Maybe they are multi-use trails and maybe we just love bikes so are always eyes wide open with excitement to see cyclists in the area, but March is Bike Month in Florida and bike business is booming for our beautiful county.
This past weekend VeloFest participated in the ribbon cutting of Armstrong Trailhead with some of our biggest partners in the area including State Representative Cindy Stevenson, County Commissioners Jeb Smith and Paul Waldron, as well as county staff including Parks and Recreation Director Wil Smith and Engineer Nick Perpich. Local advocate and partner Melinda Peeples was also there, without whom there would not be a trailhead in Armstrong. In addition to he multitude of free community programs she and her board tirelessly provide through SEA Community Help Center, Melinda was thoughtful in her acceptance of the trail and leveraged it as an opportunity for this 100 year old community.Video of Ribbon Cutting
This trail, part of the River to Sea Loop, was simply an idea planted by The Godfather of trails, Dr. Herb Hiller in SJC nearly 2 decades ago. That loop now only needs to bridge the interstate and it will connect the City of St. Augustine, St. Augustine Beach, Ponte Vedra, Nocatee and Greater St. Johns with more than 200 miles of trail connecting as far south as Volusia County.
Additionally, Bike Florida Kicked off the “Gullah Geechee Spring Tour”. With 629 cyclist from across the United States, they are camping, cycling and enjoying St. Johns County for the week. During the ribbon cutting, a donation of $5000 was made to SEA
Community with the commitment “this won’t be the end of relationship with this county or organization.”
St. Johns County boasts 8 bikes shops, 50 miles of coastal riding, mostly with bike lanes. 13, soon to be 16 miles of trail connecting to the Palatka area. In addition to a very bike able historic downtown St. Augustine, beachside town of St. Augustine Beach, large trail network in Nocatee both on and off road, Moses Creek and just south the Mall Compra Trail. Add amazing destinations such as the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, Whitney Lab, Historic Marine Land (did you know Swamp Thing was filmed there?) plus our agritourism corridor of Armstrong, Elton, Hastings & Spuds, it only makes sense that St. Johns County has become the place to bike around.
St. Johns County and our municipalities now hosts the ADA Tour de Cure, MS150, Wrigley Ride, Spoonbills & Sprockets, Tour de Forts, Bike Florida and many more events with participation from 100-1000 creating economic opportunities for our small businesses. More and more of these ecotourism based events are interested in our county. What a wonderful way to utilize our existing infrastructure to host new events!
We hope to see you on the road or at one of our many upcoming events including Happy Mothers’ May May 17 and Jail Break 5k October 29! Keep an eye out for #veloteer opportunities as we roll out #LightUptheBikes, #BikeRodeo and #BoxtoBike programs.