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Old 01-25-11, 10:21 AM   #1
bobthib
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"Off roading" in So Fla. It ain't much, but it's all we got.

I've lived here in So. Fla for about 20 yrs now, and started road biking about 2 yrs ago. It's hardly a MTB mecca since it is as flat as a pancake. We have a pretty technical trail in nearby Markham Park, and some "hills" (barely pimples) in a small park on the south edge of town. I just started riding, and I've never really "mountain biked."

I've heard tell of some rides along the levees that surround portions of the northwest edge of the Everglades. I've been telling myself that I'm gonna do it, but I never seem to get a round twit.

Today my riding partner, a very strong riding tri-gal, was telling me that her and her hubby often train out there on the MTBs. The roads are all flat as a pancake, packed gravel, and there is no traffic. She told me about trails I never knew existed.

Now I'm all pumped about going out there with my son's mtb or me and the wife taking the tandem out with some 38s on it. In prep for that, I mapped out some routes with the help of the "hybrid" view on the RideWithGPS site.

The first is a 22 mi out and back, across the everglades. This route I never knew existed until today. I think this will be the first that me and the wife will do on the tandem.

Atlantic to Sawgrass Rec Park and Back

The second is a slightly longer ride, 26.5 mi, in a loop around part of the everglades conservation area. It starts at the same point, but heads south first, then west to US 27. There you hop on the bike path along US 27 for about 3 mi, and back into the levees at the Sawgrass Recreation Park. From there its straight back to the start on Atlantic Blvd.

26.5 mi around the Conservation Area

The third ride as a 75 mi loop around the Loxahachee wild life preserve. It heads north on the levee from Atlantic Blvd. to Lox Road, then northwest along the levee to Brown's Farm. There you head north on the levee and ride around Loxahachee. That will bring you back to Lox road, then it's about 8 miles south to Atlantic Blvd. This looks like a nice Saturday jaunt.

75 mi around Loxahachee

Hope to see some of you out there enjoying these rides.
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Old 01-25-11, 11:57 AM   #2
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Hah, this is why I post more in the 50+ forum. The same thread there has already received 5 replies, and this is the first reply to this thread. That forum always gets more activity then most of the other forums on the board. I get that it's winter in North America and isn't exactly prime cycling season for most folks. So it seems that the 50+ forum has the most people with year-round ability to discuss cycling.
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Old 01-25-11, 01:31 PM   #3
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That forum always gets more activity then most of the other forums on the board.
As long as the discussion revolves around pie or hemorrhoids .


50+ is BOOOOOORRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiinnnnnnnnnnnng.
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Old 01-25-11, 03:34 PM   #4
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The same thread there has already received 5 replies...
Five replies about how they remember hiding in the Everglades when they got drafted for 'Nam, or that one time when a gator ate their dentures.

BTW, we don't reply as frequently because we're out riding.
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Old 01-25-11, 04:39 PM   #5
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As long as the discussion revolves around pie or hemorrhoids .


50+ is BOOOOOORRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiinnnnnnnnnnnng.
Not when it comes to pie or hemorrhoids! AND NOW we got Pcad! No pun intended.
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Old 01-26-11, 10:26 AM   #6
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Five replies about how they remember hiding in the Everglades when they got drafted for 'Nam, or that one time when a gator ate their dentures.
The pythons are newer. They haven't been there since Nam, they're a post Hurricane Andrew occurrence.
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Old 01-26-11, 10:28 AM   #7
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My next mtb ride in the Everglades will probably be at Shark Valley.

I also plan to bring the bike along when I camp at Salt Springs in Ocala National Forest next month.
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Old 01-26-11, 01:09 PM   #8
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I've done the loop west of Markham a few times, it's a pretty nice ride. I think you'll like the Atlantic to Sawgrass out-and-back the best because even though you're covering the same ground, there's barely any civilization in sight (unless you count the Tao skyscrapers and the arena, which are always in sight...) You'll probably see some wildlife, I've seen otters on the trail and some deer tracks...

On the full loop, you've got a major highway within earshot on three sides, and there's a short segment along 27 where you have to ride the shoulder of the highway.

