Florida’s Paved Bike Trails

I was riding the new section of the South Lake/Lake Minneola Scenic trail that starts in Clermont, FL, and ties in with the West Orange Trail recently.

51pslkuf-ll_ss500_When I got to the bike shop at the Killarney Trailhead, I asked if there were any maps available of the new part. I was told that the only thing he had was Florida’s Paved Bike Trails, a book by Jeff and Gretchen Kunerth.

Frankly, I wasn’t much interested in shelling out $16.95 (plus tax) for yet another probably out-of-date bike guide, particularly since I was going to have to hump it on the back of my bike the rest of the day.

There were lots of trails new to me

Paging through it, though, I noticed lots of trails I had never heard of before. Some of them had enough miles to make a trip worthwhile and some sounded like they’d be a lot of fun.

I decided it was worth the money and the hassle.

Now I’m ready to ride some trails

I gave it a quick read while I was in the eye doctor’s office for an annual checkup. My next challenge will be to see if I can tie together a multi-day trip that will let me hit as many trails as possible.

Overall, I’m not sorry to have bought the book, although It’s available through Amazon for less money (and you won’t have to strap it on the back of your bike).

Small nits to pick

I recognize that someone who buys a book about bike paths may not feel comfortable riding in traffic on the road, but the authors are just a little too timid for my taste.

For Example

seven-mile-bridgeIn talking about riding over a bridge in the Keys, they write, “The first bridge is narrow and hazardous, a challenge only experienced riders should attempt. The shoulder is just six feet wide, and the trucks that rush by come harrowingly close to cyclists.”

I’d kill for a six-foot shoulder most places.

I’ve ridden the stretch of highway they’re describing twice. Only once did I have a a vehicle invade my comfort and awareness zone. A bus coming up from behind was meeting an oncoming truck, so he had to stay in his lane, which still gave me a good four feet of clearance. I didn’t feel threatened, just aware of a tighter pass than usual for the day (and I couldn’t fault the driver for it).

Here’s a short ride report from our trip in 2001.

5 Replies to “Florida’s Paved Bike Trails”

  1. I’m pretty sure this is the same book I recently borrowed from the Lantana Library. Other libraries may have it too.

    But if you’re planning to do a lot of riding around the state, it WOULD be handy to have your own copy to take along with you.

  2. We bought this book and used it to develop a month-long Rving/cycling vacation in Florida in January to ride the ones that we like the best. They include: Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail, Withlacoochee State Trail, Van Fleet State Trail, West Orange Trail, Pinellas Trail and Sanibel Island Bike Paths.
    Note that we are two seniors and limit our speed to about 12 mph and distance to 25 miles.

  3. Information on where the trails are in Florida is worth a lot. Otherwise you will miss out. I will be riding my bike on the old 7 mile bridge in August 2011. I have a camcorder mount on my handlebars. The video should be excellent. I can’t wait. Great blog and info here. All the best.

  4. The old Seven Mile Bridge section in Marathon was an incredible place to bike. Do not miss this ride. The view is spectacular. Plus I met a lot of nice locals who walk it almost daily. All the best.

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