There are quite a few organized running and walking events in our own back yard but the majority of managed and supported bike rides take place out of town until later during the tourist season. Especially for cyclists seeking a change of scenery and, in some cases, the challenge of riding hills, there are a number of choices to consider that make a road trip worthwhile. Unfortunately, there’s a bit of a logjam on the third weekend of October so you’ll have to choose wisely.
- Florida Bicycle Association’s 20th anniversary and annual meeting (floridabicycle.org), Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20-21, St. Petersburg.
|Riders prepare for Tour De Cape in Cape Coral in January. Dan Moser / Florida Weekly|
- Gainesville Cycling Fest (gccfla.org), Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21-22, Gainesville and surrounding communities. This weekend-long event offers many options to fit anyone’s plan. The Santa Fe Century on Saturday and Horse Farm 100 on Sunday; 18-mile Millhopper Ramble, 27-mile Providence Ride, and 65-mile Gravel Challenge dirt road ride on Saturday; and Horse Farm Tour rides of 25-, 30-, and 45-miles on Sunday.
- Tour de North Port (peoplefortrees.com), Sunday, October 22. Rides of 15-, 35-, and 65-miles through the pine flatwood areas of North Port and the parks that border the Myakkahatchee Creek.
- Tour for Epilepsy (epilepsy-services.org), Sunday, Nov. 12. Rides of 21-, 32-, and 62-miles in our own town, staging at Coastline Cyclery, Fort Myers.
- Horrible Hundred weekend (horriblehundred.com), Friday-Sunday, November 17-19, Clermont. This long-established Florida Freewheelers’ event includes a bike products expo and rides of 35-, 70-, and 100-miles. One of the special aspects of the century ride is that cyclists will climb over 4,000-ft by the time the 100-mile ride is done, with Florida’s second highest point — Sugarloaf Mountain is among the ascents. Prior to the ride on Saturday, Nov. 18, the annual Florida Bicycle Best Practices Workshop takes place. It’s open to anyone who would like to learn or share ideas with other bicycle advocates, enthusiasts, and bike club leadership and be part of solutions for concerns. Registration for the workshop is available at FBA website: floridabicycle.org/floridabicycle summits-and-workshops.
- Coastal Cruisers Bicycle Club Pasta Bash (coastalcruisers.net), Saturday, Nov. 18, Port Charlotte. Closer to home than Clermont, this event includes rides of 25-, 50-, and 100-kilometer on flat terrain.
- Iron Joe Century Ride (naplespathways.org), Sunday, Nov. 26, Naples. This annual ride of 20-, 30-, and 62-miles has become a local tradition. ¦
- Dan Moser is a long-time bicycle/pedestrian advocate and traffic safety professional who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. Contact him at email@example.com and 334-6417.
For Lee County cycling and tri events visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (caloosariders.org); Florida Mudcutters (mudcutters.org); and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). The Florida Bicycle Association (floridabicycle.org) is your source for statewide happenings. BikeWalkLee’s blog site has all the information you’ll need to stay abreast of advocacy efforts in Southwest Florida as well as statewide and nationally.