Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
LOOK lover
Joined
·
616 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got back from 2 weeks in Florida – week 1 was spring break w/ the family in the St. Pete area, the 2nd week I traveled to several places in search of beetles (I am an entomologist). I brought my bike w/ me and rode almost every day – I thought I’d share this midwesterner’s thoughts on riding in the Sunshine State.

We spent spring break in the Indian Shores area. Perhaps it was the extra traffic from spring break, but road riding around there was pretty dicey – especially along the coast. I really didn’t get that much outright harrassment – only a couple of times did motorists intentionally try to intimidate me. Rather, it was just the volume that kept me on my toes most of the time. The Pinellas Trail was nice – I’m not normally a MUT-fan, but it was nice to get away from the cars, the surface was generally good, and there were few walkers to interrupt the tempo. It was especially great for the couple times I got my daughter out with me.

Found out about a group ride sponsored by the St. Pete Cycling Club that leaves the North Shore every morning at 8:30 am and showed up the last Friday I was there – great ride! Some really fast dudes made it a kind of simulated road race – I had a lot of fun mixing it up with them. I dropped my water bottle on the way back into town and had to ‘time trial’ the last few miles, so I really got my workout that day.

A local friend of mine hooked me up with a cyclist in Oldsmar who took me up to San Antonio for a group ride on Wednesday. We missed the group because of traffic but did the 50-mile route on our own anyway. Beautiful countryside, great roads – just a really awesome route. The “hills” in that area are not as steep as what I’m used to but are longer – they can really take it out of you without even realizing it.

Spent one day each around Naples, Sebring, and Gainesville. Sebring was my favorite – a 10-mile loop around Lake Jackson follows nicely surfaced residential lakefront roads with hardly any traffic or stopsigns. Naples and Gainesville were just okay, although I’m sure my unfamiliarity with the areas prevented me from locating the really good routes. I have to take Gainesville to task, however, for their ‘disappearing’ bike lanes. In one stretch they had resurfaced the road, but the bike lanes had obviously not received any attention for years as the surface crumbled around the lettering. Why not resurface the bike lanes, too, if you’re gonna do the road?

A highlight was 3 days in the Florida Keys – I pretty much rode the entire stretch of U.S. 1 between the mainland junction in Key Largo and Layton on Long Key. Bike lanes can be found throughout most this stretch, but I rarely used them – in the developed areas all the driveways, side streets, and inattentive pedestrians were just too unsafe, and in the undeveloped areas tree roots caused lots of buckling on the trails. I just found it easier to keep to the roads, which generally had good shoulders in all but a few stretches. I wouldn’t recommend this to cyclists who are not completely comfortable in traffic. For those who are, the scenic panoramas from the causeways were some of the most beautiful cycling sights I’ve ever had, and the sunshine and fresh air ‘forced’ me to ride much longer every day than what I had planned.

My thanks to those of you in Florida who hosted me - I have 400 miles worth of great memories from your state.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Sorry we missed you in Bartow

Glad to hear you had a nice visit to Florida. Should you ever come back come ride out of Bartow, FL. We are roughly 35 miles due east of Tampa. Hundreds of miles of secondary roads with little traffic. Many of the nice roller hills you spoke of, and the proximity to ride around Crooked Lake/Bok Tower area if you wanted to, which is the highest point in FL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Bugnan this is partbug we must be related I have been living in sebring for about 6 years yes next time you are this way look me up as well I know of great places to ride and the best places for bugs
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top