Fun ride with Mike at Wekiwa State Park yesterday.
Yesterday my friend Mike and I planned to do a little work on Mike’s bike in my home shop and then head over to Wekiwa State Park for some MTB shenanigans. Mike had never ridden at Wekiwa before, and so I was looking forward to giving him a tour.
The morning started off pretty cold at 37° (F), so we decided to make it a lunch ride. When we set off from the trailhead it was still a little colder than we would have preferred, but after a few miles we were well warmed up and comfortable. It was another spectacularly beautiful day.
The ride was super fun. Usually when I ride at Wekiwa I’m doing training rides and hitting it pretty hard, so it was nice to just ride along and enjoy the scenery for a change.
I was happy that Mike really liked the place. I took him on what I call “The Big Loop”, which is about 9 miles in length. This loop includes two trails that are technically hiking only, but they also happen to be the best mountain biking trails out there. These two hiking trails are quite remote, and they are never used by runners (way too rooty). Because these trails are so remote, it’s very rare to see a hiker out there, especially during the work week, but we did come across a few yesterday. Everyone was all smiles and very nice. Oh, except one guy we came across who looked like he was about to rob a bank. It was so weird, the guy’s entire face was wrapped in black cloth, only his eyes were visible. At that point it wasn’t even very cold, so after we passed the guy we looked at each other and were like, “Um, WTF was that?!”
A lot of the MTB guys I know have never ridden at Wekiwa. I think it has a reputation for being sandy, not very technical and not much fun. That’s a fair assessment of the majority of the designated MTB trails, but the remote hiking trails have plenty of challenges and are a lot of fun to ride. I would definitely classify the remote hiking trails as “Blue” (Intermediate) skill level (Mike, agree?) You can get a great workout in at Wekiwa, see some beautiful scenery and wildlife and hit the more technical trails to keep things interesting.
Well, I suppose I should be happy that Wekiwa is a somewhat undiscovered XC MTB gem. If too many people start riding the hiking trails (and not politely yielding to hikers, which is critical) it could create problems. That said, I’m always happy to show other locals around the place. Feel free to hit me up if you want a tour and we’ll go ride!