Monday, December 20, 2010

Let's Bike Trip To St. Pete

Today's cool, crisp weather on the day before the first day of winter reminded me of living in Denver, where I loved the cool, ultra-dry air.

I took a quick ride to St. Pete from Tampa by cycling to the trail that leads you to State Road 60 near the Courtney Campbell Causeway, but then I biked underneath 60 toward the Grand Hyatt Hotel and took the trail called the "U-Path" that leads you to Cypress Street in Tampa. I then hooked up with West Shore Blvd. and took it south to the Gandy Bridge en route to St. Pete.

Check out the U Path entrance and trail.

I don't get this area. People and leaders waste incredible resources that others around the country would die for. For example, it's sad to see an amazing resource like the old Gandy Bridge/Friendship Trailbridge sit dormant -- along with the wonderful Al Lang Field ballpark on St. Pete's waterftont. Here's the old Gandy Bridge that is currently closed and the unused ballpark is pictured below.

A guy was giving away some used kids bikes on the side street across from the former church that leads to the park and trail that takes bicyclists to 1st Street en route to downtown St. Pete.

There's a cool metal gate door that leads you from a side street into the Sunken gardens shopping center and a Panera Bread across the street along 4th Street in old Northeast.

BayWalk in downtown St. Pete looks like a ghost town -- empty stores, such as this one.

One of the best-located ballparks in Florida is Al Lang Field on St. Pete's waterfront, yet it sits idle after the Rays moved their spring training to Charlotte County two hours to the south. What a gorgeous setting.

Here's one of the best pieces of the bicycle infrastructure in the Tampa Bay area -- the two-way bicycle lane along 1st Avenue that is an extension of the Pinellas Trail to the St. Pete waterfront.

Some of the locals were in the holiday mood on Central Avenue near Ferg's sports bar, but this fella was a bit stiff.

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