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I will be doing some R&R for a month in February, basing out of Anna Maria Island in the Tampa Bay area.

I'm planning to drag my V-Strom with me, and could use some suggestions on roads to ride for day trips when I can't stand walking the beach and drinking beer any longer.

I used to live in the Melbourne/Beaches area, and know the east central part of the state pretty good, but I have no idea about what is available in the non-4-lane way of roads on the west side of the state. I'd like to get away from the traffic and just kick back without being bored to death. (I know: the elevation varies something like 50 feet and the only tight curves are on the on/off ramps-- but there must be something of interest out there.)

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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The best riding in that part of the state is up around Perry and throughout the panhandle. From Perry to Carrabelle is real nice. Also enjoy riding through the small towns of the Ocala national forest. You can check out the springs which are nice.
 

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There are some great roads around Ocala.
 

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I can show you some.

zzzzip, I would be pleased to show you a few local roads.
I live in Sarasota, near I-75 Exit 210.
That's almost an hour east of Anna Maria Island.

Here's a small example of a pleasant road:
ask Google Maps about Duette Road FL.

There are some interesting routes to explore to the south,
and any road from your starting point to Placida FL would be fun.

Placida is an interesting village, about the size of a Wal-Mart,
but something interesting occasionally happens there.
At its dullest, it still has a restaurant and a couple of tourist traps.

From there, consider wandering through Charlotte County to Desoto County and CR769,
also known as King's Highway, up to Arcadia, which is quite an old town.

From Arcadia, wend your way westward to Sarasota County CR780,
then SR780, and you are back in Sarasota. As I said, I would be pleased
to show you this route, or something shorter or longer, depending on
how far you wish to ride.

I still have to gather a squad of zombies to invade Okeechobee County,
but I have been very busy recently and also a tad indolent. Well, we
can talk about that too. (See zombie thread in FL section.)

Keith
 

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Here is a map of the recently run Florida Coast2Coast Ride. The first section that runs north from Seffner to above the Green Swamp was particularly interesting and could suit your purposes. The whole thing was great and got good revues.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the suggestions.

Keith, I will try to make use of your offer, and will get in touch when I come south.
 

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Here is a map of the recently run Florida Coast2Coast Ride. The first section that runs north from Seffner to above the Green Swamp was particularly interesting and could suit your purposes. The whole thing was great and got good revues.
I knew if we waited long enough this guy would post the route that I couldn't find.

I did most of this. As someone who grew up in FL, and now lives in NC, I was delighted by is picturesque beauty and occasional challenge.
 

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The first half of Coast to Coast is especially good.

The Clermont area is exceptional

Florida Freewheelers

This bicycle club has maps for the best hills, low traffic etc.

I really enjoy the trip up to Crystal River on the backroads and go out to Ozello Trail. Maybe we can organize a weekend ride while you're here.

I used to enjoy the beach areas around St Pete, Clearwater, Dunedin and Tarpon Springs but I've had a couple really close calls over there and would not suggest that area anymore. Long Boat Key is fine but the same is true with Sarasota proper. People do not pay attention

Rod
Riverview, FL
 

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...of avoiding out of control Harleys careening across the roadway.
It didn't get quite horizontal. Did you know he had an automatic transmission on his 'Glide? It was especially frustrating to be behind him coming out of turns, because apparently the system doesn't know from downshifting. He stalled it out a couple of times.

Admittedly, it was not at my preferred pace, but I can sh!t myself any day of the week back home here in the mountains. I was appreciating the bucolia of Central Florida.

By the way, I'm headed down to Tampa again, tomorrow. However, I don't have the luxury of the time needed to incorporate a V-Strom into the equation. If USAirways is following the same sanitation procedures as last week, I will get to fly in an airplane smelling of urnine and feces. Hurray for me!
 

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I understand the "horizontal" reference.

It didn't get quite horizontal. ...

I'm headed down to Tampa again, tomorrow. However, I don't have the luxury of the time needed to incorporate a V-Strom into the equation. ...
Maybe, maybe not. If you are renting a car, and wish to park it chez moi for a few hours, you may ride my Wee-Strom, Colorado, which has been careened only once, in Skullbone Tennessee. I am near exit 210 of I-75. A clever fella like you can find my phone number easily enough.

As RodK knows, I do not make this offer to everyone.

