Saturday, February 15, 2014

Just checked in at the 6 hours of Santos

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Caught in the Vortex

Lynskey SS shake down run and gear selection run.  Comment below if you want to know what gear I settled on for 6 hours of Santos this weekend.

Uncharacteristic of me, I have not ridden a SS, from when we got to Brevard in October till just a couple weeks ago when we got to Ocala. The Ferrous was still apart, from when I put the drive train on the Lynskey to race Swank now both are Single speeds (the ferrous just needs a chain adjustment to play back up at the race, if allowed)

Geckos in the Bathroom

Monday, February 10, 2014

Two Single Speeds are better than One

I am racing the 6 hours of Santos. But my Ti race bike still had gears since racing Swank.  Stripped the shifters, derailleurs and cassette off. I set a third handlebar with just brake levers, so both bikes can be SS at the same time.  If the rules allow, I will keep the Ferrous as a pit bike, in case the Lynskey gets a mechanical that would take too long to fix or for spare parts.

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Paisley Woods Kwik Stats

After three days of rain, where to go? Mark Huff, one of the local riders, told me that Paisley is actually better after rain, as it makes the sugar sand hold together.  The last time I rode Paisley was after a rain, albeit less, and it seemed a little faster, but my times say otherwise.  But, this time I did know the trails better and was making a concerted effort to get in some threshold work.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Get More out of Strava with Single Tracks .com

If you are a mountain biker and you are on Strava, connect it to Single Tracks .com.

You can find great trails to ride and some of the segments in each one. See photos, videos and reviews for thousand of trails.  Get points and earn your way to directions and GPS files or subscribe to get them immediately.

You can share your own trails, list bike shops, post your own photos, videos and GPS files!

Find product reviews, MTB blogs, join the forum. They keep adding features all the time.  Very cool site!

From the Settings page it looks like you can link Garmin Connect, Endomondo, Map My Ride and Runtastic as well.

Make a wish list for that next Mountain bike adventure.

List your bikes and gear.

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.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Paisley Woods Florida

Santos is plenty fun, but I needed a change of venue, to switch things up for my long ride. Even the green trails at Santos are fairly twisty, which is more fun in general, but makes it harder to do sustained endurance riding, when you are accelerating out of turn after turn.  Most riders are not concerned with this. But if you are and would rather not get your long ride on the road, Paisley Woods certainly fits the bill. The main loop is about 19 miles with a half a mile feeder. There is a cut off to make a half loop.  I was running about hour and a half laps, so multiple laps are need to get the higher durations. The Paisley Woods trail has a different feel in each direction, so between that and the half loop you can put most any duration rides together without getting bored. Don't get me wrong this trail is like 90% flowy singletrack.
Wider tires, such as 2.35 or 2.4s work best in the occasional sugar sand. I got to try out a 2.35 Maxxis Ikon up front for the first time. I have had it for a while, but was waiting for a tire to wear out. I switched back to the 2.2 for the half lap at the end to compare. Even at the same 20 psi the 2.35 felt less harsh and I should be able to run even softer.