Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Coming through the Time Mirror.
    My Bikes
    Gunnar Street Dog
    Posts
    1,966
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Florida cyclists, I would like some advice.

    This year's Boston winter, which is now starting to make the place look and feel like something
    up in the Yukon, has once again got me thinking about what life might be like in the Sunshine
    state. Thus, I am seeking advice from experienced FL cyclists. I cannot see myself retiring
    in less than 10 years (I hope) and dealing with this Malarky. (I'm subbing that for another word
    that is not permitted. ) What I know so far:

    The bad:

    -It's very humid, starting in May. That is fine, as long as it does not snow, or become brutally cold.
    -There is the occasional Hurricane, and sometimes power outages that can last for days.
    -Bugs, and various reptilian creatures. Fair enough.
    -Certain areas of the state are not friendly toward cyclists.
    -Lots of very old retired ladies, in gigantic Buicks, who just do not see you. (I've been told)

    The good:
    -Nice and warm. No snow, no potholes.
    -Plenty of good places to ride, if you know where.
    -Sunsets can't be beat.
    -Place is supposed to be good for retired people.

    Any advice is welcome. Thanks in advance,
    from a New Englander who has just plain had enough.
    "The Universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on a government contract." Robert A. Heinlein

  2. #2
    All Seeing Member ahsposo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Everywhere...
    My Bikes
    A Home Built All Rounder, Bianchi 928, Specialized Langster, Dahon Folder
    Posts
    7,004
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Let's open up the thinking.

    From Myrtle Beach, SC (or thereabout) to Ormand Beach, FL. and on that latitude across FL up to Tallahassee is worth considering.

    There are places in SFL I really like but mostly, no.

    Here's the deal. Since Mr. Carrier invented Air Conditioning Yankees have been moving down here like Syrians to Jordan. Only worse.

    Never say "Here's how we do it in Bawsten"
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    36
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I moved to Orlando last year from the Northeast and love it here. I didn't even move for cycling but I just so happen to be in a central location for trails and group rides. The 30 mile long Cady Way/Cross Seminole trail is right behind my apartment. Group rides leave every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from shops within a 2 mile radius of me, and the spectacular West Orange trail is a 20 minute car ride away. If you're a roadie, the Winter Garden/Claremont area is your best bet: tons of climbing and a local community that embraces cyclists. Orlando as a whole seems very considerate to cyclists: drivers give ample room to you and there's bike lanes everywhere

  4. #4
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    OTP South
    Posts
    2,151
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We looked very seriously into moving down around the Tampa (N) area just over a year ago. There are a couple of things I would point out, according to where you are looking.

    Sinkholes: In particular the real estate people will play this down, even PAST the point they should be concerned. We found a lovely home in Spring Hill that we almost purchased for a hell of a steal. That home is now gone, went into a sinkhole that the realtor and home owner didn't say anything about until I asked about a crack in the foundation..."it'll be FINE" they said...

    Water: Fl is and will be dealing with a clean water crisis, particularly as more and more people move there and outpace the aquifer system.

    Pay attention to the actual cost of living there. Some things are cheaper, and some aren't.

    The biggest thing for us what what to actually DO living there and more specifically what our kid would do when he graduated aside from moving elsewhere. A great deal of the state is geared towards retirees and vacationers. Outside of healthcare and working for an amusement or entertainment source there isn't a whole lot going on outside of big cities and very seasonal.

    Don't overlook what you will have to go through to insure a property there either. Flood/storm insurance are now a separate Federal thing since none of the private insurers can afford to offer it after the last decade or so.

    I am sure there is room for correction and clarification from folks that actually live there.

