Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wekiva Springs State Park - Bike Trail

It was 2 weeks out from the 12hr Pangea Turkey Burn race, and I had to get some trail biking in.  Wekiva is notorious for having lots of sugar sand trails, which everyone dreads.  This course is 9 miles long.

(trail map)

What are the odds of coworker, Art Homs, showing up with his brother in the same parking lot, at the same time, doing the same bike trail as we did?  He was here to train for his own race at the Turkey Burn as well.  We adventure racers think alike.

After suiting up, we briskly biked to the start of the trail and ran into a mobile stable of horses.

This gate set off our watches and pedometers.  It is the start of the biking trail.

We decided to attack this trail in reverse this time--something we had never done before.  This would give us a new perspective on the course and allow us not rely on memory to make it through.  Straight ahead is reverse; left is the usual path.

(sugar sand slows you down a lot)

(a section of cleared trees; palmettos are the first to grow back)

(the morning provided for some much better misty grounds)

A small body of water gave Greg some ideas.

At this point, we ran into a dead-end in the path.  A gate blocked its way.  Canyonero Greg Watson signals that we should plow this gate down and truck forward, for there was a tree marked #15 ahead of it.

I recalibrated our positioning and noticed that we would be out of park boundaries if we do so.  There had to be another path somewhere, so we back tracked.

Upon back-tracking, we ran into Art and his brother.  Art said he remembered of a path near the gate.  We immediately turned around and went forward again.

We had been on a large trail the entire time and missed this small narrow and hidden path to the side.  Can you see it?

Going into this path was treacherous.  Root stumps poked out of the ground out of nowhere!  We got crushed into a few of them, as seen here with mangled bikes.

Greg somehow breathed in a locus.  It was too large for the windpipe so he hacked it back out, whilst singing the Canyonero song.

About 45min into our biking, we amazingly saw civilization.

The small single-tracked trail was a blessing for 29" bikes; not so forgiving for mere 26" wheels.

Sandy trails meant bikers will stay clear of the main road.  However, carving our own road means the bike side will eventually get sandy as well.  Nonetheless, we booked it back.

Here's the finish line.  We clocked in at 1hr 4min, a record best for us, of which 14min was spent lost.  Next time we will shoot for 45min.

Here's a shot of Art's red Civic and Greg's Canyonero Jeep.

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