Participants Can Choose from Five Bicycle Rides Including a Mystery Tour and a City Manager’s/History Tour

Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands, Fla. (February 14, 2013) – Bicyclists of all skill-levels are invited to Punta Gorda, Fla., on Saturday, April 6, 2013, to the Third Annual Pedal and Play in Paradise with proceeds benefiting Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and TEAM Punta Gorda’s Bicycle-friendly Community Initiatives. Participants have five bicycle rides to choose from, 15-mile, 30-mile, 62-mile, a 10-mile Mystery Tour and the City Manager’s/History Tour with Punta Gorda’s City Manager, Howard Kunik and local historian Gordon Bower. TEAM Punta Gorda, The Isles Yacht Club, and Peace River Riders are hosting the event

Laishley Marina in historic Punta Gorda serves as the hub of activity on April 6. The day will begin with a welcome breakfast from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., followed by a full lunch provided by Wood Street Grille between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.. Island Vibes will provide steel drum music through lunch and free beer to those of legal drinking age is available beginning at noon. Those who pre-register for the event by March 24pay a registration fee of $35 and receive a free commemorative event T-shirt. Registration between March 25 and April 3 is $40. Day of event registration is $45.
Sign-in and registration begins at 7 a.m. at the Laishley Marina Pavilions. Riders will be happy knowing the 15, 30 and 62-mile rides will not be mass start events. Rest stops will be set up along the way for the morning rides, starting at 8 a.m.. The City Manager’s/History Tour begins at 1 p.m. and costs $20. This ride does not include food or rest stops. As a special bonus all morning riders may participate in the City Manager’s/History Tour at no additional charge.

NEW IN 2013
Come early to Punta Gorda for a long weekend.

  • The JRA Bicycle Shop in downtown Punta Gorda hosts the Bike Polo at the City Parking Garage Thursday night at 7 p.m. and the Criterium races Friday night at the Punta Gorda Airport at 6 p.m. To participate, arrive at their shop located at 117 Herald Court Center #1111 (Rte. 41 N), Punta Gorda. (Tel: 941-347-7091) This ride is free to participate.
  • Friday morning at 7:30 is a TGIF ride out of Laishley Marina Boat Launch and an evening ride starting at 5 p.m. out of Gilchrist Park (400 W Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda). Peace River Riders Club is coordinating these rides and reservations are not needed, riders just need to show up and it’s free to participate.
  • Peace River Riders Club will have a table at Pedal and Play on Saturday to register for two breakfast rides on Sunday (breakfast not included). Visit for additional information. These rides are free to participate.
  • Acme Bicycle Shop will also have a table on Saturday at Pedal and Play. Sign-up then for the Nature Preserve Bicycle Adventure which is on a first come first served basis, as they are limited to 10 riders. Mountain bikes provided and the fee to participate is $29.

Discounted room rates are available for Pedal and Play in Paradise participants at the Punta Gorda Waterfront Hotel and Suites (, Tel:941-639-1165),Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside (, Tel: 941-637-6770) and the Wyvern Hotel (, Tel: 941-639-7700), all located in downtown Punta Gorda. Discounted room rates are also available at Fishermen’s Village Resort (, Tel: 941-639-8721) a short distance from downtown at the west end of the Harborwalk. Additional area hotels offering special rates are: Days Inn – Port Charlotte (, Tel: 941-627-8900), Hampton Inn (, Tel: 941-627-5600), Holiday Inn Express & Suites (, Tel: 941-764-0056), and Sleep Inn & Suites (, Tel: 941-613-6300). Advance reservations are recommended and discount is based on availability

The City of Punta Gorda was recognized as the 2010 “Florida Bicycle-Friendly Community” of the year by the Florida Bicycle Association and is the first Florida community to offer a free bicycle-loaner program. Called the “Yellow Bicycle-Loaner Program,” TEAM Punta Gorda led the way by purchasing bicycles and coordinating rental locations. All that is required to loan a bicycle for an hour or a day is a credit card, driver’s license and signature of a waiver.
Additional information for Pedal and Play in Paradise including online registration can be found on their website at the Pedal and Play Facebook page ( and by viewing a YouTube video at Pedal and Play. .

About TEAM Punta Gorda
TEAM Punta Gorda was created in 2004 in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Charley with the purpose of bringing together residents, business and property owners, and government officials to rebuild and revitalize greater Punta Gorda. Efforts have evolved to include bringing people and groups together to work for the betterment of our community. The corps of volunteers shares their talents and interests in such areas as community and economic development, waterfront development, rails-to-trails, beautification, and government relations to name a few. Over 2,000 people from all over Charlotte County and beyond have joined in this effort to make Punta Gorda a truly unique and special place.

About Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands
Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf coast, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands offers a pristine unspoiled beauty that has served as the backdrop for seven major feature films as well as countless memorable vacations. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has been named to SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” The city of Punta Gorda was named in 2009 as one of “Top Ten Places to Retire Healthy” by U.S. News & World Report. Englewood, Fla. was just named as #2 of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by

For information about area events, activities and attractions, contact the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, 18500 Murdock Circle, Suite B-104, Port Charlotte, FL 33948; 941-743-1900, or call toll free at 1-800-652-6090 for a free Visitor Guide; or visit the Web site at

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Pedal & Play in Paradise at TEAM Punta Gorda offices, (941) 639-8326 or

Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau Contact: Jennifer Huber, Tourism Public Relations Manager, (941) 743-1900,

Charlotte Harbor Visitor
& Convention Bureau
18500 Murdock Circle, Suite B-104
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
941-743-1900, FAX: 941-764-4932