Polk County to Host 2013 Bike Florida Spring Tour
Posted on October 3rd, 2012 by Rebecca Thompson
For the first time in its 19 year history, the Bike Florida Spring Tour will hold its week-long bicycle tour in Polk County. The seven-day event, titled the “Orange Blossom Express”, will be held March 22-29, 2013 and will bring more than 900 bicyclists from around the United States and Canada to Polk County to experience the region’s natural beauty, restaurants, cultural attractions and local events!
“Bike Florida is excited to bring our 19th annual Spring Tour to Polk County” said Bike Florida Ride Director Becky Afonso. “As a native Floridian from the Tampa Bay area, I am especially honored to showcase an area of Florida not only close to my home, but close to my heart in the memories I have exploring these areas as a child.”
One of the main goals of the Orange Blossom Express is to educate the cyclists on the history of the region and provide time for the participants to explore the local communities that they visit, which is a large departure from cycling race “tours” where riders compete against each other for the fastest times from start to finish.
Bike Florida encourages the Tour’s participants to set their own schedule and ride at their own leisurely pace by providing three separate cycling routes for each day that the Tour spends in a local community. Currently, Bike Florida is working on setting the routing for each day’s rides, with the goal of introducing riders to communities throughout Polk County such as Bartow, Mulberry, Polk City, Dundee, Haines City, Frostproof and Fort Meade.
Throughout the week, cyclists will have the opportunity to ride more than 450 miles during the event. Bike Florida will begin the Spring Tour in Lakeland on March 23 with the Sun ‘n Fun campus acting as the host facility for event registration, overnight camping and the starting and ending points for each day’s cycling routes on March 23 and 24. The Tour will leave Lakeland the morning of Monday, March 25 and will spend two days in Lake County (March 25 & 26) before moving to Lake Wales on March 27. The Tour will overnight in Lake Wales and ride routes will give cyclists the opportunity to explore eastern Polk County on March 28. Participants will ride back to Lakeland to close out the Tour on March 29.
2013 BIKE FLORIDA SPRING TOUR SCHEDULE
Saturday, March 23 – Lakeland, FL – Registration Opens; Three ride routes (western and southern Polk County)
Sunday, March 24 – Lakeland, FL – Three ride routes (western and southern Polk County)
Monday, March 25 – Tour rides from Lakeland, FL to Lake County, FL
Tuesday, March 26 – Local ride routes in Lake County, FL
Wednesday, March 27 – Tour rides from Lake County, FL to Lake Wales, FL
Thursday, March 28 – Lake Wales, FL – Three ride routes (eastern and southern Polk County)
Friday, March 29 – Tour rides from Lake Wales, FL to Lakeland, FL – Tour Concludes
Sports Central Interview about Orange Blossom Express
Registration for the 2013 Bike Florida Spring Tour opened Saturday, September 15. Registration forms and additional information can be found at bikeflorida.org. Bike Florida expects the Orange Blossom Express to sell out, and registration is available on a first come, first served basis.