Tampa or Orlando- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 31 of 31
  1. #1
    CrgCrkRyder
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,364

    Tampa or Orlando

    Getting older, I've decided that I don't really like winter all that much. I do like where I live 3 1/2 seasons out of the year. From my local airport in Roanoke, VA, we have 2 places in Florida you can fly direct - Orlando and Tampa. Whenever my 401K lets me retire (I'm 51 now, so probably still looking at 10 years), I would love to winter over some where warm. Austin, Arizona, and Florida stick out as good spots with mountain biking. Florida has green, which I do like - and beaches. Which city has the best mountain biking close by - Tampa or Orlando? I saw the SWAMP website and Tampa looks pretty good. Have not seen much on Orlando. Any thoughts from you Florida folks?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    210
    Tampa is probably better for MTBing becuase it is real close to Alafia and about the same distance away from santos but I like the city of Orlando more than Tampa.

  3. #3
    Heroes are overrated.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    130
    My vote goes to Tampa.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    117
    I grew up on the east coast and now live in Sarasota on the west coast. It will cost you more for a house on the west coast but it's worth it. We have Football, baseball, hockey and some good riding. I am a member of SWAMP and it's a great club. IF you have any question IM me your #, I'll be glad to help.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    188
    if you want beaches and mountain biking, I'd look somewhere around jacksonville or even Pensacola. Pcola is alot less expensive to live in as well

  6. #6
    \m/{-_-}\m/
    Reputation: Sun Burn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    726
    Quote Originally Posted by rcmay
    if you want beaches and mountain biking, I'd look somewhere around jacksonville or even Pensacola. Pcola is alot less expensive to live in as well
    No good riding in Jacksonville. Graham Swamp is about an hour south and it's 2+ hours to Santos. Hanna Park sucks and Ft Clinch is nothing special.

    Between Tampa and Orlando I'd vote Tampa.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: FLAmtb'er's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    7

    Tampa!!!!

    Have you been in Orlando/Disney Traffic, it's awful!
    I would have to go with Tampa. Alifia and Loyce Harpe/Carter Rd. are both 1hr away.
    We have great clubs, Ridgeriders & Swamp.
    Tampa puts you in a great central location. Orlando, Ocala, Sarasota, & St. Pete are all about an hour drive.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Atomik Carbon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,363

    Tampa get's my vote....

    Orlando is Outlet and Mall HELL.....

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,393
    I live 5 miles from Santos and would follow schmitty's reasoning: Tampa wins out because in terms of driving time to Santos you are about the same whether you are in Tampa or Orlando and you also have Alafia in your backyard.

    Maybe you want to take a look at Brandon, not far from Tampa. I'm not an expert in Alafia, but I thought it was close to Brandon. And then you've got a straight shot up I-75 to hit Santos.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Atomik Carbon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,363

    Bullseye Gatorback.....

    I live in Lithia ( Beside Brandon).....I am 10 minutes away from both Boyette and Alafia, I 75 is about 15 minutes away when I feel the need to go to Santos.

    My wife still hasn't figured out why I was so adamant on moving to the area we live in. Glad they also have some of the best schools in Tampa.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    90
    I have lived in Florida my whole life and in Tampa the last two years. If your choosing between Austin, Orlando or Tampa there is absolutely no competition. AUSTIN is the no brainer. Its one of the best cities in America. Tampa is one of the worst. I could rant on and on but to understand the kind of idiots you will be surrounded by just checkout fark.com. The most ridiculous news comes from Tampa.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/busines...icle909858.ece

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/stor...B-CAD16BD69556

    http://www.statestats.com/cit04pop.htm

    The one great thing about Tampa is the airport, which is one of the highest rated in the world. This is convenient since you will be wanting to leave all of the time.

  12. #12
    UF Engineering Slave
    Reputation: HandyMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    370
    Tampa is WAY better. There is better riding, and a much more interesting city (without all of the tourists!)

  13. #13
    CrgCrkRyder
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,364
    Thanks for all the input.

    Couple of questions. What is the typical weather in January and February in the Tampa area?

    My favorite riding in Virginia is backcountry stuff on the Jefferson and George Washington National Forests. Are there any trails on the Ocala National Forest open to bikes?

    Thanks again

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BillT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    887
    January and February are typically our coldest months and we MAY have some days were the highs might be in the 40's or 50's, but typically 60's and 70's are more common. Prime riding season in Florida is around October through April.

  15. #15
    turtles make me hot
    Reputation: NYrr496's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    11,014
    My inlaws live in Clearwater Beach, right across the bay from Tampa. I like Tampa WAY better than Orlando.... For some reason, we're going to a timeshare in Orlando for Christmas. Whatever floats their boat.

    Ibor city is cool. Nothin' like a Cuban sandwich and a cigar.
    I like turtles

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    90
    Is Ibor City Clearwaters version of Ybor City?

