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  1. #1
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    New Port Richey / Suncoast Trail...

    I'm heading down to New Port Richey for four days in mid-April and am planning on bringing my bike.

    I've been looking at the Suncoast Trail and have a quick question...is it safe to ride solo?

    I'm planning on riding through J.B. Starkey Wilderness Park and catching the Suncoast Trail from there.

    Oh! One more question...any place in the area that rents bikes?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by VACaver; 03-19-14 at 04:55 PM. Reason: Added a question.

  2. #2
    Senior Member FL_MarkD's Avatar
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    The trail is perfectly safe to ride solo. Bring your own water, the Pasco part of the trail does have some water that is put out by the parks department, but you can't depend on it. As far as bike rentals, the only bike shop I know that rents road bikes is Chainwheel Drive in Palm Harbor. It is a nice trail with very minimal road crossings. Starkey Park has restrooms in the 'day use' section. The only hills are at the north end of the trail, starting around SR 50, the rest of the trail is Florida Flat.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member shoota's Avatar
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    +1

    I just rode 60 miles on it today, it's a great trail.
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    I ride the Suncoast every time I am in Fl. Never had a problem. I have ridden the J.B. Starkey Wilderness Park a few times also. I usually ride from HWY 54 trailhead north to HWY 50. On the way back I take in the J.B. Starkey Wilderness Park trail when I have time. Seems that every time I ride, I start with a headwind and end with a headwind. That kinda sucks.

  5. #5
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    +1 on safety on the trail. Be sure you stop or at least slow down at the "rural" road crossings. At some of the crossings the traffic doesn't slow down to less than 40mph.

    Is the north end open (north of mile 40)?
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  6. #6
    Senior Member shoota's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    +1 on safety on the trail. Be sure you stop or at least slow down at the "rural" road crossings. At some of the crossings the traffic doesn't slow down to less than 40mph.

    Is the north end open (north of mile 40)?
    I'm not quite sure where you're measuring from but I did see a few mile markers at over 40mi. From 52 the end of the trail is exactly 30 miles north.
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  7. #7
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoota View Post
    I'm not quite sure where you're measuring from but I did see a few mile markers at over 40mi. From 52 the end of the trail is exactly 30 miles north.
    The mile marker numbers start at the south end.
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  8. #8
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    Thanks for the replies...I appreciate the info.

    Looks like I'll probably be riding the Pinellas trail with my kids starting at Tarpon Springs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VACaver View Post
    Thanks for the replies...I appreciate the info.

    Looks like I'll probably be riding the Pinellas trail with my kids starting at Tarpon Springs.
    Don't forget to go to the sponge docks. You will enjoy the trail at that end. But not a lot of fun past Clearwater IMHO. It will NOT be as rural as the Suncoast that's for sure. Enjoy your ride and stay in FL.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DowneasTTer View Post
    Don't forget to go to the sponge docks. You will enjoy the trail at that end. But not a lot of fun past Clearwater IMHO. It will NOT be as rural as the Suncoast that's for sure. Enjoy your ride and stay in FL.
    I've read to avoid the Pinellas trail south of Clearwater and plan on making it my turnaround point. If I have the time I still may try and ride the Suncoast trail.

  11. #11
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    The Suncoast Trail is great. I think you'll enjoy it, especially between SR52 and SR50. North of SR50 is where you'll encounter the "big" hills. Your kids will like seeing all the tortoises.

    IMG_0039.jpg IMG_0340.jpg
    Last edited by RonH; 03-29-14 at 11:07 AM.
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    Not sure how far you want to ride but if you start at Starkey and ride over to the Suncoast, you can turn right and ride down to HWY54 turn around and go to HWY52 and back and that will give you ~32 miles with no road crossings. If want more miles, go all the way north to HWY50 and back for ~60 miles. The road crossings show up heading north at and after hwy52. If you take in the entire Suncoast and Starkley, you will be near 100 miles.

  13. #13
    Senior Member shoota's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VACaver View Post
    I've read to avoid the Pinellas trail south of Clearwater and plan on making it my turnaround point. If I have the time I still may try and ride the Suncoast trail.
    I don't know about Clearwater but definitely don't go south into St. Petersburg at night. Sheesh that area is sketchy.
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  14. #14
    Stand and Deliver FLvector's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VACaver View Post
    I've read to avoid the Pinellas trail south of Clearwater and plan on making it my turnaround point. If I have the time I still may try and ride the Suncoast trail.
    Besides having a ton of cross streets and constantly slowing down for traffic, some parts of the Pinellas trail are very sketchy and go through some bad neighborhoods. Some parts of it are nice, others not so.

    3rd attack on a cyclist in Pinellas in a week's span

    Although the Suncoast Trail and Starkey Park trails are MUP's, once you get a few miles from the trail head, you have miles of uninterrupted riding with very few cross streets to worry about. These trails are nice for after work rides during rush hour and are very popular for training rides. If you don't want to pay to park at SR 54 and Suncoast Pkwy trailhead, you can park across the street and ride to the trail. Enjoy.

  15. #15
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    I appreciate the replies and info.

    As of now, my sons will be renting bikes in Tarpon to ride part of the Pinellas trail with me. Since they don't ride bikes very often, I figure we'll go south 10 miles or so, then turn around.

    Depending on how much free time I have, I'll try and head over to Starkey and ride part of the Suncoast.

  16. #16
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    Update: I only got to ride twice in the four days I was in NPR. Did the Pinellas trail from Tarpon to Clearwater and back, which was a very nice ride. I also rode from Mom's to Starkey Park and back, which was NOT a nice ride at all. The roads and drivers in New Port Richey are not bike friendly at all! Drivers afraid to pass you, and when they do build up the courage they barely give you any room at all. I cut the ride short because riding on the road scared the crap outta me.

  17. #17
    Ninja cyclomuter's Avatar
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    Yeah, Florida is a great place to "pedacycle" if you like taking chances. Highest 2012 per-capita fatality rate, and second highest total fatalities in the US and territories, according to NHTSA: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812018.pdf.

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  18. #18
    Senior Member Ridefreemc's Avatar
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    I know you are done with the trip, but the entire Pinellas Trail is rather nice, with of course the northern section having less crossings. St. Pete has great restaurants (as well as a nice side trip to Gulfport). Dunedin has great food, close to the water, and the brew pubs are nice too.

    I've ridden the roads around NPR and agree, that can be uncomfortable/unsafe.
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