Does anyone have experience with cycling the 41st road from Miami to Naples? This is clearly too long distance to make in one day so if I decide to take this way I will need to stay somewhere overnight.
Therefore two questions
1) Is it very risky to sleep on a bench by a nature trail or a roadside parking? I won't have a tent with me so I can't go to a camping.
2) Is it a good idea at all to cycle that road? I mean, reagarding the aligators.
I will be thankful to hear any advice and suggestions from you!
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We cycled on the 41st road all the way from Naples to Tamiami (just outside Miami). It's an excellent cycling road that felt very safe and lots of opportunities to see alligators. We stayed with a Warmshowers host at the halfway point; I wouldn't recommend sleeping on a bench!
Hope this helps
When you say 41st Road, I assume you mean U.S. 41 (United States Route 41). A U.S. Route is a major road that crosses the country but not like an interstate that has limited access.
In any case, I cycled from Naples to Miami along U.S. 41 last November. It is a very pleasant ride with nice wide shoulders, although there was some construction there currently toward the Miami end and that interrupted the shoulders. Other than that, I would highly recommend it. It's quite beautiful.
As for alligators--that's not at all a problem. People unfamiliar with Florida think that alligators are waiting along the side of the road to jump up and grab you. Nothing is further from the truth. Actually they are more afraid of you than you are of them and there is no risk at all unless you bother them.
As for stopping for the night, I definitely would not stay along the roadway or on a bench. First of all, the bugs (mostly mosquitos) will be horrible at night. Second, if any park rangers or police see you they will probably not let you stay. I know you said you don't have a tent but there are several campgrounds along the way and you should consider them even without a tent. If you do take that route, I suggest you consider taking Loop Road as part of the route. It is exceptionally beautiful but it will add a few miles to your total distance.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.