ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Bicyclists, outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs can learn about the early years of the Upper Keys while enjoying exercise and sunshine during the Islamorada Historical Bicycle Tour offered Saturday through Monday, Sept. 3-5.
The free, two-hour Labor Day Weekend tour starts at 10 a.m. each day next door to the Hurricane Monument at mile marker (MM) 81.6, where riders meet guide Mark Terrill. Participants are advised to rent a bike or bring their own, and bring water and sunscreen.
Tour highlights include viewing historic landmarks, learning about pioneer families and discovering what island life was like in the 1800s, prior to the development of the Oversea Railway and establishment of Islamorada as a tourist destination.
Terrill’s tour passes “conch” houses built after 1935 and includes historical nuggets about modern-day smugglers and pirate dramas woven into the narration. He also imparts insights into the first fishing tournament and where Miami’s elite played during the Roaring ‘20s.
The bicycle tour concludes at Bud n’ Mary’s Marina, MM 79.8 oceanside. Afterward, riders can head to area restaurants for cold beverages or lunch.
Although the tour is free, donations are welcomed for Florida Keys youth sports programs.
For safety, the tour is limited to 16 riders. To join, call Mark Terrill at 786-897-5190. Bike rentals can be arranged by calling Backcountry Cowboy at 305-517-4177.
Islamorada visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/islamorada or 800-FAB-KEYS