Skating with Strollers

by Roger Normand

The weather forecast 25+ mph north-to- south winds, directly along the Legacy Trail axis. A common adage here is the wind on some days makes up for the absence of hills. Trail use was noticeably lighter. So I breezed down the trail, turned and headed back into the wind, pedaling mightily but moving like I was in molasses. That’s when I saw her, rollerblading in a tucked position, pushing a doublewide baby carriage. “Well, you qualify as hard core pushing that stroller into this fierce wind” I said. We chatted. “I’m an avid runner and rollerblader,” Chelsea explained, “so this is great training. I’m pushing instead of pulling a weighted sled. My two little girls love being out on the trail with me.” We talked about her training. “We just bought a condo in Venice along the Legacy Trail. My husband is back in Colorado with our other two girls. I want to come train here in the summer heat and humidity as an alternative to Colorado.” “I hope that helps fulfill your ambitions” I said as we parted, headed back into the wind with added inspiration.

Bikes and Waterbikes at Legacy Park

by Roger Normand

The two Pats were loading up their water bikes at Legacy Park. “That’s an interesting way to take a spinning class” I said. Pat-her replied “we love bicycling and the water, which is why we chose to come to Sarasota.” Pat-him added “we used our regular bikes yesterday to ride both sides of the Venetian Waterway trail yesterday, so today we are going to see it from the water.” Pat-her picked up “we drove down from Superior Wisconsin to vacation here for the week. Still too cold up there” she commiserated while basking in the warm sun here. “I designed this rack to travel with both hydro-bikes, along with our regular bikes…..oh, and our boat.” “Enjoy your stay” I replied, pondering the thought of water-bikes.

Rollerblades on Overpasses

by Roger Normand

Well that’s odd I thought as I approached.  Both walking down the Legacy Trail 41 overpass in stocking feet, carrying their rollerblades.  “Did you EACH blow a wheel on the trail” I asked with a big grin while thinking what’s the chance of that.  As if reading my mind, Andrew replied also smiling “no equipment malfunction, just a surface design issue.”  Ann chipped in “We are rollerblading a marathon distance 26.2 miles on the Legacy Trail.  We are post grad students from Manatee County, and love “blading on this trail because of the scenery and smooth surface.”  Andrew picked up “but ‘blading down this overpass is like coming down a series of ski jumps.  We’d rather not be successively airborne and out of control.”  “Hmm, I hadn’t thought of that.  I think they were designed to act like speed bumps for cyclist, I offered.   But some low slung racing trikes bottom out on these terraces.”  Note to FDOT: with overpasses under design for Clark and Bee Ridge intersections on the trail, is there a better design approach that doesn’t compromise low trikes and rollerbladers?

Giving Challenge 2022

It’s April!! The exciting 2022 Giving Challenge will be here this month. Mark your calendars for April 26-27, noon to noon! This 24-hour giving event will connect the Friends of The Legacy Trail with passionate donors and community members to support the new, longer, improved Legacy Trail and all it brings to Sarasota County. The trail is enjoyed by full-time and seasonal residents; local, national, and international visitors; bicyclists and walkers, families and singles, old and young, totaling nearly 525,000 users in the last 12 months!

On April 26, start donating your gifts of $25-$100 at noon, and they will be matched by The Patterson Foundation dollar for dollar. Additionally, we have received two anonymous Challenge Grants that will each match the first $1,000 received. These three match opportunities will make your $100 donation worth $400!!!

#BeTheOne to help Friends of The Legacy Trail continue to strengthen and enhance this local asset that brings great value to the Sarasota County area!

You can donate securely online during the Giving Challenge at www.givingchallenge.org and search for Friends of The Legacy Trail! Participate in #GivingChallenge22 and support Friends of The Legacy Trail along with other area non-profit organizations!

Inspiration on an E-Trike

by Roger Normand

At first glance, he looked as though he was wearing a tall walking boot perched on the end of one foot.  Perhaps a broken foot, atop a mass of duct tape.  Yet here he was riding confidently on his e-trike on a sunny but cool February day along the Legacy Trail.  

We chatted.  Richard explained he configured his e-trike to mitigate chronic Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, an extremely painful condition caused by misfiring nerve endings.  He pointed to his left foot in the boot.  “Vibrations trigger intense pain.  It’s worse on my left foot, so I wear a boot propped up on additional padding.  I’ve also got padding under my right foot.  I love riding on the trail in part because it has a very smooth surface.”  

He then proceeded to show me some wildlife pictures he’s taken along the trail.  “I’m a nature photographer.  I have an instagram account – backyard_birder_indiana – with my pics to showcase the beauty of birds and help raise money and awareness for CRPS research.”  He said he’s been riding the trail from Venice for many years.  “I used to be a multi sport athlete.  Not anymore,” he said with just a tinge of regret.  “This really helps me keep a positive attitude about life.  I LOVE riding on the trail with the sun and wind on your face.  ”  

Best wishes, Richard, and thanks for sharing your journey and inspiring others.

Final Segment of the North Legacy Trail Extension Opening March 3

Segment 3 Opening Celebration!
Thursday, March 3, 9 a.m.
in Payne Park

Join us for the ribbon cutting celebration of the opening of the final segment of the North Legacy Trail Extension. The ceremonies will be held in Payne Park in downtown Sarasota starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday March 3. Parking is available at 2185 Wood Street. Or better yet, ride your bike!

Want a preview? Check out this new drone video of Segment 3 provided by FLT business member Brett Koppes. Thank you Brett for all of the amazing drone videos of the trail extension project.

The last segment of The Legacy Trail extension, shown in green above, will officially open on Thursday March 3. This segment extends from Bahia Vista St. to Payne Park and Fruitville Road.

New Sponsorship Program for Trail Amenities

Want to support the trail and be recognized with your name, or your business name, on one of the trail amenities. Sarasota County, in cooperation with Friends of The Legacy Trail, has just launched a new program that allows you to sponsor many types of trail amenities, including stop stations, shelters, benches, playgrounds, and more.  Check out this brochure for more details and sponsorship rates.

Info Table on the Trail Saturdays (weather Permitting)

The Info Tables Are Taking a Break for the Summer. See you in the Fall!

The seasonal Friends of The Legacy Trail information table is moving from its usual Bay Street location to the Ashton Street trailhead on the Legacy Trail at 4301 Ashton Street, about a block west of McIntosh Road. The table is open on most Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Parking is available at the trailhead and at the 360 Church on the east side of the Legacy Trail. We’ve just received a fresh batch of caps and t-shirts for sale. You’ll also find information on trail development, FLT memberships, FLT’s square foot campaign, and more. Stop by and see us!

Friends of The Legacy Trail