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Bicycling To Clearwater

I heard about a car show in Clearwater a couple weeks ago so I decided to go.  But how to go and avoid all the traffic and parking problems that would be inevitable?  The traffic down here is pretty rough going even without the snowbirds.    

This is a map of the Pinellas Trail, a bike and pedestrian walkway that stretches all the way from downtown St. Pete all the way up to Tarpon Springs.  When I was living at Shawshank I'd hop on the bicycle, take a short three or four block ride up to the Trail and bike across to the Trop to catch a Rays game.  

I checked the map and saw that where I am now, in Largo at Waterboard that I was about 4 blocks away from the Trail and then only 3 1/2 - 4 miles from Clearwater.  That may sound like a long ways but on a bike that is hardly anything.  True hardcore bicyclists can go 100 - 200 miles in a weekend.  

Saturday afternoon.  Bottle of water, cell phone, shades and goofy helmet and I'm ready to explore new territory.  Although I'm this close to Clearwater we have not explored this area at all.  This will all be new to me.  All the better.  

Just a few blocks and very little activity on the bike path and I'm smack dab in the middle of the show.  This is a view from Cleveland street looking down toward the gulf-front.  It is crowded so my picture taking of some of the cars will be a minimum.  Simply too much foot traffic to get a good full view.   After scores, maybe hundreds, of car shows I am on the hunt for 1) cars I have had int he past, 2) unique vehicles I am unfamiliar with and 3) a 1963 Dodge 880.  

Car shows have changed since I started going.  There are almost no stock 30's or 40's cars.  Oh, they have them but they have been restored, interiors modernized, engines swapped, modified, chopped, lowered, raised, chromed and so souped up as to be unrecognizable.  In my book they don't count. Go ahead and do all that stuff but don't tell me you have an old car.  You have a new car with an old shell.  

This is something I've never seen or even heard about before.  This is a 1968 Ferves Ranger.  It is an Italian car made between 1965 and 1970.  It has a Fiat chassis and a Fiat 499 cc engine.  Pretty neat, really.  If I had one in Northlandia I'm sure I'd get a trophy at every show, if only for its uniqueness.  

This is a 1989 2 CV Mezzana.  It is named Dolly as you can see.  When you start painting the name nickname of your car on it, you have surely passed some sort of line.  At least in my book.  I still like it though and would find room in the Garage In the Woods. 

This European beauty is a 1968 Tatra 603 from Czechoslovakia.  Yeah, I'd find room for this one, too.  I like the odd ones, always have.  Anyone and everyone has a Mustang, I want the ones that you never see.  

This is a '68 Plymouth barracuda that caught my eye.  

And then there were these old unrestored beat up but functioning Volkswagens.  Having had a couple of them I have a soft spot for them.  

At the end of the road was this harbor and a ferry had just let off a bunch of tourists.  See that person walking on the bridge?  That gave me the impetus to return and ride on that bridge to take some shots from above.  I actually did return a few days later (a day off from babysitting) and I will post those pics soon.  

I was a bit fascinated by the sculpture above in a small waterfront park.  I thought as sculptures go these this was pretty worthless.  Of all the creativity that surrounds this area, indeed, all over the world, they found two radar dishes or bent charcoal grill on steroids and slapped them together.  Geez, it was embarrassing.    

For you muscle car aficionados I saw this pretty nice Dodge G/T.    Its hard to be too terribly involved in muscle machines when you are driving your grandfather's tobacco stained 63 Chevy Impala or a VW Bug.  Maybe my reticence is based on envy.

When finished I hopped on the bike and back down the trail to home.  Good day of viewing cars, way too many people, but always fun.  It gave me the itch to get Miss Frump ready to go for a few shows this summer.

PS - Nice ride but my crotch was sore and I refuse to buy bicycle shorts.  Those are for wimps.  


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