Run, Ride, Work Out on the Pinellas Trail

After my bike accident last summer on the Mission Trail in San Antonio, John thought I’d given up on bike riding. With skinned arms and legs, the inability to ride back to the rental company, and a bruise that lasted over six months he was confident my days on a bike had come to an end. So when I agreed to add a bike ride to our 13 in 13 list, John was pleasantly surprised. The ride on the Pinellas Trail convinced me I’ve still got a few good years of riding left

Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, Clearwater, Largo, and St. Petersburg a few of the destinations on the Pinellas Trail and while I’m not a true bike enthusiast, I discovered I still enjoy riding short distances if there’s a purpose in reaching a certain destination. Visiting local eating establishments is my favorite reason for biking, but the Pinellas Trail passes through historic train stations, county parks, beaches, ball parks and even breweries.

 

We spent time riding and exploring the portion of the trail running from Downtown Dunedin to North Clearwater on Saturday stopping at the Green Market and the old train depot. The Toronto Blue Jays minor league baseball stadium is located right on the trail only a couple of miles from downtown. Unfortunately, no game was scheduled. A little further down the trail we watched the boats departing the harbor. We even rode past the Scientology resort I’d heard about…but we didn’t see John Travolta or Tom Cruise. What better way to end the ride than with a couple of scoops of ice cream at Strachan’s Homemade Ice Cream!

The maps on the Pinellas Trail website clearly label restaurants, restrooms, water fountains and points of interest from Tarpon Springs to Downtown St. Pete. On future trips I look forward to visiting the following places:

  • In North Largo – The Belleview Biltmore Resort, opened in 1897, the largest continually occupied wooden structure in the world
  • In South Largo – an Amish Country Store
  • In North Seminole – Florida Botanical Gardens and Gulf Coast Art Center
  • In Downtown St. Pete – The Chihuly Museum, the Dali Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum of History, as well as the St. Petersburg Pier, and Tropicana Field

 

And the news from Florida’s legislative session is good when it comes to additional bike trails. Legislation passed allocating money to link trails from Pinellas County on the Gulf to Titusville on the Atlantic. Good news for those who enjoy exercising on the trails, but also good news for the communities that will benefit from the runners, cyclists, and walkers who use them. Even good news for people like me who enjoy riding to eating establishments. If they build it…I’ll come.