Greg Rice - Travel_Man

Lake Okeechobee 1000

November 18, 2017

Ride Around Lake Okeechobee - Done!

A couple friends including Dan Thaler and I are going to attempt to ride a IBA SS1000 around Lake Okeechobee in Florida. The route around Lake Okeechobee is 116 miles so it will take 9 laps around the lake to complete the SS1000 riding a total of 1035 miles. I have been planning to attempt this ride for the last two years but I finally got time to give it a shot. I decided to invite some friends along to make it more fun.

Our route will take us on roads that circle the lake and we will have the lake in view most of the time. The roads we will be riding on include US 27, Florida 78, US441, US 98 and Florida 715. Most of the route will be two lane roads with a good amount of traffic during the daylight hours.

This is going to be a tough ride as the speed limits are between 45 MPH and 55 MPH and there are 8 small towns we have to pass through with traffic lights and stop signs. It also gets damn dark at night there and there are a lot of critters around the lake that will force us to be paying attention. It is not unheard off to see an alligator crossing the road during the night.

From October to April the sugar cane producers burn their grassy fields to expose sugar-filled stalks targeted during harvesting the sugar cane and there will be some smoke along the route. We will use scarfs to protect us from the smoke.

Currently the weather looks dry and temperatures in the 70's during the day and the low 60's at night, so great riding weather.

Here is a link to the ride GPX file, right click and download. LO1000.GPX

Below are interactive maps of our route, Spotwalla location and weather radar.


Ride Report

Dan and I successfully completed the Lake Okeechobee 1000 ride in 18 hours. We rode 1047 miles which was 9 laps around the lake ( 116 miles per lap ) starting at 12:12 PM Saturday November 18, 2017 and finishing 5:55 AM Sunday November 19, 2017. The weather was perfect, a high of 80 and a low of 50 and clear skies.

We planned the ride where we would be riding most of the miles after dark when there is less traffic. Starting just after noon time on a Saturday allowed us to finish the ride just as the sun was coming up Sunday morning when all of the tournament fisherman and sugar cane haulers hit the road. There must have been a big fishing  tournament on the lake as we started seeing vehicles towing bass boats around 4:00 AM. It is sugar cane harvest season and the trucks that haul the cane work 7 days a week until it is all harvested. These trucks are big dirty safety hazards I try not to ride behind them whenever I can. Riding at night around Lake Okeechobee means you are going to have a lot critters in the road way as the road is littered with hundreds of carcasses. I had two small animal strikes and Dan had one with no issues. We also had to put up with drunk drivers pulling out in front of us from the honky tonk bars, we had two close calls where vehicles pulled out of a bar right in front of us. We knew this was a possibility so were ready when it happened. Our objective was two hour lap times because that would leave us some buffer and get us off the road before the Sunday traffic. I also had one gratuitous front wheel lift coming out of a right hand turn and accidently grabbing a handful of throttle and popping the clutch. Dan said it was good for 1 foot off the ground. 

Dan's ride comments.

Was a great ride and glad I could tag along. Greg and I have a lot of miles together and I am proud to be part of this one, too. We met up and rode to the start together.  At the Pilot in South Bay, we met up with Joe Green who witnessed us and John, who I met for the first time on Saturday.  We were able to do part of the first lap with John before he had to break off for some business in the metropolis of Okeechobee proper.  Look forward to meeting up with John again sometime.  First receipt shows 12:12pm and we're rolling.  We'd scouted and ridden the route many times over the last couple of years, so we had an idea of the traffic and the enforcement in the different areas we'd pass.  Nothing surprising during the afternoon into evening.  Gets a little more interesting after dark.  Some of the bars and clubs had parking lots completely full & overflow into the shoulders so as it got late and the clubs emptied we dealt with the impaired drivers by focusing hard.  The usual forest critters played their suicidal games and lost a few times.  We probably both have ZIKA now from all of the mosquitos on our face shields and windscreens.  A trio of lovely young things "twerked" and "dropped it like it's hot" for Greg at zero dark thirty back at the Pilot.  We both had all of our charge cards shut off by Pilots processing company for fueling up 9 times within 24hrs.  I had 4 shut off and Greg had more than that shut off, I believe.  Turns out that it takes longer to prepay with cash!  I can now also confirm that an RT will wheelie, even with all of the traction & stability control.  Greg went past with his hair on fire and front wheel in the air.  I have no further comment on that.  We got the nod from Pahokee police at around 2am after seeing us for the 7th time by then.  I guess our HiViz Darien's relaxed their suspicions.  Sometimes it is easy to underestimate a 1000 mile ride, but I'm glad I didn't this time.  A great challenge and another achievement.  Looking forward to some of you coming down and enjoying this ride in the future 


Interactive Maps

The Google route map and the Spotwalla tracking map allow you to zoom in and out using the + and - buttons in the bottom right of the maps and you can drag the map with a mouse. You can also zoom in and out of the maps with a mouse that has a wheel. They show my planned route ( Google Maps ) and below that map is a map of my current location with the use of a SPOT satellite tracking device and ( thanks Jason Jonas ). The last map below is a national weather radar map where you can see the weather along our route.

I use the following states DOT websites for traffic and construction information during our ride planning. If I see large scale construction zones I will mark them with custom POI's in my GPS's so I get alerted when I am getting close to them. This information helps me understand why traffic may be slow in those areas.

Lap Around Lake Okeechobee

My Current Location From Spotwalla.Com

Current US Weather Radar


You can check out my website for more information.

Copyright Greg Rice 2017