In a couple of weeks, we’ll be pedaling out of Savannah, Georgia, headed south for around 300 miles on our bicyles. We’ll follow the East Coast Greenway for six days, to the trail town of Titusville, Florida, near Cape Canaveral, where we will play on the seventh day.
Once again, our route will be a mix of trails away from traffic (sometimes lined with Spanish moss), quiet roads, roads with bike lanes or shoulders — and some not-great stuff, like more of U.S. 17, our nemesis last year. That’s the reality of creating a 3,000-mile route down the East Coast that goes through cities, rather than opting for the middle of nowhere to avoid anything difficult.
We’ll also get a couple of ferry rides, including one chartered just for us. Be sure to bike those 6 miles and arrive before 8 a.m. or miss the only crossing!
Eventually we’ll reach St. Augustine, then Daytona Beach and then Titusville, one of only three designated trail towns in Florida. I love this video that shows how Titusville got big into trails. It’s now a town where three trails meet — the East Coast Greenway, the St. John’s River to the Sea Loop and the Coast-to-Coast Connector that goes across Florida (and 80% complete). I’m excited to see how businesses are benefiting from bicyclists coming through town and spending money. Plus I want to go through the nearby wildlife refuge. And there will be a community bike ride on our day in Titusville.
This bike ride is another installment of the East Coast Greenway Alliance’s Week-A-Year ride from eastern Maine to Key West (2019!). I have ridden 400 miles in Maine on one organized ride, about half of the Connecticut route on my own, and then from Newark, NJ, to Savannah (from Philadelphia with the group). This blog is full of stories and photos of those adventures, and I hope you’ll follow along this time.
As many of you know, this is also a fundraising ride for the Greenway. The Alliance works with local, state and federal officials to get trail segments built and wayfinding signs installed. It doesn’t actually own any of the land or build the trail. But without its small cadre of paid staff (plus volunteers and enthusiasts like the 40 of us on this ride), this vision of linking trails and connecting cities for cyclists, walkers, runners — even sometimes people on horseback and on ATVs — would never become reality.
If you’d like to donate in support of my ride, here is the link. All the money goes to the Greenway; we riders cover our own expenses. Donations are tax-deductible if you itemize, and a contribution of $25 or more gets you a one-year membership with the East Coast Greenway.