Florida ride report from a northerner

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Alan Weiss, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. Alan Weiss

    Alan Weiss Guest

    David (18), Ben (20), Judy and Alan Weiss (both too old to report) went on such a nice bike ride a
    few weeks ago that I wanted to let you know about it. We went to Bicycle Outfitters in Seminole, FL
    http://www.bicycleoutfitters.net/ and rented four recumbents, two EZ Sport by Sun/Easy Racers, and
    two Giro by Bachetta. http://www.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=67b0de21b3471af645dc The shop is located
    directly on the Pinellas Trail http://www.pinellastrail.com/
    http://www.floridadep.org/gwt/guide/regions/westcentral/trails/pinellas_trail.htm which is a 50-mile
    paved rail trail running mainly north-south along Florida's west coast near Tampa. The trail is
    impressive; if you look at my pictures, you'll see one of several bridges that enable trail users to
    cross busy roads. The pictured ice cream and sandwich shop is mainly accessible from the trail--I
    don't think anyone driving would be likely to notice it.

    Now a brief writeup of our ride. We left the shop and headed north for several miles. After stopping
    at the ice cream shop for lunch we went a bit further, and took a side trail toward Honeymoon
    Island. This part of the trail was mainly on an improved sidewalk, but as the pictures show, it was
    more than adequate, and had its own set of bridges leading to the island. The weather was in the mid
    to high 70s, so we were happy and comfortable. The only part of the trail that was less than
    wonderful was a few blocks in Clearwater that was signed along city sidewalks, and wasn't at all
    scenic. There were water and bathroom breaks spaced regularly along the trail, and it was easy to
    stop for services. We didn't need to stop very often, but we did buy some water bottles at Bicycle
    Outfitters and refilled them once or twice along the ride (they had a bottle cage already fitted to
    each bike). Florida is flat; there were no hills other than the bridges. There was plenty of shade
    on most of the ride.

    If you're looking for a great way to get in a little recumbent riding, I can recommend this as a
    good escape. There are plenty of other activities in the area, too, such as canoeing along the
    unspoiled Little Manatee river http://www.canoeoutpost.com/LittleManatee.html but that is
    another subject.

    Alan Weiss NJ Gold Rush, E2 tandem, and Leitra rider
     
    Tags:


  2. Howdy Alan and others!

    Thanks for posting information about the Pinellas Trail! I am always looking for nice paved trails
    for us to tackle as a family. My girls are 15 and 10, younger than your brood but this trail seems
    quite nice and within the physical limits of my young ladies! Thank you for sharing!

    I'd sure be interested in hearing from others on here about nice and safe paved bike trails in their
    respective locales. I'll share a few from the Eastern Shore (we have a number of them) but our
    trails here are rather short. The nicest ones are the ones that utilize our state parks. Note that
    most of our rides are ones that we can do as a family daytrip.

    Cape Henlopen State Park (http://www.destateparks.com/chsp/chsp.htm) is one of our nicer parks and
    has one of the best bike paths around. The path is paved and loops around the park. You can visit
    lots of WWII stuff, including a sub watch tower (you can go up the tower and see across the bay to
    NJ), the old Fort Miles, and even check out a land battery that once held massive 16" gun
    emplacements. Some of the tallest dunes on the East coast are here and the view from the top is
    beautiful.

    The Cross Island Trail (http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/crossisland.html) is a paved trail
    that meanders through Kent Island on the Eastern Shore. It is very nicely paved and scenic. There
    are surprising amounts of things to do on Kent Island, should you decide to wander off the trail and
    check things out.

    Probably Rachel's favorite ride (she's my youngest daughter) is riding the boardwalk at Ocean City,
    MD. There is so much to do there that I can't tell it all here. (http://www.ocean-city.com/) The
    boardwalk is a few miles long and is a delight. Watch out for the trams that operate during the
    warmer months. The boardwalk gets super crowded during the warmer months; we ride it in the fall.
    There are some biking restrictions during the warmer months so it is best to check ahead.

    A family favorite is riding the bike trail at Assateague Island National Park
    (http://www.nps.gov/asis/). The park fees are waived if you enter on bikes. What we usually do is
    park in the McDonalds parking lot before the bridge that takes you to the park. We ride in the park
    and do the bike trails. You'll see the ponies and much more. The park can get buggy in the warmer
    months - this is another one we ride early in the year or in the fall. Once you've ridden the park,
    you can come out and explore Chincoteague Island on your bike!

