MY TAMPA URBAN BIKE ADVENTURE

Rain blinded my eyes. Tires skidded whenever a sharp turn was made. But the cold! AHHH the cold! The soaked clothes didn’t help.Entrance to the Pour House with bikes leaning I turned to Partner Shoes and asked “Do we keep going?”

The day didn’t start out rainy despite warnings from the weather forecast. 25 teams signed up but only 16 arrived to brave the rain.

“Silent, Deadly and Short?” the organizer burst out laughing at our team name. Clad in our Pikachu costumes (We already owned them) all participants for Tampa’s second Urban Bike Adventure met at The Pour House. Although I’ve been around Downtown Tampa before I love how Scavenger Hunt Races like this brings you to areas you normally don’t ponder on from a car or during Gasparilla.

Clues were given and the race began! 16 teams scattered to abuse Google with their smartphones. As soon as we deciphered the locations we had to visit, the Pikachus set out to Catch ‘Em All!

I’ve attended Scavenger Hunt Races but never via cycling. The biggest difficulty was having to memorize directions. You can’t bike while glancing at a phone or map. Well maybe you can… but…

First page of clues

A plaque dedicated to Charles Lafayette along Jackson’s Bistro (I’ve partied there before!) was quickly conquered before we started to second guess our answers. At the Greco Trolley Station we nabbed a few “get a stranger to…” photos while trying to figure out our next move. At last we photographed the Mirabella Plaque at the USF Park near the Convention Center before the long trek to Davis Island… and wind… and cold air… and a slight mist…

Near the Davis Island Playground we had to quickly stack apples into a pyramid to earn the signature of the nearby staff member. Easy peezy. At the Seaplane Basin Park near the Peter O’Knight Airport one teammate had to throw a Frisbee (luckily my Ultimate Guru Shoes is an expert at this) while I had to smack it into a basket. With the wind not so easy peezy. Eventually we earned the signature and also biked to the airport sign where we obtained another photograph as well as a nice Pikachu jump shot.

"Knighting" my Partner (Get it?) and our jump shot
“Knighting” my Partner (Get it?) and our jump shot

Things slowly went downhill from there. From Davis Island to the University of Tampa that slight mist grew stronger. Remember—we’re on bikes. We never removed our jackets from heat sweat because we stayed cold! And now damp too. At one point our morale dipped low enough for us to cower under an awning. We missed the last challenge’s check-in time. “Do we keep going?”

At the Old School House on UT
Apparently electricity doesn’t beat water because I’m one sad Pikachu

Yes! But we wasted 20 minutes at UT trying to find the memorial to Babe Ruth (never found). Yet we nabbed our last photo of the old school house (Grrr I learned the Babe Ruth memorial was at the next building) before we realized our three hours of race time was up. Time to return.

The trek back was a straight shot via Kennedy Blvd… The only fun part was cycling past all the walkers yelling Pokemon hollers at us. “Oh look! Piiiiiikachuuuuuuuuuuuuu.”

Back at The Pour House I consoled myself with a nice Belgium Wheat while I learned we didn’t even place in the top 10. AND we lost the costume contest to the Minions (But I’ll admit they were a very cutely clad bunch). Rumor said only a few teams managed to complete all clues. The four-person team “Bikes. Beats. Battlestar Galactica” took home the prize by completing everything in a little over 2 hours. (Whaaaaaa????)

Awards and loser
Back at the Pour House, a drunk Pikachu at the bar’s rear watches awards being handed out

Team Silent, Deadly and Short only completed 7 out of 12 tasks (Gotta catch ‘em all? Fail!) with enough bickering unhealthy for BF/GF relationship. (Haha) But now we’re laughing and high-fiving ourselves over the awesome pictures taken AND winning a free admission to the Restaurant Bike Tour via raffle. Plus we received a gift card for Bike Accessories AND biked a cool nine miles. The Urban Bike Adventure is coming to nearby St. Pete in November and this Pikachu team will be there to conquer.

Click on any photo to view my album and go on the adventure with us!

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