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Old 04-09-09, 08:17 AM   #1
cprogression
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Ocala, florida question:

OCALA, FLORIDA QUESTION:

Is there an experienced cyclist who has ridden from Hernando to Ocala on Route 200?
Can you shed some light on this route? We have been looking at mile by mile sections of Route 200 on Google Maps using "STREET VIEW" and the shoulder seems to be there, but it looks rough. Google also supplies me with estimated "TRAFFIC SPEEDS", but we would rather read a review from an experienced cyclist. Estimated starting time of the ride will be 0800 hours and Ocala arrival should be (based on routine speeds) in about 1 hour and 40 minutes (a tailwind might help that a bit).

The big picture is to ride from the Withlacoochee Trail in the Hernando area up to Ocala and then north to 301 through Waldo (All those areas are basically an unknown world to us). From Waldo we will head north on U.S. 301 to Jacksonville. We were figuring with all the roadies, the popularity of recumbents and the everyday recreational cyclists in the aforementioned area, someone should be able to help out our tour here.

Thanks in advance for all replies,


~CJ~
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Old 04-09-09, 04:41 PM   #2
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CJ, I suggest that you contact Regis or Cindi at Hamptons Edge Bike shop in Floral City, FL
http://www.hamptonsedge.com/index.html
Phone number is 352.419.4809
You can get email addresses from the web site...
They are located right on the trail and have more touring knowledge of the area that you are looking at (Rt 200 and 301) into Jacksonville than anyone. I am sure that they would be glad to help you. Also if you are in Floral City stop by and say hello to them and give them some support. If you are their around lunch time the deli across the street will make you a sandwich that you will not be able to finish eating.

Jim

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Old 04-10-09, 05:35 PM   #3
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I wouldn't dream of riding up Rt. 200 into Ocala! Traffic is horrible and much of it is a 6 lane divided highway with traffic moving at 55-65 mph. The sides of the road are lined with shopping centers and there are cars pulling in and out. There is very little shoulder in this divided section and most of the bikes I see are being ridden on the sidewalk. I live a mile off the trail and ride it regularly. You could continue to the head of the trail in Citrus Springs, but then you would have to travel on a couple of other roads with high speeds and no shoulders. Rt. 40 would let you bypass 200, but is probably even more dangerous as it is a two lane road with no shoulder, 55-65 mph traffic speeds.

Another option would be to take the trail to Citrus Springs and then ride Rt. 41 to Williston and 121 (?) to Gainesville. If memory serves, that is pretty hairy riding as well. Many of the roads around here are two lanes with no shoulders. Many of the locals aren't real cautious of cyclists either. Good luck!
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Old 04-10-09, 08:46 PM   #4
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cprogression,
the above replys are correct. My question is: Why ride on these dangerous roads when we have so many good trails in this area? This part of the world is filled with old retirees, like me, and some of us don't see very well or have good depth perception. I'm sure you have your reasons to ride the roads, but again, we have hundreds of miles of trails right in this same part of the world. God bless you.
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Old 04-10-09, 09:11 PM   #5
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I think his reason for riding the roads is they are bike tourists who take long treks on their bikes. You and I would probably put our bikes in the car and drive the same route, stopping at the good places to ride along the way. They ride the whole way, something I am not near fit or brave enough to do! I am curious though, where are you from cprogression? Do you regularly ride on roads with a lot of traffic and/or congestion?
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Old 04-12-09, 08:31 AM   #6
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Leaving Hernando, 200 is a two lane road for ~10 miles or so up to 484 with a 55 mph speed limit. If there is a shoulder, I've never noticed it, and I've driven the road hundreds of times. Even that wouldn't be bad, but the road is traversed by lots of trucks, lots of rednecks pulling bass boats, lots of elderly, and lots of locals who think 55 means 75 and that their right to get to their destination 2 minutes earlier FAR exceeds your right to stay alive. And that's while driving another car!

I'm a 35+ year cyclist who plays "Death Sport 2000" with the traffic all the time, primarily riding on the heavily trafficked roads in the St. Pete/Clearwater area, and I would never DREAM of riding 200.
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Old 04-13-09, 11:05 AM   #7
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Actually US 301 is not all that bad. While the speed limit is 55 the four lanes are wide. But like any place else you must stay alert and wear bright clothing. From Ocala I would take 25A north and then 441 to Gainesville, then 24 to Waldo to 301 to JAX. Done it many times.
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Old 04-25-09, 06:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapido View Post
Actually US 301 is not all that bad. While the speed limit is 55 the four lanes are wide. But like any place else you must stay alert and wear bright clothing. From Ocala I would take 25A north and then 441 to Gainesville, then 24 to Waldo to 301 to JAX. Done it many times.
I agree with Rapido, 24 to Waldo from Gainesville is a pretty good ride, with good pavement. There is also a paved trail that runs parallel to 24 after you cross University (or 26). I mention this because there really isn't a bike lane on that stretch of road for about 6 miles until you get to 39th. I also ride the stretch of 301 from Hawthorne north to Waldo quite a bit. Its not too bad the pavement is in good shape but there is a LOT of traffic.
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Old 04-28-09, 04:52 PM   #9
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Sounds good, but what part of j-ville do you want to go to?

You may want to swing past Kingsley Lake and Camp Blanding and work your way up 17.
Or maybe go through Palatka over the St Johns and up 13.

What are the points you want connect? What is your time frame?

Did I mention Goldhead on 21 south of 16 and Middleberg?
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