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  1. #1
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Where in Florida can I bike, and.....

    Hey gang, I'm now in my later 50's and thinking about spending some cold weather months in Florida. Do you have any specific areas that you feel are excellent for biking (road and light trail), fishing (mostly warm water fly fishing) and where tennis courts and play seem to be widely available? My three passions. Ha
    As always, thank you for your input.

  2. #2
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    I'm in NW Florida, Pensacola/Escambia County, there is plenty of roads for nice riding all through the Panhandle counties. We aren't as congested as South and central Florida can be. The members here from southern counties can fill you in on the area much better than I can.

    We have an active fly fishing community here, the various smaller bass and even a few lunkers are pretty good sport a close friend tells me, he is retired from the FHP and spends his generous free time tying flies and fishing. We have a local club that meets regularly, too. Shoot me a PM if you get in the area, be glad to ride some with you.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

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  3. #3
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    Braidenton/Cortez - Anna Maria Island - great inner bay fishing and great road cycling on island. Not sure about trails but roads very friendly and always groups out cycling.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Up North View Post
    Braidenton/Cortez - Anna Maria Island - great inner bay fishing and great road cycling on island. Not sure about trails but roads very friendly and always groups out cycling.
    I agree, spent 6 weeks in Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria, a beautiful area. You can bike roads from Anna Maria to Longboat Key and beyond, bike lanes on most roads and several great bike paths nearby. Lots of wildlife and of course beaches everywhere.
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    Suwannee Bicycle Association This group has some trails and road routes. A very scenic area but N Florida can get cold!

  6. #6
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    Hey everyone, we'll be moving down to Clearwater in about a week. This will be our second winter not freezing up here in WI. Out condo is less than 1/4 mi from 1/2 way point of the Pinellas trail which I'll ride quite a bit. Question is, besides going all the way to Clermont, are there any hills to bike on in Pinellas county or close?

  7. #7
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeD1 View Post
    Hey everyone, we'll be moving down to Clearwater in about a week. This will be our second winter not freezing up here in WI. Out condo is less than 1/4 mi from 1/2 way point of the Pinellas trail which I'll ride quite a bit. Question is, besides going all the way to Clermont, are there any hills to bike on in Pinellas county or close?
    You don't need to go to Clermont for hills. You can get some pretty decent rollers on the north end of the Suncoast Trail. Hills start at the Pasco-Hernando County line and go north to SR. 98. It's around 38 miles out and back.
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  8. #8
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    Thanks John! I will definitely be riding that trail.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jinkster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robow View Post
    Hey gang, I'm now in my later 50's and thinking about spending some cold weather months in Florida. Do you have any specific areas that you feel are excellent for biking (road and light trail), fishing (mostly warm water fly fishing) and where tennis courts and play seem to be widely available? My three passions. Ha
    As always, thank you for your input.
    I feel guilty for not responding but even tough I've lived here for about 4 Decades of my 56 year old life?...I'm having trouble answering you because....

    Reason A. You just described about 1/2 of Florida....basically?...all of the "Coastal Areas" such as...

    "The Gold Coast": Palm Beach Too Miami (40-100 mi south of me)

    "The Treasure Coast": Stuart/Jensen Beach/Hutchinson Island/Port Saint Lucie/Fort Pierce

    "The Space Coast": Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach/Daytona/Titusville

    and that's just the south/central east coast...over on the west?...you have the gulf...Sarasota, Bradenton, Fort Meyers Beach, Captiva Island, Sanibel Island, Naples, Cape Coral, Marco Island, St. Petersburg, Sun City, Clearwater Beach...and I could go on...but then ther's great places in central inland florida...Orlando, Ocala, Gainesville, Land-O-Lakes, and so forth...

    Reason B?: Traffic down here is absolutely?..."Un-Predictable"....with a vast variety of drivers ranging from crazed teens too people so old they shouldn't have a license to walk let alone drive and to make matters worse?...this is snowbird season...where all the retirees from the north come down too their 2nd home...still driving like they're manning a NY taxi but lost and for bonus points?...they all brought their cellphones and they know how to use them...at times?...UI think they are calling their kids at home giving them a blow by blow of every mile they roll.

