May is National Bike Month. This annual observance began back in 1956 as a way to promote the benefits of cycling and to encourage Americans to try healthy activities. In addition, the third week of the month is usually designated as National Bike to Work Week. Cycling on Anna Maria Island is a lot of fun. The scenery is beautiful, and the gulf air is refreshing. To make it even easier, our luxury vacation homes come with bicycles. If you need to find more bikes or different sizes, contact our local experts and they can help.
Before You Start
Before you hit the road, there are a couple of things to think about. First are bike helmets. Helmets are a good idea for everyone, but Florida law requires them for riders under 16 years old. The second thing to mention is to stay hydrated. That warm sun you are enjoying is also making you sweat. Good hydration practices begin before you get on the bike, so plan ahead. This article has some tips on how to stay hydrated and healthy. Lastly, consider using sunscreen. Even on overcast days, the sun’s UV rays can pose a risk to you.
Because bicycling is so popular, the City of Anna Maria produced a guide for cyclists that gives pointers on safety, legal considerations and some popular local routes. You can get that guide here.
Coquina Beach Bike Path
One of the most popular local bike paths is the Coquina Beach Bike Path. Coquina Beach is in the city of Bradenton Beach. This county park is open from sunrise until 10:00 pm. You can enjoy National Bike Month by cycling along the beautiful white sands on their 5-mile-long bike path. The park is located at 2650 Gulf Drive South, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217. Parking at the county lot is free.
About 15 minutes off the island is Robinson Preserve. The preserve recently expanded to 682 acres and is a mix of preserved mangroves, tidal marsh, and former agricultural lands. The bike trail is 7.5 miles long. About 2.5 miles of the trail is paved, and the rest is sand or boardwalk. Take a break during your ride and visit the observation tower in the park. You can see four counties and five bodies of water. The Preserve is located at 1704 99th Street Northwest, Bradenton, FL 34209 and is open from sunrise to sunset. Visit their website for more information.
While some of these routes are beautiful, they may be a little difficult for younger kids. The Jacaranda – Gladiolus Street trail may be a good choice for them. This route does share space with traffic, but it is a lower-volume area. You can even help them celebrate National Bike Month with a stop for ice cream at one of our shops like Two Scoops.
The Back-Up Plan
Sometimes we can overestimate our abilities, or the weather may unexpectedly become uncooperative. If that happens, don’t forget about the free Island Trolley. These air-conditioned trolleys run 365 days a year and drive a continuous loop from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm. They typically pass at 20-minute intervals. The trolleys are equipped with bike racks, so getting the bike home is no problem.
National Bike Month is a natural fit for Anna Maria Island. We love the outdoors here and we know you will too. If you have more questions or need information about the area, our local experts are here to help. Just contact us.
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