Gold Head Branch State Park

Pre-ride warm up for the "carbon-based units", both two-legged and three-wheeled varieties, Charlie, Colleen, and Russ await the ride start while Sandra, Beatrice, Jamie and I finishing getting ready. We rode through the park, down the connector, and east on the Palatka Lake Butler State Trail through Grandin and Florahome. The threat of rain showers kept the wind in our face and promised to help us hurry back. The entire round trip totaled 52 miles with a brief and light shower on the way back. A very rewarding visit to Blue Water Bay in Melrose polished off another great ride stolen from the forecasters.

Flagler Beach/Palm Coast Ride

A full dozen of us descended upon Flagler Beach this morning and eleven set out on a 42 mile clockwise loop around the Intracoastal Waterway including the Lehigh Trail, the Pine Lakes Path, the Palm Coast Linear Parkway, and the Flagler Beach Marineland Trail. Last minute adjustment had us swing north to include a visit to the seaside section of the Washington Oaks State Park then we headed back south for the lunch table! 

The group was taken care of in supreme style at the Flagler Fish Company as their own Brock attended to our every need. Sandy skipped the photo shoot, which included Noel, Pat, Charlie, Jim, Russ, Bob, Irwin, Bruce, Phil, Mary, and Joe, but did not skip lunch. Another fine day on the trail.

Nature Coast State Trail

Met up with some fine folks on the Nature Coast State Trail this morning as Pati was enjoying her first outing on her new bike with Daintry, Beatrice, and Jamie. They rode over to Fanning Springs while I dashed out to Cross City and back. Then we met up for an outstanding lunch at Cherry's Seafood & Steak in Trenton.

Nature Coast Tigers

Here's the group that rode the Nature Coast State Trail Tuesday from
end to end to end!

Bruce, Tommy, Colleen, Charlie, and Russ

Nature Coast State Trail

Tommy Tinker and I ran "Color Guard" for the upscale CarbonTrikes and Wind Cheetah owners as our pod of five behaved in true marauder fashion, conquering the entire Nature Coast State Trail (100 km) in a fell swoop given purely perfect weather with which to contend. Colleen, Charlie, and Russ were detained only lightly by a brief lunch stop in Trenton and a minor blowout event on the return route. Another wonderful day in a state park! 

Four Freedoms Trail

Deanne and I took a drive up to peaceful, downtown Madison, Florida this morning to the Four Freedoms Park. We launched our recumbents there and rode the thirteen miles of Madison County Four Freedoms Trail up to the shores of the (other) Withlacoochee River and looked across at Georgia. There was a fairly strong northeasterly breeze in our face on the way up, but it paid us back on the return trip, giving us even more time to enjoy the surrounding landscape. This trail is one of the more beautiful in north Florida. I was pleased to see evidence of recent maintenance and had a chance to make use of the new restroom facilities in Pinetta. 

As we were loading up to leave, we had a nice visit with Matt, on his road bike just finishing up his next to the last day of riding from Newport Beach, CA to Neptune Beach, FL. Yet another fine day pedaling.

Jacksonville Baldwin State Trail

This is handily the shadiest trail in North Florida with a canopy of shade for well over 75% of its length. Never laid eyes on another recumbent, but there were lots of folks cycling in some beautiful weather, flowers blooming in the splashes of light, birds singing in the bushes, and a fine day was had by all.

Palatka Lake Butler State Trail

Such a pretty day, yet I had the trail to myself. Saw four bicycles on my way east and four pedestrians on my way back, they were all in Keystone Heights. Gray Catbirds are showing up again but very shy. 

Braid Bistro Breakfast

Jerry led the way this morning while Mark and I tried to keep up. His new Catrike Expedition came equipped with BionX power assist and a fairing and makes his trip a breeze, whether or not one is blowing. Breakfast was especially delightful today as we were able to enjoy it cafe style outdoors.

