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  1. #1
    Senior Member geezerwheels's Avatar
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    touring the keys

    Greetings--

    This April, I'm planning to take a leisurely ride from Key Largo (or maybe somewhere a little closer to Miami) to Key West and back again. maybe six days all told in the saddle.

    one question is, what are the weather conditions I'm likely to encounter, like steady headwinds, dangerous crosswinds on causeways, thunder and lightning, hail, locusts, etc...is it typically warm enough to ignore rain gear and just let yourself get soaked if it rains...

    another question--is there somewhere between Miami and Largo where one could rent a decent randonneuer, or is it better to cope with packing and flying a bike (and stowing the travel case?)

    Thanks in advance--

    Geez'

  2. #2
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    That may be a very good time to do it with the avg high 82 and avg low 72 as shown at http://www.weather.com/outlook/trave...nthly/USFL0244
    Are you planning to do it fully loaded or credit card or in between?

  3. #3
    Senior Member geezerwheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak08820 View Post
    That may be a very good time to do it with the avg high 82 and avg low 72 as shown at http://www.weather.com/outlook/trave...nthly/USFL0244
    Are you planning to do it fully loaded or credit card or in between?
    Ha! that's a clever way to pose the question. A toilet kit, clean socks and drawers, and heavy reliance on local hospitality..."living off the land," so to speak.

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    The weather will be warm but changeable. April is still possible to have 40 degree days, even in the keys.
    I wouldn't leave the rain gear home. Most likely you'll encounter no more than short duration T Storms, but all day soakers are still a possibilty. It's the wet season.

    The only real negative with your time table will be the crowds. April is Spring break time. Though the serious college crowds like to hang further north there will be plenty of overflow down to the Keys. Add in elementry school kids on break, the peak RV season, and the Keys can get kinda crazy in April. Not a deal killer for me, but just so you know. Don't expect to roll up and get a room at the inn without a reservation.
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

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    Certainly, ride there and back if you want to. I'm planning a trip where I leave in a few weeks (2/17) and tour that area. I think I found an opportunity to go to key west but not turn around and go where I just went. I'm doing a loop from fort lauderdale, thru Everglades National Park to Marco Island, then take the ferry from Marco Island to Key West and ride back from there. Just thought I'd mention in case you don't know about the ferry. http://www.seakeywestexpress.com/

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    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    I am riding from Key Largo to Key West and back leaving this Sunday. We will be credit card touring staying at motels. If you have any specific questions about anything please feel free to message me in about a week.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TampaRaleigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom cotter View Post
    April is still possible to have 40 degree days, even in the keys.
    I'm not sure which "Keys" you're talking about... 40 degrees is rare even in January. The average low for April is 70 degrees. April is prime weather for cycling... post-"chilly season" and pre-"rainy season". Look up my buddy Mike Eden at the Edenhouse for a great place to stay in Key West.

    And here is a great story about that ride.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    My guess is you've already been warned about the crazy drunk drivers on Rt. 1 all the way down the Keys? I've been talked out of this ride many times by people who advise that it's just too dangerous. Let me/us know how your ride goes, as I'd love to be talked back into it!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

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    Quote Originally Posted by TampaRaleigh View Post
    I'm not sure which "Keys" you're talking about... 40 degrees is rare even in January. The average low for April is 70 degrees. April is prime weather for cycling... post-"chilly season" and pre-"rainy season". Look up my buddy Mike Eden at the Edenhouse for a great place to stay in Key West.

    And here is a great story about that ride.
    I'm talking about the Keys where I had a winter home for years. I didn't say forties were likely, just possible. better to be prepared than not.
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  10. #10
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampaRaleigh View Post
    I'm not sure which "Keys" you're talking about... 40 degrees is rare even in January. The average low for April is 70 degrees. April is prime weather for cycling... post-"chilly season" and pre-"rainy season". Look up my buddy Mike Eden at the Edenhouse for a great place to stay in Key West.
    I have stayed at Eden house on a number of occasions and with the exception of one incident we always had a great stay....

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    I toured the Atlantic Coast route in 2007 from Boston to Key West. The keys weren't bad, but certainly not the best area we rode during that tour. Wild/stealth camping and doing it on the cheap is going to be very difficult (you mentioned something about "living off the land"), but there are a ton of hotels, motels, and a few campgrounds along the keys. It won't be cheap, that's for sure. The weather should be pretty good, but plan on wind and maybe some rain, but it won't be cold rain.

    Enjoy your tour and post a ride report when you're done!

