Saturday, January 24, 2009

To St. Pete and Back

This afternoon I pedaled a 50-miler to St. Petersburg and back (yes I biked on the regular Gandy Bridge, using the 8-foot shoulders). I biked down Himes Avenue along my route and enjoyed the Super Bowl atmosphere of the overpriced "NFL Experience" at the football stadium between Himes and Dale Mabry Highway.

On Dale Mabry, I saw the power of the economic engine known as the Super Bowl when I passed a former Macarony Grill restaurant building taken over for a week by a Super Bowl souvenir outlet.

Now, that, my friends, is economic regeneration. Just a few days, I was having lunch with pals Jeff and Rommie and the subject came up about how goofy some businesses look when they take over buildings that were previously used by very different retailers.

In this case, you can buy a Super Bowl T-shirt and cap and enjoy the ambiance of the Macaroni Grill.

On Manhattan Avenue -- home of the city of Tampa's bike lane -- I enjoyed the messages on the signs outside churches. Like this one. I'd prefer, "God doesn't ring the competents, he (she) compensates the ringers."

I saw the Frankie bicycle memorial today in St. Pete. It's on Gandy in front of the Derby Lane dog track. Frankie was riding his bicycle when he was killed by a driver in November.

OK, just getting back from St. Pete and I enjoy the always beautiful Nebraska-Hillsborough intersection around the corner from my house. Witness the lovely gap between the concrete sections. It can swallow a road bike tire in no time.

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