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Trail trimming, closing illegal bypasses and a few laps.

Friday, July 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


We sure have been getting a lot of rain in Central Florida lately. All that precipitation combined with the heat has created ideal conditions for plant growth. I spent May and June doing nothing but road riding, and so all the new growth really stood out to me when I returned to the mountain bike trails on Wednesday. As Mike and I were riding and getting hit in the face with palm fronds, we decided that an informal trimming was in order.

Doing some trimming and tree clearing at Mt. Dora before yesterday's ride.

Doing some trimming and tree clearing at Mt. Dora before yesterday’s ride.

Yesterday morning I asked Mike if he wanted to meet up at Mt. Dora and trim the trails before our ride. He was all for it, and so yesterday we each grabbed a lopper and headed around the main trail in opposite directions (Mark had already cleared Helter Skelter–thanks, Mark!) We also trimmed Gravity Destroyer, which had a pretty large tree down on it.

There’s a little section of trail that involves going over a couple of decently sized tree roots at the top of a short, steep drop, followed immediately by a sharp (but bermed) corner. It’s not a very difficult feature, but some riders are not comfortable with it and have created an illegal bypass route. Unauthorized modification of the trail is prohibited, and we’ve placed signs at this section and closed the bypass multiple times. Well, someone has created an even larger bypass now, and while I was trimming that section I spent a fair bit of time closing it off.

Later in the ride Mike discovered another bypass that cuts out a large portion of the last section of trail. I have no idea why someone did that, as there’s nothing difficult there. We closed that one down, too.

Guys, please: Unauthorized modification of the trail is strictly prohibited! Bypasses have been provided where features are beyond the trail’s designated difficulty level. I suppose an argument could be made that the double root thing mentioned above is a intermediate feature, but that’s debatable. Walk your bike or, better yet, ride it. You’re mountain biking, not riding on pavement. If you have a suggestion or concern, then please present it to OMBA. Do not modify the trail or its features!

Anyway, after the trim Mike and I did a few laps together. The trail is running really well right now. Even with all this rain there’s virtually no mud anywhere, and zero standing water. 🙂

Mike had to split, but I was in the mood to keep riding so I did another 4 or 5 laps on my own. By the end of the ride I finally felt like I was getting my MTB groove back. It’s great to be back in the woods.

Funny thing is, I’m sort of missing road riding already. I guess I love MTB and road cycling now. I’m going to try not to swing too far in one direction or the other from now on, and strive for a nice mix between the two.

Not sure what’s on tap for today. I might only have time for a quick road ride, I’ve got a lot of work to do…

John Stone Fitness Comments

2 Responses to “Trail trimming, closing illegal bypasses and a few laps.”
  1. Do you remember the reasons for thinking that you wouldn’t love road cycling? Was it just that you couldn’t imagine loving something else as much as mountain biking? As I remember it, you were against road biking at all (for yourself), and then accepted it as a training aid, and then got addicted to suffering. I’d love to see you address your thinking from 2 or 3 years ago armed with today’s feeling and experience.

    In fairness, as a road cyclist only, I’ve gotta admit that the mountain bike guys are WAY more fun to hang out with. Even Tri people are more fun than über road bikers.

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    • I have the perfect answer to your question, and it’s a comment I made just before I got my road bike. This comment was posted in Septmeber 2012 and, in retrospect, it’s hilarious:

      “Look, I can’t predict the future. Perhaps I’ll fall in love with road cycling–and I’ve lived long enough to know that saying “never” is rarely wise–but I can say that it’s highly unlikely. Everything that you said that would attract me to road cycling is present in mountain biking, but for me mountain biking offers more of what I enjoy, and less of what I don’t.

      I don’t like pavement. I don’t like cars. I don’t like pollution. I don’t like crowds. I don’t like noise. I don’t like churning for endless miles down straight roads. I especially don’t like the arrogance and cliquey behavior I’ve personally witnessed from quite a few roadies (online and IRL).

      In fairness, I also know some very cool roadies. I’m not trying to come down on that facet of cycling, I’m just trying to explain why it doesn’t particularly appeal to me.

      Mountain biking is a much better fit for me. I love being in the woods. I love how dynamic the trails are. I love the never-ending challenges. I love flowing down singletrack, pumping the terrain for as much speed as my skills allow. I love the feeling of railing a corner on the outside edge of control. I love the smell of the forest. I love the quiet mornings when I can’t hear anything but the sound of my own breathing. I love that I can ride so hard that it feels like my veins are filled with acid, or simply lay back and glide through the trees. I love being able to leave the ground; I’m not a big air guy, but even going weightless off a kicker or drop is a huge rush. I love the people I’ve met; just about every mountain biker I’ve encountered has been down to earth, helpful and friendly.

      When and if I get a road bike, it will be decent, but inexpensive. I will not spend lots of money because that money would be wasted. The road bike will be a means to an end: getting better at what I love, mountain biking. If I wind up becoming addicted to road cycling, I’ll come back here and say, “Wow, sure didn’t see that coming!”

      Don’t hold your breath.”

      About all I can say to the above, with a sheepish grin, is this: “Wow, sure didn’t see that coming!” 🙂

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