    On the plus side, HAD we found a place there I would likely be looking at a ride today instead of this possible snow storm about to hit and paralyze our state...even declared a SOE and it hasn't even hit yet...sigh.
    Last edited by punkncat; 02-16-15 at 07:20 AM.
    One Foot Less

  5. #5
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Between Crystal River and Hernando, Florida, 6 miles west of the Withlacoochee Trail
    My Bikes
    I've had several since 1999 but have settled on my beloved 2001 Litespeed Tuscany and my latest, a 2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon
    Posts
    14,028
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
    The bad:

    -It's very humid, starting in May. That is fine, as long as it does not snow, or become brutally cold.
    -There is the occasional Hurricane, and sometimes power outages that can last for days.
    -Bugs, and various reptilian creatures. Fair enough.
    -Certain areas of the state are not friendly toward cyclists.
    -Lots of very old retired ladies, in gigantic Buicks, who just do not see you. (I've been told)

    The good:
    -Nice and warm. No snow, no potholes.
    -Plenty of good places to ride, if you know where.
    -Sunsets can't be beat.
    -Place is supposed to be good for retired people.
    We stayed in Hernando, FL for 2 months in 2012. Liked it so much we sold our house and moved to Lecanto, FL in November 2012, so were in the midst of our 3rd year here.
    Let's take the things you listed one at a time.
    Humidity - it does get humid but locals leave early (like 6-7am) to ride to avoid it. Me, I wait until 8am. I'll see how I do this coming summer.
    Hurricanes - there hasn't been a "real" hurricane in the part of the state I live in for ~35 years.
    Bugs - wear bug spray, especially when near water.
    Not friendly to cyclists? What places are friendly?
    Lots of old folks in Buicks. They also drive Prius and other cars that don't make any noise so you don't hear them. Thats what mirrors are for. And there are no cars on the bike trails. There are also quiet, very low traffic country roads for nice rides.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

  6. #6
    Senior Member bikecrate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    LF, APMAT
    Posts
    790
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've lived here since the early 70's and back then this place was really a paradise. Now it's way overcrowded. Natural FL has been put under a lot of pressure by developers and is degrading. The only thing holding back the final blow was the 2008 economy tanking. As soon as the real estate market picks up again it will probably be all over.

    I wouldn't make your retirement selection based solely on weather. I know plenty of people who have come here, couldn't handle the temperature\humidity of summer and promptly left.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Satellite Beach, FL
    My Bikes
    Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3, Lynskey Peloton
    Posts
    121
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My comments based on 42 years in the state:

    The bad:

    -It's very humid, starting in May. That is fine, as long as it does not snow, or become brutally cold. It is humid all year. You get the occasional front that pulls in dry weather.
    -There is the occasional Hurricane, and sometimes power outages that can last for days. I've never experienced one. I leave long before the evacuation order. I don't return until the power is back on.
    -Bugs, and various reptilian creatures. Fair enough. In my opinion the bugs are far worse in Massachusetts.
    -Certain areas of the state are not friendly toward cyclists. Not in my area and I have little riding experience elsewhere.
    -Lots of very old retired ladies, in gigantic Buicks, who just do not see you. (I've been told). I'm not sure that they are any worse than other drivers. People on cell phones scare me much more.

    The good:
    -Nice and warm. No snow, no potholes. Hot would be a better description than warm. Fewer potholes per se but plenty of crappy roads.
    -Plenty of good places to ride, if you know where. Agreed
    -Sunsets can't be beat. you must be considering the west coast. Over here it is the sunrises that are awesome.
    -Place is supposed to be good for retired people. there are lots of services geared towards senior citizens primarily because there are so many of them.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    North Central Florida
    My Bikes
    2013 Giant RX 0, 2001 Mongoose Pro Triomphe, 2011 Giant TCR Composite, 2014 Giant Escape RX Composite
    Posts
    481
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Former Mainer here... in fact 62 years there. Back in 08 when my wife and I retired we gave ourselves 5 years to find a relocation point where we could enjoy outside activities for most of the year (I don't mean snow shoveling). For the first couple of years we packed up the rv with bikes and kayaks and traveled the country looking for a new place to live. The cost of living in Maine was such that living on our pension would mean a BIG cut in our current standard of living. We needed to find a place that was at the very first more affordable than our existing area. That's pretty hard as home values and pension in Maine are much lower than any of the other New England states.

    We finally settled in North Central Florida in a small community of Rainbow Springs. It's much like the areas in the New England, more four legged critters than two legged types, more real trees than the gross palm things. Even a few hills.... We have access to the Rainbow River for kayaking and the 46 mile Withlachoochee state rail trail is near by. In fact today the weather is sunny and lower 70's so are heading out for a short 25 miler in a few minutes. It's the same trail that RonH mentioned above.

