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"So how do you get started? Well, just start."
Sometimes one of my friends wistfully will say that she or he would love to bike on the Withlacoochee State Trail. Or someone will see me preparing to cycle away from a downtown Inverness eatery and ask about my recumbent bicycle or recumbent trike.
So how do you get started? Well, just start.
Drag out your unused bike and make sure it’s in good working order. Rent a bike from one of the bike shops on or near the Withlacoochee Trail (in Inverness there’s Inverness Bicycle & Fitness and David’s World Cycle). Bring the family or invite friends; kids’ bikes are available for rent at area shops, too. Be sure you are prepared for the exercise and the weather.
The most heavily used part of the Trail is between Inverness and Floral City. Parking is available at either end, as well as restrooms. From the Trail’s bright red caboose in Inverness to the charming gazebo in Floral City is 7 miles. If a roundtrip of 14 miles seems overwhelming to you, then choose a shorter route – pedal north from Inverness across the railroad trestle towards Whispering Pines Park or pedal south to Fort Cooper State Park. (I still chuckle about the acquaintance new to biking who started off with lots of energy from Citrus Springs, only to hire a taxi in Floral City to drive him and his bicycle home!)
From there, it is only a matter of time before you explore all 46 miles of this beautiful linear park.