Don and I left The Villages around 10 am on Sunday, after packing up our villa. We did leave a number of bags and boxes at Ray and Linda’s home, including cold weather clothing we won’t be needing for the next weeks. Don will retrieve those after he drops me off in Fort Lauderdale and heads back to Indy.
We headed to St. Petersburg to visit Ian and Cheryl, tandem friends from Indiana. They took us on a bicycle tour of the St. Pete Beach area, parts of it quite busy on Easter Sunday. We were on the Pinellas Trail, the Treasure Island Causeway Trail, the St. Pete Beach Trail, the Bayway Trail and the Skyway Trail, a total of 26.12 miles (http://old.stpete.org/transportation/citytrails/docs/bikemap2014.pdf). Then we enjoyed dinner at Fish Tales before driving down to Venice to spend three nights.
When we got to Venice, I contacted Nancy Howard who had been on CCST13, regretfully ending the tour early in New Mexico when she fell and broke her shoulder. She is healed now and in Venice training for the Atlantic Coast tour. We met Monday morning and headed out on the Legacy Trail and the Venetian Waterway Trail. I suggested we take an “adventure ride”, following Dan Henrys (road markings) from the CIBA Boot Camp in March. We headed to Manasota Key, riding from Manasota Beach south to Englewood Beach. Nancy was excited to “Dolly-gag” after several weeks of just riding around Venice. 39.88 miles on my single.
Later that afternoon, Don and I bought some dinner items at the grocery store and went to Venice Beach for a picnic and to enjoy the sunset. (The days are quickly getting longer and we had to wait an hour for the 7:49 pm sunset.)
Today, Don and I got up early and headed south to Englewood to ride down to Gasparilla Island. Again, this is a route we have ridden before at CIBA Boot Camp. Thanks to a AAA map of the area, we “created” our own route through Rotunda (http://www.rotondawest.org), then crossed the three bridges to get to Gasparilla Island, continuing on to Boca Grande. We found some new roads on the Island we had not explored before, and lots of beautiful homes. 40.82 miles on the tandem. Delicious lunch at the Cedar Reef Fish Camp and now a quiet evening.