Local Places, Local Faces
Haven’t been posting much about my goal of riding the entire 46 miles of the Withlacoochee State Trail. But we have been on it a few times since my first post way back in the beginning of May. A few weeks ago Terry, Maggie and I started out at the South Citrus Springs Trailhead and rode almost to Hernando. Flat and mostly shaded. Easy ride.
This week we started in Hernando and rode to the Inverness Trailhead. Like the ten miles of trails that we had already traveled, it runs alongside US-41 and is very flat and shaded—which makes for an easy ride. This section of the trail is more picturesque than the northern two sections we just finished. Starting with a view of Lake Hernando, we headed south and passed a large pink elephant and a “bull” shark hanging from a tree. (Really. If you haven’t seen them, just drive north from Inverness on US-41.)
As we rode closer to Inverness, there were water views from both sides of the trail. The trailhead in Inverness is nice with plenty of parking, a restroom, a picnic pavilion, and giant cooter turtles! Can’t find those in too many other places. Suncoast Bicycles is located close to the trailhead and offers rentals, cold drinks, and bike repair. There were a lot of walkers, runners, and bicyclists in all age groups but the trail was not at all crowded.
So far in our journey, there have been a few busy highways to cross but they have definitely been manageable. Riding for miles without the concern of a speeding car passing us too closely is fantastic. If it wasn’t for the 45 minute drive to get to the trail, I would ride it at least twice a week.
Now I’m going to get on my soap box for a little bit. Does anyone out there know that bicyclists are allowed on the road—even in Old Homosassa? You are not supposed to run them down. Really. The law is that a bicycle is a vehicle and gets to use the road. The bicyclist is expected to use four feet of the road and a vehicle has to give the bicyclist 3 feet when passing. Really. Three feet. I did the research. So all you drivers out there that think it’s safe to pass me on those crazy curves on Mason Creek are WRONG! Yeah, I know, I’m right but very dead if I get a little tap from your bumper or that side mirror that’s inches from my face. But I’d like to point out that I’m not the only bicyclist out there. Old Homosassa is a VACATION spot. All vacation rental houses in the area include bicycles. And we have a lot of bars that our tourists enjoy riding to on their bicycles. So please, refrain from passing the drunk bicyclist too close. A lot of locals depend on their tourist dollars. Okay. Off of my soapbox now.
So we have traveled 15 miles on the Trail with 31 to go! I’m especially looking forward to our next ride—from Inverness to Floral City. I’ve been on this section before and it’s very beautiful. If you see us, we are the couple with the fat Jack Russell in a bike basket! Stop us and say hi!