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Author Topic: Convenient locales for MTB?  (Read 3034 times)

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Offline Spotter

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Convenient locales for MTB?
« on: December 21, 2007, 09:47:36 PM »
Hi all-

I'm moving to tampa to do residency at USF in June....a little far off, but I'm interested in finding out what you guys think about places to live in the area that are convenient to mtb trails. I've been biking for 6 years and am totally addicted...I'd hate to wind up some place an hour from the closest trail. Looking at the maps on your site, it seems Wilderness Park is actually very close to USF, with alafia and boyette 45min-1hr to the south. I wouldn't want more than a 30 minute commute to USF, and I hear the traffic from the north coming into town is pretty bad.

My husband and I have only been to tampa once, and that was a quick trip where we saw more of south tampa than the area around USF. Unfortunately, I don't know much about the area around USF. South tampa is more pricey, but seems to have a short commute up to USF (against traffic I think?), but is more pricey and farther from the mtb trails it seems. We'd be renting, so could afford a place there, but I'm not sure if there are better places to live for biking. We don't need nightlife really, just a nice neighborhood and not alot of traffic.

Any ideas? I'm going to talk to current residents to see where they live, but I'd like to hear from cyclists, too.

Thanks!

Offline Amocat00

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Re: Convenient locales for MTB?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2007, 10:41:12 PM »
We just moved here from North Carolina about 5 months ago.  I'm glad we moved where we did, since I'm getting back in to mountain biking.  Brandon would be a nice place, probably 30 min. commute to USF, 20 or so min. to Boyette, and probably 30 min. to Alafia.  You can feel free to email me for more info. if you'd like.

~Shawn
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Offline Gregg

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Re: Convenient locales for MTB?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2007, 11:34:05 PM »
You might also want to try the Wesley Chapel area. Lots of new things, houses, apartments and shopping. It is just over the county line north of Tampa it would take around 15-20 minutes to get to USF in the morning. You would be 10 minutes or so from Wilderness Trails, 35 minutes from Croom, 40 minutes from Boyette and about 50 minutes from Alafia. Plus if you road bike as well. There is a paved loop in side of the Wilderness Trails system, You would be 10 to 15 minutes from the Suncoast Parkway and 15 minutes away from San Antonio, which is a local mecca for roadies.  Also Santos, in Ocala, which is a great trail system is an hour away.

Brandon is great, but the traffic can be terrible. Stay away from Pinellas county if you are a mountain biker, there are no trails to speak of over there, but there are some great Roadie opportunities. The "New Tampa" area is also a good option, as one of the entrances to Wilderness is in New Tampa. Lots of rentals there, and that would be pretty close to USF.


Good Luck, Let us know when you guys arrive. We look forward to seeing you on the trails.


Gregg 

Offline Ken

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Re: Convenient locales for MTB?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2007, 06:52:39 AM »
I can speak for the lack of MTB trails in Pinellas!! :( But we have the beaches over here. Hope to see you soon guys! :)
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If you don't crash occassionaly, you're not riding hard enough!!

Offline Darrinw2001

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Re: Convenient locales for MTB?
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2007, 07:53:54 AM »
Welcome!

Will you be buying or renting a home? I live in North Valrico/Brandon (North of SR 60) area and it is about 20 mins from USF, Wilderness park, Alafia, Boyette, and Loyce E Harp park in Lakeland. Croom is about an hour and Sato's (Ocala) is 1 1/2 hours away. easy access to both I-4 and I-75 make everything pretty easy to get too. South Brandon/Valrico has more traffic.

Darrin

Offline Garry

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Re: Convenient locales for MTB?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2007, 07:56:09 AM »
I can speak for the lack of MTB trails in Pinellas!! :( But we have the beaches over here. Hope to see you soon guys! :)
                                              Ken

Pinellas County Parks and Recreation approached SWAMP a couple of years ago about building MTB trails in the County.  We looked at all of the parks and didn't see anything that had enough space to offer a desirable trail system.  They did want us to build trails at the Toytown landfill along 275.  There are only like 5 palm trees there! 
Wish there was a place to build them.

Offline Ken

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Re: Convenient locales for MTB?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2007, 08:08:30 AM »
Not sure Toytown would have been a good place anyway. There's enough room, but I remember what was there when we were riding motorcycles there. Lots of debris and caustic materials dumped there also. Now that they're building the power line trail, I wonder if we could build a secondary trail suited for MTB's? I'm sure it couldn't be too extreme but just technical enough to appeal to us ad if it were lond enough, as the power lines are, it could give us a considerable mileage distance for 20-50 miles. Just a thought.
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Offline Garry

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Re: Convenient locales for MTB?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2007, 08:19:19 AM »
Where is Powerline Trail?

