Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bike Touring the Florida Keys

My favorite place to ride a bike in Florida is the Florida Keys. We've toured there many times, and it just doesn't get old. This summer I'm trying to come up with a bike tour to the Keys that isn't a copy of something we've already done. Since the Florida Keys are simply a string of islands linked by bridges and one highway, planning something new is kind of a fun challenge. Here are the basics:

  • Ferries: There is one that goes from Miami to Key West and vice versa. Another goes from Fort Meyers Beach to Key West and vice versa.
  • There are several towns along the Keys that can be used as bases for loop tours.
  • The entire length of the Keys highway has either wide paved shoulders or nice bike trails.
  • You get to spend lots of time riding over bridges, including one that is 7 miles long.

The ferry is a great way to get from Key West to the mainland.

You are always near the ocean on the Keys bike trail.

This is our style of bicycle tour "camping." We have lots of picnic meals, but at inexpensive motels.

Key West isn't all tourist t-shirt shops. This is Key West, too.

One of the many, many bridges.

See the storm? We got very wet a few miles down the road...

I like the Keys in October and November, and that is when I think we'll head there next. We keep meaning to go with the Everglades Bicycle Club tour of the Keys in November, so that is among the options. But I don't tend to wander and dilly-dally on group tours, and I enjoy doing just that in the Keys. So we'll just see what makes the final cut. It's not like there are any bad tour options in the Keys...