    So far... we have only been here for the past 4 years I can see only the positives for us. But that may be based on the fact we are lucky to now take our motorhome and spend the summers running around New England and Atlantic Canada riding trails we have for the past 40 years or so. It's kinda the best of both worlds. Summer all the time.

    The cost of living in this area is MUCH less than it was in our area of Maine. Here are a few things to consider. We were able to sell our house in Maine and buy a nice one here in cash, add a salt water pool, all new furniture and the like and still put some $$ in the bank. Try that in Southern Florida. Our property taxes dropped to 1/3 or our cost in Maine. There in NO income tax in the state. There are fresh fruits and veggs most of the year and cheap. Oh an one of the best things as far as my wife and I think a 6 month strawberry season!! And you will not be able to find a snow shovel or plow anywhere around here.

    Come on down....

  9. #9
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    an imposter living in the 35223
    Posts
    5,835
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I stopped by a restaurant I saw on a road ride in Red Bay (in the Panhandle sort of N of Panama City), had a nice lunch, and thought, you know, this place is in the middle of nowhere, yet has mtn bike trails right here, very few cars on the roads when I was on the road bike, yet <1 hr from the beach if I needed a bikini fix. And I liked the guys I was riding with - the Emerald Coast Cycling Club. They didn't mind a vacationer tagging along in the least. The panhandle will get "colder" than the rest of the state, and just as dang hot & humid in the summer, but I like it there.
    72 special CNC ______ 72 Frejus (ala Legnano) _73 Holdsworth Record
    80 Ranson__________ 80 unknown French____ 83 Trek 600 (620 styled)
    85 Gianni Motta_____ 90 Miele Gara ________ 02 Casati Dardo #1
    02 Casati Dardo #2 __ 03 Casati Dardo ______ 08 BF IRO (fixed/SS)
    09 Dogma FPX magn_ 10 Vassago Fisticuff (IGH)

    For Sale: _________ 78 Raleigh Professional __ 82 Peugeot PXN10
    85 Trek 560_______ 88 Guerciotti GLX

  10. #10
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Coming through the Time Mirror.
    My Bikes
    Gunnar Street Dog
    Posts
    1,966
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks to all who have responded, or plan to.

    So, what about the St. Petersburg / Fort Myers general area? It's presently 67 degrees in Ft. Myers, as I type this.
    So far, I seem to like the Gulf coast better than what I can learn about the Atlantic coast. Also, North Central looks
    OK. I want to avoid the area where "the spring breakers" go. I am way too old for that Malarky.

    Important: I am a night time cyclist. Love the night. With the modern, hi-energy lighting technology
    available to us today, There is no reason not to take advantage of the night. So, speak to me of night
    time riding.
    "The Universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on a government contract." Robert A. Heinlein

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    1,547
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Tallahassee area does get colder in the winter, but most days get to 60 in the winter. You get some days that don't get above 50 and some up near 80, but I don't usually ride if it's under 60 and I don't cancel many rides. Nice hills and cooperative drivers. Not very tourist/retiree oriented, which I rather like. Heat and humidity are brutal in the summer, which I absolutely love.

    The further south you go, the warmer it is in the winter. Summers are no worse and often even a little bit cooler in the south. But as you go further south you lose the hills and the hardwoods and it becomes much more developed. To me, that's a negative, but it does offer more diversion in terms of arts, restaurants, etc.

    I don't know about night riding, but might think wider, more illuminated roads in developed areas are better for that. I ride mostly on rural roads where there's much more concern with critters darting out or branches and other debris that might become invisible at night.

    Spring break is an isolated thing. Daytona, Panama City Beach and maybe a couple other spots. Older, lower cost vacation areas that likely wouldn't be high on your list anyway. But near the beaches does mean more tourists in general. Also higher real estate prices and higher costs of living. Someone mentioned insurance costs, which can be an issue in coastal areas. There are a lot of inland areas where real estate is reasonable and insurance and taxes are low, but that changes when you get near the water.

    I'm very happy where I am because I love the landscape here and property is still relatively inexpensive. But many would be bored, so it all depends on what you seek.

