2017-03-28 14:00:26+0000 - Crystal River, Florida, United States
  • Distance:
  • 15.4km / 9.6 mi
  • Duration:
  • 17:48

Conjure up an image of Florida and chances are it involves either Mickey Mouse, Alligators or old people and possibly all three at once. Being almost completely flat, it’s not the first place I’d think to look for great motorcycling roads. To be brutally frank, it’s not somewhere I ever wanted to ride until my friend @Nick303 said “Let’s go check out West Ozello Trail”.

Nick is both an avid videographer and rider, and we’d been talking about getting away somewhere warm recently to test out some new video gear. We had some free time, and so we hopped on the cheapest flight we could find to Orlando and picked up a couple of Triumphs - he a Scrambler and me a Cherry-red Thruxton.

Now, Orlando as far as I can tell is a giant tarmac-topped wasteland. It seems to go on forever as an essentially endless parade of mini-malls separated by eight lane roads, and the occasional fenced-in community of houses. It’s also ringed by many theme parks, and as a result, traffic is a bitch. Especially as most of the drivers seem to be staring at their cellphone rather than the road.

Still, we made it out in one piece, but on mostly straight (and fairly busy roads). We headed North West to the Gulf coast and a little town called Yankeetown as our base for two days of riding.

West Ozello trail itself is just south of the town of Crystal Springs, and it essentially heads from the highway to the coast. Along the way, you’ll hit a couple of smaller towns separated by wetlands.

At just nine miles long, it’s not a lot of riding, but it does have some excellent and, in places, very technical curves such the signed 10mph 90 degree right hander that’s much tighter than it looks.

On the Tuesday and Wednesday we were there, we saw neither alligators nor Mickey Mouse, but we did see plenty of old people. They’re usually to be found driving along in giant black Cadillacs at 10mp/h below the already low 35mp/h limit. We also shared the road with a few other bikers, indicating it’s certainly a well known location, and I can imagine it’s pretty popular hangout on the weekend.

Most people seem to gravitate to Pecks Cove restaurant at the far end of the road. It’s nice, and certainly quite scenic, but I can’t say the food was that great. My pick for stopping and meeting up is the far more eclectic Island Output. The food was much better, and the owners super friendly.

We also saw at least one cop making the two trips up and down the road, so until you get the lay of the land, you may want to hold back with the throttle. I can only imagine there are more on the weekend, along with more of the old people, too.

Owing to the fairly open sight lines and good quality pavement, it’s quite a fast road, which means the nine miles is over very quickly. Like us, I’d imagine most people just turn round and do it a few times. Or quite a lot. I think we spent a good eight hours heading up and down, and then repeating stretches to get the right shot. Expect to see the video here shortly, just as soon as it’s finished.

West Ozello trail may not be long, but it’s a challenging and fun ride for anyone that lives in Central Florida.

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