Just easy cruisin' - Garfield and Tango Travel the Long and Winding Road - CycleBlaze

February 27, 2022

Just easy cruisin'

Naples bike ride #1

Today was a bike day but lazy bones Don didn't get out of bed until late so we didn't actually get started until 10 am. I would have preferred to be riding a couple of hours earlier as it was a little cooler then, but what are you going to do? 

Don had been looking for bike routes on-line (there aren't very many nearby) so today's ride would be just an out and back one leaving from our park over to the trail we noticed that paralleled Collier Rd. when we drove to the dance the other day. We were able to first ride a short back road next to the park that took us to the highway where we stayed on the sidewalk until we could get to a light to cross to the other side. 

Once on the other side, we continued on the sidewalk up to a big intersection with Collier Rd and Highway 41. We opted to walk all of these crossings since we were taking the sidewalk rather than the bike lane on the road. Don felt it was safer for us and easier to get to the trail we needed. 

Just past this intersection we were finally able to access the trail. What a nice find! It was smooth pavement and while it paralleled the busy road, was quieter than we expected as there was a large canal between us and the cars. Sometimes it was in the open and in other sections, it wound through stands of trees. 

We passed several large gated communities which was a bummer as it would have been fun to ride around all of the fancy homes. I read that Naples is one of the wealthiest communities in the US. Judging by all these developments, including many that also had private golf courses and country clubs, I would tend to agree. But I wondered where all the "common" people lived. Out here, we're not really in the heart of Naples, but there have to be "normal" homes somewhere!

There were occasional egrets and cormorants in the canal and blooming bromeliads  in the trees - a very enjoyable ride, given the location. Lots of other cyclists were also on the trail. 

We mostly stayed on the trail but found 2 side roads that we also explored - one led into a new housing development for a mile or so until it ended at a gate while the other went out into the country to a citrus farm stand that unfortunately was closed today. It looked like a place to come back to during the week. This road turned to gravel at this point, so we turned around.

While we  had noticed that this trail went a few more miles - all the way to the interstate, we didn't want to go that far today. I think this trail is about 7-8 miles in length. 

So after the farm road, we found an intersection with a light and crossed to the other side of Collier Rd where this time we rook the bike lane. Right next to the vehicles, it was quite noisy and not pleasant at all. But we were able to easily get back to the back road that took us into our park. 

Both of us were happy to get into the cool trailer as it was sweltering when not moving on the bike. High 80's and high humidity which the beach goers love but not us! I saw on the news that normally it's in the 70's here with lower humidity. 

But a cold front is moving into the area tomorrow, so maybe it will bring a bit more comfortable conditions. I hope so as we want to do a longer ride. 

One side road we took today went to a citrus farm that also had a market and this giant orange. Most of the oranges grown in Florida are used for juice so this might the place to go for fruit you can eat.
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A little blue heron, I believe.
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Panthers, yikes! First alligators, then crocodiles, then marauding vultures, and now panthers. What next?! I do know that there are also bears in Florida.
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Pretty flowers on this landscaping tree along the trail.
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Bill ShaneyfeltOrchid tree. They have amazing flowers!

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2 months ago
marilyn swettDon did think the flowers looked like orchids. It was a pretty tree.
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2 months ago
Many people in this RV park use golf carts or these "grandma trikes" to get around even though this place really isn't that big. Guess they don't want to walk.
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Today's ride: 20 miles (32 km)
Total: 519 miles (835 km)

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