Beach Routes, Raw Eats, Electric Rides

Posted by admin on May 20th, 2012 filed in bicycles, food, general, travel

I haven’t biked much this year, but got to do a great ride with Dad yesterday around southern Pinellas.

We intended to just do the beach ride – Largo to the Pinellas Trail, out Park Rd to the beach road, then south and back – but after a nice ride along the beach down to Pass-a-Grille (which always brings back memories of our rides first starting out on these bikes a few years ago), we stopped for lunch at Vida de Cafe and shared a plate of raw spicy pad thai (“Shredded zucchini, carrots, red cabbage, red pepper and green onion with a spicy, nutty sauce.”)

photo from

I had hoped they would be serving their amazing raw chocolate cheesecake, but the dessert special (coffee cheesecake) was already sold out, and though I tried to talk Dad into a slice of raw key lime cheesecake (“Creamy cashews and fresh lime juice blended to make cheesecake on an almond crust, drizzled with tropical sauce.”) he said that would have to wait til after RAAM.

After lunch, I felt like doing some extra miles (which Dad is always up for), and I suggested heading to the St Pete Saturday Morning Market. While waiting on our bill, an electric golf cart drove up, reminding me of an electric car dealership on 4th St. N I’ve been meaning to check out. So instead of following our original plan to head home, we trekked east over the toll bridge to 31st St S then headed into downtown St Pete along the route the morning ride takes. We stopped in the golf course to give me a break before the sprint zone and were approached by a groundskeeper inquiring about our bikes. Resting in the shade of some big oaks, we had a nice discussion about the St Pete Bike Club rides and emerging bike trends, then parted ways.

Dad encouraged me in sprinting the last leg out of the golf course, and again along the final stretch of the official ride route, and good-naturedly let me “win”. Thanks Dad! =D

When we finally arrived at the the Saturday morning market, the vendors were packing up and no one had what we sought, so we rode north along Beach Rd, jogged to 22nd Ave N, up 1st St and over to 24th Ave N to check out the electric car place.

On the south side of the building, Suncoast Electric Vehicles had some of their electric bikes on display along with their low-speed passenger and cargo vans:

They also offer low- (up to 35-40 mph) and high-speed (up to 75 mph) cars, but didn’t have any available high-speed models on-site (there is a three-month waiting list for those). The high-speed car sells for somewhere around $35K and the low-speed (pictured below) for around $25K (both with A/C, I think):

The sales people (Ana Maria and another guy) were both very helpful and hopefully we’ll be going back this week for a test drive (when we’re not drenched in sweat and sunscreen).

The ride home involved a stop by a friend’s shop, then another 15-20 miles against an increasing headwind. I kept checking my bike computer to monitor my average speed, trying to work out why I felt as crappy as I did. Strangely, it reported an average around 20 mph, which for me is impossible on what ended up being a 55 mile ride with multiple stops and mostly against a headwind. I cycled through the displays for more info and found the glitch: the comp reported my max speed as 58.6 mph. Either I fell asleep and missed out on what was probably the most awesome descent of my lifetime, or it’s time to change the computer batteries…

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