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  1. #1
    No. Just No.
    Reputation: Circlip's Avatar
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    Visiting FL - anyone to show me around local trails?

    I am doing the Disney thing with my family from Oct 6th - 14th (coming from Vancouver, B.C), but am planning to bring a bike with me and hopefully sample a few turns on at least one of the local trail systems. I've cruised some links already and learned a bit about some of the spots, but it's never quite the same as getting a guided tour (instead of looking at a map half the time...) and getting the opportunity to meet some new riding friends from another place.

    Would be happy to spring for food and drink for any friendly sorts who can show me around. I'm OK for long rides or short rides, hammerfest or casual stop 'n' go, rocky/rooty or buffed - doesn't really matter. I've heard of Razorback and Santos being nice spots, but I'm sure there's all sorts of great options to pick from around the state.

    Dates I probably have as available options for riding are;

    Oct 8th (Monday)
    Oct 9th (Tuesday)
    Oct 11th (Thursday)
    Oct 13th (Saturday)

    Of course, I'm on vacation so the weekdays are probably a stretch for anyone else. Feel free to post up or send PM. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Don't Stop Spinnin'!
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    Well, Reddick, Santos and Alafia are all great parks. Reddick kicks ass in my opinion! If you happen to visit Miami during your trip I'd be willing to give you a tour of some of the South Florida trails such as Markham, and Oleta. Just give me a pm...

  3. #3
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReD_tomato
    Well, Reddick, Santos and Alafia are all great parks. Reddick kicks ass in my opinion! If you happen to visit Miami during your trip I'd be willing to give you a tour of some of the South Florida trails such as Markham, and Oleta. Just give me a pm...
    I'll quiz my wife and see if I can narrow down dates, and figure out what part of the state we can get to on the days where we manage to pry the kiddies away from Disney. May or may not work out, but that's a great offer. Score yourself +1 on your personal MTB worldwide community karma - thanks 'Mato.

  4. #4
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    Based on what your looking for and the close proximity, Alafia will certainly fit your needs. Santos and Reddick are great with Reddick only being available to ride during weekend hours.

    If staying in Orlando, you could be at Alafia within an hour tops. Santos and Alafia are your best bets.

    I'm available any of those days. I live within 15 minutes of Alafia and with me working nights, my schedule is pretty open.

    Let me know what you decide......

  5. #5
    Weekend Warrior
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    If i get enough notice I might be able to arrange for a babysitter in the morning hours. I should be available until about 2 p.m.

    Just let me know and we can arrange something a get a group together.

  6. #6
    Its got what plants crave
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    I'd ride but I'm out of town that week on vacation as well :P

  7. #7
    Where is my mind?
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    Circlip, what kind of riding are you used to. I live very close to Razorback. I'd be glad to show you around. As mentioned above, Razorback is only open on weekends.
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  8. #8
    No. Just No.
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    Hey, thank for chiming in everyone - this is great. I'm really starting to look forward to this. There's nothing better than getting to see new trails in a far off place. With the burgeoning number of interested parties I'd better bring a fat wallet for the post-ride bevvies I promised! I'll have to sweeten the offer by including all sorts of stupid stories from riding in the Great White North.

    I'll report back on available dates shortly after more consultation with my family. Maybe I can carve out 2 ride outings if I'm lucky.

    In answer to what type of riding I'm used to, I'd have to classify it as "B.C. style" XC. I don't have the 'nads for big air or nosebleed height skinnies like many of my local bretheren, but I suppose the XC riding around here probably involves more roots, rocks, and slower technical sections than many other locales. The faster rolling buffed twisty trails are great too as far as I'm concerned. I don't think I've ever ridden a trail I couldn't appreciate in some way. Just about any distance and speed (long/short/fast/slow) is all good for me. They're just different types of rides.

  9. #9
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    definitely post the final dates

    I would be happy to host an Alafia ride if you want to keep it closer to Orlando, and very well might tag along on a Santo or Razorback trip if the dates work out. The last guy I rode with in FL from up your way was a great guy to ride with and I thoroughly enjoyed it. EBxtreme rips if anyone here knows him. Are you flying a bike here or considering rentals? There are some bike shops around that have really nice rental bikes, including the shop by Santos.

  10. #10
    Cannondale Snob
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    I'd recomend:

    If you can find one entire weekday to devote to biking, here is what I'd do.

    Start at Boyette (near Alafia). You absolutely need a guide here. If you can't get a guide- skip this park or you'll miss the best trails and probably end up lost in the process. You can ride the highlights of this park in about 2 hours including the warm-up ride in and the cool-down ride out. Figure spending 3 hours here because you might want to ride a couple of these trails twice.

    Next, head to Alafia. It's about 10 minutes away and has excellent facilities and layout with the parking lot right in the middle of the trail system. Count on at least 3 hours at Alafia. A lot of the trails here are so much fun that you'll want to ride them 2 or 3 times, and the layout of the park makes this easy to do. I recomend starting on North Creek Trail and working your way counter-clockwise around the park doing all the blue square and black diamond / double-diamond trails. The trails will get harder as you go this way.

