FOLA planning sixth annual FOLA 40

Ride along the shores of Lake Apopka using paved trails, and gravel and paved roads in Orange and Lake counties.


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Friends of Lake Apopka is hosting its sixth annual FOLA 40 bike ride around the lake Sunday, April 16, and participants can join in one of four rides from 8 to 40 miles.

The ride begins at 8:30 a.m. from two locations. The 40-mile ride starts in downtown Winter Garden, 104 S. Lakeview Ave., Winter Garden; and the 8-, 16- and 32-mile rides start at Magnolia Park, 2929 S. Binion Road, Apopka. The shorter rides will take riders along the lakefront and through the flat, sprawling wetlands of the Lake Apopka North Shore, which includes the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.

A hybrid, mountain or cyclocross-style bike is strongly recommended for all distances.

Registration for all four distances is open through April 15 at bit.ly/3Sfu5ew and includes an event shirt for the first 150 riders and one free adult beverage at Crooked Can Brewery (426 W. Plant St., Winter Garden) after the ride.

“Friends of Lake Apopka started the FOLA 40 bike ride in 2017 to raise awareness about the restoration of Florida's fourth-largest lake, raise awareness about the amazing network of cycling trails around our lake and raise awareness about the need to connect those trails into a 42-mile safe cycling path all the way around Lake Apopka,” said Joe Dunn, FOLA board member and FOLA 40 event chair. “In 2024, we should have completed the third goal. Orange County is in the process of connecting the West Orange Trail to Magnolia Park. Lake County is constructing the connector between Green Mountain Overlook and Hancock Road Trail.

“As the lake heals, ecotourism flourishes,” Dunn said.

Event sponsors are WheelWorks Winter Garden, Crooked Can Brewing Company, Amon Family Foundation Inc., Empire Finish Systems LLC and Healthy West Orange.

Founded in 1991 by biologist Jim Thomas, FOLA is a citizen advocacy group dedicated to restoring Lake Apopka to its once-pristine condition. It meets quarterly at the Oakland Nature Preserve. For information, visit fola.org.

 

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