Keith
 

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Maybe, maybe not. If you are renting a car, and wish to park it chez moi for a few hours, you may ride my Wee-Strom, Colorado, which has been careened only once, in Skullbone Tennessee. I am near exit 210 of I-75. A clever fella like you can find my phone number easily enough.

As RodK knows, I do not make this offer to everyone.

Keith
Keith,

Thanks, If this is anything like my most recent visit, my day will go like this:

7:00 AM arrive at office

9:00 PM leave office

If some time should free up I'll consult the proper authorities.
 

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Keith,

Thanks, If this is anything like my most recent visit, my day will go like this:

7:00 AM arrive at office

9:00 PM leave office

If some time should free up I'll consult the proper authorities.
So ... I can expect you about 10:00 PM then? :yesnod:
It's a tad damp, but I am sure we can have a fine ride.
I have lubed the chain, and the light is on.

If you have better things to do, I can understand,
and I'll look forward to seeing you another time.

Keith
 

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So ... I can expect you about 10:00 PM then? :yesnod:
It's a tad damp, but I am sure we can have a fine ride.
I have lubed the chain, and the light is on.

If you have better things to do, I can understand,
and I'll look forward to seeing you another time.

Keith
Keith, If you've got a spare helmet, maybe we can do something on Sunday?
The weather is lovely this morning.

Norm
 

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It's a date.

OK, Norm. I have two spare helmets. Neither is new, but each is sturdy
and fastens securely. I am confident that one will suit you well enough.

I'll be on the 125, but as you have seen, I can move along swiftly enough on it.

I will send you my phone number and address privately,
to spare you the minor chore of deducing them.

I look forward to seeing you when you arrive on Sunday.
I do not have a North Carolina flag, but I'll fly my Bicentennial flag,
and that will be an unmistakable clue when you get close enough.

Keith

P.S. a couple of days later ...

Norm's work kept him too busy to ride with me.
Maybe next time, either here or in NC.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, I made it down here, and have no plans after the 11th, except for the following weekend.

If there should be anyone riding locally who would like some company for a day trip, I would be glad to hear about it.

Thanks.
 

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Then let's ride on the twelfth!

I think Sunday Feb 12 would be a fine day to explore SW Florida.

What sort of distance do you wish to ride, zzzzip?
And what hour do you wish to meet?

We sometimes meet at 5:30 AM, but saner folk meet at
more reasonable hours such as 7 or 8 or 9 AM.

We have often met at the Hess station just east of I-75 on SR 70.
Its address is 8604 E. State Road 70, Bradenton FL 34202.
SR 70 is also known as 53rd Avenue. Cortez Road, a major EW route, is 44th Ave.
(I reckon you know all that already.)

There are many restaurants in the area, so I arrive bearing my breakfast,
or else walk to the Burger King next door and buy a Croissandwich.

I look forward to meeting you, and I hope we can show you a fine time
and some twisty roads. Hills, I fear, are not found near here.

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Sounds good to me. I'm good for the day, or shorter if desired. You pick the time and place, and I will be there, unless it is really raining. Water doesn't bother me, but these people scare me-- and I'm fairly fearless. More traffic than I recall in the last couple of years I've stayed. I'll PM with my phone number later.
Thanks.
 

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Wingin' It.

OK, I can put together a ride that is mostly on tertiary roads and visits
some places about which I know a thing or three ... but not five.

Let's meet at the Hess station at 8:00 AM on Sunday Feb 12,
and plan to ride to Pine Level, Lily, Arcadia, Port Charlotte (grazing this town),
Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, EL Jobean, Placida, Cape Haze, Englewood,
Manasota Beach, Venice, Casey Key, Siesta Key, St. Armands Key,
City Island, Longboat Key, and up to the northern tip of Anna Maria Island.

This old fella will need some stops to discharge and consume liquids,
and we will find a medium-price place for lunch, probably in Punta Gorda.

En route, we will pass, and can stop at: antique stores, farms, churches,
citrus groves, mines, chain stores, fisheries, museums, Chambers of Commerce,
beaches, second-hand stores, bars, and other sites of interest.

Google tells me this is 180 miles and takes over 5 hours.
I reckon it will take longer, and we will be tired at the end of the ride.
Maybe even thirsty.

Keith
 
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