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going to key west


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#1 luxrybound

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 02:25 PM

a few of us are going to key west at the end of march. we are leaven from greenville sc . some wanted to go straight down 95 and others have suggested hwy 1 and some want back roads all the way. I realize hwy 1a1 will be a lot of stop and go but what is Hwy 1 like? Im not sure if we would have time for back roads all the way. We are going down on Thursday after work and coming back Monday. Any input from anyone that has gone or lives in Florida would be appreciated.

#2 FJRBandit

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 02:42 PM

Actually Luxury, I had planned an IBA ride to Key West a couple of weeks ago (unfortunately for me it didn't take place). But due to my extreme averment to interstates when on the FJR, I had planned on striking through the heart of central FL on US 27, at least from Ocala/Orlando south. This puts you through the backcountry, probably a lot less traffic than I-95 and a portion of the run is through the Everglades.

The locals would likely tell you that to even consider an A1A route you would need A LOT more time than a four day turn around due to the extremely high volume of traffic along that route, especially the further south you go --- not to mention the safety aspects and constant traffic lights.

Please keep me posted on what you guys decide. It's possible I might be game to join you, if there is an opening for another FJR. :rolleyes:
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#3 rockmurf

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:16 PM

Be sure to check that those dates are not during lobster season, if so the traffic will be ridiculous to the point of do it another weekend.

#4 BentAero

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:47 PM

I've ridden to central Floridistan several times via non-freeway, and once to Key West. US-1 thru GA is actually a pretty good way to go for a solo-rider or two bikes, not so sure about a group. Don't know how many you have, but it can be tough keeping a group together going thru towns. It all depends how comfortable/experienced each rider is. If you keep moving and don't dink-around, you can make pretty good time. There's also no risk of a traffic jam from a freeway wreck.

Work your way south of G'Ville to McCormick, SC and pickup US221. Follow it across the Strom Thurmond dam into GA, eventually picking up US-1 at Wrens. Follow US-1 to Baxley, then south on GA-15 down to the non-existent town of Race Pond where you'll reconnect to US-1. By going this way you'll bypass Waycross, and it's even a little shorter.

Follow US-1 to I-295 around Jacksonville, picking up US-17 on the south side. 17 is a real nice road all the way to Deland, it even has a section in the northern part where you can hit "take me to jail instantly" speeds. ;) (a looooooooooooong straightaway with absolutely nothing out there. I was tempted, but didn't inhale)

Unless you hit Orlando in the wee hours of the morning, I'd jump over to the dreaded I-95 around it. Either way, work your way back to US-441 once around it to Belle Glade, (SE of Lake Okeechobee) heading south on US-27. 14 miles south of I-75, turn onto FL-997 which takes you to Homestead, then US-1 again. You can't get lost from there.

Not to discourage you, but from the latitude of Belle Glade/West Palm Beach, it's 230 miles to Key West. That last 100 miles from Key Largo to Key West can be a 30-35 mph crawl. Having been to KW a couple of times, I wouldn't do it again. Unless you have this burning "must ride to KW" desire, that's a long way to go on a extended weekend ride.

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#5 Larry33319

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:31 AM

A1A and US1, sometimes running together are both slow, scenic roads going thru one small town after another, red light after red light. Definitely takes a bit of time. 441 to 27 to 997 is basically an empty road thru the cane fields and a bit of the Everglades. Belle Glade and the other towns south of the lake are known for speed traps. Watch the speed when you go thru them. On the open roads such as 27, 441, or 997 (Krome Ave) you can make up a bit of time. There are a couple nice tours you can take in KW but basically it is a drinking and fishing town. Get the obligatory picture at the southern most point sign and enjoy yourself. Take Card Sound road on the way out, there is a cutoff in Key Largo, and try a different view. Lunch at Alabama Jacks just past the toll booth is a nice break as well.
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#6 luxrybound

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:21 AM

Thanks for all the input. Our plans are to ride to Jacksonvill/st augustine Thursday after work. Then go to Florida city/ other side of Miami on Friday. Then take the ride out to the keys Saturday morning.

From what I'm reading is it would be better and safer to stay off 95 hwy 1 etc. We do want to stop around Miami beach area for the spring break scenery :)

With the limited time we are trying to figure out the fastest way to the destination. Everbody says not to go because of traffic and etc but it is a destination that has to be marked off :)

#7 beachy

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:41 PM

hey David hope you guys have a great&safe trip. We will have to hook up when it gets nice out.
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#8 luxrybound

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 07:33 PM

It's good to hear from you Ladd been a while since we rode. I seen you have had some rides but just to far a way for a day ride. We will have to get together and ride.

I hoping to have a good time. You are more than welcome to join us and that is open to you too fjrbandit. Still working out details should be about 4-5 us going