Bubba’s Pampered Pedalers is the proud recipient of Florida Bicycle Association Bicycle Business of the year for 2016 in recognition for efforts and achievements which shape the vision for Florida to be a state where bicycling is safe, respected and encouraged as a means of transportation and recreation.
Florida’s Space Coast Tour
January 14—20, 2018
Here’s what riders are saying about Bubba’s Space Coast Tour…
You and your staff do an “A+” job ensuring everyone is cared for and comfortable. Great group of riders, great staff and great rude. Hope our paths cross again!
We had a GREAT tour and a nice introduction to the space coast. Loved the location of the hotel and the breakfasts were perfect. We got there the Thurs before the tour and walked up and down the beach for 5 miles in each direction, BEAUTIFUL, even got to see a small shark! (Got everyone out of the water in a hurry!) Dinners as always were superb – different and delicious. Space Center and tour of the cattle ranch are great destinations. Thanks! And the airboat ride was a blast. That was a lot of alligators on the “beaches”. We lived in Kenya for 3 years and never saw that many crocodiles congregated in one place. Rides were delightful, lovely scenery. Thanks again for a GREAT tour with other fun riders.
~ Lora and Phil
I pass through this area regularly and have never stopped. This tour showed me what I have been missing. For sure I plan to revisit and do more exploring of the Space Coast.
I’m ALWAYS grateful when I have no responsibility, thank you, it was great. With 30 riders, there had to be at least 60 opinions on every single detail. We all got there, we all got home safely. And we all learned something new about the Space Coast of Florida. Perfect. Keep up the good work.
What I enjoyed most of the Space Coast Tour is visiting area which normally I would not take time to visit on vacation. This tour opened my eyes to see the beauty of Florida differently.
The Florida Space Coast has graciously welcomed bicyclists for many years providing a diverse mixture of beautiful beaches, high-tech wizardry, and a surfer-dude atmosphere allowing you a chance to relax and let loose. Welcome to a vacation destination where natural wonders and exhilarating adventures walk hand in hand. Welcome to Florida’s Space Coast!
Just 35 miles east of Orlando, you will find 72 miles of picturesque Atlantic beaches known as Florida’s Space Coast. Along with the impressive stretches of coastline, unspoiled nature preserves exist in perfect harmony with the Space Age attraction of the Kennedy Space Center Complex.
January is a great time to visit! While it may be coldest month of the year, temperatures still only range between 50 and 71 degrees, perfect for biking the trails and roads. Wildlife and nature watching are a highlight during this time of year. Over 300 species of birds make landfall on their migration as this is the perfect resting place in between the tropical and temperate climate zones. On one of the days, you will be riding through a remarkable wildlife refuge where you can see firsthand the beauty of the area.
The history of our area is on display throughout the county at early settlement homesteads like Field Manor and Sam’s House on Merritt Island or the Rossetter House in Melbourne. These depict life here as it was in the late 1800’s as the area began to take shape. In the 1950’s the federal government needed lots of room for its burgeoning rocket program and Cape Canaveral fit the bill. It was close to the equator, requiring less fuel to get into orbit and it was sparsely populated. Then as the space race got into full swing in the 1960’s, the area grew along with our country’s effort to land a man on the moon and bring him back to Earth before the end of the decade. Florida’s Space Coast Tour will give you a chance visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to relive those tense moments of Russia’s Sputnik beeping overhead to landing on the moon to building the International Space Station. You can even have lunch with an astronaut!
While not riding, spend your time surfing, flying a kite, or just lie on the warm white sand of the many miles of pristine beaches Florida’s Space Coast offers while watching dolphins play tag in the water.
Where else can you watch the sunrise out of the Atlantic, bike through cattle ranches, have gator tail and frog legs for lunch, cruise idyllic riverfront roads, enjoy dinner while cruise ships pass by and finish the day with a nightcap under the full moon and a sky filled with stars?
With all its diversity, the Florida Space Coast is the perfect bicycling vacation destination and Bubba’s Pampered Pedalers, Florida’s Space Coast Tour, is the perfect bicycling tour.
The itinerary will not only offer you a great variety of riding but also showcase Florida’s Space Coast. The tour is designed as a bicycling vacation. Low mileage, less than 30 miles per day, you will have time to explore each of the riding venues.
Six nights lodging at one of Cocoa Beach’s premier properties, the Inn at Cocoa Beach, is included in the registration fee as well as all breakfasts and dinners. That’s right. Unpack your bags and relax. You will be staying at the same location all six nights where the only thing separating you from the beach is the outdoor swimming pool and garden area.
