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Key West(10 posts)

Key WestJennifer
Dec 19, 2001 10:24 AM
Posted this also to another forum...looking to ride 20-40 miles per day in Key West while on vacation. Husband is a SCUBA diver. If I get out on roads early 7am-ish, will I be OK? Heard the biking can be sketchy on that Route A1A or am I getting this wrong (from non-athletes)...

Any input on biking in Key West much appreciated...or vacation alternatives for SCUBA guy and Biker girl.
Demand a vacation in Tuscany next yearpmf1
Dec 19, 2001 10:31 AM
because it sounds like your husband won the coin toss this year.
re: Key West is pretty smalldzrider
Dec 19, 2001 10:33 AM
I found the main road that ran through the Keys to be fun and pretty. I don't remember huge traffic although I've commuted in the city so I'm not the best one to ask. I'd suggest riding towards the mainland, turning around and riding back.
re: Key WestBernie
Dec 19, 2001 10:57 AM
It will be nice to have a bike down in Key West. But as someone else has said, it's not that large. Route 1 can be a dangerous road too. I believe Key Large has a path next to route 1. What you need down in the Keys is a sea Kayak.
be careful...BeachBum
Dec 19, 2001 11:26 AM
I read recently that Florida has had the highest number of fatal car/bike accidents in the nation for quite a while. Not saying don't ride, but if you're going to be on A1A, be more careful than usual.
re: Key West (more than you wanted to know)Js Haiku Shop
Dec 19, 2001 11:38 AM
bikes/riders you'll find in key west proper may be more colorful than you expect. they are a means of transport and also of self-expression, and can be seen ten-to-a-block in the heart of "town", fastened (at least half-heartedly) to street signs and lamp posts.

from what i remember, rt1 to key west is a two-lane highway, very lightly policed and traveled at high velocity by vacationers and locals. though it's pretty flat and the scenery is nice, i'm not sure how much time i'd like to spend on a bike on rt1.

on the other hand, and funny you should post this, i was thinking yesterday about what an interesting trip it would be to ride from, say, ft. lauderdale to key west (187 miles), or key largo to key west (about 100 miles).

just checked with my wife (by phone, while typing this...) and she remembers rt1 as heavily vehicle-traveled, all very scenic 2-lane, most with shoulder, but some with either no shoulder (bridges) or sand for a shoulder.

my honest advice: rent a cruiser when you get to key west, ride it to margaritaville, park it out front, drink frozen mango margaritas for the rest of the day, then ride to your hotel (or wherever you're staying). of course, this hinges on just how much jimmy buffet you can stand in one day.

i've been there 2 or 3 times now. see the southernmost point, hemmingway's house, have a margarita, go to "crabby dick's", "sloppy joe's", hit the shops, "hard rock" if you're into that, and definately catch the sunset at the bars along the south beach.

last time we rented mopeds and terrorized the other tourists.
there's also drag shows and good strip clubs (nm)Ron jeremy
Dec 19, 2001 12:41 PM
Halloween night on Duval Street....BrianU
Dec 20, 2001 4:37 PM
its like the Grand canyon...everyone should experience once in their life. Crrraaazzzy.
re: Key WestNYCyclist
Dec 19, 2001 1:31 PM
Jennifer,

I originally hail from South Florida, and can tell you from LOTS of personal experience that riding down in the greater Key West area can be quite dangerous. Absolutely beautiful, but dangerous! A1A is a two-lane highway with LOTS of traffic this time of year and NO shoulder. There is a bike path off to the side in places, but it tends to be unmaintained at best and usually has quite a bit of glass on it... frequent flats are a real problem.

Yes the locals tend to ride around a lot on their beaters, but not many people will venture out on the road for a 20 - 40 mile ride. It's flat-out dangerous. Keep in mind that people do the trip from Ft Lauderdale to Key West, but seem to always lament on the dangers afterward.

I'm heading home in Jan (love being a teacher!), plan on being in the Keys for a week, and am not even going to bother bringing my bike with me... and I tend to be pretty fearless on the road!

A great alternative to the Keys for a scuba/bike vaca would be the Palm Beach area. I worked as a dive guide on a local dive boat for many years, and can say that the PB area has some of the finest diving in the continental US. AND the roads up there are a lot safer then downstate!

Of course, this is just one guy's opinion, so take it for what it's worth. Drop me an email if you want to discuss things in more detail. Hope that you have a great time!
got a mountain bike?jw25
Dec 20, 2001 7:00 AM
Oddlt enough, I'll be heading down to the same area next Monday (my dad has a place on Cudjoe Key, about 20 miles from Key West).
I've been there a few times before, and always brought my mountain bike, with a semi-slick in the back. Rte. 1 is almost always busy, even at 7a.m. Actually, I was more cautious in the mornings, because of drowsy vacationers speeding to the airport, or home from bars.
As others have said, there's a variable bike path, or a shoulder, but there's lots of junk on it (broken glass, sheet metal, bolts, sand, and once a big bottle of brake fluid I hit and lost skin over - paceline gone bad).
However, once you get off Rte. 1, the backroads are pretty quiet, and with a little exploration, there's decent dirt trails to explore.