Friday, February 28, 2014

February 27, 2014

We woke to a cloudy day with 60% chance of rain. However, it was not actively raining so we got on the bikes about 8:30 AM and headed toward the Ringling Causeway. While still on mainland Florida we passed this snowman (in the yard of a nostalgic northerner no doubt) and the sculpture named "Unconditional Surrender".

There are large artworks all over Sarasota, and many museums and art studios. It is a lovely place.  We crossed the Causeway, stopping at St. Armand's Circle to see the "Seven Virtues" and Michelangelo, all sculpted from white marble and donated to the city in memory of John Ringling, who first envisioned Sarasota as a major cultural center.

We crossed a drawbridge to get to Longboat Key, and had a bike lane most of the rest of the way. There was a brisk north wind, which made for difficult riding as we headed northwest.  We did not see much of the beach from the road on Longboat Key--there were several public beaches but most of the island was built up with condos, large homes, and clubs.  We crossed another drawbridge and entered the community of Bradenton Beach, which was mostly open public beach. We saw some surfers when we stopped to take a break from the windy ride.

We continued to Anna Maria Key, the end of the land and the end of the road we'd been on all morning (FL 789). Once we turned around and headed southeast the riding improved. For once the wind did not change mid-day! We stopped at Coquina Beach for a snack, and made it back to St. Armand's Circle for lunch at Lynches Irish Pub.  While at lunch I had a phone conversation with Bill and heard all about the fires, floods and frigid temperatures back home in Michigan.

We got a little bit lost on the way back to the hotel--next time we come here we are going to plan a bike route from hotel to Causeway! We finally arrived, showered, played a few games of Scrabble and then it was off to the movies again. What a nice mini-vacation in the middle of my warm weather vacation!

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