Returned to San Felasco on Sunday, a trip put together by one of the fellas from Open Road in Mandarin. Beautiful Day for a trail ride. Clear skies, bright sun. About a 20 degree differential between riding in the shade and not. Wonderful.
I picked up Travis at about 7:30 and we wheeled in to San Felasco in Alachua at about 8:45. Start time was to be 9, but we held the fellas up for about 10 minutes as we dressed for the ride at the trail head in the cold November air. Start the ride, and we're off. San Felasco has a nice high speed twisty entrance trail that's a nice warm up, but then dumps into this high grassy open type stuff that is best described as lumpy and no fun. A quick push through the sun, and Travis was sucking a little wind. I told the other 8 to go ahead and waited for Travis and then we hit the shady technical trails. For a bit I got some good work in on the bike by dropping back to Travis, then sprinting back up to the fast group, then dropping back to Travis, etc... Did that about 6 times until Travis and I slowed to a pace a little more manageable for the poor FNG...after the sprints at 10-10ths I was pretty wasted too, so a dialed back pace was appreciated by me too. We would intermittently catch up to the larger group throughout the day, and at one point a third guy joined or group of two and we hit the fast pine upland sweeper trails with a pretty good amount of speed. Fun stuff!
I didn't get to ride too much with the fast guys, as I stayed with Travis who was riding at about 8-10ths the pace of the others. He's always waiting for my dragging-ass on road rides, so I was up for the turn-about. He did great though, considering it was his 3rd or 4th trail ride. He did make the observation that it is a totally different experience than road riding. Give the man a few more rides and some clipless pedals and proper shoes and he'll be a demon!
This was the first of what the Open Road folks want to make a regularly monthly group outing. I think next time we'll be in Santos down near Ocala. I haven't been there since maybe 2005, certainly pre-baby.
Christmas break is coming up too...an opportunity to chase down some of the SWAMP group riders in Morris Bridge. They gave me garbage about riding the "hard" trails on my rigid titanium bike last winter, (keeping up wasn't too much of a challenge), maybe this year I'll take the single speed rigid. I'm sure they'll have some senseless editorial comments about that bike for sure...something about my choice of brake pads or some such lunacy. Old guy hunting. Weee!
Winter in Florida...you gotta love it!