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So. Florida bike scene

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So. Florida bike scene

Old 06-02-17, 03:35 PM
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jordanair45
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So. Florida bike scene

I'm moving to so florida from bay area . What's the road bike scene like ? Good trails ? Good routes? I'm going to miss CA dearly I love climbing
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Old 06-02-17, 03:48 PM
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Climbing? What's that?

I used to live in the greater Orlando area ... most dangerous cycling city in America at the time. (Now it is Tampa/St. Pete.) So yeah ... superb urban riding.

North Florida has some nice routes ... there is a member here who can describe them in detail.

I am sure the Panhandle has some great roads ... I have driven there, never ridden. Figure basic South Georgia scrub pine. Central FL has some nice groveland, with the occasional three-percent 1/4 mile roller.

But climbing? Yeah ... buy a ladder.

Where in FL are you planning to get stuck and sticky?
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Old 06-02-17, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Climbing? What's that?

I used to live in the greater Orlando area ... most dangerous cycling city in America at the time. (Now it is Tampa/St. Pete.) So yeah ... superb urban riding.

North Florida has some nice routes ... there is a member here who can describe them in detail.

I am sure the Panhandle has some great roads ... I have driven there, never ridden. Figure basic South Georgia scrub pine. Central FL has some nice groveland, with the occasional three-percent 1/4 mile roller.

But climbing? Yeah ... buy a ladder.

Where in FL are you planning to get stuck and sticky?
Lol nice.

Is cycling​ really that dangerous in florida ?

I'll be heading to ft. Lauderdale
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Old 06-02-17, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jordanair45 View Post
Is cycling​ really that dangerous in florida ?
Yes. Had a friend get in a really bad accident in Melbourne. Did some research and it's not pretty.
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Old 06-02-17, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by nuclear_biker View Post
Yes. Had a friend get in a really bad accident in Melbourne. Did some research and it's not pretty.
Wow..maybe I'll have to forget the road biking in Florida and take up something else

Sorry to hear about your friend.
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Old 06-02-17, 05:59 PM
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Markham Park, which is about 10 miles due west of Ft Lauderdale, has some of the most well-regarded Mountain Bike trails in the state. The levy Greenway system is decent with many miles of trails out in the Everglades and along canals in town.

Road biking (and driving for that matter) is pretty scary here at times. I saw somewhere recently the worst cities in the USA for Bike and Pedestrian accidents (maybe fatalities) and 4 of the top 5 are in Florida (not in order - Miami/Ft Laud, Tampa/St Pete, Orlando, Jacksonville). Basically the largest 4 metro areas in the state. Drivers down here are really bad at paying attention and being aware of their surroundings - its worse here than anywhere I've lived or ridden.

On the other hand, there are still lots of clubs and many group rides each and every day of the week in Broward county both east and west so I would say the "scene" is very active. There are some great group rides up and down the beach (A1A) and some go all the way up to Palm Beach and back - 50-80 miles.

I ride a lot on the Levys out west and enjoy it. I've recently got back into road biking and am discovering quite a few Paved Greenways as well as less busy roads around where I live - NW Broward. The "Master Plan" created by the Broward Metro Planning Org includes something like 350 miles of Bike specific pathways and quite a bit of it is already implemented. They are definitely spending some $ on these paths and greenways.

So don't "give up" on Road Biking yet, there are lots of places to ride. However, there are no hills at all - I think the highest natural elevation in Broward is like 12 feet or something like that. The most challenging obstacle we have (other than distracted drivers) is wind and there is plenty of that at times.

I've taken the bikes down to Everglades National Park a few times as well. There are both great on-road and off-road rides down there (Shark Valley, Florida City to Flamingo, etc.) and Big Cypress Wildlife Area is great too.

Last edited by dbf909; 06-02-17 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 06-02-17, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jordanair45 View Post
I'm moving to so florida from bay area . What's the road bike scene like ? Good trails ? Good routes? I'm going to miss CA dearly I love climbing
all the scenes are similar: flat, sandy, copious amounts of palmetto.

might want to sell your trainer and get one of these...

