Suwannee River Greenway at Branford

Rachel joined me this morning in Fort White as we stole a morning's ride out from beneath an impending weather front. We used the western 5 miles of the O'Leno to Ichetucknee Trail to get to the Ichetucknee River where we made use of the park's facilites before crossing the bridge on US 27 to get to the Suwannee County side where the Suwannee River Greenway at Branford terminates.

This trail has changed a lot since I last rode it in September. Maintenance is way up and debris is way down. It is like night and day comparing the two trails we used today! They have eradicated the major sand wash at one intersection that always saw me dismount, and replaced it with an asphalt ramp. Very nice! Nearly every intersection had, at the very least, fresh yellow paint on the barricade posts, many had new posts, too! It was readily apparent that the trail had recently been edged, mowed, and swept and was indeed a treat to ride from end to end and encounter so very little in the way of surface problems. I was also suprised to find the dive shop building completely gone that had stood atop the north boat ramp at Ivey Memorial Park.

The weather seemed to be holding so nicely that we went ahead west of the north end of the trail to Little River Springs where what seemed to be at least a gagglette of geese hustled away from my low slung craft. There was just enough of a coolness in the breeze to talk me out of my interest in jumping in the inviting spring.

On the way back, we went into the Ichetucknee River State Park and back out again just enough to push our velometers up to total 40 miles by the time we stopped back in Fort White. A good ride... now bring on the rain and the new year!

Photos are posted in the gallery. We're looking forward to riding much more next year.

Trail Condition: Vastly improved, facilities marginal (portable toilets at Little River Springs).
O\vo~

Jacksonville-Baldwin Rained Out

The threat of rain had been reduced to 10% for Saturday morning, according to some forecasters, so we rose early and made the drive, allowing some extra time for a breakfast stop at Everybody's Restaurant. Before we saw Raiford, the pavement began showing signs of recent rain and by the time we made it to Macclenny there was a consistent drizzle. We were encouraged by a lull in precipitation in downtown Baldwin and Rachael joined Deanne and I for breakfast, which made it seem even more likely things would work out.

Then we drove the few blocks north to the trailhead park and as soon as we parked, it began to sprinkle again, and a little heavier. So, we called it "rained out", parted company, and headed for home.

When Deanne and I got underway and realized the sky was constantly improving, it seemed only natural to simply relocate plans for which we were already armed. We drove to Fort White, parked at the Community Thrift Shop, unloaded the trikes, and pedaled away on the O'Leno to Ichetucknee Trail. So we salvaged a rained out ride by enjoying a sunny little 26 mile jaunt through the debris and called it a day. Photos are posted in the gallery.

Trail Condition: Absolutely deplorable, completely blocked in three places, facilities non-existent, this trail is dangerously close to finishing an entire year since its dedication without maintenance.













Don't forget, you can comment on what you read here by simply clicking the word "COMMENTS" at the bottom of each post.

O\vo~

West Orange Trail

As a cold front stalled between us and the West Orange Trail, we were faced with an uncertain weather circumstance for today's ride. Sandra and I met at Gary's before daylight and then drove south through occasional light rain to find ourselves surprised by a rain-free Winter Garden celebrating the season with a parade through its downtown streets. We pedaled through the center, following the trail west, guided by survey tape and barricades as a few of the early birds began to set up their chairs. Upon our eastbound return, the procession had begun so we had to detour a couple blocks away to make a path around the crowds.

On the east side, it had already reached 80 degrees out and a light breeze with fairly solid cloud cover kept it nice and comfortable for riding. We had taken a side trip to the shores of Lake Apopka in Oakland, so it seemed natural to stop again at the lovely Chapin Station and walk through the garden there. A little further along, we found this guy running his brood in and out of this fence alongside the trail. Clarcona Horseman's Park is our usual turn-around point, but as we did that today, we decided to go ahead a ride the rest of the trail up to Apopka.

At what I had known as the end of the trail (2 blocks south of US 441), there were serious signs of construction leading us to look further. To our great delight, up on concrete stands awaiting future placement, we discovered the previously promised bridge that will span US 441 in Apopka and connect the part of the trail I already knew with another 3.1 miles of it heading north out of town! We couldn't help but begin to hope this might be completed by the time we visit the area for our Spring Trails Tour in March.

