I had a dream the other night about wanting to write something down but couldn’t find anything to write on. I took this to mean that there were obstacles keeping me from writing, that I find writing difficult. I do. Funny thing, in my dream I was at my old job in just my underpants! I have no idea what the meaning of all that is.
Warning: The roads are rough and the scenery is..well…..abandoned looking, maybe natural looking if you have good imagination? This is truly the hinterlands. Make sure you bring the map with you or at least some bread crumbs.
The Yorkshire Loop Area was probably platted out in the 50’s /60’s by the now defunct General Development Corporation led by the Mackle brothers. I’m not sure why the development stopped in this area but it remains a monument to Florida’s boom and bust real estate industry. Maybe it was given back to the Scrub Jays. That works great for the Jays and for those looking to pedal where the automobile doesn’t roam.
While riding through the area last Friday, staying on the roads that I knew, I met a guy on his really nice Trek mountain bike and we got to talking. He was telling me about a couple of the loops off the main “Yorkshire” loop that were OK for road bikes. When I got home I dialed the area up on Google Maps just to take a look. I printed the map out and I’m glad I did because there are very few street signs. The old asphalt roads are one step above dirt paths in a lot of areas. I rode the loops on a Sunday. I brought my camera along so of course all the woodland critters and swamp things were making themselves scarce . There were a lot of dirt bikers, ATV riders and Radio Controlled Airplane Flyers out and about which probably helps explain the lack of visible wildlife.
The roads that feed into this area are all really good. Veterans Blvd. and Price Blvd. rate an excellent for cycling, plenty of good road and lots of room. I wish I could say the same thing for where Raintree Rd becomes Yorkshire St. Including all the loops off of Yorkshire, this is the worst of it. There’s also a big dig going on right now, water lines going in. Just slow down and stand up. Past this point, if you’re going in on Raintree, there is a road sign for Blueleaf Dr. The next right is Fiveleaf Rd., which is one of the loops you’re looking for, no street sign. Take it from there and follow along. Some of the street names have been spray painted on the road which helps, a little. Keep in mind that all these streets either peter out or loop back to Yorkshire St. If it turns out that I ride here more often I’ll put some marks down.
Here is a nice route to get from Punta Gorda to Yorkshire. Here’s another nice way. You could follow one to the area and take the other one back. If you’ve ridden all the way to the Yorkshire area and you decide it’s not your cup of tea, I completely understand and I offer you this route instead. It’s the Charlotte Co. South Sarasota Co. 20 mile loop I ride when I can’t fit a longer ride in. The roads and streets are above average, laid back.
Thanks for reading this and be safe out there. I look forward to your comments.