New format for BubbaFest–Florida Keys 2016. Check schedule page for details.
Please use Sun Screen. Melanoma Kills
BubbaFest–Florida Keys November 5–12, 2016
It’s not just a bike tour, it’s a Keys Experience
Fee schedule can be found of the registration form
Long before Rum Runners were cooling off thirsty tourists in the Keys, pirates thirsting for other treasure sailed the coastal waters.
The Florida Keys are known for their laid-back vibe with an emphasis on fun, and Bubbafest, the annual week-long bicycle tour of the Keys, fits right in.
The longest riding days are 36 miles … and it’s all flat. The scenery is incredible, and the short riding days provide plenty of time to sample the varied cuisine, dip a toe or more into the turquoise water, swim with dolphins or kayak a secluded shoreline.
Most of the bicycling is on the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Bike Trail, separate from cars but never far from the action – stunning ocean vistas sometimes populated with glimpses of dolphins, sharks, turtles, manatees, egrets, herons and the ubiquitous, oddly shaped brown pelicans.
The sounds of live music, clinking glasses and laughter spill out the open doors of countless Duval Street bars, hinting at the good times to be had inside. Mallory Square hosts the biggest nightly sunset party in the Keys, a multi-ring circus of flame jugglers, tightrope-walking dogs, Houdini-like escape artists and more, all vying for your attention with a steady comedic patter.
The Keys were discovered and charted in 1513 by Spaniard Ponce de Leon, best known for his search for the Fountain of Youth. De Leon thought the Fountain was never found, but he was wrong – it’s everywhere in the Keys, a destination that will have you peeling off the years like so many layers of unnecessary clothing.
The Spanish wrecked many a ship on the reefs looking for gold, those wrecks ultimately becoming treasure for scuba divers and marine life. The Spanish called these chains of islands “keys,” from the Spanish word “cayos,” which means “small islands.”
Florida became U.S. territory in 1812, with settlers first arriving in Key West in 1822. Pirates still prowled the waters then, so the Navy established a special fleet tasked with controlling the buccaneers. Early residents found rich fishing grounds and some even grew rich salvaging shipwrecks.
When early entrepreneur Henry Flagler decided to run a railroad the length of the Keys, it got the islands on track and chugging toward the future. Enamored of south Florida and its potential, Flagler started work on the 156-mile Over-Sea Railroad in 1905. The last section was laid in 1912 and Flagler, one of the original partners in Standard Oil and a hotel magnate, spent a week celebrating the completion with Key West locals.
To visitors, it appears the celebration never stopped. Key West remains a magical place of spectacular sunsets and unparalleled nightlife. The same is true for all the other islands.
Legend has it that early BubbaFesters used to travel the Keys in search of the best Key lime pie, asking the locals for recommendations and rating each pie on a scale of one to five based on flavor, crust, texture and presentation. The results were recorded in a Key lime-colored notebook to serve as a guide to future flavor-fests. While the location of this book is as closely guarded as pirate’s treasure, and worth its weight in gold, you can start your own list.
BubbaFest Florida Keys is Resort Camping with seven breakfasts and six dinners included with registration. Just
think, Mid November in the Florida Keys. That alone should be enough but there is plenty more.
- Manageable Mileage
- Can you say FLAT? If you want long, hard, hilly days, this event is not for you. If want manageable mileage, average of 35 miles a day, many of those miles on off road paved bike paths, this event is for you. If you want to climb all day, this event is not for you. If you want flat ground which will allow you the most magnificent view daily of both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, this event is for you.
- If you want to just ride all day long with nothing to do, this is not the event for you. If you want to have fun with plenty of other activities, this event is for you.
- If you hate beautiful scenery this event is not for you. If you want to see some of the most beautiful scenery of any biking event, this event is for you.
- If you hate to camp next to the ocean, this event is not for you. If you want to enjoy spectacular sunrises and sunsets like only the Florida Keys can provide and enjoy them from your ocean view resort camp, this event is for you.
- If you enjoy sub-par meals this event is not for you. If you want great meals; some ocean side with a wonderful sunset in the background, this event is for you.
- If you like being one of a thousand standing in long lines, this event is not for you. If you like smaller more intimate events where you get a chance to meet others without standing in the same line, this event is for you
BubbaFest—Florida Keys is really more a vacation than a normal bike tour. The less than 35 miles average daily mileage allows you plenty of time to explore and enjoy yourself along the way. The Florida Keys are beautiful and offer a variety of non-biking activities. Swim with the dolphins. Snorkel. Dive. Key Deer. Deep Sea Fish. Museums. Conch Fritters. Key Lime Pie.
The Seven Mile Bridge just might be the most beautiful seven miles you have ever biked.
Starting with a Cuban Pig Roast poolside at the welcome reception to the gala farewell dinner dance beachside; you will enjoy the best food of any bike tour. Seven breakfasts and six dinners are included in the registration fee.
BubbaFest has the friendliest SAG drives you will find. This is a bicycle tour and everyone is encouraged to ride. That said, if for any reason after getting started you feel you cannot continue just flag down one of the SAG vehicles and hop in. No questions asked. After all, this is your vacation. Unless there is a medical condition all riders are encouraged and expected to start the day on their bicycle.
A traveling bike mechanic will ease your worries about any bike problems while a traveling license massage therapist will ease any worries about your body. Believe me, a beach side massage with a gently sea breeze blowing is hard to beat.
