Bicyclists end long trip at Fanning Springs State Park

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By Claude Lewis

FANNING SPRINGS - Fanning Springs State Park belonged to bicyclists last Friday, April 4, as some 650 pedalers - a lot no doubt tired and sore - pulled into the 50-acre natural wonder on the Suwannee River to mark the end of a six-day, 300-mile trip from Clearwater.

The "Gulf Coast Trail Link Tour 2008" is part of Bike Florida's 15th anniversary.

Bikers from all over the Sunshine State as well as many northern states enjoyed lunch, a shower and just plain rest under balmy conditions.

Others shared experiences about the long ride north from Pinellas County up through Levy County.

The final leg of the ride was the 10 miles along the Nature Coast Trail spanning Chiefland with Fanning,

Cyclists rode at their own pace, taking in the beauty while getting a ton of exercise.

At night, riders would hunker down at either motels, camp grounds or even designated gtmnasiums.

Nine members of the club "The Posse" made it down from the Quad Cities area to make the ride.

They spoke of cabin fever and the lack of snow as major catalysts for making the trip.

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