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Excellent ride at Santos on Saturday (video)!

Monday, September 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

Sport Beans break!

Sport Beans break!

I drove up to the Santos mountain bike park on Saturday morning to meet with Mike Simmons, who was camping there with his family. We wound up doing about 18 miles: a nice blend of technical riding interspersed with a few fast and flowing trails where we were able to open up the throttle a bit.

Mike said the rain came down on the trails hard Friday night, but thankfully on Saturday morning the trails were OK for riding. All the rain made the rocks, roots and especially the wooden bridges extremely slick. Many of the Red (advanced) trails are very technical and challenging even when dry, so the added element of slick trail conditions definitely ratcheted the difficulty level up a couple of notches. Some of the bridges were so slippery that we could barely walk over them! It was almost as if the wood had been coated with grease.

Mike and I laughing it up after completing the very difficult "John Brown" trail.

Mike and I laughing it up after completing the very difficult “John Brown” trail.

No serious crashes, but I did take one pretty hard fall. The funny thing is that fall did not happen while I was riding! I stopped my bike and put my foot down on a slippery wet rock, and I fell hard, right onto the rock. I bruised a couple of my ribs on my upper left side, and I’m definitely feeling it this morning.

So I’ve got some video footage from the ride. The raw footage was more than 4 hours, but I’ve edited it down to 20 minutes. The video contains footage from every trail we rode. Of course, as is always the case, video flattens the trail out and doesn’t properly convey just how tricky some of the climbs and technical features are. Some of the Red trails at Santos are extremely difficult and will challenge any rider–especially when the trails are slippery, as they were yesterday.

The most challenging trails are “John Brown” and “IMBA Red” (also known as “Vortex”). Rattlesnake Ridge is no joke, either.

There’s a very steep, rocky downhill in the Vortex that I rode for the first time yesterday. The video does not do this feature justice, it’s pretty intimidating in real life–especially when the rocks are wet. I am calling this feature “Ace/King” (in poker AK is sometimes called “Big Slick”). Picking the wrong line at the top is guaranteed to ruin your day.

Twister, at the end of the ride, is not very technical, but it’s super fast and flowing.

Here’s the chapter list:

00:00 – Intro
00:15 – Cowbone (Blue)
01:00 – Magic Mountain (Red)
01:41 – Rattlesnake Ridge (Red)
03:13 – John Brown & Anthill (Red)
05:04 – Bunny (Blue, fast and flowing)
06:12 – IMBA Red/Vortex – (Red, most technical)
11:30 – I called this feature Ace/King (“Big Slick”)
13:26 – Marshmallow (Blue)
15:06 – Sinkhole (Red, easiest red trail)
15:38 – Twister (Blue, super fast and flowing!)
19:24 – End credits


I hope you guys enjoy the video! If you watch it on Youtube I’ve included hyperlinks in the video description for each chapter stop.

Mike, great riding with you on Saturday!

John Stone Fitness Comments

16 Responses to “Excellent ride at Santos on Saturday (video)!”
  1. HOLY CRAP!!!!!!! The hard trails looked plenty hard on video John trust me! You guys were hauling ass on the twister part, I can’t belive how fast you were taking the corners!

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  2. Nice! I thought the best part was at 13:41, where I made my appearance, but the rest of the vid was OK too. 😉 Seriously though, it looks like you two were kicking butt out there. It’s hard enough for me to imagine having the energy to complete just the Vortex trail, let alone all the others. You mentioned my biggest complaint about the GoPro: how it flattens out the terrain, making difficult trails like John Brown look so easy. That’s how I got suckered into into riding JB: I watched all the YouTube vids and thought to myself, ‘Well, that doesn’t look too hard, I think I can do it.’ Right. 😛

    BTW, what sort of video editing software are you using?

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    • Hey, great running into you Saturday, Andrew! I know you were still getting the feel for being clipped in, but I wish you could have stuck with us a little longer. Sinkhole was a nice breather after John Brown and Vortex. I rode JB and Vortex much better than I did last time, but they still kicked my butt on Saturday.

      I used Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum to edit the video. It’s pretty full-featured and is priced reasonably.

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      • You know, I was fully prepared to do Sinkhole. After we parted ways on Marshmallow, I circled around to the Dr. Ruth entrance of Sinkhole, expecting that we’d cross paths again going in opposite directions. It was right there that my front tire went over a large root in a turn, causing the bike to slide right out from under me. LOL I’ve gone over that same root a hundred times before, but this time it felt like I’d hit a patch of grease. The irony is that that incident proved how safe those clipless pedals are because I got my foot loose instantly and managed to avoid falling, but it rattled me enough to abandon my plan to do Sinkhole. It all ended well though, because after doing all the blue trails, my prior reservations about clipless pedals have completely vanished. I think my run through Twister that day was the fastest I’ve ever done it. 🙂

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          • Speaking of clipless pedals, have you ever done the high speed run through Spider Kingdom? There’s a KOM associated with it, and I believe the established record is 27 mph. It’s scary how fast you can move with clipless pedals, once you get the technique down. A couple of mph faster and the record might have been mine on Saturday, but 25mph was already pretty scary, so I chickened out. 😮

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            • I’ve never done any of the trails at Santos at top speed, or made any attempts at the KOMs there. The Strava leaderboards at Santos don’t concern me right now, but I’m sure one day I’ll get out there and do some pure speed rides.

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              • I just checked the map, and it’s actually called the ‘Pine Straight Sprint Out’. According to Strava, first and second place is tied, with time of 21 seconds and a speed of 26.3 mph. Looks awfully tempting. 😉

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    • Wow, super sweet trail! That looked fast, fun and challenging. We can only dream of DH runs like that here in Florida. How are all those wooden bridges near the beginning when they are wet? Looks like they’d be really slippery!

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      • Yes the north shore bit at the top can be a bit sketchy when it is wet (which it almost always is!). They have put chicken wire on the top of the planks but it doesn’t help much – seen plenty of wipeouts on there!

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