The Villages Voice - December 2019

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Bike Friendly Community Corner - Many Opportunities for Bicycling in the Villages

by Bicycle Friendly Advocacy Council 

Bike Friendly Community Corner – Many Opportunities for Bicycling in The Villages

The only thing wrong with retirement is that there are no days off.  Whoever thought that we could be this busy in our “golden years?” Bicycling is just one of the many opportunities in The Villages to live those remaining years to the fullest. PANTHERS Florida Tandem Rally:  The Florida PANTHERS Tandem Club held its tenth annual rally in The Villages over October 25-27.  Fifty teams, one from as far away as Canada, shared their love of two-up bicycling, fellowship, meals, entertainment, and hospitality.  Most of the teams logged a hundred miles or more throughout the three-day rally.  There were no accidents or injuries the entire weekend, which says a great deal about the safety that the riders practiced.  La Hacienda catered the annual awards banquet during which teams received recognition for their 2019 accomplishments. The Enrichment Academy Bike Safety and Skills Class completed its second session of three-two-hour classes.  Seniors were very interested in three main issues:  First was rules of the road and obligations of bicyclists.  Second, everyone wanted to learn basic maintenance to assure that their bikes would be reliable and safe to ride.  Third, everyone wanted to practice and refresh their cycling skills.  This is a BIG DEAL for seniors.  We want to be healthy, and bicycling is one of the best ways to maintain muscle tone and cardio fitness.  Yet, we realize that we do not heal as quickly as when we were younger, so falling is not an option.  Refreshing skills in a controlled environment helps keep us upright. Everglades Regional Recreation Complex Grand Opening took place on November 8.  The BFAC and Wildwood Police Department supported the Recreation Department with a trailer full of adult bicycles, which we received from the Florida Department of Transportation.  We made the bikes available for anyone desiring to explore the vast bike trails at the new Everglades complex.  Of course, we supplied everyone who checked out a bike with a properly fitted helmet, also from the FDOT grant. Bicycle EXPO occurred on November 8 at Hacienda RRC.  It was an opportunity for bicycle shops to show off their wares, including E-Bikes, the latest rage in bicycling.  Electric assist bicycles are rapidly entering common use by bicyclists all over the world.  For us seniors, the E-Bikes provide the exercise we need for cardiovascular health as well as flexibility and muscle toning.  The big difference is the electric assist that helps us against the wind and in climbing hills.  Hearts for our Hospital Charity Ride took place on November 10.  It has raised over $200,000 for The Villages Regional Hospital.  Hundreds of bicyclists participated in rides that ranged up to 100 miles in length. Sheriff’s Bike Maintenance Christmas Charity Program is on December 6 at Lake Miona RC.  The Sumter Bike Club sponsors the bike collection activities in partnership with The Sumter County Sheriff Office.  Each year over fifty bicyclists-mechanics revitalize over 350 used bicycles for distribution to our community.  Well, that is a lot of activity.  Come join us. Bicycle Friendly Advocacy Council (BFAC)