Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Orlando, FL
Bikes: litespeed, cannondale
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Well, I have done variants of all sorts of rides in Central Florida. I will refer you to the Florida Freewheelers site. The "Ramerez Romp to Seville" is a good 70 mile ride near Deland FL.
There is a good ride starting in Mount Dora and going up through emeralda marsh to Umatilla and back to Mount Dora. The Seminole Springs ride is about 45 miles out of Mount Dora. You could do the Ya La Ha Bakery Ride out of Astatula.
If you are thinking of doing the Withlacoochee Trail, basing out of Inverness makes good sense. It is right on the trail. Also, you could go over to Crystal River and snorkle and look at Manatees also.
Unless you do the Horrible Hundred, you will not have a really tough route in central Florida. The HH has some climbing. But you can do the 70 mile option and it isn't bad. Also the 70 mile version can be shortened pretty easily on the fly. All you have to do is look at a decent map or google earth and draw in the appropriate short cuts.
Now up at Ocala there is the extremely popular Horsefarm 100. I bet you could get a map of the route off the internet. And I would also figure that the route could easily be shortened. It is quite pretty up there.
I have found that I can often find a decent route in central Florida just by following my nose. Sometimes, I have to retrace my way but most of the time one can sort of feel out decent roads. But that takes a sort of hard wired GPS which I seem to have.