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It Happened to Me Tampa Bay

Scenes from this morning’s bike ride

Photo: Light blue bike parked on the side of Roberta Circle, a tree-lined street with nice houses.
My bike, parked on Roberta Circle. Tap to see at full size.

Seminole Heights’ seal, which depicts a two-headed alligatorI’ve managed to not put on the “Quarantine Fifteen” by doing a 10K bike ride at least five days a week since March. In fact, I’ve lost a little weight over the past couple of months. I’m fortunate to be in a fantastic neighborhood for cycling — lots of tree-lined streets with interesting houses to look at, the Hillsborough River cutting an inverted “U” through the area, and parks all over the place.

Photo: The southern edge of Lake Roberta (actually a pond) as seen from its west side. The lake is lined with trees, and its still waters reflect the clouds and blue sky above.
Lake Roberta. Tap to see at full size.

The 2020 Saharan dust cloud has also made the weather a little drier than usual. Normally, during this time of year, we get either hurricanes, or the typical tropical “rainy season” weather where the day starts sunny, followed by a torrential rainstorm in the early afternoon, followed by sun. More than our fair share of days has been mostly sunny. It’s made for some pretty good cycling.

Photo: The middle of Lake Roberta (actually a pond) as seen from its west side. The lake is lined with trees, and its still waters reflect the clouds and blue sky above.
Lake Roberta. Tap to see at full size.

These photos are from a place I’ve written about before: Lake Roberta. I took them from its east side, looking west.

Photo: The northern edge of Lake Roberta (actually a pond) as seen from its west side. The lake is lined with trees, and its still waters reflect the clouds and blue sky above.
Lake Roberta. Tap to see at full size.

I think it’s a bad idea to ride with headphones on, but I sometimes  like listening to podcasts while I bike. So I do the next best thing: I pop my phone in my backpack’s “iPod pouch” and just play it through the phone’s speaker.

Photo: “Over the Road” podcast logo — Yellow truck door labeled “Over the Road”

I’m currently listening to Over the Road, a podcast where host “Long Haul Paul” Marhoefer, a trucker who’s also a musician and a great storyteller, tells the stories of his fellow long haul truckers, highlighting their experiences and explaining how they’re coping in a world that’s changing as a result of new technologies, new regulations, and changes in the way people live.

Categories
Tampa Bay The Current Situation

Hey, Seminole Heights: Let’s show some local love for Whatever Pops and Bowls this week

Seminole Heights’ seal, which depicts a two-headed alligatorOn Monday night, someone decided to help themselves to the bike rack outside Whatever Pops and Bowls, the gourmet popsicle/gelato/acai bowl/coffee place on Florida, just a couple of blocks south of Hillsborough. In the process, they smashed one of their storefront windows.

Things are already tough for businesses during the pandemic, and the last thing Whatever Pops needs is an unexpected expense like this. Let’s all show them a little love, give them a little business, and pick up a popsicle, gelato, bowl, or coffee sometime this week.

In case you need a little tempting, here’s a list of their popular flavors:

  • banana coconut
  • chocolate sea salt
  • coconut lime
  • earl grey lavender lemonade
  • orange cream
  • pineapple banana veggie (no sugar added)
  • pineapple cilantro
  • salty chocolate elvis
  • strawberry lime
  • strawberry mango
  • strawberry pineapple pomegranate

In case you were curious, my favorite is the Salty Chocolate Elvis, which is also the name of my next band.

Categories
It Happened to Me Tampa Bay

Flag of the day

I love this flag, which I saw on my daily bike ride this morning.

Seminole Heights’ seal, which depicts a two-headed alligator

Categories
It Happened to Me Tampa Bay

The neighbor I need to meet (or: Ooh! Unicorn boat!)

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Seminole Heights’ seal, which depicts a two-headed alligatorI saw this while going out for a neighborhood walk with Anitra this morning. I need to find out who the owners are, and make friends with them so th I too can cruise down the Hillsborough River in a unicorn boat!

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Tampa Bay

The Fast and the Spurious (or: Why does the school board need a car like this?)

Tap the photo to see the excessive vehicularity at full size.

Seminole Heights’ seal, which depicts a two-headed alligatorI snapped this photo during my bike ride this morning. I don’t know how many high-speed chases the local county school board gets into, but they are READY!

(Seriously, are Dom and the rest of the Fast and Furious gang skipping school?)

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It Happened to Me 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.

Tap the photo to see it at full size.

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.

Tap the photo to see it at full size.
Categories
It Happened to Me Tampa Bay

Back at Produce Wagon

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Seminole Heights’ seal, which depicts a two-headed alligatorOn Friday, I stopped by Produce Wagon, the fruit and veg stand that operates in our neighbourhood, just a few blocks away from the house on Tuesdays and Fridays. It’s always nice to see Patti and Fabiola, and was even better to find out that they’ve added an extra hour to their schedule — they’re now open at 13th and Crawford on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 9 a.m. to noon!

The vegetables I bought ended up in this morning’s scramble (pictured above), and will play a part in tonight’s dinner, which will be ma po tofu.