Familiarize yourself. Everglades Edge
is a Human Powered Eco-Tour business located within Picayune Strand
State forest, offering pre-race guided course rides the following weekend
Sunday March 8, 2015 - 9 am
Saturday March 14, 2015 - 9 am
Sunday Mar. 22, 2015 - 2 pm
Meet at Everglades Edge on Snake Rd 1/2 hour before.
Meet at Trailwalker Trailhead for Mar 22 tour.
Please call Wes 1 day ahead at 239 280-8837 or 239 353-1648 to sign up
and talk about details. Also please call anytime for directions and
specifics or any questions you may have anytime.
e-mails welcome also -
*All profits are donated 100%. Picayune
Nature Club (picayunenatureclub.org) will administer all costs and donate
all profits to programs dedicated to raising awareness to local residents,
especially students and youth; Outdoor conservation practices and how they
interface for living practically and restoratively in
the Southwest Florida urban and natural environments of which Picayune
Strand State forest is an integral part of.
The "Durrwalker" cup is a tribute in the local vernacular to a person
who was an important part of the original makers of Picayune Strand
State Forest. Forestor Durrwachter played several major roles on
the ground for the Forestry during that time and a main part of the
mapping and naming of trails and boundaries while working through the
difficult details and politics of the land acquisition phase required
for eventual preservation and the restoration of Picayune Strand.
Senior Forester Sonja Durrwachter was her official title, and one most
appropriate for a true forester opening the door to the future for the
newly defined state forest. The petite blonde had her work cut out for
her, often in the field alone, courageously working in a place plagued
by raging fires and deemed by many as the last frontier. Poachers, dumpers, hunters, squatters,
suspicious residents, fugitives and recreationists of all kinds knew
Sonja and her tireless work in getting Picayune Forest off the ground
and making it an equal among giants of special places managed by the
State of Florida.
It's people like her in the Florida Forest Service that make the world
a better place, especially for the future.
WELCOME TO THE TOUR DE PICAYUNE
NEWS FROM THE TRAILS OF PICAYUNE STRAND 1-05-2015
From: Race Director - Wes
the trails of Picayune are clear and dry and perfect to ride. The water
table has dropped considerable but humidity is up and maybe some
foggy overcast here and there early but clears up for typical
winter time weather here in Southwest
Florida. It's very warm now too, and the trail sand is packed and the
plants thick but loosening a little but there's still alot of
grass and weeds on the trail so there's a fast ride and a 29er witl
2.3's or so is ideal. But it's wide open as we begin to clear out the
trail course a little and mark. Which means we do nothing much at all
other than make a wheel way in the natural landscape. Little impact and
gone after a year. It's an old time freeride in a generally dry Florida
swamp and many trails have been there many decades .
Every year one can expect the trails to go dormant
in late summer/early fall due to the flooding of sheet flow water. This is
good for stabilizing and smoothing out the course and allowing the
plants to take over. It occurs almost
every season and that's good as this region is within the Big Cypress
water basin and essentially a rain driven system and therefore very
seasonal and subject to extreme drought. Best time to ride here is in
May, June and July and soon after the rains around late October,
November, December and often beyond, but who knows when the deep water
will actually begin and end and how much will accumulate in August and
September and just how hot and dry and worked up the roads and trails
The course is now (January 5, 2015) excellent to ride for
abroad range of bikes and just come in from your
favorite access point. See the maps or just come and discover for
At this time the once deep and now receded water from a fairly wet
summer have left the trails renewed and nice and usually enjoyable to
ride with most
any decent trail bike. It's always exciting to go out just after wet times to
experience the peaked summer plant growth. Picayune's swamp flora has
grown in with a vengence but a bike can slip discreetly between and
through all of it- but that will change as the winter season progresses
and things go totally brown and whither back.
After the rainy season the ground remains a sponge well after the
water subsides and makes for some interesting combinations of sand
consistency. Watch out for suction in low spots. Wide softer tires don't
push the sand but ride above. Letting out alot of air is quite
helpful. Narrower harder tires can sink in ruts and lose control
especially as the dry season progresses and everything changes into
barren and sandy stretches that require the right tires, acceleration
and momentum to efficiently traverse. Knobby tires can slow and create
a glue like traction espeically in wetter sand. Knobs on a rear wheel is
great for traction but a significant trade off if not needed.
But in the end it's all up to each rider's legs and lungs and
heart of course.
Check back for updates! - Wes
50 MILE RACE COURSE - SOUTH BELLE MEADE 28 and 50 mile (2 laps - 28 &22 miles) marked
Route may change anytime due to Forestry preferences,
other factors unknown, so trail layout can change. Stay tuned.
