Bicycle Culture in Punta Gorda

Douglas YoungUncategorized

Bicycle Culture in Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda is brimming with bikes! If you’re new to the area, you’ve no doubt noticed how many cyclists there are on our roads and pathways. You may have also been taken by whimsically painted bicycles leaning against fences or parked in front of stores. They’re often adorned with baskets full of flowers.

The cycling culture in PG is heartily supported by TEAM Punta Gorda, a volunteer organization committed to initiatives that enhance the community’s livability. Originally created after the devastation of Hurricane Charley in 2004, TEAM Punta Gorda focuses on projects to make PG a great place to live, work and play. Like free loaner bikes!

You’ll see cyclists on the bright yellow bikes around town. TEAM Punta Gorda’s bicycle loaner program was initiated in 2010, in partnership with the City of Punta Gorda and supported by local businesses and private individuals.

There are six stations at hotels and marinas where you can check out bicycles – and even tricycles for the kiddies.

Bike stations are located at:

Fisherman’s Village, 1200 W Retta Esplanade,  941-575-3000
Laishley Park Marina,  120 Laishley Ct,  941-621-4190
Charlotte Regional Wellness Center, 733 E Olympia Ave,  941-637-2450
Isles Yacht Club,  1780 W Marion Ave,  941-639-7551
Sheraton 4-Points,  33 Tamiami Trail,  941-637-6770

Simply provide your ID (they’ll take a copy and return the copy when you return the bike), sign the release form, and you’ll receive a lock, key and helmet. You’re all set!

Helmets are required by law for all cyclists under 16 years old. Here’s a few other cycling guidelines and state laws that will keep you safe.

  • In Florida the bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle and the bicyclist is a driver
  • Bicyclists have the same rights to the roadways, and must obey the same traffic laws as the drivers of other vehicles:
    • Obey traffic signals & signs
    • Riding with the flow of traffic
    • Using lights at night
    • Yielding the right-of-way when entering a roadway
    • Yielding to pedestrians in crosswalk
  • Bicyclists are allowed on all roadways in Florida except where specifically prohibited
  • Bicyclists have the right to occupy the travel lane if the travel lane is not wide enough for the safe passage of both a vehicle and a bicycle
  • A vehicle passing a bicycle must give a minimum of 3 feet of clearance to the bicyclist
  • Bicycles are permitted on sidewalks

(courtesy of http://www.ci.punta-gorda.fl.us/visitors/bicycling)

The Punta Gorda Pathways is an 18-mile network of cycling/ walking trails that weaves along the PG waterfront and through historic neighborhoods. For bigger adventures, check out the four street routes that take you outside of PG for more challenging rides from 17 to 31 miles long. Visit http://www.ci.punta-gorda.fl.us/visitors/bicycling/bicycle-routes for maps.

With our beautiful weather and flat terrain, PG is a cyclist’s paradise. Join in by taking out a loaner bike for a day trip, or invest in your own bicycle and make it a regular part of your new routine.