Make way for unexpected cyclists

National Bike to Work Day gets adults, students on bikes

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - Some students in St. Johns County planned to ride their bikes to Bartram Trail High School Friday morning. It's expected to cause delays between 8 and 9 o'clock, especially on Longleaf Pine Parkway.

Deputies want you to be more cautious on roadways Friday because it's National Bike To Work Day.

If you're driving on Hendricks Avenue, don't be surprised if you look over and see Troy Mayhew. He doesn't just bike to work on National Bike to Work Day, he's been doing it every day he can for the last 5 years. His commute is about 10 miles and it takes him about 30 minutes to get to work. He's hoping this event will encourage other people to try it out.

"People give me crazy looks all the time.They think I'm nuts. You just get used to it. And hopefully by leading by example other people will think it's not so crazy," said Mayhew.

He hopes National Bike to Work Day will give him the chance to do that, and others will see the benefits.

"You start the day, you get out you get some exercise. I've got showers at work so I get all cleaned up so by the time you get to your desk and sit down you're nice and relaxed, you're in a good mood," said Mayhew.

The ride isn't without challenges though. Mayhew says the lane he uses to ride is interrupted in places, and Jacksonville doesn't have a reputation for being bike friendly.

The Alliance for Biking and Walking named Jacksonville 49th on their list of 51 cities for bicycle safety. It's something the city and Troy's riding partner, James Reed, are working to change. Reed is a city planner and says there are several initiatives in place to improve biking infrastructure.

"We have beautiful weather in North Florida, 19 It's a perfect city to be able to bike to work to walk to work and we want to encourage that and we think we can improve our reputation by improving facilities and promoting cycling," said Reed.

Until those improvements come, Reed and Mayhew have two pieces of advice for those thinking of biking to work. First, be safe, and second, don't be afraid to try something new.

"Get on a bike it's a great day," said Reed.

Mayhew also recommends partnering with someone who knows the ropes, plan so you can pick the best route, try to ride in a bike or parking lane instead of a sidewalk and travel with traffic, not against it. 

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