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HD video footage of the trails at Mt. Dora.

Friday, April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


I’ve had a few requests for video footage of the Mt. Dora trails, and so Tuesday I took my GoPro HD with me. I decided to film one complete lap of the main loop with all the “blue” (intermediate options). There are no cuts and no edits, so you see the whole main trail, which consists of “Florida Flow”, “Little Blue Roller” (blue), “Tacoma Trail” (blue), “Extra Crispy” (blue) and “Little Dipper” (blue).

The first minute or two are not particularly eventful, but there’s some pretty fast and cool stuff as the video progresses. There are some nice elevation changes at this trail, but GoPro video doesn’t really capture elevation changes and things like rocks and roots all that well. For example, the “Little Blue Roller” section has a downhill that is actually quite steep (followed by two bermed corners), but the drop barely shows on this video (the speed increase is very noticeable, however). There are also some leg burning climbs that, unfortunately, don’t translate too well on video.

So even though GoPro video tends to flatten the trail out, you’ll be able to tell when I’m going downhill because the trees start flying by pretty fast; when I’m climbing and on the saddle my legs will be visible at the bottom of the frame, pumping away.

The clay bermed corners that have been constructed allow speed to be carried through turns in a lot of areas. I don’t hit all of them as fast as I could, but I’m getting better at it every day. Speed, IMO, is what makes riding fun. 🙂

Anyway, here’s the footage!

Mt. Dora MTB Trails: Complete main loop + all blue options.


By the way, if you’re wondering what that “Red” (advanced) offshoot is that I ride past around the 1m52s mark, the ramp you see there is a qualifier for the real feature that lies just past it. A qualifier (also known as a trail filter or gateway) is a high-skill-level, low-consequence obstacle that demonstrates the difficulty of the upcoming trail or trail feature. Qualifiers are designed to prevent riders from injuring or killing themselves on trails/features that are beyond their abilities.

This is the lone "red" feature at Mt. Dora: it's 22 feet and nearly vertical.

This is the lone "red" feature at Mt. Dora: it's 22 feet and nearly vertical.

The qualifier itself is not difficult (I’ve ridden it many times with no problem), but the only thing that lies beyond it is a nearly vertical 22-foot wooden roller (pictured to the right). The photograph does not do this thing justice: sitting at the top of it is like looking straight down from the roof of a two story building. Could I ride that feature? Maybe. In fact, I’m pretty sure I could. However, the consequences for failure are obviously very high, and the fun factor doesn’t seem great enough for me to risk it and roll off the edge…. at least not yet. 🙂

My calf injury is healing up fast. Today is my upper body workout, and tomorrow I should be back on the bike.

Happy Friday! 🙂

John Stone Fitness Comments

13 Responses to “HD video footage of the trails at Mt. Dora.”
  1. I see what you mean about the flattening, but the video really shows the speed well. My eyes were wide almost the whole time watching it! It would be neat to get a volunteer or two to get side footage on the hills and mix it in with Go Pro footage.

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    • I totally agree. It would make for a much more interesting (and more visually accurate) video if I had some external footage. Maybe one time I’ll take my Canon 60D and a tripod, and set the camera up at various locations along the trail. 🙂

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      • Ride it. Drop your seat, sit back, and it looks like you’ve got plenty of run out distance at the end to burn off your speed.

        The only things that could possibly go wrong would be if you locked up your brakes and slid (hint: don’t use your brakes) or if you were way over the handle bars at the bottom when you transition out. The transition looks great.

        We have a local train called “South of Heaven” that features a ~25 foot nearly vertical rock slab called slippery chest. It’s always partially covered in pine needles. If you use your brakes while going down it you’re almost assured to loose control. You just have to let go and burn off your speed at the bottom. I’ll try and grab a picture of the feature the next time I’m out there. It’s pretty inspiring.

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        • The transition has actually been improved even more since I took that photograph. It’s weird watching people hit that (I’ve only seen a few brave souls attempt it); it’s over almost instantly and it always looks easy. I wish there was one about half that size I could ride to get my confidence level up…

          That rock slab sounds awesome! Instead of a picture, how about a video of you owning it, oh fearless one. 😉

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          • Challenge accepted!

            I understand about needing confidence on things like that. In my area we have tons of steep rollers in our trails. Some small, some big. Once you get a smaller one figured out the big ones are no big deal, so long as you have a nice transition at the end.

            Also, almost all of our features are naturally pre-existing as opposed to man made. We have lots of areas with exposed rock which makes trail building straight forward and require little maintenance.

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  2. I have to be honest, it doesn’t look that bad??? Granted, I have no idea what I’m talking about, self-admittedly. Maybe it’s just the picture, as you said John, not doing it justice. Maybe you could grab a side view next time you’re out there?

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    • Very cool video! The terrain in the later part of your video seems closer to what we have on most of the trails here in Florida. Trails like Chuck Lennon (which is about an hour from me) have way more dramatic elevation changes and are far more challenging than the Mt. Dora trail (I have video of me riding Chuck Lennon here: http://vimeo.com/31018112). The Mt. Dora trail is fun, pretty fast and close to my home, but it’s also very easy.

      The rocky trails you have are very cool! We have some pretty rocky trails similar to those at Santos and a couple of other places here in Florida (these trails were built on abandoned quarries).

      Thanks for the vid, great riding!!

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      • Thanks for your comments!

        Yes, the rocky trails are great, they are one of my favorites but also very technical and if it has been raining the rocks are very slippery so you have to be careful.

        Chuck Lennon looks like a great place to ride! Thanks for sharing that vid also!

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