East Central Regional Rail Trail

Sheila and Larry shared with Deanne and me their maiden ride on the newly completed Cow Creek to Dale Street segment of the East Central Regional Rail Trail just west of Edgewater, FL. We rode the trail from the great new trail head just south of FL 442 over its new bridge and east to Dale Street. Fresh asphalt, new guard fences, carefully marked crossings, and lots of lovely natural scenery with a thick old Florida feel. This segment is four miles long and appears to be ready to accept a connection with the Springs to Springs Trail (about 25 miles west) which currently ends at Guise Road.

Nature Coast, Again

Even after conquering the entire trail yesterday, I could not pass up the opportunity for a slow, easy spin on the Nature Coast State Trail with my fiends Bill and Jane, who joined, entertained, and rode with me for over forty miles in some very pleasant weather today. It was a veritable fair for the gopher tortoise as we saw more than half a dozen after watching a pair of bunnies dash across our path earlier on.

Nature Coast State Trail

Stepped through a quick 100km in four hours this afternoon on the cleanest trail in the area. Four gopher tortoises, two snakes, and not a single other recumbent were sighted, but hey, it's still warm out. Just to be clear, 3752 calories were most definitely harmed during the making of this excursion. 

Suwannee River Greenway at Branford

Upon the high road passing Ivey Memorial Park in Branford, the trail took on the look and feel of the tunnel it must've been when trains passed through it regularly. A gopher tortoise and myself were among the few travelers out today, making our way against a steady breeze and a much gloomier forecast. As is often the case, the effort proved to be well worth making.

Palatka Lake Butler State Trail

Though its name suggests it's thirty miles longer than it is, Ali Che'Ree and I rode from FL 100 west of Keystone Heights to Roberts Lane east of Florahome and back for a total of 41 miles today and thoroughly enjoyed being outdoors and in motion. Abundant sunshine and welcome breezes did not interfere. 

Little River Springs

Little River Springs shared its short slough with the tannins of the Suwannee River today under some of the prettiest skies I've seen in a while. This brief respite from severe heat and humidity makes for some mighty fine cycling here in north central Florida.

Clouds Making Up

Checking in on the Suwannee this afternoon ahead of fall's first front. "Cool snap" anticipated in 48 hours. 

Stowaway

You never know just WHO will want to tag along, but in the end it is best to keep it moving!

Bridge Out!

🎶 They wouldn't let us cross the river...🎶

The eastern approach to the bridge over the Suwannee River on the Nature Coast State Trail that crosses the floodplain was closed when we arrived this morning. There appears to possibly be some damage to the fence on its northern side. No information was posted on the trail that we saw as we enjoyed an easy-paced ride from Chiefland to Trenton and back.

We were once again very well cared for at the Gathering Table in Chiefland and saw none of the predicted rain. Tommy, George, Charlie, Russ, Mark and I are still thanking Colleen for planning this ride and very sorry she had to miss it.

Palatka-Lake Butler State Trail

Ignoring the forecast calls for rain, Pete Ensing and I enjoyed a remarkably pleasant bike ride on the Palatka-Lake Butler State Trail Saturday morning. The new, nicely maintained, end to end distance of 21 miles gave us our total of 42 with perfect weather.

Fast Feet First Friends

A slow, relaxing morning and an unexpected phone call resulted in an impromptu reunion with my recumbent mentor. Dave Greenbaum and I enjoyed a gorgeous and somewhat spirited spring ride around some of our old rural haunts near O'Leno and Ichetucknee State Parks.

Palatka-Lake Butler State Trail

Wayne Bettis was kind enough to show me that the trail has grown since last I rode it. The western extension has a grass lot parking area and is at FL 100 and CR 18 east, west of Keystone Heights, extending the existing trail by about two miles.
Wayne and Artie joined me for a ride from end to end for 41 miles round trip, and we also discovered a brand new trailhead in Florahome, FL with restrooms, bicycle tools, and concrete parking.