Making Valdosta More Bike Friendly One Bike At A Time

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- Valdosta, Ga. - May 06, 2012 -

Matt Portwood and Patrick Stanley love bicycles.

Together they started the Valdosta Bike Co-op to help encourage biking in the Azalea City.

"Part of the reason we started the Valdosta Bike Co-op is to sort of channel a lot of the excitement and energy that has been growing in Valdosta for a long time," said Portwood.

But they say Valdosta isn't as bike-friendly as it could be.

"There's a lot of improvement that can be made when we look at cities like Seattle or Nashville, or even marginally larger cities like Macon and such which really are much friendlier and much safer for biking," said Stanley.

The Valdosta Bike Co-op is located on Mary Street. It is a non-profit which means they work for donations only. Bikers can come for access to tools, cheap maintenance, bike classes and they can even buy a bike.

Matt Portwood gained attention around the city by organizing bike rallies to City Hall to vie for more bike awareness. Now with city leaders carving out plans to build new bike racks and bike lanes around town, it looks like he'll get his wish.

We asked Portwood where his passion come from.

"I'm cheap. I like how cheap it is to jump on a bike and not have to buy $4 gas and get where ever I want to go," Portwood said.

"And hopefully we'll get more people interested enough that there will be more reminders that this is important in Valdosta to grow as a city so that we become a more bike friendly city," said Stanley.

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May is National Bike Month.

The Valdosta Bike Co-op is sponsoring some biking events in Valdosta during the month of May.

May 12th is a community ride on the Azalea City Trail. It will begin with a proclamation.

May 18th is National "Bike To Work Day".