Two Up Motorcycle Touring

Mine Roads Madness!

July 8, 2009

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Prospecting for Twisties - Florida's Mine Road Madness

This Central Florida Motorcycle Ride is tucked away in the heart of the states heavy mining country where mini-vans fear to enter!

With challenging motorcycle roads and scenery ranging from Blade Runner industrial to the surprising beauty and wildlife in reclaimed strip mines you'll go crazy riding this little known gem of a ride.

Easily accessed anywhere from Tampa - St Petersburg to Orlando you'll find yourself riding this route over and over again. Once the madness sets in there's no stopping it!

When you've gotten your fill of riding, try getting a filling lunch at the little mom and pop diner we found in tiny Fort Meade.

Tie this ride together with the Skyway Secrets and Tail of the Gecko and have you'll have dug up some of the finest motorcycle riding Central Florida has to offer.


Mine Roads Madness - FL Motorcycle Ride Review

This great Florida backroad motorcycle ride twists, turns and dips its way deep into the mining operations that characterize the area. In many places the scenery belies the fact that you are in such a heavily industrialized area.
Here's something you don't see that often riding the main roads in Florida - a 20MPH curving road sign that really means it.

These twisty and virtually empty Florida backroads will challenge your riding skills and keep you coming back for more.
When you're ready to stop for a few minutes for a snack or lunch break there is a surprisingly scenic pullout. At this reclaimed strip mine area you can catch your breath, have a drink and snack and enjoy the peace and quiet of this unlikely spot amid the huge phospate mines.
There is a wide variety of wildlife in the area. Egrets, herons, pelicans and many wading birds appear all year while migratory species abound at different times of the year. While the may not be apparent you can rest assured there are some big poppa alligators hanging out!
Let's hope the little birdy doesn't end up as lunch.
Back out on the road you'll feel like you're the only one around as you ride from peaceful rural road to major mining operation and back. Luckily the mines generate mostly sporadic truck traffic.
And that just begs to be passed quick a quick twist of the wrist.
Sweepers adorn these 2-lane working roads.
There are virtually no residential areas and few driveways, creating a great motorcycle ride and allowing you to enjoy your riding with fewer surpises than you're accustomed to in the more populated areas of Florida.
Railroad Tracks criss-cross all the roads in this ride. As these are working roads traversed by heavy trucks servicing the mines, expect every crossing to be rough.
Bonnie Mine Road winds its way past mine plants to State Road 60.
SR 60 is a 4-lane major highway with grade level crossings and lots of traffic. Between Interstate 4 and Alligator Alley it is one of Florida's major east/west roads. Luckily you'll only be using it to connect to the next mine road.
CR 555 takes you past some ball fields and a housing development before working its way back out toward the mines via some nice sweepers. You'll quickly watch civilization fade in your mirrors as you start riding down Florida backroads again.
Be careful as some of the corners will have railroad grade crossings near the apexes and they are generally rough.
Noralyn Mine Road keeps the pace up with some nice turns and some nice scenery with less of and industrial edge.
Noralyn Mine Road brings you into the soutern edge of Bartow, FL. The transition from back road to riding in town is abrupt. Beware of distracted drivers and children playing.
The ride route doubles back to CR 555 for a last run along the sweepers on your way deep into mine territory.
Deep into the mine country you'll be riding one of Florida's least known twisty roads.
This road snakes along and across the railroad tracks that transport the phosphate mined here.
Long straightaways connect each series of twists and turns, giving you a chance to run your bike through the gears and listen to the wind rushing by.
Be careful though. Here's an S-Turn at the end of a long straight. You'll almost always find it covered in dirt and sand that falls from the trucks that use these roads all week long.
After you get past the dirty corner the road resumes its twisty ride. There's little or no traffic, long straights and enough twisties to keep you smiling long into the ride.
I've always had a soft spot for roads named "Old Highway" anything.
I guess if you're looking for the fastest and straightest way between two points the "New" highway is the way to go, but for me, I'll always choose the "Old" road.
This run drops you at one of those "Old" highways and it won't dissappoint you to take the road more aged.
The ride ends in the small town of Fort Meade.
The oldest city in Polk County, Fort Meade has several restaurants (not all open every day), fuel and convenience stores.
Last edited January 8, 2012.