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Old 04-10-08, 11:39 AM   #1
stevelon
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keys Ride

To celebrate my 60th birthday I decided to ride the Florida Keys from Key Largo ( mile marker 106 ) to Key West ( mile marker 0 ). Completed it April 8, a couple weeks before the magic 60. Thought you might find the report of interest. The day was terrific. Heavy overcast with occasional sprinkles so the UV was low. Temp was 78 Wind ENE 7 mph. Humidity 66%. Speed 15.5. Time 6:54. Heart Rate about 150.

Started in Key Largo and quickly found no berm or breakdown lane and the bike path, where there was one, was dirt and rock covered often under 3-4 inches of water ( not the best place for a road bike ). So that leaves the road, normally my preferred place to ride but it was 8 AM and the traffic was very, very, very heavy and seemed to be running about 60 mph contrary to the 45 mph speed limit. Lots of dump trucks and semiís due to road construction a couple miles north of Key Largo on US1. After about 3 miles I thought I was sure to be killed in the next mile or two as the traffic seemed to be increasing even more and seemed to be moving ever faster. I felt like I was on an interstate highway. By mile marker 101 the bike path had much improved conditions and I moved over onto it. Not totally safe as still occasionally covered by an inch or two of water and a lot of traffic running out from side streets.

Back onto the highway by mile marker 100 things were improving. By MM 90 going into Islamorada doing about 18 mph down on the aero bars and loving it. The views were fantastic lite winds. The pavement was occasionally rough.

Going into Marathon Key about MM 60 I was really enjoying the ride. Nutrition and hydration seemed great, Iím diabetic and did a finger stick getting a perfect 100 mg/dl. In planning the ride I had lots of scary reports about the Seven Mile Bridge so I intended to stop about MM46 and inspect the situation. I was enjoying things so much that I blasted through the intended stop and was on the bridge before I realized it. No problem. The view of the water and surroundings is fantastic. The bridge, no problem.

At MM38 in Bahia Key the road is getting very rough and it remained so through the lower Keys to about MM8. My butt felt like I had been sitting on top of a washing machine in spin cycle for the last couple of hours. From all the vibration my saddle had moved down enough that I started to experience knee pain. I hadnít realized the problem until the pain started. I was starting to tire as I rolled in to Key West and down city streets to MM 0.

I had a great ride but, I donít think I would start at MM 106 again unless the construction was complete and the bike path, if needed, had a street sweeper run down it. Better idea to start around MM 100. As to the knee pain we should all know to check our bikes at every rest and refuel stop.
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Old 04-10-08, 12:02 PM   #2
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Watching the Mile Markers go by is like a reverse odometer. Sounds like you got into a zone. Nice going.
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Old 04-10-08, 12:39 PM   #3
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Happy Birthday!

Courage! Yep! Have to watch those Florida drivers.
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Old 04-10-08, 02:46 PM   #4
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You ought to sign up for the MS 150 on May 3 and 4. It goes from the University of Miami to Key Largo, over the old Card Sound route. It's a good ride.
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Old 04-10-08, 03:40 PM   #5
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I was down in Key West at the end of February. I wish there was a nice bike path running the length of the keys. It would be awesome, especially over the seven mile bridge. I would not like to ride on the road - no extra room and lots of fast traffic. Congratulations for making it.
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Old 04-10-08, 06:55 PM   #6
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Happy Birthday!

Courage! Yep! Have to watch those Florida drivers.
Yep, most of them aren't from Florida!

Congrats on a successful ride.
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Old 04-10-08, 08:44 PM   #7
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Yep, most of them aren't from Florida!

Congrats on a successful ride.
While living in Coral Springs, FL I traded my Cannondale ST 1000 for a sea kayak after almost being run over four times and side swiped by a bus all in one morning. And most, like myself, are not from Florida.

Florida has some beautiful places to ride and it is flat! Wish it were a friendlier environment. I think the pan handle might be better. Not sure.
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Old 04-11-08, 07:02 AM   #8
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A few mnths ago another poster started a threat about riding in the Keys, and his report was similar, i.e., not a great place to ride. Steve - get in touch and we'll go riding in the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge.
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Old 04-11-08, 07:07 AM   #9
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I am still planning on doing the ride around Christmas time. I may not have time to do the full century as the wife and kids will be meeting me in KW after dropping me off at where ever I start. Maybe I will just start a few miles North of the 7 mile bridge.
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