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 06-02-17 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 06-02-17, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jordanair45 View Post
Wow..maybe I'll have to forget the road biking in Florida and take up something else

Sorry to hear about your friend.
Definitely don't give up! But I want you to be safe and go in knowing what you're facing.

Originally Posted by dbf909 View Post
So don't "give up" on Road Biking yet, there are lots of places to ride. However, there are no hills at all - I think the highest natural elevation in Broward is like 12 feet or something like that. The most challenging obstacle we have (other than distracted drivers) is wind and there is plenty of that at times.
This, basically.
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Old 06-02-17, 07:08 PM
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LOL yes I'll take up paddle boating instead

Well. With the prospect of high winds, I guess I'll have an excuse to go full aero now aero bikes do look cool
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Old 06-02-17, 07:38 PM
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gravelcyclist.com is based out of Gainsville. Lots of low traffic gravel rides.

http://www.gravelcyclist.com/


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 06-02-17 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 06-02-17, 08:06 PM
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I've been working my way up to a ride down in the keys. You can basically go from Florida City to Key West on a paved trail most of the way - about 130mi. Some incredible scenery...

If you are interested in travelling to ride there are lots of opportunities in other parts of the state. The OP said they are moving to Ft Lauderdale. Much like CA, a lot of the places people are suggesting in this thread are pretty far from South FL.

For example, driving time from Ft Lauderdale: Miami is about 45 minutes, Orlando is 3.5 hrs, Tampa about 4 hrs, Gainsville about 5 hrs, Daytona Beach about 4 hrs, Key Largo about 1.5 hrs, Key West about 4.5 hrs, Tallahassee probably 7.5 hrs...
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Old 06-02-17, 09:37 PM
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I know there are cycling clubs in the Homestead area .... not too far from Ft. Lauderdale ...

I know there is a lot of riding in South Florida, in fact, because I used to always check online and wish I could get there.

While I wouldn't ride in the cities for fun I did it for 15 years to commute and survived. Outside the cities it is just like anywhere else. The further from an urban center, the less traffic to dodge.

The only thing you will miss will be hills .... you will learn to call highway overpasses "hills." "Long climbs" will be a mile averaging three percent. You might not like the humidity, but i found that the solution there is to drink a lot and pass out. ... no, I mean drink a lot of water and don't stop. Once you stop you will pour sweat, but while you ride it is fine.

You want to know about "climbing " in Florida ... peopkle come from all over the state to blimb a hill 245 feet tall.

"Sugarloaf Mountain is the fifth highest named point in the state of Florida. At 312 feet (95 meters) above sea level it is also the highest point on the geographic Florida Peninsula. The mountain is in Lake County, near the town of Clermont. Comparatively, Florida's highest point, Britton Hill, rises to 345 feet (105 meters) above sea level in the Florida Panhandle. However, Sugarloaf Mountain is the most prominent point in the entire state.

"Sugarloaf Mountain, located along the western shore of Lake Apopka in Lake County, Florida, is the northernmost named upland associated with the Lake Wales Ridge, a series of sand hills running south to Highlands County. The mountain, really a ridge with rolling dome-like peaks, rises abruptly from the surrounding flat terrain. Its prominence is thought to be 245 feet (74 meters), with its highest peak having a local prominence of approximately 200 feet (61 meters) relative to the surrounding ridge. Despite not being the highest point in Florida (which is Britton Hill near the Alabama border, the lowest high point of any U.S. state), Sugarloaf Mountain's summit is the most prominent peak in the state, and in a national ranking, is more prominent than the most prominent hills in both Louisiana and Delaware. "

People, or drive all Saturday to ride it Sunday. drive all night to ride this on Saturday. It is a four-or five-hour drive from Fort Lauderdale. I guess you could spend all day doing hill-repeats.

sugarloaf mountain - Climbbybike.com

Average grade: 6.7 %
Length: 1 km
Altitude start: 27 m
Altitude top: 94 m
Ascent: 67 m
Maximum: 16 %


https://localraces.com/fort-lauderdale-fl/clubs

https://www.sunny.org/ways-to-play/sports/cycling/

Fort Lauderdale Bike Trails - Maps of Bike Routes in Fort Lauderdale, FL

https://localraces.com/fort-lauderdale-fl/trails

Fort Lauderdale Bicycle Accident Attorney & Cyclist Local Guide

I don't know about local clubs but i'd be surprised, given the size of the metro region, if there wasn't a variety of group rides.
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Old 06-02-17, 09:59 PM
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Sweet info thank you
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Old 06-03-17, 06:00 AM
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I live in Miami, I ride in Ft Lauderdale on Saturdays (Ride north on Saturdays, South Sundays, Key Biscayne during the week). There are plenty of groups in South Florida. One thing I have noticed compared to other cities, is we ride fast. A part of that is because land is flat, our only climbing is on bridges (which we hammer up it, since they are short). Broward county has way more bike lanes than Miami Dade county. Also, we tend to ride earlier compared to other cities because we have heavy traffic (i leave my house at 5:30am) so make sure you have lights. There are levees if you ride gravel and various mountain bike trails. Bay area cycling is awesome, love riding through wineries in Napa/Sonoma.
Anyway, there are plenty of large groups here, Don Pan (hammer group out of Miami, can average 30 mph for most of the ride) easily gets 100 plus riders. Mike's ride (I think that is what its called) rides up a1a at 25+ mph. Lots of good rides, and not all are super fast of course. But, we don't have big shoulders, not enough bike lanes, and terrible drivers. Also, there are a couple evening rides in Broward county, there is the Dump Ride and the Big Wheel ride.
Welcome to S. FLA.
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Old 06-03-17, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by CarlosP View Post
I live in Miami, I ride in Ft Lauderdale on Saturdays (Ride north on Saturdays, South Sundays, Key Biscayne during the week). There are plenty of groups in South Florida. One thing I have noticed compared to other cities, is we ride fast. A part of that is because land is flat, our only climbing is on bridges (which we hammer up it, since they are short). Broward county has way more bike lanes than Miami Dade county. Also, we tend to ride earlier compared to other cities because we have heavy traffic (i leave my house at 5:30am) so make sure you have lights. There are levees if you ride gravel and various mountain bike trails. Bay area cycling is awesome, love riding through wineries in Napa/Sonoma.
Anyway, there are plenty of large groups here, Don Pan (hammer group out of Miami, can average 30 mph for most of the ride) easily gets 100 plus riders. Mike's ride (I think that is what its called) rides up a1a at 25+ mph. Lots of good rides, and not all are super fast of course. But, we don't have big shoulders, not enough bike lanes, and terrible drivers. Also, there are a couple evening rides in Broward county, there is the Dump Ride and the Big Wheel ride.
Welcome to S. FLA.
This. Grew up in Miami. Don Pan was my first group ride experience and it was terrifying for a beginner. They sprinted for the line just past Crandon in both traffic lanes and most people moved out without even looking behind, cars had to slam on brakes. It was scary.

Hopefully cooler heads prevail these days.
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Old 06-03-17, 06:13 AM
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Don Pan is pretty much the same, essentially Key Biscayne turned into a big Crit. Definitely not the safest or friendliest ride. The group often sticks to one lane but definitely segments (on the Rickenbacker and approaching the turnaround on Crandon) where two car lanes get taken over (causing cars to get pissed of course). It is definitely an experience, I am not a regular but will do it every so often.

Also check out Miamibikescne dot com (it won't let me post links yet since I am new), they list most the group rides in Miami and Broward.
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Old 06-03-17, 08:32 AM
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I ride road all down and up A1A. You can easily complete centuries safely with beautiful views.

As far as trail riding there are multiple supported trails all throughout So. Florida. Markham/Virginia Key/Oleta, etc.

There are may groups that ride together as well as organize weekly/monthly rides.
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Old 06-03-17, 02:08 PM
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Check out Zmotion.org They organize South Florida "camps" that arrange various group rides almost every day of the week. Also Bocatour.us & the Boca Boca Raton Bicycle Club.
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Old 06-05-17, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jordanair45 View Post
I'm moving to so florida from bay area . What's the road bike scene like ? Good trails ? Good routes? I'm going to miss CA dearly I love climbing

Where in the Bay Area are you? I spent 7 years at Moffett Field back in the 80s and 90s. I live in the Deerfield Beach area (south of Boca Raton). A1A through Broward and Palm Beach counties is great, sketchy in Dade county. It really depends on where you'll be living (Dade, Broward, Palm Beach counties). Check out Facebook pages for zMotion and Everglades Bicycle Club. I mainly ride with CSP Express out of Coral Springs. EBC has a great ride in October at Homestead Speedway where you start with a lap around the NASCAR track. I'm glad to provide more info, if you want to email me at ksiner@comcast.net. You're going to love it here, no climbing but gorgeous weather to ride year round.
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Old 06-06-17, 05:56 AM
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I also live in Deerfield just south of Boca. Most of my riding is solo, up and down A1A (pretty safe in this area because you have bike lanes and cars go by you at 30-35mph). I will sometimes ride in Key Biscayne which now has great bike lanes but faster traffic. I used to ride in Homestead and the upper keys a lot but it's now too far for me...will definitely do the Escape to the Keys ride again this December and hopefully the Horrible 100 as well.
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Old 06-06-17, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jordanair45 View Post
Lol nice.

Is cycling​ really that dangerous in florida ?

I'll be heading to ft. Lauderdale

The issue is that Florida is full of blue hairs and tourists. Rarely are either of them concerned about you or your bike.


Riding in Florida is really good though. Might consider cruising over to the regional forums.....
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Old 06-06-17, 06:26 AM
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I've lived in the St. Pete/Tampa area practically my whole life. What basically happened here, as the area grew, little 2 lane roads became 4 lanes, then 8 lanes, then super mega intersections. Trying to cross them during rush hour is like fording the Ganges river during monsoon season. Essentially, roads were made to facilitate cars moving around as quickly as possible. The good news is within the last 5 years or so some of the streets are starting to be redesigned for traffic calming. Bike lanes or sharrows have been added when a street gets redone. Still a long way to go however.
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Old 06-06-17, 07:22 AM
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I lived in S. Jacksonville for many years and never really much of an issue WRT interaction with traffic (but that was 15-20 years ago. That area has exploded in population. The good thing is that in most of the state the roads have ample shoulders for riding. And, as others have indicated...the only climbing you'll get is when you ride on a bridge over some body of water. OTOH...especially near the ocean...there is usually a considerable wind to ride against.

Dan
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Old 06-06-17, 10:24 AM
  #24  
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One good thing in Florida is DOT has to put in a bike lane every time they build a new road or widen an existing one, so you are starting to get a fair amount of bike lanes.

In my experience your option in South Florida are pretty limited to 1) riding along A1A, which is beautiful along the Ocean, but it eventually gets old.
2) playing in traffic, or 3) heading west of I-95 by car, and finding lower trafficked roads (which tend to be further and further west as things grow)

I'm sure people living in South FL can give you more options.

The upside of So Fl is you can ride 365 days a year.

Central Florida around Claremont and Ocala really is very nice. The Horse farm 100 is a beautiful ride. The Horrible Hundred shows that you can get a surprising amount of vertical in Florida (5,000 plus feet) if you climb, every 150 rise in Central Florida.

No way is it big climbing, but the repeated rollers can definitely give you a workout.

If you want actual climbing, closest options are North Georgia and North Carolina.
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Old 06-06-17, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I guess you could spend all day doing hill-repeats.

sugarloaf mountain - Climbbybike.com

Average grade: 6.7 %
Length: 1 km
Altitude start: 27 m
Altitude top: 94 m
Ascent: 67 m
Maximum: 16 %
The Sugarloaf road race used to do a circuit including Sugarloaf with 5-15 times up Sugarloaf depending on your Category.

10 times over Sugarloaf at race pace in the big ring is a workout.

Just riding around Claremont, you get "hill repeats" in the form of repeated short steep 100 foot or so climbs. Obviously nothing sustained, but attack all the rollers and you definitely get a work out.
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