The Pedalshift Project 151: Preparing the Cross-Florida Bike Tour

As the US shivers through the polar vortex, let’s talk about prep for next week’s cross Florida bike tour! Details on the route, the gear, the flying, the meetup in Orlando and much more. Warm up to the first Pedalshift tour of 2019!

Hey it’s the direct download link for  The Pedalshift Project 151: Preparing the Cross-Florida Bike Tour (mp3).

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Housekeeping

  • XFL Tour: I’ll be rolling my own route across central Florida from Tampa on the gulf coast to Cocoa Beach on the east. Preview episode drops in two weeks!
  • Podcast sponsor slots are available starting in the new year… check out pedalshift.net/sponsor for more info.

Meetups & Live Shows

Five Stars followup

Andy from Orange still listens!
 
Hi Tim, thanks for the shoutout in the latest episode, I am indeed still listening. Here are som pics from a recent tour of the New South Wales mid coast in Australia. Keep up the good work. Andrew Andyfromorange
 

Great American Rail-Trail

4000 miles car free? The Great American Rail Trail is a project that would link up existing trails into a network that stretches from DC to Seattle. Super behind this… imagine riding across country on a traffic-free route??
 
 
This is such a big deal, we’re skipping a best-of this month and I’m scheduled to have an interview with Kevin Mills, the Senior VP of Policy at RTC. That will drop next week while I’m on tour!
 

The Journal: Preparing the Cross-Florida Bike Tour

Florida has the “bones” to be a superior bike touring state and I’m taking advantage of as many of them as I can.
 
Drivers on secondary roads are reportedly used to bikes. The state has a good site remarking traffic volumes and my route adjustments track either roads with bike infrastructure or low traffic roads that are long and straight where there aren’t shoulders to speak of.
 
Shout to Greg from MI (yes one of the “Michigan guys” I met on the Katy in 18) for his thoughts on things and the DOT map!
 
https://tdaappsprod.dot.state.fl.us/fto/ gives you daily traffic usage for Florida roads to help with planning.
 
Robert in Titusville asks… Why did I not choose the Coast to Coast trail? 
Simple answer is once I decided not to make this a camping trip, the best route kept me closer to larger towns in order to get better lodging options. The C2C route is excellent, but it swings well north of Tampa and routes through a lot of rural Florida before winding its way to Orlando. My best guess is if I do another winter tour in FL, this will be my route, but with camping.  Sidebar… I’m unreasonably weirded out by FL wildlife, even though I’ve camped in South FL before and there was no issue.
 
 

Tampa to Lakeland: Day 1

Lyft from airport
Cypress Point Park to Lakeland, FL
40 miles
 
Storyline: Tampa is a bit of a maze of bike lanes and sidewalks, but getting out is ok. 
 

Lakeland to Kissimmee: Day 2

52 miles
 
Storyline: excellent infrastructure of lanes and trail, then a very rural road (no shoulder) that works well until toward the very end. Transit FF is there to bypass a truly shitty stretch, but a grass walk of less than a mile gets to a sidewalk if the train timing is off.
 
Highlight: riding a portion of the Van Fleet trail (paved 29 miles – I’m riding about 6)
 
Google maps is ok but also have a more refined RWGPS for the last 6 or so miles. For GMaps use 1st option through Polk City – lanes and bike trails!
Water and food up in Polk City… not much else for 20+ miles and really til Kissimmee
In Poinciana, option to take Sunrail to Kissimmee if timing is right, otherwise walk on the grass margin for <1 mile to the sidewalk on Poinciana.
Alt options are 17/92/OBT  OR parallel old tampa hwy but both have a zero shoulder portion on fast and congested roads.
Sunrail is safest option (12:15, 1:15, 2:15 trains). Poinciana grass walk is probably preferred.
 

Kissimmee to Cocoa Beach: Day 3

60 miles
 
Storyline: Sidewalks and mediocre infrastructure lead to… middle of nooooooowhere.
 
RWGPS is best because Google gets stupid on Nova Rd. 
Fuel up and water up big time in St. Cloud (Wawa on 192 is last call) before leaving because there’s next to nothing for 32 miles after
Nova Rd is shoulder less but quiet. 20 miles of nothing
520 is busy but has a shoulder
520 bridge has sidewalks
Merritt Island has lanes and sidewalks
Causeway has lanes
 

Preliminary packlist

Jeans (town clothes)
Black pants (re-waterproof them)
Convertible pants – gives a shorts option
LS top
SS top
Merino wool sweater
Puffy vest
rain jacket
arm shades
hat
helmet
2x short socks
1x long socks
new trail shoes
underwear x3
bandanas x3
bike lights
 
Collapsible grocery bag
front luggage rack
Ortlieb
large duffel (check)
 
smaller battery
chargers
iPhone
MacBook Air?

Pedalshift Society

As always we like to close out the show with a special shoutout to the Pedalshift Society! Because of support from listeners like you, Pedalshift is a weekly bicycle touring podcast with a global community, expanding into live shows and covering new tours like my upcoming XFL trip this winter! If you like what you hear, you can support the show for 5 bucks, 2 bucks or even a buck a month. And there’s one-shot and annual options if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it all out at pedalshift.net/society.

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Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Their latest album may be their best yet. Go get it.

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Consulting

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