Friday, February 7, 2014

San Felasco Hammock Preserve, Gainesville

Do you like riding for hours of curvy, natural feeling single track, in old growth pines with great visibility of what is coming around the next curve? Well I do.  Heck I even the first loop, Cellon Creek, had me grinning. With 8 miles,Tung Nuts is the anchor of the system. Need some hill repeats without repeating a hill? Then hit Conquistador.

If you're looking for gravity feed, feature rich, jumping and hard tech, look elsewhere.

Cruisin through an Endor like forest of tall pines, with hardly a palm frond or scrub to be block  your view around corners, really lets lets you open it up and let her rip.  Unlike most of Florida, where it is either flat or pit, there are enough hills to work climbing and use gravity to work your corners faster than pedaling speed.

My favorite was the Hidden hills Loop, I kept expecting a mountain to emerge from what seemed like foothills. But wait I am in Florida, right?!

Any downside? My personal compulsion to make everything a big loop is not possible here, most loops lollipop off of another.

Considering how well the far end of the park is marked, I had a little trouble following the core trail, Tung Nut.  I think that some of the signs need to be replaced. Particularly where feeder trails come in. Likewise, I kind of had to hunt and peck and look at the map intently, for the two feeders to Conquistador.

I believe they are working on a new map, as the current map looks kind of like a flow chart.  Which might be for the best as an exact rendering my might be hard to follow. See my Strava file below. The map does put loops in their relative location to each other, pretty well though.

I feel like this system is between Paisley and Santo (excluding the pits) in terms of ripping twisty trail. Paisley was more steady state, Santos was as twisty, but you can see others coming form the other way much better at San Felasco. Plus you got some non-pit hill climbing to boot.

A small note on flow. I really enjoyed the flow of these trails.  I have read reviews that said they did not. These trails have a very natural feel to them.  The trail builders really put these trails together well. You won't find a man made berm, although a couple natural berms have been incorporated into the system.  If you have read some of my other articles, you will know that I prefer more natural trails. Berms can be fun, but I had to unlearn how to take a corner, as the berm does the work for you. Being able to flow natural trails at blasting speed is where it is at. Learn to corner and fly.

I found out about San Felasco Hammock Preserve, Gainesville, in an article on Single Tracks.

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