Bike Florida 2005:
"Red Hills
to the Sea"

 

FINAL PREPARATIONS

WHAT TO PACK
WHAT TO EXPECT - EMERGENCY #
RIDER HANDBOOK
ONE MORE HOST FAMILY!

GENERAL INFORMATION

HOME
RIDE INFO
RIDER LIST
MESSSAGE BOARD

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS / PICTURES

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
PICTURE GALLERY

'ADDS' FORM / EVENT FLYER

EVENT FLYER - *PLEASE READ*
PRINT ADDS ORDER FORM

VOLUNTEERS!

VOLUNTEER JOB DESCRIPTIONS
VOLUNTEER AGREEMENT FORM

HOTEL INFO / HOST FAMILIES

HOTEL LIST / RIDER SHUTTLE SERVICE
HOTEL LUGGAGE SERVICE
HOST FAMILIES - MONTICELLO

BIKE SHIPPING / VENDORS

BIKE SHIPPING SERVICE
VENDOR PAGE

GETTING TO MONTICELLO

START LOCATION MAP
AIRPORT SHUTTLE

SAFETY TIPS

SAFETY GUIDELINES
FBA - RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

BIKE FLORIDA 2005:
THE "RED HILLS TO THE SEA" TOUR
FEATURING WORM GRUNTIN' AND OYSTER SHUCKIN'

MARCH 19th THROUGH 25th
This year's Bike Florida will be a seven day bicycle camping tour of the Florida Panhandle. The ride will be a loop, beginning and ending in Monticello, Florida. The route will incorporate the rolling, red hills and canopied roads of North Florida and wide open vistas of the Gulf of Mexico.
Over-night camping stays include Monticello, Quincy, Blountstown, Apalachicola and Sopchoppy with a layover day mid-week in Apalachicola, on the Gulf of Mexico.
Daily mileage is between 50 and 75 miles, with a layover day midweek (0-45 miles) and a century (100 mile) option on one day. Total mileage for the week is between 315 and 385 miles. Complimentary rest stops are approximately every 15-20 miles.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Admission fees for state parks and national forests listed below are included with your registration fee. We will be asking for a donation for some evening activities to offset their costs. Please note that these activities and the schedule are subject to change.

DAY 1: SATURDAY, MARCH 19th
REGISTRATION & Loop Rides
[12 to 35 MILES]
Upon your arrival and registration, hop on your bicycle and enjoy the sites in and around Monticello. There will be a 12 and 35 mile ride offered. Or, partake of the Guided Walking Tours of the Historical District, cafes, shopping and the Monticello Opera House that await you downtown. Our first overnight stay will be at the Old Jefferson County High School. The Monticello Chamber of Commerce will be hosting activities for us downtown on Saturday evening, including music and a beer tent. They can be contacted at http://www.monticellojeffersonfl.com/
Letchworth Mounds State Park - This 80-acre park includes one of the tallest and most architecturally complex pre-Columbian earthen mounds in Florida. The term "pre-Columbian" refers to the period before the onset of European exploration and colonization following in the wake of Columbus' voyages. Letchworth Mounds Archaeological State Park is located in Jefferson County, approximately 6 miles west of Monticello. http://www.floridastateparks.org/letchworthmounds/

The Monticello Courthouse sits in the middle of the "town circle"

DAY 2: SUNDAY, MARCH 20th
Monticello to Quincy
[65 MILES]

This is our first travel day and we'll be riding the rolling hills of the rural, North Florida countryside. As we roll along we'll pass through Havana, a small, quaint Florida town. Check out its cafes, boutiques, art galleries, antique shops and small town charm. http://www.historichavana.com

Our destination, Quincy, boasts many Victorian homes, the Gadsden Arts Centers, Historic Courthouse Square and many antique stores. You can also do a Walking/Cycling Tour of the Historic District ( http://www.gadsdencc.com)

Gadsden Arts Center - Check out their permanent collection and traveling show. The Arts Center which is located in the heart of a 36-block historic district as designated on the National Register (http://www.gadsdenarts.com/).

On Sunday evening we'll enjoy a special Bike Florida presentation of Pump Boys and Dinettes at the historic Quincy Music Theatre. Shows will be offered at 4:00pm and 7:00pm.

