Florida Bicycling, Florida Keys

Florida Bicycling From The Gateway to Key West!

South Florida Bicycling and bicycle touring offers information on bicycling Homestead, Florida City and the Florida Keys. Find information on routes, bike shops, lodging and bicycle camping!

Florida bicycling image

Beautiful!

Bicycle touring the “Keys” is a fun, healthy and low impact way to experience the islands. Good for you and good for the environment!

There are plenty of attractions and activities along the route to keep bicyclists from getting bored. Being able to stop and explore on a whim is one of the great advantages of bicycle touring!

There are a number of bike repair shops throughout the “Keys”. You can find food, lodging, campgrounds and supplies from all points north to Key West!

Note:

Stealth camping in south Florida and the Florida Keys can be difficult at best. Not impossible, just difficult! There is very little vacant land available. Most of the land is privately owned, and it’s either developed or in some stage of development.

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch

 South Florida Bicycling!

Homestead and Florida City to Key Largo

Leaving the Gateway at Florida City, you have 2 choices to Key Largo. You can take U.S. 1, (the stretch of about 18 miles) or you can take Card Sound Road (about 24 miles).

U.S. 1 is newly redesigned and has good shoulders. The downside is heavy traffic with fences that runs from Florida City to Key Largo on both sides of the road. There is also a concrete divider between the two lanes that would make crossing the road all but impossible in heavy traffic.

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Getting Ready!

Card Sound on the other hand offers less traffic, it’s very scenic, but has very small shoulders to no shoulders.

The main consensus by riders we have met seems to lean towards Card Sound as the more popular route.

It seems the majority of bicyclists prefer a more scenic route with less traffic, than a shorter route with heavy traffic. The noise pollution and exhaust fumes caused by non stop high speed traffic seems to wear on a rider’s patience rather quickly.

Key Largo to Marathon

From Key Largo to Marathon, you will find an very nice bike trail almost all the way.

Cyclists agree that this stretch is a pleasurable ride, but be sure to pay special attention to cars coming onto the highway from the side roads.

Marathon to Key West

From Marathon to Key West, the bike trail is hit and miss.

The Florida Keys Overseas Heritage State Trail continues to improve with time, but there are still a number of choke points along the route that demand a rider’s attention.

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Panniers

Most of the bridges offer a bike lane, but again, not all.

When leaving Marathon and heading to Key West, be sure to take the 7 Mile Bridge.

Many cyclists take the “old bridge” to avoid the heavy traffic, but the old bridge ends when it reaches Pidgeon Key. You then have to back-track to catch the Overseas Highway and the 7 Mile Bridge.

 

South Florida Bicycling Information

All in all, the Overseas Highway is a very popular ride and most people love the challenge, but there are a few things to remember.

  • Heat. It’s the sub tropics and the heat can beat you up. Make sure you drink plenty of water and Gatorade.
  • Wind. It’s a fact of life along the island chain. Wind at your back, good. Wind in your face, bad. One’s loss, another’s gain!
  • Traffic. The Florida Keys are popular and heavy traffic is a given. The traffic is worse during the tourist season (the winter months) and during the school year.

Note:

There is only one road from Key Largo to Key West. A bad accident can shut down traffic in both directions for hours.

 

South Florida Bicycling Links:

 

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