So what did you do this weekend? We went to the flea market, ate a lot of junk food, took the boat out for a photo shoot (cocktail cruise), rode 14 miles at the 19th Annual Rails to Trails Bike Ride, and took a couple naps. How about you?
Yeah, the highlight was the bike ride held at the Apopka Trailhead in Inverness. We’ve been training for the event since the beginning of May by riding 5-mile sections of the trail and we actually did experience 40 miles out of the 46–from the very northern end at Gulf Junction all the way to Ridge Manor.
I had been wanting to do the annual bike ride for several years but was a little leery of that many bicycles in one place. You know that when one goes down, the rest of them tumble after. Just like dominoes. And I’ve known a few people that have broken collar bones in those types of accidents. But, like I said, we’ve been training plus I paid the entrance fee so off we went very very early Sunday morning. So, besides the concern about a bicycle pile-up, I was wondering where all 1,000 riders were going to park in Inverness. But both of my worries were unnecessary. We immediately found a parking spot and there was never a mass of bicycles since there was not really a set starting time. Riders just showed up between 7 am and 9 am and rode.
There were plenty of volunteers registering people so we had no line to wait in. My name was marked for one of the random door prizes. Yippee! While I was hoping for one of the two bikes in the giveaway, mine was a $5 gift certificate to Decor Cafe.
There were five different distances to choose from. We picked the shortest–14 miles. And I just want to say that 14 miles is really long. I think I’m in pretty good shape for a person that isn’t an athlete and once I hit ten miles I was kind of like, are we there yet?
Since there was no mass start and no starting line, I was a bit confused about what direction we were supposed to head. We decided to go south to Floral City because we know this section is shaded and relatively flat.
When we made it to Floral City there was a sag stop with water, sports drinks, and various snacks. I’m all about sag stops. They had fig newtons–one of my favorite cookies in the whole world! No one seemed to be in any hurry and most of the riders stopped and socialized. We took some pictures of a really nice couple and they returned the favor!
Floral City was our 7-mile turnaround point and we headed back to the trailhead where we enjoyed more snacks (mmmmm, chocolate cake) and then checked out the vendors. We were headed home by 9:30 but if we had rode one of the longer distances, we could have stayed for lunch which was served from 11 am to 2 pm.
It was an absolutely beautiful morning with perfect temperatures. The bike ride was well-managed and very organized. The proceeds go towards maintenance of the trail. Most of the riders were happy to be there and very friendly. A delightful way to spend a lovely Sunday morning. The more time I spend in Inverness, the more I like it.