Author Topic: Southern Tier Sect 6-7, experience off-route, S of Elgin AFB?  (Read 2280 times)

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Offline bikerdan

Planning a short trip on part of the Southern Tier, westbound, roughly from Tallahassee to St. Francisville.  Looking at maps and wondering if anyone has any experience deviating south of Elgin AFB and riding through Panama City, through Destin, and getting back on-route in Pensacola.

Suspecting hoards of beach traffic and general unpleasantness, and suspecting we'd be smart to stay on-route, but we have an opportunity to stay near Destin and want to make sure we wouldn't miss neat things out on the coast.

Thanks very much for any thoughts!

-Dan

Offline JMilyko

Re: Southern Tier Sect 6-7, experience off-route, S of Elgin AFB?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2011, 08:29:13 am »
Hi Dan,

You might want to see if any of the maps Florida lists on their Bicycle Touring page would be helpful:

http://www.dot.state.fl.us/safety/ped_bike/touringInfo/ped_bike_touringInfo_maps.shtm

If not, try contacting the Bicycle and Pedestrian Office for their thoughts:

Dennis Scott
State Pedestrian & Bicycle Coordinator
phone: 850-245-1527
fax: 850-245-1554

Dwight Kingsbury
Assistant Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator
phone: 8502451520
fax: 8502451554

You can get their email addresses on this page:

http://www.walkinginfo.org/assistance/contacts.cfm#FL

Good luck and have a great trip!

.Jennifer.
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer H. Milyko
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline bikerdan

Re: Southern Tier Sect 6-7, experience off-route, S of Elgin AFB?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2011, 12:34:16 pm »
So, as a follow-up to my original question, a brief report on our experience for others who may ask the same question:

We did the ride last week and had a great time.  The off-route gulf-coastal section, pretty much following US98 was partly good and partly not-so-good.  We followed approximately this route:

   http://bit.ly/jhdGiy

The first day, on US98 from near Sopchoppy FL to near Mexico Beach  (points A and B on the referenced map) was very pleasant and good not-busy roads with nice shoulders most of the way.  We took 30A out to Indian Pass (near Port St. Joe), which was not unpleasant but hardly worth the extra miles; a thick pine forest is between the road and the water.

Between Mexico Beach and Miramar (points B and C, near Destin) was marginally unpleasant as it was lots of 4-lane roads, but with good shoulders and/or bike lanes.  Panama City beach was super crowded and it was "Thunder Beach Weekend"  ... 'nuff said.  But, it was never unsafe, just kind of unpleasant on a bicycle.

From Miramar, it was much of the same until we crossed out to Santa Rosa island and got into the Gulf Shores National seashore, which was the whitest sand and bluest water I've ever seen, truly a wonderful ride through a wonderful place.

In Pensacola, we picked up the ACA route which was very nice, especially Dauphin Island, AL.  We ended in Franklinton, LA, a little short of our intended endpoint, because of rear wheel issues with one of the bikes.  In Franklinton, I highly recommend Mikes for ribs/steak and Louie's for cajun cooking.

Thanks, Jennifer for the help, and hope this helps someone.

-Dan


Offline JMilyko

Re: Southern Tier Sect 6-7, experience off-route, S of Elgin AFB?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2011, 11:52:41 am »
Bikerdan,

Thanks for following up with how it went in Florida!

.Jennifer.
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer H. Milyko
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline bikerdan

Re: Southern Tier Sect 6-7, experience off-route, S of Elgin AFB?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2011, 03:51:30 pm »
One more follow-up; I put together some video from the trip; before Pensacola, FL is the off-route (mostly US98) and after Pensacola is on-route.

This makes me want to do it again ... or do the whole thing ...

   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7McGa_00-4

-Dan

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Southern Tier Sect 6-7, experience off-route, S of Elgin AFB?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2011, 11:48:05 am »
I have taken that route more than once and it is definitely a mixed bag of tricks. Heavy traffic in Destin and environs can force you onto the worst sidewalks in Florida. It's ok in some stretches and challenging in others.