Bicycle rental is available through the Backcountry Cowboy Outifitters. Contact them directly for details. 305.517.4177
Remember, this is the perfect event for the non-rider as well. So, bring that special non-riding person along so the both of you can enjoy this vacation. There is plenty for them to do along the way while you are riding.
BubbaFest—Florida Keys fills yearly so do not delay in registering. A wait/wish list will be maintained once the event is fully booked.
Come and see for yourself what Bubba means when he says….”It’s ALL Good”!
BubbaFest Florida Keys Details
BubbaFest -Florida Keys November 5–12,2016
- Nightly Camping Fees (Optional PAMPERING service not included—see below)
- Welcome reception dinner
- Six nights camping at beautiful ocean-view campgrounds
- Pool or Ocean at each campground
- Beautiful Ocean Views Daily from your Bike
- Amazing sunrises and sunsets like only the Keys can provide
- Seven breakfasts and six dinners (Sunday breakfast provided by the host hotel and is included with your room reservation. If you are staying other than the host hotel breakfast will be on your own.)
- One lay-over days in Key West
- Private, BubbaFest only, open air trolley tour of Key West
- Gala Farewell Dinner Beach-side
- Mechanical Support
- Baggage Transportation
What is not included?
- Lodging Saturday November 5th and Saturday November 12th
- Snow, Ice and Cold, the phrase “WIND CHILL”!!
- Pampering Service – Registration fee is for this event only and does not cover PAMPERING. PAMPERING still is available for BubbaFest. Register for pampering on BubbaFest here.
- Dinner Wednesday while in Key West
Hotels and room types will be booked on first-come/first served basis.
Holiday Inn Key Largo can be made by calling 866.733.8554 and the Courtyard by
Marriott Key Largo can be made by calling 855.335.1066.
provide availability at time of booking. Since breakfast is included with the room, you must inform the reservation clerk if you are booking a single (one person) or a double (two people) Upon check-in you will be given a breakfast voucher for the number of people in the room.
It’s just a short 42 miles from Miami to Key Largo. Long term parking in Key Largo will be available at the host hotel. Please check with front desk for location.
Flying into a south Florida airport?
Shuttle service can be arranged through Keys Shuttle. Check their web site for pick-up locations and pricing information. Make sure to inform them if traveling with your bicycle. If there is more than one in your group, it might be less expensive to rent a vehicle for the week. Check prices to determine if this is something you might wish to consider.
If you are flying out the ending Saturday, DO NOT book a flight before 5 PM if using the Miami airport and not before 7 PM if using the Ft. Lauderdale airport.
Bicycle Shipping or Bicycle Rentals
- Option One: Bike rentals are available for use on BubbaFest from a local outfitters. These hybird/commfort bikes are very well maintained top quality bicycles which are perfect for BubbaFest. Please contact Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters for details and pricing. 305.517.4177 Remember, a rental bike will not “feel the same” as they bicycle you ride at home.
- Option Two: You may ship your bike to the host hotel: Holiday Inn , 99701 Overseas Highway Key Largo, Florida, USA, 33037. Phone: 305. 451.2121
This event is limited to the first 200 registered participants and will fill very fast. First registered, first served. A waiting list will be utilized after the event is booked
An email confirmation will be sent once the registration has arrived. If after two weeks of registering you have not gotten an email confirmation send an email GraceForBPP@yahoo.com and inquire.
BubbaFest Schedule: New format for BubbaFest–Florida Keys 2016
Saturday November 5th
Registration is from Noon–4 PM. Welcome reception and dinner; 5:00 PM at the Holiday Inn. Rider meeting following dinner
Sunday November 6th
Bike from Key Largo to Fiesta Key. Total mileage 30
Breakfast provided at the host hotel. You must have booked a room at the host hotel in order to receive the breakfast
Dinner served at the Fiesta Key Campground
Fiesta Key Camp Resort has several lodging choices for those not wishing to camp. Call them directly for options and booking.
Monday November 7th
Bike from Fiesta Key to Camp Sawyer (Big Pine Key) Distance of 36 Miles
Breakfast provided at Fiesta Key while dinner is provided at Camp Sawyer
For those not camping, the closest hotel is the Hyatt in Marathon Key. Distance of about 10 miles
Tuesday, November 8th
Bike from Camp Sawyer to Key West (Stock Island): 29 miles
Breakfast served at Camp Sawyer. Dinner provided in Key West
Wednesday, November 9th
Wednesday y will be layover a day in Key West to allow you time to explore this unique island. Bike option is available while in Key West
Camping on Tuesday and Wednesday Boyd’s Campground
Breakfast served at campground
For those staying in hotels/motels while in Key West you will need rooms for Tuesday November 8th–Wednesday November 9th
Thursday November 10
Bike from Key West (Stock Island) to Camp Sawyer. Total Mileage of 29
Breakfast served at Key West Campground. Dinner provided at Camp Sawyer
Friday, November 11th
Bike from Camp Sawyer to Fiesta Key. Total mileage distance of 36
Breakfast service at Camp Sawyer. Dinner served at Fiesta Key
Saturday, November 12th
Bike from Fiesta Key to Key Largo: Total mileage 30
Breakfast service at the Fiesta Key campground
Special BubbaFest–Florida Keys room rates will be available at both the Holiday Inn and the Marriott Courtyard. Why rush home? Enjoy your last day on the bike and stay with all the others while enjoying one last Keys Sunset.