Southeast - Orlando/Windermere Area
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11-10-07, 06:28 PM
Yep, I'm moving AGAIN. This time for good, with a job waiting for me, where I plan to be for at least the next two years. After that, who knows! But I am fat and out of shape right now due to a variety of things and am looking at this move as a completely new out-take on life and the best chance and time to start completely over! So, I was wondering if anyone on here is from the Orlando Area? I'll be moving to Windermere to be precise, and do realize that that seems to be the 'swampy' side of Orlando. Or so it appears.
But I am fat and out of shape right now due to a variety of things and am looking at this move as a completely new out-take on life and the best chance and time to start completely over!
Ride out west toward Clermont. It is the "hilliest" part of the area. Great for getting rid of that excess weight.
You'll enjoy the winter but will die next summer. ;)
11-11-07, 12:32 PM
Yeah, not looking forward to the Summer. I plan on starting small as far as mileage goes since it has been a while, and steadily work my way up. Getting out every other day is my plan, will have to see what work is like though. Know any roads to avoid traffic wise? Obviouslly gonna head West or South - away from Orlando.
Actually, the 'swampy' side of Orlando is on the east side as you have several water recharge areas along the Econalochahatchee basin that leads to the St Johns. The west side has a significant transition to the hills in Clermont from the Windermere/Winter Garden areas. A person I am working with is selling the house on the east side that has a conservation (backs up to wetlands/woods) and wants to buy the same on the west side where it is very hard to find a conservation lot. Many of the subdivisions on the west side were orange groves that they bulldozed bare and built homes.
Taking off my Realtor hat and putting on my cyclist hat. For solo riding (discuss groups later) there are quite a few options on either side on Orlando, but will focus on the west side. For starting slow, the West Orange Trail has it's main trailhead along SR50 just west of the Turnpike and very near the Windermere area. Nice thing about this trail from the trailhead to Apopka (45 miles round trip) it is relatively flat. While that trailhead use to be the terminal point, they just opened an extension in the opposite direction towards Clermont where combined with some back country roads becomes quite hilly. If the photo comes through, here is Sugarloaf Mtn which will be the end of the Horrible Hundred nect weekend.
Groups - Windermere Roadies may be too aggressive riding for you at this time as they enjoy a nive hammerfest.
An all round is floridafreewheelers.com of which I am a member. The offer a variety of rides all over the central florida area for all skill levels. Consider starting with an "s" (social) ride and can always pregress to A, B, or C rides.
11-11-07, 04:39 PM
Thanks for the info! I take it the trailhead is paved? I'm a roadie if you didn't know. The Google Map i looked at shows a lot of water. Saw the Windermere Roadies website and forum - lot of talk about the IM so way out of my league. A few years ago in North Jersey, i used to be borderline A/B Group. Could stick with the A's in the Hills but would get dropped on the flats, while i'd be one of the first in with the B Group. Probably down to a C Group rider now though - 5'10" 166lbs (15 of which have been put on over the past few years). All in the gut too - legs and arms are skinny. I think i saw the freewheelers website - the forum there seemed pretty dead though.
The forum is dead - but the group isn't. Cut the rearlier post short as was time for dinner. Had a longer reply, but flipping back and forth cut-n-paste links, accidently hit the back arrow and lost everything. GRRRRR.
Will give a more comprehensive overview. And yes, with one exception on a popular mtb trail on the east side, all trails are paved. A couple pic of the West Orange:
Overland Nature Preserve Shelter/Stop
Old train bridge over the Turnpike
Newer trail extension to the west I noted.
Have to go, will post more info in a couple hours.
OK - let me try this again.
First, we sound like similar levels and even though I live on the east side, feel free to contact me if looking for a ride.
In answer to your earlier question - good roas to ride west and south? West is Clermont with some nice riding area. That area (in addition to Denver, CO) is/was the training area for the US Tri Team, so you know it has a very active bike population. Also, north is Mt Dora, another bike friendly area. South - locals know to avoid isney/I-Drive - even in cars - as packed with tourist. Further south past Kissimmee is the Poinciana area which is popular, but I have never ridden it. Go east - downtown Orlando area and Winter Park - bricks rattling your body on a road bike is a 'different' experience. Further easy past UCF mostly rural, flat country roads. Particurally like various rides around Lake Mills, depending on direction, encompasing Geneva and Chuliota, or Ft Wilderness and Christmas. Also another nice ride is arounf Lake Monroe, originating in downtown Sanford.
These links may help you.
