† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.
Overview: March is a great time for a getaway to Florida’s warm sunshine and there is no better way than to join the St. John’s Loop ride that has received a 5 of 5 rating from past participants. Besides the warm weather you will find a Florida that is rarely seen. We will bike along the Atlantic Ocean then head inland and experience Old Florida’s historic places, natural springs, unspoiled parks, quiet rivers and small towns. We will see dolphins, manatees and lots of birds. Included are two boat cruises. The first a sunset cruise of St. Augustine bay front. The second is at Blue Springs State Park, Florida’s number one manatee refuge and natural wildlife habitat.
The group will meet in St. Augustine, on Monday, March 18, 2024 at the Holiday Inn Express St. Augustine-Vilano Beach at 140 Vilano Rd, 904-481-8300. Plan on arriving in time for our first group dinner at 5:00. After dinner it is a short walk to our 6:30 Sunset Cruise and “dessert” social hour aboard the Red Boat.
Tuesday has us biking south along the Atlantic, keep the water on your left, to Daytona Beach where we will be staying on the ocean. Flagler Beach along the way is a good place for lunch. Check out Finn’s rooftop restaurant!
Wednesday it’s more ocean views as we head further south to our destination of New Smyrna Beach Dunes. You can opt to bike further south along the shore and have a wonderful lunch at one of the many beachfront restaurants.
Our Thursday destination is Sanford. Hankerin’ for some catfish and sweet tea?….check out the Osteen diner along the route! Be on the lookout for the “Tin Man” before you get to Sanford’s river walk along Lake Monroe, part of the St. John’s River system. Make sure to stop at Green Springs to see “green water” and alligators.
Get an early start Friday as we head for Deland stopping along the way at Blue Springs State Park for an environmental boat cruise on the St. John’s River. After the cruise we pedal on to downtown Deland for a two night stay. You’ll want to check out the murals in this town. On Saturday, a rural ride on our way to De Leon Springs State Park, will take us by fern and horse farms. At the park you can have a later or second breakfast of “cook your own” pancakes! Speaking from personal experience they are gooood!
Sunday, our longest day at 62 miles, takes us to Palatka but not before a stop at 3 Bananas for lunch in Crescent City on Crescent Lake, the bass capital of the world. In Palatka check out the town’s murals, Ravine Gardens and Angels Diner, the oldest in Florida….great burgers!
Leaving Palatka on Monday we cross over the St. John’s River and stop by a historic beach house connected to Martin Luther King and Civil Rights history. An optional few miles will take you to the St. Augustine lighthouse. We’ll have our second group dinner tonight and share memories of the ride. The tour ends after breakfast on Tuesday.
Health and Safety: All participants must be fully vaccinated and be prepared to present vaccination documentation for viewing by Ride Leader if requested. Participants are expected to come to the tour in good health and ready to ride. Prior to the final payment for the tour, an infectious disease plan will be developed and communicated. The plan will identify possible actions for dealing with persons with an infectious disease on the tour that could affect their ability to ride or the health of others in the group. The plan will include items such as isolation protocols, testing, masking, distancing, and leaving the tour.
Ride Rating: Given the flat terrain, average daily climb is 337 feet, and average mileage of 43 per day the ride rating is 1B. However, we have 3 days that, on their own at 52, 60 and 62, would rate a “C”. The route consists of some bike paths, roads of varying degrees of traffic and some with minimal shoulders. When traveling in and out of towns there are the standard urban traffic conditions. Applicants must be experienced and comfortable riding in these varying conditions.
Cue sheets, maps, GPS files: The ride leader will provide “Ride With GPS” files approximately one month before the ride start. Participants will receive an email containing a link to the EVENT file and will need to have downloaded at least the free version of the “RWGPS” app to receive the turn by turn directions. RWGPS can be run on a smartphone. Participants wanting cue sheets will need to print them from the file provided.
Weather: The average high/low daily temperatures for the St. Augustine area in March are 74/54. Rain occurs an average of 6 days and winds average 6 mph.
Lodging and Meals: A list of hotels will be provided in the itinerary found under the Ride Leader Document tab. Two group dinners will be provided and social/happy hours with beer, wine, soda and snacks, will be served early each evening except for arrival day when it will be after dinner. Breakfast is included six of the eight mornings at the hotel.
Logistics: Participants should plan to arrive by 4pm on Monday, March 18, 2024 and depart on Tuesday, March 26, 2024 after breakfast. Parking and bike box storage is available at the start hotel in St. Augustine while on the tour. The hotel charges $12 per day for parking or there is free public parking nearby. Participants will be expected to ride each day from hotel to hotel. On the last ride several participants came a day early to visit St Augustine. If you are considering that let us know ASAP so we can ask for the best room rate.
The closest airport serving St. Augustine is Jacksonville 52 miles away. Some shuttle options to and from the airport that may be able to carry bikes as well as passengers are: Jack's Airport Shuttle (904-233-9574) and Airport Shuttle St. Augustine (904-825-0004). Other shuttle services are available and, like these two, may offer discounts for more than one passenger. UBER XL is also an option.
If you are shipping your bike contact A1A Cycle Works at 904-471-9009 in St. Augustine. You can ship to them and they will assemble it for you. They are a professional shop but only rent gravel and cruiser bikes.
Luggage: A van will transport your luggage from hotel to hotel. You will be handling your own bag but we suggest limiting the weight to under 40 lbs. You may want to bring along a small backpack too.
Tandems and E-Bikes: We welcome tandem riders and those who wish to ride e-bikes.
Cost & Administration: The cost for this tour is $1,900. The first deposit will be $ 950 and due when accepted on the ride. The balance of $ 950 will be due December 1, 2023. Participation numbers are based on lodging availability. The cost includes 8 nights lodging, two group dinners, group social/happy hours, St. Augustine sunset cruise, boat tour of Blue Springs, State Park entrance fees, luggage transport, leader expenses and RWGPS links.
Singles & Solos Policy: It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until December 1, 2023 to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC Ride Registration Fee and Payment Processing Fee) or pay the $916 Solo Supplement and stay on the ride. If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary. The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride. Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office by December 1, 2023. Checks should be made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check. They should be mailed to: Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.
Cancellation Policy: The BAC Ride Registration Fee and Payment Processing Fees are not refundable unless the entire tour is canceled because the number of participants registered is less than the minimum established for the tour. Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations. If the canceling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the canceling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed. If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the canceling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour. BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.
Ride Participant Responsibility: Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles. All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour. We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from the Ride Leader. While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and cleanup. Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour. Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you might have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.
Before participating in any BAC tour, you should assess whether your medical and travel insurance coverage is sufficient. BAC maintains insurance that covers expenses related to accidents. This coverage applies when touring inside the US, regardless of your nationality. It’s assumed that members’ personal insurance will cover medical emergencies such as sudden and unexpected sickness, so these have not been included in the BAC policy. Coverage is subject to a $1,000 deductible. You may want to consider personal coverage for emergency evacuation, as this is not included. The costs of treatment or quarantine for Covid and other unexpected illnesses are not covered. You should ensure that your vaccinations are up to date.
Sign-up: To register for this ride, use the sign-up links just above the Ride Description. After preliminary acceptance, you will be moved to the pending list and receive an email requesting you to go back to the BAC site to digitally accept the terms of the Release of Liability (ROL), and pay the non-refundable BAC Ride Registration Fee and Tour Deposit by credit card. As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List. BAC members with questions may contact the Ride Director by "clicking" the name at the top of this Ride Description.
Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510 email@example.com