For additional idea on places to stay, eat and things to do contact the Quincy Chamber of Commerce at http://www.gadsdencc.com

Red "Hills" on the way from Monticello to Quincy


DAY 3: MONDAY, MARCH 21st
Quincy to Blountstown
[50 MILES]

On Monday we'll head from Quincy to Blountstown. We'll have a rest stop at Torreya State Park on the way.

Torreya State Park: The high bluffs overlooking the Apalachicola River make Torreya State Park one of Florida's most scenic. Rising more than 150 feet above the river, the bluffs have been shaped and divided by deep ravines that have been eroded by streams throughout the centuries and the topography and plant life is similar to North Georgia or Tennessee.
http://www.floridastateparks.org/torreya/

Torreya State Park - View of the River

While at Torreya State Park, take the time to visit the Gregory House, a reconstructed plantation home dating back to the early 1800's. In 1935, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) 'took on the daunting task of dismantling the 3,000 square foot plantation home and transporting across Florida's largest river, the Apalachicola River. You must see it to appreciate this incredible accomplisment.'

Back of the Gregory House, Gift Shop on Left

After settling into your motel or campsite at the High School in Blountstown, check out the:

Panhandle Pioneer Settlement - "The Settlement was founded in July of 1989 as a way to bring together the material history of life between 1820 and the end of World War II. Its mission is to acquire, document, research and restore buildings and other tools that were used in work and daily life, simulate an agricultural community and serve the public as a living history museum. Watch the Blacksmith and sample homemade biscuits baked in a wood stove while you learn how a pioneer kitchen operates". http://www.panhandlepioneersettlement.org/pps/

We'll have free admission to the settlement and a shuttle will run hourly between the main camp site and the settlement. Or, it's only a 1.5 mile bike ride on you own. http://www.calhounco.org/pps/

Monday evening we'll return to The Frink School Gymnasium (Built with volunteer labor and donated materials in 1942) at Pioneer Village for live music by a very good local string band and refreshments from 6:30 to 9:00pm.

Legion Hall #272 - Or, those wishing to partake of a brew and Karaoke may do so at the local Legion Hall. The karaoke will be hosted by Bubba, from 6:30 to 10:00pm.

Shuttles will run between the campsite, Pioneer village and the Legion Hall from 6:30 to 10:00 pm.

Frink School Gymnasium at Panhandle Pioneer Settlment


DAY 4: TUESDAY, MARCH 22nd
Blountstown to Apalachicola
[75 MILES]

We'll traverse the Apalachicola National Forest on our ride to Apalachicola. It's the largest in Florida comprising over 565,000 acres. Part of the ride will also take place on one of Florida's designated "Scenic Highways". There will be lots of time for quiet contemplation on this leg of the route as we head for the Gulf of Mexico.

Bike Florida will provide a "FREE" lunch in Sumatra, which is about ½ way between Blountstown and Apalachicola.

Ice cream social w/dinner and bingo in the evening at The Armory (our indoor camping site). The Armory is located a short walk/ride (.5 mile) from our Battery Park tent camping site.

Apalachicola

DAY 5: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23rd
Apalachicola
[0-45 MILES]

Apalachicola will be the site of our layover day. You can either hang out in town enjoying the shops, eateries and a walking/cycling tour of the historic houses or do up to a 45 mile loop ride on you bike. Combine all this with some of the finest seafood in the country and you've got a great day!

Those choosing to ride will be going out to St. George Island State Park and back. There will be both a 24 and 40-mile option.

St. George Island State Park:
This nine mile long barrier island is one of three barrier Islands that separate Apalachicola Bay from the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy miles of undeveloped beaches, pristine shorelines, majestic dunes, bay forests, sandy coves and salt marches. http://floridastateparks.org/stgeorgeisland/default.asp

Apalachicola Historic District:
Many fine homes and buildings dating from the 1830's. A scenic walk of the town acquaints visitors with sites such as the cotton warehouse, a sponge exchange and Victorian homes nestled among the magnolias. http://www.apalachicolabay.org

Dixie Theater: Built in 1912 if became the entertainment center of the county. Recently renovated, the theater is once again hosting live theater.

Beer and Oyster Roast - Our evening entertainment will consist of a beer and oyster roast at the Old Armory. We'll also have a raw oyster eating contest and live music. The Armory (our indoor camping site) is located a short walk/ride (.5 mile) from our camp site.

