Touring - Tampa to S. FL Velo: Jan 2-6(ish)
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Matthew A Brown
11-29-05, 08:20 PM
Ok, I'm probably going to edit this as I go, but gonna go ahead and throw this up to start.
GOING TO ATTEMPT to bike from Tampa (Brandon) to South Florida-ish. If it happens at all it will be about Jan 2-5/6. I would be doing this immediately preceding a trip a undetermined number of us will be taking down to the Piccolo Velodrome, where we shall (attempt to) back up the incredible amounts of **** we talk. Well, I talk.
Any good advice on how to get from point A to point B? I think the first part would be not too bad, but mostly I'd be looking at what happens as I get closer to the sheer loveliness (....) that is South Florida.
I would take backroads down to Wauchula then cut across to Sebring(I would have to look at my old trip reorts to see the exact road I took between Wauchula and Sebring) and pick up US 27 the rest of the way.The later is 4lane high speed with much traffic but has a wide shoulder the whole way(I just rode from South Bay to Ft. L on it this past weekend).But alternative routes across the state are mostly two lane,narrow with heavy truck traffic which IMO is much worse.Alternatively from Wauchula you could head on south past Arcadia cutting across to 27 on 74.74 is a narrow road but very remote with not much traffic and absolutely no services as well.And south of Arcadia on 31 there is only one Mexican convience store.If you know more specifically where you will be headed I could try to route you through the urban area as last I was in that area 27 on into Dade Co. was a mess due to construction and closed lanes.
Matthew A Brown
11-30-05, 12:44 AM
Oh snap, hey RWTD....
I'll copy what I got on the other thread, just kinda popped these together. I'm beyond sleepy, but I'll get some good poking around re: 74 and such tomorrow at work.
For anybody who might be around that area, is the Herbert Hoover **** (real name) ridable? And is 27 south from Okeechobee as soul-numbing as it looks on googlemaps?
Matthew A Brown
11-30-05, 12:50 AM
Thought to follow up on:
The north/east road around Okeechobee looks a lot less populated than the west/south road, although a little bit longer. Googlemaps even has what looks like a service road of some kind just inside the highway?
You can ride the levee all the way around Lake O .The south part from Moore Haven to south Bay is paved .The west side is all dirt.And the east side is a mix.But Okeechobee to Port Mayaca is paved then you can jump on 441 the rest of the way to South Bay and 27.441 does have traffic but a nice shoulder as well.78 on the west side of the lake is more remote(two lane vs. 4 lane for 441) but south of lakeport loses its shoulder and is dangerous due to heavy sugar cane truck traffic.But you can jump on the levee which is dirt from that point to Moore Haven .27 on south of South Bay into Broward is remote w/o services.You will be going through the everglades agricultural areas then everglades water containment areas.
And if you want to cut across to the east side of the lake I would take 70 to Okeechobee rather than 98 becuse the former has a nice shoulder in spite of heavy traffic while the later is two lane with a shoulder in part but loses it in others and these parts are dangerous due to relatively heavy truck traffic(don't ask me how I know lol).
Matthew A Brown
11-30-05, 02:48 PM
RWTD at this point your answering questions I didn't even realize I had. Brilliant.
It looks like if I wanted to go N/E Okeechobee it would require four days. I miiiight be able to get picked up from South Bay? Not sure. Mapquest puts SB an hour drive away from Piccolo; not too bad.
Alt. Day Three:
Alt. Day Four:
Mileage might be a bit much for me as well. 70, 80, 80 to go SW; 70, 65, 50, 50 to go NE.
RWTD, any knowledge of this road that runs somewhat parallel to 27, on the east? Googlemaps calls it Brown's Farm Road in some places, E Palm Beach in others, and Hillsboro closer to the coast... I'm still not certain of my exact destination, which might influence things somewhat.
Mathew To answer your last question first what I think you're referring to is actually the Hillsboro Canal which runs through the everglades areas from Lake O and along the southern border of the Loxahatchee NWR.You are not allowed to trepass on the parts through the agricultural areas though you can hike but not bike on the part in the NWR but that won't do you any good.Also from Canal Point,Pahokee,Belle Glade or South Bay you can take Palm Trans bus #40 into WPB for $1.20 and then connect to trirail to Broward so that may be an option for you with a easterly route.
But after reading your original routing which I hadn't before my last post I kind of like it and here are my thoughts on it.When I rode to Wauchulla(from the east) I took 66 west from 27 and then cut north on Clifton Bryan Rd. because the shoulder on 66 stopped at that point.I then worked my way north to 64 on very scenic uncrowderd backroads .On 64 at the v intersection where main st splits off to Wauchulla that you are routed out of there was no shoulder so I continued on 64 which did have a shoulder to Zolpho Springs then up to Wauchula on 17.So if in Wauchulla you don't like the looks of main st headed east you might detour to Zolpho and pick up 64 there.Probably all the roads between 64 and 66 are going to be fine and I like your routing avoiding 27 as much as possible at the start of day2.721 south from Brighton I am not familiar with though I have thought it would make a good route sometime if it has a good shoulder and or low traffic.You could remain flexible and check it out and if it doesn't look good then continue east on 70 to Okeechobee as in the alternate routing.
The thing I like about the 721 routing assuming it is a suitable road is that it allows you to still go east or west on the levee or on roads.Assuming you take 721 alot depends on whether your bike is suitable for dirt levee with a few small rocks here and there.Assuming it is you can take the more direct shorter western route either on the dirt levee or 78 to south of Lakeport.South of Lakeport the levee ends for 2-3 miles while crossing the Fisheating creek watershed so you have to take 78 there.At the southend of the watershed is where 78 becomes dangerous but where the dirt levee begins again that you can take on to Moore Haven where again it is then paved to South Bay.A nice thing about the levee is there are free primitive COE camping sites every 10 miles or so and one is located west of Moore Haven where the levee makes a sharp bend from southerly to easterly so that would make a good day2 camp assuming you are camping.
If you don't want to take the bike on dirt from the intersection of 721 and 78 I would take 78 north to Buckhead Ridge where the Kissimmee R. flows into Lake O and at that point the levee is paved all the way to Port Mayaka.Get on 441 a short ways to Canal Point(from Port M. where you have to get on 441 anyway to cross a bridge around a water control structure) and once again the levee is paved all the way on to South Bay.Keep in mind on the levee there are various points you will have to get off and onto the roadway to get around water control structures etc.Here is some info on the levee.
Your alternate route on 70 has good shoulders all the way through Okechobee and then 441 south to the lake has a wide outside lane though congested.Looks like you are trying to route on back streets through the town though.27 south from South Bay is high speed like an interstate though so if you don't like trucks barrelling by the bus to WPB then trirail to Broward may be an option.If you can't tell I have biked around Lake O twice (once this past weekend)and backpacked around it last year and plan to do that again soon as well.Have fun.
And thinking about it more there are canals and associated dirt levees that run on either side of 27 as well so they are probably what is showing up in your mapping.I have ridden on them at times but they are sort of erratic ending at times throwing you back on 27 then starting back again sometimes on the opposite side of 27.Also the dirt will be much slower than onroad so keep that in mind.Also the first part through the agricultural areas(sugar cane and sod farms) you are probably not suppose to trespass on the levees and there will be pickup trucks etc. along them at times.I usually sometimes ride along the levees once into the everglades water containment area if I want to focus on viewing wildlife or stealth camp.
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