St. Petersburg may be, according to some, the saddest city in the country, but that assessment sure contradicts with it also being named the number one beach destination by Trip Advisor and now Sherman’s Travel Blog on the Huffington Post naming tje city “One of the 10 best cities for cycling.”
“Pedaling through a major U.S. city is not just the province of daredevil bike messengers. With warmer weather and rising gas prices, there’s never been a better time to hop on a bicycle, especially while you’re on vacation,” states Sherman’s Travel Blog.
“It’s also a way to really be local,” suggests Nicole Freedman, Director of Bicycling Programs for the city of Boston, “because when you bike you can stop wherever you want, you can talk to people.”
Sherman’s reports, “Along with established or in-the-works bike shares, our Top 10 Cities for Cycling, all with populations over 100,000, feature an abundance of great rental shops, municipal bike racks, exciting trails, and dedicated bike lanes.”
About St. Petersburg:
The Sunshine State isn’t generally known to be bike-friendly, but efforts are being made in certain cities to make two-wheeled transportation easier, safer, more frequent, and more fun. St. Petersburg’s hard work is particularly notable, and as St. Pete’s Director of Transportation Joe Kubicki states, “Our relatively flat terrain, temperate climate, and great cycling infrastructure with plenty of trails and road facilities make it an excellent choice for visitors.” Indeed, St. Pete is striving to make the city better for biking all the time. Since 2006, it has been designated a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly City by the League of American Bicyclists, and have been working to raise their status, from providing more bike parking to connecting the recreational trails and street lanes. You can already enjoy the beautiful waterfront parks and beaches as well as the popular downtown shopping areas by bike, and with the coming myBike bike-share program (designed and funded by St. Pete residents, and based on NYC’s coming Social Bicycles technology), biking will be even easier for area visitors.
Bikeable Miles: 35 miles of bike trails and 75 miles of on-street bike lanes
Rent a Bike: St. Pete’s bike-share program, myShare, is set to launch on July 4th with 500 bikes. In the meantime, you can rent from ABC Bicycles or its sister store, Trek Bicycle Store; rates start at $30/day for one bike or $25/day for two or more.
Try this Route: The Pinellas Trail stretches 47 miles from downtown St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. It spans an abandoned railroad corridor through parks and along coastal areas, oak glades, waterways, and tidal streams. The downtown St. Pete portion of the Pinellas passes Rail Switch Park, the Morean Arts Center for Clay (in the Historic Seaboard Train Station), and Tropicana Field, home to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Yes, St. Petersburg is soon to launch a bike share program, which could have a great positive impact on our community. Sherman’s Travel Blog cited Katie Adamson of Visit Denver who says that the 300,000 rides logged during the two-year (and counting) lifespan of Denver‘s bike-share program have translated into 13.5 million burned calories, a $990,000 savings on gas and parking, and 1.1 million pounds of greenhouse gases avoided. “Yep,” she says. “Biking is good for our health, our pocketbooks, and our planet. And [it’s] fun.”