Blue Heron at St. George Island State Park


DAY 6: THURSDAY, MARCH 24th
Apalachicola to Sopchoppy
[55 MILES]

We'll have a wonderful day of riding along the beautiful gulf coast today as almost 40 of the 50 miles will hug the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico.

Eastpoint: the first town we'll pass through will be East Point, a small fishing community, known for its oysters. Tongers (the traditional name for oysterman) still harvest the oysters in the way they have for over a century. Working from small wooden boats (20-25 foot long) in shallow water, they use tongs that look like two rakes attached (in a scissor like fashion) to scoop the oysters to the surface and dump them into the boat. On shore, the seafood houses sort the oysters and package them for sale. The bay is carefully monitored to ensure the health and productivity of the oyster beds.

Carrabelle: Carrabelle is another small fishing community where we'll have a rest stop on the beach. http://www.carrabellechamber.org

FSU Marine Science Center, we'll have the final rest stop of the day here and those interested in touring the lab will have a chance to visit areas of the lab and research center. http://www.marinelab.fsu.edu/

We'll have an optional stop at Ochlocknee State Park .

Ochlockonee State Park - The Ochlocknee River offers perfect examples of the scenic natural characteristics found along north Florida's Gulf coast. It offers a diverse habitat Pine flat woods and oak thickets with lots of wildflowers for wildlife (deer, bobcats, gray foxes and extensive bird life including red-cockaded woodpeckers). http://www.floridastateparks.org/ochlockoneeriver

Sopchoppy- is our last overnight location and the home of the world Famous "Worm Grunting Festival.

Worm Grunting:
The festival takes place in April of each year.
http://www.wakullacounty.org/worm_festival.htm You'll be able to watch a video of last year's festival and meet the 2004 "Worm Grunting King", try your hand at grunting and view film footage of Charles Kuralt covering worm grunting and Sopchoppy in the 1970's. http://www.riprense.com/Kuralt.htm. If that isn't enough information on worm grunting, check out: http://www.sptimes.com/2002/04/14/State/Gruntin__and_gatherin.shtml.

Zydeco music and dancing - In the evening we'll dance under the stars as we listen to some great music provided by Zydeco Zoo, a zydeco/blues band featuring "Fiery, accordion-driven dance music" www.zydecozoo.com

Worm Grunter at the Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin' Festival

DAY 7: FRIDAY, MARCH 25th
Sopchoppy to Monticello
[55 MILES]

Our last day takes us from Sopochoppy back to Monticello. Our first official rest stop will be at the Wakulla Station Trail Head of the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail, which runs for Tallahassee to the port town of St. Mark, a distance of 16 miles.
http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/regions/panhandleeast/trails/tallahassee_stmarks.htm

You will have the option to stop at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park on your way to Monticello.

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park - One of the world's largest and deepest fresh water springs highlights the almost 6,000-acre Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. The bowl of the spring covers approximately three acres. Fish and fossilized mastodon bones can be seen in the spring depths. The water temperature remains a relatively constant 70 degrees year-round. A record peak flow from the spring on April 11, 1973 was measured at 14,325 gallons per second - equal to 1.2 billion gallons per day! Visit the historic Ball Mansion which was built by Railroad magnate ED Ball in 1899 as a winter hunting facility and a place for his family and friends to congregate. Now known as the Wakulla Springs Lodge, it is operated by FSU as a restaurant, hotel and conference center. http://www.floridastateparks.org/wakullasprings/

Wakulla Springs

Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park:
We'll also have a stop at Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park. During the final weeks of the Civil War, the Battle of Natural Bridge preserved Tallahassee as the only Confederate capitol east of the Mississippi River never to fall into Union hands. Considered quite an accomplishment by historians, the five-day battle concluded when a motley militia of old men and young boys defeated seasoned Union troops. http://www.floridastateparks.org/naturalbridge/

And another optional stop at Wacissa Springs-

Wacissa Springs - Consist of at least 12 known springs scattered along the upper 1.5 mi of the Wacissa River. Land to the east and west of the river is flat and swampy and surface elevations are little more than 3 ft above river level. The area immediately adjoining the river and springs is densely forested with cypress, oak, some pine, and generally moderate undergrowth.
http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/springs_of_florida/wacissa.html


Monticello:
Congratulations. Shower up and join us for a lunch on Bike Florida!!


Please note that these activities and the schedule are subject to change.