After flying back from Texas, last night's Critical Mass ride was an awesome way to get back in the saddle and to be back amongst bicycle friendly people. Critical Mass in Orlando has finally gotten so large that I am not even sure what the exact number of cyclists participating was, easily over 250-300!
As Orlando increases its cycling ridership, I am starting a small project with some of my cycling friends that may help other commuters and cyclists feel more comfortable in using their bicycle in the urban Orlando environment. We are calling it the No Excuse Zone, based on a project that our company did for Sydney Australia with the same premise. Their project incorporated case studies from multiple cities in Australia and Europe, where they performed this same process.
Our experiment is to start at Lake Eola in the heart of the city and ride out in all directions and document different routes that get us 30 minutes down the road. We think that this will create a map graphic that shows zones around the city that show people how far they can go in 5 minute increments. These routes will be based on the current conditions, but my hope is that through some deeper analysis, we can prescribe some facility solutions that could improve the cycling efficiency and safety.
Stay tuned as our experiment gets started and I get some results. The goal is to show Orlando that they have no excuse to not get on their bikes and ride! Ride on!