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Old 01-16-08, 09:36 PM   #1
Kurt Erlenbach
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Ride across Florida

The Bucket List thread last week got me to thinking. I would like to ride all the way across Florida for my half-birthday, which is March 1. I've found a route, Crystal River on the Gulf to New Smyrna Beach on the Atlantic, that's about 130 miles. Who wants to come with me?
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Old 01-16-08, 09:44 PM   #2
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Hmmm.... are you thinking one day or two?

Lately I've been thinking of doing that as well. I generally make it to Florida several times a year, but I don't know if I can make March 1 work.
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Old 01-16-08, 09:48 PM   #3
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I'm thinking about riding from the south side of St Augustine to the north side of St Augustine in late January.
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Old 01-16-08, 09:54 PM   #4
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One day. 3/1 is fluid, but by mid March the prevailing winds get goofy. Until about mid March wind history is pretty consistently W to E. I might be able to do 130 with the wind in a day, but not if the wind is going the wrong way.
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Old 01-16-08, 10:22 PM   #5
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Alligator Alley would be a scary cross-Florida trip!
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Old 01-16-08, 11:06 PM   #6
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Alligator Alley would be a scary cross-Florida trip!



Alligator Alley is a four-lane toll road thru the Everglades. Now you want to ride something scary, ride U.S.41 across, otherwise known as the "Tamiami Trail'.
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Old 01-17-08, 06:28 AM   #7
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You know there is an annual Bike Across Florida (BAF) ride, http://www.bikeacrossflorida.net/. It is a one day event and is supported. Last years winner did the 155 miles in about 6:35.

My riding partner was setup to do this last year and I was going to drive support. However, he ended up scheduled for some surgery and had to cancel. I hear there is some reasonable (for FL) climbing in the route as it goes through Mt Dora.
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Old 01-17-08, 07:34 AM   #8
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The B.A.F. annual ride sounds inviting to me. If you ever decide to do the long West to east route I am in escambia County/Pensacola, at the Alabama border and would provide a start point and place to stage out of and ride an initial 100 mile leg with you. I cannot get enough time away to do the Pncla to Jax ride.

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Old 01-17-08, 08:41 AM   #9
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You know there is an annual Bike Across Florida (BAF) ride, http://www.bikeacrossflorida.net/. It is a one day event and is supported. Last years winner did the 155 miles in about 6:35.
On that web page they state, "The start of the toughest cycling event in the U.S. "

That's kinda hard to believe. As compared to, say, the Wisconsin Dairyland Dare 300K single-day ride that has 22,360' of climbing along the course and where the winning time was 10:51.
http://www.dairylanddare.com/routes.asp

That said, the Florida ride sounds like a challenging event, and to do it in 6:35 is amazing. Interesting that they ride east to west.
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Old 01-17-08, 08:56 AM   #10
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On that web page they state, "The start of the toughest cycling event in the U.S. "

That's kinda hard to believe. As compared to, say, the Wisconsin Dairyland Dare 300K single-day ride that has 22,360' of climbing along the course and where the winning time was 10:51.
http://www.dairylanddare.com/routes.asp

That said, the Florida ride sounds like a challenging event, and to do it in 6:35 is amazing. Interesting that they ride east to west.
Marketing 101. No way this event is in the top 10 of the toughest. Mt Dora is only 184' and if they take the course through Sugarlloaf Mt that is only like 310', not really epic. The mileage at 154 isn't that impressive either. However, it would be a major event for me. I think the toughest in Fl might be a reasonable claim.
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Old 01-17-08, 10:54 AM   #11
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Could we cross from the Gulf to the Atlantic in Key West? "The Duval Street TT"?

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Old 01-17-08, 11:11 AM   #12
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If anyone is interested, here is the route for the RAF

http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...s-Florida-2008
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Old 01-17-08, 11:17 AM   #13
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You know there is an annual Bike Across Florida (BAF) ride, http://www.bikeacrossflorida.net/. It is a one day event and is supported. Last years winner did the 155 miles in about 6:35.
I know that Florida is flat (which makes the OP's 130 mile single day ride a possibility for me), but 155miles in about 6.5hrs is unthinkable. I'd need a 75 mile downhill to fantasize that I could come close to that speed.

