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  1. #1
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    Visiting Florida

    I've got 2 days between a family vacation at Disney World, and a business trip south of Miami. So I decided rather than flying home to California for one day, I'll just hang out and kill time. Any recommendations on where to ride, where to rent a bike, where to stay? I drop my wife and son off at the Orlando airport early on Friday the 23rd, but don't have to be to work until Sunday morning. So Friday (11/23) and Saturday (11/24) are wide open. I just need to be at the Best Western in Florida City Saturday night so I can get ready for work the next morning. Thanks in advance for any help.

    Matt

  2. #2
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    IMO the best overall trail system in Fl. is Santos. It's about a hour north of Orlando and there is a couple shops close I think rent bikes. One at the trailhead. If you want to head south to Miami/Ft Laud. area. Oleta River state park has about 15 miles of very rock and rooty trails and the park rents bikes. Your a solid 4 hrs to Florida City from Orlando. Sorry I don't know the name of the Santos shops. I sure others will chime in. You could do both and get the best of both worlds and Oleta is about a mile from the ocean. Markham is another great trail in FT. Laud. area but don't where to rent anything.

  3. #3
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    You can rent a Bike at Jim's Bicycle in deerfield. The address is

    354 South Powerline road
    Deerfield Beach, Florida

    From there you will be 1 Minute from Quiet waters, 20 minutes from Markham, and 45 minutes from Oleta, Amelia or Virginia Key.

    Markham is kind of short(7 miles I think) but offers the best of Mtn Biking in South Florda for advanced level bikers.

    Oleta is the longest and offers a little of everything and one of the easiest to navigate but has a ton of roots. IMO full suspension is a must there. It's my favorite for the workout it provides.

    Amelia is like a smooth roller coaster, very fast but nothing to technical. I think it is about 8 miles. May not be surrounded by the best neighborhoods for a single guy out of town.

    Virginia Key is short(a little over 5 miles) mostly smooth with some technical areas. It offers some very fast and flowing sections with a descent amount of jumps to have fun with.

    Quiets waters is narrow single track with a lot of marble sized rocks to keep you on your toes. A little over 6 miles. It's a fun trail for locals but not my first choice for out of towners.

    Keep in mind you won't have any hour long climbs here in South Florida or any any 15 minute downhills for that matter. But you never stop pedaling from start to finish on the trails here.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    DaFaJa
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    check out SWAMP Mountain Bike Club Trails in Florida lots of info for places to ride here...and now is the best time..its not hot..
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  5. #5
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    Alafia River State Park. I think Rays( I meant AJ's) bikes and boards rents bikes.
    Last edited by tao; 11-12-2012 at 03:53 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbernard71 View Post
    You can rent a Bike at Jim's Bicycle in deerfield. The address is

    354 South Powerline road
    Deerfield Beach, Florida

    From there you will be 1 Minute from Quiet waters, 20 minutes from Markham, and 45 minutes from Oleta, Amelia or Virginia Key.

    Markham is kind of short(7 miles I think) but offers the best of Mtn Biking in South Florda for advanced level bikers.

    Oleta is the longest and offers a little of everything and one of the easiest to navigate but has a ton of roots. IMO full suspension is a must there. It's my favorite for the workout it provides.

    Amelia is like a smooth roller coaster, very fast but nothing to technical. I think it is about 8 miles. May not be surrounded by the best neighborhoods for a single guy out of town.

    Virginia Key is short(a little over 5 miles) mostly smooth with some technical areas. It offers some very fast and flowing sections with a descent amount of jumps to have fun with.

    Quiets waters is narrow single track with a lot of marble sized rocks to keep you on your toes. A little over 6 miles. It's a fun trail for locals but not my first choice for out of towners.

    Keep in mind you won't have any hour long climbs here in South Florida or any any 15 minute downhills for that matter. But you never stop pedaling from start to finish on the trails here.

