Florida ride report from a northerner



A

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
 
L

Lars S. Mulford

Guest
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
 
F

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
 
L

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