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Thread: Bike Florida

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    Bike Florida

    I'm looking to ride in Florida this winter and want some ideas about the best areas to road bike. I've been down to the the Cape Coral/Ft Myers area and the roads, without shoulders and with high speed traffic, don't look inviting. Maybe there are bikable roads I didn't see? Same goes for the Stuart area.

    OK Florida riders, I'll go anywhere in Florida. Tell me where the best riding is.
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

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    I live in West palm beach. If you cross over to Palm beach you can ride on A1A and I've heard its pretty bike friendly. Also in Jupiter (nearby) I've heard is some pretty scenic bike friendly rides.

    Go to here and you should find some info.

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    Senior Member BraveSpear's Avatar
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    Jacksonville is not so bike friendly right now, but they are adding new bike lanes and becoming more cycle friendly over time. Jacksonville Beach to St. Augustine might be nice riding down A1A along the beach. St.Augustine is pretty bike friendly, too.
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    bab
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    Not sure exactly what your are looking for. Are you looking scenic rides or just nice long rides to enjoy the weather and the wildlife? Or do you want groups to ride with?

    Here are a couple of trails in the ST PETE/TAMPA area.
    http://www.dot.state.fl.us/turnpike...st_parkway.html

    There is the Pinellas county trail, which is closer to where you are staying.
    http://www.pinellascounty.org/trailgd/default.htm

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    Senior Member lookinUp's Avatar
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    A little North of Ft. Myers is Port Charlotte and North Port. There are hundreds and hundreds of miles of paved roads with only a house or two on them. Looking at a map, go west from Port Charlotte on highway 776. Between 776 and US 41 in North Port - lots of roads and very good riding.

    If you take a left off of 776 on to 775 toward Boca Grande, both Rotonda and South Gulf Cove (north and south of 775) - have lots and lots of roads with virtually no traffic.

    Now, that being said - it's not the most beautiful area to ride in - it's flat and not a lot of shade, but if you're looking for a safe area to ride that is less than an hour north of Ft. Myers, check it out.
    Last edited by lookinUp; 07-26-05 at 11:12 AM.

    Trek Madone 5.2 wsd

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    Senior Member lookinUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lookinUp
    A little North of Ft. Myers is Port Charlotte and North Port. There are hundreds and hundreds of miles of paved roads with only a house or two on them. Looking at a map, go west from Port Charlotte on highway 776. Between 776 and US 41 in North Port - lots of roads and very good riding.

    If you take a left off of 776 on to 775 toward Boca Grande, both Rotonda and South Gulf Cove (north and south of 775) - have lots and lots of roads with virtually no traffic.

    Now, that being said - it's not the most beautiful area to ride in - it's flat and no shade, but if you're looking for a safe area to ride that is less than an hour north of Ft. Myers, check it out.
    Also, the local cycling club is the Coastal Cruisers. Check out: http://www.coastalcruisers.net/ They have rides almost every day of the week and guest are welcome to ride with them.

    Trek Madone 5.2 wsd

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    Quote Originally Posted by bab
    Not sure exactly what your are looking for. Are you looking scenic rides or just nice long rides to enjoy the weather and the wildlife? Or do you want groups to ride with?

    Here are a couple of trails in the ST PETE/TAMPA area.
    http://www.dot.state.fl.us/turnpike...st_parkway.html

    There is the Pinellas county trail, which is closer to where you are staying.
    http://www.pinellascounty.org/trailgd/default.htm
    I'm looking to escape the winter weather for a week at a time each month and find someplace to ride my road bikes safely 40 to 50 miles at a clip.
    New Jersey, where I live, gets a bum rap from almost everybody, but the roads, for the most part have good shoulders. There are many alternative routes that lead to some interesting places. If the average out of stater wanted to go from my house, just outside of Philly, to the Jersey shore they would use the main highways. Eventhough those highways have bikable shoulders they're not ideal for biking. I can do the entire route to the beach, 50 plus miles, using back roads almost the entire way. Sorry for the long winded answer, but this is what I'm looking for in Florida. As an out of stater I only know the main routes. What are the back routes? How bikable are they?
    Paved trails will do just fine.
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  8. #8
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    If trails are ok, then I'd go that route (pun intended) in if you want to come to the Tampabay area. I don't think many places around here are very bike friendly.

    Best bets:

    Suncoast Trail - 41.3 miles through about 3 counties (Tampa to past Brooksville)
    http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide...s/suncoast.htm

    I've done a section around SR54 and found it ok. Downsides, it runs beside the Veteran Expressway/Suncoast Parkway so there is loud noise from cars in some areas. Also, it's relatively new (so nice pavement) so the trees they've planted to grow between trail and road are still small and don't provide shade.....so not as much shade as would be nice.

    Withlacoochee Trail - 46 miles (Trilby to Dunellon)
    http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide...with_state.htm

    I haven't ridden this one, but have heard it was very nice. I plan to ride it soon and hopefully with my dad as he's talking about quitting smoking and taking up cycling.