  12. #12
    Member el Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    First, it will never be 40 in April in the keys. Ever. please don't waste space/weight packing for weather that will not exist! If you are acclimated to the sub-tropical weather, a low in the mid 50's will feel cold, but that's as low as it's gonna get. Also, the climax of Spring Break is mid March, not April, and Key West becomes annoyingly dangerous as every scooter and car is rented out by young drunk kids. Messy, but at least there's lots of sundresses April is full on season for the area, but you won't see many spring breakers, just snowbirds and tourists.

    I would only be concerned about drunks on the road post happy hour and very late at night. I ride up the keys from Key West regularly in the morning to MM15 Baby's Coffee or Sugerloaf Key MM17 and my biggest fear are drivers texting or taking photos of the amazing scenery. It can be scary or just annoying at times. When the shoulder is minimal in the Keys, I did feel safer for most of my trip down the West Coast Seattle to Santa Cruz. That said, the Keys are a spectacular ride and I would dissuade someone from enjoying the amazing views.

    The headwinds can suck! In the lower keys, its tends to blow from the north. Rain jackets would be a good idea. sun block too! Crosswinds on bridges have never been too bad except the few times i was stuck miles out as a storm came in. That was very wet, windy and cold; but the exception, not the rule.

    A lot more of the Heritage Trail has now been paved making escaping the bad shoulders easier with either better shoulders or a dedicated trail sometimes set far back from the busy Rt.1! niiice!

    Key Largo Bike Tours rents bikes for riding the 100 miles from Key Largo to Key West. Tell 'em Chill Will sent ya! They can also provide a ride back to Key Largo if needed and have some great hotel hook-ups along the way. I do not work there, But I know Mark and they are great guys and I recommend them often. I wrench and wheel build in Key West for a few shops, so msg me if you have any specific questions!

    The ferries to Fort Meyers and Marco Island can help make some great trips happen. I am hoping to ferry north next month and stay in Fort Meyers, Everglades City, Homestead and Marathon next month. Super excited to see what Rt. 41 is really like.

    Have a great trip!

  13. #13
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    I rode down to KW from Key Largo 2 days ago and making the return
    trip today. The ride down was both event free and beautiful. By combining
    the Heritage Trail and various side roads we actually spent very little
    time riding on the main highway. Bring sunscreen!

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    Quote Originally Posted by keywestchillwil View Post
    First, it will never be 40 in April in the keys. Ever. please don't waste space/weight packing for weather that will not exist! If you are acclimated to the sub-tropical weather, a low in the mid 50's will feel cold, but that's as low as it's gonna get. Also, the climax of Spring Break is mid March, not April, and Key West becomes annoyingly dangerous as every scooter and car is rented out by young drunk kids. Messy, but at least there's lots of sundresses April is full on season for the area, but you won't see many spring breakers, just snowbirds and tourists.

    Record low temp for Key West is 41 degrees. OP is cycling Keys not just Key West. Record low for Key Largo is 18 degrees. Want hear about the time I 95 was closed from Richmond Va to Daytona because of ice? Want to dispute that as well?

    My spring break comment is based on Easter being 3/31. Most K thru 12 school districts tie spring break to Easter. Some school districts will break the week before easter, some the week after. College kids will break in March and be mostly gone and it is unlikely any families with young children will be making Key West a destination. Not exactly a family kinda place. But, for the upper and middle keys families dominate the landscape. So again, something to factor in for those traveling without reservations. Go see what happens, finding a place to stay could be a dice throw.

    The Keys can be best described as two seasons, wet or dry. April is the end of dry season.
    Last edited by tom cotter; 02-06-13 at 12:22 PM.
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  15. #15
    Member el Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    yes, i respectfully would...i trusted the weather channel!
    http://www.weather.com/weather/wxcli...graph/USFL0243
    and they list 35 as the record low for key largo ever, not 18.
    they also report 51 is the record low for April, when the OP will be there, a very important detail, so temps in the 40's is indeed very unlikely. it would be extraordinary!

    i choose to mention key largo as it is the most northern key and i assumed it would have the lowest record low of the keys. Things typically get warmer the farther south you travel while in the northern hemisphere. Easter/grammer school spring break will be a big pop all in the keys, but i focused on collage spring break in key west due to posts about fear of drunks; and drunken rental scooter drivers are a serious issue and annoyance during that time period.

    anyways, It would be extraordinary to have temps in the 40's in April! yes, a record breaking low could happen, but the point i am trying to make is the OP should plan for the much, much more likely much warmer weather. i just wanted to be helpful to the OP and correct some beta i felt was incorrect. my apologies if i stepped on anyone's toes! the weather here has me all cranky!i wish it was 41 right now, this "winter" so far has consisted of a few nights in the 60's and IIRC only one dip into the 50's. too dang hot

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