The Villages Voice - August 2020

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Oh, Those Healthy and Happy Bicyclists........

by Bicycle Friendly Advocacy Council 

Bike Friendly Community Corner

Oh, Those Healthy and Happy Bicyclists…

Some people have really lost their compasses during this COVID-19 crisis.  I mean to say that some of The Villages residents have gone off the deep end during political rallies.  Others have become couch potatoes binge watching old TV programs.  Others have taken up frequent travel to the refrigerator, and you know who they are.  Others have seen the shut down as an opportunity to prolong their lives by getting some exercise.  We who ride bicycles see many more walkers and fellow bike riders than before the pandemic, especially in the morning before the temperatures and humidity rise.  Hey, Florida is the Sunshine State.  That’s why we’re here – that and no income tax. People give us bikes that have been unused and gathering dust through the years.  Why would anyone stop using a perfectly good bicycle?  Declining health is the main answer.  Prolonged recovery from an illness or injury can cause us to ignore that shiny bike that we loved so much.  Thankfully, through word of mouth, people have donated their beloved, but underused bikes to us.  Some are in better shape than others, but we fix them up so that they ride, shift, and stop better than when they were new.  That might sound boastful, but it is true. We accept no payment.  Just fixing them so our fellow residents can get some exercise to prolong their lives is sufficient blessing.  We make sure that everyone has the skills to ride and stop.  We also make sure they know the basics of signaling.  Last, we make sure that they have a new fitted helmet.  The Great State of Florida’s Department of Transportation make them available for distribution as part of its traffic safety program.  We are certified helmet fitters.  We view the bike program as an investment in our community, not as a payback, because investments grow while payback maintains the status quo. Your BFAC is a community service group consisting of all 19 League Cycling Instructors, Officers of the 3 Bike Clubs, and Representation from the Recreation and Parks division of the The Villages Community District.  We have been working to repair and distribute bikes to community as well as to charitable groups and law enforcement. Bicycle Friendly Advocacy Council (BFAC)