5th Annual

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

Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands, Fla. (January 29, 2014)– Bicyclists of all skill-levels are invited to Punta Gorda, Fla., on Saturday, April 5, 2014, to Pedal and Play in Paradise with proceeds benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and TEAM Punta Gorda and its bicycle-friendly initiatives. Participants have five bicycle rides to choose from, 15-mile, 30-mile, 62-mile, a 10-mile Mystery Poker Run and the City Manager’s/History Tour with Punta Gorda’s City Manager, Howard Kunik. The event is being hosted by TEAM Punta Gorda, and The Isles Yacht Club.

Laishley Park Pavilions, in historic Punta Gorda serves as the hub of activity on April 5. The day will begin with a pre-ride stretch provided by The Yoga Sanctuary at 6:40 a.m. Followed by a welcome breakfast from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. A full lunch, provided by Wood Street Grille, between 11 a.m.  and 2 p.m.  Enjoy live music with your lunch, and free beer at noon for  those of legal drinking age. Those who pre-register for the event by March 25, 2014, pay a registration fee of $35 and receive a free commemorative event T-shirt. Registration between March 26 and April 2 is $40. Day of Event registration is $45.

Sign-in and registration begins at 7 a.m. at the Laishley Park Pavilions. Riders will be happy to know the 62-, 30- and 15-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, which begins at 1 p.m., is $20, and does not include food or rest stops. However, lunch may be purchased for an additional $10. As a special bonus, all morning riders may participate in the City Manager’s/History Tour at no additional charge.

NEW IN 2014!
Friday evening – “Yoga for Cyclists”  Sponsored by The Yoga Sanctuary.
Enjoy this FREE yoga class, to get you ready for Saturday’s ride. It will take place at the same Laishley Park Pavilions, starting at 6:30 p.m. Please sign-up for this class at http://www.theyogasanctuary.biz , click on “Workshops”.

Discounted room rates are available for those participating in Pedal and Play in Paradise at the Punta Gorda Waterfront Hotel and Suites, www.pgwaterfront.com,  941-639-1165,Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside, www.fourpointspuntagorda.com,  941-637-6770 and the Wyvern Hotel, www.thewyvernhotel.com,  941-639-7700, all located in downtown Punta Gorda. Discounted room rates are also available at Fishermen’s Village Resort, www.fishville.com,  941-639-8721, a short distance from downtown at the west end of the Harborwalk. Additional area hotels offering special rates are: Holiday Inn Express & Suites, www.hisuitesportcharlotte.com,  941-764-0056, Hampton Inn, www.hamptonportcharlotte.com,  941-627-5600, Sleep Inn & Suites, www.portcharlottesleepinn.com,  941-613-6300, and Days Inn – Port Charlotte, www.daysinnportcharlotte.com,  941-627-8900. 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 and only 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. Currently, bicycles are available on a space-available basis and can be picked up at five locations: Charlotte Regional Medical Center-Wellness Center, 733 E. Olympia Ave., Fishermen’s Village Marina, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Isles Yacht Club, 1780 West Marion Ave., Laishley Park Municipal Marina, 120 Laishley Ct., and The Wyvern Hotel, 101 E. Retta Esplanade.

Additional information for Pedal and Play in Paradise including online registration can be found on their website www.pedalandplayinparadise.com at the Pedal and Play Facebook page, www.facebook.com/PedalAndPlayand by viewing a YouTube video at Pedal and Play 2012.

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 one of  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 TripAdvisor.com.   

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’s Guide; or visit the website at www.CharlotteHarborTravel.com.

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Pedal & Play in Paradise at TEAM Punta Gorda offices, 941-639-8326 or team@teampuntagorda.org.