The number of Central Florida cyclists has risen considerably. Amid a pandemic, people are doing their best to remain positive and care for their health both emotionally and physically.
To avoid feeling stir-crazy, people are seeking ways to stay active outside of the home (while still following CDC guidelines). For some, pool time is the answer, still for many others, cycling has become a new hobby. In fact, adult leisure bike sales have soared 121% in the month of march alone. More and more people in Central Florida are taking to the roadways and trails with their trustee bicycles.
The thrill of the wind in your hair as you pedal around parks and roads is exhilarating but it is not without its inherent risks. Florida is among the top three most dangerous states for cycling. Just last year there were nearly 7,000 bicycle accidents and 142 bicyclists killed (pedestrian accidents and fatalities are even higher). 2020 has brought with it 91 cyclist fatalities so far.
We share these alarming numbers not to stop you from practicing your pedal power but to educate and protect you. The majority of these fatal accidents were the result of relatively simple mistakes made on the part of both the driver and cyclist.
Wearing a helmet is a necessity – if you are under 16 years of age, it’s the law. However, 36% of Florida cyclists do not wear a helmet. No matter what your age, it’s always a good idea to wear a helmet. But the number one thing to understand when it comes to bicycle safety, is that bicycles are legally considered “vehicles” on roadways. That means cyclists must obey the rules of the road just like drivers of any other vehicle and must also be treated as such by all other vehicles.
Along with wearing a helmet, it’s essential that you learn the rules of the road as they apply to you as a cyclist. Some of those include using proper hand signals, going with the flow of traffic (not against!), and not riding more than two side-by-side when you ride with other Florida cyclists. So before you hit the road, brush up on the bicycle laws in Florida.
Did you know, that while on busy streets, bicyclists have the same legal rights to the roadways? Bicyclists also keep all rights and privileges as a pedestrian would while on the sidewalks unless otherwise posted. Note, however, that while riding on the sidewalk, pedestrians have the right of way.
Whichever way the road or path may take you, please do so with care! And if you’re looking to buy or repair a bike, below are some excellent Central Florida businesses to check out. When you are ready to venture out, we have also provided you with links to some of the best roads and trails Central Florida has to offer for bike enthusiasts of all levels.
Local Bike Shops –
Orange Cycle – 2204 Edgewater Dr Orlando, FL 32804
Retro City Cycles – 1810 N Orange Ave Orlando, FL 32804
Winter Garden Wheel Works – 101 W Plant St Winter Garden, FL 34787
Winter Park Cycles – 835 Bennett Rd, Orlando, FL 32803
Kyles’s Bike Shop – 203 Primrose Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Where to Ride –