Going for a morning swim - Garfield and Tango Travel the Long and Winding Road - CycleBlaze

March 9, 2022

Going for a morning swim

Winter Garden bike ride #2

We were out early this morning under overcast skies in hopes of beating the heat and potential rain later in the afternoon. I didn't like the look of the grey clouds so kept my rain jacket on for the entire ride. To me it felt chilly out since the humidity was quite high again due to the overnight rain. (hence the title of this page!)

Today we headed back to the West Orange trail and went the opposite direction. For a few blocks the trail traveled through downtown Winter Garden down a center divider between the streets. It looked like a vibrant area with lots of shops and restaurants. The trail area was nicely planted and more like a greenway.

We followed an arrow that indicated the trail turned near the old depot and promptly got lost! Hey - where did the trail go? There were some other cyclists out on this road but no indication where the trail continued north. Hmmm.

Don said we were still good and as this residential road was a pleasant ride, we just kept going. When it ended at Lake Apopka, we turned north and followed this road as it curved past the lake front homes. 

I wanted a picture of the lake but with the grey skies and grey water, it wouldn't have been a very good one. But I did notice that the lake was large enough that I couldn't see across to the other shore. 

Lake Apopka is Florida's 4th largest lake and at one time was one of the most polluted due to phosphorus coming from farms as well as a chemical spill discharged from a pesticide plant in 1980. The state and other groups have been working hard for many years to remove the phosphorus and clean up the water. 

Eventually the lake road curved back to a trail access and we were back in business. This section of the West Orange was different than the southern part. 

While we first passed by lots of newer homes and nice developments, we also went by a cemetery, a golf course, a large high school that had cattle in pens outside, and when we reached the town of Apopka, some light industry and trashy looking houses. Sometimes we also rode next to busy interstates and undeveloped woodlands. 

It was a pleasant ride and while it was quiet on the trail at first, more people came out later in the morning. Maybe they were waiting for the sun to come out (which it did finally did). We saw a couple of other tandems and several trikes today.

As we got into the outskirts of Apopka, we found a more industrial area and lots of street crossings which meant we had to stop to look for traffic before continuing. That meant a lot of clipping in and out. 

Once into downtown Apopka we encountered a very busy highway that had a pedestrian/bike bridge over the top. Even though the trail continued for several more miles, Don wanted to turn around here since trying to get our long rig up and around the the turns on this bridge would have been difficult while riding. Okay for a single upright bike but not designed for a recumbent tandem! So we would have had to walk. 

The skies had finally cleared a bit and the sun felt hot on our return. My legs felt like they were cooking so I kept dousing them with water to keep the heat rash down. 

We made it home by noon just as threatening clouds came back. Don quickly secured the bikes under their rain cover just in time to beat the sprinkles and thunder. I was sure glad we weren't out on the trail!

It continued to rain on and off all through the rest of the day, stopping long enough for Don to grill dinner. Looks like more rain coming tomorrow.

Heading into downtown Winter Garden we saw this sign. When we returned following the same road, on the other side was a sign stating NO golf carts allowed. Strange that one lane allows them while the other doesn't?!
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In the downtown area, the trail went along a center greenway with the street on either side. This was a nice clock tower. I don't know if you can see it, but the streets were paved with bricks.
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Beautiful wisteria vine (I think).
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We've seen this tree planted everywhere here but have no idea what it is.
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Bill ShaneyfeltLoquat
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2 months ago
marilyn swettTo Bill ShaneyfeltThanks Bill. Interesting that the fruit is edible. I wonder if it is now as we see this plant everywhere - in yards and growing wild.
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2 months ago
We found happy Buddha at this Buddhist center. I liked the ornate gold dragons on the roof and on either side of the steps.
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I stopped in one woodsy area for a pee break and saw that one area of the forest was covered with these small whitish balls. Close up they looked like some type of lichen but I had never seen these before.
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We passed next to a golf course today and they had installed these barrier fences to stop golf balls from reaching the trail. There were several balls in the netting and none on the ground that we saw, so guess it works. But I was sure glad we had our helmets on!
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Notice where the crossing gates are located - yup, right on the trail! Guess they're serious about having you stop for trains.
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This was our turn around spot in Apopka. Kind of hard to see, but this was quite an impressive bridge for trail users to cross over a busy highway.
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I loved this sculpture in one park! Can you tell who is who?!
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I finally found a butterfly that stayed still for a picture!
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Today's ride: 30 miles (48 km)
Total: 411 miles (661 km)

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