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Old 01-19-09, 10:07 PM   #1
will dehne
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Winter Biking for retired folks on a budget.

I have a hot tip for Retired Folks who want to get away from the cold.
We found a place in Florida which has very nice bike trails as well as country roads not much traveled.
The cost in this area is modest. You can rent a trailer for $500 per month and we rent a house on a lake and bike trail for $1,500 per month. The Town is Inverness and offers several reasonable restaurants like Applebee's, Outback and Local Dining. The Beach is 45 minutes away. There is Fishing, Boating and lots of Golfing.
We are on this bike trail which is 46 miles one way. There are several bike trails nearby.
I noticed that there is room for a lot more bikers down here so I thought I let you know.
The biggest attraction? Daytime temperatures range from F50 to the 80's. We had one rainy day in two months. You can bike until you drop.
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Old 01-19-09, 10:43 PM   #2
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Just googled it. Looks interesting--and surrounded by a lot of lakes, which must be nice. How is it in the summer?
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Old 01-19-09, 11:57 PM   #3
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The Town is Inverness and offers several reasonable restaurants like Applebee's, Outback and Local Dining.
How are the Gator Steaks at Stumpknockers?

http://www.stumpknockers.net/menu.html
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Old 01-20-09, 08:37 AM   #4
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Thanks will. We have friends in Homosassa and my wife has an aunt in Crystal River. Seems we wear out our welcome sometimes when we stay with either. Didn't know about the "cheap" trailers and houses.

Several people have discussed the Withlacoochee Trail. It's awesome. There is a very nice park in the middle of town and Chain Reaction Bicycle Shop (aka Suncoast Bicycles) is right next to the trail. I always stop by there when we're down that way to see if they have something new I haven't seen yet.
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Old 01-20-09, 08:50 AM   #5
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I saw the thread title and figured this would be all about discounted studded tyres and such. Yeah, right.
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Old 01-20-09, 08:54 AM   #6
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I stopped by Inverness last Thanksgiving for the reasons you posted above. Good choice.
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Old 01-20-09, 09:41 AM   #7
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I stopped by Inverness last Thanksgiving for the reasons you posted above. Good choice.
I have friends who just returned home from a bike trip to ride this trail. They stayed at a hotel on the trail.
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Old 01-20-09, 10:23 AM   #8
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The last thing you do if you find a nice quiet part of the country is tell everyone how marvellous it is.

Last I heard jppe is packing his golf clubs in the trunk of his car.


Sounds ideal- Any where closer to me as I don't travel too well?
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Old 01-20-09, 10:26 PM   #9
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Stapfam: Mallorca?
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Old 01-21-09, 02:21 PM   #10
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Stapfam: Mallorca?
Trouble with Europe is it is crowded- and if it isn't it soon will be.
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Old 01-21-09, 07:52 PM   #11
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I have to agree with Will about the Inverness area. I live 7 miles from the trail and can get to it on a number of nice quiet back roads. It does get hot here in the summer, but I just start early and try to finish riding before noon. One of my favorite local restaurants is the Chicken King in Hernando. It is right on the trail and you can stop and get a coffee on a cool day or lunch on their delicious fried chicken gizzards.
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Old 01-21-09, 09:55 PM   #12
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There is a place called "The Villages, Florida". It is South of Ocala and 1 hour from Inverness. There are 20,000 homes in that community of villages. Walled and gated. A typical 3 BR, 2 Bath home costs $250,000 and the fees for golfing, community, maintenance, utilities, tax, insurance is $1,000 per month. The homes range from $90,000 to $3,000,000.
Lots of biking going on there.
They do stay all year and I talked to serious bikers who claim it is OK in the summer.
I am Snow Birding for 4 months in the winter and will do so until I get too old to do that.
This is just a service message for you B50+++ guys.
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Old 01-22-09, 06:14 AM   #13
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I also have a friend in Hommassa and when I went to visit and play golf with him in Oct I saw a cool trail on the way from Tampa Airport along the highway and was thinking how cool it would be to ride that trail. Maybe next visit I will take my bike and bike more than golf LOL
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Old 01-22-09, 08:49 AM   #14
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I live just N of there , but am in the area quite a lot. I take people out swimming with manatees in Crystal River. Inverness is a nice little town. Whole area is ! Plenty of fishing, hunting, bike riding, & outdoors activities. It IS FLORIDA, so yes, hot & humid in the summer & gators in all waters.
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Old 01-22-09, 09:04 AM   #15
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I am Snow Birding for 4 months.
Boy oh boy. Does that sound better and better by the minute.
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Old 01-22-09, 09:42 AM   #16
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What is the "retirement" of which you speak? In the last two months my wife and I have come to find that our "nest egg" has been reduced by about 30% because of the lousy economy. Working more years than we originally thought and living on a tighter budget will surely be a reality for us. Despite this, what you've described sounds very nice. I can easily day dream (tilt head to the left and look up) about warm weather, long bike paths, and the free time to enjoy both.
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Old 01-22-09, 12:22 PM   #17
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What is the "retirement" of which you speak? In the last two months my wife and I have come to find that our "nest egg" has been reduced by about 30% because of the lousy economy.
30%??? Is that all? You're one of the lucky ones. Mine is closer to 50%.
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Old 01-22-09, 12:36 PM   #18
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I live 7 miles from the trail and can get to it on a number of nice quiet back roads.

