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  1. #1
    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Ft. Walton

    I'm retiring from the Marines in November and want to move back to Pensacola. Unfortunately, the last time I lived there I was not a cyclist. Just wondering if there are any bike lanes around the city and beach. I am particularly interested in the Hwy 98 (Gulf Breeze Pkwy) and Gulf Blvd out to Navarre. That would be a real nice 50 mile loop.
    "These are questions for wise men with skinny arms." - Khal Drogo
    2011 Rossetti Vertigo w/ SRAM Rival 16.1lbs

  2. #2
    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    Dang. Nobody knows squat about Pensacola?
    "These are questions for wise men with skinny arms." - Khal Drogo
    2011 Rossetti Vertigo w/ SRAM Rival 16.1lbs

  3. #3
    Ironwoman Velo Gator's Avatar
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    My ex-husband lived in Gulf Breeze and rode his bike to NAS Pensacola with no issues.

  4. #4
    Stand and Deliver FLvector's Avatar
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    Ahh, the Redneck Riviera, lol. Maybe take a look at MapMyRide and search for rides/routes in the area. Google maps or Google Earth could show you on street view what is available too. And of course, bike shops in the area could tell you.

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    Nice paths on 30A and very wide bike lane shoulders on 98 in the Seaside area between Destin and PCB, but I've no experience as far west as you plan to be. But I do know that the traffic volumes and the level of development on 98 in that area has increased dramatically in the last decade or so. I took the beach route back from Mobile for the first time in at least ten years a few months ago and I was astounded at how much more traffic there was. And there used to be areas where there was no development. Now, it's pretty much solid from Pensacola to Destin. You can no longer tell where one community ends and the next begins.

  6. #6
    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
    Nice paths on 30A and very wide bike lane shoulders on 98 in the Seaside area between Destin and PCB, but I've no experience as far west as you plan to be. But I do know that the traffic volumes and the level of development on 98 in that area has increased dramatically in the last decade or so. I took the beach route back from Mobile for the first time in at least ten years a few months ago and I was astounded at how much more traffic there was. And there used to be areas where there was no development. Now, it's pretty much solid from Pensacola to Destin. You can no longer tell where one community ends and the next begins.
    I remember back in the 70's when PCB was just the beachball water tower and a couple of restaurants. I've been a resident of Pensacola my whole life, but have actually only lived there for a few years (military dad and I've done 20 in the Marines myself). Never rode bikes there. Even Gulf Breeze is exploding.
    Last edited by pgjackson; 06-30-12 at 11:19 PM.
    "These are questions for wise men with skinny arms." - Khal Drogo
    2011 Rossetti Vertigo w/ SRAM Rival 16.1lbs

  7. #7
    Legs of Steel chrisvu05's Avatar
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    I grew up in Gulf Breeze and ride there a few times a year when I visit the family when I'm on vacation. Pretty much avoid highway 98 at all costs. There is a 3 mile path through the national seashore that is decent...you can start in tiger point and wind back along Bay Street through the national seashore and onto the beach then head east for 30+ mile round trip. Otherwise be careful, the drivers are not used to cyclists at all and it's pretty sketchy when traffic picks up. There is a brand new bike lane for about 3 miles traveling east on the beach but then you're on your own (although traffic lightens up). I have some routes saved on my garmin....if you message me Maybe we can figure out a way to send you the maps.

  8. #8
    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    Found a cycling group in Pensacola called the West Florida Wheelmen. They have a lot of routes posted on their website. Not sure how much of that is bike lanes, but at least they get out and hit the road.

    I had to laugh a little because I was looking at the maps of their routs...50 miles, 300ft of elevation. My normal 40 mile ride is 2000-3000ft of elevation. I am not a climber and actually hate the hills. Looking forward to some flat, fast rides.
    "These are questions for wise men with skinny arms." - Khal Drogo
    2011 Rossetti Vertigo w/ SRAM Rival 16.1lbs

  9. #9
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    Semper Fi P.G., hope to see you here when you retire. The bike lanes aren't numerous but there are some. Blue Angel Parkway, from Pine Forest Road to the West gate at N.A.S. Pensacola has bike lanes, just watch the traffic anyway, a lot of accidents on that stretch, not necessarily bicycle. Trouble with most of the bike lanes is that they don't connect to make routes that make sense.

    The West Florida Wheelmen is the local club http://wfw-pensacola.com/ with group rides Wednesday nights when the TT series isn't riding and Saturday and Sunday rides for those wanting peleton rides. I am a member and it is a pretty good organization. Don Davis, USMC Ret, MGYSGT I believe, is the state TT champ for his age group, he leads a lot of rides and Is a super guy. Truly Spokin' LBS has rides starting at their Milton shop location along the Blackwater River Trail (Rails to Trails project, Milton to the back gate at N.A.S. Whiting Field) every Saturday, various distances and paces available. Commuting is kind of hit and miss around the area, pretty spread out with no locus for businesses.

    Not much in the way of harassment from motorist, luckily, but lately there has been several bicycle fatalities, especially on U.S. 98, past Gulf Breeze. No single cause or nothing sinister at all, careless drivers mainly. Gulf Breeze, the U.S. 98 corridor and the beach are nothing like you will remember, exploding isn't the word for them. South Santa Rosa county is pretty hot right now.

    If you want flat rides you will have plenty of miles to choose from. Some rollers North of Cantonment, where I live and North of Whiting Field on SR 87. Not very much altitude gain, I think Whiting Field's South Field tower says 127" Elev. Beach rides from Bayfront Parkway - East are popular as is Scenic Highway, along Escambia Bay (see the WFW web page for these routes.)

    P.M. me if you need anything here, I'll try and help you out.

    Bill

  10. #10
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    Are there any trails around the Destin area? I'm coming down for vacation and would like to bring my bike, but didn't want to be stuck on 98 riding around the town with all the vehicles. Any group rides around the Destin area that I can participate in?

  11. #11
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    I haven't ridden in the Destin area any at all. Maybe someone form that area can give you the details about what trails there may be.
    Last edited by qcpmsame; 07-19-12 at 10:26 AM.

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    There are unpaved trails east of Destin in the Topsail Hill preservation area and in the wildlife preserve area between 98 and the beach in the Grayton Beach/Seaside area. 30A, which runs for nearly 30 miles along the beach has a paved bike path running alongside (but entirely separated from) the road. 30A runs off 98 starting at Santa Rosa Beach, about 5 miles east of Destin, runs along the water and rejoins 98 30 miles later. There is also a new paved trail I haven't checked out north of Panama City Beach (north of back beach road), but that's a good 30 miles or more east of Destin.

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    i rode today along scenic 98, but it was only about 10 miles roundtrip. i rode from 98 to the dead end and then back. I started out on a group ride from Robin's bikes, but apparently that was a 25mph sprint, which i dont do. i lost the group when they got on 98, but im not playing with cars that are doing 60mph. Emerald Coast Cyclists has a group ride on Tuesdays off ranger camp road, but u need a range pass to ride.
    Last edited by avance; 07-17-12 at 09:51 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    I'll be in Pensacola the week of 6 August for a conference. Also, I have a great lead on a job at the Pensacola Regional Airport. Cant wait.
    "These are questions for wise men with skinny arms." - Khal Drogo
    2011 Rossetti Vertigo w/ SRAM Rival 16.1lbs

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