4 Aid stations. Drinks and snacks provided during and
after race. Camping is available. Bike rentals available. See
sponsor links for other available amenities.
Tour de Picayune is a
cross country bicycle race over the old trails
and lands through the backwoods and swamps of Picayune Strand State Forest
in Southwest Florida.
Dry sand, wet sand, rocks, soft gravel, hard gravel, grass, vines,
brush, logs and even some rough asphalt describe the range of riding
surfaces; Generally variations of soft, sandy trails that can change
significantly in accordance to recent past as well as current weather,
traffic, humidity, plant growth, water
levels, and it's sometimes hard to predict the right tires or even the best
bike for overall performance. But the main point of this
race is the tour, and again this year's course is a 50 mile odyssey of two
laps (1 - 22 & 1-28 miles) in South Belle Meade that will be the course determining the 2015
champion. The winner of the Fouth annual Tour de Picayune will have his/her name, hometown and year of
victory placed on championship series cup winners roll for historical record
and public display. We will also award a great prize for the winner. Last
year it was an outstanding Park Tool portable racer's tool kit including a
portable repair and tuning bike frame rack. A super prize for any serious
rider. One of the best to have for any cross country and adventure
riding events, road rides, hybrid, etc... -
There are 2 distances (Laps) to ride- 28 and 50 miles.However there
are several turn backs over easy tracks back to parking, snake pit, etc. See
maps. Each lap is substantially different. -
All riders must be over 12 and sign a liability waiver and wear a helmet.
1 champion only - 50 mile course winner. -
First, second and third place recognitions for each distance class. - Race packet pick-up and sign-in begins
- Race starts at 10:15 am and ends at 5pm. -
Registration begins at 8:45 am. Course pick up and shuttle wagon starts at 3 pm. - Post race ceremonies
begin at 4pm. Winner collects prizes and accolades.
Post race party at Snake pit camp. Refreshments provided.
Single entrant- $50. ($40 early sign up)*
Kids 12-16 $25.
($20 early sign up)* Contact Wes Wilkins - Race director
or Al Frere - Operations. e-mail:
or call 239-280-8837 anytime. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tour-De-Picayune/309769992463293
* ONLINE EARLY REGISTRATION LINK *
Saturday, March 28, 2015 50 MILE OFF ROAD BICYCLE RACE.
On soft sand, the wider the tire the easier the roll with a
lightweight bike. Thinner tires need more speed to plane and often cut deep
ruts through the surface and thus becoming basically a plow. A power
consumer. The object is a balance between terraine and tire. Larger around
tires are better for general ground clearance such as a 29er's
better ability to cross rough country. Less psi but enough rear tire
traction to keep going is also a key to this balance. Fatter tires work in
other ways in terms of traction and comfort. A tire with a flatter ground to
surface profile is better, too. What's best on pavement is most likely bad
in the dirt. Air pressure is important not to have too
much. A softer tire adapts to
the surface and it's significant. Each sand condition varies so it's best to start high and work
it out lower to a comfortable level as the ride continues.
The sand can vary like the weather and other traffic has its effects as well.
Riding ruts has advantages and puffy sand
would seem the worst but with a morning
dew, it is a great surface to ride with the right
Just don't come with a pavement mindset.
Watch for wildlife at all times and yield, as this
is their home above all.
Happy Pippy says everyone is welcome
to come for the fun!
2014 Champion Bill Quinsey
A resident of Naples for many years, Bill came from Colorado as a skiier
and a mountain biker and is a superb triathlete.
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Bill is a Natural resources
manager for the City of Naples and a father of two boys.
Last year's race was a little warm and a little humid and the sand
around midday went powder dry. Too tough for a second round for many as
the ground became the enemy. It was an exciting event as the lead
changed several times but Bill prevailed in the end as he hung on and
eventually took control in the last part of the trail and came in for
This year he intends to be the first repeat winner and will be back to
defend his title.
Second place finisher Joe Boness and third place
finisher Steve Baptiste we know will be back to challenge Bill
Finish Line at Snake Pit
Rough freeriding trails and paths.
Meandering single track through palmettos.
Typical log obstacle.
Grassy and sandy flatwoods trails.
Sticky tram. Trail through oak hammock.
Jungle path to Snake pit.
Sabal Palm/Triple G road rock pits.
Snake Pit Camp. Rutty road late in the dry season day.
Expressway returns. Wetland Hammock enter at own risk.
This road is usually fast but can be sticky and slick both, whenever it
rains and a fall can be expected.