Have you noticed all the new bike lanes around the Island and the wider multi use bike paths? How about the new multi use path that goes from the Marco racquet center to Mackle Park parallel to South Heathwood? Well if you haven’t yet had the chance to ride on some of these new paths or lanes, your time may may soon be arriving. So get your bike ready for the upcoming Tour de Marco.
The Marco Island Bike Pathways Committee is sponsoring the first of hopefully many more Tour de Marco Island bike rides. The rides will begin and end at Veterans’ Community Park on Sunday, April 3, 2011. There will be 3 different rides with corresponding distances. This ride is not a race it is more of a tour of Marco Island, capturing its unique charm and beautiful weather. This year’s tour is benefiting the Marco Island YMCA.
The first of the three rides is a casual 5-mile ride leaving at9:30 am from Veterans’ Park heading south over San Marco Road and returning to Veterans’ Park. The second is a 15 mile ride leaving at 9:00 am from Veterans’ Park heading south on Bald Eagle then east on San Marco Road toward Goodland then return on San Marco and head south on Barfield and west on Winterberry to Collier Blvd, north on Collier heading back to Veterans Park. The third ride will be a 30-mile ride, which is similar to the 15-mile ride, but more miles are added with a ride through Key Marco and also through the South Barfield area.
Registration starts at 7:30 am at Veterans’ Community Park, which is located at the corner of Elkcam Circle and Park Avenue. You can also register online at www.active.com or pickup a registration at Island Bike Shop at 1095 Bald Eagle Dr. Entry fees are $15 for adults until April, 2 2011, $20 day of the ride, children: $10 regardless of registration date, children12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
These rides will highlight some of the new bike lanes and multi use pathways and also some areas where you may have never traveled on your bicycle. As of December 2010 Marco Island has completed approximately 26 lane miles of in road bike lanes and about 9 miles of shared use pathways and there are many more in store.
Things to remember for your ride; Please wear your helmet and have and drink plenty of water throughout your ride. While riding the inroad lanes you must obey all automobile rules of the road. You may also want to bring a camera. The Marco Island Police will also be on route to insure everyone’s safety.
Matt Walthour, a Marco Island resident since 1985 is a graduate from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, and is the owner of Island Bike Shop and Scootertown on Marco Island and Naples. He is also a member of the Marco Island bike path ad-hoc committee.