Saturday's Ride to the Gift Mill Shoppes
It's been a long hot and humid summer which has made local rides less than really enjoyable. Finally today, the weather has given us a hint of what will soon be really nice riding conditions. As we gathered for our riders meeting the temperature was in the upper 60's with low humidity. The sky was clear of any clouds. What a day for a ride.
It seemed that everyone was eager to enjoy the cooler weather and so we set out in three groups of riders. The first portion of the ride took us across Tampa bay and then down through the city of Tampa.on the interstate. We really enjoyed leaving the congestion of the interstate as we headed south and then east bound on the many rural roads that crisscross the state. Heading eastbound across SR 60 we passed through Bartow and Mulbury. At the intersection of SR 60 and US 27 we headed northbound for about ten miles where we pulled into our destination - the Gift Mill Shoppes.
The restaurant had prepared a large table for our almost thirty members. While our food was being prepared, we had time to enjoy each others company and check out the many novelty items that were available for sale. They had a few signs that pertained to whining which caught our attention.
The service was very good and the food was excellent. It's unusual to have that many people gathered together without hearing at least one complaint. (Of course maybe everyone didn't want to be the recipient of the whiner's pin.)
Having satisfied our need for nourishment we headed south on US 27 to SR 64 and then westward through miles and miles of citrus groves. Then, we entered Bradenton and headed southward to Sarasota and across the intercoastal waterway to the barrier islands and St Armands Circle. The Circle was filled with numerous tents where a large number of artist's were having a art show. Whereas parking was at a premium we opted to head northward up the islands at take a short break at one of our favorite ride destinations - Joe's Eats and Sweets.
As the sun was starting to sink in the western skies we headed out towards home. The sun would soon be setting as we rode over the Sunshine skyway. The view atop the structure as fantastic. Our ride took almost eleven hours and covered about three hundred miles. Yes, it's time to enjoy nice weather and the Florida countryside. Our riding weather has finally arrived !