2018 January - February Ride Schedule

January 7 - Withlacoochee State Trail, Ridge Manor to Floral City and back***Note special time for this ride***
Cafe in Floral City
  • Meeting Time: 8:30 AM, leave promptly at 8:45 AM
  • Meeting Location: Ridge Manor Trailhead, Withlacoochee State Trail, Brooksville, FL 34602. Directions: From Interstate 75 heading north, take Exit 61 (new exit 301) to US 98/50. Head east on US 98/50, approximately one mile to Croom Rital Road. Take a left and proceed to the trailhead on the right (note, if you pass under the trail bridge on US 98/50 you've missed the turn at Croom Rital Road)
  • Distance: 34-36 miles
  • Speed: 12-14 mph
  • Ride Leader: John (813) 613-6047 (call or text)
Starting from the Ridge Manor trailhead we'll ride the trail north for about 15 miles and then return to our start. We'll eat breakfast in Floral City midway through the ride. This trail is basically flat and straight for those of you who like to power ahead. For those who prefer to chat and enjoy the scenery, the trail winds through a typical and beautiful central Florida hardwood forest.

January 14 - Seminole Heights to MacDill AFB 
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM, riders leave promptly at 8:15 AM
  • Meeting Location: The Independent Beer Pub and Cafe, 5016 N. Florida Avenue, Tampa, 33603 - two blocks south of Hillsborough, Note: Park in the vacant lot across the street - you can also use the fenced lot there. Do NOT park behind the Dollar Tree Store or you will be towed.
  • Distance: 26 miles
  • Speed: 12-16 mph
  • Ride Leader: Earl (Tampa) 727-415-8993 (call or text)

Ride from The Independent Beer Pub in Seminole Heights to MacDill AFB and back via sections of the downtown Riverwalk, Bayshore Blvd and the Gadsden Park Bike Trail. We'll pass through the Water Works Park, Kiley Gardens, the University of Tampa's Plant Park and the stately mansions lining Bayshore Blvd. We'll stop to enjoy waterfront views of Downtown Tampa at Ballast Point Park, then return through Hyde Park and the winding streets along the Hillsborough River. Enjoy brunch, pastries and gourmet coffee back on the Independent Cafe's outdoor patio after the ride.

January 21 - 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.

January 28 - South St. Petersburg Parks Tour
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM (riders leave promptly at 8:15)
  • Meeting Location: Medical Arts building parking lot, 2191 9th Ave. North St. Petersburg FL 33713
  • Distance: 25 miles
  • Speed: 12 -14 mph 
  • Ride Leader: Earl of St. Pete, 727-455-7854 (calls only, no texts)
This ride starts off south on 22nd Street with a tour of St. Petersburg's historic midtown neighborhoods. After a stop at Dell Holmes Park on the shores of sparkling Lake Maggiore we'll ride through Lakewood Estates and then on to the unique Pink Streets at the southern end of the city. We'll work our way back to downtown St. Pete by following the coastline of Tampa Bay, visiting several parks and historic areas on our way. Breakfast stop is at a local restaurant in downtown St. Pete, just two miles before returning to our cars. The last two miles of the ride, after breakfast, are filled with vibrant street art and huge murals, just another indication of why St. Petersburg has become a new "happening" place to live. The ride focuses on history, not speed. Restrooms available at the start and midway through the ride.

February 4 - 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.

February 11 - Pinellas Trail to Tarpon Springs and Fred Howard Beach
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM (leave promptly at 8:15 AM)
  • Meeting Location: Parking lot behind Dunedin Historical Museum/Old Train Depot, 349 Main Street, Dunedin 34698 - the lot is just beyond Douglas and Main Streets and the intersection with the Pinellas Trail (Note: there is a small fee for parking - $1.50 for 3 hours. Credit cards are accepted. Or, you can park in the free dirt lot across from the trail depot)
  • Distance: 29 miles 
  • Speed: 12-16 mph
  • Ride Leader: Wayne (801) 520-0350 (call or text)
From the Old Train Depot in Dunedin we'll ride north on the Pinellas Trail through Ozona, Palm Harbor and Crystal Beach to Tarpon Springs and then out to beautiful Fred Howard Park and Beach. The Pinellas Trail is considered by many to be Florida's premier trail, and this section its prettiest. The route is scenic and shady, with one pedestrian bridge over Alternate 19 to add a small challenge for your legs and bicycle navigation skills. We leave the trail in Tarpon Springs to ride past the sponge docks and Spring Bayou (where the traditional Epiphany cross is thrown). Then we're out across the causeway to the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico. We'll return to Dunedin via the Trail and walk to breakfast at a bike-friendly cafĂ© after the ride. Restrooms at the train depot and at the beach.

