On a recent family trip to central Florida I had a chance to do some bicycling. Anticipating warmer weather I looked into buying a bike on Craigslist or renting from one of the local bicycle shops. I ended up getting a Raleigh 3.0 from Bikes and Blades. This is a cute little shop on the West Orange Trail which was to be my route for the day. This is a 22 mile paved trail that starts in Clermont and ends in Apopka. There are several road crossings, but for the most part it is a quiet, scenic and well maintained bike path.
The shop opened at 8:00 AM on holidays and I rolled in at 8:30 AM and to my relief they had a bike in my size. There was a little drizzle in the air and unseasonably cool weather for Florida. I had a jacket, but no tights. The route was flat and riding in the cool mist was thrilling. After grinding up and down hills on the Front Range it was nice to just get into a rhythm. The trail goes through a few small towns including Winter Garden and Ocoee. Central Florida seems to have a significant active community and I would have liked to stop in the triathlon store in Winter Garden had it been open.