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Old 02-27-10, 08:55 PM   #1
floridabiker
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St. Augustine to Key West tour

Hey guys new to the forum !!

So im planing on cycling from St. Augustine to Key West and plan to follow the Adventure Cycling Association route. Has anyone done this route? This willl be my first cycling trip longer than one day so any tips would be great!! Another question...I have a trek 1200 and thats what i plan on riding. Should i outfit the bike with panniers or buy a small trailer. I am currently pondering about this because i here that all the weight on the bike will cause more flats???? And it also makes the bike a bit "top heavy"? I plan on camping everyday on the way down so i will have the weight of camp gear.
The route is about 450-miles (i will actually be starting in Daytona Beach and riding to the first key in the "lower keys") and was trying to estimate how many miles i am going to be able to cover each day...as for how fit i am..Im a teenager that is in decent shape with 1500 miles on my bike.

I plan on doing a short 2 day trip before jumping into the whole thing, but im just trying to get all the advise i can (gotta convince my parents)

Oh and another kid my age that is a good athlete will be going with me..


Thanks so much, Brad
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Old 02-28-10, 07:35 AM   #2
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As you'll be on a road bike with carbon fork and perhaps no braze on for a rear rack, a trailer would be more appropriate. If you're on a tight budget, something like this might work. http://cgi.ebay.com/AOSOM-BICYCLE-BI...item20afafd671
I have seen ppl pulling their gear down the road in used box store child trailers. Look on ebay or craigs.

Alternately, you can shop at www.oldmanmountain.com for a rear rack that can be mounted if there is no braze on. Couple of panniers and a stuff sack or two on the rack top and you'll be good to go. I have Axiom panniers with rain covers and find them reasonable bang for the buck. Sunlite is less expensive and very functional, but no rain covers. You can use plastic bags tho. Nashbar also has decent, inexpensive bags that'll do fine for a short tour.

Top heavy with panniers will not be a problem. Flats with race tires might be. Look for tires with puncture resistance. I like Continental Touring Plus. There are many others. 28-30 mm should clear your fork ok.

A tour is not a race. The average daily mileage for loaded touring is about 50, but 100 is not terribly uncommon.

BTW, if your gear weighs more than 30 pounds, you're probably taking too much stuff. The overnighter should help you sort that out.
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Old 02-28-10, 08:26 AM   #3
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My bike is all aluminum. I will look into a touring tire and some paniers. Sounds like thats easiest..although a trailer would end up being cheaper i believe. Question about trailers: How much resistance difference is there between a two wheeled trailer oh a single wheeled trailer like the BOB? Also, Im assuming a trailer with say 30 pounds of gear has more resistance(makes it harder on the rider) than 30 pounds of gear in panniers????
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Old 02-28-10, 08:50 AM   #4
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Trailer vs panniers is a never ending discussion. One thing to consider is getting back from Key West. If by commercial transport, panniers would be easier to manage. Maybe. Frankly, you don't even need panniers. Just a few stuff sacks bungied to the rack. Go with the least expensive options that you're comfortable with.

Rolling resistance with a trailer is nothing to be concerned about. There are one or two tires that might flat on you.

This will be a big, educational, adventure. If you get hooked on touring, you've got a world of time to sort out your personal preferences with the knowledge you'll have gained. People have ridden much further with much less.
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Old 02-28-10, 09:33 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input...I guess im going to need to start a list and see where that takes me.. because i am still a minor..i will be camping all the way down and the family is driving down and i will be riding in the car on the way back. My problem with this is that my trip is going to have to be planned carefully, and bike problems is going to be a nightmare for me because there is no "well lets just hit the motel/hotel" How do you think the whole idea of two kids at a campground is going to go? Will i have a problem there just like i will at a hotel?
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Old 02-28-10, 10:23 AM   #6
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How do you think the whole idea of two kids at a campground is going to go? Will i have a problem there just like i will at a hotel?
Very likely. You'll need a notarized letter from your parents explaining your trip, need for a place to camp, contact info, etc. Try that out at a near by state and federal park before heading out.