  12. #12
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Pensacola, Florida
    Posts
    7,439
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am in the far northwest corner, Escambia County, at the Alabama state line. As said in a few previous replies, this part of the state is a much different type of place from the peninsula in its make up, climate and pace of life. Unless its right on the Gulf Coast, on the beaches, its more the southern slash pine type of environment. Much less congestion as far as traffic, not perfect by any stretch of the term. There are a good number of "snow birds" and others from the north that winter here, mostly along the beaches for the lower lease fees on condominiums, and some of the beach area houses.

    Pensacola, where I am at, and around Eglin AFB (Ft.Walton, Panama City, Niceville) have large retired military populations because of the availability of the commissary/exchanges and the hospitals on these bases. They say that old aviators come here to die, take that for what it is worth. Its a much slower pace of life, some say we are backwards, I ignore them and enjoy that I can ride for miles without anyone shouting, honking, or throwing things at me. our cost of living is reasonable, no state income taxes, not too bad for housing costs and other costs, either.

    The bad parts, fewer social amenities and big time happenings here. There are the usual small city orchestras and chorus/operas available, there are smaller colleges, (except for FSU and the capitol areas doings) that some say is a bad thing. I like the smaller universities pretty well, went to UWF here in Pensacola, myself. Less big name stores for high end shopping if you are into that kind of thing. Some truly redneck people and places that are way back in their times and how they relate to others, most of them are really small and tucked away. The usual political small town drama and corruption is always entertaining, though.

    On second thought, stay on the south part of the state, its lousy up here and you'd probably be miserable.....

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

    "We can't control that we have Parkinson's, but we can control how we live with Parkinson's" Davis Phinney

  13. #13
    Senior Member shoota's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    My Bikes
    1987 Trek 560
    Posts
    3,388
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
    Thanks to all who have responded, or plan to.

    So, what about the St. Petersburg / Fort Myers general area? It's presently 67 degrees in Ft. Myers, as I type this.
    So far, I seem to like the Gulf coast better than what I can learn about the Atlantic coast. Also, North Central looks
    OK. I want to avoid the area where "the spring breakers" go. I am way too old for that Malarky.

    Important: I am a night time cyclist. Love the night. With the modern, hi-energy lighting technology
    available to us today, There is no reason not to take advantage of the night. So, speak to me of night
    time riding.
    It's a shame if that's the only time you'll ride because you'll be all alone and miss out on the many fantastic group rides available. That being said I love cycling here in the Tampa area, there are lots of people to ride with and if you know where to ride it's no more dangerous than anywhere else.
    2005 Cannondale six13
    2012 Scott Foil

  14. #14
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    My Bikes
    Cannondale Synapse , Trek CrossRip
    Posts
    4,187
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I live in Jacksonville and have been in Florida 50 years, and while more crowded here than most cities in the Northern section of the state, it's still pretty nice. Winters are cooler; tonight it's should be in the mid 20's, and tomorrow's high will only be 43 or so....but that is an anomaly. Summers can be brutal hot and humid, but you get used to it. I ride early in the am or at night in the summers, but I also bike commute almost daily in the spring\summer\fall, so again, you get used to it.

    Expense wise, housing is less expensive here than the south, about the same as the panhandle. No Hurricane in this area since 1964. One other good thing is we don't get a lot of tourist in this area....just the traffic as they head south, so I can deal with that. If you like Golf, you will find this area paradise. We host the The Players golf tournament, the annual Florida\Georgia Football game, Jaguar games and more and more soccer matches. We might not have as many things to do at night, but that's ok.

    I like it here and have been here since 1983, move up from West Palm Beach.
    Brian | 2015 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  15. #15
    Stand and Deliver FLvector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Tampa Bay
    My Bikes
    Cannondale R1000, Giant TCR Advanced, Giant TCR Advanced SL
    Posts
    1,982
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
    Thanks to all who have responded, or plan to.

    So, what about the St. Petersburg / Fort Myers general area? It's presently 67 degrees in Ft. Myers, as I type this.
    So far, I seem to like the Gulf coast better than what I can learn about the Atlantic coast. Also, North Central looks
    OK. I want to avoid the area where "the spring breakers" go. I am way too old for that Malarky.