These and other thoughts almost kept us from noticing an increasing likelihood of our being caught in an afternoon shower. Before long, we noticed our pace had quickened as decidedly as the relative humidity. The barbeque was still good, though the restaurant at the Winter Garden Hotel had undergone a name change. It is now called "The Grove" which I thought was somewhat appropriate since there seem to be fewer and fewer of those around any more.

So, the front held its position just long enough for us to finish our ride and meal and the light and occasional rain again cooled our travel as we drove northward home. Sandra, Gary and I rode 38 miles. Photos are posted in the gallery. We're looking forward to the Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail next weekend.

Trail Condition: Simply Excellent, facilities exceptional.
O\vo~

Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail

Today was all about color. The trees on the trail seemed to be at their peak of fall turning, and though it started out fairly cool, the four of us enjoyed peeling off the layers as it warmed up very nicely. A great blue heron winked as we crossed the first bridge and three armadillos greeted us on our return. Sandra, Gary, Deanne and I held a peaceful pace for the 31 miles. Photos are posted in the gallery. We're talking up the idea of driving to the West Orange Trail next weekend.

Trail Condition: As always, fairly good repair, no trash or debris, facilities functional, scenery was positively exceptional.
O\vo~

Some Rearranging

Perhaps to keep it interesting, probably to keep me interested, the website is undergoing some changes at this time. I am thinking that I may let topical postings on this blog replace the page now known as "Trail Reports" as it will make it simpler to keep them current and possibly make them easier to find. Photos from the rides we take are also now much easier to deal with, both up- and down-loading as well as viewing (Thanks, Google!).

Using the blog has the added benefit of providing a feedback channel, in that as readers, you may enter comments you may have along the way, whether or not you were able to enjoy the ride.

I have added a couple rides to the "Ride Schedule", so do have a look and join us if you can.
O\vo~

Thanksgiving

I'd like to go on record right here, right now, to express how very thankful I am to have the ability and the opportunity to regularly pedal my way along the trails we've chosen in the company of so many wonderful friends I am blessed enough to have made. Thank You, one and all, for joining me out there! Have a great holiday!
O\vo~

Photo Gallery

Photos of Recent Recumbent Rides

  • Hawthorne Trail, November 27, 2010
  • Space Coast Invaders, July 24, 2010
  • Patch and Go, May 29, 2010
  • Nature Coast State Trail, March 13, 2010
  • Hawthorne Trail, February 20, 2010
  • Sheila's Birthday, January 24, 2010
  • Withlacoochee Invasion II, November 14, 2009
  • Withlacoochee State Trail, August 8, 2009
  • Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail, August 1, 2009
  • Nature Coast Trail, July 25, 2009
  • Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail, July 11, 2009
  • Lake Beresford Park, July 4, 2009
  • The Legacy Trail, June 20, 2009
  • Watermelon Festival, June 6, 2009
  • Crockett Springs, May 17, 2009
  • Withlacoochee Trail - 3, April 19, 2009
  • Withlacoochee Trail - 2, April 18, 2009
  • Withlacoochee Trail - 1, April 17, 2009
  • Branford Flood, April 11, 2009
  • Hawthorne Trail, April 4, 2009
  • Old Bellamy Road, March 22, 2009
  • Van Fleet State Trail, February 27, 2009
  • Keystone Heights to Gold Head Branch, February 8, 2009
  • Nature Coast State Trail, February 7, 2009
  • Withlacoochee State Trail, January 9, 2009
  • West Orange Trail, January 1, 2009
  • Hawthorne Trail, June 28, 2008
  • O'Leno to Ichetucknee Trail, June 14, 2008
  • Nature Coast, June 7, 2008
  • Fort White to Branford, March 28, 2008
  • Four Freedoms Trail, March 16, 2008
  • West Orange Trail, March 1, 2008
  • Nature Coast State Trail, February 16, 2008
  • Withlacoochee State Trail, February 15, 2008
  • River Road Ride, January 29, 2008
  • Nature Coast State Trail, January 12, 2008


