Monday, February 4, 2013

Riding the Legacy Bike Trail

Sarasota, FL        High:  70      Low:    50

With Eldy's injured calf muscle, he decided to pass on the 24 mile bike ride the Rusty Spokes bike club decided to sponsor this morning. The group chose the Legacy Trail. Sparky went ahead with Eldo's blessing. She was going to check it out so we can duplicate the ride on another day....Eldo dropped Sparky and her bike off and headed home......

The ride was going to start out at the Macintosh Road trailhead.....When Sparky got there, a lady struck up a conversation with her. She said she hadn't been on a bike in 40 years and had just rented a bike, a nice Fuji hybrid. After hearing that she had NOT tried it out in the parking lot at the rental shop, Sparky said, well, you might want to try it out here on the sidewalk before we get going this morning. The lady thought that was a good idea. Sparky accompanied her up the hill to the sidewalk where she had a lot of trouble getting her pedals going to get started. Sparky sensed trouble. Sparky decided to follow alongside of her, encouraging her and sort of guiding her at the seat, like you do with a kid learning to ride a two wheeler for the first time. She was so nervous, she started jerking the handlebars back and forth causing her to become a lot more unstable. She started gaining more speed. Sparky started jogging along side her. Her balance was really off, and all of a sudden, she jerked the handlebars sideways, and the bike came crashing down, into Sparky, She fell off the bike and we both fell into the grass median, which happened to be really cushy. That was a blessing! Both of us were ok. Sparky said, "You know....I really would strongly recommend you not doing this twenty mile ride today. I really think this long a ride is just not the best place to start your first bike ride." The lady couldn't understand why she had so much of a balance problem. She ice skates, she had just skied this winter up in Vermont. Sparky wasn't sure either, but thankfully, the lady decided to forego the ride today. It was a good thing she did. The trail was VERY busy today....

Sparky called Eldo, he had dropped her off at the park and left to go back home. He graciously came back to the park and took the lady home to Sun 'n' Fun so she wouldn't be stuck at the park waiting for her riding friends to get back from the ride. It was going to be about four hours before we'd get back.

Off Sparky went...averaging 12-14 miles and hour. The trail was VERY level...

It passed by Oscar Scherer State Park.....Sparky saw a gator sunning himself...Florida scrub pine.....A historical turpentine factory, an ice house....there were signs along the way explaining a few of the notable things about the area along the old railroad track trail....We started to see some water...
We took a rest stop at the  historical Venice train depot.....

There were two bridges to cross as we got closer to Venice, one over highway 41.....That first bridge was really high!

Our destination was the Pineapples Island Grill Restaurant in Venice right as we came off the second bridge......

As we parked our bike and were going to come into the restaurant, Sparky's friends Tommy and Maggie looked bothered about something. Apparently, right after Tommy locked their bikes to a guard rail beside the restaurant, he realized the KEY to the bike lock was back in their car at the Macintosh trailhead!  Oh, no!  Fortunately, a restaurant employee knew someone with bolt cutters. Apparently, a Kryptonite locked cable CAN be cut with bolt cutters, but it's a difficult and time consuming job. They got the lock off and were able to enjoy lunch with us after all.

Sparky had a GREAT time at the restaurant with newly made friends from the previous bike ride. The food was delicious everyone said. Sparky's chicken quesadillas certainly were!The decor was very nice and cozy, there is outdoor seating as well as indoor seating. Lunch was moderately priced, 8.99 for the quesadillas...Sparky had to have dessert after that long bike ride.

Her piece of cheesecake was eyed longingly by her table mates, so she shared. We got down to the last bite, and Sparky's friend, Joanie, was trying to decide if she should eat that last little nugget or not. She did. :-)
Joanie eyeing Sparky's cheesecake :-)
Time to head back....a total of 21 miles today, Sparky's longest ride yet....It was terrific as far as exercise! It was average as far as scenery. Sparky will say that the scenery was quite plain for a long stretch, just a lot of Florida scrub, marsh, little creeks, and not much shade. The trail was level and straight. It didn't get a lot prettier until we got closer to Venice....There's another 10 mile section of the Legacy Trail that continues from Venice to Casperson Beach. It's supposed to be a lot prettier. We think we might try that section on our own one of these days...

Sparky is pooped! Her knees did bother her a bit on this ride...Sparky thinks she will.....z-z-z-z--z-z-z-z-z-z-z...


  1. You go Sparky....quite an accomplishment today....21 miles! Good advice you gave the poor lady who rented the bike. Glad she took it!

    Hope you can move in the morning! I would br really stiff and sore!

  2. Sounds like and awesome bike ride and a fun day.

  3. I can image just about anyone's knees would hurt after all those miles. Good job Jeannie.

  4. It's not easy to get in a bike wreck without a bike. Nice of you to cushion that woman's fall!

  5. Congratulations. . .I can't even imagine. . .twenty one miles. . .wow!