When you think of the term “Gateway Drug” your mind goes to a dark place. Recently, I read an article on bike touring; in other words, taking a bicycle trip overnight or longer. The article explained how one night away could become a “Gateway Drug” to wanting to spend multiple nights away while riding to various locations. After our recent bike tour from DeBary, Florida to New Smyrna Beach, Florida, I get it! I am hooked!
Here is our itinerary along with what we learned (*) after our first 45-mile bike tour:
Our preparation the night before we left:
-Downloaded “East Central Regional Trail” to our GPS.
-Checked bike, helmet, shoes, headlight, taillight, saddlebag with tools and repair items.
-Packed backpack: 100 oz water bladder, food, a paper copy of route, personal sundries, clothing, emergency kit, cash, credit card, ID, and sunscreen.
*We learned that carrying 15-20 pounds in a backpack makes biking much harder. May consider panniers or bike-packs on our next adventure.
We parked our car at the DeBary SunRail Station. Trains to do not run on weekends or holidays. There is plenty of parking here and it is free.
630 S. Charles Richard Beall Blvd, DeBary, FL. Phone: (855)724-5411 Website: https://sunrail.com/station/debary/
*We learned by parking here, we had to ride our bikes across 17-92 to a grass path and then to the left on the trail.
*We learned the East Central Regional Trail is mostly remote. Make sure to have plenty of water and food.
The route goes through Osteen, then about 15 miles into the route the trail ends.
Bikers must ride on Maytown Road for 3 ½ miles. Currently, work is being done to complete the bike trail.
*We learned this is a fairly quiet road, but the road does not have a bike lane.
At Gobblers Lodge Trailhead the trail resumes. After about 5-miles the trail continues straight to Titusville, take a left along Cow Creek Road Trailhead/Maytown Spur.
About 30 miles into the ride you will go under I-95.
When the trail ends at Edgewater, take a right onto Dale Ave. Then a left on West Park Ave until it dead-ends at George R. Kennedy Memorial Park on the Indian River.
*We learned George R. Kennedy Memorial Park offers restrooms, cold water, and pavilions.
Take a left onto North Riverside Drive along the water. This is a beautiful residential area. Take a left on Andrews Street for 2 blocks. Then at the Hospital take a right on Live Oak Street.
Next, take a right on Lytle Ave AKA South Causeway AKA A1A. The Causeway is a busy road, but there is a very wide bike lane.
*We learned this bridge is the steepest part of the ride.
At 4th Ave East, take a left into the Best Western.
*We learned from the end of the bike trail in Edgewater to the Best Western is about 5 ½ miles of mostly quiet streets.
We arrived at our hotel at 1:00, ready for lunch. We could not check in, so we biked north towards Flagler Ave for a ½ mile where there are lots of cute shops and restaurants. Because we had our bikes, we wanted to eat outside. We enjoyed lunch at Clancy’s Cantina. The food was good, the beer was really cold and it was a nice place to consider the beautiful miles we had ridden.
301 Flagler Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL.
Phone: (386) 428-4500 Website: http://www.clancyscantina.com
*We learned we should take bike locks, we would have had more options for lunch.
Afterward, we were able to check into our hotel. We were leery of the accommodations. All of the other hotels/motels/B&B’s/rentals in the area were full or had a 2-night minimum.
1401 S Atlantic Ave, New Smyrna Beach
Phone: (386) 426-0020 Website: https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/book/hotel-rooms.10390.html?iata=00171880&ssob=BLBWI0004G&cid=BLBWI0004G:google:gmb:10390
*We learned we should not have prejudged this hotel. The rooms were nice; each had 2 queen beds, a living room with a foldout sofa and kitchen. Also, each floor was equipped with a washer and dryer. AND each room faced the ocean!
That evening we took an Uber to The Garlic.
We loved it! We tried several different items on the menu and all were happy with their selections.
556 E 3rd Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL.
Phone: (386) 424-6660 Website: https://www.thegarlic.net/
*We learned The Garlic does not take reservations. You will wait. There are several bar areas and sitting areas. The restaurant has great ambiance, great food, but you will wait.
We ubered back to the hotel and promptly went to sleep.
*We learned the Best Western has a breakfast restaurant that opens at 7:00 am; this was perfect for the pre-ride meal.
After breakfast, we rode the same path back to DeBary. We saw alligators, deer, turkeys, turtles, lots of birds and a few snakes on the trail.
*We learned on our ride back to DeBary if you take a left at Maytown spur (right takes you back to DeBary) and bike about ¼ of a mile, Vergie has a ‘Donations Only’ store in her front yard where bikers can get water, Gatorade, ice, and snacks. Vergie is a sweet woman who enjoys seeing the bikers on the trail. Cash only.
We arrived back in DeBary feeling tired but so proud of our accomplishment. And excited for more opportunities to enjoy Florida on bike trails.
*We learned Central 28 Beer Company brews delicious beer and they are open on Sunday.
290 Springview Commerce Dr. #1, DeBary, FL.
Phone: (386) 668-2811 Website: https://central28beer.com
*We learned we are stronger mentally and physically than we thought we were.
“Gateway Drug” now has a different meaning to me. WOW, what a great time we had! I can’t wait for our next bike tour!
We hope you can use this itinerary as a guide for seeing a portion of the beautiful state of Florida. Check out our other itineraries at https://r-tinerary.com
*On our second bike trip to NSB, we found another fabulous place to stay, the Night Swan Intracoastal Bed and Breakfast. The Night Swan is on the mainland side of the bridge. We stayed in the Mainsail Suite which offered plenty of room to store our bikes. Nathalie and David Glenn are delightful and engaging hosts of this wonderful B&B. The grounds are lush with plenty of places to enjoy the sunrise over the Indian River and the breakfast was delicious.
The Night Swan Intracoastal Bed and Breakfast