Florida’s Space Coast Tour: Riding Itinerary
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Canaveral National Seashore
Cycling through the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge will be like nothing you have ever experienced from the seat of a bicycle. The 140,000 acres of marshes, hardwood hammocks, pine flat woods, scrub and coastal dunes provide habitat for over 500 species of wildlife including 21 federal and state listed endangered and/or threatened species.
Manatees, sea turtles, bald eagles, otters, alligators, bobcats and dozens of species of beautiful wading birds and water fowl make this their home. The refuge is a major stop during the great birding migration.
Blessed with a favorable coastal location and sub-tropic climate, this refuge shares a common boundary with the Kennedy Space Center proving nature and technology can not only coexist — both can thrive together!
You will have plenty of time to explore this one-of-a-kind wildlife refuge while bicycling the many miles of the friendly hard packed roads with limited vehicle traffic.
Make sure you pack a camera; you will want to capture the many wonderful wildlife sightings along the way. www.fws.gov/merrittisland
The adventure continues as you cycle to Canaveral National Seashore. It’s here that you will see the shoreline as Mother Nature intended: wild and pristine. The Canaveral National Seashore is a habitat for 14 different species of federally-listed threatened or endangered animals; it is the second largest number in the entire National Park System. These species include Loggerhead, Leatherback and Green Sea Turtles, the Eastern Indigo Snake, Bald Eagles, the Florida Scrub-Jay, the West Indian Manatee and, offshore, the Right Whale.
You will be riding on both hard packed dirt/sand as well as paved roads all of which have very limited vehicle traffic.
Deseret Ranch & Citrus Groves
Just a short drive to the west of Cocoa Beach you will find the country’s largest working cattle ranch. That’s right, at the door of Florida’s Space Coast. You will catch a glimpse of acres of citrus groves. before entering Deseret Ranch where a tour will be available. After the tour, it’s back on the bike to cycle your way to our lunch spot on the St Johns River; one of the few rivers that flow north.
Deseret Ranch covers 290,000 acres of land and was purchased in the early 1950’s by the Mormon Church. What was then low quality cut-over timberland has since become a mosaic of pastures, citrus groves, wetlands and woodlands thanks to careful land management. 44,000 cows and 1,300 bulls keep the cowboys quite busy at the country’s largest working cattle ranch. Deseret: the names means ‘honeybee’ and represents the hard work and industriousness that it takes to operate this ranch.
In addition to the cattle operation, Deseret Ranch also manages 1,700 acres of citrus which has about 250,000 trees. Most trees consist of juice oranges; however navel oranges, tangerines and tangelos are also grown.
Your ride will be on well-maintained county roads will very limited vehicle traffic which will allow you to relax while breathing the fresh country air.
River Road & Cocoa Village
One of the Space Coast’s favorite cycling routes is ‘River Road’ which hugs the Indian River. The canopied road with limited vehicle traffic makes for the perfect ride as you watch dolphins cavort and ospreys soar while looking for lunch. Speaking of lunch, you will have a variety of great restaurants from which to choose ranging from casual to elegant.
Cocoa Village is a quaint district with numerous unique shops and restaurants in a small-town atmosphere. ‘The Village’ is the nickname locals gave to the historic area. Whether dining or shopping, Cocoa Village will have something for you.
Cocoa was originally founded by fishermen on the banks of the Indian River, the same river you will be cycling next to. The commercial fishermen are long gone, but a great deal of the early twentieth-century architecture remains. Today, Cocoa Village’s most famous industry is its art galleries. Other businesses include retail stores such as antiques, home decor, gift shops, and other boutiques. But you won’t find a single chain store here. Be sure to stop at S. F. Travis Hardware. For 125 years, from the rise and fall of the river trade in the late 1800’s to the birth of the Space Age, the S.F. Travis Company has been providing hardware and products in Cocoa, Florida. The Space Coast Department of Tourism is centrally located in the Village. Stop in to say “hi” and check out the tourist information brochures.
You will have plenty of time to shop the local stores. If you see that ‘must have’ item, the friendly SAG staff will be more than happy to transport your find back to the hotel.
This day of riding will be on well-maintained county roads with limited, slow moving vehicle traffic. It will be very obvious why the ride is considered “Best in Class” by local riders.
This day you will follow the Atlantic Ocean beach line and sand dunes while riding on a combination of well-maintained off-road paved multi-use paths, designated bicycle lanes and a few miles of hard packed sand. You will be biking along a segment of A1A; a designated bicycle route of the East Coast Greenway, eventually linking Maine to Key West.
You will start at the Barrier Island Sanctuary, a 34 acre preserve which offers you an invitation to explore the barrier island’s diverse habitats through interactive exhibits. A one-mile walking trail that winds from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian River Lagoon will offer you spectacular views of both. Be on the look-out for wildlife sightings along the way as it is not uncommon to see osprey, great blue herons, gopher tortoises and giant land crabs.
