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Thomas Becnel

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Sofa shopping becomes compromise biking along Turtle Beach on Siesta Key

When it comes to stamina — sheer mental and physical toughness — it seems like I just don’t have what it takes anymore. I’m talking,… Read more »

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Paddling in Light

“Glow Boarding” is a beautiful way to paddleboard at night…. Read more »

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Visiting Lakeland -- yes, Lakeland -- to compare great campus architecture

Another weekend, another road trip. Last Saturday, my wife and I traveled south to Pine Island. This Saturday, we headed over to Lakeland for an… Read more »

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Pine Island road trip discovers tropical fruit and Florida history

My wife’s favorite road trip is a drive down to Pine Island. It’s about two hours from Sarasota, but she goes every other weekend during… Read more »

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Sarasota swimmers enjoy homecoming at Arlington Park pool

Of all the swimmers who returned to Arlington Park this week, I must be the worst. My strokes were ragged and I veered back and… Read more »

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Siesta Beach hoopers spin and dance on Tuesdays and Thursdays

When I interviewed hoop dancers on Siesta Beach, they kept hooping while we talked. It was like they couldn’t stop. It was like the hoop… Read more »

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Want to ride in Lakewood Ranch? Join the Village Idiots

Last week, I finally joined the Village Idiots Cycling Club for one of their Wednesday night rides east of I-75. Great group, great route, great… Read more »

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Bird lovers band together for scrub jays at Oscar Scherer State Park

When Jon Thaxton pulled into Oscar Scherer State Park, I got a look at his license plate. S2ARY. It took me a minute to sound… Read more »

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For quiet cycling into state park, try riding from Myakka River's north gate

Our Sunday bike ride started with an ominous question — “Did you bring any bug spray?” — but turned out to be a blissful evening… Read more »

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Paddlers in pink enjoy sisterhood of dragon boat training and racing

As a breast cancer survivor, Joanne Hampton has done all of the walks, all of the relays, all of the fund-raisers. But dragon boat racing?… Read more »

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Jet-skiers and dog-lovers enjoy splashing in shade of Palma Sola Park

On the drive out to Anna Maria Island, my wife’s new favorite place, I always get a kick out of Palma Sola Causeway Park. People… Read more »

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A ‘crazy’ badminton marathon

Four people will try to set a Guinness World Record by playing 34 hours straight…. Read more »

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For the coolest time at the beach, follow an afternoon thundershower

Instead of whining about the weather, which I do all the time, let me suggest one way you might beat the heat. No, it’s not… Read more »

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Ancient sport of hurling takes hold in Lakewood Ranch

At Lakewood Ranch High School, Austin Rushnell was a skateboarder. Now, as a history student at the University of South Florida, he’s embraced the ancient… Read more »

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Lakewood Ranch artist/adventurer wins iPhone Photography Contest

Where to start with Julio Lucas? He’s a 32-year-old illustrator, web designer and Ringling School of Art graduate who won first place in the 2014… Read more »

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