It seems that all our elected leaders can do is make political hay over the price of fuel. Supply and demand, problems in Iran, Keystone pipe line, what ever. So while we wait for the next Albert Einstein to give us the next viable mode of transportation and then we wait again for it to become affordable I offer a simple solution, RIDE YOUR BIKE. You’ll be burning calories and saving some money as well, at least until the quiz kids in DC figure out how to tax the air we breath that is. “Ray you said no politics!” I know I know but sometimes I just can’t help myself, sorry.
It’s true what they say, “The Best Things In Life Are Free.” A great example is the The Punta Gorda Bicycle Loaner Program. Spear headed by Team Punta Gorda the program is a public /private partnership with the city, offering over 25 bicycles to loan based at various places around town. The bikes have been donated by private businesses and citizens. They’re yellow Sun cruiser type bikes and the fleet includes at least one trike. Here’s a link that will help you to find out how to borrow one.
By what I’m seeing the program is a hit, yellow bikes everywhere. And why not, have you been on the Harbor Walk? It’s the crowning jewel of Punta Gorda’s Ring Around the City. I ride it every chance I get and I’m not a big fan of riding on side walks and multi use paths. I make the exception here because of the peaceful beauty of Charlotte Harbor. The Ring around the city continues to be a work in progress, but so far it’s nice, expensive, but nice. One of the bigger completion snags continues to be in front of the now Punta Gorda Water Front Hotel. This too shall pass, we hope.
The ring around the city will take you to the Punta Gorda History Park located on Shreve St. There’s a really nice Farmers Market there on Sunday. Here’s a link all the parks located in Punta Gorda that you can ride to. While your out there getting some great exercise and soaking up the sun check out the murals , and other historical waymarkers along the way. They’re everywhere. In the historical district you’ll find Palm Ave., a cobble stone street that goes from Berry St. to Gil St., better known as the Roubaix de Punta Gorda, our version of the Paris-Roubaix. Believe it or not when the city needs to dig up these streets the good citizens are responsible to put the bricks back. They throw a block party and gitter done. Sounds a lot like bike riders, some rewarding work followed by a celebration. It’s my understanding that Ponce de Leon himself laid the first brick way back when.
Find your way out to Ponce de Leon Park, which I’ve written about in previous post. Did Ponce de Leon discover Charlotte Harbor, is it a legend? Either way the park is a great bike ride destination. It has a nice little beach and a Bird Sanctuary. You’ll go right by Fisherman’s Village along the way. It’s a great place to kick back, shop and eat.
Here is a link to Historic Buildings located in Punta Gorda. The Train Depot has an interesting past. At one time Punta Gorda was the southern most railroad terminal in the nation. The depot has been completely restored including the segregated ticket, rest rooms and waiting rooms of that era.
There’s plenty to see and do on the friendly streets of Punta Gorda, as you can see, and the best way to take it all in is on a bicycle. “What’s that you say? You didn’t bring your bike? No problemo, you can borrow one!” While you’re at it how about a scavenger hunt. See how many of the places, waymarkers and murals within this post and below you can find. Check to links for clues.
So there you have it. Another bike ride with some local flavor mixed in. Make sure to bring something along to drink, wear your helmet and apply plenty of sun screen. Thanks for reading this and as always your comments are appreciated.