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'Explore the Core' kicks off third year in Springfield, adding routes highlighting historic Black Jacksonville neighborhoods

A new bike social route has been added just in time for Black History Month to showcase some of Jacksonville's historic Black neighborhoods.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Historic Springfield District is known for many things and biking is one of them. 

“We decided to maximize that reputation and become even more bike-friendly and to highlight how connected Springfield is to all the urban core neighborhoods," Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (SPAR) Director, Kelly Rich said. 

For the last three years, SPAR has thrown bike socials that explore Jacksonville neighborhoods in a way you can't from a vehicle. They're kicking this season off with a new route through Durkeeville, just in time for Black History Month.

“It’s a historically black neighborhood. There’s a lot of interesting history that happened so we’re excited to go and highlight that neighborhood and in addition, we’re actually going to be stopping and hitting other significant black history moments in Sugar Hill, Durkeeville, and Springfield," Rich said. 

Another new addition this year will be a partnership with Art Bikes Jax. 

“Our missions the same as SPAR’s we want to highlight and elevate community by showcasing what we have here to offer," Art Bikes Jax Owner, Ron Rothberg said. 

The electric bikes, hand-painted by local artists will be made available to rent for the bike socials and brought over to Springfield. 

“We always say that ride art It’s an experience, but we want to make sure we have access to everybody. So the electric bike does a lot of the work so if you don’t feel comfortable doing the mileage or haven’t been on an e-bike before this will help you and if you don’t have a bike this is a great way to get around," Rothberg said.

You can find more information about rentals by clicking here

The bike social is free with no registration required. Just head to 1321 North Main St. by 9 a.m to meet up with the rest of the riders on Saturday. 

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