While I am a member of that club, the "Maps" page has many of the established routes generally developed aound roads that tend to be bike friendly. "Rides" is updated weekly for current rides (club mailing has bi-monthly schedule to look ahead). As you have noted, "Discussions" is weak.
What I hadn't mentioned about this trail is the plan for it to expand into a 200 mile Central Florida loop, connecting to the west, Gen Van Fleet Trail and further west, the Withlacoochee Trail. The Withlachoochee at 42 miles one way is the longest trail in the State system. To complete the loop, the Withlacoochee's northern point would swing back SE to the northern point of the West Orange.
Seminole Count y is part of the tri-county area
Finally, some of the LBS's
Hope that helps.
11-12-07, 08:10 AM
I'll have to check out the trails you mentioned. Would be nice to ride on smooth pavement w/o worry about vehicles. Looks like i'll mostly be riding westwards towards Clermont until i get more familiar with the area. I'll definately avoid heading South, esp at this time of year - a friend of mine from school works at Disney now and also lives in windermere, but doesn't bike. I'd like to keep 'driving' to locations to a minimal amount...got going to drive an hour to get to a place where i can ride for 2 hours. Not sure what traffic in Orlando is like. Work is 30 - 45 mins commute from what i've been told - not sure when the clubs rides are in the evenings - but back in Jersey the club i rode with had 6PM rides (enough time to cover ~30 miles before it got too dark) on weekdays.
There is a Glory Cycles in Jersey that I use. Got my first road bike (Lemond Alpe d'Huez) from them, and loved their customer service. Good deals, and usually worked on my bike when i brought it in. Much better selection of clothing too compared to my other local bike store.
I'll be in the area the week after Thanksgiving - not looking forward to the 9 hour drive, but it beats the 12 hour drive from NJ to SC. Ugh. If the weather is how i think it is, i'll probably ride the next day.
Most of the rides on the West side are on weekend mornings. The Windermere Roadies
have an intense Wednesday evening ride at 6 from the Windermere Elementary School.
Ride over on your bike and see if anyone is riding at your speed.
From my house just East of Windermere I can get on the bike and ride to the West
Orange Trail (WOT) or Clermont. Definitely not swampy around here unless you are
South of Windermere toward Disney.
There's a ride on the WOT leaving Chapin Station at 8AM on Tuesday and Thursday.
Riders do from 30 to 60 miles.
11-24-07, 07:37 AM
TitaniuMerlin, Caadman here and I don't know if this is a possiblility, but every year myself and some others come down from Michigan up here to the Lake Wales area for a week of cycling around that area. That is an hour south of Orlando. There are tons of orange and grapfruit groves that we ride amoungst for that week. I realize that it would be a drive for you, but if you could get some time off or maybe come for a weekend, you could stay at the motel that we use there in Lake Wales, or you could camp if you like that, and ride with us..We have tandems and single bike riders that join us and varieing abilites of riders as well.
I call it bike camp, just so it has a name and because for us, it's the beginning of the new season each year we come down. This coming year the dates we'll be there will be February 22nd thru March 2nd...Write me back if you'd like more details or could join us. We gradually build up the mileage each day and for the week the day's rides normally are between 20 and 60 miles. Basically it's about enjoying the nice weather and getting base miles in..
11-25-07, 02:15 PM
Hey! I'll have to see how things go, especially since i'm starting a new job on December 3rd! Not to mention i need to get back in shape. I will be driving down to Orlando on Tuesday, but the house i'm moving to won't be ready until the weekend (i think) so i'll temporarily be staying in an Apartment the company has until then.
11-25-07, 07:25 PM
Very good here Titaniu, just let me know, we'd be glad to have you along for any of the rides.
Take care, and enjoy the cycling down there in the warmth, it's pretty cold up here right now!!
11-29-07, 10:31 AM
Well I am officially here, though can't move into the Windermere Home until Tuesday at best. Which means I am without internet most of the day too. Nice, warm weather so far, though Kissimme doesn't look like a good place to ride. Lots of traffic, and i'd probably be killed walking down 192 E, let alone riding down it!
12-09-07, 08:36 AM
Finally here! Spent first night in new house last night, though no furniture other then beds so far. Also hijacking neighbors wireless since we don't have any of that set up yet.
Looking to scout out some bike routes from the house in Winderemere. Getting onto Reams Road off of 535 should be easy - about 200 yds down 535 from me. From there i would get onto Seidel Road, turning around when i neared 192. Looks like a good distance ride.
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