    Finally, head up to Loyce Harpe Park (AKA Carter Road). It is set up as a large loop with smaller loops that exit and rejoin the main trail in almost the same location. This can be rode maybe twice in 3 hours as well, and the scenery is nice.

    If you do it this way, the first trail system will be the furthest from you, and the last will be the closest. All of these systems have some unique trails and will not feel redundant, even though they are all built on abandoned strip mines.

    For the weekend, start at Reddik / Razorback. It is built on land shared with an active strip mine so the trail is always changing. It's the best FL has to offer, and you might even forget that you're in a state with no mountains. There is a race there this weekend, so you should be able to see pictures of it soon when goneriding.com posts race results.

    After Reddik, stop by Santos on the way back. It has a large trail system with trails for any level of rider. The park is basically two halves, Santos and Vortex, divided by SE 25 Ave. There are two parking lots, one at each trailhead. The Santos side is a bit tamer, while the Vortex side has virtually no easy trails, a pump track, dirt jump section, and cliff drops. If the kids like biking, but are too young to take on difficult trails, you could take them riding at Santos and then head over to the Vortex where they can play on the pump track while you hit the dirt jumps. The pump track is under trees (shade) and has a picnic bench nearby where you can sit and watch.

    Check out www.swampclub.org . There is a "Trails" link that might be helpful to you, and the "Ride Calender" will show you where the club will be riding while you're down here. You don't have to be a member to come riding with us. I'm sure OMBA (Santos) and the Ridgeriders (Carter Road) have webpages as well.
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  11. #11
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eclark7
    I would be happy to host an Alafia ride if you want to keep it closer to Orlando, and very well might tag along on a Santo or Razorback trip if the dates work out. The last guy I rode with in FL from up your way was a great guy to ride with and I thoroughly enjoyed it. EBxtreme rips if anyone here knows him. Are you flying a bike here or considering rentals? There are some bike shops around that have really nice rental bikes, including the shop by Santos.
    I am probably going to break up my FS into front and rear triangles and pack it into suitcases. I've done it before and unfortunately involves a fair amount of disassembly but extra charges for bikes going on international flights are kind of ridiculous. Plus we'll be having a stopover to change planes in TX and I'm not sure if I want to place too much faith in the ability to get special oversize luggage (i.e. bike box) onto a connecting flight properly. I just have to check with the resort to make sure I can bring my bike up to the suite (or villa?). My family is there courtesy of some other family members from the other side of the country who we're meeting up with (I couldn't afford the trip on my own) so I'm not entirely sure of the style of the accomodations. Here's a link to the area where we're staying on Google Maps below. I see lots of forested areas nearby, but who knows if they have any trails that are worthwhile for a quick spin each morning before family stuff starts for the day.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...&t=h&z=12&om=1

    Never met EBX myself but seems like a great guy and great rider. I don't have skillz like EBX (unless you count spinning away at the pedals like a hamster on crack), and my wheels tend to stay much closer to the ground. Aside from having some fun on the trails, goal #2 is to avoid racking up massive out-of-country medical expenses if possible.

  12. #12
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    Are'nt you lucky ....

    A riding buddy of mine is flying up from Jamaica on the 11th and staying till the 16th of october. I am going to take that week off to ride. We will probably use the first 2 days to ride Boyette and Alafia. Afterwards, we will gradually work our way north up to Santos.

    I ride with Eric and he knows Boyette pretty well, we rode there last saturday.

    Oh, BTW - We have a group of 7 heading up to Whistler next year. The dates are set for Aug 1-7th , right after CrankWorx.

  13. #13
    Tá mé ar meisce.
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    I ride boyette all the time. If you need someone to show you around there I will probably be available. You don't really need a guide at Alafia because of the layout, but it is more fun riding with someone.
    To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle. -- Confucius
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  14. #14
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    I'd check out Boyette and Alafia if I was you. You truly can't go wrong with any of these places though.
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  15. #15
    No. Just No.
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    Thanks again to everyone for all the great info. I always have a great time showing off our local trails to out-of-town friends and visitors. Sounds like same with Florida riders. It would be great if I could hit all the spots suggested, but in the end I can only choose a couple.

    Here's the scoop on dates. Looks like I get out for a good chunk of the day on;

    Thursday, Oct 11th (maybe Alafia, and/or Boyette?)
    Saturday, Oct 13th (maybe Reddik / Razorback?)

    Early start will probably allow me to carve out the most riding hours and still get some time with my family both days later on in the day, but I'll try to go with the flow of whatever timing works best for the "official tour guide" volunteers who have posted up.

    So, who's in for one or both days?

    P.S. How many hours is the drive from Orlando area to Reddik / Razorback on a Saturday?

