We aren't hardy souls. The Everglades can be very hot and humid. The biting insects are fierce during the summer months. We pick our time for rides in the Everglades with care. Here's our list of things to keep in mind if you plan to go:
- The first 8-9 miles of highway after entering the park are old and bumpy. Really bumpy. Graveler bumpy even though it is pavement. Beyond that the road is newly surfaced and excellent riding.
- There is no water between the entrance (Coe Visitor Center) and Flamingo. That's 40 miles, so bring lots of water or make arrangements for a friend to meet you along the way with some water. (Or use a hydration pack in addition to the water bottles on your bike.)
- Don't count on calling anyone on your cell phone. Most of the area does not have cell phone coverage. (Just remember to tell someone where you are going and when to expect you back.)
- There's always a light but steady amount of traffic on the road to Flamingo. In other words, you aren't leaving civilization, so it's a pretty tame adventure as adventures go.
- Bring a camera. The place is beautiful.
- Is 80 miles a bit too much? Consider driving in to spots 10 or 20 miles from Flamingo for a shorter bike ride.
- Still wanting something even tamer? Bike or drive to Royal Palm Visitor Center down a side road just a few miles inside the park. From there you can ride over to a relic of the Cold War, the historic Nike Hercules Missile Site. Not as much wildlife as the road to Flamingo, but if you are a history buff, you have the chance to see a well-preserved relic from the Cold War era.
Just remember it is the little things that make this ride enjoyable: carry lots of water, wear sunscreen, and don't forget the insect repellent, just in case!
|Thanks to Tom Burton for taking this picture of Al and me last week on a ride with him in ENP. We have Tom to thank for introducing us to bike riding in ENP.|