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Mark Your Calendars for BikeBash13!

Dual_Logo_medIn 2012, Lakeland was named a Bicycle Friendly City and we’re out to make it friendlier.

The first Lakeland bicycle information fair will be held April 27th, 2013.

Made possible by the City of Lakeland, BikeLakeland and Lakeland’s bike businesses and cycling groups, the fair will touch on all things cycling. Whether you’re looking for opportunities for social or exercise rides or to tap into local resources, BikeBash13 will have something for every rider’s needs. Here’s a sample of what to expect…

The Info:

Take new bikes for a spin and learn about bike maintenance with Lakeland’s bike shop representatives.

Get the details about Lakeland’s urban and off-road bike trails from City staff.

Connect to area cycling groups to find rides that fit your lifestyle and schedule.

Speak with representatives of Lakeland’s cycling advocacy community and help shape the direction we’ll take in 2014.

The Arts:

Children can have fun in the kids’ craft tent while you visit the information booths.

Two Urban Art rides will lead riders to Lakeland’s downtown public art.

Bring in your decorated bike for a chance to win the inaugural Lakeland BikeStyle award.*

Or, if you like to dress up in Cycle Chic, you may have a chance at the first Lakeland RiderStyle award.*

The Ride:

To open the BikeBash, the Lakeland Police Department will lead city commissioners and the public on a slow ride from Downtown Lakeland to Lake Hollingsworth and back.

The Freebies:

The first 100 children will be fitted with new helmets donated by the Florida Department of Transportation. If you already have a helmet, staff will make sure it fits correctly.

While they last, the City of Lakeland will hand out bike lights, reflectors and other bike accessories for the kids.

The Details:

Saturday, April 27th from 10 am – 2pm at the Bay Street Parking lot (Bay Street and Tennessee Avenue)

Those participating in the morning Commissioner Ride are asked to gather at Bay Street and Tennessee between 8:45 and 9:00 am. The ride should take approximately one hour and is a no drop ride.

Made possible by:

BikeLakeland, The City of Lakeland, Florida Department of Transportation and the Lakeland Police Department

BeFly, Bike Tours, Bent’s Cycling, Bike Barn, David’s World Cycle, LeRoy’s Bikeworks and Road & Trail Bicycles

Polk Area Bike Association, Florida Bicycling Association, Ridge Riders and VeloSwan

* — All entrants will be photographed during the BikeBash. Winners will be announced on on May 10th.

BikeBash13 Details (PDF)


Lakeland Named a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists

Lakeland has been designated a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community by The League of American Bicyclists (LAB). Recognized on their first application to the League, Lakeland received kudos for their education efforts. The city now joins eight other Florida communities and over 200 communities nationwide to receive the designation by the League. Other than “bragging rights”, cities designated as bicycle friendly are provided “incentives, hands-on assistance, and award recognition” by the LAB. In addition to improving conditions for commuter and recreational cyclists, bicycle-friendly cities attract biking tourists and are a selling point for prospective business relocation.

What does it take to be named a bicycle-friendly community? A city must excel in five categories: Education, Engineering, Enforcement. Encouragement and Evaluation.

Education: Does the community have systems in place to train children and adult cyclists?
Engineering: Are bicyclists included in the city’s transportation plan?
Enforcement: Do police officers understand and enforce bicyclists’ rights and responsibilities?
Encouragement: Does the community participate in Bike Month, offer bike rodeos, host community bike rides, or otherwise encourage cycling?
Evaluation: Does the community have methods in place to ensure their bicyclist programs are making a difference? — League of American Bicyclists

The designation process began in March when BikeLakeland made a formal request to the City of Lakeland to spearhead the effort to apply for the Bicycle Friendly Community designation.

The BFC application process can assist and focus city bicycling efforts, provide a valuable measurement of results over time and a comparison with other communities. BikeLakeland has already started the process to gather data for the BFC application. However, a successful submission needs the City of Lakeland to serve as the prime applicant. We request your support of the BFC application and ask that you designate someone from Community Development as the city’s Bicycle Program Manager and application coordinator — BikeLakeland to Tony Delgado, March 19, 2012

The Lakeland City Commission issued a proclamation on May 21st directing staff to submit an application. While many city staff contributed to the effort, it was spearheaded by Richard Perez, a Senior Planner in the Community Development department. BikeLakeland worked with Perez to help prepare the application for the July deadline.

BikeLakeland appreciates the strong effort by city staff to improve Lakeland’s commitment to bicycling. Promoting bike lanes, improving bike trails and other initiatives make cycling easier, safer and more inclusive for all Lakeland’s citizens.

However, there is much more work to do. Being designated a Bicycle Friendly Community is not a permanent award. The designation is good for four years and must be renewed. Combine that with Lakeland’s Bronze designation, and it means we still have improvements to make. The LAB will help us identify areas in need of improvement, but we must work together as citizens and city staff to ensure improvements are made. In 2016 we can reapply and look forward to receiving an even higher designation.

Ranked 21st in the nation, Florida has nine communities designated as Bicycle Friendly. They’re listed on the League of American Bicyclists website:


Stop Signs Added on Lake Hollingsworth Road at Ingraham Ave.

To reduce traffic speed at the popular crosswalk on Lake Hollingsworth Road and Ingraham Ave, Lakeland Traffic Department turned the intersection into a three-way stop. Bike boxes will be added at the intersection stops. Bicyclists please note that we’re expected to follow the same traffic laws as the autos. Please stop at the intersection not just because it’s the law, but to improve safety.

Photo (c) Chuck Welch for


Urban Mountain Bike Criterium on April 28th

A press release from City Hall:

LAKELAND, FL (March 30, 2012) Red Trail Racing of Lakeland will host the Urban Mountain Bike Criterium in downtown Lakeland on Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. The registration and head table for the event will be in front of City Hall on Lemon Street.

Ray Wells, promoter of the event said, “There is no other mountain bike event like this in the country that we are aware of. In fact, I am not aware of any other urban mountain bike race in the nation.”

The Urban Criterium is a mountain bike race on asphalt and stairs that winds through the Iowa Street Parking garage and along Lemon Street in front of City Hall. Spectators are admitted free and can view the outlined course from designated positions.

The Iowa Avenue Parking Garage will be closed because it is part of the race course. The portion of Iowa Avenue between Lakeland’s City Hall and Lakeland Electric will be closed and a portion of Lemon Street will be closed to through traffic at Massachusetts Avenue.

Back by popular demand is the thrilling Street 2X Speed Trials competition that takes place between each urban mountain bike heat race. Wells said, “The Street 2X is a great spectator event as racers compete on identical courses with various obstacles and ramps in two separate lanes.” The first racer to complete the obstacles and make it to the finish line is the winner. Spectators are rewarded with some amazing acts of balance and lots of big airs as the cyclist launch themselves over the multiple ramps on the 2X course.

Visit for more information and to register for the Lakeland Urban Mountain Bike Criterium and the Street 2X Speed Trials.