Withlacoochee Trail

Biking in sunshine. It just doesn’t get better. The Golfer would probably contest that statement but I’ve persuaded him to go for a ride with me.

My plan was to drive to Inverness, rent bikes and ride south on the Withlacoochee Trail. But when I called the bike shop, all the bikes were reserved– not just for the day, but the whole weekend. So I found Trailside Bike Shop in Floral City.  Uh, whaat? The shop specializes in recombent bikes– or trikes, as they’re called. I was amazed at so many different configurations of wheels on frames! I’ve been in lots of bike shops but I’ve never seen anything like these “rides!” It took the owner time to find some two wheeled, “sorta normal” bicycles for us. If it had been earlier in the day, I would have tried out one of those trikes, but they didn’t have half day rentals and it was too expensive for just a few hours.

 

The Withlacoochee Trail is part of the Florida State Park system and many sections of the 46 miles are wide and paved. We rode north from Floral City to Inverness, and back, about 14 miles, round trip.

Florida, like so many states, definitely including Pennsylvania, has reached a sweet spot in Trail development. Trail enthusiasts have worked tirelessly for many years and now are are in the process of connecting shorter trails into longer, even statewide trails. As a charter member of Rails-to-Trails, I am so excited to witness the awesome accomplishments of the master plan coming together.

 

Inverness is a pretty town and the bike trail is clearly a vibrant part of the community. We found a good place for a cold drink. Check out those bikes– I don’t know what to call them! You definitely peddle in a laid back position. Gary’s bike had skinny rode tires, mine were fatter, more like hybrid bike tires. So of course, he flew ahead of me, gloating on how “effortlessly” the bike rode. I’ve been lusting for a new bike, one with a more upright position. This bike would not be in the running. Still, a great day to be out on a bike and exploring a new rail trail.

 

After returning the bikes we drove back to Kissimmee and finished the day with a pint of Smithwicks at the Raglan Road Irish pub. This family of 3 sons played Irish music and did some step dancing as well. I always enjoy the relaxation as much as the bike ride. Florida is such a great state to ride a bike, lots of trails, mostly flat with interesting history and variety, connecting towns with Trailside amenities, not to mention perfect weather.

I hope to come back to Florida next year. My goal is to be located on one of the long bike trails and to bring my own bike. I’m telling The Golfer, no bikes– no clubs. That should do it.


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Comments

  1. Laura Wacker says:

    Love it, Terry! And I think “Inverness” is a sign! Let alone Irish pubs. I may join you on some of thos Florida rail trails next winter!

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