is a Human Powered Eco-Tour business located within Picayune Strand
State forest, offering free guided course rides the following weekends.
2013 Race report and Summary
2013 Champion Joe Rose with his winning bike
at the Edge bike barn off Snake Rd.
(Speciaized S works stumpjumper 29 carbon)
ast year's Tour was another
one man domination. Outstanding rider Joe Rose built an early lead
of about 20 minutes after the first lap on his carbon 29er and held
off 3 other tough competitors throughout the second lap and
maintained his entire lead to the end for the win. The 2013 race was
very tough indeed with much less hard road and much more single
track than the 2012 version. The 2014 will feature 3 new miles of
remote backwoods single track in lieu of 3 miles of old 2 track
forestry road. More cypress knees for '14.
The weather was florida perfect. Typical breezy spring day
and not too humid.) and the trail conditions in 2013 were dryer than
2012 but decent considering how soft some places were. The sand was
semi- loose for a good part of the course but as the afternoon sun
wore on the ground loosened alot to deep sugar in many spots.
Especially a three mile portion near the end- very diffcult rough
riding surface as recent fire management work on that portion
rendered it interesting yet extreme. An example of the
many changing conditions this extreme southern forest endures.
However, most of that part
will not be on the 2014 route but don't be disappointed as there's
more than enough to challege any rider.
Here's are the words of 2013 Champ Joe Rose the following day upon
reflecting on his victory-
"I wanted to again thank you ( Wes &
T de P Supporters) for putting on the wild tour/race yesterday.
By far, that was the hardest 50 miles that I have ridden. I
greatly appreicate the hospitatly of you, your wife (Janneke) and
all of the riders. It was a a awesome experience and I look
forward to doing the ride again next year.
Sunday Feb. 15, 2014 - 9:30 am
Saturday Feb. 21, 2014 - 9:30 am
Sunday Mar. 1, 2014 - 1:30 pm
Meet at Everglades Edge on Snake Rd 1/2 hour before.
Meet at Trailwalker Trailhead for Mar 1 tour.
Please call 1 day ahead at 239 280-8837 to sign up.
*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.
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. In particular, she was a integral 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 the
eventual preservation and the restoration project now underway to the east.
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, working in a place deemed by many as
Florida's 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.
Logo rider to be featured on the
Tour de Picayune race T-shirts. "Skillet" has again
himself out of the sand to ride the course.
NEWS FROM THE TRAILS OF PICAYUNE STRAND 11-25-2013
From: Race Director - Wes
the trails of Picayune are clear and dry and perfect to ride. The
water table is still up and humidity is up and maybe some
overcast here and there early but clears up for typical
winter time weather here in Southwest
Florida. It's warm now too, and the trail sand is a packed sponge with alot of
grass and weeds and few dry spots if any. 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 fantastic to ride 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 firm and very ridable with most
any 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 tractiion 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
10, 28 and 50 mile (2 laps - 28 &22 miles) marked
Route may change in the coming weeks due to Forestry preferences,
other factors unknown, so trail layout can change. Stay tuned.
3 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 2014 champion. The winner of the
third 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 a Surly "Karate Monkey" frame w/fork, black. An all purpose
interchangable basic primo frame. One of the best to have for basic cross
country biking fun and adventure rides.
There are 3 distance classes to ride- 10, 28 and 50 miles.
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 10:00 am and ends at 5pm
Registration begins at 8 am. Course pick up wagon starts at 3 pm.
- Post race ceremonies
and BBQ begins at 5pm. Winner collects prizes and accolades.
Post race party at Snake pit camp.
Single entrant- $25.
