On Your Mark, Get Set, Go. It's Time to Celebrate National Bike Month

Celebrate National Bike Month naturally. Check out nature preserves, green spaces and bike trails in Pinellas and Pasco county.

Wow, the signs of summer are drawing nearer.

The windows are officially closed; the thermostat is set to keep our house cool while the warmer winds blow into town.

Just last week we had such a nice cool down, the mornings were brisk and the evenings were delightful. Of course, as it is my luck usually, I decided to travel out of the state of Florida right as soon as the weather brought a sweet gift. I went to Michigan, where I attended high school, to watch a very dear friend and his lovely bride tie the knot.

Michigan greeted me with rain, big black clouds and a cool wind. As soon as I landed I said right out to the universe, “I’m so thankful to live where it is beautiful year around.” The very next day, it was a warm 78 degrees. My friends told me I had brought the sunshine.

Visiting there during this time of year, when the winter winds leave and spring presides, brought the happiness out of everyone. All of a sudden there were smiling people on mountain bikes traveling the old paint creek trail and bicyclers with picnic baskets in search of a shaded patch of grass. This very sight reminded me that the month of May is National Bike Month and it is certainly worth the mention. After all, there is no better way to celebrate a beautiful day then to get the breeze running through your hair, your blood pumping, go sight-seeing and take in all that nature has to offer.

Upon my return to Florida I was delighted to greet the idea of researching the nature centered bicycle trails. We are blessed with good climate and a shift into a more bicycle friendly infrastructure. One of the greatest bike trails we have is the Pinellas County trail. As a child the Pinellas County Trail was one of my favorite places to travel on. Although there isn’t much nature to be seen from Gulfport to St. Petersburg on this trail, it is still the best way to get to and from downtown St. Pete if you’re looking to wander. It is also an ideal urban trail to explore northward into Dunedin, as there is a lot of culture to experience that way via bicycle. The entire trail runs from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. There are also several Pinellas County Parks that have bike trails and multi-use trails, some offer bike rentals. Check out the Pinellas County Parks and Preserves section of their website and select a park/preserve near you. Check out what parks in Pasco County offer bike trails by clicking on their website.

So, in order to celebrate this last week of Bicycle Month I challenge you to find the trails near you and get back in shape and back into nature. Enjoy your time out in nature, be safe and be sure to wear a helmet if you go on a real strenuous trail. Happy biking!!

Check out these handy links for nature preserves near you that allow for bicycles:

Florida Department of Environmental Protection bicycling trails

The Fred Marguis Pinellas Trail

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

Fort Desoto Park

Sand Key Park

Pinellas County Green Spaces

Weedon Island

Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park in Pasco County


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