Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - Cycle in the Florida Keys
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:D Hi all, its my first post and hoping that i'll get answers to my questions lol
We're gonna drive from Canada (Ottawa) to Florida (key Largo) on November 5, and will cycling/camping Key Largo to Key West.
1- is it allow to bike from Key Largo to Key West?
2-if yes, is it safe in the rush hours? how is the road over there?
3-is there any place (free & safe) i can park the car for a few days in Key Largo?
4-any stores i can repair the bike in the keys?
5-any REALLY great store i can buy nice and good prices articles for cyclists? (south florida)
6-what are your favorite things to see or do in the Keys (or on my way to there) that you recommand me?
7-any type recommandations for Florida and the Keys?
8-any recommandations for camping in the Keys?
9-any really good place to eat or special food to try in the Keys?
10-anyone are free to ride with us in the Keys?
10-whats your best or/and worste souvenir from the Keys?
Thank you all in advance for your respond..........Yonipi xx
9 - Grouper Tacos, Conch Fritters, Key Lime Pie :)
2)generally the main route is a high speed 4lane road (US 1)with a wide shoulder(with a few exceptions) and with a sidewalk bike path paralleling in places.lots of rv's during the day with possible drinking drivers at night(its the keys after all).I guess safety depends on how comfortable you are riding in/with traffic but I have had no problems on this route other than a few yelling or honking drivers.Try to avoid Key Largo at rush hour
3)might try the kayak outfitter in Key Largo or perhaps just park at the supermarket there but I haven't tried this.Another idea would be to park at the everglades hostel in Florida City/Homestead and take the commuter bus to Key Largo.
4)I didn't notice any bike shops but there might be in Key Largo or more likely Key West.A Kmart in Marathon saved me when I needed a replacement tire on a Sunday(27")
5)usual assortment of lbs's from Miami northward
6)On the way check out Everglades Nat'l Park or Tamiami Trail through Big Cypress .Also take scenic but remote Card Sound down to Key Largo vs. crowded high speed US 1(but then again many see the everglades and coastal mangrove habitats and see nothing there or are bored so I guess scenic depends on your perspective).
In the Keys I like the state parks and wildlife refuges someone else can give you a better idea of the touristy attractions which I generally avoid.
7)enjoy( you might find this link useful for general logistics of touring the Keys): http://www.floridabicycle.org/messenger/msgronl0203/spring037.htm
8)camping will be expensive at this time of year in the Keys and it gets more so the closer to Key West.And you might want to make reservations in advance to ensure space.State parks will be less expensive than private campgrounds and the primitive sites at Long Key S.P. will be the least expensive most secluded but are back in a bug infested area off the beach.
9)many good restaurants from upscale to roadside shacks -all with great food (like was said conch fritters,key lime pie,seafood etc. are the specialties)
10)I would like to do another trip to the keys at some point but due to several high mile tours/rides in recent months I have been easing off the bike more recently doing more hiking as a change of pace.
I tend to go by feel so if I am motivated at that time perhaps I could ride down to the Keys and meet up at some point to ride awhile.Otherwise I am sure you all will have a great time on your own.
10-23-06, 05:53 PM
I've cycled the Florida Keys twice. From Key Largo its exactly 160km to Key West. There is a wide paved shoulder going each way. For long stretches there is also a bike path you can use. I was there during March Break once and right after Christmas another time and enjoyed the ride alot in spite of the constant traffic. Lots of space for everyone. There are some very long high bridges to cross over the water which are spectacular. Nothing quite like it in Ontario.
10-27-06, 04:16 PM
hi, i just asked the same basic thing in the regional discussions forum. i'll be biking on U.S.1 but will avoid the evening hours, especially around Key West. from my experience down there, shoulders are pretty wide except around some bridges, but there was a lot of traffic. i wanted to bring my road bike down there last year, but couldn't. so i'll make up for it this year. thanks!
10-27-06, 04:52 PM
I'll be in Key Largo on November 5th. Staying at the Hungry Pelican Sunday night. Been to the keys every year for the past 6 or 7 years so I have a lot of knowledge about the area. My riding partners cancelled at the last minute so I am modifying my plans. I am staying at hotels in Key Largo, Marathon and Key West. I originaly planned to bike all the way with my friends wife driving from stop to stop. Now it looks like I will drive to Marathon and bike to Key West, stay there two nights and bike back to Marathon. I think a bike is the only way to see the keys, especially Key West. If you look me up in Key Largo I would be happy to give you any information I can and maybe we can ride some together.
Thanks to everyone for the above useful info. I'm new to the forum.
I am going to be staying in Key West (first time visitor) for the Thanksgiving weekend, so I've got a few other questions if someone would be inclined to answer. We are flying from Austin to Fort Lauderdale, and then will be driving down to stay in Key West for three days.
1 - I am not going to be able to bring my bike (we have a baby, and you know how much stuff you have to take if you have a baby), so I am going to need a rental. Does anyone have a recommendation on a shop in Key West for a road bike rental? (I currently ride a 1998 Trek 5500). Since we're arriving on Thursday in Fort Lauderdale, I presume that all the Fort Lauderdale shops will be closed, so a rental in Key West looks to be the only option.
2 - Most of the info I've read involves starting in Key Largo and biking south to Key West. Since I am going to be in Key West, is there anything in particular I need to know about starting at the other end of US 1? What direction do the prevailing winds come from? Am I going to be fighting a headwind the whole way? Is starting in Key West on the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving a bad idea?
3 - Can anyone tell me more about the current status of the Rails to Trails project for the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail (FKOHT)? Has anyone here tried it? Is it still only partially complete?
4 - Can anyone recommend a good sports bar in Key West to watch the Aggies vs. the Longhorns football game?
3)According to the Fl. OGT website 35 miles(plus anything additional finished this year)of trail and bridges are currently being maintained.In parts of the upper/middle keys the trail consists of a multi-use sidewalk well separated from the main road.In places it switches sides of the road and crosses many high traffic side streets where drivers rushing to get on the main road are often unaware of cyclists on the path.And it is often crowded with slow moving recreational cyclists or walkers.Many people prefer to use the paths where available however I prefer riding on the road/shoulder due to the above reasons.
In the lower keys the vision is to route the trail onto the old bridges but until they are able to replace missing sections the bridges will be good for little more than out and back rec. riding.Note that 35 miles above includes significant miles of bridge out and back paths.
1&4)I am not really familiar enough with Key West to answer 1&4).
3)The prevailing winds on the east coast of Fl. I know are off the ocean with a bias from the north as cold fronts pass through.How this translates to the keys I am not positive as the ocean there is to the south and the bay is somewhat protected by the mainland.I know during the summer when I toured the keys there was a strong wind off the ocean in fact a visible water spout formed and strong winds and rain passed through my campsite just outside Key West.
11-15-06, 06:58 PM
9- Go to "El Meson de Pepe" you will never forget it...
11-15-06, 07:00 PM
9- Go to "El Meson de Pepe" you will never forget it...
The Cuban Nachos look delicious....My favorite meal in Key West so far is the Lobster Benedict at Blue Heaven....
11-21-06, 03:08 PM
this thread is making me jealose. i grew up down there, and have not been back to ride it in years. Enjoy it will ya? There are also some fun islands off of US-1 that you can get to, i forget which mile markers to turn off on, but good riding. watch out for key deer on the lower keys
11-21-06, 03:40 PM
I've been in Florida since '86. I took my first trip down to the keys in April with a buddy. We camped at a pretty decent place in Key Largo. While he was diving on a school trip, I stole his car and drove down to Key West. Gorgeous ride, but the whole time I was wishing I had my bike!
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