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Tampa Bay

On my bike route: Lake Roberta

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Seminole Heights’ seal, which depicts a two-headed alligatorSince I’ve been avoiding the gym since March due to the coronavirus, a good chunk of my regular exercise has revolved around a 10K bike ride that I try to do at least five days a week.

While Florida provides a fantastic climate for year-round cycling, Florida drivers provide a hostile environment for cyclists. The state is still number one in cycling deaths, and I have no intention of adding to that record. Luckily for me, my stomping grounds of Seminole Heights is a lovely residential neighborhood with plenty of quiet tree-lined streets with classic bungalows, “pocket parks”,  gorgeous tropical foliage and other things to see that provide miles and miles of great cycling.

I take a different route every day, but at least half the time, I include Lake Roberta on that route.

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The word “lake” is a little bit of a stretch — it’s actually a pond surrounded by a residential street, Roberta Circle:

Lake Roberta is home to all sorts of life forms, from the humans who live in the houses on Roberta Circle, to the creatures that live in or near the water. Those include an assortment of different kinds of ducks, a number of ill-tempered geese, ibises, turtles, lizards, squirrels, and possums. I don’t think that there’s a gator in there — with all the houses in the area, I can’t see the people who live nearby not calling wildlife control if they ever see one.

Roberta Circle provides a great way to help collect my 10K. By luck or design, each lap around the “lake” is a quarter mile, and the asphalt is nice and smooth. 4 laps around the lake adds an easy mile to my minimum goal of 6, and I get pretty scenery as a bonus.

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