Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Bonita's Historical Bike Tour big success

Report (and Photos) by Lindsay Rodriguez, City of Bonita Springs Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee member and event organizer

The City of Bonita Springs Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee (BPSAC) had a fantastic Inaugural Historical Bike Tour this past weekend! Our event was a huge success for our committee and everyone who attended had a great time, learned a lot about the history of Bonita and saw some cool sites – plus the weather was perfect! 
The ride started and ended at the Liles Hotel in the heart of downtown. We stopped at some main historical sites along the leisurely 3-mile ride including the Bonita Springs Elementary School, the Shangri-La Hotel and Resort; Everglades Wonder Gardens just to name a few. The feedback I personally received from the 40+ attendees was all positive! People were asking me when the next ride would be! 
The entire event would not have been possible without the support of the City, The Bonita Springs Historical Society, Trianon Hotel, Waldrop Engineering, Engel’s Bike Shop, CJ & Hung’s House of Bikes and Trikes, Zorba’s Mediterranean Grille & Bar, Johnny Malloy’s, Doc’s Beach House, Fish House, Veranda Golf and Country Club, Deromo’s Gourmet Market & Restaurant, and last but certainly not least, the Lee County Sheriff’s Department who generously provided us with 2 Deputies to keep our event extra safe! 
We owe a huge THANK YOU to Charlie Strader with the Bonita Springs Historical Society for guiding the bike tour with Darren Robertshaw (Committee Member) and providing excellent stories and bits of information at each stop.
Charlie also arrived early to help set up and open the Liles Hotel for us, and he stayed after the event to clear up – he is amazing and a pleasure to work with. We also got a special mini-tour of the 80-year-old Everglades Wonder Gardens by Janet Martin, which really added that extra special touch to our event. When we returned from the ride, the Trianon Hotel had a beautiful spread of food ready for us and cold drinks – we could not have asked for more! 
Considering our limited amount of time to prepare for this event, it went very well. Next year we have a lot to consider – including incorporating the downtown redevelopment more into the tour. By then hopefully there will be much more of it to see and talk about! Overall the event was a success and there’s clearly a demand for more bike tours. I am grateful to every single person who showed up to support us – THANK YOU!

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