The League of American Bicyclists
League of American Bicyclists announces Sanibel’s designation as a ‘Bicycle Friendly Community’
Today, the League of American Bicyclists recognized the City of Sanibel with a “Gold” Bicycle Friendly Community (BFBSM) award. In 2010 Sanibel was awarded the “Bronze” designation and in 2014 was one of only four Florida cities designated as a “Silver” status by the League of American Bicyclists. The Villages is the only other Florida community to hold the prestigious “Gold” designation.
Upon announcing the designation, Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane stated, “We invest heavily and systematically into our Shared Use Path system as a City-wide alternative to motorized transportation. We are fortunate to have many partners who support the City’s efforts to focus on the health benefits and safety of biking on Sanibel. To have our collective efforts recognized nationally as one of the nation’s premier programs is a source of community pride for Sanibel.”
With the announcement of 61 new and renewing BFCs today, the City of Sanibel joins a leading group of communities in every state that are transforming the American landscape. “We applaud these communities for making bicycling a safe and convenient option for transportation and recreation,” said Bill Nesper, Executive Director at the League of American Bicyclists. “We are encouraged by the growing number of leaders who see bicycling as a way to build more vibrant, healthy, sustainable and connected communities and be a part of the solution to many complex challenges faced at both the community and national levels. We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.”
According to the league, “A Bicycle Friendly
Community welcomes cyclists by providing safe accommodation for cycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation.”
“We applaud the Sanibel city manager and the Sanibel City Council for submitting the application, which was essentially an audit of its engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation (the five Es) efforts to promote bicycling,” said Darla Letourneau of local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group, BikeWalkLee
“Today’s 23-mile shared use path system began as a result of citizen efforts in 1974-75 that envisioned Sanibel as a bicycle/pedestrian-friendly community. By 1996, the 23-mile path system which exists today was completed. With encouragement and support from the Sanibel Bicycle Club, the city spent three years developing a comprehensive shared use path master plan, which envisions further improvements in the system,” said Letourneau. “The Sanibel Bicycle Club, one of BikeWalkLee’s partners, is to be commended for its long-standing work with the city of Sanibel to make the island a bicycle-friendly community.”
Billy’s Bike Shop and Billy’s Rentals donate funds to improve and maintain Sanibel’s path system and is also a partner with BikeWalkLee. “We are excited for Sanibel’s designation which will also help identify Sanibel as a recreational vacation destination to our potential visitors. I plan to work with the community to improve bicycle parking on the island and create a bike parking system for our large community,” said Billy Kirkland.
Just so you know–we were pleased with courtesy/service/competence shown to us by your guy Valdy.
He quickly put both our bikes in perfect ready-to-go condition. Thank you and Valdy for being on Sanibel.
Susan and Don Fraser
I just want to thank you for making our Florida vacation. My family routinely vacations in the Sanibel and Fort Myers area. Unfortunately, my father has been ill, however we still decided to take our Florida trip. We were concerned how he (and my mother and I) would enjoy the beautiful Sanibel beaches since he is unable to walk and standard wheelchairs are useless. That is where you come in. We saw the sign stating availability of beach wheelchairs and called the telephone number. The police department was great and we were set up with a beach wheelchair. You graciously showed us how to operate the chair and even pushed my father in the chair down to the beach. You treated my father with respect and courtesy and we appreciated it immensely. My family was able to enjoy the beach and the beautiful surroundings. Our experience was so positive that upon hearing about the beach wheelchairs, my brother took his family to Sanibel for the first time. His wife is in a wheelchair and has not been able to enjoy beaches for some time. I have enclosed a photograph of my parents with my father enjoying the Sanibel beach from his wheelchair. We are currently planning our next trip down to Sanibel. Your community is in my thoughts and prayers. We will see you again in 2005. Fondest regards,
There is no better way to get around Sanibel Island than on bicycle, especially mid season, when the line of cars on Perwinkle Way trying to get on and off the island can be backed up for miles.
Billy Rentals provided me and my family excellent service, and the bikes themselves were great, especially for being in the tropics where nothing metal seems to last. The bikes served our purposes well. We even got a chariot trailer for our daughter. She loved the shade it provided and often slept through our cycling adventures. The next day we went back to rent the scooters, and that was also a blast. We were able to cruise all the way around the island and up to Captiva in just an hour or so.The Island is covered with bike paths, and there are few places you can’t get to by bike. You can even have your bikes delivered to your hotel or condo, so they are there when you arrive. Overall, I had a fantastic experience with Billy’s Rentals and would highly recommend them to any visitor to Sanibel.
