Routing Across Central FL - CycleBlaze

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Routing Across Central FL

John Pescatore

My wife and I will be driving down to Venice FL over the winter to visit friends and will be bringing bikes. I'm planning on biking from Venice to Jacksonville and then taking Amtrak back to Washington DC while my wife stays in FL. Does anyone in the area have any thoughts on route choices from the Mascotte/Groveland area to Mt. Dora area?

The Adventure Cycling Association has a route from just east of Venice that I could follow to Mt. Dora. But I'd like to stay west of that and ride the Van Fleet Trail from Polk City north up towards Mabel. Doing that, from the Mascotte/Groveland area, Google Maps bike takes Rt. 19 NE to Rt. 441, a total of about 67 miles.

Strava has a "Use Popularity" routing option that favors routing over roads lots of Strava users are riding. That avoids Rt. 19 until Lake Harris, by taking smaller roads heading north then east, adding 11 miles. Turn that feature off, looks more like Google's route.

Looking at street view on Google Maps, seems like Rt. 19 has a shoulder most of the way but as the diagonal route heading up towards Orlando has more traffic.  Any recommendations from any who have cycled that area? I've read the journals of the folks who went through FL this year, most seemed either further west or further east.

I'll be more in transportation mode than scenery mode, but don't want to save miles by ending up on roads that everyone has been avoiding!

Thanks, John P.

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2 months ago