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Grab Your Naples Cycling & Pedestrian Map

People are always asking us, “Where’s the best place to ride in Naples?”

Truth is, there are dozens of great spots to ride your bicycle in Naples, Florida.

We just received the new cycling & walking map from our friends at the Naples Pathways Coalition, and we are happy to report that the new map covers the entire county of collier, so you’ll know exactly where to find the best bicycling spots whether your in Immokalee, North Naples, or even Marco Island.

Stop by our Naples bike shop to pick up your bicycling and pedestrian map. They’re handy and they’re free.

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The Truth About Bike Theft in Naples, and How to Cope

As a bike shop owner, and a Naples bike shop owner, I hear people talking about stolen bicycles. A lot. Like, every week.

The issue really hit home for me when a guy from Naples brought his beach cruiser in for repair. He had recovered it from a ditch after it was stolen–and the seat had been raised so high that the seat tube was actually bent.  The thief didn’t realize that lifting the saddle up so high would actually damage the bicycle itself.

But the owner of the bike loved his ride so much that he brought it in, and we were able to hammer and fabricate it back into working order. Some metal-bending, sanding, and touch-up paint took care of the issue, but the economic damage was done. The victim of the theft was out a bike for about a month–and out the cost of the cosmetic and structural repairs.

But there’s a greater issue than this one incident. Bicycle theft in Collier County is at least as prevalent as it is in any big city, and perhaps even more prevalent, since there are so many high-quality bicycles here. Anecdotally, we believe that the Publix supermarket at 951 and Immokalee Rd. is the scene of approximately one bike theft per week, and we know that Ave Maria is a hotbed for college students who like to joyride on other peoples’ two-wheelers.

So what can be done?

For starters, invest in a good bike lock. Cables locks are convenient and easy to operate. But it only takes about 90 seconds with a bolt-cutter and/or hacksaw to defeat a lock with an 8mm-wide cable. We know because customers who’ve forgotten their locks’ combination codes ask us to remove the locks. A 12mm-wide cable is better, taking us about 2 1/2 minutes to defeat.

The moral of that story: invest in two locks, and use them. A thief is likely to reconsider attempting to steal a bike that is locked, but if it is locked twice, the thief’s mental calculations might convince him to move on altogether.

We’re working on some other ways to protect your bike and increase the odds it will be recovered if it is stolen–but in the meantime, be vigilant. Park your bike in well-lit areas, preferably where there’s surveillance cameras (like the bike-rack in front of our shop, for instance). Always keep it locked, and if using a cable lock, route the lock through both the frame of the bicycle and its front wheel.

But there’s more to it than a lock. A good friend of the shop (who owns a $3000+ carbon-fiber aero-competition bike) had his bicycle stolen from out of his car along with his laptop. Now this particular theft occurred in South America, when out friend was riding in Columbia, but the theme is the same: vigilance is utterly important.

Like any property that matters, protect your bicycle as best you can. Keep track of your bicycle’s serial number, make, model, size, and color, in case you have the opportunity to prosecute. Photograph your bike for insurance purposes, and retain your proof of purchase (we keep electronic records of every bike we sell–partially with this purpose in mind).

If your bike is stolen, report it to the sheriff’s department immediately. Notify your friends, neighbors, and coworkers–and importantly, notify your local bike shop (us). This is helpful in case the thief attempts to fence your stolen bike or bring it in for repair.

Another way to increase the likelihood of getting your stolen bike returned is frequently using it in group rides. The more folks you ride with on a regular basis, the more people will be familiar with your vehicle–and the better the chance of spotting and recovering it in the event of theft. Our service manager once had one of his stolen bikes recognized by a friend with whom he rode–and it ended up being returned because of that recognition.

 

 

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The Top 5 Mountain Bike Spots near Naples, Florida

Mountain bikers and trail riders looking to grind some gears and kick up some dirt have plenty of choices for a day of mountain biking on all sorts of different terrain, from family-friendly dirt roads to highly-challenging single-track trails. Here are five of our favorite mountain biking locations in southwest Florida.

