If you read our earlier blog post, you’ll know that we’re planning to head off for a bike adventure soon and in order to get the bikes and the gear dialed in, we headed off to Fort DeSoto this week (from our home in Palm Harbor, FL) for a quick overnight jaunt, camping overnight at the park.
Nice weather, flat terrain and with the bulk of the time spent on the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail this seemed like a good place to start figuring out this whole bike packing stuff.
Sure, we ride our bikes a lot but, not loaded down with camping gear and food and usually not for more than ~10 miles at a time. The Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail is a great local resource and goes for almost 40 miles between Tarpon Springs in the north to St. Petersburg in the south and allows one to cycle away from the hustle & bustle of traffic.
The ride from home to the park was ~ 40 miles and we took it easy, with lots of stops for snacks, photos & wildlife watching (osprey fishing, rays swimming etc.).
We didn’t have a reservation for the night – not something you could get away with in the peak season (winter time in FL), but, we had checked on the website and with the knowledge that at least a dozen sites appeared to be available that night, we weren’t worried about being stranded (there’s not much else near Fort DeSoto, if you find yourself without an available campsite – the closest would probably be the KOA in St. Pete’).
We’ve stayed at the Fort DeSoto campground on a couple of other occasions and you can always count on a nice site, some with direct water access (for a few extra bucks), which is especially awesome if you bring kayaks or paddle boards.
We were in our tent by sundown and asleep shortly afterwards – well, as best as you can when overnighting in a tent…the first night is never very restful! The ride down had been pretty uneventful, except for some busy street sidewalk riding (which we avoided on the way home the following day, by using some quieter residential neighborhoods).
Woken by parrots the next morning, we had a ride around the park, some snack food breakfast and hit the road north before 9am, with a plan to lunch at a regular Indian restaurant of ours, Taste of Punjab in Largo.
Home to Palm Harbor by ~ 4pm and a short walk to a friend’s home to keep our legs from seizing up completely! Dominic was in better shape on his Easy Racer recumbent, than I was after 40 miles on my mountain bike but, all in all, not too much discomfort and a great overnight trip!
Join us on the next post, with “lessons learned” from this first trip.
UPDATE TO THIS POST
** A few people have asked us about our sleep pads (as shown in this post). The pads we use are Big Agnes – Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad, Regular **
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