Key West Bicycle Tour - Eco-Tourism, History and Key Lime Pie
By Christian Rieger
Bring your t-shirt, shorts, sneakers and a camera . . . and take home memories!
The Bike Tour of Key West, www.keywestbikeecotour.com, takes guests into the Key West of yesteryear - 19th Century village at the edge of the
tropics. Guests bicycle from one side of this lush, green, tropical island to the other. Bicycle along the beach; through tree-shrouded streets and
shady, hidden lanes; through the "Presidential Gate" in the Old Navy Base, along the old waterfront - and into history. They will discover the
Key West of the natives!
Christian Rieger, president of the parent corporation, The Bike Tour of Key West Z, Inc., says, "Our team of professional guides wend and wind
guests through the nooks and crannies of this sea-faring town at the edge of a continent. They see small cottages and grand old mansions amidst
stately palms and lofty mahogany trees. They get the full gamut of this city of 19th century wreckers, cigar-makers, and spongers."
The island's association with American history started in 1821 with a merchant by the name of John Simonton. This well-heeled, New Jersey-born
man had been treasurer of that state's first chartered bank. He had a few bucks in his pocket and appreciated the strategic value of Key West.
He sailed to Havana and bought it from Juan P. Salas for $2,000 cash. $2,000 was then like a couple of million dollars is today. All things
considered, it was quite a deal because as a local once said, "You can't hardly buy a tree for that."
Soon after the purchase, New England seafarers, Bahamians, and Cubans settled on the island. Back then it was then v-e-r-y isolated from the
rest of America. It was at the end of a string of small islands extending down from the vast semi-tropical wilderness of the Everglades.
The two closest Floridian cities were Panama City on the west coast, and St. Augustine on the east coast. No cars, no planes, no trains,
and no Miami. Just boats, mosquitos, and lots of distance between here and anywhere else. These were less hurried times. "Although busier today,"
says Rieger, "The bike tour takes guests as if through a time warp to those simpler, easier-paced times."
Along the way, participants see quaint old cottages and grand old Victorian mansions that hail from a century and a half ago. Guests visit a
place visitors to Key West rarely get to see — what Key West looked like before human settlement.
"We visit a one-acre, Private Rain Forest Preserve replete with parrots, orchids, bamboos, stately palms and majestic mahogany trees. Most
participants think this is the highlight of the tour. It is part of someone's home, and travelers rarely get to visit the grounds of a private
residence - even more so one looks like a rain forest.
"We also bicycle along a beach with Cuba 90 miles to our south. There is a stop with a photo op at the Southernmost Point. Just before the end
of end of the tour, we visit a Key Lime bakery for a complimentary piece of Key West's favorite dessert - Key Lime Pie. This is made the classical
way with real Key Limes, sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and graham cracker crust."
Join the Key West Bike eco Tour — smell the tropical air, the salt sea and witness the history of Key West in what one newspaper said
"has the most unique history in the United States."
Contact: Christian Rieger
954 523 1501
Christian Rieger has been a financial and travel journalist since 1964. In addition, he has operated tours since 1987, starting in New York,
and has written sightseeing scripts for New York, Savannah, Puerto Rico, Fort Lauderdale and Key West. Today he has a Bike and Walking Tour in
Key West and a Ghost Tour in Fort Lauderdale, where he continues to write.
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