Continuing south passing over Sebastian Inlet, you will visit Pelican Island, a 5,400-acre wildlife area. Actually Pelican Island is the very first area designated as a National Wildlife Refuge. It was established in 1903 to protect pelicans as well as other birds which were being harvested for their feathers. Today over 30 different species of birds call this home and thousands of birds spend the nights safely roosting.
Leaving Pelican Island the tour heads to the Historic Jungle Trail which winds for nearly 8 miles through the hammock habitat of Florida’s barrier islands. The trail—really a road—is on the National Register of Historic Places and was built in the 1920s so that citrus growers could haul their produce up and down the barrier island. Although cars do drive along the road, it’s mostly used by cyclists, walkers and joggers. The road is sandy but mostly hard packed and easy going for hybrid bicycles.
The next stop is the McLarty Treasure Museum where you will be amazed to view items recovered from ships which wrecked centuries ago. To this day, treasure seekers still comb the beaches for washed up pieces of gold and silver. Happy hunting.
Spending your entire day seeing—hearing—inhaling the Atlantic Ocean will be a constant reminder you are indeed on vacation.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
A visit to Florida’s Space Coast isn’t complete without a trip to the Kennedy Space Center. The newest attraction is Space Shuttle Atlantis, a 6-story facility designed and built around the Atlantis Orbiter. The Apollo/Saturn V Center is where America’s journey to the moon began. You can recapture the excitement of July 20, 1969 as you reach out and touch moon rock, view actual moon dust and feel the space race come alive as you stand beneath the largest rocket ever flown – the mighty Saturn V.
Even though this is a non-riding day, you will feel like you are soaring with the biggest and best of America’s space program. It’s not hard to understand why the area code for the Space Coast is 3—2—1.
Florida’s Space Coast Tour: Questions and Answers
Question: What are the dates for the 2018 tour?
Answer: Sunday January 14—Saturday January 20, 2018
Question: Where will I be staying while on this tour?
Answer: The Inn at Cocoa Beach, 4300 Ocean Beach Blvd, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
Question: Are you saying I will be staying at the same place the entire tour?
Answer: Indeed. So, unpack, relax and enjoy this beautiful property. After all, it’s your vacation.
Question: I understand it is my responsibility to get to the start of the tour, how is the best way?
Answer: If driving, the lodging location is east of I-95 (exit 201). Take SR 520 east for approximately 12 miles to right on N Atlantic Ave (A1A). In 0.1 mi turn left onto Marion Lane. In 0.1 mil turn left onto Ocean Beach Blvd. The Inn at Cocoa Beach will be on your right.
Answer: If flying, you have two choices. Orlando International Airport is 48 miles from the Inn at Cocoa Beach. Orlando Melbourne International Airport is 24 miles from the Inn at Cocoa Beach.
Question: How do I get from the airport to the Inn at Cocoa Beach?
Answer: Vehicle rentals are available at either airport which will allow you a vehicle the entire week. Commercial shuttle services are also available at either airport.
Question: Can I bring a non-riding friend?
Answer: Florida’s Space Coast has many fun and interesting things for a non-rider to do including nothing while enjoying the beach or pool at the lodging location. Of course they will be welcomed at all meals. Fee is the same for a rider or non-rider.
Question: It’s winter, what kind of weather can I expect?
Answer: It is winter but it is also Florida. Temperatures are typically in the 50—70 range. That said, occasionally it can be cooler or warmer so check the forecast before leaving and pack accordingly. I can promise you there will be no snow shoveling.
Question: What is the best type of bicycle for this tour?
Answer: For most of the tour you will be riding on well-maintained paved roads. There will be times you will be riding on hard packed dirt/sand. The perfect bike for this tour is a hybrid. A road bike can also work however it is suggested to put the widest tires possible on your road bike.
Question: Will there be bicycle rental available?
Answer: Yes. Please contact Bob’s Bicycle Shop directly at 321.725.2500 ask for Mark who will provided you with the needed information.
Question: What if I choose to ship my bike?
Answer: No problem. Please contact directly Bob’s Bicycle Shop at 321.773.2093 for those details including fees.
Question: What can I expect the riding to be? Mileage? Hills?
Answer: The roads and byways will be mostly flat. Daily mileage of under 30 will allow you to enjoy each day’s riding venue and allow time to relax and enjoy Cocoa Beach. After all, this is your vacation.
Question: Besides riding, will there be other things to do along the way?
Answer: This tour is designed as a Bicycling Vacation which means there will be lots to see and do daily besides riding.