SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. — Why walk or drive when you can pedal, according to Forward Pinellas. The agency says the number of people bicycling in Tampa Bay has reached record numbers during the pandemic.
“Since 1890, biking has not been as popular as it is right now,” said Angela Ryan, with Forward Pinellas.
Ryan’s favorite mode of transportation involves two wheels, some spokes and a pair of handlebars.
“Bikes are a solution to cities’ traffic problems, bikes are a solution to parking issues, they are also really important for our physical health and the health of our environment,” said Ryan.
Cycling on the Pinellas Trail alone has gone up an average of 100,000 riders a month during the pandemic.
Forward Pinellas is trying to expand on this growth by creating a scavenger hunt made for pedaling.
“So we developed a two-week-long scavenger hunt with 20 different locations throughout Safety Harbor,” said Ryan.
The event runs from Oct. 16-31. You can register at www.forwardpinellas.org/bikeyourcity and they will send you a map of all the locations.
Each location or landmark will have a bar code that you can scan with your phone to mark your progress.
“And they are automatically brought to a form we created where they can take a selfie of themselves at that location or their bike and they are able to upload that,” said Ryan.
Cyclists who visit every location will be eligible for prizes. The Safety Harbor Art and Music Center is one of the spots people will be searching for. They said this could be an incredible boost when it comes to marketing and tourism.
“We are a nonprofit organization so we thrive on people coming in so anything that will bring more people to the town of Safety Harbor,” said Heather Richardson.
While Forward Pinellas said the ultimate goal is to create more advocacy regarding a long term transportation plan when it comes to cycling.
“Overall if we have better biking infrastructure, and better walking infrastructure for people, we are going to keep people safe, not only the ones riding their bikes and walking but the people in the cars as well,” said Ryan.