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Florida Route

Old 11-25-21, 12:02 PM
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gene99
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Florida Route

I'm considering riding from Bradenton to Fort Meyers to Coconut Creek in January. Staying at motels.

I'm particularly interested in routes from Bradenton to Fort Meyers.

Many thanks.
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Old 11-25-21, 06:22 PM
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headwind15
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Try Google maps with the bicycle icon symbol.
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Old 11-25-21, 08:10 PM
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Here's hoping someone has made that exact journey and will share their tour log and notes. If that doesn't happen, play around with this:

https://cycle.travel
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Old 11-26-21, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Here's hoping someone has made that exact journey and will share their tour log and notes. If that doesn't happen, play around with this:

https://cycle.travel
Will do. Thanks.
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Old 12-29-21, 08:34 PM
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I plan to be in Florida in January as well. But I am staying pretty close to Amtrak stations and just doing day rides.

Back to your question: I am surprised no one suggested the ferry from Ft Myers to Key West and then ride or ride/bus the keys back to the mainland and Bradenton. There is an extensive urban rail system to get you through the worst of Miami if you go that way.
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Old 12-29-21, 08:36 PM
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I mistakenly wrote "Bradenton" above instead of "Coconut Creek" as your final destination. Hopefully this Omnicron thing doesn't undo all our plans.
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Old 12-31-21, 07:42 AM
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I split my year between Bradenton and Jupiter (east coast Palm Beach Co.) and have been in and around the state most of my life. There are no pleasant bike routes the whole distance between Bradenton and Ft. Myers. And then going further to Miami is worse with the 2-lane US-41 and heavy truck traffic as about the only option. But to start from Bradenton I take a county bus (#99) to Sarasota as there's not much between but busy roads and worse drivers. At Sarasota begins a nice RR trail to just past Venice, about 20 miles. Google map will show the way. After Venice the remaining 60 miles to Ft. Myers will have to be on US-41 and maybe some parallel streets. If I had to get to Miami from Ft. Myers I would take State road 80 east to Belle Glade (90 mile 4-lane with nominal paved shoulders). Then take a county bus ride into West Palm from where the bike-friendly Tri-Rail runs south all the way to Miami airport. There are just no pleasant or safe bike routes across Florida south of Lake Okeechobee. I drive across on State road 70 a couple dozen times a year and have only see one bike tourist, not having fun. The trails and roads get better as you get north in Florida but the drivers are still the worst in the US. If you're visiting in Bradenton for a couple days PM me for some decent local rides.
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Old 12-31-21, 09:52 AM
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"There are just no pleasant or safe bike routes across Florida south of Lake Okeechobee. ...the drivers are still the worst in the US."
I completely agree with tommymc's observations here. We wintered in Florida for many years but after a while I stopped bringing my bike because I found riding in South Florida to be so terrifying. Southwest Florida was slightly better than Southeast Florida, but only slightly. Crazy drivers, bike hostile roads and just the shear volume of traffic made biking there too scary. In fact even driving a car there is nerve racking & frightening. If I didn't have family in Florida, I would probably never go there again.

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Old 12-31-21, 12:17 PM
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This is not on the route the OP is interested in, but not too far away.

A friend and I did a S Florida trip in Feb 2017, did not enjoy the heat or the traffic on the part near Miami that was not on bike friendly roads, but otherwise we had a good time. Started in Marco Island, rode east through Big Cyprus, down into Everglades, then Florida Keys. Finished with a ferry back to Marco Island where we left the vehicle. I left my GPS on for the ferry ride so I could include that in a map.



First day:


In Everglades, one of the bigger hill climbs that day.


The longest bridge I have ever ridden across.


I do not recall which state park this was in the Keys, they had hike-in sites in a mangrove. My non-self supporting tent took some creativity to put it up, had to jam twigs between the planks in the decking to substitute for stakes.
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Old 12-31-21, 01:21 PM
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I'd recommend a Keys ride from Largo south to anyone. The state has provided good shoulder and parallel paths most of the way. The water scenery is impressive. But accommodations are a problem if you don't have a lot of money for hotels. Except the hike-in sites that Tourist in Minn pictures the regular state park campgrounds are usually reserved a year in advance. Wild camping is somewhat possible.

The situation with Florida drivers is perpetual. I grew up here and kind of accepted it is a bad way, not knowing any different. Then I rode bikes around the US and world it became apparent that bad drivers and roads weren't necessarily everywhere. Now I spend the late summers and fall in upstate New York where the scenery is great and the drivers are far more courteous than Florida. In fact I don't see any reason to come back here until snow covers the trails.
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Old 02-04-22, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
This is not on the route the OP is interested in, but not too far away.

A friend and I did a S Florida trip in Feb 2017, did not enjoy the heat or the traffic on the part near Miami that was not on bike friendly roads, but otherwise we had a good time. Started in Marco Island, rode east through Big Cyprus, down into Everglades, then Florida Keys. Finished with a ferry back to Marco Island where we left the vehicle. I left my GPS on for the ferry ride so I could include that in a map.



First day:


In Everglades, one of the bigger hill climbs that day.


The longest bridge I have ever ridden across.
This looks awesome. I was just in the Keys, I have a friend that lives in Big Pine Key. We didn't make it to Key West this time but I agree that the route looks pretty good for cycling. We live west of Orlando near Rt 27 and I-4 and on our way home I was trying to think of a way to ride from my house to Key West. I'm looking to ride my Surly a bit more and was thinking I should try to find some tours to do down here. Thanks for sharing that route!
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Old 02-05-22, 07:52 AM
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I’ve ridden the Keys twice in the past 5 years. The traffic on the bridges is a bit hairy, but otherwise it is nice. Managed to find space at the state parks each time. Call ahead and see if they can accommodate you.
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Old 02-08-22, 07:05 AM
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I am assuming biking north from the keys is better than biking south from the keys because of the prevailing winds right?
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Old 02-08-22, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
I am assuming biking north from the keys is better than biking south from the keys because of the prevailing winds right?
Not clear how you would bike south from the Keys, as they are already as south as you can get. Anyway, the prevailing wind is from the east, so the ride from Key West to the mainland is usually harder.
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Old 02-09-22, 11:11 AM
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Take a look at the map in this thread. Someone recommended a ferry between Fort Meyers and Key West. Having this in mind then the option would be:

Bike south from mainland Florida to Key West and then take the ferry to Fort Meyers

or

Take the ferry from Fort Meyers to Key West and then bike north to the mainland Florida

... and as You alluded in your response... the better route would be to Bike North to mainland Florida from Key West due to the prevailing winds.
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Not clear how you would bike south from the Keys, as they are already as south as you can get. Anyway, the prevailing wind is from the east, so the ride from Key West to the mainland is usually harder.
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Old 02-09-22, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
Take a look at the map in this thread. Someone recommended a ferry between Fort Meyers and Key West. Having this in mind then the option would be:

Bike south from mainland Florida to Key West and then take the ferry to Fort Meyers

or

Take the ferry from Fort Meyers to Key West and then bike north to the mainland Florida

... and as You alluded in your response... the better route would be to Bike North to mainland Florida from Key West due to the prevailing winds.
Actually, I said the opposite. The ride from Miami to Key West is usually easier, as the wind will be at your back more of the time.
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Old 02-09-22, 01:37 PM
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great. thank You.
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