Where the Wild Things Stir​

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Longer days and more daylight mean more opportunity to enjoy what Florida has to offer. What better way than by bike!

Over the past few days, I have been on my bike from Tampa to Thonotosassa, and Fort DeSoto to St Augustine. It has been a week of adventure, sun, and a bit of rain.

Outfitted with my trusty Specialized – Vita and lots of water, I take off to reconnect with nature. During my lifetime, I have had the privilege of seeing much of the country, but I keep coming back to Florida as my home base. The water, open spaces, and sunshine, really stir me!

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There is a multitude of trails converted from CSX lines, and you can ride north to south and east to west with ease. Of course, there are still gaps, and you get a glimpse into our state politics as you cross county lines and understand where the funding flows depending on who has been playing budget tzar in Tallahassee over time.

Should we really have to build trails in one county to support education in another? Shouldn’t these things be accessible to everyone in our state? If you haven’t walked the halls in Tally or D.C., I highly recommend it. This is a great way for people to truly understand what makes our governing bodies work (or not) day in and out. If you have kids, take them! Sit in a budget subcommittee meeting, make an appointment to meet your legislators, and PLEASE register to vote!

Ok, ok, back to nature…

Later in the week, I crossed the state to the oldest city in the nation, St. Augustine, FL. A nice small city and bikable. You get quirky restaurants and historical landmarks mixed with Florida’s flora and fauna and, you get the beach! After a night out at Prohibition Kitchen and about 20 miles through the city and sites, I wanted some beach time. The valet at Casa Monica recommended Anastasia State Park, and I was glad he did. Only $2 on a bike and after passing a few tortoises on the trail, you come to a 4-mile beach that you can ride your bike on. Mind you, I have a street bike and it was still really nice cruising along next to the waves.

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Fort Mose, St. Augustine, FL
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Anastasia State Park is a 1,600-acre Florida State Park located on a peninsula on the Atlantic coast of Anastasia Island across Matanzas Bay from downtown St. Augustine

As the afternoon approaches and storms start to roll in, respect! There are few things as stirring as a Florida storm making itself known, but hanging out as lightning careens from the clouds above is a big no-no. Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela earned the top spot for lightning in the world, but Florida is the lightning capital of the U.S., so, get out, leave, don’t become a statistic, because the sun will be back out for you to enjoy tomorrow.

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Time to go!

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