  • Archived Photos of Relic Recumbent Rides

  • Seminole-Wekiva Trail, November 3, 2007
  • Jekyll Island, October 11, 2007
  • West Orange Trail, September 8, 2007
  • Withlacoochee Trail - north, September 3, 2007
  • Withlacoochee Trail - south, September 1, 2007
  • Hawthorne Trail, August 4, 2007
  • St. Marks Trail, July 28, 2007
  • General James A. Van Fleet State Trail, July 21, 2007
  • Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail, July 14, 2007
  • Haile Plantation, July 4, 2007
  • Hawthorne Trail, June 30, 2007
  • Fanning Springs Tee on Nature Coast Trail, June 23, 2007
  • Fort White to Little River Springs, June 16, 2007
  • Nature Coast Trail, June 9, 2007
  • Withlacoochee Trail, May 26, 2007
  • Nature Coast Trail, May 19, 2007
  • Silver Comet Trail, May 10, 2007
  • Chief Ladiga Trail, May 8, 2007
  • Hawthorne Trail, April 21, 2007
  • Avenue of Abandon, April 14, 2007
  • St. Marks Trail, March 30, 2007
  • Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail, March 29, 2007
  • Nature Coast Trail, March 28, 2007
  • Seminole-Wekiva Trail, March 27, 2007
  • West Orange Trail, March 26, 2007
  • Withlacoochee Trail, March 25, 2007
  • Hawthorne Trail, March 24, 2007
  • General James A. Van Fleet State Trail, March 17, 2007
  • Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail, March 10, 2007
  • Hawthorne Trail, February 24, 2007
  • Nature Coast Trail, February 17, 2007
  • Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail, January 13, 2007
  • Nature Coast Trail, January 2, 2007
  • Suwanne River Greenway at Branford, December 31, 2006
  • Jacksonville-Baldwin/O'Leno to Ichetucknee Trail, December 30, 2006
  • West Orange Trail, December 2, 2006
  • Hawthorne Trail, November 25, 2006
  • Nature Coast Trail to Old Town, November 18, 2006
  • Fort White to O'Leno, November 11, 2006
  • Fort White to O'Leno, November 4, 2006
  • Hawthorne Trail, October 29, 2006
  • Nature Coast Trail to Chiefland, October 21, 2006
  • Flagler Beach to Marineland, September 2, 2006
  • Hawthorne Trail, August 19, 2006
  • Nature Coast Trail to Cross City, August 12, 2006
  • Withlacoochee Trail, July 8, 2006
  • Fort White to Ichetucknee, July 1, 2006
  • Hawthorne Trail, February 18, 2006
  • Withlacoochee Trail, January 28, 2006
  • Flagler Beach to Marineland, November 27, 2005
  • Pinellas Trail, March 2, 2005
  • Surprise in Downtown Columbus, GA, the Chattahoochee River Walk, March 2005

  • Return to Feet First

    Other Links

  • Trails Guide

  • Rails-to-Trails Conservancy(RTC)

  • The Bicycle Tutor can help you keep your bike working great

  • What's the deal with recumbents, anyway?

  • For additional information on recumbent bicycles try BentRider Online Forums or The Recumbent and Human Powered Vehicle Information Center

  • Bicycle Trail Reviews

  • Recumbent History

  • Webmaster

    Return to Feet First

  • Ride Schedule

    Scheduled rides

    • Closed - Gone Ridin’.

    These rides are intended to be relaxed, "self supported" group rides. While we'll help each other, there's no sag assistance or sponsored rest stops. Each rider is responsible for bringing or acquiring their own sustenance before, after, and during the ride. Rides will generally be on paved bike trails only. There is no fee, no membership, helmet use is encouraged, and, as always, "head first" riders are also welcome. Address questions to behindthecrank@gmail.com.

    Trails Guide

    * All Trails View *
    Flagler-Marineland Trail
    Four Freedoms Trail
    Gainesville Hawthorne State Trail
    General James A Van Fleet State Trail
    Jekyll Island
    Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail
    Lake Minneola Scenic Trail/Clermont Trail
    Keystone Heights to Gold Head Branch
    Lake Beresford Park
    The Legacy Trail
    Meadowbrook to Haile Golf Tour
    Nature Coast State Trail
    O'Leno to Ichetucknee Trail
    Pinellas Trail
    Rinehart Road Trail
    River Road Ride
    Seminole-Wekiva Trail
    Suncoast Trail
    Suwannee River Greenway at Branford
    Tallahassee - St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail
    Upper Tampa Bay Trail
    The Villages
    West Orange Trail
    Withlacoochee State Trail
    Withlacoochee Bay Trail

    Ride Log