Saturday, March 7, 2009

Florida Highways and Byways

I jumped out of bed at 6:45, knowing we had to leave on our bikes at 7:35 to get to Chain Wheel Drive bike shop in time to ride at 8! I ate a PBJ sandwich and drank a cup of tea (still off the coffee), aired up the tires and away we went!  My legs were still a little tight from yesterday's 7-mile run...

At the bike shop all the racers and A ride people took off, then the B+  and B riders, and then the B-hind group, including me and Dianne.  About a mile into the ride I knew I could not keep up... I was already at the back of the pack, and the pack was doing 20 to 21 MPH. I told Morgan The Sweep that I was dropping and asked him to tell Dianne. I intended to ride over to the Pinellas trail and do an easy 20 or 30 miles and then pedal on home. When Morgan told Dianne my plans, she dropped back and we made our own ride--and it was superb! 

We took the back roads, out of the relentless traffic of the main roads, and at a photo stop for the Suncoast Cycling Club's Clean up mile we encountered the C riders. We saw them again at Anclote Park where we stopped for a break.  Photo shows us and the C riders, with the Gulf of Mexico in the background.

After we left the  park, we stopped to see the eagle tending its eaglet in the aerie  high above the other trees... we then rode more country roads to Jay Starkey Park, a truly beautiful park with a 6.5 mile paved bike path that is very lightly traveled... from that path we went directly on to the Suncoast Trail and took it to its end. After the trail ended we were on a 6-lane highway for 8 or 10 miles and then stopped for lunch. We zig zagged around on back roads to another section of trail that will eventually connect to the Pinellas Trial that I have mentioned several times. Won't that be a great day!!! Because when the trail ended we were on a 6-lane highway, riding the narrow shoulder dodging the scraps of truck tire and other debris while watching the traffic.  Just a short distance on the highway and then we were on the back roads on the way home. We rode 59.7 miles today, and decided to forgo the planned swim. As a wise man once told me: you can do it all Linda,  but you can't do it all at the same  time! (sigh)

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