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,393
    Quote Originally Posted by CraigCreekRider
    Thanks for all the input.

    Couple of questions. What is the typical weather in January and February in the Tampa area?

    My favorite riding in Virginia is backcountry stuff on the Jefferson and George Washington National Forests. Are there any trails on the Ocala National Forest open to bikes?

    Thanks again
    There is a section of singletrack in the Ocala National Forest... ...but it is probably not a place you want to go ride. I've been hiking and crossed a portion of it, but not ridden it. I know some people who have ridden it and none of them plan to go back.

    I've never been to Austin, but have heard it is a great place to live. Lot's of culture. If you have an interest in culture, and want to look at other areas in Florida, I'd consider Gainesville. It is a 30 minute drive to Santos, a 15 minute drive to San Felasco, and you've got a University town with all they have to offer. A trip to Orlando or Tampa to get to the airport is not bad. I live in Ocala, just north of Santos, and fly out of Orlando all the time. Gainesville is closer but way too expensive.

    Isn't Austin cold in the winter?

  18. #18
    turtles make me hot
    Reputation: NYrr496's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    11,014
    Quote Originally Posted by pdeco1
    Is Ibor City Clearwaters version of Ybor City?
    No... I meant Ybor in Tampa.
    I like turtles

  19. #19
    Training for vacation
    Reputation: gte819s's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    306
    I have lived in the Tampa area now for 5 years and I have lived in Florida my whole life. Not to be a snob but Orlando is one of the places I swore I would never live. It’s a mess that I would never want to live with and you are 1.5 hours away from the gulf or the ocean. Being further away from the water also makes the temperature nastier in the summer. I wouldn’t live inside the city of Tampa but there are some nice places around it and some of the most beautiful beaches in the US are near here.

    The riding:

    In Florida there are more miles given to flat riding than to great riding. All LBS will be mostly dedicated to road bikes or hybrids.

    For me good riding is 1-1.5 hours away however two primo parks (TOE and Razorback) just shut down. Alafia, Carter lake, Boyette are about an hour away. Santos is about 1.5 hours away. Santos is my fav, good camping and it receives A LOT of support from OMBA. Great trails with everything from flat spinning, pump tracks, advanced riding, to a free ride area.

    More sedate flat riding, Flat woods area, Croom, and Weeki Watchi preserve are also about an hour away. Weeki is something we do in the summer time as we have a few natural springs we found in the middle of the woods. It really is awesome to spin out in the woods and then find a hidden cold water spring with a rope swing.

    If you want to drive further there are a more parks scattered around everywhere from Davie and Miami up to Pensacola.

    Jan to Feb is the coldest time of the year but every year is different. Right now we are bouncing between 40’s in the morning to the 60’s. Every once in a while the center of the state freezes. Avg temps where I live (St.pete) shows a low of 55 for those months.

    You can ride all year however for me there are only 3 or so parks that are close enough and offer great riding. That means you will really be wearing out your local parks. Riding in Florida is nothing like riding in the mountains. It can vary from rocky, rooty, short, steep, tight and technical to flat and sandy. I most certainly ride less miles on my mtb because of the 2-4 hours of drive I would have to do in a day to get to a park. It becomes an all day trip. I am greatful for the riding we do have but it's going to be a big change from living in the mountains or the foot hills.

    If you are looking solely for a warm place with great riding you may want to look west. If you want the beaches, ocean, fishing, diving, warm weather and some riding then Tampa bay area (not just the city of Tampa), Sarasota, and north of Tampa are good places to look.

  20. #20
    CrgCrkRyder
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,364
    Quote Originally Posted by gte819s
    I have lived in the Tampa area now for 5 years and I have lived in Florida my whole life. Not to be a snob but Orlando is one of the places I swore I would never live. Itís a mess that I would never want to live with and you are 1.5 hours away from the gulf or the ocean. Being further away from the water also makes the temperature nastier in the summer. I wouldnít live inside the city of Tampa but there are some nice places around it and some of the most beautiful beaches in the US are near here.

    Jan to Feb is the coldest time of the year but every year is different. Right now we are bouncing between 40ís in the morning to the 60ís. Every once in a while the center of the state freezes. Avg temps where I live (St.pete) shows a low of 55 for those months.

