What thrives in Florida’s salt and sun? The 34 women who rode in the inaugural Sunflower Bicycle Tour, a women-only four-day bicycle ride across Florida named after the tough and hardy Florida beach sunflower. The more than 200-mile ride along the Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail started in Titusville on the Atlantic coast on March 31, 2022, and ended in downtown St. Petersburg on April 3, 2022. The event was hosted by Bike Florida with significant support from Bike/Walk Tampa Bay (BTWB). BWTB Director, Julie Bond, along with staff member, Vanessa Wheeler, also donated their personal time to help create, plan, promote, and test-ride routes for the big event. Julie participated as a rider during the tour, supporting fellow riders along the way. Vanessa helped orchestrate rest stops and addressed the evolving needs of participants as the event progressed.
“Our first Sunflower Tour was a success on so many levels! 34 women riding over 200 miles coast-to-coast over four days: forging friendships, breaking personal best cycling records, taking time to appreciate the nature and beauty that is the Florida trail system––what could be better?” posed Lisa M. Lake, executive director of Bike Florida.
According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, “The Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail (C2C) was conceived as an ambitious effort to create a continuous paved multi-use trail across the state of Florida from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, the first state trail of its kind in the United States.” For more information on the Coast-to-Coast Trail, visit Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail | Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Lisa expressed her excitement about the popularity and success of the tour and looks forward to Bike Florida hosting future Sunflower Bicycle Tours in years to come.