5. Long Pine Key at Everglades National Park – Several miles of wide, primitive dirt road await trail riders in one of several gorgeous pine forests in the Everglades. As an added bonus, a 15-mile paved loop known as Shark Valley is accessible from the same park. Don’t expect any big terrain challenges on these trails though. Family-friendly and ideal for sightseeing. [More Info]

Picayune Strand State Forest offers multipurpose trails and wide, dirt roads for trail riders

4. Picayune Strand State Forest – Just south of Naples is the gorgeous, swamp-laden Picayune Strand State Park.  During the summer months, this forest is largely underwater, but during the fall and winter, it is a fabulous place to some flat-ground trail-riding. Wide, easy dirt roads make for a relaxing day of natural sightseeing about 5 miles east of Naples. [More Info]

3. Markham Park – Across Alligator Alley about one hour east is Markham Park, a Broward County facility with fourteen (14!!) miles of single-track mountain bike trails.  Some of those most challenging trails in southern Florida can be found at this park, only be careful–this single-track trail can get a bit crowded. [More Info]

2. Pepper Ranch Preserve – Located about 30 minutes northeast of Naples in Immokalee, Pepper Ranch Preserve offers 6 miles of well-maintained single-track mountain bike trails. This is a good trail for beginners as the trail rating is moderately challenging and there aren’t any super-serious downhills.  The trail is closed during the wet season (July – Sept.). [More Info]

Caloosahatchee Regional Park’s mountain bike trails offer dozens of fun obstacles to negotiate.

1. Caloosahatchee Regional Park – Well-manicured trails of all difficulties and terrains await you at the Caloosahatchee Regional Park 40 minutes northeast of Naples in Alva, FL.  Tall obstacles and high-banked boardwalks make this a fun trail for experienced riders, while easy loops offer safe options for kids and beginnings.  The trail is typically closed after rainstorms. [More Info]

Check out some mountain bikes for these trails here.

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Teddy’s Ultimate BMX Newcomer’s Guide

BMX, or Bicycle Moto-cross, is a fantastic sport that tons of people of all ages really love! Today is the perfect time to get into BMX, because the bikes, accessories, and prices have never been better than they are today.

But before we get too far into the technology, let’s figure out what kind of BMX rider you are, or want to be. Read on to find out!

Continue reading Teddy’s Ultimate BMX Newcomer’s Guide

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Cyclists, Motorists, and Traffic Laws

Cycle Shack serves one of the most bicycled communities in the United States: Naples Florida and the surrounding areas in Collier County. This is one of the few areas in the country where there are more bicycles owned than there are automobiles, and where bikes on public roadways comprise a meaningful percentage of overall commuter traffic.

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Shack & Back Group Rides are Now Weekly

Due to popular demand, the Shack and Back group road bike ride is now weekly, every Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. at our Naples bike shop (location here). The group will travel to Ave Maria along Oilwell Rd. and return around 10:15-10:30. Pace will average between 17 and 20 MPH. This is a no-drop ride. Info on previous rides here.

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Santiago Ospina Takes Third in Age Group at FGCU Sprint Triathlon

Cycle Shack is proud to be a part of the Sprint Triathlon event at Florida Gulf Coast University today. This annual event consists of a sprint and duathlon, with entrants from all over the state. It is competitive amateur event held on the college campus every April.

Santiago Ospina was Team Cycle Shack’s rider in the 2018 FGCU Eagle Sprint Triathlon.

We sponsored triathlete Santiago Ospina, an experienced twenty-one-year-old veteran of the triple-discipline event.  Santiago rode on a Fuji Bikes Transonic aerodynamic competition bike and custom Cycle Shack triathlon uniform suit.

Continue reading Santiago Ospina Takes Third in Age Group at FGCU Sprint Triathlon

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Our March Shack’n’Back Ride Was a Great Time

Shack & Back Riders on March 4, 2018

Several friends of the shack joined our service manager Jake for a relaxed forty-miler from our shop in Naples to Ave Maria and back, along Immokalee Rd. and Oilwell Rd.

It was a brisk 53 degrees when the group departed, and 70 when they returned. The group maintained a fantastic pace, arriving back just in time for coffee and snacks a few doors down at Dagny’s.