I will be in North Port FL in late March to visit my snowbird parents and will be looking to rent a bike. How is the riding in that area? Is there a doable route to a beach? I am a road rider and can handle distance but I am unsure of the road options for the area it looks like there is a trail option from Sarasota to Venice. I am familiar with Venice and it seems pretty bike friendly but this will be my first visit to North Port and ideally would like to try riding from their home to the beach.
If you want to ride with some folks, check out the Coastal Cruisers Bicycle Club www.coastalcruisers.net. The have rides almost every day of the week - all levels. They ride in the North Port, Englewood, Placida area and are a great group of people. I was a member and rode with them for several years before I moved to Ocala.
Try the Bicycle Center or Acme Bicycles - both in Port Charlotte for possible places to rent a bike. If they don't do rentals, they can point you to who does. FWIW, I would NOT ride US 41 (Tamiami Trail) - way too much traffic and old drivers. There are lots of great places to ride with little or no traffic in the North Port area and a better, more scenic ride to Venice through Englewood and up along Beach Road..