Tag Archives: Pinellas Trail

My Fun Ride

I should have written this post last Friday but my free time has been very limited lately. One of the reasons for that is that I turned 50 on Tuesday, but I will talk about than soon.

I was lucky enough to not only get the Fourth of July off from work, but also the fifth. My wife had to work so I decided to take the bike out for a fun ride. I left pretty early, about 7:30 or so. My plan was to ride a little past Downtown Dunedin to Edgewater Park, which is a linear park along the intercostal Waterway. I often pass by in the car and I never think to bring my camera along, which is too bad, because on many mornings the water is like glass and there are some beautiful pictures to be had. This time I put my camera in my seat pack and headed down the Pinellas Trail. The weather was perfect and I was able to choose my destination for the first time in months.

Pinellas Trail, Dunedin Florida

Not far from home on the Pinellas Trail

Pinellas Trail, Dunedin Florida

A view from the Pinellas Trail

Pinellas Trail, Dunedin Florida

Another view from the Pinellas Trail

When we moved to Dunedin in June, it was the third time I moved back to the city after moving away for one reason or another. Something keeps pulling me back and riding down the trail on a lazy Friday morning it is easy to see what it is. It seems peaceful here with great views along the water and a town with a bit of “culture” that caters to cyclists, probably since the trail runs through the middle of downtown.

Dunedin Marina

Dunedin Marina

Edgewater Linier Park in Dunedin

Edgewater Linier Park in Dunedin

Edgewater Linier Park in Dunedin

View from Edgewater Park in Dunedin

Old pier pilings

Old pier pilings

20130705_Dunedin - Edgew_2737I rode through the downtown area, past the marina and to the point that I wanted to photograph. Unfortunately the water was not as smooth as I had hoped for but I was still able to take a few good pictures before my hunger pains intervened. I had not eaten anything that morning so I thought I would stop at The Boxcar before heading home.

The Boxcar Cafe – photo from yelp.com

The Boxcar is a little café and store inside an actual boxcar on the trail in Downtown Dunedin. The Pinellas Trail was created from abandoned railroad tracks so it seems fitting that it is located where it is. I thought I could stop for a while and get a bagel and a cup of coffee. It has been a while since I have been there but I was not expecting to see it closed. There was a sign on the window about some type of organic business coming soon but I don’t remember exactly what it said. I just remember being hungry and having no good option. I didn’t want to go to a restaurant so I just headed home.

View of Downtown Dunedin from the Pinellas Trail

View of Downtown Dunedin from the Pinellas Trail. The Boxcar is just past the stop sign.

I rode about eight miles that morning, less than one way to work, but I loved the fact that I had nowhere that I had to be and I could just ride for the fun of riding. Next time I will eat first so I won’t feel the need to go home as quickly.

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Our Big Move

It has been an entire month since my last post. Where does the time go? Rose and I have been busy with a move. First it was searching for a new place, then , since what we found is smaller, we had to spend time weeding out stuff to be donated. After that it was two weeks of packing and another week of unpacking and we still aren’t done.

We moved back to Dunedin. For me, it is the fourth time I have moved to this small city. Every time I leave, something keeps pulling me back. It is a great place to live, especially where we are, just a half mile from the Pinellas Trail, which is a 47 mile linear park built on an abandoned railroad corridor. It runs mostly north and south throughout the entire county. My path to work is east to west so I will use it for weekend rides with my wife if we can ever find her a bike that she is happy with.

Map to Pinellas County Trail

Another benefit of the new place is that I can keep my bike on the screened patio. Our last place had a screened patio that was too small and had no extra room for a bicycle. Consequently, I had to maneuver it through the front door to the right and then immediately to the left and into a long, narrow closet. It was difficult to do without scratching the door frame. I also got a lot of static from Rose about getting the carpet dirty. Now I just need to find a cover for it.

My bike on our patio

The problem I face now is that we moved seven miles in the opposite direction from my work, which takes my ride from 10 miles to 17 miles. I am up to the challenge and would welcome a longer ride but the problem is time. My wife, as a manager, works many hours more than I do so I have many responsibilities at home that include taking care of the cats, making coffee, breakfast, etc. An extra 14 miles a day would take away another 90 minutes from an already cramped schedule.

Fortunately, we traded our car in for a truck the same day that we moved (It was a busy day). For now, I plan on putting the bike in the truck and driving to Rose’s work and then I will ride to my job from there. I will reverse the process on the way home. This leaves me dependent on Rose being ready for work early enough. Not an ideal situation but it is the best I can do for now. I welcome any other ideas.

Where are the Bikers?

On my ride to work on Thursday, just after I passed the entrance to the trail and before I noticed my mistake, I passed a man even older than me on a recumbent bike. We waved as we passed like we were two guys riding Harleys.

After I realized my mistake and found my way to the trail, I started thinking about the odds of running into another recumbent bicyclist. I wasn’t sure if seeing one on an eleven mile trip was good or bad. It occurred to me then that I saw very few people on bicycles, including on the bike trail. I estimated the number between five and ten.

Pinellas Trail
Pinellas Trail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That seemed strange because I recently lived in Dunedin, on the causeway that leads to Honeymoon Island. There, the Pinellas Trail crosses very close and even has an extension along the causeway. We had to be very careful every time we drove because there was a steady stream of pedestrians and cyclists. In contrast, I saw only one bicycle rider on the portion of the Upper Tampa Bay Trail that I was on.

On the way home I decided to count. I saw two cyclists on the trail and four more off the trail. That is just over one for every two miles traveled. Why is north-west Tampa so bike-free compared to west Pinellas County? I understand the appeal of the Pinellas Trail but does nobody own a bike in Tampa?