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.