Husband and I did this ride while staying with my parents in Panama City over the holiday weekend. I'm constantly looking on Craigslist to find a decent and cheap road bike for husband and I happened across one in the nearby town of Southport. Yes, it's a cheap department store Denali, but it has good reviews as a starter road bike and was in good working order. The guy who was selling it actually has a small shop and sells all sorts of things, bikes seem to be one of his quick turnover items, since most just need a little tuneup when he gets them.
Anyway, since we were picking the bike up in Southport I wanted to do a ride out there. I knew there were other roads we could take that I was more familiar with but we decided to go a way with less traffic. Bad idea.
We parked at a park/boat launch on the south side of Deer Point Lake on highway 2321 where I hoped there would be a water source since I had forgotten to fill my bottle, but there was none. We crossed the bridge/dam right by the park going north. This is the most scenic part of the ride but I don't have a picture since I was on a two lane bridge with cars and no bike lane. I felt safe but didn't want to stop in that situation. We traveled down 2321 for about 1.5 miles before taking a sharp right onto Resota Beach Road. From there we chose to go down some side roads on the right and the first one (Resota Ln) was the best of those.
|One of the few scenic views was at this fish camp|
As you travel farther north on Resota Beach Road the pavement becomes older and rougher and the side roads (that aren't dirt) are chip tar. If you're not familiar with chip tar, it looks like asphalt from a distance but when you really look at it, it's more like small pieces of black gravel stuck together. It causes a lot of vibration when you're riding and is not comfortable on a road bike.
The main road wasn't much better, it had many bumps and potholes and places that had been patched. I had originally wanted to do a 20 mile ride, and husband wanted 10. I decided to cut it short and go easy on the husband since it wasn't too enjoyable and it was his first ride on his new bike. After going down Edwards Road, which I think would have been better if we went west, we headed back to the car, this time with no side roads.
Our ride was just over 14 miles and took an hour and 5 minutes. I would not recommend this route, at least not on a road bike. Even if you were on a mountain bike there are much better places to ride. There are not many scenic views, the places were you can see the lake (other than the bridge) are mostly between a bunch of run down houses. There were some loose dogs but they didn't get too close. Traffic was low and cars gave us plenty of room when passing, so those are some pluses. Next time we are in the area I will chose a better route and perhaps scout it out in the car beforehand.