    Hope this helps.
    I second this!! Jim's is an awesone shop... they take care of you! Riding with Jim, & JT in the morning!! If your in Miami & don't mind a 45min car ride it's worth it! Give them a call, 954-418-6101.Frank-

  7. #7
    bust a move
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    Quote Originally Posted by tao View Post
    Alafia River State Park. I think Rays bikes and boards rents bikes.
    ^this combined with Balm Boyette and Loyce Harpe park (Carter rd.) over the 2 days would make an excellent trifecta of trails. All 3 are within a short drive.

    Based on where the OP is going to be, there are 3 basic choices (all good imo) 1) South FL, 2) Santos in northern.Central FL both already suggested and 3) These three trails in West FL. You really can't go wrong. Enjoy!
    Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

  8. #8
    DaFaJa
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    Quote Originally Posted by tao View Post
    Alafia River State Park. I think Rays bikes and boards rents bikes.
    AJ's rents them as well...
    2012 Trek Superfly 100 Carbon/ xx1 / xo type2
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  9. #9
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    I would definitely suggest Alafia. It has trails for all skill levels, and is easy to navigate. On your way through Brandon you can stop at AJ's Bikes and Boards and rent a bike. Balm Boyette scrub preserve is also an excellent trail system, 10 minutes from Alafia but a little tougher to figure out, I would not try it without printing up a decent map from the SWAMP club website. I have also had quite a few people tag along with me so they could get familiar with the layout. As far as where to stay, I can't really tell you but there are plenty of hotels in Brandon which is not far from the trails. If you are looking for night life or interesting restaurants Tampa or St Pete would be a better choice but you are looking at 45 minutes to an hour drive to the trails.
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  10. #10
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    I just rode Santos and can highly recommend making the trip up from Orlando to ride there. Make sure you have a map and talk to someone about the best plan as Santos rambles endlessly around the park and into the Ocala Forest. I stopped by Santos Bike Shop after I got lost trying to find may way back to the trail head and they helped me out (although I had to wait on the employees to finish their conversation). They rent bikes and seemed to have great local knowledge and maps available. I brought my own bike (single speed) and had a great time for almost three hours. You could spend all day there and still not ride everything you want.
    When people ask me what I do, I don't tell them what I do for my job, I tell them I ride mountain bikes.

  11. #11
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    Santos is great too. We rode there for the first time yesterday, did about 5 hours. Excellent trail system. I especially liked the red trail on the Vortex side, and John Brown. The map is a little vague, but we figured it out.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by OffCamber View Post
    Sorry I don't know the name of the Santos shops. I sure others will chime in.
    Santos Trailhead Bike shop
    Santos Bike Shop

    Greenway Bicycles
    www.greenwaybikeshop.com
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chef kungfu View Post
    I second this!! Jim's is an awesone shop... they take care of you! Riding with Jim, & JT in the morning!! If your in Miami & don't mind a 45min car ride it's worth it! Give them a call, 954-418-6101.Frank-
    Hello, everyone. New member to the forum born and raised in South Florida.

    I reccomend this as well giving the nod to Markham Park. Its on your way to where youre going and pcked with great trails.

  14. #14
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    Wow, thanks for all of the recommendations. If anyone wants to show me around, that would probably dictate where I ride (for what it's worth, I'm a back to midpack expert in the San Francisco Bay Area). Otherwise, sounds like Santos might be the place to check out Friday if I feel like driving out of the way, or hitting up Carter road and/or Alafia. I sent Drew Edsall a note on Facebook and he may be up for showing me around Carter Road, so that could be interesting, too. As I said, I don't have a hotel booked for friday night, so I'll play it by ear and see how things go.

  15. #15
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    Check the OMBA (Ocala Mountain Bike Association) Facebook page to ask more questions about Santos.

  16. #16
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    I just had a go at Santos. Rented a fully Giant 29´er at Santos Bike shop. There´s access to the trails behind the shop which is really convenient.
    Trails were excellent, naturally no huge climbs but I liked it a lot... Highly recommended

    /Allan

  17. #17
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    OP, where did you end up riding? Curious to know your thoughts on the trail.

  18. #18
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    theres oleta, and markham around the miami area, i dont have any experience up north in florida but the south arond miami has some fun trails

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