Biking & Blading: 5 places to explore off campus

Want to find a fun way to stay active and fit?

Biking and rollerblading will get you up and moving without you feeling like you’re working out.

Rollerblading and biking actually offer the same cardiovascular benefits as running, but are easier on the joints. The primary muscles worked during rollerblading and biking are the hamstrings, quads, glutes and the upper arm muscles. Biking at a light, easy-pace (10-12 mph) burns an average of 350 calories per hour, but this can be improved by increasing your speed. Rollerblading burns almost twice as much at about 750 calories an hour. Both forms of exercise provide the physical benefits of muscular endurance and weight maintenance.

Riding around campus can be fun, but there are places to safely venture off campus. Explore Tampa while exercising with these off-campus bike paths:

  • Bayshore Blvd

Bayshore Boulevard is a long, scenic road along the Hillsborough Bay near downtown Tampa. The sidewalk along the road spans 4.5 miles and is a great place to roll around on any form of transportation. Fun fact: The sidewalk is considered the longest continuous sidewalk in the world. (Located 25 minutes off campus)

  • Flatwoods Trails

Flatwoods offers an escape to bike or blade without the risk of heavy traffic and cars. The 12-mile concrete loop is safely tucked away in the woods. Not a fan of concrete? There are many different trail loops to go off-road biking or running. (Located 15 minutes off campus)

  •  Upper Tampa Bay Trail

This trail in Odessa, Florida is a paved roadway running 7.25 miles long. No need to worry about cars or traffic. Bike and blade freely anytime on this wide, smooth trail. (25 minutes off campus)

  •  SunCoast Trail

Looking for a longer ride? Head out to Suncoast trails. Enjoy natural and suburban scenery on this 41-mile path running parallel to the highway. There is also an additional paved bicycle trail that connects the Suncoast Trail to the J. B. Starkey Wilderness Park in New Port Richey which runs about 6.5 miles long. (40 minutes off campus)

  • Pinellas Trail

This trail is located a little farther off campus, but the view is worth the drive. The Pinellas Trail connects Saint Petersburg, Florida to Tampa, Florida. The beautiful 47-mile trail rides along an abandoned runway corridor. (45 minutes from campus)

Do you have a favorite trail we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Remember to always obey traffic and speed laws and wear a helmet while riding. Many of these trails are only open during daylight hours, so check the websites before heading out.

Contribution by Leandra Munson

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