Two Up Motorcycle Touring

Tail of the Gecko

July 1, 2009

Motorcycle Road Ride Map

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Meet the Tail of the Dragon's Little Friend - Florida's Tail of the Gecko

OK, there may not be 318 curves here. But this well hidden Florida motorcycle ride is well worth the effort to find it!


Florida may not have mountains, canyons and the ultimate twisty roads, but what it does have is some of the country's best riding weather when the rest of the country can't figure out how they're going to get their car dug out of the snow, much less be trying to ride their bike somewhere.


This twisty gem is tucked away in the middle of the state and has a personality all its own. Kind of like that little reptile that is always trying to sell you insurance, this guy's busy trying to get you to get out and ride!


So fill the tank, check the tires and pack a lunch. Let's get out and ride where we can have a little fun!


Beware of the New Road Alignment

Please note that progress has found the hinterlands of Central Florida! A new alignment of Bunker Hill Road can be confusing, especially the first time you try to find this ride. Check the Motorcycle Ride Directions for detailed information on the changes to the ride route!


Hazardous Conditions Alert

As noted below the corners on this great road can often be covered in sand. It is extremely important that you do not enter any corner at a speed exceeding you and your bike's ability to stop and avoid dangerous obstacles!


Use a late apex and brake well before leaning the bike over. By doing this you'll be better able to make corrections and avoid any dangerous situations.


IMPORTANT: The sand on these roads is often almost the same color as the pavement. This is a definite "when in doubt - slow down" situation.


Tail of the Gecko - FL Motorcycle Ride Review


Getting There is Half the Fun!

Combine the Tail of the Gecko with the Skyway's Secrets Ride route and double your fun on this ride.

The laid back ride from St Petersburg to the beginning of this route will warm you up for some fun in the sun on two wheels.
Get to Tail of the Gecko from the Skyay

The curves get started right away

As soon as you get started you get a few curves to warm up.

But before you get too carried look around so you don't make costly mistake.

There's not much shoulder between the edge of the road and that farm country barbwire catch fence, so ride well within the envelope!
The curves get started right away.

Farms and Horses

Notice all those pretty white fences and horse pastures.

A lot of the locals own horses, so if you see them riding on the side of the road, slow down and give them as much room as you can so you don't startle their horse.

I've found that a little courtesy more often than not results in a friendly wave (and not a less than friendly hand gesture).
Horse farms, white pickett fences and deserted back roads set the tone for this motorcycle ride.

Watch Out for Sand in the Corners!

A lot of those locals use a dually and multi-axle horse trailers on these roads.

If you've ever towed a big trailer on a tight twisty road you know how difficult it is to stay in your lane AND keep all the trailer wheels on the pavement.

Expect to find a LOT of sand on edge of the road in EVERY corner. Use a late apex and look through the turn and you won't get a nasty surprise.

Look at all the sand in the apex in this picture. By braking before the turn and using a late apex you will have plenty of room to adjust if necessary.

Tree Lined Sweepers

Pines and oaks line much of the ride framing pastures and fields.

This road follows the land instead plowing through it, creating a challenging and fun motorcycle ride.

Tight Turns Mix It Up

Scenery reminiscent of north Florida and southern Georgia leads into several tight right and left-handers.

Smooth braking with a late apex lets you roll on the throttle exiting the tighter turns.

This is when you remember how much fun a twisty road is on a good bike.


Even rarer than a good set of twisties in a Florida is a hill or two.

Unless you're on a Vespa these might not require a lot of throttle but even these minor changes in elevation add some fun to the ride.

More Esses and Sweepers

Whoever planned this road must have owned a motorcycle!

The right in the foreground of the picture transitions to a tighter left along the tree line in the distance.

The road continues to flow with the land as you re-connect with your twisty road riding skills.

Narrow Country Roads - Where Courtesy is the Rule

Stuck riding in urban areas?
The courtesy of the drivers on this road will have you waving to drivers instead of muttering curses in your helmet.

Heading north the road narrows to one and half then a single lane. Here I had moved right and slowed down to make room for this working truck. I was rewarded by the truck driver waving to me and making extra room (notice he's slowed and moved partially off the road)!

After riding around town where you expect the worse from other drivers this kind of friendly driving is a pleasant country surprise.

Shady Rest and Picnic Area

On the one lane portion of the road the oaks form a canopy road with an impromptu rest/picnic area.

I've found this a nice place to stop and enjoy the solitude and quiet while I have a drink and snack.

As with many back roads, this area will occasionally be abused as a dump by some. Mostly I've found it to be surprisingly clean. Be sure to take any trash out with you so others can enjoy this spot too.

The Epitome of an Old Florida Country Road

As Florida grows many of the back roads we enjoy as motorcyclists are widened, straightened and made safer for those who can't learn to pay attention to their driving.

Modern road designers remove trees and turns so that distracted drivers with cell phones and super sized meals only have motorcycles left to run into.

This road is a small piece of a different world where the beauty and pleasure of a ride in the country are paramount and you are responsible for taking care of yourself.

Ride safe - enjoy the ride,