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Author Topic: Suncoast Bike Trail  (Read 2545 times)

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Offline jazzman161

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Suncoast Bike Trail
« on: August 15, 2008, 07:30:11 AM »
I was thinking about taking my road bike out to the start of the Suncoast bike trail Sunday morning. Is there generally a lot of traffic? Do I need to get there by a certain time to beat the crowds, if there is one?

Offline Dave In Odessa

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Re: Suncoast Bike Trail
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2008, 09:07:33 AM »
Oh god yes!  I live on 54 just a few miles from the Suncoast.  The parking area at 54 is getting full by 7-8am.  You can either get on at Lutz Lake Fern (about 3 miles south of 54), or you could just park in the Target parking lot. 
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Offline jazzman161

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Re: Suncoast Bike Trail
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2008, 09:19:08 AM »
Thanks for the heads up. Guess I'll try to get out there early then.

Offline FACTORe

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Re: Suncoast Bike Trail
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2008, 10:33:50 AM »
i usually try and roll out around 6:30-6:45 there - get a good ride in and make it home by noon after a 4 hour ride and beat the parking madness

Offline jazzman161

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Re: Suncoast Bike Trail
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2008, 10:43:23 AM »
Bleh. So much for sleeping in on weekends. lol. Wake up early for work and wake up early for biking.

You heading there this Sunday FACTORe?

Offline FACTORe

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Re: Suncoast Bike Trail
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2008, 10:45:57 AM »
Bleh. So much for sleeping in on weekends. lol. Wake up early for work and wake up early for biking.

You heading there this Sunday FACTORe?

no - just got a new MTB and have some races coming up - need to get dirty

Offline Darrinw2001

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Re: Suncoast Bike Trail
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2008, 12:21:29 PM »
you could always drive uip to 52 or even further up i know those parking lots dont get very full. 54 is full because most people live around there. You could always do the gandy/friendship trail instead, just do it multiple times. or try the Van Fleet trail just past lakeland  http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/regions/westcentral/trails/general_james.htm it is usually not very busy at all.

or the withlacoochee state trail http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/regions/crossflorida/trails/with_state.htm
« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 12:23:39 PM by Darrinw2001 »

Offline Jimbo

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Re: Suncoast Bike Trail
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2008, 12:34:28 PM »
I've ridden the Van Fleet Trail from the north side in Sumter County.  It's real desolate up there.  No problem with parking or seeing another cyclist for miles. 
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Offline jazzman161

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Re: Suncoast Bike Trail
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2008, 01:49:32 PM »
Thanks for the locales Darrin but those are all too far for me. I'm in South Tampa and those parks are easily an hour away. I'll look into the Gandy/Friendship trail today though. See if I can find a safe route from Bayshore to the Gandy Bridge. Last time I was on Gandy there was construction and what not.

Offline Harvey

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Re: Suncoast Bike Trail
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2008, 03:25:47 PM »
The trailbridge is only 2.5 miles long. Continue into Pinellas on Gandy and ride over to Weedon Island.

I think I posted this before: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=835430

That's how I go to the trailbridge from my house. It's probably the most "safe" option there is. South of Gandy, Pearl Ave isn't too bad. It gets twisty between MacDill & Bayshore. I usually suck it up and ride Interbay & Westshore.

You can avoid most of the construction on Gandy now. You can get to those paved trails on either side of the road. You just have to weave through construction equipment & debris.

Offline MtKillanewbieDH

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Re: Suncoast Bike Trail
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2008, 03:49:30 PM »
I rode Harvey's route from my home in South Tampa all the way to downtown St. Pete yesterday.  Everything was really nice with the exception of the ride down Gandy Blvd before and after the Trailbridge.  The ride on Weedon Island was nice and the roads in Pinellas have bike lanes and the speed limits are low.  All in all I did about 54 miles.  One of these days I will make it to Ft. Desoto.
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Offline jazzman161

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Re: Suncoast Bike Trail
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2008, 04:03:43 PM »
Thanks Harvey. I was going back through my posts and was looking over that map of yours. I'll drive part of it today probably to be sure I know where I'm going.

MK, let me know the next time you decide to road ride and if our schedules align, and you don't mind, I'd join up w. ya.

Offline MtKillanewbieDH

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Re: Suncoast Bike Trail
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2008, 10:03:10 PM »
sure thing jazzman, though you'll probably outrun me with your real roadbike
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Re: Suncoast Bike Trail
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2008, 04:45:43 PM »
A nice route from either Lutz Lake Fern or Hwy 54 is to head North about 4 miles from 54, add 2 miles from LLF. Look for the Starky park entrance on your left and follow the paved loop for a ride of about 7 miles to the trail head, at mile 6 there is a small paved path on the North side of the trail that takes you to some nice facilities. Me and the Mrs. like to do this ride around dusk and are often rewarded with numerous Deer, Bobcat and other wildlife sitings :)

Offline jazzman161

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Re: Suncoast Bike Trail
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2008, 04:50:12 PM »
Thanks for the route info. I'll check out for next weekend.

MK - The bike might look fast but the engine isn't, if you know what I mean  :D

 

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