So a few weeks ago I asked on several fora whether it would be a good idea to do a multiday cycling tour around Florida to combine exploring this State and get in a decent amount of miles on the bike as well. As I got very mixed responses about whether it was even possible, the quality and safety of the roads and of course nice cycling routes, I thought it would be nice to do a short review here to share my experience actually doing it.
To anyone still not convinced: DO IT! It was one of the best things I did in my life, yes you have to bike on highway shoulders on significant parts of the route but I have not felt un-save anywhere. As long as you are a reasonably experienced cyclist, you will have no problems doing this.
THE ROUTE //
So I started in Miami, than did US H41 (Tamiami trail) all the way up to Tampa along the west coast, took the train there to West Palm Beach, and then cycled all the way down to Key West along the east coast over US H1 / US HA1A. I did around 1000km / 620miles in 9 days and 1 day in the train, which was a nice rest day. Route is easiest checked on my Strava rides so have included them. Also has some pictures :)
Day 1 / Miami - Naples (160km): https://www.strava.com/activities/2131080384
Day 2 / Naples - Sanibel Island - Cape Coral (120km): https://www.strava.com/activities/2132944207
Day 3 / Cape Coral - Venice (100km): https://www.strava.com/activities/2135167848
Day 4 / Venice - Sarasota (50km): https://www.strava.com/activities/2137746928
Day 5 / Sarasota - Tampa (80km): https://www.strava.com/activities/2139410012
Day 6/ Tampa - West Palm Beach: TRAIN / RESTDAY
Day 7 / West Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale (77km): https://www.strava.com/activities/2143813583
Day 8 / Fort Lauderdale - South Beach - Miami (73km): https://www.strava.com/activities/2148956429
Day 9 / Miami - Key Largo (90km): https://www.strava.com/activities/2151105484
Day 10 / Key Largo - Key West (170km): https://www.strava.com/activities/2153968195
Did this on my Giant Propel Advanced. I had a 17L saddle back, 4.5L frame bag and a 1L top-tube bag and a small (camel) bag on my back. Had two cycle clothing sets with me (short bib / short jersey), running gear (shoes, shorts and shirt), flip-flops and normal shorts and shirt. Few boxers shorts and sets of socks. Washed everything every 3 days.
Furthermore, Jabra Elite Active 65t wireless ear pods, WAHOO ELMT, Garmin Forerunner 935, Garmin Vector 3S power meter and all chargers. I used the frame bag to mainly store this and some bike parts.
2x tube, tube repair kit, small bike pump, 3x CO2 units + inflator. These went in the top-tube bag. I had zero flats on the entire route so I was very, very lucky.
LODGING & EXPERIENCE //
Mainly slept in AirBnBs, which all helped my with storing my bike nice and safely. Slept in a motel twice. Most of the days I had enough food with me for the entire day, but most days also went out for lunch somewhere along the route (I was still on holiday right). Had around 3L of water with me every day, 1L in two bottles on the frame, 2L in my camel bag. Started every day around 9-10AM, usually stopped every 30-40kms so most of the days I was at the destination before 3PM, allowing me to go straight to a nice cafe / bar and enjoy a few beers in the sun.
Would I have changed anything looking back? Nothing major no. I had nice weather on all days so I was quite lucky here too. Maybe the 170km after 9 days in the saddle was a little rough but the route along the Keys is not of this planet. So crazy beautiful.
If you would like to know anything else or have other suggestions, let me know of course!