Yet another blogger introduction. Plus: Bikes in Orlando!

My name is Taryn and I’m new around here. I’m a little different than your run-of-the-mill blogger and I hope to bring this amusing diversity to the table in the form of lots of fun, exciting, informative articles that you will be chided at work for reading when you shouldn’t. My brief Orlando-oriented bio is short, as I am a newcomer to the area. I moved here a little over a year ago from another part of Florida. I had some preconceived assumptions about the place, as many people who live here in Florida do, and was happy to discover that basically none of them are true. I love Orlando! And Iove blogging about Orlando!

Let’s start off with something fun… let’s start off with bikes!

I recently had a wonderful birthday and pulled an amazing bike as well. I spent much of my childhood on a bike, making a 6 mile trip every day to and from school. I loved the freedom and joy my bike gave me, as well as that whole wind-through-your hair stuff. I was never a mountain-biker or a racer. I grew up at the beach and cruising is my thing. Thankfully, this new bike I have is the queen of the cruisers. Much love.

Anyway, I have recently relocated from the Altamonte area to the downtown area and was thrilled to discover that I was not the only bike lover on the block. There are plenty around here, and Orlando seems happy to oblige us.

I drove for bagels the other morning and was amazed at how calm and safe the journey felt. I used to be an avid sidewalk hog, but I was recently alerted by the handy and helpful Bike Orlando website that riding on the road may in fact be safer. I was nervous, but figured that if all of the other bikers I saw seemed to make their way on the asphalt, it might not be so bad.

And, surprise surprise, it wasn’t bad at all. Many signs alerted both bike-rider and car-driver that the roads were to be shared and respected. All of the drivers I encountered were polite and gave me plenty of lee-way. I had a wonderful trip and used my new-found knowledge of the Orlando bike community to help me along the way. Thanks, drivers!

Here are some helpful points I learned from the Bike Orlando website on riding on your bike in Orlando:

1. Ride on the road when you can, always with traffic. It might be a little scary to not see what’s always behind you, but drivers can see you better and that’s what’s more important.

2. Invest in some lights. It’s the law to have a light visible from 500 feet on the front and back of your bike. It is a lifeline while riding at night and it’s for everyone’s benefit that you can see what’s coming up ahead of you. It wouldn’t hurt to slap some reflectors on while you’re at it.

3. If you are going to ride on the sidewalk (I hear it’s illegal in downtown Orlando) please be courteous to other pedestrians. Sidewalks are not made for bicycles, so keep that in mind. Ride with the flow of traffic and go a little slower than you would on the road.

4. Be sure to lock up your bike. Lock. Up. Your. Bike. This should be common sense, but bikes get stolen every day in Orlando. Use a thick steel cord with a combination or a U-Lock for optimal results. If you love your bike half as much as you should, this is a no-brainer.

5. Check out the bike paths for neat ideas where to ride. Bike wherever and whenever you can. It’s not only fun- it’s good for you and the environment, too!

All this talk about bikes is making me hungry… for bike riding! Since I’m so new to town, does anyone have any favorite places they like to bike or any helpful tips they’d like to share? Any biking clubs out there? I’m itching to show off my new ride (hint: it’s really pretty)!

2 Comments so far

  1. Matt (unregistered) on January 6th, 2008 @ 6:30 pm

    From one newbie to another, welcome Taryn!

  2. Terry Howard (unregistered) on January 6th, 2008 @ 10:29 pm

    There are certainly some bike clubs around, a friend of mine who is an avid rider used to hook up with a group that did rides through downtown Orlando a lot. I would ask the guys at Orange Cycle Works, they would know where to find these people.

    I have in the past gone on a pretty low skill level mountain bike course in Chuluota called Sugar Hill I think as well.

    Great first post! Welcome aboard!

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