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Old 11-11-2007, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Netherlands
4 posts, read 8,490 times
Reputation: 11
Default Help a Dutchman find a bikeable place to live in Florida ...

I currently live in the Netherlands and am planning to move to Florida next year. Here in Holland I'm used to walking and bicycling to get around to do my daily errands. Are there any towns in Florida with nice sidewalks or bicycle paths to get to shopping / downtown from the outskirts without having to use your car all the time? I've read about Gainesville being a bike-friendly town, but not sure if this means recreational biking trails or 'practical' biking trails that you can use to do your daily errands.

I'm flying to Florida in December for a reconnaissance mission and am thinking of looking around Winter Park/Lake Mary, Ocala and Gainesville. Are there any other places I should check out?

Many thanks,
Arthur
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:27 PM
 
554 posts, read 1,495,196 times
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I found this site on the internet you may want to check out. Bicycle Friendly Community - A Program of the League of American Bicyclists
The Orlando area is just not bike friendly except for recreational biking on the rails to trails network. I would never use a bike to get around Orlando period.
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Old 11-11-2007, 04:08 PM
 
9,978 posts, read 15,822,036 times
Reputation: 7635
Lakeland is a bike-friendly town. There are bike paths and cross-walks everywhere, including the big commercial roads. It's the most bike-friendly place in Florida that I've seen, and I am a native. Plenty of recreational biking, too. But if you live in the inner city core of Lakeland you can be within 1-2 miles of EVERYTHING you will ever need, and it's all very easy to bike to, and beautiful at that.

Good luck!
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:05 PM
 
1,119 posts, read 2,621,067 times
Reputation: 614
Hey Dutchman !
Im a bicycle commuter. I ride all over the Jupiter / West Palm area
and into Riviera ( ) every day. Coming here is going to be
a culture shock. People are aggressive, violent and mean when they
get in their cars but I manage without too much trouble. North and
West Plam areas have a 'Total Vehicle' policy which means they are
trying to incorporate bike and ped facilities anywhere a road needs
work. If you happen to check out the Jupiter / Juno / North Palm area
I think you will be surprised at how easy it is to live car-free. I dont think
I would even check out anywhere below North Palm if bike commuting
is a priority, though. You may private message me with any questions
or concerns !!!
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Weston, FL
2,824 posts, read 8,620,446 times
Reputation: 1806
I live west of Fort Lauderdale and I know several people who commute to their jobs using their bikes - they also use their bikes for general grocery shopping etc.

If you look at the area of Weston, Fort Lauderdale, and Plantation, you will find what you are seeking. Just remember our weather here is not always conducive for this mode of transportation.

Good luck!
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:47 PM
 
Location: MN
1,669 posts, read 3,717,443 times
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Even the most bike friendly places in Florida will not compare to most places in the Netherlands.

Veel geluk!
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:59 PM
 
1,572 posts, read 2,617,485 times
Reputation: 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by art313 View Post
I currently live in the Netherlands and am planning to move to Florida next year. Here in Holland I'm used to walking and bicycling to get around to do my daily errands. Are there any towns in Florida with nice sidewalks or bicycle paths to get to shopping / downtown from the outskirts without having to use your car all the time? I've
I hate to break your heart but Americans are hellbent on autos, just the way it is and it will come as a culture shock to you. Bicycles get no respect on the east coast for the most part, especially in the south. Even worse some people hate cyclists and will berate you for riding a bike. I used to live in the UK many years ago and it was alot more bicycle friendly. I rode my bike just about everywhere, I lived near an RAF base where my dad was a financial squadron commander (Americans leasing the base from the British). Needless to say I didn't see half as many fat people over in Europe as there are in the US.

Lakeland might be your best bet.

I live on the outskirts of Orlando (suburbs) and ride motorcycles/scooters. If you want to be on two wheels that is probably you best bet in most of the US (just wear a helmet and leathers, no matter what the law is). Orlando can be pretty hair-rasing in places on two wheels, though, let me warn you. There are some parts of town I will not ride through because of traffic and the fact that alot of people here are just **** poor drivers. Also, roads tend to be faster all-around, very few "inner city" type environments in most places (suburban arterial roads with speeds of about 45 mph are common). So you need something like a 125 - 250cc scooter or motorcycle at the minimum. Getting an MC license in Florida isn't too difficult and we have year round riding weather.

For this part of Orlando bicycling is a no-go. I can ride my bicycle up to the entrance to my neigborhood, but beyond that, it would be very dangerous to re-enter the neighborhood because it requires a left turn and passing traffic. On a scooter I can do it because it has the passing power, but not a bicycle. Winter Park isn't much better for bicycling, since many of the roads are bricked over very crudely (intentionally, one of those "NIMBY" things- people don't want any traffic) and speed bumps are not uncommon on certain roads. Baldwin Park (an area in Orlando, very much New Urbanist design) might be an option since there are bike lanes on some of the roads and traffic is "supposed" to be slower there, plus it is jut more pedestrian friendly overall. I could see riding around a moped or 50cc scooter, or a bicycle in that area. You just will be stuck in sort of an island there, because not too far away is some crazy insane traffic. You might like it there, though, as it is trying to be more pedestrian friendly and winter park overall is more ped. friendly than the rest of Orlando.

Some of those coastal towns have less traffic, too.

Last edited by Magnulus; 11-11-2007 at 07:08 PM..
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Old 11-12-2007, 07:16 AM
 
Location: fort myers, florida
172 posts, read 646,241 times
Reputation: 52
Gainesville seems pretty bike friendly.
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Plant City Florida
132 posts, read 311,839 times
Reputation: 41
I don't know about commuting on bike or using your bike as sole means of transportation, but we have some great rail to trail places around here where they turned the old rail road tracks into bike paths that lead no where. They are fun. Flatwoods is like a giant flat paved sortof county park to ride in and it is a lot of fun. Tons of deer and other wildlife...we almost got attacked by a bobcat there Saturday believe it or not, but fun to ride. Good luck!
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:15 PM
 
135 posts, read 498,972 times
Reputation: 58
just because there is a bike path doesn't mean people still won't try to run you off the road
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