Author Archives: Daniel

Swift Campout ride report

Nice and quiet riding through Flatwoods park.

A couple of weeks ago a few of us rode our bikes to beautiful Hillsborough River State Park to do some camping as part of the Swift Campout solstice world-wide bike camping event. We started the ride at sunrise in downtown St. Pete, crossed the bay over Gandy bridge and into Tampa where we attempted, as much as possible, to follow the meandering Hillsborough River all the way to the park. Yes, it was hot and humid, but when all was said and pedaled, we rode about 130 miles, had a ton of fun, gobbled up panniers full of tasty snacks, dipped our toes and cooled our heads in the river at some gorgeous riverside parks, said hi to some deer, and pitched our tents for a well deserved rest at one of the most beautiful green places in all of Tampa Bay.

If you’re looking for a way to break out of your car-work-home-bar routine, rides like these are a great way to have a micro adventure without spending a lot of money on an elaborate vacation. You might discover new roads and gain new perspective about yourself and the place you call home. If that sounds like something you might like to do, then Hillsborough River State park might just be the ticket. We highly recommend it!

Below are some of the photos taken on our ride. We hope you enjoy them and if you feel inspired don’t hesitate to contact the co-op for more information on our route or bike camping in general. We’ll be happy to talk to you!

We're on our way!

We’re on our way!

Sunrise over Gandy bridge.

Sunrise over Gandy bridge.

Did someone say wool and waxed canvas?

Did someone say wool and waxed canvas?

Ben like to keep his snacks where he can see them.

Ben likes to keep his snacks where he can see them.

Brad's bike and Brad.

Brad’s bike and Brad.

Riding a section of the recently completed Tampa Riverwalk.

Riding a section of the recently completed Tampa Riverwalk.

Riverside rest stop at Riverhills park.

Riverside rest stop at Riverhills park.

Pretty.

Pretty.

Admiring the view.

Admiring the view.

Shaddy roads make for happy riders.

Shaddy roads make for happy riders.

A gorgeous gravel road by Flatwoods Park.

A gorgeous gravel road by Flatwoods Park.

The bike will get you there.

The bike will get you there.

Brad in the grass.

Brad in the grass.

Nice and quiet riding through Flatwoods park.

Nice ride through Flatwoods park.

Misty park entrance. We made it!

Misty park entrance. We made it!

Tent-view

Nap time!

Our campsite at first sunlight.

Our campsite at first sunlight.

Pool time!

Pool time!

Gift store bounty. That alligator brass badge is amazing.

Gift store bounty. That alligator brass badge is amazing.

Ready to roll back.

Ready to roll back.

Leaving the park.

Leaving the park.

Miles of pretty country roads around Lake Thonotosassa.

Miles of pretty country roads around Lake Thonotosassa.

Beer time! Almost home.

Beer time! Almost home.

Dinner

Back in St. Pete. Nothing like a good meal after a long day’s ride.

The “Idaho Stop” experiment

Jen Heine of the Bicycle Quarterly recently published an excellent article that should interest anyone concerned with red lights and stop signs as they relate to cyclists. Regardless of where you stand on this issue, Heine’s rational and analytical approach to his “Idaho Stop” experiment and the conclusions he draws from it should provide plenty of food for thought for anyone interested in this hotly discussed topic.

Yehuda Moon is back!

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If you don’t know about Yehuda Moon, or you’ve never heard of the Kickstand Cyclery, you really are missing out. After a long hiatus, this classic slice-of-bike-life comic created in 2008 by Rick Smith and Brian Giggs is back online and is as great as ever. Start reading!

Bike to work day ride with St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman

A few photos from bike to work day ride with Mayor Kriseman. It was great to see so many commuters turn up for the event and listen to mayor and city council members talk about the exciting plans for safer biking and walking in St. Pete.

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Swift Campout

If you like to ride your bike and are an adventurer at heart than check out this cool event created by Swift Industries – makers of some of the finest and most useful bags you’ll ever hang on your bike. Is there are better way to start your Summer than with a bike overnight camping trip? We don’t think so.

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Bikepacking in Florida

Check out this great photo report on Pedaling Nowhere about a kickass off-road ride close to our neck of the woods. I(Daniel) recently  rode a small part of this route through Ocala National Forest, and consider it one of the nicest, quietest, and most scenic trails I ever put my tires to. Definitely recommend.

Here are some photos – not as nice as Logan’s, but enough to give you an idea. If you like this kind of riding, or if you never tried it but are thinking about it, this is the perfect place, trust me. Go do it before it gets to buggy and humid!

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Tampa Bay Times’ Column About Bicycling

Did you know that Tampa Bay Times has a bicycle related column now? About time, we say! Kidding aside, the column kicked off in September of last year and is written by a St. Pete local Bob Griendling, a vice president of the St. Petersburg Bicycle Club and a member of the Mayor’s Bicycling and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. The column is well written and informative, and topics range from simple tips for buying a new bike to local bicycle advocacy and politics. We think it’s a great addition to an already great newspaper, and an important contribution to creating bicycle aware and bicycle friendly Tampa Bay. If you haven’t already checked it out, go read this last one, and also check out the Times’ archive for the past columns. Kudos to Times and Mr. Griendling for getting it started and we’re looking forward to reading it!

Freewheelin’

The weather’s been perfect lately so there is no excuse not to wipe the dust of your handlebars and ride that bike as much as you can before summer heat gets here. Need some inspiration? Watch this excellent old-school mountain bike video and then get out there and ride! Put some dirt under those tires and cool fresh air in your lungs! Happy riding!

Ready for Tweed Ride?

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St. Pete’s annual Tweed Ride is February 28th and it’s promising to be the largest one yet! If you’re not familiar with the ride, check out this week’s article in Creative Loafing.

Tweed Ride to be the bees’ knees once again in St. Pete | Art Breaker | Creative Loafing Tampa.

Photo by Tampa Bay’s expert camera eye magician Mr. Todd Bates.

Underground Bike Trails in Former Limestone Mine

How amazing is this place? Full story here.