Another good levee ride is a loop around a portion of water conservation area 3a west of Holiday park (at the end of Griffin road.) It's about 13 miles and no highways in sight.
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Old 01-26-11, 01:53 PM   #9
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I'm not keen about riding on US 27 for very long, although I know a guy who does solo road rides up 27 from Pembroke Pines to Lake Okeechobee.

That levee ride around Holiday Park sounds interesting.
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Old 01-26-11, 02:01 PM   #10
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I've done the loop west of Markham a few times, it's a pretty nice ride. I think you'll like the Atlantic to Sawgrass out-and-back the best because even though you're covering the same ground, there's barely any civilization in sight (unless you count the Tao skyscrapers and the arena, which are always in sight...) You'll probably see some wildlife, I've seen otters on the trail and some deer tracks...

On the full loop, you've got a major highway within earshot on three sides, and there's a short segment along 27 where you have to ride the shoulder of the highway.

Another good levee ride is a loop around a portion of water conservation area 3a west of Holiday park (at the end of Griffin road.) It's about 13 miles and no highways in sight.
Chris, thanks for the insights and the info on the Holiday park loop. Since I'm new to unpaved levee riding I'm not sure what to expect effort wise. I'm used to roads, and 13 mi seems too short of a ride. It would take me that long to drive there.

It will be good to know when I have visitors though because that's a good distance for a slow scenic ride with some casual bikers.
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Old 01-26-11, 02:45 PM   #11
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I'm not keen about riding on US 27 for very long, although I know a guy who does solo road rides up 27 from Pembroke Pines to Lake Okeechobee.

That levee ride around Holiday Park sounds interesting.
27 is pretty hairy, I ride the segment between Griffin & 75 sometimes on the weekends and it's a bit disconcerting to have 18-wheelers whizzing past at 70+ The shoulder is much wider north of 75 though there's a lot of debris. I'd like to try the run up to Lake O soon.

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Chris, thanks for the insights and the info on the Holiday park loop. Since I'm new to unpaved levee riding I'm not sure what to expect effort wise. I'm used to roads, and 13 mi seems too short of a ride. It would take me that long to drive there.

It will be good to know when I have visitors though because that's a good distance for a slow scenic ride with some casual bikers.
Believe it or not, I usually take about 2.5-3 hours on the 13-miler when I have a group with me. There's a long stretch where you have to choose the best path from a mix of grassy or rocky surface. Coupled with the wind across the river of grass, it can really slow you down.

I'd be pretty reluctant to ride the Atlantic to Sawgrass leg on a tandem unless you've got a full suspension, it's the roughest section (though I noticed that they recently graded the section along 75, maybe they reworked that section too?)

Still, it's a really cool way to get out of our endless suburbia...

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Old 01-26-11, 04:00 PM   #12
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Hah, this is why I post more in the 50+ forum. The same thread there has already received 5 replies, and this is the first reply to this thread. That forum always gets more activity then most of the other forums on the board. I get that it's winter in North America and isn't exactly prime cycling season for most folks. So it seems that the 50+ forum has the most people with year-round ability to discuss cycling.
Maybe the 50+ crowd are the ones who got sick of cold winters and now live in an area where they can ride year-round?


I'm definitely going to check out that area sometime soon.
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Old 01-27-11, 12:09 PM   #13
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What many MTBikers do, they get a group of there friends and work on developing the trails. They bring in dirt and may rollers and jumps, they build wooden see saws to ride up and down, build 6"-12" narrow bridges 1' off the ground to ride across, they put dead trees on the ground and jump up on them and ride them length wise, they put different size logs blocking the trail or to the side and use them to jump over. You might be able to make a water path or canal to ride in or through, or build a narrow bridge going across and if you fall - look out. You can do something to make it more interesting.
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Old 01-27-11, 06:42 PM   #14
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If you build it, they will come!

I will have to check out that 13 miler at Holiday!
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Old 01-27-11, 09:07 PM   #15
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If you build it, they will come!

I will have to check out that 13 miler at Holiday!
If you're more ambitious, you can take that trail all the way to 41. I've never done the full stretch, but it's about 25 miles.
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