November - December, 2017 Ride Schedule

November 5 - Ride the Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail and the Bayshore Trail to Safety Harbor and back
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM (riders leave promptly at 8:15 AM)
  • Meeting Location: Skyway Park parking lot, near the restroom building, 3901 George Rd., Tampa 33634
  • Distance: 27 miles
  • Speed: 13 -16 mph
  • Ride Leader: Joe C. (813) 300-5584
We’ll ride from Skyway Park in the Town and Country area of Tampa to the Courtney Campbell Trail. We'll go down the north side of the Trail to the bridge, then cut over to the south side and continue to its western end in Pinellas County. From there we head north into Safety Harbor on the Bayshore Trail. Once in downtown Safety Harbor we'll stop for breakfast at a local restaurant. After breakfast we'll ride back to Skyway Park along the entire south side of the Skyway trail; thus, the majority of the ride is on bike trails.

The Courtney Campbell trail is truly spectacular - and it's great fun to ride. If you like cycling with lots of water views, this ride is for you. Not much shade though, so bring sunscreen and plenty of water. Restrooms are located at the park and midway at the restaurant.

November 12 - Weedon Island to St. Petersburg
  • Distance 26 miles
  • Speed: 12-14 mph
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM (prompt departure at 8:15 AM)
  • Meeting Location: Weedon Island Cultural and Natural History Center parking lot, 1800 Weedon Dr. NE, St. Petersburg 33702 (Gandy Blvd west, turn at San Martin and follow the signs)
  • Ride Leader: Don (813) 964-9193 (this is landline, do not text)
The ride begins at the Weedon Island Cultural and Natural History Center at the end of Pinellas County's Weedon Island Park. We'll wend our way to downtown St. Petersburg via the waterfront homes of Shore Acres, the mansions of Snell Isle, and the bungalows of Old Northeast and Coffee Pot Bayou. After cycling along the city's waterfront we'll circle the Dali Museum and the Mahaffey Theater complex as we ride into downtown St. Pete and our breakfast stop, midway through the ride. After breakfast we'll return to Weedon Island via 1st Street N. Restrooms and water are available at the kayak launch near the starting location if the museum is closed.

November 19 - Them Thar Hills around San Antonio
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM (depart promptly at 8:15 AM)
  • Meeting Location: San Antonio Railroad Depot Museum, 32627 Railroad Ave, San Antonio, FL 33576.
  • Distance: 22 miles with an optional, very hilly 5-mile loop at the ride's end, depending upon group's wishes
  • Speed: 12-14 mph
  • Ride Leader: John (813) 613-6047 (call or text)

We will start at the San Antonio Railroad Depot Museum and head south beyond San Antonio for our first climb up Prospect Hill. Most of our ride will take us north to northeast of San Antonio and then back. About 1/4th to 1/3rd of the ride is flat to gently rolling, although there are some hills with "steepish" grades including Happy Hill Road and "The Three Sisters". If you have a standard compact double front crank you can do the ride. You just spin your way up. There is no shame in walking part-way (or all the way) up, either! We'll enjoy breakfast after the ride in San Antonio. Note: We will be in the "country" for this ride, so be sure you come prepared with TWO bottle of water. There are restrooms at the ballfield across from our meeting location, but no facilities on the route.

November 26 - Thonotosassa Circuit
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM (prompt departure at 8:15 AM)
  • Meeting Location: John B. Sergeant's Park, 12702 US Highway 301, Thonotosassa, FL 33592 (bring $2 parking fee)
  • Distance: 33 miles
  • Speed: 12-16 mph
  • Ride Leader: Susie (813) 236-8119 (this is a landline, do not text)

This is a scenic ride along the rolling hills and rural farmlands surrounding Lake Thonotosassa. We'll cycle south from the park, around the lake and then up, down and around the peaceful roads and country lanes of eastern Hillsborough County. We'll end up on the short Ft. King bike trail as we return to the park. Keep an eye out for hawks, vultures, sandhill cranes and strawberries in the fields. There are rolling hills near the start of the ride, and a couple more after the half-way point. Restrooms and water at the start; none on the ride.

