March - April 2017 Ride Schedule

March 5 - Starkey Park, aka Freda's Ride to see the Alligator
Freda's Gator
  • 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: 10-14 mph
  • Ride Leader: Freda, 847-714-6860 (call or text)
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.

March 12 - Seminole Heights to MacDill AFB 
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM, riders leave promptly at 8:15 (note: Daylight Savings Time begins this morning)
  • Meeting Location: The Independent Beer Pub and Cafe, 5016 N. Florida Avenue, Tampa, 33603 - two blocks south of Hillsborough, Note: Park across the street (Florida Ave.) in the warehouse lot (SHIP- Center for Women - you can use the fenced lot also). Do NOT park behind the Dollar Tree Store or you will be towed.
  • Distance: 26 miles
  • Speed: 12-16 mph
  • Ride Leader: Earl (727) 415-8993 (call or text)
    University of Tampa and the Riverwalk
Ride from The Independent Beer Pub in Seminole Heights to MacDill AFB and back via portions of the downtown Riverwalk, Bayshore Blvd and the Gadsden Park Bike Trail. We'll pass through Ulele Springs, Kiley Gardens, the University of Tampa's Plant Park and the stately mansions that line Bayshore Blvd. We'll stop to take in the waterfront views of Downtown Tampa at Ballast Point Park on the way back, then return through Hyde Park and along the winding streets that line the Hillsborough River. Enjoy brunch, pastries and gourmet coffee back at the Independent Cafe's outdoor patio after the ride.

March 19 - 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: 33-35 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.

March 26 - 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
  • Ride Leader: Les (813) 598-4944 (call or text)
Upper Tampa Bay
We begin near the entrance to Philippe Park and ride next to 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. Following the ride we'll have breakfast in downtown Safety Harbor.

April 2 - Tour of Tampa via Palmetto Beach
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM, riders leave promptly at 8:15
  • Meeting Location: The Independent Beer Pub and Cafe, 5016 N. Florida Avenue, Tampa, 33603 - two blocks south of Hillsborough Ave. Note: Park across the street (Florida Ave.) in the warehouse lot (SHIP- Center for Women - you can use the fenced lot also). Do NOT park behind the Dollar Tree Store or you will be towed.
  • Distance: 19 miles 
  • Speed: 10-14 mph
  • Ride Leader: Susie (813) 236-8119

We'll take a leisurely ride along shady streets and city bike paths, including sections of Tampa's Riverwalk and Greenways connector trails, as we tour Seminole Heights, Ybor City, Channelside, Harbor Island, the Convention Center, Cotanchobee Park, the Amalie Arena and downtown Tampa. Just south of Ybor City we'll take a loop to explore Palmetto Beach and the McKay Bay bike trail, then turn towards downtown Tampa. We'll return through Tampa Heights and Robles Park. Restrooms midway and at the end of the ride. The Shell station, two blocks north on Florida Avenue, will be open at the start of the ride for those needing "necessary" facilities before we begin.

April 9 *** Two Rides to choose from - one long and one short***
Long Ride - Weedon Island to St. Petersburg
  • Distance 26 miles
  • Speed: 12-14 mph
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM (riders leave promptly at 8:15)
  • 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
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 roads that feature the mansions of Snell Isle, Old Northeast and Coffee Pot Bayou. After cycling along the waterfront via the North Bay Trail 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 our cars via a different route through St. Pete. Restrooms and water are available at the kayak launch near the starting location if the museum is closed.

Short Ride: Little Sights of Seminole Heights/Sunday Morning Market
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM (riders leave promptly at 8:15)
  • Meeting Location: Memorial Middle School, 4702 N. Central Avenue, Tampa 33603 (corner of Central and Osborne - park on the OSBORNE side of the school, across from the Hillsborough High School track). Note: restrooms will be open at the Hillsborough High School gym at the far end of the track
  • Distance: 13 miles
  • Speed: 10 -12 mph 
  • Ride Leader: Margaret (813) 254-8882
Come join us as we make a circuit around and through different sections of Seminole Heights, one of Tampa's largest neighborhoods. Discover historic houses, lovely yards and pocket parks sprinkled along the Hillsborough River, as we avoid busy streets by taking less traveled connector roads. We'll return in time to enjoy the food, fun and other offerings at the Sunday Morning Market, located on the front lawn of Hillsborough High School, across the street from our starting spot. Secure, complimentary bicycle parking is provided at the Market by volunteers from the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club. This is a great ride for novice riders or for those wanting to tour a lovely, old neighborhood at a slow and leisurely pace.

April 16 - Upper Tampa Bay Trail (mileage not yet finalized)
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM, leave promptly at 8:15 AM
  • Meeting Location: Waters Avenue Trailhead/Channel Park Pavilion, Upper Tampa Bay Trail, 9201 West Waters Ave, Tampa 33635. Note: You will need $2 to park. Rangers on duty, and they check parking.
  • Distance: 24-32 miles??
  • Speed: 12 - 14 mph
  • Ride Leader: John (813) 613-6047 (call or text)
First opened in 1995, the Upper Tampa Bay is one of the area's most popular. This time we'll start at the main trailhead off of Waters Avenue. This allows us to ride both north and south on the trail where we'll experience going up and over Gunn Highway on the pedestrian/bike bridge as well as looping down and under Linebaugh Avenue before we cross the rustic wooden bridge over Rocky Creek. Part of the trail follows an old railbed (this section is nice and shady and has a beautiful tree canopy), another section circles a now closed landfill, and the southwestern-most section (no shade here, i.e., hot, hot, hot!) follows Channel A (originally built for mosquito controls) as it receives water from Rocky and Brushy Creeks and then flows into Upper Tampa Bay. Once back at the trailhead we'll have the option to ride on to Upper Tampa Bay Park, adding ~8?? miles to the ride. There are restrooms and water at the start and midway along the route. This is a really pretty trail with lots of variety (sun, shade, twists, tight turns, straight-aways, bridges, water views, etc.) and thus a very popular one. Please remember that "Wheels Yield to Heels!!!" We'll drive to breakfast after the ride.

April 23 - Davis Islands Ride
Davis Islands Yacht Basin
  • 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: 14-16 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 Les (813) 598-4944 if you want to join them.

April 30 - Courtney Campbell Trail from Safety Harbor
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM (riders leave promptly at 8:15 AM)
  • Meeting Location: The parking lot BEHIND Starbucks, 105 Main Street, (Harbor Pointe Building) Safety Harbor, 34695
  • Distance: 28 miles
  • Speed: 12 -16 mph
  • Ride Leader: Susie, 813-236-8119
We'll start from the large parking lot behind Starbucks and the Harbor Point building, across the street from the Safety Harbor Marina and ride the trail extension south along Bayshore Dr. until it intersects with the Courtney Campbell Trail. From there we'll ride the Courtney Campbell Trail to its eastern end, just in front of the the Grand Hyatt hotel where we'll connect with a trail that runs along Tampa International Airport. We'll take this trail south to beautiful Cypress Point Park and Beach, and then retrace our route back to Safety Harbor. We'll breakfast after the ride in Safety Harbor. The Courtney Campbell trail is truly spectacular - and it's great fun to ride, including the tall bridge over the boat channel in Upper Tampa Bay. If you like cycling with lots of water views, this ride is for you. Not much shade, though, so bring sunscreen and lots of water. Restrooms are located at the start and midway during the ride.

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