Offline Ken

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Re: Convenient locales for MTB?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2007, 09:00:03 AM »
It's real short right now but it starts at Bellair Rd. just alittle west of US. 19 and runs North underneath the Transmission lines crossing Nursery rd., Druid Rd. and Gulf to Bay continuing down to the Brighthouse Field (Phillies field) where it connects to the Ream Wilson Trail (used to be the East-West Trail). The Ream Wilson trail starts at the Long Center On Belcher rd. at the railroad tracks and goes east to Old coachmen Rd.then south by the frisbee park south of N.E. Coachmen to the brighthouse field where the two connect and carry on east to the next frisbee park(can't remember it's name), and around and up behind the Eddie C. Moore Softball complex on Druid and McMullen Booth Rds. There's an overpass over McMullen Booth Rd.and winds through the park south of the Old Kapok Tree restaurant to Bayshore Blvd. taking you into Safety Harbor where it ends at the Safety Harbor Spa. You can take the little brickroad up to Phillpe Park from there. They are supposidly going to connect that tp the Pinellas Trail in Tarpon Springs. The only connectors missing are from Phillpe Park to McMullen Booth Rd. and up to Oldsmar. There's a bike trail on the west side of McMullen Booth Rd. starting at Oldsmar,where the name changes to East Lake Rd. and goes north to Keystone where it stops. That's where the other connector is missing to the Pinellas Trail. Going North on the Pinellas Trail you Dead end at Tarpon Ave.which becomes Keystone when you cross over US.19., if you go left you'll end up at the sponge docks (thats the route for the Suncoast club ride to New Port Richey where I ran into Shelley, fellow Swamper) or right you go under the overpass just north of Ken Marks Ford and it winds over to Keystone where it dead ends from the trail side and will connect to where the trail ends on East lake Rd. and Keystone, about a 2 mile gap. Also there's a trail spur that runs over the old train bridge past the entrance to Tarpon Springs Nature park and dead ends there. Pasco County is supposed to pick up the trail there and take it to the trail in Brooksville(can't remember that trail), and there it's supposed to connect to the Withalacoochee trail. The south end of the Powerline trail is supposed to carry south and eventually connect to the Friendship trail out to Tampa and also to the south end of the Pinellas trail to connect the whole loop. Hopefully I'm still in good enough shape to see and ride all those new trails.
If you don't crash occassionaly, you're not riding hard enough!!

Offline Spotter

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Re: Convenient locales for MTB?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2007, 04:41:33 PM »
Thanks for all the info. I'll stay out of pinellas. Looks like New Tampa west of 75 or north brandon are some good places to look. The rents there are pretty affordable too...seems you can get a townhouse or house for <$1500 a month (we'd rent). I've heard it can take 45 minutes to go 5 miles on Bruce Downs during rush hour, so wesley chapel might be a bit far out. I did that kind of driving in atlanta for a couple years and it drove me nuts!

We'll definitely be joining swamp when we get there...it's great to have folks to ride with. My freinds from atlanta (sorba and sorella folks) come down to florida in the winter for the alafia festival, sebring, and stuff like that, so I'm looking forward to seeing them again, too. I'm in Colorado now, and while the biking is great there are very few organized group rides, which surprised me.

Offline Harvey

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Re: Convenient locales for MTB?
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2007, 08:26:04 PM »
I live in south Tampa. We're 20 minutes from USF (yes, against traffic commute), 20 minutes form Wilderness Parks, 30 minutes from Boyette and 40 minutes from Alafia. It's also 45 minutes to Loyce Harpe (Carter Road - Lakeland) and 45 minutes to Croom.

You'd probably be commuting against traffic coming from Brandon (closer to trails), but your commute from Wesley Chapel woud be pretty hellish.

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Re: Convenient locales for MTB?
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2007, 08:29:06 PM »
My first off-roading as an adult was in '92 in Pinellas Park. A short loop was less than 1 mile from my house and another 1+ mile trail was about 1 mile from that. I think the second trail got wiped out by the Bryan Dairy-19 connector, but the other might still be there. It was off Belcher south of Bryan Dairy.

Offline Gregg

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Re: Convenient locales for MTB?
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2007, 09:00:15 PM »
I live in south Tampa. We're 20 minutes from USF (yes, against traffic commute), 20 minutes form Wilderness Parks, 30 minutes from Boyette and 40 minutes from Alafia. It's also 45 minutes to Loyce Harpe (Carter Road - Lakeland) and 45 minutes to Croom.

You'd probably be commuting against traffic coming from Brandon (closer to trails), but your commute from Wesley Chapel woud be pretty hellish.

It is really not that bad. Oh wait, I work out of my house. Maybe that is why I didn't really consider that. ??? ;D

Offline Ken

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Re: Convenient locales for MTB?
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2007, 05:26:59 AM »
Smart *!! ::)
If you don't crash occassionaly, you're not riding hard enough!!

Offline Jersh

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Re: Convenient locales for MTB?
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2007, 10:54:20 PM »
I'm a graduate student in the College of Medicine at USF...  My girlfriend and I rent a house in Meadow Pointe, which is off Bruce B. Downs and County Line Road in Wesley Chapel... Our house is great, it's a newer 3/2/2 1800+ sq. ft. for $1100/month w/ lawn maintenance included.  There are MANY other homes for rent here that are as nice or nicer for similar deals.  It takes me on average 35-55 minutes to get to work if I leave anytime between 6:30-9am.  If I leave before 6:30 or after 9 it's 25-30 minutes.  Traffic on Bruce B. Downs through New Tampa is a royal BEYOTCH during rush hour and pretty much a general pain in the arse most other times.  We love it here but it can be a long drive to USF if you hit rush hour or get stuck behind an accident.

I would recommend something in Tampa Palms... As long as you stay somewhere between Amberly Drive and I-75 you should be fine... There are several nice condos/townhouse/apartment complexes that should rent for around $1000-$1500 for a nice 2-3 bedroom place.  There's a place off of Amberly Drive called The Hamptons that is very nice.  Tampa Palms is still very convenient to Flatwoods/Wilderness Park and would be around an hour to Alafia or Boyette.  You would probably be hard pressed to find an affordable single family home for rent in Tampa Palms, however, as most of the homes there are much higher priced.

May I ask, which department are you doing your residency with? I work in a lab in Path...

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