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  1. #1
    Cannondale Snob
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    Good day at Alafia: noon to close

    So... I had planned to be up at 6AM and be at Santos by 9:30 to ride with some friends, pre-ride Reddik in the early afternoon in preperation for the race tomorrow, and camp out up there so I wouldn't have to drive.
    It was a good plan except for the part where I woke up at 9:30

    I decided to make the best of it and head to Alafia. I grabbed a sub from Publix, ate half and saved the other half for dinner. I got there around noon and geared up. My first lap around the park was pretty mild: North Creek, Bridges, Roller-Coaster, none of their options (except the whoops, which I never really consider optional). I was riding alone and taking it easy warming up.

    I always try to ride at least one new thing each time I am at Alafia, so I can keep progressing as a rider. Last time I rode/walked Moonscape, so I decided I should give it another go. Last time I missed a turn and missed a lot of the trail, so this time I made sure that I headed that direction. I walked a lot of the descents, even some of the ones I should have no trouble riding, because I had to stop and look to see what was coming up next. I can't wait to get used to the trail and start riding more of it and walking less. A lot of the climbs were fun, and if I didn't make them the first time I tried again a few more times and either made it or eventually gave up. Anyhow- it started raining half-way through the trail and the clay turned slick and made it a much more interesting ride! I finished the trail and got back to the pavilion before it really started pouring.

    On my next loop I rode North Creek, the first half of Bridges including the option, All of Rock Garden including both options, and Rollercoaster including the first option.
    I tried making the climb on Bridges option (Garrys or Shellys loop, I can never remember which?) a half-dozen times before giving up on it and moving on. It didn't used to give me so much trouble, but a lot of it was after walking my bike back to a tree to mount up and clip in, my cleats were packed with weat sand and would come unclipped during the climb
    The first option on Rock Garden (closest to Riverloop) has been haunting me a while now. I had never made that first root climb. This time I didn't get more than half-way to the tree before I was stopped on something. Frustrated, I tried again, and again, and again. Always before today I would hug the left side and bypass most of the roots, then come at the tree with such an angle that the rear tire would slide out on the top root and stop me. Today I crossed the biggest roots on the way up and went to the right side, then turned and tackled the root-climb by the tree head-on. Success! I was so shocked I almost did a pedal-fall out of sheer joy.
    The second option on Rock Garden has given me similar problems at the log crossing. I've made it over the log before, but without enough momentum to keep going. I've tried going high and using the rocks for more traction but the turn was too sharp. Today I just aimed for the middle of the log and did a great big wheelie, then leaned forwards and hoisted the rear end up and... over, and still moving! It felt great to finally clean that section of trail.
    I almost washed out on the first option on Rollercoaster. Not the big drop, but the smaller one after with the sharp turn. Then on the bench-cut the clay-holes nearly brought me to a complete halt. They need to be filled in with crushed rock before they get any deeper.

    I ate the rest of my sub and tried to figure out what to do next. It was bugging me that I hadn't made that climb on Bridges so I went and gave it another shot. This time, I knew as soon as I rounded the corner that I was going to make it. I don't know how, but before I even started the climb I said "I got this" and zoomed right on up, whipped through the rest of the loop, and headed back to the parking lot to end the day while I still had sun to see by.

    When I pulled onto CR39 it was 7:30, and I ended a wonderful 7.5 hours at Alafia.
    '06 Cannondale Rush 1000 4" travel 27lbs
    '04 Cannondale F600 SOBE -STOLEN!
    '96 Cannondale Uber-V 6" travel 30lbs

  2. #2
    Weekend Warrior
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    Risk, what time does (officially) Alafia open. I want to go tomorrow, but i need to be back in orlando by noon so I was thinking getting out there by no later than 8:00 a.m.

  3. #3
    Weekend Warrior
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    Nevermind, I'm already going to Santos.....