    Make it through that?....then still beware the army of non-english speaking lawn care and construction workers wheeling their heavy duty work trucks with extended mirrors and overloaded trailers who can't read road signs and most likely don't have a license let alone insurance.

    Other than that?...C'mon Down! :laugh:

    But really?...there are some very nice places to ride but it's easy to die in the larger more populated towns.

    That's why I haven't responded yet...but it's also why I recently semi-retired the RB in favor of a Hybrid.
    "An Old School Fool With A Lot of Miles To Go To Get There!"

  10. #10
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    For robow and MikeD1 - here are some links for cycling in Florida. I'm sure that there are more places with web web sites, but these are the only ones I have bookmarked.

    Bike Florida

    Florida State Parks

    Tampa Bay Cycling

    Withlachoochee State Trail
    HCFR Cycling Team
    Ride Safe ... Ride Hard ... Ride Daily

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  11. #11
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    You might post a query in the Southeast Regional Forum, about trails and such, in that other Florida, down there. Southeast

    Scan the posts there for some ideas about where the trails, MUP and safer roads are located, also. Our traffic in much less congested here, just the fact that its much less populated and more rural areas available. Most people overlook the Central Gulf Coast area, thankfully.

    Gainesville has been mentioned, the roads around there tend to be a bit more bicycle friendly with the UF students and a larger cyclist population.

    Best of luck with the rides, and as I said above, if you happen to get up in my neck of the woods, let me know.

    Bill
    Last edited by qcpmsame; 11-25-14 at 06:36 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Thanks again everyone . . . great info! After shoveling snow the last couple of days I'm pretty excited to know we should be driving into Clearwater in about a week's time. Although it's only been 3 weeks since my last outdoor road ride here in the lovely hills of Western WI, it seems like a lot longer . . .

  13. #13
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    Always thought the countryside around Suwannee was very nice. Don't know about the cycling (actually it seems like US19 in northern Fl is bicycle friendly). We own a place in west Pasco. I'm not too impressed by the roads though there are always some folks out on the Suncoast BP along the toll road. The thing is, once you get north of Spring Hill or maybe Brooksville it is very rural which can be good or bad. OTOH, Gainesville has quite a bit of bike scene due to the U of F. Tampa/St Pete/Clearwater has advantage of good infrastructure, but not too much heat (well, at least compared to Miami/Dade or the Keys). And you have the gulf unlike Orlando.

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  14. #14
    Senior Member FL_MarkD's Avatar
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    I live north of Clearwater in the small town of Holiday. There are plenty of good roads to ride and in close proximity to the Pinellas Trail and Suncoast Trail. Great fishing from the shore and causeways. However, it is a very crowded part of Florida especially when the 'snowbirds' are in town. For MikeD1, if you want the 'local' hills from Clearwater then check out the Suncoast Cycling website, Suncoast Cycling Club , and check the Ride Schedules page for a route map called 'Hill Hunter'. Those who live in hilly or mountainous areas will not be impressed, but for us 'flatlanders' it is a good ride.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member RoMad's Avatar
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    You might want to check out Citrus Hills in Hernando, the town not the county. It is very near the Withlacootchee Trail. The trail is 46 miles long and a great place to ride. Also very good fishing in the area out of Crystal River, Homosassa and Yankeetown. As for light trail riding you can find some very nice trails at the Crystal River State Park and the along the Cross Florida Barge canal just south of Inglis.
    Citrus Hills also has an active tennis community. Good luck.

  16. #16
    Green lights for all Rapido's Avatar
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    1. Gainesville. + Cedar Key And northern back roads all the way to Lake City and the GA state line. It is very bike friendly.
    2. St. Augustine. Nice coastal bike route and trail along A1A.
    3. There is a new bike path/route all the way to Key West from the main land.

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