A wooden footbridge leading to the beach

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Cycling and Longboat Key

I have always enjoyed biking down Longboat Key. As I rode, the sun beats down on me and the salty air fills my lungs. The views are stunning; everywhere I looked there was something pretty to see.

After a while, I reached the end of the road having to decide whether to continue north on my journey or just stop and enjoy Longboat Key. With one major road running down the center of the island, and bike paths both on the north and southbound Gulf of Mexico Drive, it is a relatively safe ride. Many cyclists and cycling clubs will use Longboat Key as a start/stop point or passing through on their extended journey down through St. Armands and onto the mainland of Sarasota.

Once on the mainland, one can choose to stick to a bike path, jump on the newly extended Legacy Trail, or create their route. I have enjoyed heading east past Interstate 75 where the country is still somewhat country and you see alligators in the creeks as you ride over the overpasses.

But back to Longboat Key, whether you are a novice, weekend warrior, pleasure rider enjoying the sights, a form of transportation, or kicking in high gear building your heart rate for your next triathlon, this is a great ride to enjoy. Don’t expect any major elevations, you won’t find it on this almost flat island. But it does give you a great opportunity to work on your meter. And if you see dolphins swimming in the Gulf and native sea birds soaring through the sky, all the better.

This cycling experience will be one of the best for you. If you’re looking for an amazing cycling route with stunning views, Longboat Key is worth checking out!

For those more athletic adventures, why not try one of Sarasota’s local Triathlon competitions that occur throughout the year? Here is one of my favorite resources to stay in touch with the local events: run941 You can visit their website here run941 run941 for a calendar of events.

If traveling to the area, you are going to need a place to stay. Longboat Key offers some properties that do not require a month’s rental and Florida Vacation Connection is one of the longest-running short-term vacation rental companies on the island offering quality accommodations. In business since 1994, this woman-owned independent company employs a team of rental specialists who will help you find the perfect rental property. Don’t just stay in a hotel – chose a home or condo that provides you with the peace and privacy you need for your training needs. Full kitchens will allow you to prepare those energy meals for those long rides or a place to repose and recover.  Check out their website for quality properties or call their staff to speak with one of their reps. You’ll like the personal service they provide: www.flvacationconnection.com 941-387-9709. 

U.S. Air Force Capt. Mitchell Kieffer and Senior Master Sgt. Jason Hoover compete in the men’s open cycling event during the 2014 Warrior Games at Fort Carson, Colo., Sept. 29, 2014.

And you can find many local bike shops that can assist with supplies such as chain lube, energy gels, and those ever-so-important tubes and CO cartridges if you run out and cannot wait for an online order to arrive. Sarasota Cycle and Village Bikes are my two go-to stores. Check them out here: Sarasota Cycle or Village Bikes

So pack your bike! Charge your EV and get to Sarasota’s trails for your bike experience!


submitted by Jeff Merckle, Rental Manager, Florida Vacation Connection