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Cyclists embark on 6-day tour

Cyclists wait for the drawbridge Monday at the Dunedin Causeway as they kick off the 15th annual Bike Florida, a weeklong camping tour.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Cyclists wait for the drawbridge Monday at the Dunedin Causeway as they kick off the 15th annual Bike Florida, a weeklong camping tour.

On Monday morning, Ken Magyar, 88, heard the call of the road.

Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue S in Clearwater to be exact. It was the first leg of the day's journey.

He climbed on his Cannondale bike he calls the "Silver Fox" for a 283-mile cruise from Clearwater to Fanning Springs as part of the six-day Bike Florida 2008 Gulf Coast Trail Link Tour with more than 650 fellow bicyclists.

The retiree from Sebring — the grand marshal of this year's event — has a T-shirt that says "Ride Now, Act Old Later."

Bike Florida was created in 1978 by Linda Crider, the group's executive director, and writer Herb Hiller. Their goal was to encourage vehicles and cyclists to share the roads peacefully.

Crider said the fundraiser promotes bicycle safety and raises awareness of the health benefits of the sport.

This is the first year the majority of the route — 60 percent — will take riders on bicycle trails, including the Pinellas Trail.

Riders came from all over the United States and Canada to participate, setting up a tent city outside of Ross Norton Park and Sports Complex.

Eileen Schulte, Times staff writer

Cyclists embark on 6-day tour 03/31/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 11:13am]
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