    P.P.S. Look like I'll be able to bring a bike with me, so no need to find a rental. Thanks for the suggestions though.

  16. #16
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    You definitely owe it to yourself to hit Alafia. It's only an hour-hour 15 minutes from Orlando and is probably some of the best stuff FL has to offer. I've not been to Reddick yet but have heard similar great things about that one.

    I'd also recommend taking some local knowledge with you to Boyette, the trails out there are getting better and better but finding your way around can be tricky.

    If I don't have anything going on that Thurs. I might take a day off and come ride Alafia with you guys. I'd love to ride Reddick on Saturday but USF is playing UCF that day and I can't miss that game.

  17. #17
    Where is my mind?
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    Shoot! I may have to withdraw my offer to show you around Razorback. That's the weekend of my wife's B-day and last year was a pretty bad one (plumbing disaster). She wants to spend the day at Orlando, of all places.

    Razorback is about 1.5 - 2 h from Orlando and totally worth the drive. It's my personal favorite in FL, and not just because I live nearby.
    "'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says god, 'for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing'"

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  18. #18
    No. Just No.
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    No prob Cyclopod - I understand.

    Anyone else let's just keep doing quote/reply to this message and add your name to either of the dates below so that we can keep track of who's coming.

    Thursday, Oct 11th, Alafia >>> Circlip, and...
    Saturday, Oct 13th, Razorback >>> Circlip, and...

  19. #19
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    No prob Cyclopod - I understand.

    Anyone else let's just keep doing quote/reply to this message and add your name to either of the dates below so that we can keep track of who's coming.

    Thursday, Oct 11th, Alafia >>> Circlip, and...Jason
    Saturday, Oct 13th, Razorback >>> Circlip, and...
    I'm available anytime really on that Thursday.

  20. #20
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    I will try to get off to ride on thursday, it depends on workload. Razorback is going to be too far for me to venture that weekend, things have tightened up a bit.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip
    No prob Cyclopod - I understand.

    Anyone else let's just keep doing quote/reply to this message and add your name to either of the dates below so that we can keep track of who's coming.

    Thursday, Oct 11th, Alafia >>> Circlip, and...
    Saturday, Oct 13th, Razorback >>> Circlip, and...
    Circlip are you still planning to ride on Thursday?

  22. #22
    No. Just No.
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    Still hoping to patch together Thursday ride with Scuba and anyone else who wants to come along, but...

    Although I've done it many times before, unexpected issues were encountered with packing my bike and as a result I am here with no ride.

    Can anyone recommend possible sources for rentals not too far from either Orlando or Alafia / Boyette?

    Thanks!

  23. #23
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    bike shops

    Santos has a shop almost onsite, I think it is Santos Bikes. Alafia has AJs Bikes within about 20 minutes, phone number is 813-685-2453. If you have no luck with rentals and want to ride Alafia on the weekend, I can probably hook you up with a bike.

  24. #24
    Jackalope Hunter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip
    Still hoping to patch together Thursday ride with Scuba and anyone else who wants to come along, but...

    Although I've done it many times before, unexpected issues were encountered with packing my bike and as a result I am here with no ride.

    Can anyone recommend possible sources for rentals not too far from either Orlando or Alafia / Boyette?

    Thanks!
    Kyle's Bike Shop in Orlando near downtown rents bikes and delivers. Cool small shop, good people. If you happen to be in town on Sunday the 14th there's gonna be a freeride demo at the shop including a DVD release party for New World Disorder 8... Starts at 10 a.m. Lots of talented local riders...
    "That which does not kill you makes you stronger"

  25. #25
    Weekend Warrior
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    Shoot, I would love too, however my van is in the bodyshop as someone crashed into it and the other car can't fit my bike..... Let me see if I can get a hitch or so by Thursday so I can get there....

  26. #26
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    I'm in for the Thursday ride.

    Circlip I PM'ed you again about your bike search.

  27. #27
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    Hey it was great meeting and riding with you guys and I hope Circlip enjoyed a sampling of our Florida trails.

    Dave

  28. #28
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    I feel the same Dave. It's good riding with people that are miles ahead of you in terms of talent and raw endurance.

    I think you both could have rode for days................I, myself, well that's another story.

    I'll certainly catch up with you to ride again.

    This Sunday is out, Sea World is in order.
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  29. #29
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    Thanks for the excellent outing guys. The crew of Dave, Jason, and Sean (who we hooked up with ad hoc) with were fantastic hosts and made the day really painless for me in terms of the arrangements. You know who to ring guys when if you're ever headed toward Vancouver, B.C.

    Thanks also to everyone else who posted up with information and suggestions, but wasn't able to come out.

    Aside from visiting Bents Cycling in Lakeland which was a great shop with lots of nice bikes on the floor, we did a quickie tour of Boyette followed by a longer stay at Alafia. More detailed ride report plus photos will be posted up later once I'm back home.

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