Slice of Life Tampa Bay

Scenes from yesterday’s bike ride

I do a 10K bike ride as often as I can, which can be a challenge.

The weather in Florida tends to turn on a dime this time of the year, and it’s something you have to account for when your exercise involves moving about on a lightning rod in the country’s lightning strike capital. Then there’s my work schedule, which is a finely-tuned balance of ramping up a side hustle LLC and doing the performative contortions required in a senior-level job search (I’ll write more on these topics in a later article).

In spite of these challenges, I’ve managed to squeeze in a bike ride five days a week on average, which I think is pretty good. I’ve been able to combine it with tasks such as the occasional run to the post office and grocery shopping. In fact, unless the store is too far away, the items I need to buy are too large, or if the weather isn’t cooperating, I do most of the shopping on my bike rather than with the car.

Seminole Heights’ seal, which depicts a two-headed alligatorI do enough biking and walking around the neighborhood that my house keys and car fob are separate. This is something that goes back to growing up in Toronto, where transit and taxis were plentiful, even in the pre-Uber/Lyft era, and  stepping out of the house didn’t necessarily mean taking the car.

But I’m living in a place where the car both signifies and determines your station in life, where drive-thru convenience stores and ATMs are the norm, and where the front door of your house is merely the gateway to your car. I don’t think I’ll adopt the local habit of bundling my house keys with the car fob anytime soon.

The first part of my ride took me to that little park where West Lambright street meets the Hillsborough River:

The skies were gray at the time, and I kept an eye on them, just in case I needed to high-tail it back home.

However, that little spot of blue was expanding quickly, and by the time I got to Lake Roberta, barely one and a half miles southeast, the skies had cleared up:

I’ve written about this place before. The road that circles the “lake” — it’s actually a pond — is well-paved and about a quarter-mile around, making it an easy and picturesque way to add a mile to the daily ride.

I had a proper haircut scheduled for later that afternoon at my regular spot, The Heights Barbershop, so I figured it was time to take one last selfie featuring my “Zoom mullet”, a self-inflicted job done with my old beard trimmer:

I’ve been here for six and a half years, and I still marvel at seeing palm trees and other tropical flora, despite the fact I get outside just about every day:

On the way back home, I stopped by the Produce Wagon, who set up shop at 13th and Crawford every Saturday morning (I’ve written about them before)…

…then passed by East Park Circle, which has one of my favorite neighborhood features: the tree in the middle of the road.

One last bit of local greenery…

…and then home sweet home.

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