SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. – Why go forward or drive when you can pedal, says Forward Pinellas. The agency says the number of cyclists in Tampa Bay hit record levels during the pandemic.
“Cycling hasn’t been as popular since 1890 as it is now,” said Angela Ryan of Forward Pinellas.
Ryan’s preferred mode of transportation is two wheels, a couple of spokes, and a pair of handlebars.
“Bicycles are a solution to urban traffic problems, bicycles are a solution to parking problems, they are also very important to our physical health and the health of our environment,” said Ryan.
Cycling on the Pinellas Trail alone gained an average of 100,000 riders per month during the pandemic.
Striker Pinellas tries to expand that growth with a scavenger hunt for kicking.
“So we developed a two-week paper chase with 20 different locations in Safety Harbor,” said Ryan.
The event will take place from October 16 to 31. You can register at www.forwardpinellas.org/bikeyourcity and you will receive a map of all locations.
Each place or landmark has a barcode that you can scan with your phone to mark your progress.
“And they’re automatically taken to a form we created where they can take a selfie of themselves in that location or on their bike and upload that,” said Ryan.
Cyclists who visit each location can win prizes. The Safety Harbor Arts and Music Center is one of the places people will be looking for. They said this could be an incredible boost when it comes to marketing and tourism.
“We’re a nonprofit, so we live off people who come in so that everything can bring more people to Safety Harbor,” said Heather Richardson.
While Forward Pinellas said the ultimate goal is to create more advocacy for a long-term transportation plan when it comes to cycling.
“If we have better cycling and walking infrastructure for people, we will ensure the safety of people, not just those who ride bikes and walk, but also the people in the cars,” said Ryan.