A great ride in Florida

My wife, kids, and I visited my folks last weekend down in Sarasota, Florida, and I got a chance to muni.

Last time there, I hooked up with Ed (“frogy130” on the forum), and we rode some cool local trails.

This time Ed took me to Alafia State Park, which is about an hour’s drive, but well worth it. A mountain bikers’ mecca, this place has several excellent trails, rated from easy to double-black-diamond. We hooked up with another muni rider, John (forum name “billnye”), and an MTBer named Zack.

We rode some combinations of the intermediate trails “Bridges”, “North Creek” and “Rock Garden”, which featured a little bit of smooth flowing XC, amply peppered with rooty, twisty swampside portions. Also interspersed were many short, but very steep whooptie-doos (that’s my term for quick down-and-ups), requiring strong back-pressure on the skidding downslope, followed by some grunting, struggling ascents.

Ed lent me his KH29er - really fun on the fast parts, but hard to muscle through the more technical portions. By the end of the ride, after trying (and failing) to keep pace with John, a fast, skilled rider, I was pretty beat and treated myself to a couple superman-type UPDs.

A big thanks to Ed, John, and Zack for the fun outing. Once again I’m pleasantly surprised at the trail-riding options in Florida, and a bonus, adding to the local flavor of the ride, we saw a nice 5 or 6 foot alligator in one of the swampy ponds.

My GPS data: http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/6976346

The “corrected” elevation change (116 ft) in motionbased is well below the actual, while the “uncorrected” data (1567 ft) is overstated. In my opinion, though, we probably did hundreds of feet of climbing in bursts of 20-40 ft. over the 6 or so miles ridden.

Oh man, I’ll have to check that out.

Sounds like you had a great time!

Steveyo, glad to hear you enjoyed yourself, and glad I could get a chance to ride with another new face. There’s more where that came from, both at Alafia and other trails nearby.

Tak, if you haven’t ridden Alafia, you owe it to yourself to get out there at least once or twice. Alafia River State Park is one of the best bike trails in the state, by all accounts, and there’s a wide variety of terrain and difficulty there. Our crew (me on uni, some bike guys, and some guys who do both) is out there most Sundays around noon or so.

And to anyone else in the area or visiting, just holler. I’m down for muni, urban assault, 24"-appropriate road riding, or some light trials.

serving as carrot and stick since 2001,

John M

Clearwater Uni Ride

I am organizing a 20k uni ride in and around Clearwater beach first Saturday in Feb. The route will cross two bridges, paved roads and almost a direct bike path. Please join us for a scenic ride.