    West Orange Trail - 19 miles (Oakland to Apopka)
    http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide...est_orange.htm

    This one is more over in center of state....toward Orlando. I drove over to ride this the other day and found it lovely. The few road crossings are mostly on tiny little backwoods roads seldom traveled. There are stations every so often with trail maps, air pumps and cold water. It's obviously a pretty new trail so still in great shape. I've heard it was very busy, but when I went (a Monday morning) I saw very few people.



    I left out our local pinellas trail as I, personally, don't think its that fantastic. It can be very crowded, som e areas have road crossovers so often that you can't even build up a good speed it seems like.


    In this area, at least, there are also some cycling clubs that do rides you might be able to hook up with. I can't vouge for any as I'm not conditioned enough to keep up with any of them.

    Here is a web page from a local bike shop here that lists some of the clubs that have rides:
    http://chainwheeldrive.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=94

    Hope that helps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingTermite
    If trails are ok, then I'd go that route (pun intended) in if you want to come to the Tampabay area. I don't think many places around here are very bike friendly.

    Best bets:

    Suncoast Trail - 41.3 miles through about 3 counties (Tampa to past Brooksville)
    http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide...s/suncoast.htm

    I've done a section around SR54 and found it ok. Downsides, it runs beside the Veteran Expressway/Suncoast Parkway so there is loud noise from cars in some areas. Also, it's relatively new (so nice pavement) so the trees they've planted to grow between trail and road are still small and don't provide shade.....so not as much shade as would be nice.

    Withlacoochee Trail - 46 miles (Trilby to Dunellon)
    http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide...with_state.htm

    I haven't ridden this one, but have heard it was very nice. I plan to ride it soon and hopefully with my dad as he's talking about quitting smoking and taking up cycling.


    West Orange Trail - 19 miles (Oakland to Apopka)
    http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide...est_orange.htm

    This one is more over in center of state....toward Orlando. I drove over to ride this the other day and found it lovely. The few road crossings are mostly on tiny little backwoods roads seldom traveled. There are stations every so often with trail maps, air pumps and cold water. It's obviously a pretty new trail so still in great shape. I've heard it was very busy, but when I went (a Monday morning) I saw very few people.



    I left out our local pinellas trail as I, personally, don't think its that fantastic. It can be very crowded, som e areas have road crossovers so often that you can't even build up a good speed it seems like.


    In this area, at least, there are also some cycling clubs that do rides you might be able to hook up with. I can't vouge for any as I'm not conditioned enough to keep up with any of them.

    Here is a web page from a local bike shop here that lists some of the clubs that have rides:
    http://chainwheeldrive.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=94

    Hope that helps.
    KT, and to all, thanks for the replies.

    KT: get dad to quit smoking and do an ACS ride with you.
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  10. #10
    Senior Member FLBandit's Avatar
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    I live just north of Lakeland and we have quite a bit of good riding out here. There is the Van Fleet Trail which is 30 miles and runs through Green Swamp. There are a few roads back in there that are nice also. A bit farther north is Cleremont. I love riding there. The traffic is usually light (at least off the main road) and there are actually some hills! We have a ride there every year called the Horrible Hundred. It's a blast. Check out the Florida Freewheelers website, I believe they have some rides posted.
    I wanna ride!
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bab
    There is the Pinellas county trail, which is closer to where you are staying.
    http://www.pinellascounty.org/trailgd/default.htm
    - and soon the trail will connect in the south through St. Pete and the old CSX railway! whoo hoo! it is going to be one great bike trail!

    :-)

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    DRP
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    Another vote for the tampa bay area. Here's another link with more info on the suncoast trail and some pictures. http://outdoortravels.com/biking_fl_..._suncoast.html

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    I'm not sure what kind of area or lifestyle your looking for as far as congestion goes, however the Palm Beach County area roads, espicially the major east-west and north/south roads west of 95 are heavily sidewalked with ramps down to the street level so there's no curb hopping. Can't imagine where you couldn't go in the county without a sidewalk at least 85-90% of the way. The major roads rebuilt in the last 5 years or so also include bike lanes.

    Then there's the ride to Belle Glade if you don't mind looking at 40 miles or so of Sugar Cane you have to look at.

  14. #14
    Junior Member basso91's Avatar
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    You need to spend your winter vacation in "forgotten florida" exploring the uninhabited backroads of Suwannee, Columbia,Hamilton County. Rent a cabin at the Stephen Foster Memorial State Park in White Springs on the Suwannee River, meander over to Suwannee River Bike tours downtown and get maps for routes free of high speed traffic. There are routes we ride up to 50 miles and I can count on one hand the cars I see.

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    Senior Member larue's Avatar
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    I live in Fort Myers and there are some nice roads and bike paths to ride on. PM me or email me at rlarue @ mac.com and I'll give you some info.
    Leave your treadmill power trip behind.

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