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Riding in the Florida Keys???(10 posts)

Riding in the Florida Keys???CritLover
Dec 2, 2003 7:44 PM
I am trying to plan a vacation, no, an extended weekend for January, and was thinking about going to Key West. I've never been there before, and I need to stay on the East Coast.

I know the islands themselves are too small for any extended riding, but I was wondering about the highways connecting the islands. Can you ride on those roads? It would be awesome to ride alog the water for all those miles, but for some reason I'd be surprised if it's legal.

Anyone have any experiences they could share? Thanks!
re: Riding in the Florida Keys???african
Dec 3, 2003 5:51 AM
I lived in Key West for 2 years, the only riding I did was on a single speed bike that had parts from 12 other bikes. It was a wreck and I still had to lock it up as it would get stolen. Getting the miles in Key West is very tough, some of the athletes I know there do an 8 mile loop over and over.

As for the rest of the Keys, in Key Largo there is a bike path but it has to cross all the streets and there is everyone else on it (bladers, runners, walkers). Now as for riding on the road, forget it "you will become a fatality". I have heard that the road from Key Largo to Key West has more bike fatalities than any other stretch of road in the US. A bike does not belong on that road.

Go to Key West, get a rental bike with a yellow basket on front from the Moped Hospital (I used to work there so that is a plug) and enjoy your vacation. Key West is great you will love it, party late and forget bike riding on HWY one.
I rode out to Key West and back in 1983.dzrider
Dec 3, 2003 6:40 AM
Traffic was a nuisance, but not unbearable. There was a lot of glass on the bridges. Some of the stretches along the middle keys are very beautiful and make the trip memorable. The traffic is likely to be heaviest on the weekend and worse than it was back when I did it.
Go to Sloppy Joes or Capt. Tonys and drink beer insteadDave Hickey
Dec 3, 2003 7:35 AM
IMHO, it's way too dangerous to even think about riding on US1. There are too many snowbirds,drunks, and tourists driving on US1. If you want to do some loops around Key West maybe but US1 is too dangerous.
Another Issue....Gregory Taylor
Dec 3, 2003 8:12 AM
Do you know whether the problem that they had with bacteria/sewage in the water has been resolved? A while back they closed some of the beaches down because the water was unsafe.

I visited Key West years ago. Beautiful. Stayed at a hotel called the Marquessa -- a little place where Timothy Dalton stayed when they were filming a James Bond flick on the island.
So, how about Ft. Lauderdale?CritLover
Dec 3, 2003 9:14 AM
First off, I don't drink. So going to a little itsy bitsy island, and not riding would make me lose my mind, instead of being a good vacation. Although that eight mile loop sounds fine to me, in Brooklyn we do a 3 mile loop for three or more hours.m Is it a MUT or just streets?

Second, after riding in NYC for years, I don't ever feel nervous about riding on really busy roads, but I'm also not a death trip (no pun intended).

Maybe I should look elsewhere. I really would like to get in 3-4 hours every day. Ft. Lauderdale seems like a goood alternative, although I've never ridden there.

Thanks for the info guys.
So, how about Ft. Lauderdale? It's good, but I'm biasedIronbutt
Dec 3, 2003 12:44 PM
Fort Lauderdale is a great place for cycling. There are plenty of roads that aren't plagued with heavy traffic, and while they aren't as scenic as the rural areas of Florida will offer plenty of opportunity for you to ride every day. Even the beach roads aren't too bad, although all the tourists who are still hung over in the morning can present a real hazard. If you do decide to come to Fort Lauderdale, let us know and I'll send you some possible routes.I'm in Davie, a little suburban town west of Fort Lauderdale.
Daytona might be better.dzrider
Dec 3, 2003 12:45 PM
The roads inland from DB are pretty nice so long as you don't get too close to Orlando. I've done that recently as my mom lives there. Riding towards Ocala is really fun, lots of tiny little rollers that can get you going at a really good clip. Just beware of the sea breeze if you come home late in the afternoon.
So, how about Ft. Lauderdale?nagle
Dec 3, 2003 1:37 PM
Fort-Liquordale is it! even if you don't drink.
It's much nicer than the Keys re cycling. But you must go North on A1A to Palm Beach, right along the beach in some parts. About 45 miles up. Great century circuit. In winter, you come back downwind, unless a cold front is approaching, in which case the wind will be in the S. for a couple days. Well, right now it's blowing due E. 20/25 so you get it in the nose either way, so much for prevailing winds theories.
Lots of bikers, big group rides on w-ends.
Motorists are used to bikes (apart from the occasional dingbat), speed limit 30mph. Bike lanes (sort of) in some areas. Heavy traffic now (snow birds) until March.
The drawbridges' metallic spans (over the Intracoastal) are plain dangerous when wet with skinny tires.
Flat and straight, maybe boring for some but beautiful tropical scenery, the beach and spectacular sunrises. And of course mile after mile of $multi-million estates to chose from.

Welcome to FTL, enjoy the rides.
Don't bother schlepping your bike there!Dream plus
Dec 3, 2003 9:10 AM
I drug my bike on a two week vacation to Florida. We stayed a week in the Keys at Bahia Honda. I was not tempted to ride my bike ONCE while in the Keys! It looked to be the most unhospitable riding in all of Florida, and that's saying alot. As others have noted there's other activities to participate in.

I finally did ride near Naples, and near Sarasota, but it wasn't that nice. Roads in Florida just don't seem to be suitable for riding. I've riden in a lot of states. I rode my bicycle across the country in 1986, and have either brought my bike or rented one on most of our vacations, including Hawaii, California, Colorado, Utah, New York and Puerto Rico.

Florida was the one state where I didn't feel bad about NOT riding. Relax, leave your bike at home and enjoy it for what it is.