Pinellas County Vamp Rides


Vamp
v. To advance; to travel [Obs.] [1913 Webster] (foreign roads on our bikes)
v. to concoct; to invent; make up (new routes to travel on)
v. 3: act seductively (so as to coerce Pinellas County riders to ride their bikes past the county line)

In an effort to help convince Pinellas County riders to cross the county line on their bikes, here are a few possible route suggestions. If you have a suggestion for a great place to ride to by bike, please tell me so I can add it to the list. This information was put together due to a number of people expressing interest in longer group rides. These could be just a few people or larger groups. They could be day rides or multi-day rides.

Points of interest along the way or as a destination are highly desired. Give us a good reason to go somewhere to enjoy both the ride and the destination. Google maps has a habit of changing the specified routes so there may be some discrepancies between what I indicated and what you see.

Because of the problem with google maps, these routes are gradually being moving to GPX route files which require you to load them into come sort of mapping program such as the Viking GPS data editor or directly into your Garmin, etc. also.


Upcoming Rides:

Recent Rides Completed :


Multi-day Rides this year!

We are planning on doing some multi-day rides this year. I've done a number of 2 and 3-day out and back (mostly) rides the past few years starting in Pinellas County, including Ormond Beach, Melrose, Gainesville, Inverness, Dunnellon, Weeki Wachee, Mt. Dora, Titusville, Cocoa Beach, Sebring, . I've ridden to Tallahasee and back from Gainesville and to there from Pinellas County mostly along Hwy 98. I've ridden most of Hwy 90 in Florida several times (I think my favorite road) and all over central Florida on trips and brevets.

Where do you want to go?

These can be leisurely rides or fast rides. I'll do either! Pick somewhere you want to go and we'll try to ride there and back. We usually do credit card trips these days so if you want to camp, just don't expect all of us to.

Note that google maps is no longer following the routes laid out in the following urls so most are likely incorrect. I will likely provide links to gpx track files in the future so you will need something to view them with.

Lunch Rides!

Day Rides!

Multi-day Rides!

Brevets!

Brevets are a randonneuring event and a great way to accomplish distance rides and meet new riding friends. These are events where the riders follow an indicated course through a series of controls or check points at their own pace (mostly) that must be documented to indicate the proper completion of the course. Typical brevet lengths are 100k, 200k, 300, 400, 600, 1000k and 1200k.

I know of two RUSA supported Randonneuring groups that run brevets in the Central Florida area:

The Central Florida Randonneurs typically start their brevets out of Tavares, FL and always put on a great event. Tavares is just north of some of the best hills in Florida and CFR usually makes a point of including some of them in the shorter routes, at least. I usually ride the 200k up to Tavares the day before the event and ride back the day after.

The Gainesville Cycling Club has their Brevet Series each year. They have really good routes for 200k, 300k, 400k and 600k brevets. The 600k I rode went up into Georgia, back down almost to Tallahassee and back to Gainesville. I've also ridden up to Gainesville, ridden a 200k brevet the next day, then rode back the third day. Anyone interested? Anyone interested in starting a brevet series around here?

Need Info!

I've ridden from Titusville through St Cloud, Lakeland, Plant City, Tampa to Clearwater. Are there any points of interest worth riding to somewhere along that way? I've ridden from Clearwater to Gainesville and from Clearwater to Tallahassee and on through northern Florida (rode from Central Texas to the east coast, down through Clearwater and then back to Texas). Anyone interested in something up that way?

Thoughts

We spent almost two months the fall of 2014 (and again the summer of 2015 via a more northerly route) wandering by minivan with our bikes inside from Pinellas County to Portland, Oregon, down the Pacific Coast then through eastern California, Nevada, Arizona, back to Florida. We rode our bikes almost every day at least 30-40 miles on roads and trails as were fairly easy to travel on. West of the Natchez Trace heading northwest, ridable open roads were very few and far between until we reached eastern Oregon. Even in Oregon, roads were far less rideable than most places in central and northern Florida. Though the roads were typically not very amenable to cycling, the drivers tended to be far better and safer. Even in Portland, Oregon, the city streets are not great for cyclists but they ride them anyway and in huge numbers. Basically it appears to me that they have simply forced their way onto public roads and made drivers respect them through their numbers. We never once saw a single cycle peloton anywhere during the trip. Riders rode alone or in small numbers. Portland in 2015, with the huge influx of people moving to Portland and bringing their road rage behaviors with them, there were more problems riding in the area. The problem is apparently becoming a big issue for Portland riders as I read several magazine and newspaper articles published in the couple of weeks we were there regarding the conflicts, hits and deaths by drivers.

Riding back through the Florida Panhandle along Hwy 90 was simply fabulous. It's been about 6 years since I've travelled Hwy 90 and it was just as enjoyable as I remembered.

In my opinion, by far, Florida has the best backroads for travelling by bicycle anywere I've been in the USA. If we want drivers to learn how to deal with cyclists, maybe the answer is just to get out on the roads and ride them often and in numbers.


E-mail: stp-rides(at)goathill(dot)org

Sept 24, 2017