The road less traveled
To date, my commute to work (Tuscawilla to Lee Vista Center at 436 and the Beachline) has involved driving part way to Maitland. This shortens the route to 30 miles RT, enables me to travel familiar roads and to join up with my colleague, Tracey F, from time to time.
But I want to save gas, so I mapped out a route from home to the office.
I decided on the Econ Trail as the north-south artery to get me from Tuscawilla to south Orlando. My other options are Goldenrod or S.R. 436, but I think these are too busy to ride for a substantial time at rush hour.
I drove the course yesterday and decided the Econ isn’t a safe bike route at rush hour. For starters, the two-lane road is narrow and lacks anything resembling a shoulder. Traffic is heavy in both directions during the morning and afternoon commute, which means motorists are likely to become impatient and take crazy chances trying to pass me. And there are three significant inclines over the Greeneway and the 408 – not a big deal when you ride a 17-lb. road bike. But when you’re pushing a 50-lb. bike (thanks to the laptop and such) for 22 miles under difficult conditions, climbing an overpass once is bad enough. Climbing it 3 times is a sentence.
The route doesn’t improve much after turning off the Econ onto Curry Ford, then Chickasaw Trail and eventually south on Goldenrod. Again, heavy rush hour traffic and narrow lanes — plus lots of subdivisions feeding into the roads — make for a difficult commute.
I’ll be working on a different course over the weekend. I’m thinking the Cross Seminole Trail (at Tuscawilla Rd.) to the Cady Way Trail to Lakemont, through Baldwin Park, down Maquire to Crystal Lake and over to S.R. 436. I’ll test ride it this weekend and let you know what I come up with.