LAKEWOOD RANCH -- At 100 miles, Gulf Coast Cyclefest 2014's longest route takes cyclists through some of the most scenic and colorful parts of East Manatee and East Sarasota.
Among the byways and roads that hundreds of cyclists will travel Sunday are Sugar Bowl Road, Clay Gully Road, Myakka River State Park and County Road 675. Not necessarily in that order.
Should 100 miles seem a little much, organizers have also set out 20-mile, 35-mile and 63-mile routes.
All of the rides start and end at Lakewood Ranch Main Street, with the 100 milers leaving first At 7:30 a.m. The shorter routes -- the 20-milers and the 35-milers -- will travel nowhere close to Clay Gully Road or Myakka River State Park. Each of the routes is different.
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Since this is the 40th year of Gulf Coast Cyclefest, organized by the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club, club members expect a record number of participants, possibly about 600.
It's the biggest cycling event in southwest Florida, club member Doug Reiff said this week.
"I've been a member of the club since 2007. For 20 years prior to that, I rode with myself. I have a lot more fun riding with the group," Reiff said.
Veterans of Gulf Coast Cyclefest will discover that all the routes have been redesigned this year, most of them moving slightly to the south, Reiff said.
"Our records confirm that even in its first year of operation, our club staged a 'Cyclefest.' But there was a limited choice of routes: 100 miles, or, well, nothing," according to the club's website.
Anyone wanting to participate can register online at smbc.us.
Registration is also available:
5-7 p.m. Friday at Ryder Bikes, 5275 University Parkway, in the plaza near The Fresh Market.
1-4 p.m. Saturday at Village Bikes, 8111 Main St., Lakewood Ranch.
6:30 Sunday at Lakewood Ranch's Main Street before the event.