December 3 - Oldsmar Discovery
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM (riders leave promptly at 8:15 AM)
  • Meeting Location: Shelter #5, Philippe Park, 2525 Philippe Parkway, Safety Harbor, FL 34695 (first parking lot/pavilion to the right of the park entrance)
  • Distance: 25 miles
  • Speed: Minimum 12, Maximum 16
  • Ride Leader: Earl (727) 415-8993 (call or text)
Beginning with an uphill, "warm-up" loop through Philippe Park we will ride around the northern-most shores of Tampa Bay to discover the hidden parks and trails of Oldsmar. Expect one bridge to climb, along with some spectacular waterfront views of Upper Tampa Bay. Oldsmar was named for R.E. Olds, an early automotive pioneer and founder of the REO Motor Car Company, and R.E. Olds Park on the shores of upper Tampa Bay is one of the first areas we'll pass through. Our journey next takes us to Mobbly Beach Park, then to Mobbly Bayou along the Oldsmar Trail, continuing with a loop through Hillsborough County's Upper Tampa Bay Park before we work our way back to our cars. Restrooms at the start and at Upper Tampa Bay Park, our midway point. We'll drive to breakfast after the ride.

December 10 - Davis Islands Ride

  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM (prompt departure at 8:15 AM)
  • Meeting Location: Sandra Freedman Tennis Complex Parking Lot, 59 Columbia Drive, Tampa 33606 (next to Tampa General Hospital)
  • Distance: 15 miles
  • Speed: 10-12 mph
  • Ride Leader: Les (813) 598-4944 (call or text)
We'll tour waterfront homes, the airport, dog park and seaplane basin as we ride a circuitous route around and then up the middle of Davis Islands. We'll end up at a coffee shop where we can enjoy food and conversation. This is a good ride for new riders because the pace is relaxed, the roads are quiet and traffic is minimal. For those who want to add 10 miles to the ride, there will be a group riding down from Seminole Heights to the start. Call or text Les (813) 598-4944 if you want to join them.

December 17 - Starkey Park, aka Freda's Ride to see the Alligator
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM (riders leave promptly at 8:15)
  • Meeting Location: Havana Dreamers, 3104 Town Ave. Trinity Florida 34655 (corner of Starkey Blvd and Town Ave - park on the street or in the dirt lot across from the restaurant)
  • Distance: 25 miles
  • Speed: 12-14 mph
  • Ride Leaders: Freda, 847-714-6860 (call or text), Paul and Dana
Beginning in one of Pasco County's sprawling subdivision-towns we'll take the Starkey Blvd. bike path, across the street from Havana Dreamers, and ride 4 miles north to the entrance of Starkey Park. We'll ride the park's 10-mile Wilderness Trail until we reach the Suncoast Bike Trail. There we turn north and go 1/2 mile to see a pond with a resident alligator. We return the same way we rode out, adding a one-mile loop in Starkey Park for a water and restroom stop. While in the park we may see white-tailed deer, fox squirrels, sandhill cranes, and numerous varieties of other birds. Restrooms are also available before the ride at Havana Dreamers where we'll enjoy coffee, pastries, breakfast and/or lunch after the ride.

December 24 - Christmas Eve - no ride scheduled

December 31 - New Year's Eve - General James A. Van Fleet Trail 
** Note changed departure time **
  • Distance ~30 miles
  • Speed: 12-14 mph
  • Meeting Time: 8:45 AM (prompt departure at 9:00 AM)
  • Meeting Location: Polk City Trailhead, 7683 Berkley Road, Polk City, FL 33968 – GPS Coordinates N28⁰ 10.867 W081⁰49.662 (Going east on Interstate 4 (towards Orlando), take Exit 38/Polk City and follow Route 33 North to Polk City. The trailhead is at the intersection of Route 33 and Route 655/Berkley Road)
  • Ride Leader: Susie (813) 236-8119 - morning of the ride call or text Earl, (727) 415-8993
Named after General James A. Van Fleet, a distinguished combat commander in both World Wars and the Korean War, the Van Fleet Trail is considered the most remote trail in Florida. It runs 29.2 miles north from Polk City to Mabel (off Highway 50), with an additional, new section, the TECO Trail, 10 miles south to Auburndale. Because it is a former Seaboard railroad line, the path is straight and flat (i.e., no hills), with just one gentle curve. We will ride about 15 miles north in search of that one curve, and then turn around and return to our start. The majority of the trail runs through the Green Swamp, headwaters for four major rivers: the Hillsborough, Peace, Withlachoochee and the Oklawaha. You won't see many people. You will see cattle ranches, lush forests and wetlands. Depending upon the season of the year you could see wildflowers, birds, butterflies, alligators, turkey, deer, bobcats, gopher tortoises, rabbits, the rare Sherman's squirrel, snakes of every variety, and even alpaca on a farm near Polk City. Restrooms and water a mile from the start, and along the trail. 

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