And what a great day today!!! We had planned to meet up with Otis, Jack and Charlie to ride the Pinellas Trail all the way to the end at St. Petersburg. Dianne and I rode out at 8:30, met Otis and Jack in Dunedin, and from there we rode south on the trail and met up with Charlie, who had driven out from this neighborhood. It was bright and sunny, and I ditched my legwarmers in Charlie's car. We rode into a stiff headwind and dealt with it by looking forward to it being a tailwind on the way back.
I annoyed the others by stopping along the way to take photos of interesting things, including most of the trail signs indicating our location, and one lovely bird who crossed our path... no birds like this in Michigan! We climbed a bunch of concrete "hills" where the trail goes up and over big intersections and congested streets, and one long causeway. The Pinellas Trail is newly extended right through St. Petersburg to the waterfront. There is a lovely old pier there that is causing some controversy... there are those who would like it shut down and demolished to save the city money, and those who love the place. Count me among the latter! We rode to the pier, just a short ride from the end of the trail. There we found pelicans eating out of the hands of the tourists (not me!), a replica of the HMS Bounty, and a wide variety of eateries from which to choose our lunch. And we were plenty ready for lunch by that time, having ridden 35 miles to get there! We finished up with ice cream and other delicious desserts. As we were eating lunch we noticed that the flags that had been pointing sharply north were now at a dead standstill. Hmmm....
Once we were back on the trail we had a crosswind for a little while, and then, wouldn't you know it... the wind shifted around again and we were faced with another headwind! Not fair! It was sunny and in the 70s which compensated for the wind to some degree. On the trail I saw a young man riding a bike and playing a guitar! I chased him down and asked if I could take his photo, and he agreed as long as it was not going out on the internet. So you won't see it here, but it was a sight to see!
Dianne and I left the guys at the box car in Dunedin and went off trail to stop at the plumber's shop, having lived for over a day already with no hot water... we were rather unsuccessful there, and came home to cool showers after riding 71.6 miles. Of course we ate as soon as humanly possible, then drove out to the bike shop. This was an important errand since Dianne had broken a cleat on her road bike shoes so rode the long ride today on her heavy steel crossbike and my new gloves spit out their gel pads in St. Petersburg. We left the bike shop as happy as can be, she with her new cleats and me with new gloves (cheerfully exchanged since I just bought them Saturday) and a new bike-mounted tire pump recommended by Dianne. What a great day!