The Community House was filled to capacity with Sanibel Bicycle Club members celebrating their 20th anniversary on Feb. 10.
Since 1994 the club has grown from a handful of people to more than 200 members. Many of those members attended last week's celebration which featured a potluck and humorous performance highlighting the club's history and legacy.
Founding president Keith Trowbridge, who submitted the very first bike club advertisement seeking members in the Island Reporter, visited Sanibel for the celebration. Trowbridge was remembered by his friends as always smoking a thick cigar as he biked.
Members of the Sanibel Bicycle Club celebrated their 20th anniversary. MCKENZIE CASSIDY.
The outgoing club president, Sharon Hannon, said the member turnout at the celebration was the most she has ever seen. Seventy or less typically attend the regular potlucks hosted at Community House while last week's celebration was so full that the organizers had to bring in extra tables and chairs.
"This is huge for us to have this many," said Hannon.
She said that membership has increased as the bicycle club has received more publicity over the years.
Last year, the Sanibel Bicycle Club and the City of Sanibel were recognized as "Complete Streets Champions of the Year" by BikeWalkLee. The city was also designated a "Bike Friendly Community" by the League of American Bicyclists in 2010.
The club worked with the city in developing the Sanibel Shared Use Path Master Plan to ensure that it maintained the status of being walkable and bikeable, and they installed signs along the path and conducted public service campaigns for bicycle safety.
Memberships with the Sanibel Bicycle Club cost between $20-25. To learn more about the club or becoming a member, visit sanibelbicycleclub.org.