Once again we are pleased to share a Florida PANTHERS Post-Event Report from our guest contributor Kathy Foster, the PANTHER’s publicity chair.
The PANTHERS Tandem Club likes to ride and have fun. We did both on Jan. 28, inviting members from throughout Florida to come for a bike ride and party in The Villages, where many of the members live. Twelve tandem teams showed up at 9 a.m. Saturday for the 40-mile bike ride through open countryside. Some couples, including one from Gainesville and another from New Port Richey, spent one or two nights nearby to make it a weekend.
We took a moderately paced ride, passing picturesque farms, crossing I-75 twice over little-traveled bridges and even triggering a stampede of cows on the other side of a fence as we pedaled past. Afterwards, those who could spare the time had lunch at R.J. Gators overlooking Lake Sumter.
In the late afternoon about 50 PANTHERS gathered for a party hosted by Dr. Gabe and Diana Mirkin at their new home. The weather was perfect for mingling and munching on pizza, salads and desserts in their huge lanai. Dave Lawrence, an honorary PANTHER and avid cyclist, spun a great selection of music for listening or dancing. Before the sun set, the music worked its magic, getting many hesitant bicyclists out on the dance floor. After all, don’t we tell novices that riding a tandem is a lot like dancing?
I think it’s only fair to point out that Florida Panthers (Puma concolor coryi) are actually nocturnal loners by nature, noting there’s not even a collective noun for a gathering of panthers analogous to a pride of lions or a leap of leopards. Clearly, this new daylight-loving, gregarious breed of Florida Panther (Paired lycra cladi) is not an endangered species and appears to be thriving! It’s also encouraging to hear at least a few of paired lycra cladi are still nocturnal creatures!!