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  1. #1
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    New to Florida

    Hey all!
    I'm moving to Ft Lauderdale for medical training in a couple of days. Coming from Ut, expert rider with a dh flair (V10 up for sale haha). I was pretty depressed thinking I would be having to find a new hobby but was happy to see there was some pretty fun looking trails in the area. Wanted to see though realistically how much riding is within closeish proximity to ft Lauderdale and also what types of bikes people are using? I was thinking of something in the 5010/bronson/hightower range for squish amount?

  2. #2
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    Reputation: TheGweed's Avatar
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    Well, as you know there's nothing UT-like, but go to Markham Park, Virginia Key, or Amelia Earhart Park. 5010 and the like are fine.
    NTFTC

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGweed View Post
    Well, as you know there's nothing UT-like, but go to Markham Park, Virginia Key, or Amelia Earhart Park. 5010 and the like are fine.
    Awesome! How far of a drive are they from davie?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zhopv10 View Post
    Awesome! How far of a drive are they from davie?
    Markham Park is in Davie. Look at Google maps, or better yet, look on www.mtbproject.com.

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    Markham Park is a favorite - great variety of trails and difficulty. Gets really really crowded on weekends. Lots of trees, woods, and shade. Can be muddy in some areas after a hard rain but most of the trails there drain well. Definitely at the top of the short list in Broward county.

    Quiet Waters Park is pretty decent too - overall less difficult and techy than Markham. Really more cardio sort of XC. It is essentially a number of linked trails forming about a 6-7 mile loop. There are some Black loops and diversions along the way with obstacles that are fun. Much of this trail is in the open - very little shade left after a couple of hurricanes have taken out many of the trees in the last 10 years or so. This park drains extremely well after rain - it's mostly crushed coral and sand. Knee and elbow pads are recommended (by me anyway) since the coral is very sharp - it's like falling on razor blades. It's rarely crowded even on weekends.

    West Delray Regional Park is kind of a well-kept secret - more tight and twisty than either QW or MK with some rooty/rocky sections and jumps/terrain stuff. It's only about 4 miles or so as a loop, there are some optional extensions and you can always do multiple laps. I really like this one.

    The Dade county parks/trails are pretty good too although I don't get down there very often. Virginia Key is fantastic, Oleta is pretty techy with lots of roots. Amelia Earhart is supposed to be good but I haven't ridden there yet.

    In northern Palm Beach county, Jonathan Dickensen State Park has a great trail system. The folks up there have done a tremendous amount of work recently and added some fantastic stuff to ride. There is virtually no shade though so this time of year it's best to get up there very early in the morning to avoid the heat. Also, it's actually a bit better once the rainy season starts as during the dry season the trails get very soft - lots of deep sugar sand. Once it starts raining on a regular basis, it packs down real hard and is much easier to ride.

    Further up the road is Ft. Pierce which I've heard is pretty good - I've not been there yet.

    And further up the state is Alafia, Santos, Boyette, and a bunch of other trail systems. I've ridden at Doris Leaper near Daytona as well - nice easy singletrack in a great pine/hardwood coastal forest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zhopv10 View Post
    Awesome! How far of a drive are they from davie?
    Markham Park is a couple of miles west of Davie right off of 595/St Rd 84. Some folks I know that live in west Davie just ride there... Weston too...

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    Having ridden a lot of Utah trails both in Northern Utah and Southern Utah for many years (I get out there for a month each year), trails in south Florida are a totally different animal. There isn't a need for a slack bike or a ton of cush... A trail bike is about the extent of what you need, and everything out here is ridable on a XC bike, including hard tails.

    That said, it is a different kind of mountain biking and you will develop new a new skill set out here. The trails flow, but they are flat. There is very little hike-a-bike. Lots of features - ladders, see-saws, wooden berms, etc. If you have done sandstone in Southern Utah, being able to huck at slow speed will be a great skill to bring with you. You will do a lot of the technical features at slow speed, but if you can get some speed and get on top that is great too, but you have to work for the speed.

    There is nothing out here that I haven't been able to ride, and nothing so scary you just can't your brain to commit to it. Some of the features can be sketchy, but even then they are ridable and you just have to decide if it is worth going to work with cuts and bruises if you fall.

    There aren't loose sections where you have no traction or braking power because it is flat. If it is loose, it is sand. A little rain will firm it up (ironically, out here the trails aren't nearly as good when they are dry -- they need water to stay tacky and you don't have to stay off them until they dry out). As one of the posters said above, most of the parks, especially Quiet Waters, can be ridden in the rain without any damage to the trails (sometimes I ride Quiet Waters backwards when it rains because I am the only person in the trail system).

    All things considered, the trails down here are super fun. They only thing about them is you end up riding the same 5-10 mile loops over and over. You can't get into a trail system and ride for 100 miles without being on the same trail like in west.

  8. #8
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    I'm from the Tampa Bay area and we have Balm Boyette and Alafia that have about 50-60 miles worth of trails and are about 10-15 minutes from each other. The riding will be a quite a bit different than UT riding but it's fun nonetheless.
    Do Fun Stuff

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    Quote Originally Posted by zhopv10 View Post
    Hey all!
    I'm moving to Ft Lauderdale for medical training in a couple of days. Coming from Ut, expert rider with a dh flair (V10 up for sale haha). I was pretty depressed thinking I would be having to find a new hobby but was happy to see there was some pretty fun looking trails in the area. Wanted to see though realistically how much riding is within closeish proximity to ft Lauderdale and also what types of bikes people are using? I was thinking of something in the 5010/bronson/hightower range for squish amount?
    Tall boy or Blue is probably more accurate for down here

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    I having spent my entire life in Fl all the comments above align with my experience. Our trails don't require much bike and on many of them a hardtail works great. I prefer 27.5x2.6 for its compromise of size and ability to handle soft sugar sand decently, you can be riding along and hit a patch out of no where and thinner tires just dig in. 29's will be faster on many trails but not all because some like west delray get very tight. On all but the hardest trails in Fl i found i enjoy the smaller wheel size as it requires more technique and on my 29er i got lazy and would just roll over everything. If speed is your thing and you like to sit I would go 29x2.6. No DHF or heavy tire needed. I live in Orlando now and miss south florida trails. Get out to Santos's vortex section and Alafia at least once before you leave.

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