We recently returned from our wonderful vacation at Sanibel Island. Billy’s Bike Rentals and Segways helped make our trip one to remember forever. The personal attention that Billy and his staff provided was outstanding. From the time we arrived on the island until we had to go home, the service was nothing short of perfect. The personal attention of delivering and picking up bikes to our condo was something we were not used to. And when we needed beach equipment, the same service was provided. My family has traveled all over the U.S. and Europe and never received such personal attention from a company. With the great hospitality we were shown, we decided to take a Segway tour from Billy’s Bike Sales and Segways.
Now this was an experience that will be with us forever. Trying something new like a Segway was the last thing I expected to do on vacation. But the opportunity was there, so we jumped on it. After a short lesson from Billy, we were off on our tour. Due to the limited access of Segways allowed on Sanibel Island, we set off on the bike paths. Getting used to the unconventional movement of the Segway didn’t take long to overcome though. This was a much better way to see the Island instead of taking our car. We were able to not only ride a Segway, but were able to see and learn much about the island. Billy made sure we enjoyed our tour to the maximum extent possible. We will definitely be planning another trip back to Sanibel Island and thanks to Billy and his wonderful staff, we will be calling on them again!
My family and I took a week vacation to Sanible Island as we do every year. As a Hotel Manager myself I know the importance of GREAT SERVICE. I know how it can make or break you. I was so pleased with the personal attention that my family and I received from the staff of Billy’s Rentals. We had bikes, took the segway tour and even had umbrellas set up on the beach during our stay. We were so pleased with the personal touch from Billy’s Rentals we would never think of looking anywhere else for our beach needs during our next vacation. Great Job to Billy and his staff for being able to take care of all of our beach needs.
My husband’s family vacationed in Sanibel Island, FL in early July 2008. There is a bike trail that wraps around the island and there are several places to rent bikes. We chose Billy’s Rentals. We called several places and found this to be the most reasonable. They had a 2 hour minimum and we paid $5 per bike for a single speed and a time of 2 hours. I believe it was $7 for a multi-speed bike and of course the price increases the more hours you rent. They also had bike trailers for small children available for an additional $7.
We had a lot of fun riding around town. The single speed bikes had pedal brakes as opposed to hand brakes which took a little getting used to as I hadn’t had pedal breaks since I first learned to ride a bike! Our bikes had baskets attached to them which was nice and I would highly recommend taking water to stay hydrated through the ride. My niece rode in a trailer and absolutely loved it! I thought it was a fun family event!
Sanibel Island is small enough, and conducive to, riding bicycles. It’s very similar to Martha’s Vineyard in that a car can almost be inconvenient.
That said, Billy’s doesn’t seem to take advantage of their customer, in spite of this fact. Their prices, compared to other bicycle rentals I’ve used, were very reasonable. I rented a hybrid bike for a week for $70 plus tax. The bike itself was in fantastic condition and probably only a few days old. Some of the stock there had a little bit of rust, but this is quite understandable with the marine air.
I want to thank you and the City of Sanibel for the great service the two of you provide for handicapped people. My wife Emma (Age 72) has MS and cannot walk, so it is impossible for her to get to the beach on her standard wheel chair. We have been coming to Sanibel since the early 70s and the beach is big part of our enjoyment during our visits.
Thanks again: Harold Barton
PS NOTE: Dear Billy
I need to add my personal thanks. Our family are truly “beach bums” and beachcombing and shelling is my favorite pastime. I enjoy seeing them on the beach, searching out favorites and using them to create decorative items for friends. So actually, being able to get out to the beach for the time we are here provides me joy
the entire year–until we return to Sanibel again next year.
I purchased a Sun step trough 3 speed and a Sun trike with 3 speeds. Richard was very helpful and delivered them to me this afternoon. Richard was attentive to our needs and made some recommendations for a bell on each, a bottle holder and a lock.
Thank you for the excellent service.
Today, with my only (2 3/4 year old) granddaughter in tow, I rented a kid carrier to be attached to my bike, hoping to have a couple of days fun pulling her around the island.
I took the two day rate. Your bike staff was very competent attaching it to the back of my Townie cruiser and your front office staff was just as competent in processing the sale.
Unfortunately, I took the back way (Center St) to get to Dixie Beach and the Dunes. It was her first time in such a carrier and I guess the potholes in the dirt road got to her because I just about made it to Dixie Beach road when she started saying she wanted to go back. I talked her into staying in it for a while and we reached a friend’s house in the Dunes where I called my wife in for backup. Try as we may we could not get her back into it, so I rode it back to the shop, where the guys disassembled it and waited to process the paperwork. (I am not sure why she did not like it as she rides on a bike seat behind her dad at home).
I was quite pleased when your office staff gave me a full refund, thinking I should pay for at least the two/four hour rental to at least compensate for the trouble.
I give your customer service kudos for this kindness and their professionalism in the hook up/ breakdown. This was my first experience with your business in my ten years as a resident.
I will not hesitate to send anyone in need of biking needs in the future.
Once again, thanks for your consideration. I can’t wait until she is old enough to rent a regular bike, or a trailer in a couple of years.