Monday, December 22, 2008

Biking Out East in Hillsborough County

You can't dangle a cool, crisp, sunny 62-degree day in front of me and not expect me to log a few miles. So I got in 94 miles cycling on State Road 60 to Bartow and then heading off to Lakeland on the Fraser Trail along US 98 and then taking US 92 out of Lakeland back through Plant City and ultimately back to Tampa.

In past years, US 92 was a narrow two-lane road but the road has new pavement on the side of about four feet and also there are also raised wooden walkways being installed, too. The Tampa region is so terrible for bicyclists and pedestrians that when you see new work like this, it really sticks out and gets your attention.

I wish more roads in Tampa and other local areas would be retrofitted with a few more feet of pavement on the side such as 92 to offer bicyclists a better chance for a safe haven.

US 92 without the paved shoulder. It means cycling in the regular traffic lane.

Eastern Hillsborough County is strawberry land. The Strawberry Festival is a huge strawberry party at a terrific venue. Here's a well-known strawberry business.

You have the right to fly a Confederate flag in this country. Which is why some fella who owns some land off US 92 built a flagpole to fly a gigantic Confederate flag as part of celebrating southern heritage.

Thing is the mainstream meaning of the Confederate flag across the country is that it represents racism, lynchings and bigotry. So if you really want to inform people about southern history, heritage and culture, why not work on opening a museum that teaches people about such topics instead of flying a flag that makes you look like a marginalized fringe redneck who is agitating people for the sake of pissing people off?

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