Hello from another Floridian
I live in Clearwater, FL, and am returning to biking and bike-commuting. At 55 I've had the pleasure of commuting on the island of Okinawa and in southern Italy courtesy of the USAF. I am shopping but currently have a beat up mountain bike. Over the years I've had Raleigh, Nishiki, assorted "rescued" bikes and one really nice custom Colnago/Campy that I had built in Italy.
Unfortunately, I sold the Colnago about 12 years ago. Commuting here in Pinellas county will be a bit of a challenge due to traffic and TOURISTS!! However, once my office relocates, next month, I'll be about 6 miles away and parts of that will be covered by trails. The trail system in the county is growing nicely with the Pinellas Trail, a rails-to-trails park, being the grand-daddy of trails around here. At 34 miles, it reaches from south St. Petersburg north to Tarpon Springs. There is an Ease-West trail from mid-county to north Tampa Bay at Safety Harbor and the Progress Energy trail has a short portion completed. The goal is to have trails completely around the county and the ability to take a trail all the way out to Clearwater Beach. It's coming - all it takes is vision and money!
I am definately ready to start commuting again and gas prices are only part of the reason. I must get rid of some more weight and see if I can't better control my Type-II diabetes. I had a 32 mile r/t commute on Okinawa and a 24 mile r/t commute in Italy and I never had to worry about "fittness" and things associated with being a couch potato.
I'm glad I was referred to this site. I was looking for an active cycling forum and it looks like I found it. Other interests of mine include camping, walking, and competitive BBQ competitions. I'm looking forward to hanging out here some and learning from everyone here.