in the “Bikes & Bites Culinary Bike Ride through St. Cloud” on June 3. The event hosted by the City of St. Cloud and planned in collaboration with Bike/Walk Central Florida brought together community members, local business owners, and City staff and officials for a police-escorted bicycle tour of St. Cloud which took riders from the Lakefront Park Marina to downtown businesses and back  

“This ride is a great way for participants to discover and experience local St. Cloud businesses all from the seat of a bicycle,” shared Patrick Panza, Bike/Walk Central Florida Program Director, “It shows people that they can actually experience their city in a fun and safe way through active transportation whether walking, biking, or rolling.” 

Riders getting ready before the ride by stretching it out.

Bike/Walk Central Florida staff and volunteers from the Florida PedBike Resource Center were on site to provide free helmets, certified helmet fittings, as well as safety educational materials for youth and adults. To kick off the event, participants took part in warm-up exercises and a safety briefing, then it was time to pedal off from the Lakefront Park Marina.  

Event attendees getting fitted for helmets.

As attendees cycled along their event route, they were given the opportunity to stop at participating area businesses to sample some delectable food and drink such as finger-licking barbeque from Granny’s Southern Smokehouse; grilled shrimp, crab & spinach dip, and mango salsa with chips from Crabby Bills; and potato salad from 10th Street Deli just to name a few. Each participating business also provided an overview of what products and services they offered their customers.  

Participants enjoyed some scrumptious tastings and beverages along the ride route.

Just as the ride winded down, Mother Nature decided to not quite cooperate which prevented the planned “cool-down” session from taking place, but the weather thankfully did not prevent the group from completing the entire planned ride and stops along the way. 

“We are pleased so many people braved the summer heat and uncertain skies to join us today,” shared Panza. “The hope of those that collaborated to make today possible is that people gained confidence in using their bicycle as a form of transportation to explore and enjoy all that St. Cloud has to offer their community.” 

Based on the smiles displayed and the laughter heard, it is pretty certain that the goal was accomplished! 

Bike/Walk Central Florida wishes to thank all the people, organizations, and businesses that worked together to make the Bikes and Bites Tour possible including the City of St. Cloud Planning and Development, City of St. Cloud Police Department, Florida PedBike Resource Center, YÜJ granola, DonutNV, Smittyz Cycles, Granny’s Southern Smokehouse, 10th Street Deli, Bone Sack Cider and Brewery, ABBAletas Popsicle Shop, Nutrition Zone, LaFontaine Macarons, Crabby Bills, all our amazing volunteers and of course our event participants!  

Stay tuned for another bike tour this fall! 

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