February 18 - Downtown St. Pete to the SkyWay Bridge
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM (riders leave promptly at 8:15 AM)
  • Meeting Location: Parking lot next to/east of the North Shore Pool Dog Park and St Pete Softball field, junction of 7th Avenue NE and Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg, FL, 33701 (Vinoy Park, 701 Bayshore Dr NE, 33701, is on the southeastern side of this parking lot, North Shore Pool is to the north)
  • Distance: 29 miles
  • Speed: 12-14 mph
  • Ride Leader: Susie (813) 236-8119 or Earl's cell (727) 415-8993 morning of ride
From just south of the Vinoy Hotel we'll ride through downtown St. Pete to pick up the beginning of the Pinellas Trail at Tropicana Field. Shortly after passing Gibbs High School we'll turn south onto the SkyWay Trail which winds south through multiple small parks, including the particularly scenic Clam Bayou section, to end near the southern end of Pinellas County at the BayWay. We'll pass under I-275 and then take to the streets until we reach Maximo Park and the bike trail heading out to the SkyWay bridge. This trail parallels I-275 and offers dramatic views of Tampa Bay and the SkyWay bridge, as well as having two short (one a bit steep) bridges to climb. Our turnaround point is the I-275 rest area just before the main SkyWay bridge span. It features restrooms and the memorial to the U.S.S. Blackthorn. We'll return to our start via Pinellas Point and its famous pink streets, then head north following the South Bay Bike route on 4th, 3rd and 1st Avenues S. We'll pass by USF's beautiful Bayboro Campus, then swing over for breakfast at a local downtown restaurant before returning to our cars.

February 25 - Safety Harbor to the Clearwater Ream Wilson/East-West Trail
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM, riders leave promptly at 8:15
  • Meeting Location: Shelter #5, Philippe Park, 2525 Philippe Park, Safety Harbor 33625
  • Distance 24 miles
  • Speed: 12-14 mph
  • Rider Leader: Les (813) 598-4944 (call or text)
We'll begin near the entrance to Philippe Park and ride along the waters of Upper Tampa Bay, the Safety Harbor Spa and downtown Safety Harbor until we connect with the Clearwater Ream Wilson/East-West Trail. On the Trail we'll enjoy the twists, turns and short "hills" of this scenic bike trail as it winds through several of the area's prettiest parks, across a boardwalk into a wildlife sanctuary, down the middle of a Frisbee golf course and a jaunt past the Phillies Spring Training facility. More mileage is available with an optional out and back down the Duke/Progress Energy spur trail. Following the ride we'll drive to breakfast at a local Safety Harbor restaurant.

March 4 - Annual Withlacoochee State Trail - Rails to Trails Ride 
***NOTE Change in Start Time for this ride only*** 
  • Meeting Time: 8:30 AM, leave promptly at 8:45 AM
  • Meeting Location: North Apopka Avenue Trail Crossing, 315 N Apopka Ave., Inverness, 34451, in front of the Red Caboose
  • Distance: Your choice of 14, 30, 48, 62 or 100 miles (or any other distance you prefer)
  • Speed: 12 - 14 mph
  • Ride Leader: John (813) 613-6047
Postponed from October, due to storm damage, this is an annual event for us on the scenic, 46-mile Withlacoochee Trail. Its $35 to ride, but all proceeds go to the Rails to Trails fund. You can register online by March 02 to be entered for a door prize, or register as a walk-up on the day of the ride. The event features 5 sag stops, breakfast, lunch, snacks and prize drawings. More info and registration information at 

Call the ride leader if you plan to ride with us so we can coordinate meeting up and starting together. Right now the plan is to ride together as a group for about 30 miles, but you are free to determine your own distance.

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