    Silver Lake Park in Dover is a beautiful municipal park that is nestled within our state's capitol.
    We ride the trail that is marked out as shown here.
    (http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/life/2003/06/01walkershitthepa.ht ml) It takes you
    through historic districts. There is an old dam in the park as well as a nice beach with swimming
    area. Nice small city park! (http://www.cityofdover.com/index.php?t=parks&s=display&a=19)

    If you want to check out other trails in Delaware, visit here.
    (http://www.deldot.net/static/bike/maps/maps.html)

    --
    "Sea" ya!
    --Lars S. Mulford
    "You can find evil anywhere you look.
    The question is, why are you looking?"
    "Alan Weiss" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > David (18), Ben (20), Judy and Alan Weiss (both too old to report)
    > went on such a nice bike ride a few weeks ago that I wanted to let you
    > know about it. We went to Bicycle Outfitters in Seminole, FL
    > http://www.bicycleoutfitters.net/
    > and rented four recumbents, two EZ Sport by Sun/Easy Racers, and two
    > Giro by Bachetta.
    > http://www.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=67b0de21b3471af645dc
    > The shop is located directly on the Pinellas Trail
    > http://www.pinellastrail.com/
    >
    http://www.floridadep.org/gwt/guide/regions/westcentral/trails/pinellas_trai
    l.htm
    > which is a 50-mile paved rail trail running mainly north-south along
    > Florida's west coast near Tampa. The trail is impressive; if you look
    > at my pictures, you'll see one of several bridges that enable trail
    > users to cross busy roads. The pictured ice cream and sandwich shop is
    > mainly accessible from the trail--I don't think anyone driving would
    > be likely to notice it.
    >
    > Now a brief writeup of our ride. We left the shop and headed north for
    > several miles. After stopping at the ice cream shop for lunch we went
    > a bit further, and took a side trail toward Honeymoon Island. This
    > part of the trail was mainly on an improved sidewalk, but as the
    > pictures show, it was more than adequate, and had its own set of
    > bridges leading to the island. The weather was in the mid to high 70s,
    > so we were happy and comfortable. The only part of the trail that was
    > less than wonderful was a few blocks in Clearwater that was signed
    > along city sidewalks, and wasn't at all scenic. There were water and
    > bathroom breaks spaced regularly along the trail, and it was easy to
    > stop for services. We didn't need to stop very often, but we did buy
    > some water bottles at Bicycle Outfitters and refilled them once or
    > twice along the ride (they had a bottle cage already fitted to each
    > bike). Florida is flat; there were no hills other than the bridges.
    > There was plenty of shade on most of the ride.
    >
    > If you're looking for a great way to get in a little recumbent riding,
    > I can recommend this as a good escape. There are plenty of other
    > activities in the area, too, such as canoeing along the unspoiled
    > Little Manatee river
    > http://www.canoeoutpost.com/LittleManatee.html
    > but that is another subject.
    >
    > Alan Weiss
    > NJ Gold Rush, E2 tandem, and Leitra rider
     
  3. Floridabent

    Floridabent Guest

    > Florida is flat; there were no hills other than the bridges.

    After I had lived in Florida a few years, I told my son in Illinois that I was buying a bike and
    getting back into cycling. He asked if I were getting a mountain bike.

    I told him, "We don't have mountains in Florida. We have overpasses."

    And some of the best are on the Pinellas Trail. Glad you enjoyed your time in the Florida sun.

    Bill, riding bent in Florida (hence the screen name) To e-mail, remove undies
     
  4. Larry Varney

    Larry Varney Guest

    Alan Weiss wrote: <snip> Florida is flat; there were no hills other than the bridges.

    Most of what northerners consider to be Florida is flat. On a clear day, you might be able to
    stand on one of the hotels around Disney World and see Cuba! But seriously, from that point on to
    the south, west and east, there aren't many things that could be called "hills". But if you head
    to the northern portions of Florida, off to the panhandle, for intance, you can find some hills.
    No mountains, of course, but it's not the terrain of the southern portion. And then there's the
    area to the west of Orlando, just to the north of Clermont. That's where they hold the Horrible
    Hundred in November, and I can personally verify that there are a few, really serious hills
    there. Quite a few unsuspecting tourists, or people without a decent granny, have to walk some of
    them. If you do a Google search on "horrible hundred", you should be able to come up with some
    ride reports, pictures, etc. It was a fun ride, if I dis-remember the results of my lollygagging
    about and arriving back at the start when it was getting seriously dark!

    --
    Larry Varney Cold Spring, KY http://home.fuse.net/larryvarney
     
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