  4. #4
    Cannondale Snob
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    I'm going to Santos on Sunday as well- 9AM until I'm too tired to keep riding. Hope to see you there
    '06 Cannondale Rush 1000 4" travel 27lbs
    '04 Cannondale F600 SOBE -STOLEN!
    '96 Cannondale Uber-V 6" travel 30lbs

  5. #5
    Where is my mind?
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    I was there yesterday with a couple of pals. I was getting in my car to leave just as it started rainning. Did all the trails except Gatorback and one of the rabbit ears. last trail I did was moonscape but got really fatigued halfway through.
    "'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says god, 'for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing'"

    - Douglas Adams: "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"

  6. #6
    Cannondale Snob
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    I managed to clean the vast majority of the Vortex Rim trail at Santos today, from the bridge before the fence at the pump track, all the way around back to the bridge. There was one climb, one rock pile / low tree, and one descent that I didn't make. Heck, I didn't even try the one descent because it didn't look there there was any sane line to take.

    Then I rode up that big hill at the head of the dirt jumps. I rode up the V crack that a lot of people come down to launch into the pump track with. Unfortunately, when there was a crowd around I only almost made it, and came sliding back down in defeate. Fortunately, Doug and these two hot chicks were there to witness my one successful climb.

    Damn I wish I lived closer to Santos!
    '06 Cannondale Rush 1000 4" travel 27lbs
    '04 Cannondale F600 SOBE -STOLEN!
    '96 Cannondale Uber-V 6" travel 30lbs

  7. #7
    Weekend Warrior
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    I had an almost great time at Santos.... First i did a few easy and medium trails to warm up, my bike felt heavy, maybe I just got fat, then, on my way to the vortex I run into a spider web and a Banana Spider ends up on my helmet and crawled down on my left shoulder. I jumped of the bike (at full speed) and screemed like a little girl. It didn't bite me, i got lucky.... My bike however bit me and I brused my left leg, and I can't remember even know how i fell, I was just concerned about the damn spider.....

    Then on the Vortex I took the first set of jumps (right when you enter) and at the last one I almost go over the bars, what saved me were the clipless pedals, then I crashed, bad.... I managed to dent the helmet, the bike bit me again and I bumped my ass (and luckily missed my jewels). After resting for a while my day was done. I took my losses and went home. I was looking forward doing a couple of the red trails, but I was in too much in pain.

    On my way back home I dropped of the bike at the LBS for an adjustment. My bottom braked was creaking (i guess it loosened), my seatpost clamp needed to be adjusted, my rear derailer had to be adjusted, but they took care of me and I picked up my bike 2 hours later...

    So next weekend, I'll be doing a paved trail. I was more scared by the darn spider than the fall.

  8. #8
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    hey guys im think about hitting up santos on friday afternoon or sat i have a hardtail do u think ill have any issues i also havnt riden hardcore in a long time just moved to gainesville so i figured i would pick up riding again any one else gonan be out their?

  9. #9
    Cannondale Snob
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    The Santos side of the park has a lot of great, fast flowing trails that a HT could rip up. Some of the blues might have you wishing for some suspension and any of the reds likely will as well.

    The pump track and dirt jumps will have you smiling ear-to-ear for bringing the HT, as a rear suspension tends to soak up a lot of the energy and speed. I really need to bring my HT out to those jumps one of these days....
    '06 Cannondale Rush 1000 4" travel 27lbs
    '04 Cannondale F600 SOBE -STOLEN!
    '96 Cannondale Uber-V 6" travel 30lbs

  10. #10
    Weekend Warrior
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    This weekend I'm going to just stay home and heal my wounds, but the week after next week I'm thinking of going again.... who else is going?

  11. #11
    Cannondale Snob
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    I likely won't be back until the end of the month (28th) when the SWAMP club rides there again because Croom is closed for hunting season. I typically ride with the club from 9:30-Noon and then go do my own thing for the rest of the day.
    '06 Cannondale Rush 1000 4" travel 27lbs
    '04 Cannondale F600 SOBE -STOLEN!
    '96 Cannondale Uber-V 6" travel 30lbs

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