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  1. #1
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    Tampa area riding in February?

    Hello!

    Seems like a decent forum here, I've heard a bit about it, so decided to join.

    Wanted to get some thoughts/opinions from people here...

    I live in Columbus, OH, and am thinking of flying into Tampa towards the end of February...I have family in both Tampa and Nokomis, and would be staying with one/both of them for about 4-5 days. The main reason for my trip would be to come down and ride. I've found a place that rents road bikes, and I would just need to bring my helmet, shoes, pedals, etc, etc. I'm not a super serious rider, but I'd like to get in 2-250 miles over 4-5 days just to get out and stretch my legs since I haven't been able to get out here in OH due to work or poor weather since the end of October.

    I've found the Tamiami trail, which I see runs from Tampa to Miami. I can't though, seem to find any GOOD information on this...is this an actual paved trail, a route along public roads, a little of both? If it's a lot of roads, are they highly traveled roads/high speed, specific bike lane? Enough places to stop to refil a water bottle, grab a bite to eat, have good sights through the trip? Mainly I would want to make sure that it would be a safe ride if I decided to do the ~80 miles from Nokomis to Tampa one day, and back the next.

    Also, what kind of weather should I expect towards the end of Feb? I've seen the average high is around the low 70s (which would seem hot coming from an OH winter at that point...haha!)...should I expect there to be a lot of wind along the Gulf Coast? I saw its pretty much completely flat, so a bit of wind would probably equal some of the inclines I deal with here.

    Sorry for all the questions, but when I ask my family down there, I don't get much good information, as they're not cyclist.

    I may also be interested in doing some sort of charity ride if theres anything going on during the President's Day weekend...I don't know if you guys have many events around that time of year.

  2. #2
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    Check out Trail View Mount's threads and website. He has rated all the great places in both areas you talk about.

  3. #3
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    The Tamiami Trail is actually US 41 and parts of US 301 and some I-75 along with the Alligator Alley. Feb weather is the best that time of year. cool mornings and warm afternoons. Nokomis to Tampa is hit and miss. There is some trails that are fantastic but north of Bradenton there is nothing until Tampa except US 41. This is a limited access divided hiway with speeds 60 to 65 posted throughout. But many use its wide shoulder to ride to work. I drive to work on 41 and see bike riders every morning. Traffic is also very light as I-75 runs parallel to it about two miles to the east and everyone uses it as a main drag.

    The trails down between Nokomis/Venice and north through Sarasota will surely satisfy ALL your riding fixes.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Paul01's Avatar
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    North of Tampa is the excellent Withlacoochee Trail and west of Tampa is the Pinellas trail.

    http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide...with_state.htm

    http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide...llas_trail.htm

  5. #5
    Senior Member Paul01's Avatar
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    PS: The weather here in February is about perfect.

  6. #6
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    those trails do look great...i'll just be battling the fact that if i go down, im gonna be staying in Nokomis all but maybe one night, and i wont get a rental car...i doubt family is gonna want to drive me an hour and a half north, then back home, then come back to pick me up later in the day...thats why i was looking at that Tamiami trail, because it runs right through Nokomis where i'd be staying, and i can bike to my route.

    thanks for the links though...im gonna keep those in mind incase i make it down again this year and stay with my cousin in tampa instead of down in Nokomis.

  7. #7
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    Right in the middle of Nokomis is the Legacy Trail. Going south through Venice you are riding right next, and I mean right next to the ICW (intercoastal waterway). Some nice bridges to cross and if you are looking for some really gorgeous scenery, take a turn at Albee Road and head towards the Gulf of Mexico. Casey Key is really exclusive with a little used sometimes single lane road that runs alongside the Gulf for about seven miles. Here you will see homes unlike others, more Paul Rudolph homes than anywhere else in the world, Mid Century Modern homes to die for and oh yes, beaches for miles without encountering another human. At the north end of Casey Key take the bridge back to mainland (US 41) that is a crank open, yes the bridge has to be opened by a crank to allow boat traffic, clearly one of a kind.

    The Legacy Trail can be accessed again as it winds its way up through south Sarasota with more exclusive subdivisions. Palmer Ranch is totally for the rich and famous and has its own access to the Legacy Trail once again.

    Like I mentioned in an earlier post, check out Trail View Mount's website.

  8. #8
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    I have done the ride that wfin describes in his post above and you will not regrett doing this ride. It is just as he describes. Take a camera
    SloSpoke Jim

  9. #9
    Senior Member c.miller64's Avatar
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    There's an organized ride Feb 19 for The Make a Wish Foundation with 12, 35, 62, and 100 mile options.

    http://wish100.wishcentral.org/faf/h...?ievent=481047

  10. #10
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    When are you going to be down there? I will be traveling down for events in mid to late February and will have the week of the 20th-24th available to ride around. It would be great to meet up and explore some trails with you. There's a few I have had some experience with in past years and a few I have yet to explore.
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  11. #11
    Senior Member RedC's Avatar
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    Might want to check with the Peace River bicycle club www.peaceriverridersbicycleclub.com They have a pretty active group in Port Charlotte, which is just below Nokomis and they might have rides in the area and the Sarasota-Manatee bicycle club www.smbc.us would be a good resource as well
    Red, like the color my hair used to be.

    Lemond Buenos Aires(Broke) Madone 5.9 for sale,Navigator 2, S-Works Roubaix

  12. #12
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    I am not sure about your questions on the Tamiami Trail. One suggestion is to call the Flying Fish bike shop, a good size bike shop in South Tampa, that may be able to give you some answers.

    As for potential charity rides, maybe google the Saint PEtersburg bicycle club at stpetecycling.com or floridabicycle.org for links to or ride info.


    Enjoy your trip. Worst case, Flying Fish should be able to recommend some longer rides in and around the Tampa Bay area to fulfill your mileage quota.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for those last couple responses! I actually changed the dates i will be down to the following week so i dont miss my nephews 2nd birthday...ill be flying in 2/23 in the am and back home 2/27 in the evening time...id definitely be up for finding soemone to ride with, as i know long solo rides arent as fun...im not a super serious rider, but i'd be up for some 40-60 mi routes as long as i dont hold anyone up keeping a 15-16mph average pace

  14. #14
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    I want to rent a road bike in Clear Water FL for one day any suggestions?

  15. #15
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Try Bicycle Outfitters right on the Panellas Trail
    SloSpoke Jim

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