CELEBRATING A LOCAL BIKE PIONEER - Tribute to Herb Hiller

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CELEBRATING A LOCAL BIKE PIONEER

by Ron Cunningham, Executive Director Bike Florida

In 1977 Herb Hiller got out of his car and got onto his bicycle. Herb has never been the same, and neither has Florida.  At the time, Herb was a travel writer living in Coral Gables. He was also something of a pioneer, having foreseen the economic potential of what he called “alternative tourism” in Florida. Or more specifically, bicycle tourism.

After spending 20 months riding 1,200 miles throughout the Suwannee River Valley — exploring small, out-of-the-way communities and mapping scenic back roads — Herb helped establish the inaugural Suwannee River Tours as a way to bring new economic vitality to the small towns and businesses of north Florida. Years later, he would be the guiding force behind the establishment of Bike Florida’s “St. Johns River to The Sea Loop Tour” — a four-county, week-long route that connects St. Augustine, Flagler Beach, New Smyrna Beach, DeLand, the St. Johns River towns of Welaka and Palatka and the historic African-American community of Armstrong, on the “Gullah Geechee Corridor.” 

Greenway Riders Nate and Alex,

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Riders on the East Coast Greenway stop off in DelandWe hosted Alex and Nate.who are riding from Chestertown, MD down to Key West. They were visiting people in Gainesville before coming here, so didn't ride all the way on the East Coast Greenway, but they did ride part of it. From Deland they head to Titusville and will pick up the Greenway again to Key West.  they have promised to send photos along the route, so stay tuned for that.  

Florida bike touring enhanced by train and trail connections

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Special Report From the Florida Bicycle Association Messenger.
Florida touring enhanced by train and trail connections - Sunrail from Orlando to St. John's River to Sea Loop
by Laura Hallam, Herb Hiller, Mighk Wilson (via his CommuteOrlando.com blog) and the First Florida Rail to Trail Facebook community page)
 

Florida Bicycle Association honors Herb as "Visionary of the Year"

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On October 25, 2014, Herb Hiller of the Florida East Coast Greenway was honored with the Share the Road Visionary Award, presented to him by Florida Bicycle Association Executive Director Becky Afonso.  Becky talked about all Herb's many contirubtions to Florida Cycling, in addition to his main focus which is the East Coast Greenway.  

Volusia County Trails

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Trails, the hassle and hope of where we need to go
 
Herb Hiller
 
The hassle of Interstate 4 reconstruction and the hope of SunRail have raised talk about transportation to a crescendo.
As the din rose, I was in Athens, Ga., and Boston learning about how the lengthening network of multiuse trails in Florida might help address transportation policy. In Volusia County, reconstruction of I-4 after five years will add thousands of cars to the road. By the end, climate change will have stepped on the gas.
 

Local Connections along the Greenway

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Two calls to me one after the other show how advocates look to the long span of the Greenway to advance local objectives.

Eau Gallie Arts District Connection
Carl Kaiserman called from Eau Gallie with the idea of getting a bike-ped lane west across the Eau Gallie Causeway from Indian Harbour Beach to historic downtown Eau Gallie.

Martin County Connection
The other call came from Thom Detloff, a member of the Martin County BPAC (Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee).

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