    Important: I am a night time cyclist. Love the night. With the modern, hi-energy lighting technology
    available to us today, There is no reason not to take advantage of the night. So, speak to me of night
    time riding.
    I lived in the Fort Myers area back in 1987 from NJ/PA and thought I moved to paradise. We went to the beach almost every weekend. They have great beaches, Sanibel, Captiva, Carl Johnson Park on Estero Island, etc. Of course, that grows old after a while. The Fort Myers area does have more tourist traffic than the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. A normal 20 minute trip across town takes 40 during snow bird season. It gets better after April. I stayed in Ft. Myers for 16 yrs, then moved north of Tampa.

    I prefer the area north of Tampa for several reasons. Its not far from the nice beaches in Clearwater, the major venues in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Clearwater, etc. Also, only about 1.5 hrs from Orlando. Culturally, there's much more to offer in this area. From what I see the cost of living is better in Tampa/St. Pete area, especially housing. Ft. Myers has gotten expensive, although St. Pete close to the water probably isn't much better. There are many desirable areas further east away from the expensive waterfront properties, so just a matter of location choice.

    I didn't cycle when I lived in Ft. Myers, but did inline skate. There aren't many trails to choose from and the area is very flat. The area north of Tampa has several nice trails (Suncoast Pkwy) to choose from, some just a few miles from my house. Another 20 miles north and east has some very nice rural routes with some nice elevation. (San Antonio, Brooksville) In terms of cycling, this area is much better than further south. The other advantage it is often a few degrees cooler and the cool fronts actually come through the Tampa area, instead of stalling out before they get down to Ft. Myers. After a long summer you look forward to cool weather.

    It would be better if you asked specific questions, otherwise you'll get rambling answers like mine........

  16. #16
    Senior Member Yankeetowner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Yankeetown/Orlando, Florida
    My Bikes
    Road Bikes: 2014 Giant Propel Advanced 1; 1989 Klein Quantum, 2013 Giant Defy 2, & Mountain Bike: 2013 Cannondale Six
    Posts
    250
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It was 82 degrees here yesterday afternoon when I went on my standard training ride. As much as I love the Buckeyes, I'll never move back to Ohio!
    ECCLESIASTES 10:2

  17. #17
    Senior Member FLJeepGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    My Bikes
    2014 Specialized Crosstrail Disc, 1995 Specialized HardRock Ultra, 1991 Trek 1200, plus various others moving through my garage...
    Posts
    174
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've lived in Florida my whole life, growing up in the Pompano Beach / Ft. Lauderdale area, going to school in Gainesville at the University of Florida, and have been in Jacksonville since 1988. I agree with everything JaxGtr said above.

    About the coldest it gets here is overnight temps in the low 30s to high 20s, but that's only for a short week or two in the middle of winter. Last week it was that way around Wednesday and Thursday, but by last weekend, we were back up in the 70s. We also get some really hot weeks during the middle of summer, but for the most part, 10 months or more out of the year, we go between the 70s to the 90s. Humidity is high, but unless it's really high (90% or more) you just get used to it.

    Jacksonville is also one of the largest, if not The Largest, city in the US as it encompasses the entire Duval county, approximately 850 sq. miles. Some areas are more bike friendly than others, and most new road construction includes at the least a marked bike lane if not a separate paved bike path a few feet off the shoulder of the road. In addition, we have a large number of bike paths, trails, and state parks that provide miles of biking areas. Not to mention the beaches, perfect for cruising or bar hopping on your bike.

    As far as hurricanes go, they are always a possibility, but due to the interaction of the coastline shape and the position of the Gulf Stream offshore, most storms that approach go north or south of here. Like JaxGtr said, Jacksonville hasn't experienced a hurricane since 1964. Honestly, it doesn't matter where you live, some kind of natural phenomenon is out to get you: freezing winters, earthquakes, heat and drought, floods, hurricanes, etc. I can say that my life here on the Florida coast has been pretty drama free.

    Travel from Jacksonville is easy, with several destinations within only a few hours of driving (Orlando and its theme parks, St. Augustine, Daytona, Savannah GA, and more) plus a good sized airport with flights through Atlanta to just about anywhere from there.

    Another benefit to Florida in general is the lack of a state income tax. That coupled with a fairly low cost of living is part of what makes this state so retirement friendly.

    I love living here, and plan to retire here as well.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •