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Orlando Destination Questions/ Concerns

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Orlando Destination Questions/ Concerns

Old 12-08-15, 10:37 PM
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Bassmanbob
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Orlando Destination Questions/ Concerns

I'm planning my first tour for mid January. It's going to be a three day credit card commute from my home in SE Florida to the Hilton Orlando Hotel. It's pretty much where 528 and International Drive intersect.

My plan was to ride up A1A for two days, and then ride east along 528 to International Drive. My concern is that 528 starts in Cocoa Beach, but becomes a toll highway when it gets closer to Orlando.

1. Is it legal to cycle on a toll road? I would be prepared to pay the tolls in the far right lane.
2. Am I crazy for cycling on a toll road? There is no bike lane, but there is a wide shoulder.
3. For you local folks, are there better roads for me to use to get to my destination?
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Old 12-08-15, 11:18 PM
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I'm not in Florida, but a google search of "Florida turnpike bicycle" turns up this link: http://www.flrules.org/gateway/notic...asp?ID=1332215 which suggests that bicycles are not allowed on the turnpike system.

Local folks are better prepared to give alternatives.

As far as being crazy to ride on toll road or limited expressway. A bit of a moot point if it isn't legal. However, if it were it would depend a lot on the toll road. In particular that challenging parts of these roads isn't necessarily the straight parts, but instead the frequency of on-ramp/off-ramp and what happens to the route at those points.
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Old 12-09-15, 07:01 AM
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Yeah. That about does it for me. I looked up Florida Turnpike System and 528 is considered part of that system. I'm going to have to find an alternative route, perhaps going up through the middle of the state instead of hugging the east coast.
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Old 12-09-15, 07:11 AM
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I'd take the results with a grain of salt and do some reality checking, but google directions with the bicycle option might be a place to start. Also sometimes the car directions and the "avoid highways" option works out better.
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Old 12-09-15, 07:26 AM
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Look up the cross Florida bike route. You would start at 520 and A1A and head over to the Kissimmee (Disney) area. From there you would need to sort out your own route to 528/I-Drive but there will be more options.
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Old 12-09-15, 08:43 AM
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Google's Bike map option will pick the most direct route that allows bikes, but often it's not the best way.

(See my post on another thread for more details about the Strava Route Builder.)

The new Strava Route Builder uses the Strava Heat Map data of 18 months of recorded bike rides to see which roads riders use the most. It's been great when testing routes on my local Ohio roads. It will go quite a way off the direct route to use popular roads. The routes often have quite a few turns, so exporting the route to a GPS device is probably better than trying to ride it with the cue sheet.

Here's Ft Lauderdale (A1A) to your Orlando destination. Strava map link.

It looks like there's only a few roads that head inland from the Melbourne / Cocoa Beach area. So some of those roads might be kind of annoying to ride, but are the only local route available. You can click Edit on the map and drag the route to a different road.

~~~

Here's the mid-Florida Heat Map. Red is most popular, blue somewhat less popular. Cities are more red because they have many more riders. Zoom in to see more roads with local activity. You can see that nobody rides on the toll road.

~~~

Originally Posted by Phlorida View Post
Look up the cross Florida bike route. You would start at 520 and A1A and head over to the Kissimmee (Disney) area. From there you would need to sort out your own route to 528/I-Drive but there will be more options.
Looks like Strava Route Builder has the same idea.

Last edited by rm -rf; 12-09-15 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 12-09-15, 09:26 AM
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Go pick up the Delorme Gazetteer. I've ridden from my house in Melbourne on some not so obvious routes. Also, if you stay on the main land away from A1A there are multiple better views and a wind block. You cannot ride 528 . you will have to take 520. Check out 192 to 419, or 192 to old Buick rd to tram to Nova to Storey and keep following North. Depending on the day I'd meet and ride with you in Melbourne. I'm directly on 192 by the mall. Give me a shout 3212230924 Wilson
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Old 12-09-15, 09:28 AM
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The last part going up Storey will make an epic tale. You'll end up coming in behind the hotel off Wewahootee Rd.
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Old 12-09-15, 11:07 PM
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One more thing, depending on where you are starting instead of going onto A1A at Fort Pierce take Old Dixie through Vero. Hop onto Indian river Blvd and take Old Dixie into Wabasso. From there you can take 510 East until you run out of road. Then East onto 512 through Fellsmere. North onto 507/Babcock. Only go north a few miles and turn east onto whats called Fellsmere Grade. It's a dirt road leading to a preserve. You'll turn right at the info sign. That will lead you North to Three Forks. Then you'll be in West Melbourne. There are some new roads which are not on a map yet.
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Old 12-10-15, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Google's Bike map option will pick the most direct route that allows bikes, but often it's not the best way.
That isn't true unless they have changed their algorithms. I have had them take me pretty far out of the way to hit a bike trail (not what I wanted). As far as the "best way", there isn't any such thing. One rider may want the most direct route another may be willing to go well out of their way for any number of reasons. One may be traffic tolerant another not. One may want paved roads only another may like gravel. So there isn't way of choosing will always result in the best route for everyone. Personally I usually choose a pretty direct route when possible, don't mind some traffic, don't particularly favor bike trails, and prefer good surfaces unless on a MTB back country tour.

Looking at google bike directions and their car "avoid highways" directions is a good place to start, but some checking is needed. That checking can often be done using street view.
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Old 12-10-15, 03:08 PM
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I did the Google bike suggestions and checked most of it with street view. I think I like most of that path. It takes me along a long stretch of 192. I didn't realize how rural that road was before you get to St. Cloud. Then I would pick up the Florida bike trail for a while. Eventually I'd be on the John Young to the Central Florida Parkway to International Dr.

The traffic didn't look that bad, but I will check it again-- maybe even by car. It would be an excuse to go see my daughter at UCF, just east of Orlando. Any excuse is a good excuse to see the kids.

Oh, and Wilson. I will check out your suggestions this weekend. I'll also call you as I get closer to going. Thanks all! Any further suggestions or comments are surely welcome.
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Old 12-10-15, 11:22 PM
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Just remember in St Cloud you must get off 192 and travel through the north or center of town. Yes, 192 is a very very safe road to bike. Wide shoulders and easy line of sight. Not much in the food or water fill up until you get to the high school or into St Cloud.
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Old 12-11-15, 11:17 AM
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Yes. I'll also look at going north of St. Cloud, but Google suggested going south on Crawford (just after the bike lane ends on 192 (I think it's less than a mile after it ends), and then going west on 17th St. with a couple of turns until I end up on the Florida bike trail immediately next to Neptune Rd. The only concern I have is where Neptune ends right near Osceola Medical Center. The Google streetwise pictures looked like the neighborhood was a bit rough. I wanted to double check that. Any input is appreciated.
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Old 12-12-15, 12:35 AM
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Google is wrong. There is a bike lane. There was construction too, not sure if there still is. This is why I cringe at the mention of Google earth or maps when I give recap of a ride. I'll be riding out to Kissimee in the morning. So if you see a beautiful black man riding a pink bike..... It's probably me.

Oh, and don't go south. It is a complete waste. Go north to the lake. You'll tee back to 192. There you will spot two pillars in the grass that will be the trail. Follow that. Or just take Narcco.

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Old 12-12-15, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
That isn't true unless they have changed their algorithms. I have had them take me pretty far out of the way to hit a bike trail (not what I wanted). As far as the "best way", there isn't any such thing. One rider may want the most direct route another may be willing to go well out of their way for any number of reasons. One may be traffic tolerant another not. One may want paved roads only another may like gravel. So there isn't way of choosing will always result in the best route for everyone. Personally I usually choose a pretty direct route when possible, don't mind some traffic, don't particularly favor bike trails, and prefer good surfaces unless on a MTB back country tour.

Looking at google bike directions and their car "avoid highways" directions is a good place to start, but some checking is needed. That checking can often be done using street view.
I use the tomtom app on my phone. It plots great bicycle routes. But like you say, personal preferences and priorities shape what's the "best" route. I often look at the route and don't like it because although it might be direct, it spends too much time on big busy roads. So I can tell tomtom, "show me an alternative". Then the app plots another route, etc. Although it might seem a bit unscientific, I've learned to wait for the alternative that looks "reasonably" direct but has a fair amount of little zig zags on county/residential roads and then go with that. I usually find a quiet and scenic tour.

The app also has a road/POI database offline and plots offline too - no internet needed.
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