Join Emerald Coast Cyclists
The Emerald Coast Cyclists was founded over 35 years ago in 1988 by a group of passionate cyclists who recognized the need for a cycling club where friendships can be made with weekly rides within the beautiful Panhandle of Florida. If you have visited our area, you have an idea of how the name of our club originated. Being along the beautiful white sandy beaches and clear green waters of the Emerald Coast, it's hard to imagine a better club name.
We have socials throughout the year where we visit with friends and learn about various aspects of cycling. Our club is a non-profit organization, but just as with many organizations, the club votes new officers and board members at the end of every year who help lead our club.
We have club rides Tuesdays and Thursdays at Ranger Camp Road, every Saturday morning within our beautiful countryside and some gather on Sundays for gravel rides near Ranger Camp Road. We celebrate the holidays with our annual Thanksgiving Day Ride and our New Year’s Day Ride. The purpose of our club is to promote cycling within our community by offering rides that encourage a healthy, active lifestyle in a safe group environment. Our goal is to expand our club by inspiring the community to ride their bicycles. We strive to offer rides to accommodate adult riders of all skill levels and keep our name in the community by actively participating in cycling-related events.
Our club consists of road riders, mountain-gravel riders, and triathletes of all skill levels, so you're likely to find a group ride that meets your cycling needs. Living on the Emerald Coast allows us to ride along the Gulf of Mexico and other bodies of water, making for some picturesque rides. We also ride in various parts of South Alabama and North Florida countryside, where there is less traffic and more hills. We are probably the only bike club that has a ride to Britton Hill, the highest point in Florida. The climb itself is so gentle that most people don’t realize they have just reached the top of Florida which is a height of 345 feet above sea level. We have many areas for beautiful cycling that we enjoy.
Ranger Camp Road
Another favorite place we like to ride is Ranger Camp Road which is part of the Eglin AFB reservation and requires an annual pass or you risk getting a ticket. When you register, look for the “Recreation/Fishing Permit” and make sure you print the permit to keep with you while cycling. Ranger Camp Road Annual Pass.
Within Google Maps, do a search for “Timber Lake Bike Trails” or find Lewis Turner Blvd. Hwy. 189 in Fort Walton Beach and look for the sign “6th Ranger Trng Bn AL ARNG Trng Site” and the sign "HULBURT SKEET RANGE PUBLIC WELCOME". You'll see a large unpaved parking lot and usually, there are plenty of cyclists. Basically, going out make all lefts, turn around at a large blue water tank by a dirt road then turn around making all rights back to your vehicle.
Cyclists favorite this area because it’s centrally located to many of our members' homes and jobs. The amount of traffic is typically far less than other roads. Although you can ride as far or as short as you’d like, a typical round-trip ride is approximately 38 miles on a paved surface with parts being flat roads and other parts rolling hills. It’s a beautiful and quiet ride. There are no places to get food or water so make sure you bring both because it can get hot during our summers and don’t forget your phone. Also, there are plenty of trails for mountain-gravel riding, commonly known as Timber Lake Bike Trails. Ranger Camp Road is one of the most popular spots for riders to congregate and is a wonderful place to enjoy cycling.
Emerald Coast Cyclists is a cycling club that promotes cycling in our local community and around the state of Florida for fitness, fun, and friendship. We are a diverse group of cyclists, including "roadies," off-road enthusiasts, and triathletes. We encourage adult riders of all ages and skill levels to help us promote cycling in our state by getting on their bicycles and adopting our healthy, active lifestyle. We strive to offer rides to accommodate all adult riders, regardless of skill level, and provide a safe riding environment by hosting paceline clinics and discussing bicycle safety.