While Tom had to head to work early, Alice didn’t have to leave until around 10:30 and with Operation No Sweat meaning I only had about 40 miles ahead of me I was happy to leave then too. Alice was heading over to the island to study and was planning on riding over so we both headed out at the same time. She was riding over which made me happy. I’m always happy to hear of people commuting around by bike and Florida’s winter makes biking to places so accessible.
While Alice headed off to the island, I found my way back onto US-41. It was fairly pleasant with a shoulder most of the way until I arrived at Sarasota county line. Sarasota county obviously cares less about cyclists than Manatee county had. It often surprises me how much a road can change when you cross a county line.
Thankfully the lack of shoulders wasn’t too much of a problem as within an hour or so I found my way on to a rails-to-trails path called The Legacy Trail. It was a welcome break from being on a rather busy shoulderless road and I saw lots of cyclists. For once, the other cyclists didn’t seem that warm. Usually when I pass other cyclists they say hi or nod back to me as the bicycle forms a bond. Nearly all of those that I passed and who came towards me on the trail were all silent and focused on riding. It was a little disheartening, but maybe the hot afternoon sun put them off.
The Legacy Trail ended at the entrance to Venice and lead straight on to another trail which followed the side of a canal all the way to the house of Leslie, my host for the night. Leslie is not actually a member of Warmshowers, but her boyfriend Shawn is. As he is currently out-of-town on a tour of his own, Leslie kindly offers to host Warmshowers guests in his place. I got to meet her brother who had done a month-long tour back in the 80s and also could flick through Shawn’s folder from an earlier trip when he rode the ACA Atlantic Coast route from Bar Harbor to Key West. Leslie has done some touring herself and had a definite interest in travel and the outdoors and was a pleasure to get to know.