Kids 16 & under - free
Contact Wes Wilkins - Race director
or Al frere, for more information and registration.
or call 239-280-8837 anytime.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
50 MILE OFF ROAD BICYCLE RACE.
LOCATION OF COLLIER COUNTY
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.
atter 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.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF EVENT AND
PURPOSE OF RACE
The basic premise of the Tour de Picayune is fun in the sun
and riding through the woods. It's a tour. A nature adventure and
experience in and through a part of Picayune Strand State
Forest; A dynamic and unique public place for
animal habitat and water flows and everything else that goes with
all good things in the swamps of Southwest Florida.
Along with the plants and wildlife, we do however respect and honor
the bicycle at the Tour de Picayune to the utmost. Great machines
indeed. 29ers, fat bikes, full supension cross country bikes- they
all lend themselves for a great experience for any rider. What bike
is best is up to the rider in the end, 'a bike is a bike' really,
and just that alone. Picayune provides a place for that use for the
nature lover and Picayune Strand is that place a bike can enhance
There will be a winner and an important part of this event is for celebrating
and honoring the winner of the race. Part of the honor will be
a new bike frame plus an inscription on the cup's wall of fame with
the other winners.
All other finishers behind are just an equal part of the rest who
and just like in the early ancient Greek olympics, only one winner.
This is a grueling ride. Only about 1/2 mile of rough pavement in
the beginning and the rest - Very bumpy and sandy; featuring rocks,
high grass, thick vines, tall brush and trees, lots of logs and
knees and varying degees of sand consistency and almost entirely a
constant pedaling of varying degrees with minimal coasting. Heat and
This is not a bike park such as places to ride fun and flowy
pathways like at Alva or Markham
It's a natural florida ride that embraces the subtlties of the natural
geology and extremes of the fire and water relationship of this
region. Picayune is now a place for restoration,
preservation and our enjoyment. The reward is an odyssey of
eco-systems like nowhere else. This is a state forest on the edge
and now a part of
one of the most superb and uniques eco systems in the world of
bio-diversity seldom surpassed anywhere else in the United States.
It's the pefect place for human/nature interface for those
riders possessing the physical and mental attitude to embrace the
conditions as they are.
Independence is another important aspect to keep in mind while
preparing for this event. Carry all the proper tools and equipment
to make small repairs like fixing flats or chains as well as taking
what's necessary to hike back if the bike fails. The trails are long
and remote and the wait for a rescue can be long if at all
We have free camping and some toilets, a shower and a couple of
sinks and running water at the Edge's Rock Ridge campsite and hand
pump water and port
a john at Snake Pit camp. The Forestry also offers some very fine
campsites over near their office on 52nd SE and very accessible for
larger vehicles and the public for a very small fee.
There is a sign up and registration at the race entry sign up as
shown on the itinerary (above) and maps issued for the course which
will be well marked but not too much so riders must pay attention.
We highly recommend coming out earlier and riding some and call and
stop on over to the Edge and we can help if anyone would like. That
will certainly help you with orienterring and exercise what to do if
you might have any problems during the race. The trail won't be
marked officially and complete until about 2 weeks prior, and then
marked again with additional directional signs the day before the
event. Cell phones should work everywhere on the course but all
riders need to test and plan accordingly. We will have 3 aid
stations around the course with water and iced tea and gatorade as
well a health muffins and fruit. It's a two lap conquest with the
second lap varying from the first. We do have a 1pm cutoff for the
first lap but anybody can ride what ever and there's a bunch of
bailouts along the way. We will have a marked 6-10 mile ride for those wishing a
This is a non-profit event, meaning, all profit after the direct
cost of the event, (Permit, T-shirts, hats, Port a John, bike frame,
etc..) will go to the Picayune Nature Club, Inc. a Florida
Corporation dedicated to making the man in an environment that's a better place to be
for people and nature, too.
And again this year, specifically, exotic plants in the South Belle
Meade area. This year we intend to again make a dent in a few spots
starting to explode and intend to help the Forest anyway we can in a hands on
and grass roots manner.
Tour De Picayune Operations Manager-
- contact facebook-http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tour-De-Picayune/309769992463293
or e-mail to :