Have a bike, but not sure what roads or areas are the safest to deal with cars? Lisa Portelli, an avid bicyclist throughout Central Florida, is looking to change that.
- Bike/Walk Central Florida promotes better conditions for biking, walking community
- Bike 5 Cities Ride event is Saturday, May 6
- Bike/Walk Central Florida provides maps of bikeable areas
Portelli says she is encouraged with the improvement in the past few years in the way that cars and bicycles interact with each other.
"I ride a lot,” Portelli said. “And 99 percent of the time, a million cars go by me with no interactions whatsoever. So I really believe that the majority of vehicles are sharing the roadway comfortably with us."
However, Portelli, a board member for Bike/Walk Central Florida, a nonprofit group that promotes bikeable and walkable communities, also thinks there's room for improvement.
"There's always that one person out there, though, who's always in a hurry or not happy to see me there, or doesn't have that minute to get around us," Portelli said.
That is one of the reasons why she helped organize the "Bike 5 Cities Ride" event on Saturday, May 6. It's a 28-mile bike ride through Orlando, Winter Park, Eatonville, Casselberry and Maitland.
It's "a ride that we put together to help people, show people where the bicycle friendly roads are in our community," Portelli said.
Within a few days, 200 riders have signed up. Although the big ride is booked, there will still be individual rides taking place.
"And those are family-friendly rides for people to take their kids to”, explained Portelli. “They will ride only on comfortable infrastructure ride trails or with police escorts through neighborhoods."
If you cannot make but still want to know the safest bike routes, some of Central Florida's bike trails now come equipped with a new feature.
Bike/Walk Central Florida has set up several map stations in five separate cites — Orlando, Casselberry, Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville — to make it more convenient for those of you using those trails.
It is those same maps, however, that reminds Portelli of exactly how far Central Florida has to go.
“What we will also see on that map, is there's a lot of gaps,” lamented Portelli. “There are a lot of places that really aren't bike friendly and places that you can't go."
News 13 has partnered with the Florida Department of Transportation on its “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow” campaign. The idea is to make sure we’re all sharing the road with people who walk or ride their bikes, and everyone makes it where they need to be safely. FDOT has all kinds of resources for you on alerttodayflorida.com.