Punta Gorda's Third Annual Pedal and Play in Paradise

By: Gary McKechnie


After a sabbatical of a few decades, I’ve just started riding a bicycle again. So when I saw that folks down in Punta Gorda are setting up their Third Annual Pedal and Play in Paradise, it caught my eye.

It all happens on Saturday, April 6, and you’ll be able to choose from five rides – including a 10-mile “mystery tour” as well as a 10-mile city manager’s/history tour – you’re actually riding with the city manager and a local historian.

There are also rides of 15, 30, and even 62 miles. Whether you ride one mile or 100, though, the cool part is that proceeds benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and TEAM Punta Gorda’s Bicycle-friendly Community Initiatives.

There’ll be services offered by local bike shops, free rides offered by local clubs, breakfast rides sponsored by the Peace River Riders Club, music by the Island Vibes steel drum band, and if you pre-register for the event by March 24, get a free commemorative event T-shirt. But best of all…

You’re in Punta Gorda!

Come here for a long weekend and you’ll be in a city named 2010’s “Florida Bicycle-Friendly Community” and the first Florida community to offer a free bicycle-loaner program.

Explore the area and you’ll discover Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands which are nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. By the way, the area was ranked by SAIL magazine among the “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” and ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America.”

Add a day of bicycling and you’ve got it all.

Remember to visit Third Annual Pedal and Play in Paradise, (it’s also on facebook at www.facebook.com/PedalAndPlay). You can call (941) 639-8326 for more information on the event, and for information on Charlotte Harbor call (800) 652-6090 or visit www.CharlotteHarborTravel.com.

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