One of my favorite local restaurants is the Chicken King in Hernando. It is right on the trail and you can stop and get a coffee on a cool day or lunch on their delicious fried chicken gizzards.
Any new housing developments in Hernando? We saw a street of nice looking new homes when we were down there a few years ago. Not too far from the big park on the lake and about one block from the bike trail. My wife thought that was a plus for buying the house.

I've seen that chicken place. It the food really that good? From the outside it looked kinda iffy to me.

We'll be down that way sometime between late February and mid-March. I hope I can bring one of the bikes and ride.
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Old 01-22-09, 07:37 PM   #19
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Just googled it. Looks interesting--and surrounded by a lot of lakes, which must be nice. How is it in the summer?
You get different answers from different folks. My tolerance to heath is high. I bike in F100 weather with 100% humidity. We do have that in Chicago region from time to time. I also did endurance biking through a desert.
OTOH my wife has trouble with anything over F90 and the usual high humidity in a swamp area of Wisconsin.
Florida? I talked to serious bikers who say it is no problem for them.
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Old 01-22-09, 07:39 PM   #20
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How are the Gator Steaks at Stumpknockers?

http://www.stumpknockers.net/menu.html
Sorry to say that this place is going downhill. They need to refurbish. Lots of competition.
Outback is always full. Wonder why? They are not cheap.
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Old 01-22-09, 07:51 PM   #21
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I have friends who just returned home from a bike trip to ride this trail. They stayed at a hotel on the trail.
It is the Central Motel. Nice place and affordable compared to National chains. They offer a small kitchen unit. We stayed there twice for one month until we found that we can rent a home for about the same cost. You need to stay 3 months to rent a home in most cases (unless they are desperate).
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Old 01-22-09, 08:01 PM   #22
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I have to agree with Will about the Inverness area. I live 7 miles from the trail and can get to it on a number of nice quiet back roads. It does get hot here in the summer, but I just start early and try to finish riding before noon. One of my favorite local restaurants is the Chicken King in Hernando. It is right on the trail and you can stop and get a coffee on a cool day or lunch on their delicious fried chicken gizzards.
We are renting near the "Van Der Valk" Restaurant and Golf Course on the Lake. It is great there.
I know guys on disability who rent a trailer near us and this above Restaurant can compete with Chicago's finest. Big contrast in lifestyles and we all get along.
I just wish we had some more serious bikers to make it interesting. There are a few but not enough. May be I have seen 5?
Most bikers do less than 15 MPH. I did 75 miles in 4 hours biking time this afternoon. It is a lot of fun and healthy.
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Old 01-22-09, 08:08 PM   #23
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What is the "retirement" of which you speak? In the last two months my wife and I have come to find that our "nest egg" has been reduced by about 30% because of the lousy economy. Working more years than we originally thought and living on a tighter budget will surely be a reality for us. Despite this, what you've described sounds very nice. I can easily day dream (tilt head to the left and look up) about warm weather, long bike paths, and the free time to enjoy both.
There is a guy here from Detroit. He is on Disability so he is not rolling in money. Rents a trailer for $500 a month utilities included. Better than freezing up North and getting sick. Better to stay active and bike then sit at home in the winter and watch TV.
To save money stay out of restaurants and cook.
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Old 01-22-09, 08:15 PM   #24
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Any new housing developments in Hernando? We saw a street of nice looking new homes when we were down there a few years ago. Not too far from the big park on the lake and about one block from the bike trail. My wife thought that was a plus for buying the house.

I've seen that chicken place. It the food really that good? From the outside it looked kinda iffy to me.

We'll be down that way sometime between late February and mid-March. I hope I can bring one of the bikes and ride.
We are very tempted to buy a house in this area. Homes are very affordable now. About 30 to 50% less then 2 years ago plus 5% mortgage.
We decided not to because the rentals are very attractive here and Wisconsin is for Summer recreation hard to beat. Summer down here is not all that great. Lots of bugs, rain and humidity.
So, if your health and money allows it, Snow Birding is the way to go. The travel with Tandem and Road bike is a bit demanding. We can still do it and I think we will for the next ten years I hope.
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Old 01-23-09, 07:32 AM   #25
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To those who think that the area is ALWAYS warm, [ I live nearby ] it was 21 yesterday !! Want to live cheaply ? There is a very small town N of there , [ S. of Gainesville ] called McIntosh. There is a nice trailer park for retirees, on Orange Lake, direct boat access. Super quiet, plenty of bike riding areas. Lot rent is $225/mo. & there are always some pretty nice trailers for sale for about $5000.
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