One last item on our “Things To Do” list for Bradenton was to ride our bikes on the Legacy Trail.
In order to do that, we needed to find a way to carry our 3 bikes on the car. We have a bike rack on the motorhome for when we travel, but we don’t have a hitch receiver on the car, so we can’t use that one.
Tom searched craigslist, and finally last weekend we found a trunk-mount bike rack that would work on our car. We waited for the cool front to go through, and set aside Friday as the day for our bike ride. IT was a beautiful, sunny day, and only in the low 60s – perfect for a bike ride.
Bryce got the bikes loaded on the car.
The Legacy Trail is an old railroad line converted to a multi-use trail, and it runs from Sarasota to Venice. It’s 10 miles long, and connects to the Venetian Waterway Trail, which continues on for several more miles.
We started at a parking area about 1 mile from the starting point of the trail in Sarasota.
The trail was wide, smooth, and flat . . . perfect riding conditions. There are some trees along the sides in some areas, but otherwise you’re pretty much in full sun the whole time. We were glad we waited for a cooler day!
We had gotten a late start, so at about 4 miles in when we reached Oscar Scherer State Park we were ready for lunch.
After lunch, we took a detour and rode our bikes through the campground. The roads were a little tight for Tom’s comfort level, but we talked to a couple of the volunteers, and they really like it there. There are also sites in the maintenance area, so those might be a little better for our rig.
After our short detour, we got back on the trail and continued on toward Venice. The area around Oscar Scherer looked like prime Bald Eagle territory, so I kept one eye on the sky as I rode. I spotted one, but it was too high up and moving away from us, so I couldn’t get a picture.
As we exited the state park, there was a stretch of old railroad track still in place – it was interesting to see what this trail used to be.
There are also several road crossings that still have the lights and gates in place.
As we got closer to Venice, the scenery got more interesting and we rode over several bays leading out to the Gulf.
We were doing pretty good still at this point . . . the temperature was perfect, and there wasn’t much wind (or maybe it was all at our backs . . . who knew??)
Even Bryce was having a good day . . . although he wasn’t very challenged by the trail – too straight and flat for him!
We were nearing the end of the trail, and we needed to get across US-41. Lucky for us, they built a bridge over it!
There’s a challenge for you, Bryce!
I was grateful for the short flat areas about every 10 feet on the way up . . .
and Bryce loved them on the way down because the were like little jumps every 10 feet!
There he goes!!!
On the other side of US-41, we had almost reached the end of the trail. We rode through a small industrial area, and then reached the Historic Train Depot.
Bryce wanted ice cream after our 10 mile ride, so we went in search of an ice cream shop that he found on his phone – following the Venetian Waterway Trail.
Unfortunately, it didn’t exist . . . at least not anymore . . . so after a mile, we turned around and headed back toward Sarasota.
Suddenly, we discovered that the wind had turned up while we were riding, and now it was hitting us full in the face on our way back – 10 miles into a stiff headwind!! The ride back wasn’t quite as leisurely as the ride down was, but we kept going . . . no pictures on the way back . . .
OK, just one . . . I stopped for a gopher tortoise!
It was a really nice day, and we enjoyed it . . . but we were exhausted by the time we got back to the car!
We couldn’t go straight home, though . . . I wanted to stop at Detweiler’s Fruit Market, which I had read about on Sherrie & David’s blog when they visited it with Bill & Nancy.
What a great store – we picked up some wonderful produce and a few snacks . . . and Bryce got his strawberry milk shake! A great end to the day!