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  1. #1
    Where is my mind?
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    Florida Black Diamond vs rest of country

    While I've been mountain biking for a few years I'm having my first real taste since I've moved down to Florida last August. So my question is; How does black diamond trails of say Alafia rate against black diamond trails across the country? Also, which are the best diamond trails here in Florida?

  2. #2
    gutfiddle
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    I have ridden most of the trails in Florida and also alot of trails in Ellijay, Pisgah and around Charlottesville Va. I havent been out west, yet, and dont consider myself an expert but I have found that what Florida mtn bike trails lack in elevation they make up for in tight technical singletrack. What I mean is Alafia, Santos, Razorback, Hardrock, Carter, especially the TOE and others have segments that you better be on top of your game or you'll be hugging a cabbage palm to keep you from falling in a gator infested swamp. I have been with many riders from other states on Florida trails and they are usually surprised and winded by how tight and technical the trails can be. Moonscape and gatorback at alafia requires full concentration. The "Big Gulp" at Reddick has G-OUT'd many a rider into the ajoining tree branches. Anyone who can clean the TOE w/out clipping out is an expert in my book. Well you get the point. Alot of people move to this beautiful state and worry about the trails being lame but I assure you there is some real mtn biking here, now if we could just get some rain to pack down the sugarsand.

  3. #3
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    Well put!

    ...................Well put.........

  4. #4
    yeah, uh............bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutfiddle
    I havent been out west, yet, and dont consider myself an expert but I have found that what Florida mtn bike trails lack in elevation they make up for in tight technical singletrack.
    Exactly. I've only done a little bit of riding outside florida, Pisgah mostly, and it definately seems like the trails here are more "intense" then others. By intense I mean a constant flow of tech riding without much of a break in the anaerobic stuff.

    I think that the lack of high speed riding is the main drawback to expert lines. There aren't any mountains to give those nice long, fast descents that turn fingers into cramped claws. I'd like to think that the expert trails here are on the same level as other states but I really don't think the slow techy stuff in most trails can compare to the extended steep sections of more mountainous terrrain.

    I don't mean to put down florida trails, I love the expert stuff down here and still find myself dabbing on many sections and feel like it's still pushing my skills.

  5. #5
    Where is my mind?
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    I rode Alafia for the first time about 3 weeks ago and had the time of my life (while at the same time had multiple out of body experiences ) and last weekend I completed Razor back for the first time. Thereís nothing that compares to the feeling of going airborne on the other side of Big Gulp. The red trails at Santos is another experience all together. If you've seen the videos at the Turnerbike website, these courses look comparable. When you considering that there is a class of bikes made specifically for these trails, I still see and ride with guys with 80 mm travel bikes and once in a while see hard tails at these trails. Is this just a skill thing or are these guys riding on time bombs? Iím barreling down with a Titus Motolite that I got about a month ago (5Ē F+R).

  6. #6
    More than one, of course!
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    Started riding in CO - Front Range

    I started riding out in CO on the front range and have taken numerous trips out to Fruita and Moab. (Heading out to Moab again on April 25th!). I am impressed with the trails down here and down here I am referring to Alafia and Santos. These trails have far surpassed my expectations of FL mountainbiking. The difference between the two (West vs. SE) You might blow a lung out west and you may dab more if you get tired from the sustained brutal climbs. West = more rocks, tight switchbacks and flowing single track. SE = lot of sharp corners and keep-you-on-your-toes rollers and an awesome freeride park at Santos. If you can do well on the "Reds" down here, you can handle the vast majority of stuff out west.
    "It's NEVER all downhill" DMR

  7. #7
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    Welcome to the Jungle

    In college I rode in the midwest: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, etc.
    I've raced the SERC summer series: Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, North Carolina, etc.
    I've ridden in Washington State, Nevada, Utah (Moab, St. Georges).
    Of course I've ridden most of Florida's trails.

    From these varied perspectives, Florida holds its own. You will never find rocky areas, nor sustained miles of climbing or descending. Florida can be flatter and sandier, but interspersed with technical areas too. Even within the state there can be quite a difference. South Florida trails tend to be rooty and technical, while North Florida trails are more open and flow better. It's hard to generalize, but it's not necessarily better or worse, just different.

    One major difference I've found is that falling out West can have severe injury implications.

  8. #8
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    The CrackFree-Rib State

    Fl diamonds trails are for speed bombing. Not to bring down their technical aspects, but along the lines of what WolverineGator says, downhills in Fl don't have that rocky downhill injury factor that rocky diamonds trails elsewhere have.

    Fl state diamonds: Whoooopeeee!!
    Other rocky diamond states: Shaky White knuckled, hope... I....don't..endo... over...next...rock..JC that was cool!

  9. #9
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    almost crack-free anyway

    i remember a couple years ago seeing a rider walk out of razorback after cracking a rib down the triple dip. but yeah it is rare

  10. #10
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    Its all good, ive never been much of a black dimond kinda rider but alafia is awsome, and im looking forward to going to santos soon. i started out riding in california and have done lots of stuff since then, all in all in terms of riding on the east coast florida is the place to be.

  11. #11
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    I've always been of the opinion that if you can ride the technical trails in Florida (particular TOE, Santos, and Markham), you can ride technical trails just about anywhere with the caveat being that you'd have to get used to longer (much longer actually) steep sections and bigger rocks/rock gardens.

  12. #12
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    Last year a guy got medivac'd out of Alafia. Experienced rider from California.

    Florida trails are a different sort of challenge. Yep, lot's of XC type FS bikes to deal with the roots everywhere. I ride HT myself but that's just being and old stubborn guy.

    Ron

  13. #13
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    I'm a Georgia guy. In the run up to the recent race at Reddick, all my friends who had seen it before warned me about how, well, strange it is compared to what we race up here. Hubris being what it is, I thought surely the claims were overblown.

    After the ride on the Saturday before I was a believer. Pass the plate and amen brother. The first five miles were unbelievable. No way we were going to race those drops, I thought. Well we did, and I did really well in the race by the way. If that's what Florida looks like, then I'm all for it. You guys have some seriously, wonderfully wack stuff.

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