One of the many fun and exciting ways to explore Citrus County is by bicycle. With many trail and path opportunities and multiple shops that offer rentals the possibilities are endless.
Bicycling is one of the most popular recreational activities you can take part in during your retirement years. But if you’re like many people and haven’t been on a bike since you were a kid, it can also be an intimidating activity to relearn so many years later.
When we are talking about bicycling in general, there is a lot of information out there about choosing the perfect bike for your abilities and learning the appropriate etiquette. And when we are talking about bicycling specifically in Citrus County, there is even more information out there about where to ride and who to ride with!
In order to get you started on the right foot, we’re going to take a look at all of these things from the perspective of someone who is new to cycling in Citrus County.
How to Choose a Bike
If you walk into a bicycle shop today after not riding for many years, you are almost certainly going to be walking into some serious sticker shock. Many of the most popular mountain bikes and road bikes on the market today are priced over $1,000 and can run into the many thousands of dollars.
While those fancy bikes are really spectacular in their own right (and great if you have the budget), they aren’t exactly necessary for beginners. So don’t be intimidated by the idea of looking at the cheaper models.
The most important thing when choosing a bike is to make sure that it is a good fit for the style of riding you are planning to do, and a good fit for your body type. It’s always a good idea to try a number of different bikes before deciding on purchasing any one model.
Rent Before You Buy
Of course, the easiest way to try out different models is to rent them and go for a ride!
The best place to get started renting locally is Inverness Bicycle & Fitness. They are experts when it comes to all types of bicycles and will always encourage you to try out different bikes before committing to buying one.
And if you don’t ever want to purchase a bike of your own, you can always just continue to rent each time you want to hit the road or the trails!
Rules of the Roads & Trails
If you are planning to ride primarily on the local bike trails, then you should focus on how you interact with other cyclists.
It is important that everyone on the trail is friendly and openly communicates with each other. It is also important to make sure that you ride your bike in a safe and predictable manner. Any sudden changes in speed or direction can be hazardous to the cyclists around you.
If you choose to take your bike out onto the streets, you will also want to learn the proper hand signals so that you can alert any vehicles that you are sharing the road with of your intentions when turning.
Best Local Beginner Rides
Probably the best place to get started bicycling in Citrus County is the Withlacoochee State Trail. This 46-mile paved trail runs right through Inverness only two blocks away from Inverness Bicycle & Fitness, so if you rent a bike there you can hop right on the trail and get going!
The Withlacoochee Bay Trail is located off US 19 and offers a beautiful view as you ride along the Gulf of Mexico. Another great option for beginners is Suncoast Trail, which runs parallel to the Suncoast Parkway.
As you further develop your skills, places like Potts Preserve, Flying Eagle, and St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserve all offer more serious off-road trails for mountain bikes. There are also trails to explore at most of the other state and local parks and preserves in Citrus County.
The most important thing to remember when getting into bicycling in Citrus County is to take your time and ask the right people for help and advice. It also doesn’t hurt if you have some cycling friends to hit the trails with!