I’ll admit to most anything and even more so after a few adult beverages, but I digress. My point is simply this; I’m a bicycle commuter at heart and have been since riding my Schwinn Suburban to St. Cecelia’s back in the day.
I’m not competitive on a bicycle. I’m not looking to do a personal best by coughing up a lung to maintain a speed greater than I would push my Honda Element to do. But I am always looking to ride my bike for errands, for exercise and for enjoying the environment. It’s nice when you can get all three in one ride, which is why I love bicycle commuting.
For example, I can leave the Honda at home and load the saddle bags on my Trek 520.
And bring home groceries to last a few days.
Sure, crossing Tampa Road at Race Track Road to get to Publix has it’s challenges, but it can be done and I do it quite often.
Real fun, however, is incorporating the Oldsmar Trail into errands around town. This is not a loop trail, but one that branches out into three directions from the best part of the city, R.E. Olds Park. I can reach the trail from the house easily enough and have used it to bypass Tampa Road on many occasions to reach McMullen Booth Road and beyond. Just today I went seven miles from the house to make a deposit at MidFlorida Credit Union on US 19 without ever touching US 19. My route starting at south Race Track Road: Lafayette Blvd, Oldsmar Trail, Curlew Rd, Countryside Blvd, Northside Dr, and finally, credit union. A mix of road riding and trail enjoyment and, oh yeah, money in the bank.
“Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.” – Steven Wright
I realize most don’t have the time to consider commuting by bicycle, but if you do, please not only consider it, but execute! For two years now, I have set aside three days to bicycle to a Ray’s baseball game.
One day is spent riding at leisure the length of the Pinellas Trail, starting in Oldsmar and connecting at East Lake; a total of 53 miles and rewarded with a two-night stay at America’s Best Inn in downtown St. Petersburg. Day two is game day and activities around downtown are predicated on game time, but there is always something to enjoy in downtown St. Petersburg and the stadium is within walking distance. Day three, the ride back to Oldsmar, with a cutoff at Curlew and Alt 19 to shorten the return trip to 38 miles.
It is it’s own weekend get-away. I thought about if folks from St. Petersburg could do the same and ride up to Oldsmar for two nights and the answer is YES! We may not have a MLB team to see, but consider planning a trip around an Oldsmar event, like Celebrate Oldsmar during Labor Day weekend, or maybe the soon to be scheduled Oldsmar Historic Bicycle Tours – download the draft brochure.
Make the time and enjoy – Go By Bike!