Terra Ceia to Siesta Key: 42km
Friday, April 4th
Sunny with high clouds. 27C
Awoke to another warm day in St Petersburg. We had hoped that a good night’s sleep would help solve our dilemma: How to get us and our bikes over the 275 Skyway Bridge. We looked into taking the Greyhound, but would need to box our bikes. Renting a car would be pricey, plus we would be stuck with a car. Our first queries about hiring a taxi didn’t seem promising so we asked the concierge if he could help. After a couple of phone calls a guy named Thomas showed up and assured us he could fit our bikes in the trunk of his Lincoln. It wasn’t long before the bikes were in the trunk and we were on the way.
We got at least half of his life story and turns out that Thomas is a non practicing bicycle enthusiast. He let us out at a gas station near the first exit on the other side of the bridge. We will most likely be hiring him again when we return next week.
Before we could set off from the gas station in Terra Ceia we had to repair our first flat tire- no problem. The wind was coming from the south again and it was quite hot pedalling alongside the highway. We rode through Palmetto, then across the bridge into Bradenton. It got busier as we went along. The other side of Bradenton slowly bled into the outskirts of Sarasota. We have been riding a lot on side walks which we aren’t used to but, we’d rather have side walks than nothing.
This particular stretch made us wonder what the hell we are doing in Florida at all. Seems to me like Florida is about extremes. Some aspects are like paradise and others are like…
Finally we made it into Sarasota proper and found a visitor information center where we got some useful maps and suggestions. Slowly and steadily we rode along. Every now and then we would find a quieter street or two to ride on before ending up back in the thick traffic of things.
We found our hotel alright and it was like an oasis. We are staying here two nights so we will be able to relax a bit and check out the beach. A grocery store us nearby and we made another delicious salad tonight. Shower, laundry, journals and a little planning for the weekend.