Sounds like to me you may need to talk one of your parents into acting as sag for this trip. They'd carry your gear, smooth the way in campgrounds, and let you two just ride. Bummer I know. But it would still be fun. Maybe.

Or wait 'til you turn 18.
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Old 02-28-10, 11:41 AM   #7
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How do you think the whole idea of two kids at a campground is going to go? Will i have a problem there just like i will at a hotel?
Not if you stealth camp.
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Old 02-28-10, 01:06 PM   #8
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You might want to reconsider your route. I can attest that south Florida has some of the most dangerous roads and some of the rudest, most ignorant drivers in the country. Hit and runs are a very common occurence here. Pedestrians, cyclists, even cops(no joke) get hit here. I toured from Seattle to Ft. Laud. in 1998(God I feel old) I had planned to finish in Key West but decided against it at the last minute. Broward and Palm-Beach counties were bad enough. Miami and the Keys are even worse. And this was in '98, before everybody had a cell phone, not to mention texting. I wouldn't even remotely consider doing it today. I don't mean to rain on your parade, I'm just trying to give you a little insight as to the reality of touring in S.F. Good Luck
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Old 02-28-10, 01:51 PM   #9
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i heard miami to keywest route is not a bike friendly route. but once u r on key west...u will be fine. so find a way to get your bike someone from miami to key west if you want to continue your tour.
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Old 02-28-10, 04:17 PM   #10
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You might want to reconsider your route. I can attest that south Florida has some of the most dangerous roads and some of the rudest, most ignorant drivers in the country. Hit and runs are a very common occurence here. Pedestrians, cyclists, even cops(no joke) get hit here. I toured from Seattle to Ft. Laud. in 1998(God I feel old) I had planned to finish in Key West but decided against it at the last minute. Broward and Palm-Beach counties were bad enough. Miami and the Keys are even worse. And this was in '98, before everybody had a cell phone, not to mention texting. I wouldn't even remotely consider doing it today. I don't mean to rain on your parade, I'm just trying to give you a little insight as to the reality of touring in S.F. Good Luck
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i heard miami to keywest route is not a bike friendly route. but once u r on key west...u will be fine. so find a way to get your bike someone from miami to key west if you want to continue your tour.
I could not agree more with the above two posts.

This is a very dangerous route. Lots is high speed traffic. And while a beautiful route scenery wise, it would be very unpleasant due to all of the noise. But I doubt you would have time to look at anything, anyway because you will have your mind on keeping drom being rundown. This is not a route For a newbie and certainly not a route for a newbie teenager riding alone.

And hauling a trailer along this route for someone that is not experienced is just asking for trouble.


If you were my teenager I would never sign off on your trip, if you were my child.

If you could get a ride to Key West as vincetny suggested then I would probably say go for it but that sort of defeats the whole purpose of the trip.

Maybe a partial circumnavigation of FLA??? Sounds like a nice reasonably safe trip. Or maybe a trip up to Georgia?

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Old 02-28-10, 06:35 PM   #11
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Well this sucks..from what i understand about the maps there is a bike path in the keys that is not fully completed but it is as far down as i am going...and there is apparently a path through Miami too..NOT trying to prove you guys wrong..I just read this journal http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=98865&v=54 and it sounded very convincing.

I guess i am just going to give up for the most part and try to maybe do a one night trip somewhere and back...lol its not like my parents were going to let me do this anyway.

The only way I would be able to make a trip like this is if there were a group of people that i could join and go. I know the adventure cycling association puts tours together, but that's way too costly and of course no where in my area. Is it worth asking about this kind of thing at my local bike shops?
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Old 02-28-10, 08:00 PM   #12
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check out this guy crazy guy on a bike blog:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/4571

for keywest to miami route...he rode on the sidewalk!
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Old 02-28-10, 09:52 PM   #13
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lol its not like my parents were going to let me do this anyway.

Ah, now we get the rest of the story.

Somehow, I have a feeling you're gonna make this happen someday. Good luck.
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Old 03-01-10, 02:41 PM   #14
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Just in case you might doubt what I stated yesterday...
Check out this article in todays paper.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/loc...0,996643.story
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