IT’S TIME TO EXPLORE TAMPA BAY ON TWO WHEELS

by
Christian Stan, at 12 May. 17, in News

Recognized as a trendsetter when it comes to healthy, and sustainable mode of transportation, Tampa Bay recently joined nine other cities around the country winning praise from bicycle advocates for its work creating an urban environment that’s friendly and safe for cycling.

With year-round sunshine, more than 100 miles of bike lanes, and flat-to-gently sloping terrain, Tampa Bay is a natural place for exploring on two wheels. Don’t have your own bike? With a smartphone and a credit card, you can rent one nearly anywhere in downtown and be riding in a few minutes. Just remember: Helmets are required for kids. You can find those along with rentals at City Bike Tampa across from the new bike lane on Cass Street.

Tampa Riverwalk

The Tampa Riverwalk runs for 2.4 miles (4 km) along the Hillsborough River and Garrison Channel, linking downtown’s favorite attractions like gems on a string. Take your time and hop from The Florida Aquarium to Tampa Bay History Center to the downtown waterfront to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts to Water Works Park and Ulele restaurant.

Coast Bike Share has rental stations spread all along the Riverwalk, with the biggest ones outside the Glazer Children’s Museum and Tampa Convention Center. You’ll find bike repair stations at the waterfront and just north of the Straz Center.

Beware: Bikes are limited to 5 mph on the Riverwalk, which can be crowded with pedestrians at certain times of day. So take it slow.

Bayshore Boulevard

Downtown’s original waterfront pedestrian course, at more than five miles long Bayshore ranks as the world’s longest unbroken sidewalk. The curving path starts at Platt Street (the bridge links Bayshore with the Riverwalk) and runs to Gandy Boulevard, passing some of Tampa Bay’s most dramatic scenery and most impressive real estate along the way. Keep one eye out for dolphins, diving pelicans and maybe the occasional manatee just over the balustrade.

The path is very popular with walkers, joggers and other cyclists, so be courteous. You’ll find an ad hoc single-track path worn into the grass just to the inside of the concrete path. You’ll also find a striped bike lane on the northbound side of the road itself.

Bayshore provides easy access to tony South Tampa neighborhoods such as Hyde Park (between Dakota and Howard avenues), home to leafy streets and high-end shopping at Hyde Park Village, as well as Palma Ceia (at Bay to Bay), home to neighborhood favorite Datz restaurant. The boulevard’s median is an unofficial open-air art gallery inviting passers-by to stop and ponder the creations.

Hip Bike Hotels

Some of Tampa’s choicest hotels offer chic, custom bikes or bike hotels.

Le Méridien Tampa teamed up with New York-based Priority Bicycles develop a custom fleet. Bikes are complimentary to Starwood Preferred Guests—guests can easily become SPG members. Boutique Epicurean Hotel in Tampa’s Hyde Park neighborhood also offers complimentary Electra bikes for guests. Classy bikes come with a basket, helmet, lock, maps and cup holder, since this hotel is all about style.

Bike Valet

Now that Bike Valet arrived in Tampa, locals and visitors have the option of biking to events and attractions and leaving them with attendants to park – free of charge.

Get out of town

A few miles from downtown’s bright lights and paved bike paths, you’ll find plenty of great cycling in Tampa Bay’s wilderness parks and green spaces.

NOTE: We would like to thank for the support of our attendance to IPW 2017  to the US Embassy in Bucharest, US Commercial Service.

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