Plant City’s first Bike with the Mayor Ride was held at Gilchrist Park on March 22, 2017. Mayor Rick Lott, community leaders, and Plant City residents met at 7:30AM to enjoy the refreshing morning air and an energizing 2.75 mile ride. Participants wore commemorative Bike with the Mayor t-shirts and rode through the park and nearby neighborhoods. Before the ride began participants learned about pedestrian and bicycling laws from Bike/Walk Tampa Bay representatives and received reflective WalkWise bags.
Mara Latorre, a planner who helped organize the event, said it was “important and meaningful for all of us to get involved with; this was something that we as a city had never done before.” Latorre also noted that Florida Bike Month was a good time to get citizens involved with bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure in the Plant City community. “We were thrilled by the good turnout,” she said, thanking Bike/Walk Tampa Bay for reaching out and promoting the event.
“Aside from having fun and perpetuating civic pride, we are currently in the initial process of developing a pedestrian/bicycle master plan for Plant City, with support from the Plan Hillsborough MPO,” said Latorre. “So the timing for us getting involved with the bike ride could not have been more perfect. We saw this ride as an opportunity to show our citizens and elected officials how important it is to have sound bicycle infrastructure throughout our community.”