Top 10 Paved Bike Trails in Florida

Thanks to the growing popularity of bicycling, Florida now offers some of the finest off-street, paved bike trails in America. For recreational cyclists who enjoy smooth, safe rides, with clean air in a natural environment, here is our list of the Top 10 Florida bike trails — listed geographically from north to south.

1. Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail-Trail

Although just outside Jacksonville, Florida, this is an enjoyable 14.5 mile rural trail and very well maintained (kudos to the Florida Department of Transportation and Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail volunteers). While there are some open areas at either end, most of the trail is tree-lined, with little or no traffic noise.

2. Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail

The trail stretches 16 miles from the City of Gainesville’s Boulware Spings Park through the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and the Lochloosa Wildlife Management Area and ends in the small town of Hawthorne. Mostly wooded and quiet, one small section includes a few winding curves and mildly challenging hills (for Florida). A paved spur leads to a scenic Paynes Prairie overlook.

3. Town of Cedar Key

This is our top choice for small town bike rides. Listed on the National Historic Site Register, Cedar Key is what Key West was 75 years ago. For the laid-back traveler, this is the perfect stop – a step back into Old Florida. Bikes are a great way to get around.

4. Withlacoochee State Trail

This is a 46-mile paved rail trail that goes through small towns, the Withlacoochee State Forest and other natural areas. It offers a variety of recreational opportunities, with parks, river and lake views. Food and drink is available in the small towns along the trail. For a taste of “old Florida,” stop at the Istachatta General Store, south of Floral City.

5. West Orange Trail

Popular for all types of biking, the West Orange trail is a world-class rail trail through urban and suburban sections of Orange County, FL. Winter Garden is a prime example of how a well-maintained rail-trail can revitalize an “old Florida” downtown. Bike rentals are available at a Trail Outpost, and at this writing, two bike shops in Winter Garden. This trail is close to Disney and other area attractions.

6. General James A. Van Fleet State Trail

Totally rural and mostly within forest, the Van Fleet trail 29 miles with one curve and no hills. The rail-trail runs on an old Seaboard Air Line Railroad right-of-way through the Green Swamp, the headwater of Florida’s aquifer. While crossing three bridges over the headwaters of the Withlacoochee River, check for alligators and other wildlife.

7. Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail

An urban rail-trail with about 100,000 users each month, this popular 38 mile bikeway links some of Pinellas County’s finest parks, scenic coastal areas, and residential neighborhoods. The Pinellas Trail is a member of the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.

8. Legacy Trail

The Legacy Trail runs from south Sarasota to Venice along an old Seaboard Air Line Railroad corridor. The bike trail passes through Oscar Scherer State Park, continuing on to Venice, where it connects near the historic Venice Train Station to Venetian Waterway Park. Popular with bikers, joggers, walkers, and rollerbladers, together these recreational trails have something for everyone – scenery, forest, waterways, parks, beaches and history.

9. Sanibel Island Bike Paths

Sanibel Island features 22 miles of paved trails, including the Rabbit Road Trail, Dixie Beach Road, Middle Gulf Cemetery Route, and Bailey Road-Dunes Circle. Cyclists also can ride Wildlife Drive, a 4.3-mile limestone road through the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Stop at the Sanibel Visitors Center and pick up a biking brochure. Trails lead to the lighthouse, beaches, restaurants, and shopping. Rental shops are popular. Sometimes there are more bicycles than cars plying the Sanibel Island.

10. Shark Valley, Everglades National Park

The American alligator is a symbol of Florida. On this ride, you literally bike with (and around) many of these awesome symbols. You’ll also see a variety of birds, turtles, and small fish. Located off the Tamiami Trail (US 41) near the Miccosukee Indian Reservation west of Miami, Shark Valley is a 14.5 mile paved loop. Bikes can be rented at the information center, or bring your own.

Picking just 10 wasn’t easy. Our criteria include paved surfaces, fresh air, unique scenery, and wildlife. Most trails listed are ideal for comfort bikes and cruisers, hybrids, recumbent bicycles, and tandems. Other than occasional road crossings, most avoid motor traffic, noise, and fumes. Bicycle repair shops and rentals have sprung up along many of Florida’s urban bike trails, along with restaurants catering to hungry bikers. Enjoy the ride.

Tips And Hints For The Purpose Of Selecting The Ideal Bike Carriers For Cars

It seems like like a straight forward issue to wish to carry your cycle on your car. If you’ve ever started the procedure of choosing a bike carrier, you already know just how many choices that you have. Here are a handful of ideas to help select the best cycle or bike carriers for cars.

Certainly, there is a great selection of bike carrier varieties and range of prices which are often used to your advantage. First you really do need to do a little analysis reviewing the selections of cycle or bike carriers for cars to make sure you obtain the one that will be best suited to your preferences.

The best bike rack needs to fit your car or vehicle properly. If not the carrier would not only be considered a safety threat but it can also cause damage to your vehicle. There is always the possibility that if the bike carrier doesn’t match your vehicle, it could make it easier for anyone to take the bike, or you’ll drop it whilst traveling which also brings about harm to your bike. So this is an important consideration when purchasing a bike carrier, it may be an extremely important judgment. Here are a couple ideas to make your choice a lot easier.