I'd better get back to the trainer.
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Old 01-17-08, 12:22 PM   #14
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Marketing 101. No way this event is in the top 10 of the toughest. Mt Dora is only 184' and if they take the course through Sugarlloaf Mt that is only like 310', not really epic. The mileage at 154 isn't that impressive either. However, it would be a major event for me. I think the toughest in Fl might be a reasonable claim.
They generally do not go over Sugarloaf. I don't know about this year though. I believe the route they take through Mount Dora does not involve any of the bigger hills in the area.
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Old 01-17-08, 07:30 PM   #15
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I don't think I could do the 160 miles in the Ride Across Florida, so doing a 130 course, which I think is at the very outside of my ability, is what I'm going to do. I am getting stoked about doing this ride. At sunrise on 3/1/08, I hope to be standing with my feet in the Gulf at Fort Island Gulf Beach Park in Crystal River, and 10 hours later I hope to be lounging on the beach in New Smyrna. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and that type of cancer is of particular interest to me, and maybe I can turn this ride into some kind of awareness thing. I know I can round up some folks to come with me. Pat, stonecrd, anyone else, are you in?
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Old 01-17-08, 07:30 PM   #16
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Kerlenbach,
I live in Lecanto, about 10 miles East of Crystal River. I may be able to ride a portion of the route with you depending on some other obligations. Either way, if you need a place to leave a vehicle or anything, I have plenty of room. What route are you taking?
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Old 01-17-08, 07:39 PM   #17
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The route is from Gulf Island Park, down SR 44, through Inverness, up 301 to CR 42, across the state to where 42 joins 44 west of Deland, and on to New Smyrna and the beach. At least that's the tentative plan. I'm going to drive it this weekend to see if that will work. My wife and the ubiquitous Florida convenience store will provide support. I am getting pumped.
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Old 01-17-08, 07:53 PM   #18
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What time are you planning on leaving from the beach? I could ride to Inverness with you, then I can go North on the bike trail and loop back around to my house. PM me if you like.
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Old 01-17-08, 08:04 PM   #19
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Wow Kerlen, I've thought about that same route. I have a cousin in Crystal River and my Mom has a trailer in Port Orange, just north of New Smyrna. I'm going down there next week with my brand new road bike. I don't think I'm ready for that kinda mileage yet, but I'm hoping to put a hundred or more during my stay there. Maybe sometime. I would be interested in hearing about it when you get close.
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Old 01-18-08, 12:10 PM   #20
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It is a possibility Kerlenbach. It has been sometime since I have ridden that far in a day but I think I can still do it.
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Old 01-25-08, 03:46 PM   #21
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So, did you check out the route yet? I am down in Bradenton, but I am thinking about joining you.

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Old 01-25-08, 05:17 PM   #22
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I drove the route last week, and my initial plan won't work. CR 42 in Marion County is too narrow with no shoulder and badly cracked pavement east of the Villages. So, when coming back from Gainesville on Monday I drove down 44 from I-75 through Leesburg, and there is a bunch of construction on that leg. So this weekend I'm going to drive 44 from Deland west and try CR44 and 44A. The front end (Crystal River to Leesburg on SR 44) looks good, and the back end (Deland to New Smyrna on SR 44) is good, it's the middle that's a problem. I'll keep you informed.
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Old 01-26-08, 02:54 AM   #23
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Can't help feeling that this is going to be a good ride. Distance may be a problem for some of us but it would be an ideal chance- with the interest shown by several members- To get a 50+ ride going here. For those that do not feel they can do all the distance- then why not just do part of the ride? So why not get together and organise a Group ride. Those that are fit enough- or those that have done a 100 miler can attempt the extra distance. Those that realise it may be too long can join in for part of the ride- say join at their nearest town and go as far as they can.

Time to get a co-ordinator to organise things. Just wish I was your side of the pond to get some of these fantastic rides in.
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Old 01-26-08, 08:01 PM   #24
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Can't help feeling that this is going to be a good ride. Distance may be a problem for some of us but it would be an ideal chance- with the interest shown by several members- To get a 50+ ride going here. For those that do not feel they can do all the distance- then why not just do part of the ride? So why not get together and organise a Group ride. Those that are fit enough- or those that have done a 100 miler can attempt the extra distance. Those that realise it may be too long can join in for part of the ride- say join at their nearest town and go as far as they can.

Time to get a co-ordinator to organise things. Just wish I was your side of the pond to get some of these fantastic rides in.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, stepfam. I'd like this to be a 50+ ride, but I'd also like anyone who can to participate. March 1 is the day, 130 miles is the distance, gulf to ocean is the goal. It will be a great day.
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Old 02-17-08, 06:30 PM   #25
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Kerlenbach, are you still doing your ride across florida on March 1 ? If you are I am planning on riding the first portion with you. I have a couple of friends who aren't 50 yet but real close and they are also interested in riding with you. Is anyone else going?
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