Executive Director Heather Neville contacted Historic City News today to inform us that bicycles played a major role in the transportation program for the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover last weekend; and, to report some of the numbers learned by the Velo Fest Community Initiative.
After Neville announced in March that the City had tapped Velo Fest to coordinate the “park-and-ride” lots, a bike valet program, and an intricate volunteer network that gives visitors the ability to see a larger area of St Augustine, local attorney Patrick Canan made a financial commitment to fully fund the cost of the project; making it available to the public for free.
“Velo Fest was able to accomplish our leading mission of awareness and education by having both a full-service and self-service option for bicyclists over the Gentlemen of the Road stopover weekend,” Neville told reporters. “We are working really hard to ensure that safety is a top priority in our plans; and, hopefully, we can build a framework for future large events.”
Cyclists ranged in age and geography, Neville told local reporters. The users of the valet services included concert goers, employees (both local and festival), local residents, spectators, and volunteers.
We collected phone numbers from those using the free valet and determined the majority of riders resided in Florida.
Direct valet services were provided to 1,232 bicycles over the two-day concert weekend. About 2,000 bicycles utilized temporary structures located along the bayfront; with another 100 – 150 bicycles parked south of the Bridge and in the municipal marina area.
Based on spot checks, we estimate 3,000 – 3,500 bicycles were locked to various structures around the city; including existing bicycle racks, trees, gates, and signage poles. That brings the total to just-under 7,000 people who parked their vehicle and traveled to town on their bicycle.
“We were thrilled to distribute 1,500 red blinking LED bike lights as part of a large public relations campaign to create awareness of Velo Fest,” Neville said. “Volunteers distributed 15,000 official Gentlemen’s Bike Guides to the merchant community in St Augustine and St Augustine’s beaches.”