    If you are looking solely for a warm place with great riding you may want to look west. If you want the beaches, ocean, fishing, diving, warm weather and some riding then Tampa bay area (not just the city of Tampa), Sarasota, and north of Tampa are good places to look.
    Thanks for the info. Warm place with beaches is a big plus. As far as riding, as long as I am rolling on singletrack I am happy. Most riding in my area requires extensive climbing, so a couple months of the year off from that would be OK. I also kayak quite a bit, so water is big in my life. Craig Creek is my front yard and hence my forum name. Great place in the summer, but this time of year at my house the sun comes up at 9 AM and goes down behind the hill at 12:30. Kind of depressing. It would not hurt my feelings to migrate in the winter. Recommend any beaches in the Tampa area? Might have to do a long weekend there sometime. Thanks again to all for local insight.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by CraigCreekRider
    Getting older, I've decided that I don't really like winter all that much. I do like where I live 3 1/2 seasons out of the year. From my local airport in Roanoke, VA, we have 2 places in Florida you can fly direct - Orlando and Tampa. Whenever my 401K lets me retire (I'm 51 now, so probably still looking at 10 years), I would love to winter over some where warm. Austin, Arizona, and Florida stick out as good spots with mountain biking. Florida has green, which I do like - and beaches. Which city has the best mountain biking close by - Tampa or Orlando? I saw the SWAMP website and Tampa looks pretty good. Have not seen much on Orlando. Any thoughts from you Florida folks?
    I would highly recommend Austin. I go there every year and the mountainbiking is great. They have everything from very technical(city park motocross trail)to smooth singletrack at Rockeyhill ranch. Tons of bike shops and the weather is hot.

  22. #22
    Jackalope Hunter
    Reputation: jayjudy13's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    934
    Quote Originally Posted by gte819s
    Not to be a snob but Orlando is one of the places I swore I would never live. Itís a mess that I would never want to live with and you are 1.5 hours away from the gulf or the ocean. .
    BS. the nearest beach to Orlando is Cocoa on the east coast, its 45 minutes away. That said, I would never, ever recommend anyone move to Orlando, there's too many people here already.
    "That which does not kill you makes you stronger"

  23. #23
    Training for vacation
    Reputation: gte819s's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    306
    Beaches near tampa:
    Ft desoto, my fav
    Clearwater beach is kinda touristy but lots to eat/drink/do. Watch out for all the Christian Scientists tho. Frenchies has great food, cant remember which one i like.
    honey moon island is interesting.
    Going north to Aripeaka/hernando for kayaking. If you know what to look for you'll find fresh water springs pouring out of the earth in the middle of brakish water. ~72F water temp year round and crystal clear.

  24. #24
    Training for vacation
    Reputation: gte819s's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    306
    Quote Originally Posted by jayjudy13
    BS. the nearest beach to Orlando is Cocoa on the east coast, its 45 minutes away. That said, I would never, ever recommend anyone move to Orlando, there's too many people here already.
    Ok then, my mistake. But thats still 45 min versus 5-15 that most people in large Fl cities have drive to the beach.

  25. #25
    enlightened.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,494
    I'd go with Arizona or Austin if you want year-round, ride to the trail head goodness that's going to be more technical and rocky.

    Should you insist on Florida, if you actually want to be able to ride your mountain bike without driving it, may I suggest Tallahassee? The beaches are better in the Panhandle, the road riding is great and I really enjoyed the trails. It was pretty easy to knit together a 30 mile mtb loop right from the door. Yeah, you had to do a little road riding to connect everything, but anything is better than sitting in a car.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    90
    Quote Originally Posted by gte819s
    Ok then, my mistake. But thats still 45 min versus 5-15 that most people in large Fl cities have drive to the beach.
    If you live in Tampa a nice beach is easily 30-45min away.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Atomik Carbon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,363

    You've obviously never been to

    Quote Originally Posted by pdeco1
    Tampa is one of the worst. I could rant on and on but to understand the kind of idiots you will be surrounded by just checkout fark.com. The most ridiculous news comes from Tampa.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/busines...icle909858.ece

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/stor...B-CAD16BD69556

    http://www.statestats.com/cit04pop.htm

    The one great thing about Tampa is the airport, which is one of the highest rated in the world. This is convenient since you will be wanting to leave all of the time.

    MIAMI or S. Florida for that case........

  28. #28
    Jackalope Hunter
    Reputation: jayjudy13's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    934
    Quote Originally Posted by gte819s
    Ok then, my mistake. But thats still 45 min versus 5-15 that most people in large Fl cities have drive to the beach.

    I guess you mean "coastal" cities...
    "That which does not kill you makes you stronger"

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Atomik Carbon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,363

    I ride 2-3 times a week....

    I may go to the beach 1-2 per year.....guess which is more important???

  30. #30
    tao
    tao is offline
    succinct
    Reputation: tao's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    217
    Best beach in Tampa (Sarasota) area is Siesta Key.
    plunging like stones from a slingshot on mars.

  31. #31
    CrgCrkRyder
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,364

    Mountain Bike Rentals?

    Thanks again for all the info. Girlfriend and I are trying to work up a springbreak trip in April (she works for the school system). Any Tampa area bike shops rent mountain bikes? We will primarily be beach bumming, but I would like to ride one day at Alafia State Park.

    Next year we might visit Austin.

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.