Sunday, January 31, 2016
Pedal Lakeland With BeFly Bike Tours
Jennifer and Bruce were cruising Lakeland's downtown streets when they slowed down on their bicycles, gazed at darkening, barely-lit sky 20 minutes after sunset on Lake Morton and posed for photos on this romantic bicycle ride.
The married couple with three kids under 10 were savoring a stop along one of several bike rides offered by BeFly Bike Tours, a bike tour business run by cheery owner Beth Geohagan.
Beth owns a stable of eight beach cruisers, colorful single-speed foot-brake two-wheelers that her customers pedal on her varied tours around Lakeland, a medium-sized city half-way between Tampa/St. Pete and Orlando off Interstate 4 in central Florida.
Last month, a local magazine, The Lakelander, published a Q and A with Beth about her bike tour biz.
On this particular bike ride, Jennifer had purchased the "I Love You" tour, where Beth leads a couple around Lakeland before settling them in for a romantic dinner on Lake Mirror at a table and chairs that she had arranged before the bike ride began.
About 15 minutes into the bike ride, Beth leads the pedaling couple to a restaurant of their choice where they order food and then pedal for 30-45 minutes before picking up the food and taking it to the pre-arranged table and chairs.
In this case, Jennifer and Bruce picked a downtown hamburger eatery called, Chop Shop, a popular hangout where the burgers are as big as Lakeland's downtown lakes.
The I Love You Tour costs $80 for a couple for a three-hour outing, with Beth supplying the beach cruisers and handy safety knowledge.
The bike ride is casual, slow and fun as Beth happily chirps about her native Lakeland and all the things available in downtown. She offers about a half-dozen different downtown tours from "Lake Hopping" to "Art is in Heart." And, of course, the "I Love You" tour.
They stop at public art sites and the downtown lakes for photos. Beth, who also leads Frank Lloyd Wright tours at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, is an upbeat soul whose enthusiastic style is ideal for the bike tours.