Contemplate The Needs You Have for your Cycle or Bike Carrier

1. How frequently will you you will use the bike rack
2. How many bikes will be carried
3. Can the bike carrier fit all your existing automobiles
4. Budget for your Bike Carrier
5. Security and safety of the Cycle Carrier
6. Can your bike or bikes be picked up comfortably to put up onto your carrier
7. Is the cycle a tandem bike or other unusually sized bicycle
8. Does the vehicle have a rear-mounted spare tire rack
9. How many other sporting activities would you have a carrier for to combine use together with costs

Varieties of Bicycle Carriers

Cycle or bike carriers usually fall under about three specific designs:

* Strap-on trunk rack
* Hitch-mount carrier
* Rooftop rack

There are actually advantages and disadvantages to all the different kinds and not all sorts are suitable for every automobile. Although it may be the most economical, a strap-on rack can be the least secure.Then you’ve the most costly currently being the hitch-mount carrier but the pro is that it will be the most basic to operate. Plus last of all is a roof rack carrier which can be the most versatile, but in addition probably the most tricky to utilize.

To be able to dig a little bit further there are several several other options to take into account. Specialty bike rack carriers that should suit pickup trucks or additionally that are placed inside a van or Suv. You will discover pickup truck cycle racks that are used above the bed, giving more storage area underneath. While some include custom made brackets intended to affix to rear-mounted spare tires along with the rear ladders which are typically situated on conversion vans. Regardless of the kind of auto or truck you might have, there is without doubt a bicycle rack which is the perfect fit for your personal automobile as well as way of life.

Intelligent Optics Video Camera Glasses: The Intelligent Option to a Bike Mounted or Helmet Camera

You may recall last year the BBC featured an article online and on TV regarding cyclists in London combating bad driving with the use of helmet cameras. Cyclist Ben from London famously portrayed one particular event where a van driver caused him to have an accident and then proceeded to jump out the van to confront him and verbally abuse him.

Cyclists use Helmet Cameras to capture bad driving during their daily commute.

Luckily Mr Porter was wearing a helmet camera and he captured the incident on film, allowing the police to secure a conviction against the van driver. There are around 17,000 injuries every year and 2009 saw 104 deaths of cyclists on the roads, using a camera to capture footage of bad drivers is a good way of ensuring that drivers take notice of cyclists and perhaps give them a little bit more respect and be more considerate on the roads.

Who knows you could end up in court or appearing on TV if you aren’t!

A different type of helmet camera

Helmet cameras are a bulky device which attaches to your helmet via straps, or to a chest harness or handlebar rig. Although functional it does mean additional weight and/or an attachment to your body or bike. Almost all cyclists wear glasses, so with the development of digital camera technology, Intelligent Optics have developed the iO Classic Series Video Camera Glasses.

These stylish sunglasses feature a high quality camera in the nose bridge of the sunglasses, allowing you to record footage of whatever you happen to be looking at. Ideal for creating a video record of a cycling trip, downhill run, red route at a trail centre, or for a video diary of your city commute. As the camera is incorporated in the sunglasses there is no need for an additional bolt on helmet cam or chest rig.

Introducing the iO Classic Series Camera Glasses

The Intelligent Optics Camera Glasses are very stylish eyewear camera glasses with a colour video camera hidden within the frame, which allows you to record high quality video footage onto the inbuilt personal video recorder.

The IO Classic Series video camera sunglasses with built in sound and video recording are ideal for outdoor pursuits such as skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking and climbing as well as for surveillance purposes.

These sun glasses with a camera are perfect for recording in-car footage or for watching all forms of motorsports. Whether you are watching a grand prix, driving on a race circuit, or touring through a mountain pass you can record stunning footage with Intelligent Optics glasses camera.

The in-built spy video camera recorder will record sound and high quality video for up to 5hours as well as high quality sound when required. These glasses feature Polarized and toughened lenses ensure perfect vision for extreme sports and also ideal for driving.

The iO Classic Series camera glasses are rechargeable, simply plug into the mains and recharge for a typical battery life of up to 4 hours constant use. Perfect for investigative journalists and estate agents as well as mystery shoppers looking to make a video record of what they witness.

Instead of using a bulky helmet camera, these camera glasses are ideal for cyclists who wish to record a video record of their commute in traffic in case of dangerous drivers or incidents.

Versatile: These spy glasses or video camera sunglasses are a cool design, and are ideal for recording footage of sports activity. Whether you are climbing a rock face, or sessioning a red route at a mountain bike trail centre, the Intelligent Optics eyewear camera glasses will allow you to record video and sound footage.

Easy to Use: Wear the IO Classic camera glasses as you would your normal sunglasses, and with the press of a button you turn them on and off and can record video and sound.

Upgradeable Memory: The Classic Series eyewear uses a micro SD memory card to record your stills and video footage. This can be expanded from the included 2gb (which gives up to 5 hours recording) to 16Gb

High Quality Video: A still resolution of 1280 x 960 and a video resolution of 640×480 at 30 frames per second ensures your video of active sports such as road sportive cycling.

Powerful Battery: A rechargeable Li-Polymer battery provides up to 4hours of constant use per 3hour charge. Simply plug into the mains when the battery is low to recharge.

Easy Connection: No drivers needed, simply plug in your camera glasses to your PC or Laptop and download stills and video footage to playback at home. AVI Video Format, JPG Picture Format.

Supplied Accessories: 2gb Micro SD card included for up to 5hrs Video Recording. User Manual, Protective Carrying Case, Cleansing Cloth, and USB Cable.

You can find our more about these Video Camera Glasses on our website.