A few leisurely rotations of your bike tires will open you up to a myriad of diverse happenings in Downtown St. Petersburg, and with the city itself evolving into a bicyclists haven, locals and visitors alike are exploring all it has to offer via their two-wheeled friend. A whole day can be experienced through an interactive bike ride, and the businesses and cultural hubs that operate Downtown are steadily shifting positive attention towards catering to bikers.
The St. Pete Bike Co-op represents the local appreciation for alternative transportation combined with a love of the classic past time, and the non-profit organization seeks to “make cycling safe, easy, and fun in St. Pete.” At the Co-op, one can become either a patron or a member; both achievable by either monetary or volunteer means. They seek to “provide affordable ways to acquire and maintain a bike, offer bicycle related education programs, promote bicycle safety, encourage reuse and recycling, and promote general bicycle advocacy.” The growth of a budding metropolis, of which St. Pete seems to be evolving towards, depends almost entirely upon the transportation of the people within the city. Therefore, advancements such as accessible bikes by the St. Pete Bike Co-op are progressive and well rounded in regards to fostering city growth.
Being a local bicyclist and living Downtown, I have been able to observe the steady and joyous increase in bicycling-friendly restaurants, businesses, bars, and roads. There even seems to be an unofficial pact among bikers downtown, and you begin to recognize people by their bike. By far, the bicyclist-specific lane on 1st Ave. S is one of my favorite accommodations the city has to offer. I also enjoy the growing amount of bike stands, as well as the stickers and graffiti, which inhabit them- in, true St. Petersburg style. Downtown is laced with routes filled to the brim with local aesthetic and a comfortable ride, paired with our beautiful skies, it’s pretty easy to bike away feeling like you know downtown better.
Some notable bicyclist friendly spots that continually strike my interest include:
The 600 block on Central, there is a decent amount of well-positioned bike stands, as well as Blue Lucy Gallery and Studio, Thursday night karaoke at Octave bar, Art Walk, and the St. Pete Indie Market. A block behind Central, on 1st Ave S (where that stellar bike lane is), Studio 620is located, known as a hub for local musicians and artists. If one wanted a bite to eat near this area, the Dome Grill or Central Coffee are great local treasures with the special St. Pete quirk. If a thirst is what needs quenching Cycle Brewing is the best place to embark with your bike. The entire inside is designed to accommodate you and your bike!
Mirror Lake Park and Bike Trail, 14.2 acres in the heart of downtown, ready to be biked! Also home to the Mirror Lake Complex and Sunshine center, as well as a brand new wide bike-able sidewalk that circumvents the lake. The view of the city skyline at night reflecting off the lake is probably one of the city’s best features.
Ride from Dali to Vinoy Park, a 1.8 mile stretch that parallels the entire bay front, on one side the city skyline, and the other the view of sky and bay. One can begin biking at either point, and ride by the Dali Museum and Mahaffey Theater, Demens Landing Park, the Pier, North Straub Park, the Beach Drive District, Vinoy Park, and finally Flora Wylie Park. If you’re hungry, check out the Tavern At Bayboro, it is undeniably one of the best places to go in Downtown.
600 Block Association http://sixhundredblock.com/
St. Pete Co-op http://stpetebikecoop.wordpress.com/
St. Pete Bike Map http://www.stpete.org/pdf/stpetebikemap.pdf
Mirror Lake Park http://www.stpeteparksrec.org/mirror-lake-park.html