Phil and I met up in Inverness this morning and took our time readying for the ride. We had pretty much been assured we'd be on our own. One thing you can always count on when riding the Withlacoochee State Trail is you are very unlikely to be alone! In fact, it matters not how you choose to enjoy the trail, you'll surely see someone else doing it your way.

Today was no exception. The perfect weather had arrived to the delight of all. There was a dog-centric celebration in Inverness, walkers, runners, riders, stollers, & grinners were in play all the way down to Floral City where what appeared to be a Model A car show lined the trail as we slowed in to town.

We stuck to our plan and rode just a little south of Lake Townsend Park before turning around to head back and put on the feed bag. Stopped in to visit Regis & Cindy with a little chatter about camping plans. Meeting one friend after another it seemed many more of us had had the same idea after all. We met Ali & Gosia celebrating Ali's birthday on a mile/year ride.

Quite a beautiful day for enjoying a beautiful trail in Florida.

Thanks for the ride plan, Phil!

Thanksgiving Continued

Sheila, Larry, John, Jeanne, Deanne and I continued to share in the enjoyment of the cool, fresh air waiting for us in Trenton this morning. Lots of different birds were coming and going at the trailhead. Once we were underway and, as the asphalt
warmed, grasshoppers began to leap into our path, sometimes hitching a brief ride.
We rolled out just beyond Old Town before doubling back to visit "Fort Fanning" and the wayside park across the highway in Fanning Springs.
Upon our return to Trenton we had a very nice lunch at the Suwannee Rose Cafe which is right next to the trailhead.
Another great day on the Nature Coast State Trail.


Deanne and I enjoyed what seemed to be the perfect combination of light wind, moderate temperature, and bright sunshine today as we rolled west on the O'Leno to Ichetucknee Trail to the Suwannee River Greenway at Branford. We didn't take in Branford or the Suwannee River, but rather took the new spur to the south along US 129 down to William Guy Lemmon Memorial Park and looped back around to the trail with the hope of spotting a fox squirrel.
Luck was shining brightly today. We saw THREE fox squirrels at three separate locations all within a single mile. Well worth the 30 mile ride.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Don't forget to check our ride schedule link over on the right. We'll look forward to seeing you Friday morning in Trenton.

Gainesville Hawthorne State Trail

There seemed to be no break looming in the cool, windy, overcast day so I struck out on my own to ride the Hawthorne Trail. My late start insured that, for the most part, I saw only oncoming traffic and essentially had the trail to myself on the return to Gainesville. Still beats not riding.

St. Marks

Joe McCormick joined Colleen & Charlie Weill and me in St. Marks for a ride up the Tallahassee St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail on Saturday morning. Joe guided us on a real nice little tour of greater St. Marks before we headed north to Capital Circle. This trail could easily qualify as the friendliest in the state in terms of trailside restrooms per mile pedaled!

Another perfect weather day polished off with lunch on the St. Marks River at the Riverside Cafe after the ride.

Four Freedoms Trail

Colleen & Charlie wanted to see more of northern Florida so we met in Madison at the Four Freedoms Park and rode the Four Freedoms Trail up through Pinetta to the Withlacoochee River. Joe McCormick and Rachel Cornett joined us for the jaunt and we all enjoyed absolutely perfect weather. Greeted by the very friendly folk at the fire station and the polling place next door, we enjoyed a brief rest in quaint, downtown Pinetta before rolling on toward the Georgia line.

Palatka-Lake Butler State Trail

In a surprise turnout, we had fifteen folks meet up and thirteen riders rode a dozen vehicles including eight recumbents. Retirement and birthday celebrations were our excuse, but we seemed to focus on enjoying being outside together more than anything else.

A visit to Blue Water Bay in Melrose for a very special lunch capped a ride off quite nicely!

CRABS ride Park to Park

Several members of the CRABS joined us for a ride on the O'Leno to Ichetucknee Trail from one state park to another. Lunch afterward was in High Springs.

Clean Air Ride 2012

Here's a glimpse of our Clean Air Ride on Saturday.

Catrike Rally

Have a look at my journal post of the 2012 Catrike Rally in Winter Garden.

CRABS on the Suwannee

It was my distinct pleasure today to host a visit to our area by the C.R.A.B.S. (Crusty Retired All Bent Society) as they joined me for a somewhat breezy spin on the Nature Coast State Trail. We all met up at the Fanning Springs State Park and shivered about for several minutes while an overcast sky had shrouded a bright sunny beginning.

Shortly after we started riding, the clouds cleared away and once again let the sun brighten our visions of brilliant jasmine blossoms, bluebirds, and a phoebe.

While our visitors had plenty to talk about, they seemed delightfully taken with the natural setting and openness of the area.

We fancied ourselves struggling upwind into Cross City, confident that upon turning around, we'd have a very supportive tailwind and a bright sun on our chest. We were not disappointed. The 20 miles to Trenton sailed by effortlessly even though we stopped in Old Town for brief relief each way.

The last leg returning to Fanning Springs included more frequent sightings of other riders as the day continued to warm up even in the wind. Occasional reference to dining plans were also on the rise while the fuel gauges dimmed.

Bill's Barbeque in Chiefland had been seen to have a full lot at breakfast, so we all agreed this might be a good choice for refueling. We were once again ...NOT disappointed.

A great ride, beautiful day, terrific food and fine friends. My thanks to Phil, Debbie, Bill, Mary, John, Colleen, and Charlie for traveling north to join me on the Nature Coast State Trail.

slide show of the ride

Sheila's Birthday Ride

On the east coast of north Florida, the Flagler Beach Marineland Trail provides a terrific seashore view and lots of varied scenic opportunities. Rick, Myhra, Al, Larry, Kathleen, Sheila, Bob, Carol, Deanne, John, Jeanne, Shelton and I made a baker's dozen. Our group replaced a tube and shared hugs at Moody Park in downtown Flagler Beach before setting out on a downwind spree up to Bing's Landing.

After posing for our group shot, we made our way back down to the overpass bridge to enter the Palm Coast Linear Park on the west side of the Intercoastal Waterway. This very attractive little trail offers not only great restroom facilities and trailheads but also lots of shade and interesting twists, turns, bridges and other riding fun. We enjoyed a sampling of the park and decided it was time to make haste in our return to Flagler Beach for our planned lunch event. Even though we now had a headwind, the allure of lunch made it seem mild.

Additional friends joined us for a fantastic visit to the very special Flagler Fish Company for a birthday lunch. We then relocated the party to New Smyrna Beach for the remainder of a great weekend. Thanks, Sheila!

Here's a link to the slide show.