Clearwater To Tampa

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This is Daryl. I met him when I stopped for a break right before the bridge on the North Courtney Parkway heading east. He was wearing his wet suit and ready to go snorkeling for Blue Crabs I believe he said. I wished I could have hung out longer to watch him catch a few crabs, but the rain looked like it was heading our way and I wasn’t wearing a wet suit. I stuck a business card under his windshield wiper and invited him to check out the site. Daryl, if you made it here, it was nice to meet and talk with you. Hope you got enough crabs for dinner!

Today was a tough day for navigation. The threat of rain had me changing course and delaying my trip the whole time. Plus, my GPS battery went low prematurely and I could only get a series of small glimpses of the map. This caused some confusion and I ended up going the wrong way a few times. I put on a lot miles but the distance covered was very inefficient. But, I’m not out to break any records so all is well.

One area where I went off course sent me to the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay Hotel. I figured since I was in the area I’d check it out and see if it was elegant enough for me stay the night. I rode my bike up to the main entrance and I immediately felt the stark contrast in class. A guest was sitting on what I would call a bench, sipping on some kind of pretty colored drink in what I would call a glass, with a look on his face that I would call repugnance. Simply because we made eye contact I felt the need to say something. “I was riding by on my bike and I caught the scent of coffee in the air and it brought me here. They got coffee in there?’ I asked while nodding toward the big glass doors. “Yes, I think you’ll find coffee in there.” he replied in short. I wasn’t sure if I could trust leaving my bike outside while going inside to look for coffee so I just rode a few circles around what I would call a circular driveway.

After realizing that I probably wouldn’t be allowed to inspect a room before checking in, I decided to move on. 

The ride in and out of the hotel grounds was just magnificent with all the green shrubbery and plants. The drought was certainly not welcome here. I noticed what I thought was a bike path through a nature trail and decided to follow it. The scenery was gorgeous at first but the further I got from the hotel the more you could see where the money ran out. Before I knew it, I was at the end of Tampa International Airport’s runway! Not at the actual runway but the part where the lights extend to or from the end of a runway. I think they’re called Runway End Identifier Lights Approach Lighting System / ALS. I stayed long enough to get a video of an airliner taking off above me and thought I had better get out of there before the Dept. of Homeland Security showed up and flew me off to Gitmo. Video to come later.

While resting a convenience store I spotted a dude riding an awesome looking bike. It was like the stretched limo of bikes. I went over to ask if I could take his photo and he was happy to show it off. His name is Jay and he built the bike himself. I asked him to send me more info about himself and his bike building skills for this entry but as of yet, haven’t received it. He also got my card. Nice work, Jay! You should be proud.

It was bound to happen. I got rained on. I took a chance riding into the stormy looking East and I ran out of time. It wasn’t too bad because I was able to “leap frog” from one shelter to another between downpours. Perhaps I should have stayed at the Hyatt.

Don’t forget to check out Bike Tracks.

Mileage today: 32.28

Here’s the rest of my photos.

© Ron Wynkoop and Bike2Cloud9, 2011.
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About bike2cloud9

Recently retired and going to attempt crossing the U.S. on my bicycle. Please become a sponsor or just cheer me on!

3 responses »

  1. They are actually approach lights (Approach Lighting System / ALS).

    That’s a sick bike. 😉

    Reply

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