On Sunday April 21 BikeWalkLee and Lee County Parks and Recreation hosted another Tour de Parks ride and Bike Audit for City and County officials, advisory board members and staff.
We had 11 participants, including representatives from City of Fort Myers Public Works, and Community Development, Lee County Office of Sustainability and several local planning consultants. We were also happily joined by two riders from Naples Pathways – one, an avid cyclist at age 86!
Starting in the early morning coolness, riders received instructions on Rules of the Road from guide Dan Moser before heading out from Lakes Park, off of Gladiolus Drive, and traveling east and north along the Six Mile Cypress multi-use path to the Calusa Nature Center in Fort Myers. Most, both experienced and new cyclists alike chose to ride the entire 20 miles, returning via the John Yarbrough Linear Trail. Several, though were more comfortable opting for the two shorter alternatives routes of 12 and 16 miles.
Throughout the ride, stops were made to observe and analyze roadway and intersection conditions, assessing design, engineering, and maintenance with an eye to those features that support safe and enjoyable cycling. Some aspects of the roadways and trail system were very well designed and others hindrances to both safety and convenience.
Our guests from Naples found it “a most informative and pleasant ride” and “a wonderful program (they) would like to see it expanded to other counties and municipalities.” They had never been to Lakes Park or cycled any of the links of Lee County’s Tour de Parks and were quite impressed with the quality of these facilities.
The next Bike Audit for staff, committee members, and local officials is planned for Saturday May 18th, starting at 8:00 a.m. from the Calusa Nature Center in Fort Myers.
Report by Ann Pierce